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Sub $600

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April 9, 2011 4:33:58 AM

Took inspiration from the recent March 2011: $500 Gaming PC article and threw this together. It's all sitting in a shopping cart at NewEgg - just wanted to run it by those who are more knowledgeable than I for any thoughts/issues:

CPU: $139.99 - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX

MOBO: $59.99 - ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD

GPU: $164.99 - SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5

RAM: $49.99 - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

HDD: $49.99 - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s

CASE: $54.99 - Antec Three Hundred Illusion

PSU: $54.99 - Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80

CD/DVD: $18.99 - LG DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH24NS50

TOTAL: $593.92

Questions I had in particular:
1) I've noticed a lot of talk regarding the Phenom vs. Sandybridge - for a sub$600 build is the Phenom my best bet?
2) I think I found the best deal as far as HDD is concerned - anyone aware of a better option?
3) Is the PSU sufficient for this system? I don't plan on adding an additional GPU
4) Will the 6850 fit in the Antec 300 without any trouble?

Thanks so much to anyone who's able to take the time to review. Looking to upgrade my 7 year old PC asap!

Regards,
Josh

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April 9, 2011 4:56:24 AM
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the phenom nbuild isn't bad.

My PC however, is a much better $600 build -- an i5-2400 blows a phenom ii x4 away.


i5-2400: $180 (thru April 12)
ASRock H61M/U3S3: $80
4 GB DDR3: $40
Antec 380W; $40
500 GB Drive: $40
R101 minitower: $40
DVD burner: $20
HD 6850 $165

Total: $605
April 9, 2011 4:57:44 AM

Just to add a bit more on the purpose for the machine and other components already owned:

Purpose: This PC will be used primarily as an all-around for gaming/work/media storage. I tend to use 1600x1050 resolution on my current 7 year old build but may end up increasing.

Already Owned:
*Windows 7
*2x 22in LCD
*keyboard/mouse
*handful of external hdd for media storage
*Beyerdynamic headphones + 5.1 Logitech Speakers

thanks again
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April 9, 2011 5:27:22 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
the phenom nbuild isn't bad.

My PC however, is a much better $600 build -- an i5-2400 blows a phenom ii x4 away.


i5-2400: $180 (thru April 12)
ASRock H61M/U3S3: $80
4 GB DDR3: $40
Antec 380W; $40
500 GB Drive: $40
R101 minitower: $40
DVD burner: $20
HD 6850 $165

Total: $605


Ok, so per your suggestion ScrewySqrl I made the following changes-

*Went ahead and ditched the Phenom + Mobo and added the i5-2400 and recommended mobo.
*Bumped my PSU choice down to the Antec Earthwatts 380 from the 430

Was happy enough with my other selections (pending any other recommendations) to absorb the extra cost.

Total with above changes: $648.92

I'm glad you pointed me in the direction of the i5-2400. I had not considered it but after viewing some benchmarking I can see why you said it would far outperform the Phenom. Seems like a beast of a processor at that pricepoint.

Am open to any other suggestions - want to get this build right as i'll probably be stuck with it for another 7yrs

Thanks!

Josh
April 9, 2011 5:58:46 AM

If I want to try overclocking down the road would it be worthwhile to get a non-stock CPU cooler or is the one provided with the processor fine? Even if I don't overclock, would I be better off with an upgraded CPU cooler?

was considering the Scythe SCMG-2100 as a relatively inexpensive option.
April 9, 2011 6:56:03 AM

the H-series motherboard and the 2400 don't really overclock.

to overclock you need the i5-2500K ($225) and a P67 motherboard (cheapest is $100), which is +$65 over the 2400/H61 build.
April 9, 2011 3:31:22 PM

Best answer selected by j7hompson.
April 9, 2011 3:48:38 PM

thanks, and good luck with your new PC
!