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New poster: Rate my $300 super-budget build

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April 23, 2011 2:28:24 AM

First post, first system I built myself. Borderline ecstatic with the result... Went together without a hitch, and aside from the unlockable extra core (fingers crossed and much praying, but no dice), I don't think I could ask for much more at the price paid:

Case: Rosewill Challenger http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 4GB Corsair XMS3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon 4650 512MB 128-bit http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair CX-430 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner: Lite-On http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the cost breakdown, this is complicated because things were bought at different times but I'll pair them together when necessary (many of the prices are not that are shown on the links above). Now a couple of these prices are dependent upon the rebates (all submitted and accepted electronically as of this time), but does include shipping and/or tax where applicable:

Case: $53
Motherboard: $78
Video Card: $15
CPU and DVD burner: $78
PSU: $14
RAM: $35
CPU Cooler: $32

Total: $305

Cheating here slightly by reusing a WD Caviar Blue 640GB drive, a Microsoft Wireless desktop and a W7 disc that were all previously owned...

Oh, almost forgot the monitor. Dell ST2210B http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us...

Monitor: $102

Total with monitor: $407

Blew my intended budget by $7. Damn.

And yes, I know the video card is marginal for anything beyond watching movies... that upgrade will have to wait.
April 23, 2011 2:40:45 AM

how can you re-use a windows 7 license >>.<< thats illegal, but oh well. i was hoping for a build that included ALL new parts for $300 (which i know is near impossible).

interesting none the less. nice job, $300 with a triple core is still pretty impressive, see even with $400 you can build a pc that STAPLES or another retailer would sell for 799.99 and (make it seem like a deal) if everybody knew about computers, specs, and power supply units company's like that wouldn't make any money! commercial retailers rule the populous with deception and cheap parts x3 dont you agree?
April 23, 2011 2:41:10 AM

i laughed when i saw that your first component was a $53 dollar case. wouldnt want that 4650 to overheat. personally, if i had a $300 budget, i would have tried to build the computer inside the newegg box it came in using zip ties and duct tape.
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April 23, 2011 2:46:55 AM

genghiskron said:
i laughed when i saw that your first component was a $53 dollar case. wouldnt want that 4650 to overheat.



i dont think his GPU would overheat i dont think hes going to try to run anything too demanding, generally websurfing DVDs and videos wont bother it, and if you have a case fan (of course) you could probably play some less demanding games.
April 23, 2011 2:51:00 AM

yea he shouldn't have any problem. i have a 5770 turbo and a i5 sandy bridge in a coolermaster elite case with one rear case fan and i can run crysis on the highest settings on my 24" monitor and it still stays around 75 degrees in my case or "barely noticeably warm"
April 23, 2011 2:54:57 AM

genghiskron said:
i laughed when i saw that your first component was a $53 dollar case. wouldnt want that 4650 to overheat. personally, if i had a $300 budget, i would have tried to build the computer inside the newegg box it came in using zip ties and duct tape.


hey! theres no need to attack someones budget. if you dont have anything nice to say then dont post.
April 23, 2011 4:51:23 AM

genghiskron said:
i laughed when i saw that your first component was a $53 dollar case. wouldnt want that 4650 to overheat.

And what, exactly, did you expect to find when you clicked on a thread with "$300 build" in the title? A Lian Li and a 6970? :kaola: 

April 23, 2011 4:56:51 AM

samrialj said:
how can you re-use a windows 7 license >>.<< thats illegal, but oh well. i was hoping for a build that included ALL new parts for $300 (which i know is near impossible).

W7 upgrade media and an existing older license. Sorry I wasn't clear... The upgrade media was $85-ish divided amongst three machines. I consider this off-budget because it was intended for other equipment and was repurposed here.

Of course by swapping out the CPU cooler for a meager HD would've made this complete for $300 without cheating, but the wireless desktop would have to be considered out of the budget. Unless... I splurged a bit, relatively speaking, on the mobo and the case with the intention of upgrading later. Could've pruned off another $30 and $20, respectively, which would buy a wireless desktop on sale.
April 23, 2011 4:57:22 AM

well he did what his budget allowed nothing wrong with that.
April 23, 2011 4:59:12 AM

drdiaboloco said:
W7 upgrade media and an existing older license. Sorry I wasn't clear... The upgrade media was $85-ish divided amongst three machines. I consider this off-budget because it was intended for other equipment and was repurposed here.

Of course by swapping out the CPU cooler for a meager HD would've made this complete for $300 without cheating, but the wireless desktop would have to be considered out of the budget. Unless... I splurged a bit, relatively speaking, on the mobo and the case with the intention of upgrading later. Could've pruned off another $30 and $20, respectively, which would buy a wireless desktop on sale.


no fault there. i know what you mean now xD
April 23, 2011 9:53:05 AM

you could trim a bit off with a Rosewill R218 case ($29.99) instead of the Challenger ($54.99), I'd drop the cooler (the stock fan will be fine if you don't overclock), and swap from a 4650 to a 5670 ($69.99 w/ $10 rebate)
April 23, 2011 10:40:31 AM

Surely you can buy a retail version of win7 and reuse it in another computer?

Congratulations to the OP that is great value . Probably the only thing Im wondering is why you bothered with a gfx card when the 880G mb has one built in that could have done the job perfectly well
April 23, 2011 1:03:23 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
you could trim a bit off with a Rosewill R218 case ($29.99) instead of the Challenger ($54.99), I'd drop the cooler (the stock fan will be fine if you don't overclock), and swap from a 4650 to a 5670 ($69.99 w/ $10 rebate)

Overclocking is on the menu, just not attempted yet. The core unlocking went badly... Seemingly unlocked in bios but Windows wouldn't start properly after that, so I then disabled the unlocked core and everything was fine.

And I can't trim here, this build is done. :na:  I know I COULD have trimmed, but again the point was to build a framework within the short-term budget that would accept upgrades without further work. A hot video card is in the future but not right now. In my mind, the mobo, case, cooler and RAM can stay and don't need any further upgrading... The other bits can migrate into a planned HTPC a couple of years down the road.

Actually that upgrading process has already begun, another 4GB of matching RAM (still at $35) is on the way, for no other reason than it's still cheap and I thought I might as well get it now while the same model number was still available for cheap with rebate (had to buy and will submit rebate through a family member who lives locally, the rebates were limited to one per household).
April 23, 2011 1:07:31 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Surely you can buy a retail version of win7 and reuse it in another computer?

Congratulations to the OP that is great value . Probably the only thing Im wondering is why you bothered with a gfx card when the 880G mb has one built in that could have done the job perfectly well

A regular W7 license is something like $180. Even an OEM W7 runs $85-100, and as I understand it that can't be reused. Correct me if I'm wrong. :D 

As for the board, I wanted something with built-in video in case I didn't go for a card at first. The $15 spent on the obsolete card was probably unnecessary, I know, but I assumed that even an older card would be better than none. This is where my inexperience with these things shows.
April 23, 2011 2:39:13 PM

drdiaboloco said:
A regular W7 license is something like $180. Even an OEM W7 runs $85-100, and as I understand it that can't be reused. Correct me if I'm wrong. :D 

As for the board, I wanted something with built-in video in case I didn't go for a card at first. The $15 spent on the obsolete card was probably unnecessary, I know, but I assumed that even an older card would be better than none. This is where my inexperience with these things shows.



i dont know whay anyone would bother with the regular when the oem costs so much less for a "less showy" package
it cant be reused legally


and some cheap MOBO do have some pretty nice integrated graphics
April 23, 2011 8:54:00 PM

samrialj said:
i dont know whay anyone would bother with the regular when the oem costs so much less for a "less showy" package
it cant be reused legally


and some cheap MOBO do have some pretty nice integrated graphics


Yes, the AMd 880g chipset has some killer integreated graphics, one of the best values for the money.
April 23, 2011 10:04:26 PM

Jeteroll said:
Yes, the AMd 880g chipset has some killer integreated graphics, one of the best values for the money.



i think its strange that integrated graphics are not as good as PCIe i would think that the DIRECT connection with the MOBO would be faster ya know? i think they should develop that idea more and make killer graphic performance.
April 23, 2011 10:05:55 PM

of course it would make upgrading expensive depending on the mobo i guess thats why they have pcie
April 23, 2011 10:08:00 PM

drdiaboloco said:
First post, first system I built myself. Borderline ecstatic with the result... Went together without a hitch, and aside from the unlockable extra core (fingers crossed and much praying, but no dice), I don't think I could ask for much more at the price paid:

Case: Rosewill Challenger http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 4GB Corsair XMS3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon 4650 512MB 128-bit http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair CX-430 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner: Lite-On http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the cost breakdown, this is complicated because things were bought at different times but I'll pair them together when necessary (many of the prices are not that are shown on the links above). Now a couple of these prices are dependent upon the rebates (all submitted and accepted electronically as of this time), but does include shipping and/or tax where applicable:

Case: $53
Motherboard: $78
Video Card: $15
CPU and DVD burner: $78
PSU: $14
RAM: $35
CPU Cooler: $32

Total: $305

Cheating here slightly by reusing a WD Caviar Blue 640GB drive, a Microsoft Wireless desktop and a W7 disc that were all previously owned...

Oh, almost forgot the monitor. Dell ST2210B http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us...

Monitor: $102

Total with monitor: $407

Blew my intended budget by $7. Damn.

And yes, I know the video card is marginal for anything beyond watching movies... that upgrade will have to wait.


so how good is the performance? what are you playing/doing on it and how nice does it run???
!