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Budget Desktop/Gaming Build - Please advice

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May 11, 2011 6:31:01 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: next month

Budget Range: ~USD$750

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, video trasncoding, office work, media and web surfing

Parts Not Required: all parts are required

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com and other reputable sellers

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none, looking for value and reliability

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe – I may give it a try as I learn more.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I am looking for a solid desktop with gaming capability. Please comment on Motherboard and Power Supply, I feel less confident in those areas. Thank you for your comments.

Here is what I am thinking so far.

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI H61M-E33 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-630SS 630W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular LED Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS VH238H Black 23" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Logitech B100 Black 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Mouse - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON SK-1688U/B Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-/+R 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support (Retail)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total is about $810 so I am a bit over but like what I have. If you see savings please let me know.
May 11, 2011 6:41:39 PM

A few things. One, I would swap the motherboard.
This one seems pretty nice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
you should also swap that PSU, as it's not a good brand or even 80+. I suggest one like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You won't need 600w, you won't even need the 430 watts most likely, but this gives you a little overhead.

Save a cute 10 bucks on the blu ray: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would also keep an eye out for a open box deal on a 5770. They are much cheaper that way.
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May 11, 2011 6:44:36 PM

^+1
If u know u wont be able to game at max settings for ur resolution ur good to go.
Good build at this budget.
Good Luck.
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May 11, 2011 7:03:09 PM

Thank you for the replies.

Striker - (1) I wills swap the MB for the one you suggest. (2) I have a Corsair 430W power supply (see below). Will that one work?

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

Gametstr - The reason I selected this card was in the current Tom's Hardware GPU review here it states the following "Great 1920x1200 performance in most games". See link to the article below. What card would be required to play at Max? Depending on the $ I may consider investing more for a better overall gaming experience.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card-...

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May 11, 2011 7:06:05 PM

Strikers suggestions are right on, but I would actually get at the least the 500W earthwatts, this will allow you to upgrade graphics down the road. 500W is pretty standard for midrange graphics card right now. If it were me, I'd probably get a 600W or better model if you have any plans to crossfire down the road. But Striker is right, for this particular build you won't need that much power. Better to get a solid PSU at lower wattage than a crappy PSU with inflated specs! ;) 

I say stay away from the Seagate barracuda. Get the Samsing F3 500GB or the 1TB if you find it on sale. I saw the Samsung F4 2TB on sale this morning for $80. That's a steal if you ask me.
The Asus monitor is quite nice.
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Best solution

May 11, 2011 7:08:49 PM

lifeking said:
Thank you for the replies.

Striker - (1) I wills swap the MB for the one you suggest. (2) I have a Corsair 430W power supply (see below). Will that one work?

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

Gametstr - The reason I selected this card was in the current Tom's Hardware GPU review here it states the following "Great 1920x1200 performance in most games". See link to the article below. What card would be required to play at Max? Depending on the $ I may consider investing more for a better overall gaming experience.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card-...


To max out I'd say minimum HD 6850. The more powerful HD 5850 is around the same price, but has higher power requirements. The 6850 will run cool and quiet.

The Corsair unit is fine, but for HD 6850 and higher I recommend a minimum of 500W.
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May 11, 2011 7:10:13 PM

Oh yeah, in this price range (150 after rebates) the 6850 is definitely best bang for buck.
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May 11, 2011 7:12:07 PM

I'd stick with the MSI board you chose. It has a 3yr warranty, the board he's suggesting only has a 1 year warranty.

I wouldn't buy "open box" anything. It's likely going to have parts missing. You have no idea how far it's been overclocked. For all you know someone was holding it in their bare hand while walking on carpet. Not to mention, you usually have to pay shipping on open box items and new you usually get free shipping, so it's really not that good of a deal.

I would go with something a bit faster than a 5770. I have a 5850 and some games bring it to it's knees even at 1680x1050 (STALKER, CRYSIS)

Any quality 400w psu will be fine for even 5850/6850/6870. My system only draws 300w.
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May 11, 2011 7:26:47 PM

Good discussion. Thank you for the advice.

(1) It seems like upgrading the power supply would be well adviced (if not for current needs, to allow for future crossfire).

(2) Also, upgrading graphics to 6850. I am thinking the card listed below.

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

Geek - do you think I can use the Corsair 430w (see link above) with the HD 6850?

That would keep me closer to the original budget.

What is the risk of using the Corsair 430W? If it threatens the system I may just bite the bullet and buy a bigger PSU now.


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May 11, 2011 8:00:04 PM

Here's a link to a discussion here at Toms about the power requirements. Officially AMD recommends a minimum 500W PSU for the HD 6850:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/301853-33-6850-crossf...

Although AMD has not listed an Amperage requirement, the general consensus is that 22-25 amps on the 12V rail is a safe bet.

Another look at power draw:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2010/10/22/at...

I don't think Geek is giving you bad advice, for me I like a little headroom as I am always looking at upgrades and adding other doohickeys.

Risk? Well, I don't think you'll need to worry about the PSU blowing up or anything, but power supplies run more efficiently (and therefore stable) at about 50% load. Under gaming conditions, you can expect most machines to go quite a bit beyond that.
I do often see folks recommending power supplies that are well over what's actually required, (especially here on the forums) but in this case the card manufacturer itself is recommending a minimum 500W.
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May 11, 2011 8:13:35 PM

Best answer selected by lifeking.
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May 11, 2011 8:33:31 PM

Yes the 430 would be more than enough for even 6870.

AMD recommends 500w psu to cover all the bases. They don't know if you have a 150w cpu or a 65w cpu. They don't know how many devices you have. Etc.
Plus, a cheapo 500w psu, in a lot of cases only put's out 350w of real power.

You have a low power motherboard, a low power cpu, 1hdd and no addtl. cards. You'll be just fine with a 380w to be honest.

My system only draws 300w with 5850, which uses more power than 6850. If you need headroom for future upgrade, then yes feel free to go ahead and get a 550 or 600w unit.

I'm not planning on upgrading my cpu or gpu in the next year, so it's not an issue for me. My next build will be from scratch on a new platform.
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May 11, 2011 9:37:30 PM

Newegg's open box policy states a guarantee on the main item, but no guarantee on the rest of the accessories. Do you really want to pay $20 for a driver CD that you will never use anyway?

And as for the motherboard, the ASRock I suggested has USB3, which is something that will likely be mainstream by the end of this year. I would personally hate to get stuck with slow transfer speeds when it could have been easily avoided.
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May 11, 2011 10:12:20 PM

I sure would hate to get stuck with a dead motherboard on day 366 and the warranty is over. That would sure suck more than not having usb3, lol.

It's not a matter of paying $20 for a driver cd. It's a matter of you not knowing where the card has been or why it was returned.
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May 12, 2011 7:29:38 PM

geekapproved said:
I sure would hate to get stuck with a dead motherboard on day 366 and the warranty is over. That would sure suck more than not having usb3, lol.

It's not a matter of paying $20 for a driver cd. It's a matter of you not knowing where the card has been or why it was returned.


Yeah, this.
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