Budget!POW!erhouse mATX gamer so far at $800

Probably will buy in late May/ early June

Budget Range: $500-700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: GAMING, GAMING, GAMING, Blu ray Movies(eventually), and more Gaming. Preparing for Battlefield 3, All valve games out, SC2, Diablo 3, Metro 2033, BF:Bad Company 2, Mass effect 3, FPS's , and light mmo possible with old republic.

Parts Not Required: Mouse : Deathadder 3500 DPI, Graphics card : Sapphire 5850 extreme, Monitor : Dell U2211H 21.5" 1080p

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg period. well amazon too. Shipping to APO sucks with newegg, but amazon has given me a good deal on the 5850. $155 shipped.

Country of Origin: Germany

Parts Preferences: Not gonna lie but its amd all the way. I can be unbiased when I give advice. But when it comes to my own system I wanna support the company that's got good bang for the buck.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080p , I love 16:10 aspect but I had to jump on a good deal on the IPS 1080p monitor.

Additional Comments: Quiet preferable not a must, Portability or small footprint a MUST.(will be moving this around and may have to ship back to the states later)

+ Ok heres what I've put together after weeks of tweaking and researching.

NZXT Crafted Series Vulcan Black Steel / Plastic Gaming mATX Computer Case

$69.99 NZXT Crafted Series Vulcan Black Steel

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

$42.99 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB

ASUS M5A78L-M LX AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

$64.99 ASUS M5A78L-M LX AM3+ AMD 760G

PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II PPCMK2S500 500W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

$74.99 PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II

LITE-ON SK-2085 Black USB Wired Slim Keyboard

$11.99 LITE-ON SK-2085

JVC HA-RX700 3.5mm/ 6.3mm Connector Circumaural Full-Size Headphone

$39.99 JVC HA-RX700

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

$39.99 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB)

AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX450WFGMBOX

$79.99 Athlon II x3 450

Subtotal: $424.92 + $89.00 shipping to apo address. =(

Sapphire 5850 extreme
Dell U2211H 21.5" IPS monitor

Total : $802 without shipping

Okay went beyond my budget, but this is pretty much the baseline. I had a athlon ii x3 sanded, unlocked, and overclocked to 3.4ghz with a cm TX3 cooler.
I plan to go stock cooler this time due to budget. Not sure what coolers may fit into that small case. I don't feel like spending 40+ on a cooler at this time. And I've never had an issue with my laptop , running a intel core 2 duo 2ghz, overheating @80C while gaming ( L4D2 , SC2, Halflife2). I know scary eh? I was when I saw my laptop climb that high using I8kguifan. I tweaked the hell out of this Dell E1505 which I upgraded from geforce 7300go to radeon x1400(oh yeah Overclocked with 2d & 3d clock profiles; can be done to you naysayers) and solo core to core 2 duo(under-volted too). Well I think the high temps came from trying to improve cooling(which it didn't need) by dremeling slits on the copper pipes on the heatsinks to the cpu. Might've cut too deep of a slit which shorten the cooling length of the copper pipe. ex. : [cpu heatsink] ========|===[exhaust fan]
Anyway, just saying I watched my temps , and everything runs fine on my laptop except that it's temp runs up to 80C when it use to run below 70C.

Okay enough about my laptop,

I would love to see intel builds but there's just no room in my budget for their offerings. Quad core is a must (SC2, and knowing BF:BC is cpu intense with more cores, BF3 maybe so)
I plan on unlocking and do some modest overclocking on the athlon with stock cooling. Until I'm not satisfied which I probably won't be. But this cpu should have enough oomph until bulldozer comes around. The motherboard I picked out , even though it has a 760G chipset, has AM3+ support. Previously was looking at a biostar 880G+ , obviously budget motherboards, for the higher/newer chipset. I'm sure the performance between the two are minimum. I'm not gonna miss some of the extra features such as usb 3, amd overdrive, faster intergrated graphics, ..... I'll live....
(fill me in if there is something that 'll affect my fps')

Yes AM3+ support. I know its probably going to take time for the support to mature. Brand new motherboard with support for a cpu that isn't even out yet. Yeah, probably going to have bios issues or remember what happened to Sandy bridge when that came out.... But I'll be able to pop in a bulldozer cpu eventually if/when the tinks get sorted out. And I know I probably won't get the best performance compared to 9xx series chipsets and maybe 8xx chipsets that get updated bios support. (not guaranteed yet but seems like msi is pushing for it) MSI AM3+ support

This is probably why I selected an Athlon ii over a Phenom II. Just something to tide me over until bulldozer comes onto the scene. And budget constrains which is why no x4 Athlon ii. I also know what these are capable of and I'm fine with medium settings but I hate to lower 'native resolution' in games. I can't even see some numbers/text in L4D2 using the lowest res. EX. a 14 will look like '4 or 20 = '0 . So going from tweaking .inf/config files, to maximize frames, to med/high w/tweaks when need @1080p will freakin blow me away. (my x1400 mobility w/ 128mb has served me well for about year playing Left4dead 2 and SC2 ;had to work to get it to be playable and a little bit of getting use too)

I chose not to get 5770 cards because it would probably be too similar to my old build which had a 4850. I know how that handles, and it was med/high at 1680x1050 . Not at the level I want it to be at 1080p with newer games. I know 5850 is getting long in the tooth now but its the best at that price range. I know nvidia has got some cards too. Their naming scheme is confusing the hell out of me probably because I've been out of the loop with their camp since GTX 200 days(which wasn't too long ago)
I've already ordered the card so that's that.

I've looked at other matx cases such as Sliverstone SUGO series, Lian-li (wish they could make some cases with the same form but with cheaper materials for price), antec, coolermaster elite 360 slim, and other generic slim/small/matx cases.

Alot have had either fitment issues w/ regular sized components, actually mostly fitment issues... Or if you wanna spend $100+ that'll fit everything in a mATX/small size. 'higher end silverstone or lian-li'
I don't care about flimsy or materials used (I'm 'that guy' that'll cut into his computer with a dremel and mess things up). If there's anything out there that is 'smaller but can fit everything inside then the one on the list' please I could use some recommendations.

Any alt. to what i've listed could be helpful as I still have time to piece this computer together. (hate to have new parts just lying around waiting to be whole though)

Does anyone have a good recommendation on blu ray drives? Seems like blu ray drives are just as finicky as dvd drives use to be with media. (WTF)
Isn't there a standard out for how blu rays should be read? what's with all the updates to new blu ray discs that can't run on older drives? Whats with incompatible blu ray media player software that you paid for?(WTF) end rant. Just some things I've picked up from reviews of cheaper internal drives.

I plan on geting a drive just not yet. I'll probably be installing windows with a usb stick.
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More about budget erhouse matx gamer
  1. Bang for the buck?

    the i5/2400 costs.....$185?

    The X6/1090T costs about the same...

    The former will beat the latter in every game in existence.

    Given only comparison to both companies' 6 core cpus, AMD does offer attractive pricing compared to socket 1366/i7 975 and above....

    But, given $185-$225 cpu budget, Intel completely dominates for gaming systems.
  2. Better wait for the Bulldozer in June.
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