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Compatibility check for my first Budget Gaming build

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June 16, 2011 5:04:18 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Possibly this weekend

Budget Range: Under $1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Mouse/Keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com, TigerDirect.com

Country of Origin: United States of America

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Maybe down the road

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1366x768

Additional Comments: I'd like it to be future-proof to some degree. Relatively quiet would be nice, but for a budget gaming rig I'm not really expecting that.

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CPU - AMD Phenom II X3 700e

CPU Heatsink - Cooler Master DK9 Socket AM2/AM3 CPU Cooler

GPU - Zotac GeForce GTS 450 AMP Edition

RAM - Crucial 4GB PC10600 DDR3 1333MHz Desktop Memory (2 sticks)

Motherboard - Asus M4A79XTD EVO AMD 790X Socket AM3 Motherboard

PSU - Ultra X4 600 Watt Modular Power Supply

HDD - Western Digital 500GB 7200rpm

Wan - Zonet 802.11N Wireless PCI Adapter

Disc Drive - Sony Optiarc DVDRW Drive

Case - Cooler Master RC-430 mid Tower ATX Case

Monitor - 19" Widescreen LED HD Monitor

OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit



I'm pretty sure all of these parts are compatible, but since this is my first build I'd like to get some advice from some more experienced builders. I've never build a computer from square 1 so my main concern is everything fitting in the case and everything being compatible.

The total for all of these items came out to be around $780 before rebates and shipping (shipping is $20).

Would this be good for middle of the road gaming?

Thanks!



More about : compatibility check budget gaming build

June 16, 2011 5:45:22 PM

Any current AMD build should use an AM3+ motherboard for upgrade options down the road. You are in OK shape with that build, but can do better. The build below is right at $800 without rebates, and would be a much better gaming rig than your original build. Something to consider...

NOTE: At 1366x768 resolution you don't need huge GPU muscle. The HD 6950 below could be swapped for an HD 6850 / HD 6870.

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE - $115

Motherboard: ASRock 890FX DELUXE5 AM3+ 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 - $180

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 - $46

Graphics Card: HIS H695FN2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 -$250

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB - $45

Case: NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower - $36

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W - $90

DVD Burner: LG Black 22X - $21

Cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler - $30
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June 16, 2011 6:28:03 PM

Thank you for taking the time to go over my build and suggest a new one. I really appreciate it. :) 

The build you specified seems like a little overkill for what my friend wants to use this for. I like the Proc and the Motherboard, but the GPU looks like overkill to me.

Is the graphics card in my build really bad for running games at 1366x768 or around that resolution? I don't think my friend is going to want to spend $250 on just a GPU.

I like the price of the PSU you suggested and the extra power to it so is it safe to say its better than the one in my build?

I really like the RAM too since it has heat spreaders and a higher clock, but I've never used that brand. Is it reliable? I've always heard good things about crucial and have tended to stick to them, but if you say that they're good then I don't see why not to use them.

What are the advantages to the motherboard in your build? Asides from the USB 3.0 I don't really see many benefits to justify an extra $100, but I'm not opposed to upgrading to that.

I'm going to try and mix and match some of this stuff and see what prices I come up with since I have to include the OS/Monitor/Wan card.

So to sum it all up.

*How bad is the GPU I picked out, is it worth spending the extra money on the one you picked out or would the one in my build be good for most games?

*Is it worth upgrading to the quad core you suggested or will the Tri core work well?

*Is the motherboard I picked out bad? is it worth upgrading to the one in your build?

*Should I upgrade to the PSU you selected


Again I can't thank you enough for taking the time to find these parts and go over my build. Thanks a ton!




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June 16, 2011 6:52:01 PM

RAM - G.SKILL is VERY often recommended. It has a great track record from a good company. Don't think twice about using their memory...

MB - The AM3+ board will make you more "future proof" meaning in two / three years from now you can upgrade CPU / MEM / SSD / GPU and still have a current system. USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0gb/s are bonuses that your friend will probably use down the road. IMHO it is better to upgrade the board now...

GPU - The GTS 450 is a good entry level gaming card, however the HD 5770 would offer more muscle for not much more money.
ASUS HD 5770 $90 after rebate=> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - I don't have any experience with Ultra and am not sure that 600w PSU is worth its $110 price tag. Stick with Antec, Corsair, XFX or Seasonic for the "best" companies and units. With that system you are right on with a 600w / 650w PSU. I usually opt up and in this case recommended the 750w (admittedly overkill).
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June 16, 2011 7:11:38 PM

Thank you so much!

I'm going to talk to my friend about some of this, but I'll probably end up going with...

Your motherboard,
Your RAM,
The HD 5770,
And maybe the Phenom 2 X4.

I'll look around for some PSUs by the brands that you recommended and get a 600 at the extreme minimum.

One last questions, the Case that I picked out. Will that fit everything? or is the case you linked better.

Thank you so much for all of your help!
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June 16, 2011 7:23:48 PM

On the case front, that is all preference... If you don't mind looking at it, the case I linked will work just fine (check out the reviews). The more important part would be cooling... Both cases ideally need additional case fans to promote good front-to-back air flow. The cheaper case would let you buy case fans and not see a budget hit.
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June 16, 2011 7:25:38 PM

Also, the WD Blue hard drive you originally posted is OK at best. The Samsung F3 or drive I linked to are better / faster options.
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June 16, 2011 7:26:47 PM

sadams04 said:
On the case front, that is all preference... If you don't mind looking at it, the case I linked will work just fine (check out the reviews). The more important part would be cooling... Both cases ideally need additional case fans to promote good front-to-back air flow. The cheaper case would let you buy case fans and not see a budget hit.


Ok. For case fans I just have to get the proper size there isn't anything really special about them right?

I'm pretty sure the one I linked has a fan included in the front so I would only have to buy one for the back. But as long as they'll both fit everything I'll just compare prices.
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June 16, 2011 7:28:18 PM

Around 50CFM @ 20~db would be nice and quiet for a case fan. Should be able to find lots of 120mm options for under $10 per...
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June 16, 2011 7:31:35 PM

sadams04 said:
Around 50CFM @ 20~db would be nice and quiet for a case fan. Should be able to find lots of 120mm options for under $10 per...


Ok! I'll start looking for some.

Thanks so much again, you've been a tremendous help!
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June 16, 2011 7:32:04 PM

Best answer selected by AndrewT229.
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