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Final checkoff budget build

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June 27, 2011 7:52:52 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within 3 days.


Budget Range: $520 (current price of my parts) to 550 without mail in rebates. Not really flexible beyond that.


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and watching movies.


Parts Not Required: K/M, monitor, speakers, OS.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg


Country of Origin: US


Parts Preferences: none really


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: No


Monitor Resolution: 1600x900

Additional Comments: My old X2 6000+ and 9600GSO are getting old and I have a little bit of money to upgrade. I want to be able to play new games at fairly high settings with decent framerates. I'll probably upgrade some stuff later down the line (over a year) when I get more money. I think it's a pretty good list but it's been a while since I've built a computer.

LG DVD±RW SuperMulti Drive 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model GH22NS50 Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Palit NE5X460EFHD02 GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK NRP-PC Series ACXTNRP-PC402 400W ATX12V Ver.2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WINTEC AMPX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 3AXH1333C9WS4GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 27, 2011 9:15:00 AM

I think that here your best choice would be an AMD build, because that mobo is garbage and the psu is bad. Also, pick up an nice Spinpoint F3 1TB instead of that Hitachi.

Here it is:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition
GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
XFX HD-685X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
XFX Core Edition PRO450W 450W

And that same case and drive.
Total: 582$ w/o rebates, 557$ w/ rebates

As for me it's worth paying those extra 7$ for a way more balanced PC :) 
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June 27, 2011 9:35:42 AM

Have a look at the system builder marathon articles on the home page .

The most recent $500 build includes a Radeon 6850 graphics card and an i3 2100 .

Generally its performance sucked compared to the March system that was built with an AMD Phenom 925 quad core .

Price drops since then mean its possible to build using a Phenom 955 Quad and an AM3+ motherboard and still stay under the $500 limit , and have a more powerful , more usable system than the one you are suggesting
You wont need the 6850 they used , either at that resolution . The 460 SE or a Radeon 5770 would be fine

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition $113
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M5A87 AM3+ AMD 870 $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) $43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would probably be the best set of core components . The motherboard is an AM3+ board that will let you update processors in the future to the new Bulldozer architecture if you want to

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Related resources
June 27, 2011 9:36:05 AM

@Unknown I don't understand how that's a more "balanced" system. It costs $60 more and is above my stated budget as I specifically said I was not interested in mail in rebates.

I was googling and found some reviews on that PSU:
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/xigmatek_nrppc4...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-psu-80...
According to this very website it can deliver much more than 400 watts.

That CPU is very weak... Why would you suggest that?
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/83?vs=289

@Outlander I see they saved a little on the case and hard drive which I'm pretty set on. I guess I could move some of my budget around and get a slightly better video card. My question is for $35 more or 27% more cost does the 6850 beat the GTX 460 SE 1GB by like 25%? If not I think I'll get the GTX, especially since the reviews says that the 460 overclocks really well. I don't know about the SE but I assume they do since the other two versions do. Can't find many good reviews on the 460.
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June 27, 2011 9:48:13 AM

I think your video card is right on the mark for gaming at the resolution of your monitor .
I would spend more on other things that set you up now for future upgrades ... if you are going to spend extra .

For over ten years every computer I built shared some components . They were recycled from one to the next , or just updated one at a time . When I think motherboard I also ask myself " can I drop an new processor in there in a years time ? "
Dont spend more on a gfx card right now.


Have a look at the system builder article for the $500 PC . Its a pretty good example of how benchmarking comparisons like the one at anandtech can be quite misleading . They are too simplistic , and dont tell you what you need to know about building a computer on a budget
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June 27, 2011 9:57:26 AM

The benchmarks for SB are very impressive and I don't (does anyone?) know if AMD's new stuff will be any faster.

That 955 is still a lot slower for games than what I picked and it costs the same.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=289

I don't understand how it's more "powerful" or "usable." The motherboard costs a lot more.

Didn't the Intel SB motherboards just come out? Isn't there plenty to upgrade in that socket?
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June 27, 2011 9:59:24 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Have a look at the system builder marathon articles on the home page .

The most recent $500 build includes a Radeon 6850 graphics card and an i3 2100 .

Generally its performance sucked compared to the March system that was built with an AMD Phenom 925 quad core .

Price drops since then mean its possible to build using a Phenom 955 Quad and an AM3+ motherboard and still stay under the $500 limit , and have a more powerful , more usable system than the one you are suggesting
You wont need the 6850 they used , either at that resolution . The 460 SE or a Radeon 5770 would be fine

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition $113
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M5A87 AM3+ AMD 870 $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) $43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would probably be the best set of core components . The motherboard is an AM3+ board that will let you update processors in the future to the new Bulldozer architecture if you want to


I originaly put the X4 955, but the price of the entire system jumped way to high. And he'll want to get that 6850 if he intends to use that system for the next 2-3 years.

flippinburgs said:
@Unknown I don't understand how that's a more "balanced" system. It costs $60 more and is above my stated budget as I specifically said I was not interested in mail in rebates.

I was googling and found some reviews on that PSU:
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/xigmatek_nrppc4...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-psu-80...
According to this very website it can deliver much more than 400 watts.

That CPU is very weak... Why would you suggest that?
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/83?vs=289

@Outlander I see they saved a little on the case and hard drive which I'm pretty set on. I guess I could move some of my budget around and get a slightly better video card. My question is for $35 more or 27% more cost does the 6850 beat the GTX 460 SE 1GB by like 25%? If not I think I'll get the GTX, especially since the reviews says that the 460 overclocks really well. I don't know about the SE but I assume they do since the other two versions do. Can't find many good reviews on the 460.


The CPU is nowhere near weak and can OC really well. I suggested it because that mobo you listed was bad and is compensated the CPU with a better mobo. Also, yes, the 6850 is a good bit faster than the GTX460 SE, and also the 6850's OC better than the GTX460's, whereas the GTX460's say cooler.
And i don't have any experience with Xigmatek PSU's, and i don't know who manifactures them, XFX's PSU's are manifactured by Seasonic.
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June 27, 2011 10:01:39 AM

flippinburgs said:
Approximate Purchase Date: Within 3 days.


Budget Range: $520 (current price of my parts) to 550 without mail in rebates. Not really flexible beyond that.


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and watching movies.


Parts Not Required: K/M, monitor, speakers, OS.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg


Country of Origin: US


Parts Preferences: none really


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: No


Monitor Resolution: 1600x900

Additional Comments: My old X2 6000+ and 9600GSO are getting old and I have a little bit of money to upgrade. I want to be able to play new games at fairly high settings with decent framerates. I'll probably upgrade some stuff later down the line (over a year) when I get more money. I think it's a pretty good list but it's been a while since I've built a computer.

LG DVD±RW SuperMulti Drive 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model GH22NS50 Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Palit NE5X460EFHD02 GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK NRP-PC Series ACXTNRP-PC402 400W ATX12V Ver.2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WINTEC AMPX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 3AXH1333C9WS4GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Nice budget build you have there :)  That's some smart shopping imo. The only change I would make on that build would be the psu. For what that card calls for power wise, that psu falls short.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99 FREE SHIPPING
Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $104.98
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Another vid card worth looking at imo...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $144.99 - $114.99 after mail-in rebate card
ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/768MD5 GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

btw good choice on that cpu. That Intel 2100 you chose eats up and spits out the AMD 720

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/83?vs=289 <----- AMD Phenom II X3 720 - 2.8GHz vs Intel Core i3 2100 - 3.1GHz

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June 27, 2011 10:08:01 AM

flippinburgs said:
The benchmarks for SB are very impressive and I don't (does anyone?) know if AMD's new stuff will be any faster.

That 955 is still a lot slower for games than what I picked and it costs the same.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=289

I don't understand how it's more "powerful" or "usable." The motherboard costs a lot more.

Didn't the Intel SB motherboards just come out? Isn't there plenty to upgrade in that socket?



Anandtechs benchmarks dont use the graphics card you want to use . So making comparisons there is not that useful as anything more than a general guide .

H61 intel boards cant be over clocked , and lack a lot of features .

The AMD is a quad core and s when things like your antivirus start up in the back ground your game gets less disruption . Thats useability

Please read the System builder guide for the $500 pc . Its on the Toms home page . Keep in mind the march system used a much weaker Phenom .

There are cheaper AM3+ motherboards . Search on newegg for AMD AM3+ boards and there are cheaper options including an 880G board for $93 .
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June 27, 2011 10:11:22 AM

I don't get why a HD 6850 would last 2-3 years while a GTX 460 SE would not. From what I see in benchmarks the Radeon is about 10% faster.

I don't see how the motherboard is bad. It has onboard sound, PCIe slot, and SATA ports. I don't get how the motherboard you suggested is better.... From what I know in order to overclock you need a good aftermarket cooler which costs $30 or more from the prices on newegg. If I'm going to spend another $30 why don't I just spend it on getting a better CPU?

So can you please explain WHY I should get an AMD CPU and motherboard when it's slower and costs more (if I get a fan to make the CPU faster). Plus that CPU (955) uses twice as much power as the one I picked...

Every review I see says the 460 overclocks really well; I guess I'll look at some reviews of the 6850 to see how it overclocks.

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June 27, 2011 10:19:24 AM

h61 mobo wont O.C
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June 27, 2011 10:19:50 AM

@Why_me I don't understand how that PSU falls short. The CPU uses 65W and the GPU uses 150W at max load. That's 215 Watts. The PSU I picked has 384 Watts over the 12V so that covers the CPU and GPU. I doubt the rest of the system is going to be drawing 185 watts?

The 460 is nice but again, no mail in rebates! I don't even bother sending them in...

@Outlander I don't understand how you can just assume the i3 will be unable to play games while scanning for viruses. Hell my 6000+ does low level scans and I can play WOW fine. All I know is according to this bench in demanding gaming situations the i3 is 10% faster than that processor you suggested.

I don't get why I should get a AM3+ motherboard; aren't the new Sandy Bridge motherboards also new technology and I don't have to wait to see what future processors are available?

What's wrong with the H61 specifically? I understand it won't OC but I didn't see any i3-2xxxK versions.

I think I'll get a different hard drive, one with more reviews.

@Unknown According to every review website the GTX 460 series overclock much better than the HD 6000 series... Did you even look this up or are you just suggesting me buy this card because you like it? Seems overpriced.
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June 27, 2011 10:30:48 AM

flippinburgs said:
@Why_me I don't understand how that PSU falls short. The CPU uses 65W and the GPU uses 150W at max load. That's 215 Watts. The PSU I picked has 384 Watts over the 12V so that covers the CPU and GPU. I doubt the rest of the system is going to be drawing 385 watts?

The 460 is nice but again, no mail in rebates! I don't even bother sending them in...

@Outlander I don't understand how you can just assume the i3 will be unable to play games while scanning for viruses. Hell my 6000+ does low level scans and I can play WOW fine. All I know is according to this bench in demanding gaming situations which the i3 is 10% faster than that processor you suggested.

I don't get why I should get a AM3+ motherboard; aren't the new Sandy Bridge motherboards also new technology and I don't have to wait to see what future processors are available?

What's wrong with the H61 specifically? I understand it won't OC but I didn't see any i3-2xxxK versions.

The only reason I stated that psu falls short is that they call for a min. 450w for that card...which I know the min. recommendations are usually bs, but I like to play it on the safe side a bit myself.

The only place the H61 falls short imo is only two RAM slots...but 4GB is plenty imo, no 3.0 USB ports...but then again who or what uses 3.0 USB, and it doesn't have the 6.0GB/s for the HD...but then again 3.0GB/s isn't even used to the full extent yet, and the board doesn't o/c...but then again that Intel cpu does just fine with @ stock settings. So ya, that H61 will do ya just fine for your needs unless you plan on over clocking...and if you do then it's a lot more money for a new board and cpu (K series 1155 SB cpu).

With these new SB cpu's...they usually kick the dog crap out of an AMD cpu head on. Even when the AMD cpu is o/c...the Intels usually go head to head with them, or still beat the crap out of them.
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June 27, 2011 10:34:51 AM

Okay I think I'll stick with the PSU then since it's a lot cheaper apparently really good according to reviews on OCC and newegg.

I like AMD but their Phenom IIs seem to suck. I remember when AMD had a price advantage. Seems that's ancient history in computer terms!
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June 27, 2011 11:45:43 AM

Yes the i3-2100 is better but i would never put anything on that mobo. And no i was never a fanboy and i never will be, heck even the GTX460 768MB is a better choice than the SE version.

Your call.
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June 27, 2011 7:31:35 PM

I still don't see why I shouldn't get this H61 motherboard. Is there something inherently wrong with it or are you just trying to suggest something you like instead? That isn't very helpful especially since the suggestions you gave before had much worse performance. I don't see why it's a mistake to get a i3-2100 + H61 over the AMD chip and motherboard which cost more and did not perform as well.

Why is the GTX 460 768 better than the SE? From all the reviews I've looked at the 768 is only 5-10% faster than the SE at stock speeds. The SE is $130 shipped while the cheapest 768 is $145 + shipping. I really don't understand how any of the components you've suggested are better choices than what I picked. In fact everything you and the other guy suggested to me are significantly worse... I don't think you are the one that should be giving any hardware advice....

Anyways can someone INFORMED and KNOWLEDGEABLE please give this build a quick look?

I found this video card on google shopping:
Best Data 5830PE51G Radeon HD 5830 Graphics Card - PCI Express 2.0 x16 - 1 GB GDDR5 SDRAM - 5830PE51G
http://www.kyro.com/viewPrd.asp?idProduct=48617

The benchmarks are pretty good but I was wondering what the current state of ATi (AMD?) drivers are. My friend says they still suck and I wasn't too fond of the menus for my old 9600. Then again that was over 10 years ago so I don't know.
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