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Econo build dedicated to iRacing $300

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July 16, 2011 8:12:41 PM

Hello,

Overview: Am looking to build a system (1st time builder) that will be dedicated ONLY to iRacing.com (ie OS & iRacing. Period).

Must haves:

1. The new build must eclipse my current system: Pentium D 2.8ghz, 1G RAM, GeForce 7300LE, PSU 305W, small mid-tower (EASY!!! I'm not at Tom's for that!)

2. It must be upgradable. (still easy)

3. Bring it in close to $300, shipped

4.
- I may be able to salvage my current HDD
- I have a 2600XT refurbished for the new video card (core at 800)
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item...
- May get my hands on an ATX case that allows for >10" cards, free, otherwise Cooler Master RC-430-KWN1 Elite 430 Mid Tower ATX Case
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...
- May get hold of an OS (7, 64bit) very cheaply (free - $50), otherwise Windows 7 64bit at cost ($100+)
- Will be used with a 32"HDTV (got it)

So for sure I need MOBO, CPU, 4G RAM, PSU, DVD ROM
Though may also need a case, HDD, Windows 7 64bit, and depending on the liability of the 2600xt, a better card

Other::
iRacing is very processor heavy, and uses 2G RAM (so 4 would be plenty for a dedicated system)

iRacing uses dual core (for sim and sound), so I need at least 3 core, prefer quad

So far, am favouring

AMD Phenom II x4 955BE
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Biostar TA870U3+ AMD 870 Motherboard
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

But would be interested in hearing about alternatives that are equal or better

Am wanting to be happy with this for a couple of years. For future upgrades, I would likely upgrade the CPU.

Am also hearing that now may not be a good time for building for future upgradability as both intel and AMD are ending their socket lines. I dont know how this effects me. I think running with the current lines would provide decent upgradability for a few years to come yet for me, since I am looking for the best within my budget limit.

So that's it. Have been lurking through these forums quite a bit. All help is much appreciated!
July 16, 2011 8:47:48 PM

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

The Llano has a quad core with a 400 shader gpu, and most have a pcie slot so you can upgrade the card later.

You are going to have to ditch the ide drives. A new 500 gig and dvd burner will be needed since it looks like the fm1 board does not have ide ports.

-The Llano uses little power and should work with your existing power supply and case (or a case/power supply you get used). It will also work with a cheap micro atx case.power supply combo.

The 2600xt is only 120 shaders, even a hd-4670 on sale is about 3 times faster. The 2600xt might work you would just have to try it out first.

- The phenomIIx4 and a on sale hd-4670, 5550, 6550, ect. would match Llano if you wanted the PhenomIIx4 instead. The 800 shader 6770 is a good budget card and so is the geforce 460.
The am3 boards usually have a ide port still. Try and get a am3+ board instead so it can upgrade to bulldozer later on.

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July 16, 2011 9:08:20 PM

EDIT: oh, just saw the edit ^


Thanks.
Was checking out the A8 3850 but a drawback (for me) is that it appears to be the end of the line for that series. So any upgrading will require new cpu and mobo.

Pros

May fit into existing case, use current PSU.
Extra support for graphics

Cons

End of line for series
Need new HDD
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Related resources
July 17, 2011 7:29:14 PM

say, how about this?


MB --- BIOSTAR TA870U3
$75

CPU --- AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (125W)
$120

RAM -- G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333MHz
$40

PSU -- Enermax NAXN Tomahawk II 550W
$55

DVD ROM -- ASUS Black 18X DVD-ROM
$26 (incl ship)

TOTAL: $316 before tax

Trouble is there is no windows 7 in there. Looks like the case is legit. hope to salvage the rest (HDD, audio card, network card). All the other parts are local, so can pick up without shipping

How do I reduce this? How do I get it all (including windows 7 64bit) under $300.
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July 17, 2011 7:58:28 PM

MB --- ASUS M5A87 AM3+
$95

CPU --- AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (125W)
$120

RAM -- G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333MHz
$40

PSU -- Enermax NAXN Tomahawk II 550W
$55

DVD ROM -- Asus Black 18X DVD-ROM
$26 (incl ship)

TOTAL: $336 before tax

still no 7 64 bit.

How do I get this for $300 including Windows 7 64bit?
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Best solution

July 17, 2011 8:21:54 PM

I'm going to try a slightly different Tack here. A 3-core processor and a better video card:

Xigmatek PC402 400W 80+ PSU: $34.95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Athlon II X3 445 3.1 GHz Triple Core Processor: $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock 760GM-GS3 Motherboard: $47.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mushkin 4 GB DDR3-1333 dual channel: $30.99 w/ $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate 500 GB HDD: $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung 22x DVD Burner: $17.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte HD5670 1GB: $69.99 w/ $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$317.89 and you use your old case. $297.89 after rebates.
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July 17, 2011 9:55:53 PM

LLano is on a new Socket just weeks old, not sure why it would be end of the line. AM3 is EOL, but as has been said can be found with an IDE header.
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July 17, 2011 10:46:25 PM

etk said:
LLano is on a new Socket just weeks old, not sure why it would be end of the line. AM3 is EOL, but as has been said can be found with an IDE header.



It wouldnt shock me to discover i am wrong.

The motherboards Ive found compatible with A8 all have the 3580 as the last cpu.


... of course, i guess they would if it was the latest cpu.... :whistle:  (you see what youre dealing with here... :??:  )



EDIT: the bulldozers are based on the phenom chip - a3+? so i thot perhaps that A8 was a temporary release until bulldozer? no?
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July 17, 2011 11:06:12 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
I'm going to try a slightly different Tack here. A 3-core processor and a better video card:

Xigmatek PC402 400W 80+ PSU: $34.95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Athlon II X3 445 3.1 GHz Triple Core Processor: $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock 760GM-GS3 Motherboard: $47.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mushkin 4 GB DDR3-1333 dual channel: $30.99 w/ $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate 500 GB HDD: $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung 22x DVD Burner: $17.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte HD5670 1GB: $69.99 w/ $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$317.89 and you use your old case. $297.89 after rebates.




Very interesting system. Thank you.

A few observations:

This is my first build and I have zero experience tinkering with motherboards etc. I am pushing the envelope by putting it all together without frying it and actually having it work ("it's a-live"!!). So very mixed reviews on components makes me nervous, particularly when the thumbs up buyers talk about doing things to it that I dont understand.

I have thought about the athlon ii x3 route, as iracing would utilize only 2 cores, +1 for windows. Think I need a more stable mb.

Excellent, though. Brought it in under $300. I wish I could pick best answer for that alone.
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July 17, 2011 11:28:52 PM

Im thinking though it would be impossible to bring an A8 3850 in for $300
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July 18, 2011 12:41:53 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99 SPARKLE RXX460768D5-NM GeForce GTX 460
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$44.99 ASRock N68C-S UCC AM3/AM2+/AM2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec VP-450 450W $40.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$16.99 Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$94.98 AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core bundled with 1x Thermaltake A4022 92mm CPU Cooler

Subtotal: $297.94

You will have to underclock (both the memory and gpu by at least 60mhz) the geforce 460 since it's a re-certified and has troubles and issues, and your case might not have the best cooling. But a underclocked geforce460 still beats anything for $99. You might want to just leave the side cover off on your case to let the heat go out. Who knows maybe the card is ok and will run at stock speeds you will just have to try it.

_reuse your current drives cdrw, winxp, hdd ect.

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July 18, 2011 12:43:35 AM

-a phenomIIx4 925 and a bit underclocked geforce 460 is not a budget computer anymore, that is a decent gaming computer. go look at some gaming benchmarks charts to see.
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July 18, 2011 12:46:38 AM

True am3 with the phenomII 925 is the end of the line for it, when you go to upgrade, you will need a new board/cpu/memory, but its fast enough to be ok for a few years without needing a upgrade.

socket am3 is dead now so Amd is clearing them out, so they are a good deal now.
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July 18, 2011 5:53:11 AM

need4speeds said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99 SPARKLE RXX460768D5-NM GeForce GTX 460
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$44.99 ASRock N68C-S UCC AM3/AM2+/AM2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec VP-450 450W $40.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$16.99 Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$94.98 AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core bundled with 1x Thermaltake A4022 92mm CPU Cooler

Subtotal: $297.94

You will have to underclock (both the memory and gpu by at least 60mhz) the geforce 460 since it's a re-certified and has troubles and issues, and your case might not have the best cooling. But a underclocked geforce460 still beats anything for $99. You might want to just leave the side cover off on your case to let the heat go out. Who knows maybe the card is ok and will run at stock speeds you will just have to try it.

_reuse your current drives cdrw, winxp, hdd ect.



need dvd rom for loading os.. the xp came preinstalled with current system
xp has dx9, bit of a waste for upscaling cards
am not experienced with pcs.. would like to ease into the mobo mods, would prefer an install that is pain free

strange, the 925 isnt in the toms cpu for games hierarchy

i have a chance at getting a 260gtx for $80

but with that plus buying windows, there goes the budget.. nice system tho
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July 18, 2011 8:18:52 AM

-$20 for a dvd burner +$99.99 for win7 64bit oem=$120.

Leaves $180.

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

Subtotal: $270.93 -$25 mail in rebates= $. $245.93 after rebates but there is also taxes/shipping.

The hd-4650 has ddr3 memory 320 shaders instead of the 2600xt's 120.

_both the 4650 and regor 2.9ghz use about 65 watts, they should work with your current power supply,

-that board is a 65watt board and wont work with the phenomII 925 and the memory is ddr3-1333 instead with the cheaper 65watt board. The phenomII 925 might still work on that board but you are taking a chance. I have been running a athlonX2-6000+ a 125watt cpu on a 95watt am2 board for years and it is still working fine.
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July 18, 2011 3:53:07 PM

iRacer2100 said:
Very interesting system. Thank you.

A few observations:

This is my first build and I have zero experience tinkering with motherboards etc. I am pushing the envelope by putting it all together without frying it and actually having it work ("it's a-live"!!). So very mixed reviews on components makes me nervous, particularly when the thumbs up buyers talk about doing things to it that I dont understand.

I have thought about the athlon ii x3 route, as iracing would utilize only 2 cores, +1 for windows. Think I need a more stable mb.

Excellent, though. Brought it in under $300. I wish I could pick best answer for that alone.


All the parts in my build are good quality, inexpensive parts. All of it is 'a bit last year', but its plenty for your iRacing game and a few others for a least a year or two
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July 18, 2011 4:23:29 PM

A used system with something like a athlonx2 and a not bad card something like a hd-3870 or higher, or 8800gt ect. and you see it working, playing a few games first since it's used. For $300 and less i would look at used computers locally.

Sometimes you find someone who is upgrading to a high end gaming system and they sell their old gaming system fairly cheap. So you get yesterday's high end gaming system used. Maybe something like a phenom 9700/hd-4850?
core2 duo or core2 quad/ 4870, or geforce 260? 9800gt?
maybe some come with winxp installed or vista or win7.

My last build starts to really skimp on the board, video card, and a better power supply would be nice.

That $29.99 board should work ok with the regor, but it's not a nice board, it's a really cheap board and things like the onboard sound will be of really poor quality.
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July 19, 2011 1:24:28 AM

I dunno if anyone clarified.

Llano is not temporary. It is the desktop version of their Fusion lineup. They also have a mobile platform which is currently their laptop spearhead. The Llano chips use less power since they have the GPU (APU) on the die with the CPU. And total it uses a 100w TDP (CPU+GPU/APU) that would be less than the CPU+Dedicated GPU.

Llano would only lead to Trinity, which is a Bulldozer chip combined with a APU. But currently Llano is one of the best HTPC chips out there since it uses less power than a dedicated card + CPU and also is very good with the GPU since it uses (at the very best) a 6550D which you could say is equivalent to the 5670.

That is all.
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July 19, 2011 1:31:38 AM

Which would likely support a better upgrade - am3+ or llano motherboard?
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July 19, 2011 1:58:57 AM

Most likely is probably AM3+, Llano is still just a maybe to support Trinity. I'm just saying with AM3+ the chips are more expensive and currently you'd have to get a dedicated card which costs a bit.
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July 19, 2011 2:45:50 AM

aznshinobi said:
I dunno if anyone clarified.

Llano is not temporary. It is the desktop version of their Fusion lineup. They also have a mobile platform which is currently their laptop spearhead. The Llano chips use less power since they have the GPU (APU) on the die with the CPU. And total it uses a 100w TDP (CPU+GPU/APU) that would be less than the CPU+Dedicated GPU.

Llano would only lead to Trinity, which is a Bulldozer chip combined with a APU. But currently Llano is one of the best HTPC chips out there since it uses less power than a dedicated card + CPU and also is very good with the GPU since it uses (at the very best) a 6550D which you could say is equivalent to the 5670.

That is all.



Thanks.

So according to this
http://www.techspot.com/news/44496-amd-to-phase-out-ath...
will one be able to buy a phenom II after early 2012?
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July 19, 2011 3:22:20 AM

Probably yes. When they say phase, though I just scanned it, they mean they would like most people to be using the new lineup of chips by 2012 since BD and Llano will be released by then. IF it is any indication there will still be Phenom's that are buyable since Intel's older i7/i5 and QXXXX chips are still able to be bought.
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July 23, 2011 4:27:37 AM

Best answer selected by iRacer2100.
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July 23, 2011 4:31:16 AM

thanks for the input everyone.
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