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First build; approximately $500 gaming pc

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July 20, 2011 7:22:37 AM

I'm a to-be-freshman in college who is looking for something sturdy and powerful to bring to my dorm. However, I don't know that much about computers or their components, other than how to use them, so my list of things may need some work.

Approximate Purchase Date: Mid-August

Budget Range: $400-$500 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: reliability, replaceability, actual work, gaming

Parts Not Required: Operating system

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

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: I've heard AMD in general is a better deal performance-to-price wise.

Overclocking: I'm not sure of the purpose of this.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Doesn't matter

Additional Comments: A quiet PC would be great, and energy-efficiency would be a good bonus. I still need to figure out what to do for the monitor, mouse, keyboard, and speakers. I'm aiming to keep the entire set-up (including the aforementioned) $600 or below.

CPU - $74.99
AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1 GHz
http://www.amazon.com/AMD-Athlon-Triple-Core-Desktop-Pr...

MOTHERBOARD - $59.99
ASRock AM3 M3A770DE
http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-processors-CrossFireX-moth...

POWER - $39.99
Antec EA-380D Power Supply
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-EA-380D-Power-Supply/dp/B00...

CASE - $39.99
Cooler Master Elite Mid Tower Case
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Elite-Window-RC-310...

HARD DRIVE - $39.99
Seagate Barracuda 500 GB 7200RPM
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern...

RAM - $29.99
Crucial 4GB (2Gb x 2) Memory Kit
http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-CT2CP25664BA1339-240-pin-...

GRAPHICS - $119.99
EVGA GeForce GTS450
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-PCI-Express-Graphics...

OPTICAL - $21.99
Liteon 24X DVD-RW SATA Retail
http://www.amazon.com/Liteon-24X-DVDrw-Sata-Retail/dp/B...

TOTAL PRICE - $427

I've had some previous advice to replace the CPU with AMD Phenom II X2 555.
July 20, 2011 9:56:38 AM

I think your selections are solid. 6770 or 5770 as an option for the video card.

Hanns G HZ201DPB 20" 1600x900 $99
Could be a nice choice for monitor, comes with speakers, which are probably quite lowsy.

Keytronic KT400U2 USB keyboard $24 with shipping

Would leave about $50 for mouse and speakers, which is not a lot but selecting a mouse is a bit personal preference so leaving that up to you.
And the speakers on the monitor would put out some sound at least, maybe get a headset or better speakers later.
July 20, 2011 5:18:33 PM

spend a little more here and there can make your system perform 2x as fast.

on newegg you can get a GTX460 for around $120-$130 after rebates... its 2x the performance of hte GTS450

Also newegg has OCZ 700watt powersupply for $10 more than you listed... probly worth it as well.

Check out logicbuy.com for monitor deals... I've seen some 23" 1080p for around $99
Related resources
July 20, 2011 5:30:35 PM

I would suggest a different case than that Cooler Master, just so you have some options. Personally, I think these two might better serve you, and are either cheaper or the same price.

NZXT Gamma
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Xigmatek Asgard II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would also suggest looking at this Xigmatek PSU, which also has excellent reviews. There is nothing wrong with that Antec, just this one is a slightly better deal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Finally, this Lite-On keyboard has great reviews compared to the one listed above for significantly less
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or this Logitech with multimedia keys for $23m, if you want to stay in that price range
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, I second a 5770 or 6770 for the graphics choice.
July 21, 2011 3:13:24 PM

Agree with aebome on the Xigmatek Case and PSU they are solid picks also on the GPU i also recommend a 6670

SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 PCI $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for KB/Mouse and speaker, these are all a personal preference. I wouldn't get to fancy on the KB or the speakers, but if you are gaming, a good reasonably priced gaming mouse is in order:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for the monitor, I wouldn't go less than 20.5" I suggest a 21.5" at 1920x1080.
this is a good buy:
HANNspree By Hanns-G HF225DPB Black 21.5" 5ms but doesn't have HDMI (not sure if that is important to you or not) $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this is better and has HDMI input, maybe a little out of your budget though
ASUS VH222H-P Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 28, 2011 5:15:30 AM

I took some of your suggestions in mind; I did like the 6770 and the Hanns monitor. I upgraded the CPU and beefed up the power a bit too.

So now:

CPU - $82.99
AMD Athlon II X3 455
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOTHERBOARD - $59.99
ASRock AM3 M3A770DE
http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-processors-CrossFireX-moth...

POWER - $43.49 ($33.49 after rebate)
COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus 500W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE - $29.99
Xigmatek ASGARD II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HARD DRIVE - $39.99
Seagate Barracuda 500 GB 7200RPM
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern...

RAM - $34.24
Crucial 4GB (2Gb x 2) Memory Kit CT2KIT25664BA1067
http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-CT2KIT25664BA1067-240-PIN...

GRAPHICS - $126.97 (includes s&h, $106.97 w/ s&h after rebate)
SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL - $23.99
Liteon 24X DVD-RW SATA Retail
http://www.amazon.com/Liteon-24X-DVDrw-Sata-Retail/dp/B...

MONITOR - $119.99
HANNspree By Hanns-G HF225DPB Black 21.5"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOUSE AND KEYBOARD - $17.37
Logitech Desktop MK120 Mouse and keyboard
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Desktop-MK120-keyboard-9...

TOTAL PRICE - $579.01 before rebates, $549.01 after
July 28, 2011 8:30:10 AM

looks good except for the PSU. go with the one aebome recommended its a better PSU and has better 12v rails.
July 28, 2011 6:57:49 PM

I suppose I could throw that in. Would the 100W difference affect performance much and is it enough to support the system?

I also found a router:
http://www.amazon.com/Cisc​o-Refurbished-E1000-Wirele​ss-N-Router/dp/B003VYEYE0/​ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=131​1877302&sr=8-6
July 29, 2011 9:27:46 AM

tackykcat said:
I suppose I could throw that in. Would the 100W difference affect performance much and is it enough to support the system?



yes, the PSU is enough to support your system.
If you read the Data plate on the CM eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-P, you will see that the combined power will not exceed 431.5 W. The 500w label is the theory that individually the max wattage of each of the voltage rails adds up to over 500, but in reality the PSU can't do it all (combined) at the same time.

The XIGMATEK rates their's at the max combine Power output of 400W. individually the voltage rails would add up to 521.5W

look at the failure rate on both these PSU's (usually the one or two egg ratings) the CM 500 is 21% the XIGMATEK is 2%

the choice is yours though.

July 30, 2011 5:33:54 AM

Thank you all for your help. This is probably the final edit to the system (I will most likely try to buy things this weekend to take advantage of some of the good deals going on). Any final objections?

CPU - $82.99
AMD Athlon II X3 455
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOTHERBOARD - $59.99
ASRock AM3 M3A770DE
http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-processors-CrossFireX-moth...

POWER - $36.94
XIGMATEK NRP-PC Series ACXTNRP-PC402 400W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE - $29.99
Xigmatek ASGARD II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HARD DRIVE - $39.99
Seagate Barracuda 500 GB 7200RPM
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern...

RAM - $54.99 ($44.99 after promo code)
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GRAPHICS - $126.97 ($106.97 w/ s&h after rebate)
SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL - $23.48
LG CD/DVD Burner 22x OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MONITOR - $119.99
HANNspree By Hanns-G HF225DPB Black 21.5"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOUSE AND KEYBOARD - $17.90
Logitech Desktop MK120 Mouse and keyboard
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Desktop-MK120-keyboard-9...

TOTAL PRICE - $593.23 before rebates, $563.23 after
!