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360$ budget for new computer

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August 30, 2011 8:11:36 PM

Hello everyone. I am trying to assemble a new computer for my family. It is going to be made for gaming primarily. I know the family won't want to overclock nor run sli/crossfire. However, if I encourage them, i could change the overclocking part.

They play World of Warcraft, Alice madness returns, and a couple of other lightweight games (i know the alice game is not lightweight on resources, lol).

The obvious problem is the cpu bottlenecking the graphics card, and I wanted to assemble a case, motherboard, ram, cpu upgrade to pair it nicely to the gtx 460.

The current system is a prebuilt ET1331G-03w computer. The only modifications are as follows:

Monitor: 1366x768 resolution
Video card: Galaxy 60XMH6HS3HMW GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) GC 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Power supply: Thermaltake TR2 Series TR-600P 600W V2.3 & EPS 12V 2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

What I had in mind to upgrade is :


TIM: Arctic Cooling MX-4 (i have some to spare)
Case : Coolermaster HAF 912 $59.99
Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 124.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $47.99
Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E $114.99

Should I stick to something cheaper, or am I making poor choices for the new system? Also, would it be better to get a Phenom series cpu? They already have a new license for the OS as well.

More about : 360 budget computer

a b B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2011 10:00:35 PM

Hi there, welcome to the forums.

Good plan! I think we will get you something worked out quite easily.

First things first! The case. While I love the HAF 912, this deal is VERY hard to beat: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... At $45, it's an absolute bargain. The Antec 300 is possibly one of the greatest budget cases of all time, and this makes it extremely attractive. The catch is you have to order tonight :) 

CPU: Pretty good choice. It's a tough little processor. Also might consider an AMD Phenom II 955. HOWEVER, I would stick with the i3 just because they play WoW and because they don't do hardcore gaming. The i3 beats a Phenom II in Wow, and in simple tasks like word processing. Either way would be a good choice.

RAM: EXPENSIVE! Try this stuff out for size: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $25. A bargain.

Mobo: It's not compatible with your setup. You need a mobo that is H61, H67, or Z68 for your CPU.

With that in mind, I think this ASRock (owned by ASUS) Micro ATX board should work quite well: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And that's it! We shaved quite a bit off the price, eh?

One thing to note is that either the HAF 912 or Antec 300 are quite large. you might consider grabbing a Micro-ATX case to cut down on the size, but it's up to you.

Cheers!


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August 30, 2011 10:58:28 PM

striker410 said:
Hi there, welcome to the forums.

One thing to note is that either the HAF 912 or Antec 300 are quite large. you might consider grabbing a Micro-ATX case to cut down on the size, but it's up to you.

Cheers!


Thank you for the welcome to the forums.

I was considering the HAF 912 because of the value it offers. I was hoping to hide the power suppply "spaghetti" behind the motherboard tray, but I could run into the problem where the atx 12v power connector may not reach the motherboard.

By the way, thank you for catching my big mistake on choosing an incompatible motherboard. They really wanted an i5, but that is out of the budget range; therefore, I was choosing between the i3 2100 or amd phenom II x4 955. The RAM is a lot cheaper too, so that gives more freedom to get a quality case with maxxed out fans. Time to keep searching the egg for cases.
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August 30, 2011 11:07:06 PM

Preferrably a case with quiet fans since the family is easily annoyed by loud fans. Too loud would be > 35 db
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August 30, 2011 11:23:00 PM

Hey pocketdexter, I don't know if you are in the U.S. or if you have Fry's Electronics store near you, but I saw this processor/motherboard combo deal on the Fry's website as a local deal:

Core i3-2120 + MSI H61M-P23
http://www.frys.com/ads/page7

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August 30, 2011 11:41:22 PM

PennyLife said:
Hey pocketdexter, I don't know if you are in the U.S. or if you have Fry's Electronics store near you, but I saw this processor/motherboard combo deal on the Fry's website as a local deal:

Core i3-2120 + MSI H61M-P23
http://www.frys.com/ads/page7


:o 

I live in the US. That is a killer price for the mobo and cpu.
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August 30, 2011 11:48:33 PM

Yea, Fry's has these good deals every once in a while. I picked up an i5-2500k from there for $180, and I'm pretty sure i saw an i5-2400 for $140 a couple weeks ago.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2011 11:53:50 PM

the case I listed comes with 1 120mm fan, and I reccommend adding the same 120mm fan in front:

Rosewill RFA-120-K 120mm Case Fan

Bearing Type: Sleeve
RPM: 2000 RPM
Air Flow: 74.48 CFM
Noise Level: 29.28 dBA
Power Connector: 3 / 4 Pin
Color: Black
Compatibility: Case
Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 25mm

the Blue LED model is exactly the same, but with 4 blue LEDs
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August 31, 2011 12:13:42 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
the case I listed comes with 1 120mm fan, and I reccommend adding the same 120mm fan in front:

Rosewill RFA-120-K 120mm Case Fan

Bearing Type: Sleeve
RPM: 2000 RPM
Air Flow: 74.48 CFM
Noise Level: 29.28 dBA
Power Connector: 3 / 4 Pin
Color: Black
Compatibility: Case
Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 25mm

the Blue LED model is exactly the same, but with 4 blue LEDs


That is pretty good airflow case, but wouldn't it be better to get a "NZXT Crafted Series Vulcan Black Steel / Plastic Gaming mATX Computer Case" for greater cooling or is it overkill? We live in an area where the ambient temperature ranges 95F during the night and 120F during the day. With ac the temp reaches 80F (26.7C).
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2011 3:25:36 AM

Will you use the GTX 460 in the new build? If so, I can suggest you two builds.

Phenom II X4 Build :
Processor : AMD Phenom II X4 955BE - $119.99
MoBo : ASRock 760GM-GS3 AM3 - $47.99
RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $28.99
Hard Disk : Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200rpm - $30
Optical Drive : $20
Case : $30 - ATX Mid Tower
Power Supply : Corsair CX430 430W - $39.99

Total : $317 after rebates

Alternative i3 2100 build :
Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - $124.99
MoBo : ASRock H61M-VS MicroATX LGA1155 - $59.99
RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $28.99
Hard Disk : Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200rpm - $30
Optical Drive : $20
Case : $30 - ATX Mid Tower
Power Supply : Corsair CX430 430W - $39.99

Total : $356 after rebates

* Why 1x4GB RAM instead of 2x2GB?
If you can sacrifice the Dual Channel mode for now, you'll be able to add one
more 4GB stick if needed and use those in Dual Channel mode THEN.

Both the builds will be able to run any game atleast at medium details at 1366x768 or 1680x1050.

The Phenom build will multitask better and the i3 will game better.
Share
August 31, 2011 2:52:32 PM

008Rohit said:
Will you use the GTX 460 in the new build? If so, I can suggest you two builds.

Phenom II X4 Build :
Processor : AMD Phenom II X4 955BE - $119.99
MoBo : ASRock 760GM-GS3 AM3 - $47.99
RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $28.99
Hard Disk : Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200rpm - $30
Optical Drive : $20
Case : $30 - ATX Mid Tower
Power Supply : Corsair CX430 430W - $39.99

Total : $317 after rebates

Alternative i3 2100 build :
Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - $124.99
MoBo : ASRock H61M-VS MicroATX LGA1155 - $59.99
RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $28.99
Hard Disk : Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200rpm - $30
Optical Drive : $20
Case : $30 - ATX Mid Tower
Power Supply : Corsair CX430 430W - $39.99

Total : $356 after rebates

* Why 1x4GB RAM instead of 2x2GB?
If you can sacrifice the Dual Channel mode for now, you'll be able to add one
more 4GB stick if needed and use those in Dual Channel mode THEN.

Both the builds will be able to run any game atleast at medium details at 1366x768 or 1680x1050.

The Phenom build will multitask better and the i3 will game better.


The family likes to have many, many tabs open in firefox while gaming. I.E. waiting for a taxi in game, so they go watch a youtube video or launch another game. They will also have background apps such as skype, ventrilo etc at the same time. Hmmm, starting to lean towards the phenom now for multitasking.

The gtx 460 768mb will be reused along with the thermaltake 600w, dvd burner, and hard drive. I was hoping to go to fry's and see if they still had the mobo/i3 combo for $150 before rebates. I am trying to squeeze as much quality as I can with 360$ budget.

Everyone here is giving excellent feedback and I am grateful.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2011 2:55:21 PM

Honestly, I don't think you will notice a difference either way. It's going to be so blazing fast compared to what you have now with either processor lol.

If it was me, I'd pick whichever was cheaper lol.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2011 3:17:43 PM

Yeah, then the Phenom II X4 955BE is a better (and 5$ cheaper) option for you.
Overclocking it to like 3.7Ghz will make it as good as an i3 2100 (or even better?) in Gaming. :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2011 3:39:30 PM

@ cin19

Great find.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2011 3:53:29 PM

Ohh so you already have a PSU?

Then it'll make my 955BE build cost $277 after rebates.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2011 3:53:42 PM

Ohh so you already have a PSU?

Then it'll make my 955BE build cost $277 after rebates.
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August 31, 2011 4:28:57 PM

008Rohit said:

Then it'll make my 955BE build cost $277 after rebates.


I am going to go with the Phenom build after all. My only question is which case do I get to make something like a coolermaster hyper 212 fit? I want to make the cpu overclock ready to match it to an i3's performance.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2011 4:42:17 PM

A CM 212+ isn't really needed. You can probably OC it enough with a stock heatsink to make it worthwhile.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2011 4:46:18 PM

Any standard ATX Mid Tower would do I assume.
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September 7, 2011 2:30:51 AM

Best answer selected by pocketdexter.
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