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FIRST TIME BUILDER - Most for my money

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October 6, 2011 6:34:49 PM

I am a first time builder and looking to get the most for my money.

I've been doing research into some parts, for building a standard gaming pc... nothing too fancy.

I've been looking at these parts:

Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 640 Quad-Core Processor 3.0GHz, 2MB L2 cache
Motherboard: Gigabyte M68MT-S2P Skt.AM3, nForce 630a, onboard VGA, PCIe 2.0 x16
RAM: Kingston DDR3-1333MHz (PC3-10600) 8GB kit (4GBx2) Dual Channel
Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD6670...

is there anything wrong with these parts, and with the rest of the parts. will somone guide me in which direction to buy as there is so much choice.

Thanks.

More about : time builder money

October 6, 2011 6:42:59 PM

what is your budget?

the CPU is good, as an entry-level chip.

the motherboard is OLD, basically from 2008 with DDR3 added. NVidia has been out of the chipset market since 2009.

6670 is a low-end card.

What about case, PSU, hard drives, dvd burner?

If you can afford it get a 970 or 990 motherboard. AMD Bulldozer is due out in 6 days, and will be much more powerful...could see price drops on athlon.
October 6, 2011 6:48:00 PM

Theres a thread at the top of the forum about how to ask for advice .

We need to know your budget , and how you intend to use your computer .

Either way the motherboard is junk
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October 6, 2011 7:11:23 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
what is your budget?

the CPU is good, as an entry-level chip.

the motherboard is OLD, basically from 2008 with DDR3 added. NVidia has been out of the chipset market since 2009.

6670 is a low-end card.

What about case, PSU, hard drives, dvd burner?

If you can afford it get a 970 or 990 motherboard. AMD Bulldozer is due out in 6 days, and will be much more powerful...could see price drops on athlon.


well im only 16, so its as cheap as i can get it! what would you recommend
for the most for my money

October 6, 2011 7:17:31 PM

We still need a budget. Any builder wants the most for his money obviously, but everyone has a different budget and usage for their system.
October 6, 2011 7:25:21 PM

Budget and resolution would be helpful to suggest parts.

Assuming you don't want to spend more on your CPU/GPU combo, you could switch to a AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz and save $32. It is one core less at a higher clock rate, which will probably benefit you more for most games.

You could then use that money to upgrade your graphics card to a 6770 or 6790. XFX offers lifetime warranty, which is a big draw for me. I've never overclocked a graphics card, but I've had two fail in the last 6 years (both outside warranty).

Motherboard: sort of agree with ScrewySqrl. If you know you are never going to upgrade your PC, then the current motherboard is "fine", but I wouldn't buy it myself. I tend to overhaul my PC once every 5-6 years so even the newest chipset would be obsolete by the time I got to upgrading. However, know that you won't be able to buy a Bulldozer CPU without buying a new motherboard. You also won't have USB3.0 or Sata III. Both of which would be useful if you ever plan on adding a SSD, and USB3.0 would be useful for any external storage. With all of that said, I would at a minimum upgrade to a motherboard that supports DDR3-1333 without OC. (example - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

RAM: considering how much you are skimping in other areas, I see no reason to by 8GB. Get whatever 4GB (single stick would be better since you only have 2 slots) DDR3-1333 1.5V RAM is the cheapest. You can use the $20 saved to improve your motherboard. If you really need the 8GB, you can buy another 4GB of matching RAM later (highly doubt you'll need it).

PSU: you don't need anything huge if you aren't going to overclock or SLI/Crossfire. A solid ~500W PSU from a good brand (Antec, Corsair, Seasonic) should be more than sufficient. It is important to have a good brand mostly because the "specs" are more like wild guesses when you buy junk brands. I suggest the corsair with the $10 rebate - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: take your pick of mid-towers. The CoolerMaster Haf 912 is a popular choice, has good airflow and features, and I think it looks nice. There are plenty of other good options, just pointing out one I wish I had.

HDD: Any WD/Seagate non-green drive would be a good choice. You only need a 7200RPM drive, and capacity is up to you. This would be a good choice unless you know you need more space - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD: whatever is cheap typically works for me. Just make sure it is Sata. The Sony drive I have is really loud, I've heard good things about the LG and LiteOn Drives.
October 6, 2011 7:30:03 PM

Quote:
well im only 16, so its as cheap as i can get it! what would you recommend
for the most for my money


Quote:
We still need a budget. Any builder wants the most for his money obviously, but everyone has a different budget and usage for their system.



I know the feeling. I built my first PC when I was 17.

a PC can be had for very little money, but at the low end there can be a big difference between, say $250 and $350
October 6, 2011 8:26:34 PM

My budget should be around £250-£300 depending on how much money i can scrape together... i am british, and i am looking to build a budget pc, which will get me by to play recent games basically, nothing really that will last me for years to come! as i get a job now i have left school i will upgrade as i get money.
thanks
October 6, 2011 8:40:11 PM

Get a modern motherboard, with Socket AM3+, otherwise it's obsolete from the get-go. That old nForce board does only 1000MHz Hypertransport, whereas a new board will do 2600MHz.
The HD6670 may be a "low-end" GPU, but should still handle 1920x1080 if you turn settings down; the screenshots I've seen of recent games (e.g. BF3, SCII) look pretty decent at only Medium settings. My own mostly older games played maxed on that card at that resolution. Yes, after the mobo any "extra" money should probably go here, but if this is all you can afford right now, it shouldn't be insufferable.
As to the PSU, allowing for a modest future upgrade (e.g. to a HD6850 or GTX560) you could get by with a quality 430W-500W PSU. Look for full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency. Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and Enermax/LEPA are among the better brands. Across the pond, I think you can find some good FSP also.
October 6, 2011 8:42:55 PM

portreece said:
My budget should be around £250-£300 depending on how much money i can scrape together... i am british, and i am looking to build a budget pc, which will get me by to play recent games basically, nothing really that will last me for years to come! as i get a job now i have left school i will upgrade as i get money.
thanks


*Disclaimer: I'm using super bargain hunter prices, since that's what I do. If you just want to buy stuff all at once retail price rather than hunting for individual deals then my build would be simply impossible to do.

that's a whopping $463 in the US. For that kind of money you can get a pretty decent gaming machine. Don't sell yourself short by buying the stuff that you listed up there! Just echoing others.

Here in the US, using a site called slick deals, you can get something like this:

PSU: $30 (not a cheap generic one! I got my FSP for $30AR)
CPU: Depends
GPU: Want largest $ here
Case: $30
RAM: $30 (4gb ddr3)
HD: $40 (<1TB to save $)
MOBO: Depends

So that's a total of $130 for all except 3 most important. So 463-130=333 left for cpu/mobo/gpu.

$100 gets you a 955, should try and get an am3+ mobo for like 80 and the rest is 333-180 = 153 gpu = get you a 6850 at LEAST depending on how much you want to hunt for deals.

6870 perhaps? Look up reviews on psu's or else you risk getting ripped. You want a good OEM rebranded for cheap.
October 6, 2011 8:45:57 PM

So does the PSU have a big impact on individual components? and thank you i will check it out... and the only reason i chose that motherboard, ram and cpu was because it is all bundled together for like £165 on ebay, brand new! so i will check that website out. Thanks
October 6, 2011 8:53:40 PM

The older FSP PSUs aren't exactly junk, BUT be aware that their labels clearly state that their wattage is PEAK, and the Continuous wattage is actually 50W lower. I would not buy one today because they're inefficient and obsolete. You won't find a new model FSP for $30; that would be an amazing deal.
The PSU is the heart of your system. A mediocre or undersized one can cause frustratingly random instability, and a bad one can kill other parts, sometimes slowly over time, or sometimes with a flash, a bang, and a puff of smoke.
Coolermaster has liar-labels on some of their PSUs, and some claim to have protections that are actually missing (fact, not opinion; reviews at HardwareSecrets.com). That's dishonest, and IMHO a dishonest company does not deserve anyone's business. I would therefor select any other brand's cases first. I don't think you can get Rosewill there (Newegg's house brand), but HEC has some solid cases (their PSUs are junk), and Antec and Enermax have some nice cases.
October 6, 2011 8:56:39 PM

Oh i forgot to mention i already have a case, which i bough with component parts.. which are very outdated, so i was just going to strip it down and sell the old components and use the case for my new parts!

the case is something like a standard compaq presario desktop case.
October 6, 2011 9:01:13 PM

portreece said:

the case is something like a standard compaq presario desktop case.

Are you limited to a Micro-ATX mobo in that case? Keep that in mind. It may also limit the length of the GPU, although even a HD6850 or GTX560 should be able to fit.
October 6, 2011 9:01:33 PM

Onus said:
The older FSP PSUs aren't exactly junk, BUT be aware that their labels clearly state that their wattage is PEAK, and the Continuous wattage is actually 50W lower. I would not buy one today because they're inefficient and obsolete. You won't find a new model FSP for $30; that would be an amazing deal.
The PSU is the heart of your system. A mediocre or undersized one can cause frustratingly random instability, and a bad one can kill other parts, sometimes slowly over time, or sometimes with a flash, a bang, and a puff of smoke.
Coolermaster has liar-labels on some of their PSUs, and some claim to have protections that are actually missing (fact, not opinion; reviews at HardwareSecrets.com). That's dishonest, and IMHO a dishonest company does not deserve anyone's business. I would therefor select any other brand's cases first. I don't think you can get Rosewill there (Newegg's house brand), but HEC has some solid cases (their PSUs are junk), and Antec and Enermax have some nice cases.


True. I got a StealthxStream II 600w. I know its not peak but I'm running single card solution so its more than enough. Anyways, OP: Look up reviews on any PSU's you're looking at.

Efficiency: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/10/04/80_plus_irrel...
Efficiency does matter, the freaking label on the box is not a substitute for looking up legit reviews like from johnnyguru or hardwaresecrets. Bronze great. Just 80+ cert aite. Bronze-->Gold don't make it the make it or break it decision if everything is NOT equal.


portreece said:
Oh i forgot to mention i already have a case, which i bough with component parts.. which are very outdated, so i was just going to strip it down and sell the old components and use the case for my new parts!

the case is something like a standard compaq presario desktop case.


Make sure you AT LEAST have 1 outtake 1 intake fan. Or else slow-cooking your components is your only method to use your computer. :sweat: 
October 6, 2011 9:05:27 PM

It has one fan on the case thats it... =/ aha.. damn. i cant buy off new egg either, as im not in america!
October 6, 2011 9:07:27 PM

Leaving work now; I'll try to get back to this thread when I get home.


Your Compaq case probably has an exhaust fan in the back. If you don't overclock (something you are NOT required to do), it should be sufficient, but if you can add a front fan as an intake, that would be better. If you can, choose a video card that exhausts at least some of its heat (although if you only get a HD6670, there won't be much heat to exhaust). And, a more efficient PSU will also produce less heat.
October 6, 2011 9:07:30 PM

Onus said:
Are you limited to a Micro-ATX mobo in that case? Keep that in mind. It may also limit the length of the GPU, although even a HD6850 or GTX560 should be able to fit.


I am not sure, it seems able to hold quite a large mobo, and i'd reckon there is about 5-6 inch gap in the case from to mobo to the case.
October 6, 2011 10:05:21 PM

No, that's an AM2+ mobo, and you want AM3+.
October 6, 2011 10:06:13 PM

its still NVidia.

you might also consider the Celeron G530 and an H61 motherboard. Gimme a little time eith ebuyer, a good UK site. Let me see what I can come up with for 300 pounds.

October 6, 2011 10:14:29 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
its still NVidia.

you might also consider the Celeron G530 and an H61 motherboard. Gimme a little time eith ebuyer, a good UK site. Let me see what I can come up with for 300 pounds.



Okay thank you, this is all much appreciated :) 
October 6, 2011 10:44:17 PM

prices includes VAT.

Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz Memory Kit Unbuffered CL9 £18.96
Basic RAM, 4 GB shoudl get you started

Asus M5A78L-M LX AMD Socket AM3 8 Channel HD Audio mATX Motherboard £35.86
The 760G is Bulldozer ready (though the 4 and 6 core models, only: 95W) for future upgrades

AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95w 1.5MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor £56.38
A solid performing chip, should play most games for the next year or two.

Antec 400W High Current Gamer PSU £43.61
A little more expensive, but solid enough to handle up to a 6870/gtx 560 for future upgrades

Sapphire HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 DVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card £89.50
It'll struggle above 1680x1050, but great at this res or less.

Simmtronics 500GB 3.5" SATA-II Hard Drive - 7200RPM 16MB Cache £28.00
an inexpensive drive. a Samsung 500 GB is 5 pounds more

LiteOn iHAS124-19 24x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black with Nero Essentials £13.87
a basic drive.

Cart total inc vat: £286.18
Cart Weight: 5.83Kg

Deliver My Order
Within 5 Working Days (FREE) £0.00

use the leftover to get fans for your existing case.

if you can swing a bit over 300, consider this case:
http://www.ebuyer.com/244177-black-micro-atx-case-no-ps...

it will need fans. by itself it would put yo at 300.15 after VAT. But it looks like it takes a 120mm fan front and back and side. (I'd call to confirm though)
October 6, 2011 10:50:32 PM

That is excellent my friend! thank you very much, i will be asking my mother about it aha :p 

Thanks very much :) 
!