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Would this system be balanced?

CPU: 3.4GHz Phenom II x4 965BE - $130
GPU: Radeon HD 6870 1GB - $170
RAM: 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 - $32
Motherboard: Gigabyte 880G uATX (AM3+ compatible) - $92

(using a 500w power supply)

Total: $424

I'm swapping out the old (socket 775) motherboard and upgrading all of the internal components of my cousin's homebuilt PC to be more suitable for recent gaming, in particular Skyrim. Budget is a strict $400 +/- $25. I was originally planning on jumping on the bulldozer bandwagon with the FX-4100 but after reading about motherboard compatibility issues, I figured I might as well just stick with the tried-and-true Phenom II for now and make the leap when the platform and BIOS updates are more mature.

What really bothers me the most though is I'm unsure how balanced all of this would be given how the video card is a good 50% more expensive than the CPU and the RAM is so darned... inexpensive... I can't help but worry about bottlenecks or a heavily unbalanced system.... and so I ask:

1. Is this system balanced (for medium-heavy gaming purposes) and if not, what tweaks would need to be made to make it so?

2. Anything better on the price / performance and future-proofing front than AM3+ / Radeon 6xxx?
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about would system balanced
  1. Best answer
    Yes that should be fine
    but a few suggestions
    Buy the 955 phenom and make a simple change in BIOS to run it at 965 [ and beyond] speeds .
    Make sure the motherboard you buy is AM3+ with a black socket so you have a potential upgrade path . Ideally with a 970 series chipset [ about $95 on newegg]
    There are cheaper 6870's . Search by price
  2. Outlander_04 said:
    Yes that should be fine
    but a few suggestions
    Buy the 955 phenom and make a simple change in BIOS to run it at 965 [ and beyond] speeds .
    Make sure the motherboard you buy is AM3+ with a black socket so you have a potential upgrade path . Ideally with a 970 series chipset [ about $95 on newegg]
    There are cheaper 6870's . Search by price


    +1, What is your budget?

    I would suggest buying the 6950 or 560Ti. Both perform the same and are much more future proof than the 6870.
  3. he asked a question...would it be balanced..and the answer is yes..are there better choices...possibly..but for the price it seems pretty decent.
  4. fuzzykiss said:
    he asked a question...would it be balanced..and the answer is yes..are there better choices...possibly..but for the price it seems pretty decent.


    That is why I asked what his budget is. Here at Tom's you must always help someone to get the best that they can for their budget and not just leave them if you think that they can do better.
  5. Yes, it's good.

    I agree save a couple of bucks going with 955 BE. You could try and purchase a better single GPU (6950 like the above poster suggested) if it fits your budget. Especially when you listed a uATX mobo which is unlikely to support dual GFX.
  6. Best answer selected by Dragnerok X.
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