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Entry Level Rig Advice (Expandable)

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Last response: in Systems
November 16, 2011 5:16:31 AM

I have a challenge for everyone as this build is going to be basic, cheap but needs to be expandable…

Approximate Purchase Date: Cyber Monday (November 28th)

Budget Range: ~300-400 After Rebates... The lower the better

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Entry level budget build that I can slowly upgrade to a respectable gaming rig (or possibly use as a media server and build a separate gaming rig down the road)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS, Optical Drive, Hard Drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: or

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Due to budget constraints I would like to use an AMD CPU

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Currently 1600x900 (AOC e2043Fk)

Additional Comments:
Here are some possible parts I have come up with so far:
($80) CPU: Athlon II X3 455
Pure budget decision at around $80 and room for overclocking and possibly unlocking the disable core

($65) MOBO: ASUS M5A78L-M (AMD 760 G)
Provides support for next gen AM3+, core unlocking capabilities and possible expandability to HDD’s if converted to media server

($41.99) RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 8GB
Tons of ram for a cheap price after rebate

(< $100?) GPU: ????
No idea where to go here as my budget is already getting close. Maybe get a basic card to get the system up and running (reuse it in a later basic build or server?)

($50) CASE w/ Power Supply: Diablotek CPA-0280
Cheap case that is simple (no flashy lights), cheap, and comes with a power supply. Power supply will be one of my first upgrades (80+ from reputable company, etc.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know I am very limited with such a low budget but hopefully you guys can help me out? I’m also hoping that I can find some deals on the items that I am looking for or similar items that I can swap out. Anyone heard about upcoming deals?

More about : entry level rig advice expandable

November 16, 2011 11:07:48 AM

9_breaker said:
this mobo will make it more future proof for crossfire.

the gpu is 144 but with a rebate its 129

thats 485 after the gpu rebate .

Thank you for the suggestions! Being a programmer, before now I had never really gotten into the graphics very much but am learning more from the forums and am thinking that crossfire may be something I will want to do down the road. I think it will definitely be a good idea to get a capable mobo for the future. My only question is would I also be able to easily do the core unlocking with this mobo?

Also, I have recently accepted a development job that requires 3D modeling/rendering (using Maya, 3dsmax, Blender, etc) and some small scale game development (Panda3D and Unity), how will this card stack up against the strain of those activities? I would like to be able to work from home some and need something that can handle it!
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November 17, 2011 11:42:09 AM

what do you mean by "core unlocking" .
since this is for programs like 3ds max you should get a workstation card .the drivers from gaming cards aren't well optimized for those types of applications .if you really want to keep that card you can consider soft moding it which will be a lot of work.