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Advice request: pick components that will fit best for budget gaming

Last response: in Systems
December 19, 2011 12:43:03 AM

I've patched together this list. I'm reading thru all the advice from this forum's experts, and trying to pull together the best options for the least money. The prices I've noted are final cost after rebates, promos, incl. shipping.

Can any of you please tell me which components, least expensive, would probably work best together?

Also, is it complicated to make sure that these components will go together? Is there a website that will check this if I plug in the choices I have made?

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition$125
AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor $125
AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor $70

CPU Cooler: AMD boxed heatsink/fan 0

Motherboard: ASRock M3A770DE $57

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL for $40.
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBSR $40

SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $137
XFX HD-677X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $100

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500 GB SATA 6.0Gb/s $85

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan $50
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $50
COOLER MASTER Elite 430 RC-430-KWN1 Black Steel / Plastic Computer Case $40

Power Supply:
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC $31
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power $50

Optical: Samsung 22x DVD Burner SATA Model SH-222AB $17

Thanks for any help!

Best solution

December 19, 2011 8:00:09 AM

The cheaper processor and the more expensive video card is probably the best tradeoff you can make in there.

I am assuming you don't just want me to pick the most expensive option out of everything. That would lead to the best gaming results, but the least budget friendly ones as well.

All those things should work in any combination, but if I were to pick from all those things I would take:
HAF 912
Corsair CX 500

Also, I wanted to point out that neither of the RAM sticks you listed are on your boards QVL and the board isn't on the QVL of either set of RAM sticks.

That means you will be doing something that neither side has tested.

If you look at the specifications on the RAM, it says they have been tested with like 8 different Intel architectures and 2 from AMD.

I would strongly suggest you search for a low price on this item

Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2), 240-pin DIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 memory module
Part Number: CT2KIT51264BD1339

Crucial is one of the most trusted names in the RAM space and that item HAS been tested to work on the ASRock M3770DE that you listed. You should be able to get them at a competitive price and its worth paying a few extra bucks if you have to because it can potentially save you/them from quite a lot of headaches in the future.

- Edit -

Here it is $40 with free shipping. I don't know if that is the lowest, but I like the ease of use of Newegg and the good service. I buy 75% of things from there when I order them.
December 19, 2011 3:37:35 PM

Best answer selected by greenbarmom.
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December 19, 2011 3:46:33 PM

OH, thanks. I'm so totally un-nerved by trying to pick components.

I know you likely don't have time, but if you do, would you suggest any changes on this list? Anything stand out as a dud item or not a good fit?

Is there a step in between the CPUs I listed that is a good compromise? I know that frequently I see experienced gamers note that one model will function as well as a step up, but then sometimes there is a huge jump in performance. Will the 2.8 GHz make a big difference vs. 3.0? I need to order components pretty soon, or I'll have to go to Amazon only, sorry to be pushy.

I have ordered Crucial before, and appreciate your pointing out that they won't work with that motherboard. Would you adjust the motherboard or the memory?

I really, really appreciate your answers, Raiddin. I guess I should not have put "mom" in my user name. Oh, well, it is what it is. Thanks again, for any further help you have time to give.
December 21, 2011 6:48:37 AM

Why not have mom in the user name?

Indeed I do have about 15 different people with unresolved issues I am trying to help, and I do have a lot of things going on RL too, but I am trying to help all of them as I am able to.

Anyway, I am kinda confused by the two threads running separately addressing the same problem. I seem to remember that in the other thread we mentioned the AMD 960 as an alternative in the middle of the 925 and the intel 2500k.

As a rule of thumb, I don't generally suggest people leave room to upgrade their processor at some date after the initial purchase. I think of the Processor, the RAM, and the Motherboard as a single unit and I always suggest when one is to be upgraded in the future perhaps 3 or 4 years later that all 3 of them are upgraded at the same time.

New technologies tend to be developed in that time such that anything you upgraded the component to will still be held back a lot by the 2 remaining parts. When you get all 3 together you take advantage of all the newest technologies and the price differential is usually not that large.

If you go out on websites and try to find 2x 2GBs of 800 MHZ RAM (old) you will see that you can get 2x 4GB 1333 RAM (new'ish) for less cost. Because the old kind isn't manufactured anymore the retailers can get away with higher prices because there just aren't any alternatives for the customer. With the newer RAM there are dozens of companies in the game competing for the same customers and that results in lower prices for the consumers.

The 2x 4GBs 1333 would perform at 8x+ of the 2x 2gb 800s and for less cost.

Anyway, I think you should go with the 960 and not plan to exchange it for something else in the future.

RAM - The crucial that I listed WILL work, the G.Skill that you listed may not work. I would go with the crucial RAM that I listed given those choices.

Lastly, I would like to request that you just let this thread die and handle everything else through the other thread so that the discussion is easier to manage.