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First budget build (opinion please)

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December 29, 2011 3:44:45 PM

I am about to build my first pc. I've done alot of reading and i think i got most things right but... well... i'm no expert so i'll just ask.

The pc will be mostly for gaming.

Approximate Purchase Date: next week

Budget Range: as low as possible

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming

Parts Not Required: dvd burner, hard drive, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers and os

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.pixmania.co.uk (but the portuguese version ofc)

Country: Portugal

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: good airflow and decent cable management so my components can last longer


What i cam up with:

Case - Zalman Z9
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/10344834/art/zalman/z9-...

Power Supply - OCZ ZS Series 550w
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/10320206/art/ocz/zs-ser...

Motherboard - ASRock M3N78D
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/4828170/art/asrock/m3n7...

CPU - AMD Phenom II x4 960T (i'd rather go intel but the atx motherboards are almost twice as expensive)
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/11046734/art/amd/phenom...

RAM - A-DATA XPG Plus Series V1 - 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/9407379/art/a-data/xpg-...

GPU - Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/7594804/art/sapphire-te...

This comes to exactly 400€ with is exactly the amount of money i have atm

Currently i am on a laptop that cant even run Bulletstorm with everything set to minimum (and i suspect this laptop wont last long)

What i have:

HP dvd burner w/ ide connection
Samsung 160GB hard drive
Iomega 1TB external hard drive

So do you think this setup will suit my needs? would you recomend some changes (without stretching the budget too much)?

Thank you for your time and help in advance:) 

More about : budget build opinion

December 29, 2011 10:42:17 PM

Cool! Never helped anyone in Portugal before.

The list looks decent, except for the MB. If it was a question of balance and you needed to get the most performance you can in games, I might downgrade the processor in favor of a stronger GPU.

Nicer board with USB 3 and good features -75
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/5572924/art/gigabyte/ga...

4GB kit -18
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/9407379/art/a-data/xpg-...

Athlon II X3 -59
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/8028637/art/amd/athlon-...

Well, that doesn't get you into a better GPU but at least you have a MB that will serve you better....

Aha here we go, a better PSU for less
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/10659524/art/antec/alim...
Not sure why the name includes "alimentation" though

Cooler Master case
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/5969998/art/cooler-mast...

See if that saves you enough to get a 6870 now.

December 30, 2011 10:02:24 AM

Thank you very much :) 
Just a few things i'm thinking:

PSU - I had seen that one and the only reason why i didnt pick it was because it had no 80 plus certificate. I know antec is a excelent psu brand, but also for some reason whenever i see "eco" i thin "less performance"

Motherboard - I excluded micro-atx because usualy they have a "supports up to 95w" or something and i allways thought that could bring problems, done a little search and it looks fine with the athlon:) 

CPU - This one i have no clue and seriously dont understanda thing about but, i see the word "bottleneck" thrown around allot when people pair a nice gpu with a sub-par cpu. Would this happen here?

Case - I had my eyes on that Cooler Master for a long time and i really love that side window. I just went for the zalman because it's almost the same price and comes with 2 fans [i immagine that with these newer components a lot of heat is generated and at least 2 fans are essencial (well maby now i can aford a 2nd fan since the price went down significantly)]

Also the zalman z9 looks like it is has better cable management, and wont the way the hard drive are posicioned affect gpu's?

Take in consideration that i am now expert and i'm open to comments from people that acctualy know how stuff works :) 

Thank you very much and sory about the long text xD

edit: Indeed i can upgrade the gpu with those savings
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/8224042/art/sapphire-te...
It is 37% off in the portuguese site. I'm getting really excited about this :D 

edit2: the psu actually has a 80plus certificate, my bad.
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December 30, 2011 10:54:55 AM

The Eco brand was intended to target ecologically minded people. The production process and lack of a power cord are what give it that distinction, although they are fairly efficient.

The 520C was reviewed and found to be quite good, but I don't have that link on my laptop and it's not too searchable... it was a skilled and well-equipped private reviewer, not a site.

I was just trying to save a little on the case. The extra fan would be a good thing, or you could buy another fan for the CM case. Up to you. I don't think hiding cables will be any easier in the zalman.

The CPU may limit you in some CPU intensive games like Starcraft2 and Civ V... it's going to be a trade-off, but generally more GPU is needed first. Mostly I paid attention to the MB so that you will not have upgrading issues later. You can drop a more powerful CPU in there at any point.
December 30, 2011 11:31:29 AM

I see.
It looks good and i'll take your advice. At this point anything is better than a Pentium Dual CPU T2410 @ 2.00GHz :) 
Good to know what i picked first wasn't a major disaster, and since i intend to upgrade to an intel when i get a job i migh just got for the cheaper asrock MB and also the HD 6850 since (as i said) i'm not too picky with games... i dont mind running them on mid/low settings as long as its moreor less smooth (25 - 30 fps).
and with the savings i can get some headphones since mine are broken :) 

Anyway you helped me alot.
Thank you for your time and i wish you and everyone a wonderfull 2012 :) 
December 30, 2011 6:59:41 PM

I really want to discourage you from using any Nvidia chipset MB. I've just seen too many issues with them over the past 5 years. They used to be quite common and are now almost never used or seen, for this reason. In AMD builds I always stick to AMD chipsets.

Sounds like a good plan otherwise.
!