New BUDGET Build ($350)

Approximate Purchase Date: January, maybe February 2012
Budget Range: $350 w/o monitor and OS

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Surfing the internet, word processing, light duty 3D modeling, Youtube, light gaming
Parts Not Required:Monitor, and I've pretty much decided on Windows 7 as my OS. Have keyboard + mouse as well.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Micro Center
Country: America

Parts Preferences: I like AMD CPU and G.Skills RAM, but i'm open on this topic

Overclocking: Maybe, not much if so
SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Not 100% sure, probably mid-resolution
Additional Comments: My current setup is a laptop with AMD Turion 64 Duo, about 2 Ghz. 2 GB RAM, no GPU. So, I decided to build a new computer before smartphones caught up to me :sarcastic:
Here are the parts I'm looking at right now, dont want to go up in price to much.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 840
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0371961
I feel like this is a great deal

MoBo:BIOSTAR A780L3B AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138329
Just looking for something that will work with my other components, willing to go up bit in price here

GPU: MSI Radeon HD 5450 1 GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-127-557&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=3#scrollFullInfo
Really like this GPU

RAM: Ripjaws 8 GB (2 x 4 gig)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-231-308&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=3#scrollFullInfo
Open to other brands here

Hard Drive: Not many ideas yet, just wanted the cheapest reliable >=320 GB disk

CD/DVD Drive: One of the $20 Samsung or Sony's
Case: Rosewill Micro ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147112

PSU:Rosewill Stallion 450W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182075

Also, if there's any way to get Windows 7 lower than retail, I'd be very interested (if its legal of course). I am a high school student, but most of the discounts seem to be for college students. Thanks
37 answers Last reply
More about budget build
  1. If you're skint I have no problem with that. But don't spend more on the mobo, spend it on the GPU.
    The onboard is probably as good as that gpu.

    Love your memory choice but you should really go Llano at this budget.
  2. Which Llano would you recommend? The triple core or one of the quads (or even a dual?). Switching over to a Llano will cut ~$100 off the budget, so the trip would be less, the quads slightly more. I'd also have to switch mobos. Or, could I just cut out the GPU? Do I really need one for what I'm doing?
  3. I'd go with the A8-3850 if you can. The A6 would be at least as good as your original build.
    And you could add an HD6670 later for hybrid xfire.
    These CPU's are better with faster memory - get 1600mhz if you can.
    Oh, and ditch the Rosewill PSU. Get something decent.
    Actually, I'll have a look around and get back to you.
    The Ramones have got me SOO pumped.
  4. longpig said:


    That build is looking closer to what I am probably going to end up building. XD
  5. Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply $119.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129024

    ASUS F1A75-M LE FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $89.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131769

    AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D AD3850WNGXBOX $139.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103942

    G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT $34.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422

    SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-222BB/BEBE $15.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151244

    Seagate Barracuda ST3250312AS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $79.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148699

    Subtotal: $480.94

    This is very similar to something I use (except I have 4GB RAM and use the A6-3650 Crossfired with a Radeon HD 6570. Not sure how to get this to $350 though. Seems like hard drives would take up 1/3 or 1/4 of your budget.
  6. hpdeskjet said:
    Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply $119.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129024

    ASUS F1A75-M LE FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $89.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131769

    AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D AD3850WNGXBOX $139.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103942

    G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT $34.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422

    SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-222BB/BEBE $15.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151244

    Seagate Barracuda ST3250312AS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $79.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148699

    Subtotal: $480.94

    This is very similar to something I use (except I have 4GB RAM and use the A6-3650 Crossfired with a Radeon HD 6570. Not sure how to get this to $350 though. Seems like hard drives would take up 1/3 or 1/4 of your budget.



    Can't you swap out that mobo for something a little cheaper and still reliable?
  7. Yeah you’re right we can probably save $60 switching to the A6-3650 and Gigabyte Mobo that longpig suggested
  8. The A8-3850 is $129.99 at Microcenter if that helps
  9. Case: Gigabtye Mid Tower - $24.98
    CPU: AMD A8 3850 - $139.99
    Mobo: ASUS A75 Chipset - $69.99
    RAM: G.Skill 8Gb $34.99
    HDD: WD 250Gb - $46.98
    CD/DVD: Samsung DVD Burner - $15.99
    PSU: Corsair 430W - $39.99

    Total: $372.91

    CPU: AMD A8 3850 - 129.99 (in store only) (-$10.00)
    Mobo: ECS - A55 Chipset - $60.98 (-$9.01)
    HDD: ??? 250Gb - $29.98 (-$17.00)
    HDD: Samsung 500Gb - $87.27 (+$40.29)
    PSU: Cooler Master 460W - $35.98 (-$4.01)

    I know I went a little over budget; but all prices include shipping so you might be able get with $350 if you live near a microcenter store. Hope this helps.
  10. Bacon-
    That is some good stuff, good call on the HDD. Thanks everyone for the tips
  11. One question though, the hard drives you mentioned are both PATA whereas the mobos are SATA- I thought that they weren't backwards compatible? If it was just a mistake, I did find one replacement.
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0352028
  12. supremeoverlord said:
    One question though, the hard drives you mentioned are both PATA whereas the mobos are SATA- I thought that they weren't backwards compatible? If it was just a mistake, I did find one replacement.
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0352028


    They are not compatible at all. You will need a SATA drive. The one you linked is alright, but keep in mind it is refurbished. It may not be as high quality as new.

    I would recommend 1600 Mhz memory as A8 has been shown to gain from better memory.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178382

    On sale right now. If it goes off sale, there are cheaper.
  13. Yeah, I was also looking at some of the 1600 Mhz G. Skills Sniper and Ripjaws X. Thanks.
    So right now I'm probably going with the A8, ECS A55, 1600 mhz 8 gb RAM, a cheap HDD, most of the rest the stuff mentioned in Bacon's post.
  14. supremeoverlord said:
    One question though, the hard drives you mentioned are both PATA whereas the mobos are SATA- I thought that they weren't backwards compatible? If it was just a mistake, I did find one replacement.
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0352028


    Good catch; completely forgot to check for compatibility. I'll see if I can find a decently priced sata drive for you.
  15. supremeoverlord said:
    Yeah, I was also looking at some of the 1600 Mhz G. Skills Sniper and Ripjaws X. Thanks.
    So right now I'm probably going with the A8, ECS A55, 1600 mhz 8 gb RAM, a cheap HDD, most of the rest the stuff mentioned in Bacon's post.


    I would go with the A75 board if you can budget for it, A75 is more future proof with SATA3 and USB3. If you know you won't need either of these in the future though, A55 is fine and a bit cheaper otherwise. If you go with the ECS, make sure your monitor has VGA, I noticed that board only has a VGA connection.

    Also going to suggest the new 3870 if you go with Newegg, as it's only 5 dollars more and overclockable.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106001

    You probably wouldn't be able to OC much on the stock heatsink, but you could always buy a heatsink later. You might want to double check compatibility on the motherboard's site though with this one as it really is brand new and might not be supported yet
  16. kinggraves- OK, I didn't realize that the A75 was a much better deal anyway. I'm definitely leaning more towards it now. Also a good call on the 3870, it'll be nice to know that it can overclock, and $5 isn't much

    bacon- No problem, thanks man.
    Also, how do people feel about the CPU on the 3850 vs say the Bulldozers (FX-4100), or the Phenom II x4 955? Is it similar performance, better, or worse?
  17. supremeoverlord said:
    kinggraves- OK, I didn't realize that the A75 was a much better deal anyway. I'm definitely leaning more towards it now. Also a good call on the 3870, it'll be nice to know that it can overclock, and $5 isn't much

    bacon- No problem, thanks man.
    Also, how do people feel about the CPU on the 3850 vs say the Bulldozers (FX-4100), or the Phenom II x4 955? Is it similar performance, better, or worse?


    Well by switching to either 4100/955, we would have to either add in a discrete graphics card or use a motherboard with integrated graphics. If you dont want the best graphics, 3850 is the better value. You can have decent power for low-mid end, and there is the option to use a 6670 later to upgrade that performance to mid end gaming. At stock, I would say the 4100 does slightly better as CPU alone and the 955BE is cheaper (but hard to find now). They both OC fairly well also, but if you get the 3870k, it should OC fairly well too and be about even.
  18. I was just wondering for comparison's sake, not to switch over.
    Also, found an A75 Biostar on Newegg for $55, how do people feel about that?
    Thanks guys.
  19. Why not get the A6-3670k so you can overclock it and get the performance of a a8-3850?
  20. I guess I could do that. Saves $15. How far could I overclock without needing a different heatsink?
  21. supremeoverlord said:
    I guess I could do that. Saves $15. How far could I overclock without needing a different heatsink?


    Might be the wrong question to ask - you need a heatsink when it becomes unstable. As with any OC you step it up until it bends under pressure. Overclock up till it can't pass a stress test with stock cooler, otherwise, tack on an extra $40+ to your build for other cooler (may be worth it pending needs and budget..Corsair H80 would be nice).

    OC'ing a A8-3870K with it's integrated graphics might get you out of needing a discrete GPU pending your needs. Don't waste your money with an A6 if you are thinking about going down this road.
  22. Yeah, actually I think I'll stick with the A8 3870 anyway. Any ideas on when hard drive prices are going to come down? Right now I think that that's the place where I could save the most.
  23. Well, the 3870k is definitely worth the slight extra cost. but as long as you're willing to OC and board supports it, 3670k is still better than 3850. You only need to get .2Ghz OC to equal a 3850 and you could probably do over that even with the stock heatsink.

    As far as motherboard recommends, Toms actually did review some boards awhile back.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/llano-apu-a75-motherboard,3008-19.html

    ECS and Jetway didn't seem to have OC options. Biostar wasn't reviewed so I'm not sure on them. Usually I could recommend ASRock but apparently their BIOS options are set by default to use discrete graphics (really stupid but you wouldn't be able to see without a discrete card to change it). There is a decent value on a higher end board if you get the rebate:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128516

    Or perhaps an open box deal might come around.
  24. Aren't the graphics on the 3670 worse though? 6530 not 6550? I'm still liking that Biostar though...
    Although the Gigabyte is a good deal
  25. supremeoverlord said:
    Aren't the graphics on the 3670 worse though? 6530 not 6550? I'm still liking that Biostar though...
    Although the Gigabyte is a good deal


    Yes, there is a difference, and it can be noticeable if you depend on the integrated graphics. Crossfiring the integrated graphics with a 6670 discrete gives the same combination with both 6530 and 6550 though. Otherwise the 3870 is better for graphics.

    Didn't see a $55 Biostar, but they do look like they'd be alright.
  26. Here's the Biostar:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138337R

    It is hard to find, I had to go Mobos>search "A75">Open Box.
  27. How about this Patriot RAM- incredibly cheap for 1600 mhz 8 gb.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220570
    Not quite as well rated as the G. Skills. I've actually cruised the price down to around $300, if I use this RAM, the Biostar mobo, Llano 3850 (or 3870 when its availab
  28. le)
  29. supremeoverlord said:
    Here's the Biostar:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138337R

    It is hard to find, I had to go Mobos>search "A75">Open Box.


    Yeah that's weird, open box isn't showing on guided searches...
    As long as you're fine with open box, that board is probably fine.

    Patriot memory should be fine too.
  30. OK, awesome! One more question- I see that most people with Llanos who get a second GPU get a 6670. Is that because it's just a good match, or is it the highest performing GPU compatible? I was just wondering if in the future I wanted to throw a new GPU in, what are the requirements? Or will any Radeon work (7990...)
    Thanks
  31. supremeoverlord said:
    OK, awesome! One more question- I see that most people with Llanos who get a second GPU get a 6670. Is that because it's just a good match, or is it the highest performing GPU compatible? I was just wondering if in the future I wanted to throw a new GPU in, what are the requirements? Or will any Radeon work (7990...)
    Thanks


    The APUs are only compatible with a few certain levels of graphics, and yes, 6670 is the highest.

    http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/44338-amd-a8-3850-apu-review-llano-hits-desktop-7.html

    has a chart.

    It's also the most cost effective considering discrete GPU prices. The lower combos are not "as" worth the performance bonus. It's also fairly energy effective because 6670 does not need a powerful PSU. Since the 7xxx series isn't out yet, they will likely not crossfire with this generation of APU. You CAN still put in a higher discrete card, but they will not crossfire with the APU.
  32. So here's what I'm currently thinking:
    CPU: A8-3850
    Mobo: Biostar A75
    RAM: Kingston 8 gig 160 mhz
    Hard Drive: 120 gig 7200 RPM SATA Refurb
    Power Supply: Cooler Master 460 W
    Case: Gigabyte GZ-KOF3B

    Total: $300 (Nice)
  33. supremeoverlord said:
    So here's what I'm currently thinking:
    CPU: A8-3850
    Mobo: Biostar A75
    RAM: Kingston 8 gig 160 mhz
    Hard Drive: 120 gig 7200 RPM SATA Refurb
    Power Supply: Cooler Master 460 W
    Case: Gigabyte GZ-KOF3B

    Total: $300 (Nice)


    Can you post a link for all those parts?
  34. Thanks Supreme! Will probably pick up that Hard Drive now
  35. No problem man. It does look like a darn good deal.
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