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$300 Gaming Rig Core (MB/CPU/RAM)

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December 31, 2011 12:54:10 AM

My budget is a mere $300 .. Luckily, I've got most other items (Case, PSU, HDD, etc.) taken care of. My current PSU is a Coolmax M-500B 500W and should suffice.

I'm looking to order this week, preferably from Amazon (as they actually provide free shipping to Alaska (USA) -- unlike Newegg) but I don't mind ordering from multiple places if the cost+shipping is less than Amazon.

The system will mainly be used for gaming (WoW, Skyrim, SW:TOR). Getting a stable 60fps on Ultra settings would be nice, but it is not a necessity.

I've always been a fan of AMD, and from what I'm seeing they're the brand to go with when on a limited budget. Intel seems to run about twice the price for the same GHz/cores, and as much as I'd love the extra power, it's not likely that I'll be able to go with an Intel setup.. but if it's possible, let's do it!

Overclocking is a maybe.. I'm not really interested in running Memtest for hours on end and I don't feel the need to push hardware to its limits.

I'd like to keep the possibility of SLI open, but for now I'm just going to throw in my Radeon HD 4550 until I can look at getting a new video card.

My current case is microATX, but I do have a larger case if there's a better deal on a different size of motherboard.


I've been doing a little bit of browsing on Newegg, though I'm flying blind as to what's good and what's crap these days...

My AMD build would be the AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Deneb 3.6GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core with a MSI 880GM-E41 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard.

My Intel build would be an Intel Core i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core with a GIGABYTE GA-H61M-S2H LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard.

RAM would likely be Crucial 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333 or possibly CORSAIR XMS3 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1333


I'm not dead-set on any of these choices.. they're just what I found that were within my budget.
December 31, 2011 1:15:09 AM

The amd is the one I would choose just based on price and EZ overclock capability. For a board id say go full atx like the Asrock 970 extreme3 or gigabyte 970 boards not a fan of MSI and Micro boards. Also like the corsair vengeance ram instead of Crucial or XMS3. XMS3 is good ram though just prefer vengeance
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Best solution

December 31, 2011 1:22:22 AM

GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Deneb 3.6GHz

$306.30
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December 31, 2011 2:30:44 AM

andrey64 said:
i wouldn't recommend the FX chips. For gaming the X4 is best price / performance

Hmm... Could I stick with the same motherboard (for future upgrades) and still have it work with a Phenom II X4?
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December 31, 2011 2:42:41 AM

Ya AM3+ boards are backwards compatible with AM3 chips. At the point don't get FX. If you want 6 core go with 1055T for 150.
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December 31, 2011 2:43:37 AM

Thanks, guys... This is finally coming together. :) 
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December 31, 2011 2:57:57 AM

heavybarnett said:
The UD3 board is a few bucks cheaper on The egg if you by before the 1st


.. except the shipping charge is $22.15 at Newegg, and FREE on Amazon. :) 

Edit: Motherboard has been ordered from Amazon.
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December 31, 2011 3:05:08 AM

akerr0r said:
.. except the shipping charge is $22.15 at Newegg, and FREE on Amazon. :) 

Edit: Motherboard has been ordered from Amazon.



It is free shipping........ missed it I guess you live in alaska ALL MAKES Sence :pt1cable: 
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December 31, 2011 3:16:05 AM

funguseater said:
Hi, if your going to do any overclocking on that CPU


Not at the moment.. but thank you for the suggestion.

Edit: CPU has been ordered... and I'll be getting the RAM next week. Thanks to everybody who helped guide me in my purchases tonight. :D 
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December 31, 2011 3:19:59 AM

Just wondering which you decide with if any yet?
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December 31, 2011 3:36:56 AM

heavybarnett said:
Just wondering which you decide with if any yet?


I ended up ordering the Gigabyte UD3 and the AMD FX-6100 from Amazon.. the Phenom II x4 975 is out of stock on Amazon, and the shipping charge from Newegg would have meant I'd have to skimp on RAM (only 4GB instead of the 8GB I want) when I order that next week.

Edit: After mulling it over, I decided to cancel the FX-6100 order and wait until Amazon has the Phenom II x4 975 in-stock again.. since I'm waiting to order my RAM anyways. :) 
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December 31, 2011 3:48:56 AM

Hope the FX chip works out for you....
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December 31, 2011 3:59:10 AM

Best answer selected by akerr0r.
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