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Help finding cheapest build sufficient for Diablo 3

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  • New Build
  • Graphics Cards
  • Diablo
  • Systems
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Last response: in Systems
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January 25, 2012 5:30:40 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: everything except graphics card to be purchased in February. Graphics card to be purchased when Diablo 3 comes out, which is probably this summer or fall

Budget Range: Cheap as possible after rebate

System Usage from Most to Least Important: playing diablo 3 (don't care about any other games, though if I had the option, being able to play gamecube/ps2 emulator games would be nice), watching anime, surfing internet

Parts Not Required: mouse, monitor, os, keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts
: any reputable site

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I'm a noob and have no idea about parts

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: maybe, only if it will save me money by using multiple cheaper graphics cards

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: The only requirement of this system is it can play Diablo 3 at medium settings, which I don't know what it would be, but here are the system requirements for the game:

MINIMUM SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
OS: Windows® XP/Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 (Latest Service Packs) with DirectX® 9.0c
Processor: Intel Pentium® D 2.8 GHz or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 4400+
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ X1950 Pro or better
HD Space: 12 GB available HD space | Memory: 1 GB RAM (1.5 GB required for Windows Vista®
Windows® 7 users, 2 GB for Mac® users) | Drive: DVD-ROM drive | Internet: Broadband Internet
connection | Display: 1024x768 minimum display resolution

RECOMMENDED SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
OS: Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 (Latest Service Packs) | Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 5600+ 2.8 GHz | Memory: 2 GB RAM | Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 260 or ATI Radeon™ HD 4870 or better

I do not want to pay more to have better performance than what's needed to play D3 at medium settings. After this requirement is taken care of, longevity is the most important factor, and then price (including elecricity costs from using it). I don't plan to upgrade this system in the future unless a part is broken and I have to. I also don't care about how this system looks.

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CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX - $80

CPU Fan: fan that comes w/ CPU

Motherboard: MSI 760GM-P23 (FX) AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - $55 + $8 shipping

Video: To give you an idea of what kind of card I am okay with, if I purchase today it would be ASUS EAH6670/DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 6670 GDDR5 1 GB Video Card - $80 after rebate.

RAM: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model KHX1333C7D3K2/4GX - $20 after rebate
2 x 2GB, 240-pin DDR3 1333 7-7-7-21 1.65V

Harddrive: HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $70 w/ promo code by 1/30
3 year limited warranty

Case: AZZA Triton 401 Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $30 after rebate + $10 shipping
120mm fan on front and rear

Case fan:COOLER MASTER R4-C2R-20AC-GP 120mm Case Fan
in case one of the fans is too loud or front fan LED is annoying

Power: OCZ ZT Series 550W Fully-Modular 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom - $75 after rebate - 10% of $90 off promo - $15 gift card = $51
540W from 12V, 550W total, PFC, modular, 140mm double ball-bearing fan, 5 year warranty

Optical: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM - $19
no blu-ray

More about : finding cheapest build sufficient diablo

January 25, 2012 6:28:36 PM

One thing I noticed... was the Hard drive... I wouldn't go with anything below 500GB. Before making a final decision on your hard drive... you need to do some serious soul searching as far as what Operating System you plan to use and if youre going 32 bit or 64 bit.... if you're going 64 bit... you can kiss that 200gb option and 2GB memory options good bye. I wouldnt even put a 32 bit system on a 200gb hard drive.
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January 25, 2012 7:04:10 PM

thanks for bringing it up, I'm going to go with either Windows 7 or Vista 32-bit, not sure which one yet. Edited original post with that detail
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a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2012 7:12:59 PM

Id stay away from anything that says Vista on it. Terrible performance on just about everything.
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January 25, 2012 7:22:20 PM

how are you going to build a 500$ pc with a 1080 monitor? wont your monitor take half the money?
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January 25, 2012 7:24:07 PM

everything looks good just get as much ram as you can 4gb+ and you will be able to run Diablo 3 with those specs.
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a c 201 U Graphics card
January 25, 2012 7:28:28 PM

Your video card should have GDDR5 on it, not DDR3. There is a visible performance difference. You should be able to fit a HD6770 into a $500 build.
Do not get the Biostar mobo, or any similar board with an old nForce chipset on it. They only run at 2000MT/s instead of the more typical 5200MT/s of a recent AMD chipset board. I'm about to post a build you may find suitable...
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January 25, 2012 7:30:58 PM

I looked around some harddrives and updated the build with one I found.

xx_pemdas_xx said:
how are you going to build a 500$ pc with a 1080 monitor? wont your monitor take half the money?


I've already bought the monitor, but the budget I listed isn't that strict. I don't really care if it's over, I'm just looking for the cheapest that will work for what I want. I've taken the budget number off the original post.
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a c 201 U Graphics card
January 25, 2012 7:38:44 PM

Ok. This is my bottom-dollar AMD build. There is nothing here I would not buy myself, and many of these things I have.

Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:R101-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147112
$29.99 $29.99
Nice cheap case; relatively sturdy as cheap cases go, and the included 120mm fan is quiet and effective.

ASRock 880GM-LE AM3 AMD 880G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Model #:880GM-LE
Item #:N82E16813157199
$59.99 -$5.00 Instant $54.99
Doesn't have the latest interfaces, but when "cheap" is a requirement, USB3.0 and even SATA 6GB/s can be sacrificed. If you want to spend more though, this is one of the first places to put it.

SAPPHIRE 100326L Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Model #:100326L
Item #:N82E16814102935
Mail in Rebate Card
$96.99 $96.99
It's only another $30 or so for a HD6770. Even before the mobo, this is the first place to spend a little more money for notably better performance.

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
Model #:EA-380D Green
Item #:N82E16817371033
$59.99 -$8.99 Instant $51.00
My "goto" PSU in budget builds for years. Stable, quiet, and efficient. Plenty for this system, even with a more powerful GPU (up to a HD6850).

AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX
Model #:ADX455WFGMBOX
Item #:N82E16819103911
$79.99 $79.99
Should do well enough, for some time to come, even though it's nowhere near the top of the heap. Another $50 or so here gets a X4 960T, but on a budget this will do.

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
Model #:F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
Item #:N82E16820231394
$20.99 $20.99
I've had excellent results from G.Skill RAM; it just works. No DOAs, and no failures in use.

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKX 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD3200AAKX
Item #:N82E16822136770
$99.99 -$20.00 Instant $79.99
Another $6 gets a 500GB drive, but this should be decent enough. I used to buy the SATA 3Gb/s version of this drive, and still have one in my spares drawer.

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black 1.5Gbps Model SH-222AL/BSBS LightScribe Support - OEM
Model #:SH-222AL/BSBS
Item #:N82E16827151252
$18.99 $18.99
One optical drive is much like another. This one has LightScribe support.

Subtotal: $432.93

This doesn't include the operating system. If you need that too, I'm really not sure what could be safely cut.
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January 26, 2012 10:05:14 AM

Thanks so much for your build jtt, it's incredibly helpful and I'm going to spend a lot of time looking over your recommendations!

Onus said:
Your video card should have GDDR5 on it, not DDR3. There is a visible performance difference.


I didn't even notice the 5670 is supposed to have GDDR5 memory, does this imply this online retailer is selling a fake one? Or is it perhaps a typo on their part?
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January 26, 2012 10:13:03 AM

^No they make two verisons.
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January 26, 2012 10:40:05 AM

Onus said:
Ok. This is my bottom-dollar AMD build. There is nothing here I would not buy myself, and many of these things I have.

Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:R101-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147112
$29.99 $29.99
Nice cheap case; relatively sturdy as cheap cases go, and the included 120mm fan is quiet and effective.


I read from the HomeBuilt guide, http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/288311-31-homebuilt-b..., saying

"I recommend that you look for a case with at least one front fan for intaking cold air, and one rear fan for exhausting heated air."

On Newegg, it says Rosewill has an included 120mm back fan, and an option to insert a fan in the front. Should I buy a 120mm fan and do that? Will it let my parts live longer, or is my system too weak to need a front fan?
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January 26, 2012 11:28:05 AM

Been looking into motherboards and narrowed it down to these 7:

ASRock 760GM-GS3 AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
ASRock A785GM-LE AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
MSI 760GM-P23 (FX) AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
ASRock 880GM-LE AM3 AMD 880G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS M5A78L-M LX AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Are there any that I should clearly take out from the list? I got these by filtering for 5200MT/s, MicroATX, price < $60. Not really sure how should I decide from here. Maybe decide by the chipsets?

2 of them 880G - (4) and (7)
1 of them 785G - (2)
4 of them 760G - rest

I've also looked into USB 3.0 and SATA 6 gb/s and have decided I don't need them. I don't use my external harddrive that much, and I also read SATA 6gb is not as useful for internal hard drives
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January 26, 2012 12:20:20 PM

I'd go for MSI, ASrock, Gigabyte, or asus those're common given good name brands so I'd just take out the biostar IMO I'd go for the ASrock or the MSI... I've not checked if they're compatible though hoping you did. Good luck. :p 
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January 26, 2012 4:55:40 PM

Okay I'm done with the motherboard. I ended up deciding on this one instead of the one jtt mentioned because of AM3+ for potential to replace CPU if it breaks in the future. Does anyone think an Intel CPU would serve me better over the long run if I'm planning to replace broken parts years down the road?

Here's the mobo I decided on, and have updated in my OP: MSI 760GM-P23 (FX) AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - $55 + $8 shipping

I've also decided on a different case because I found one with the same price after rebate but has a 120mm fan in the front as well:

AZZA Triton 401 Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Please let me know if these choices look bad
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a c 201 U Graphics card
January 26, 2012 9:01:10 PM

An additional intake fan is typically not needed unless you're using a lot of high-end power hungry parts and/or are planning high overclocks. The AZZA case does not look bad.
The ASRock board looks like it has one more VRM phase on it, but that may not be a big deal. If you're interested in a step up, for $80 you can get this one, which has USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 27, 2012 3:23:29 PM

vrumor said:
Id stay away from anything that says Vista on it. Terrible performance on just about everything.



I totally agree with this. I have read about a lot of nightmares with Vista and i use vista on my laptop and cant stand it. It tends to have a mind of its own.

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January 27, 2012 3:32:17 PM

opqpop said:
thanks for bringing it up, I'm going to go with either Windows 7 or Vista 32-bit, not sure which one yet. Edited original post with that detail



I would definitely take the Windows 7 route. Or even drop back to Windows XP Pro lol... just stay away from vista. I still run XP Pro because I couldn't find good enough reasons to upgrade to vista on my current machine. lol, but with my new machine Ill jump right into 7.

I am currently doing the same thing you are as far as building a new machine. I am preparing for Diablo 3 release and Guild Wars 2 release. Im anxious to see how these two compete... i actually have a feeling Diablo 3 will be what Guild Wars is now and Guild Wars 2 will be what Diablo 3 should have been. If that makes any sense. lol

Im going this route to match with my XFX HD 6670

Mother Board - Asus Crosshair IV Formula

Processor - AMD Phenom II X2 565 Callisto 3.4GHz Socket AM3

Im going to use the board to unlock the Phenom into a 4 core.

Case - Cooler Master HAF 912

Power - Antec 500 watt

Memory- Havent decided yet.
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January 27, 2012 6:44:34 PM

thanks, I agree and decided to use Windows 7 32-bit.

almost done with build... been reading up on power supplies and man this stuff is complicated. I have a question:

how important is it for me to have a single 12V rail, given my build?
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a c 201 U Graphics card
January 27, 2012 7:03:55 PM

It isn't. The number of +12V rails is irrelevant on a modern PSU, marketing drivel to the contrary.
The best source of information on PSUs is the tutorial articles and reviews at www.hardwaresecrets.com.
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January 27, 2012 7:52:11 PM

To a degree there isn't like JTT states, however, I would argue heavily with him if you were building something more complex. Power is one of the most important pieces to a build, ANY build. Whether it be with computers, recievers, amplifiers or anything else that requires a steady, consistant stream of power.

For example... I am a touring professional. I work with some of the most prestigeous audio and lighting gear available. The first thing I check when we come into a venue... is POWER. If power isnt sufficient... it doesnt mater how wicked and supreme an L-Acoustics V-Dosc line array system is... if it doesnt have sufficient and clean power... it will degrade the quality of the system and even blow the system all together.

So power is very important. It can make or break a system.

For your needs, I would stay with a reputable company... Antec has been one of my choices for reliable power supplies in my rack systems. I have an old Antec Basiq 500watt that ive been using for about 4 years in a home computer and its been efficient and clean.
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January 27, 2012 8:11:34 PM

just wanted to say thanks for all the help I've received so far :) 

I've narrowed it down to these 2 power supplies. They were cheaper/same price as the Antec Earthwatts one but more Watts.:

OCZ ZS Series 550W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom - $55 after rebate - $20 gift card = $35
456W from 12V, 550W total, PFC, not modular, 135mm double ball-bearing fan, 3 year warranty

OCZ ZT Series 550W Fully-Modular 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom - $75 after rebate - 10% of $90 off promo - $15 gift card = $51
540W from 12V, 550W total, PFC, modular, 140mm double ball-bearing fan, 5 year warranty

Their reviews on jonnyguru:
ZS - http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
ZT - http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

anyone have suggestions? I am leaning toward the ZT one. It's better, and I'm also thinking in terms of price over warranty length, which would make both $10/year...
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a c 201 U Graphics card
January 27, 2012 8:15:15 PM

If jonnyguru gave them "9"s, I would say they're good.
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January 27, 2012 8:39:38 PM

not sure about ocz psu, well i only used corsair,seasonic,nzxt psu so far, they got those 520w from seasonic which is good, and some good 500w or so from corsair, try take a look they should be great
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a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2012 9:10:51 PM

Just as a comment from trying out the beta:
Radeon 6870 plays well with full settings at 1680x1050. So if at the time of purchase you can afford one, it would definitely be a nice experience.
But I am certain that 6770 or 6850 would be quite nice as well.
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January 31, 2012 10:24:54 PM

Best answer selected by opqpop.
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a c 201 U Graphics card
January 31, 2012 11:44:04 PM

Thanks. Although, I suspect you've made the right move switching to Intel. I'm not sure you want to go as low as a Celeron though. I suspect a Pentium or even an i3 would be visibly better.
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February 1, 2012 2:28:51 AM

Just to give you an idea about a Celeron...

Sticking a Celeron in a computer is like sticking a Briggs and Stratton Lawn Mower Engine in a Lamborghini.

I agree with jtt283, if you're going ebay... at least look for a pentium or i3
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a c 273 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 12:26:51 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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