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Monitor, motherboard and HDD for $330

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a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
March 28, 2012 2:44:10 PM

As the thread title tells, can you guys give any recommendations for an AM3/+ motherboard, a 21-22" monitor(1080p if possible) and harddrive(1TB recommended, but maybe lower if it's over budget) for a friend of mine. I help him pick a few parts before so the specs below are probably correct. He can probably go $350-360 but it's better to be in the budget because he's also planning on getting a cm hyper 212+ cooler and add 4GB DDR3 ram later(right now it's DDR2).

The rest of his system(if I remember correctly):

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 560
Video Card: Sapphire HD 6770
PSU: Corsair CX500W V2
Case: Thermaltake V3

Please don't recommend changing the original parts since his budget is very strict. It doesn't matter which site you guys recommend since he'll be buying it at a local store, so suggest parts within the budget.

Thanks in advance.
March 28, 2012 3:24:13 PM

EzioAs said:
As the thread title tells, can you guys give any recommendations for an AM3/+ motherboard, a 21-22" monitor(1080p if possible) and harddrive(1TB recommended, but maybe lower if it's over budget) for a friend of mine. I help him pick a few parts before so the specs below are probably correct. He can probably go $350-360 but it's better to be in the budget because he's also planning on getting a cm hyper 212+ cooler and add 4GB DDR3 ram later(right now it's DDR2).

The rest of his system(if I remember correctly):

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 560
Video Card: Sapphire HD 6770
PSU: Corsair CX500W V2
Case: Thermaltake V3

Please don't recommend changing the original parts since his budget is very strict. It doesn't matter which site you guys recommend since he'll be buying it at a local store, so suggest parts within the budget.

Thanks in advance.

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... = $65.00
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... = $110.00
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... = $110.00
Cheapest I could find. :) 
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
March 29, 2012 1:43:52 PM

Thanks, for the input. Got any better choice? He can go as high as $350 and please suggest either a gigabyte, asus or msi motherboards
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a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
March 29, 2012 2:34:21 PM

I figured you may suggest the M5A97 too. I've been looking at it's reviews for a while and it has great features, solid performance at a very reasonable price making it a great value board. I may told him to get this one. Though I'm not sure about the monitor(is it good or bad?) and will the 1TB fit into the budget with a better monitor?
March 29, 2012 2:54:32 PM

EzioAs said:
I figured you may suggest the M5A97 too. I've been looking at it's reviews for a while and it has great features, solid performance at a very reasonable price making it a great value board. I may told him to get this one. Though I'm not sure about the monitor(is it good or bad?) and will the 1TB fit into the budget with a better monitor?

Asus boards are my favorite.
I think there is a video on youtube about that monitor. The one I would've picked is about $40.00 more:
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
To go cheaper with the HDD you won't get one that size and it wouldn't be that much cheaper. Drives are really high right now. They'll come down at some point.
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
March 29, 2012 3:20:32 PM

I know that drives are more expensive now and I did say 1TB preferred but it's optional. He can probably go for 500GB now and add later so I guess that's not a big deal

How about this one. Reviews on the web shows it's a pretty good one and it's quite cheap at our local store around $130
http://www.acer.com.my/ac/en/MY/content/model/ET.WS1HA....
Between this one and the one you'd suggest, which is better in your opinion?
March 29, 2012 3:32:37 PM

EzioAs said:
I know that drives are more expensive now and I did say 1TB preferred but it's optional. He can probably go for 500GB now and add later so I guess that's not a big deal

How about this one. Reviews on the web shows it's a pretty good one and it's quite cheap at our local store around $130
http://www.acer.com.my/ac/en/MY/content/model/ET.WS1HA....
Between this one and the one you'd suggest, which is better in your opinion?

The Acer you picked out is better. A 500gb drive will still cost you $80.00 (for $20.00 more you gain another 500gb).
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
March 29, 2012 3:44:07 PM

Too bad the motherboard, drive and monitor are a bit more expensive here. I've calculated the price and the only choice for my friend to stay within the budget is to get the acer monitor, the asus motherboard and a 500GB drive or he could get either a cheaper motherboard or monitor and get a 1TB drive. Which option would you go for? This is probably the last question
March 29, 2012 4:03:14 PM

If you can get a comparable Gigabyte board to what you are picking, look at that. My Gigabyte board is 4-5 years old. Rock Solid!

Is this the board you were wanting?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want to look at ASRock, I think Microcenter has a 970 series board for 89.99 if you feel like taking a chance.

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Edit--Just saw this

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Gigabyte board, 10 bucks more, but I have used a lot of Gigabyte boards and always found them to be solid.
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
March 29, 2012 4:27:50 PM

I don't prefer asrock boards and I definitely won't suggest that to anyone. I've had some problematic experience with 2 of them in the past and found out that in most asrock boards reviews, there are always issues.

The gigabyte does cost 10 bucks more, but only comes with an extra pcie x1 slot and doesn't offer any extra features such as usb3, uefi BIOS compared to the M5A97. Tweaktown also shows that the M5A97 is pretty good for overclocking although that's mostly depend on luck on the cpu and the board itself since not every people can get the same frequency even though they have the same config.

I know gigabyte boards are solid, but so are asus boards with MSI coming as the 3rd choice(although if I were to build a new rig later, I'd go for MSI). Gigabyte makes great boards, but in this price range, I think the asus M5A97 is better.
March 29, 2012 4:59:28 PM

Don't get me wrong, not saying ASUS is junk. They have a great rep. I'm just speaking from experience, I know Gigabyte is good. Haven't worked with ASUS as much, so just going with experience. That said, I also like MSI. I had a bad experience with one once, but to be fair, I used a very cheap power supply which I think caused the problems. I've used MSI boards since, with better power supplies, and the ones I've used recently have also been solid.

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March 29, 2012 6:05:22 PM
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EzioAs said:
Too bad the motherboard, drive and monitor are a bit more expensive here. I've calculated the price and the only choice for my friend to stay within the budget is to get the acer monitor, the asus motherboard and a 500GB drive or he could get either a cheaper motherboard or monitor and get a 1TB drive. Which option would you go for? This is probably the last question

That is a problem. I'd go with option #1 and get the lower capacity HDD. If I simply had to go with option #2 I'd go for the cheaper monitor. The motherboard is just too critical an item to low-ball. After all, the other two items are worthless without it. Hope this help you and good luck with your build.
March 29, 2012 6:57:47 PM

For the money, I like the AOC that was recommended for 110.

To cut some money, I would look at a smaller hard drive. Even a 320gb is going to be a good start. He can always add a larger one later. I know the Microcenter near me typically has refurbished hard drives for less, which does not sound great until you realize you can usually add a 2 year replacement warranty to them for about 5 bucks. In that instance, they aren't a bad deal at all in my opinion.

March 29, 2012 7:04:31 PM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
For the money, I like the AOC that was recommended for 110.

To cut some money, I would look at a smaller hard drive. Even a 320gb is going to be a good start. He can always add a larger one later. I know the Microcenter near me typically has refurbished hard drives for less, which does not sound great until you realize you can usually add a 2 year replacement warranty to them for about 5 bucks. In that instance, they aren't a bad deal at all in my opinion.

I agree. I just left my local Micro Center about a 1/2 hour ago. I saw a refurbished WD 80gb drive for $23.00 and a 160gb Seagate for $40.00. Hey in a pinch you take a shot. Unfortunately, I don't think the OP lives anywhere near a MC.
March 29, 2012 9:10:12 PM

Oh, b/c he mentioned getting everything at a local store, so I kinda assumed.
March 29, 2012 9:10:38 PM

In that case, I think I'd recommend spending the money at Tigerdirect or Newegg.
March 29, 2012 9:26:47 PM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
In that case, I think I'd recommend spending the money at Tigerdirect or Newegg.

I don't think the OP wants to wait (for the shipping). I just used the MC links 'cause I go there for most of my stuff (and they're usually cheaper). It makes DOA's soooo much easier to put up with.
March 30, 2012 3:49:25 AM

True, I like MC also, my primary place to shop PC parts, but honestly, we have no way of gauging really. Also I can say for myself, last few things I've ordered from newegg, 2 days or so and stuff was there.
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
March 30, 2012 3:53:01 AM

As I was saying , this isn't for me. I already have some plans for my next build with Ivy and maybe gtx600/radeon7000 going from core 2 and fermi. This is my friend's build. He won't be buying the parts online and we don't live in US, the budget is just an estimation in our currency. Thanks for the suggestion guys!
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
March 30, 2012 3:53:34 AM

Best answer selected by EzioAs.
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