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Mini ATX budget gaming 600$

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April 15, 2012 6:47:33 PM

Hello builders,
I'm collecting parts to build my first system and I need some advice. I already have the case, cpu, motherboard, hard drive, and operating system. I need help choosing the power supply, memory, and video card. My biggest concerns are compatibility with the matx case, and power supply wattage. Without further ado...



Approximate Purchase Date: within a month

Budget Range: I've spent 350$ on case, cpu, motherboard, hard drive, and windows 7...looking to spend an additional 250$ for a total of 600$.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming and everyday use.

Parts Not Required: cpu, motherboard, hard drive, case, operating system, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers...

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.canadacomputers.com (I can pick up in stores and save on shipping)
http://www.newegg.ca

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution:

Additional Comments: I'm using a Mini atx case listed below. I'd like to keep the temperature down, and make sure the video card fits.



Here's what I have:

Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition 3GHz Quad Core Socket AM3 Boxed Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS Socket AM3+ 760G mATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Fractal Design Core 1000 Mini Tower mATX Computer Case
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WDBAAY0010HNC
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...



Here's what I need to buy:

Power Supply: I found these. They are local and on sale for a few days. I read it's important not to under-supply, or over-supply, so I need help choosing the right wattage for this build.

OCZ ZS-Series 550 Watt 80PLUS Bronze Performance Power Supply
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3...
OCZ ZS-Series 650 Watt 80PLUS Bronze Performance Power Supply
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3...
OCZ ZS-Series 750 Watt 80PLUS Bronze Performance Power Supply
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3...



Video Card: I was looking at these 2. They are in my price range. I'm not looking for ultra settings, i just want playable frame rates around medium settings for most modern games. If neither of these cards can do that, please recommend something better, preferably under 200$.

Asus EAH6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2 DirectCU AMD Radeon HD 6850 Chipset (790MHz ) 1GB (4.0Ghz) GDDR5 Dual Display DVI/DisplayPort PCI-Express 2.1 Graphics Card
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4...

EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 2048MB GDDR5 (02G-P3-1559-KR) nVidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti Chipset(951MHz) 2048MB GDDR5 Memory(4356MHz) Dual-DVI/MIni-HDMI PCI Express 2.0 Graphics Card
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4...



Memory: On a budget, was thinking 4gb at 2x2. These are my options.

Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz CL9 DIMMs (PGD34G1333ELK)
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2...

Mushkin Silverline 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz CL9 DIMMs (996768)
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2...

Corsair XMS3 Classic 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz CL9 DIMMs (TW3X4G1333C9A)
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2...



Alright I think that's all. Let me know if I've overlooked anything. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
April 17, 2012 5:41:55 AM

This is actually a "MicroATX" Mini Tower, just so there's no confusion. Nomenclature aside, its obvious that you've done some good research. IMO, i think you should go with the 6850 card, the 550w power supply, and the corsair memory. One note though: I'd never use a green drive, especially a WD Caviar Green, as a primary OS drive. I think you try to find something a little more reliable, even if its a smaller capacity drive.
April 17, 2012 6:33:41 AM

I'd use a mb with an 880G chipset instead of the too budget 760

and the FX 4100 processor is quite a bit better gamer than the 960 which would have to be overclocked to get the same performance
You would need to be sure the memory was able to run at 1.5 volt or less

More votes for the 6850
Related resources
April 17, 2012 8:09:54 AM

get i3 2100 instead, better gamer in every aspects.
April 17, 2012 11:34:52 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice.

James McKeane said:
This is actually a "MicroATX" Mini Tower, just so there's no confusion. Nomenclature aside, its obvious that you've done some good research. IMO, i think you should go with the 6850 card, the 550w power supply, and the corsair memory. One note though: I'd never use a green drive, especially a WD Caviar Green, as a primary OS drive. I think you try to find something a little more reliable, even if its a smaller capacity drive.


Yeah sorry if there was any case confusion, I don't know enough about them. I'll take the advice on the 6850, the 550W power supply, and the memory.

Interesting about the WD Caviar Green, I didn't know they were so bad. It will be my primary OS drive. Can you recommend something better around the same price point (100$)? Or what about picking up a small SSD for the OS, would that be a good idea? something like this:

Mushkin Chronos 60GB SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive (SSD), Read 550MB/s, Write, 515MB/s (MKNSSDCR60GB)
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=1...


Outlander_04 said:
I'd use a mb with an 880G chipset instead of the too budget 760

and the FX 4100 processor is quite a bit better gamer than the 960 which would have to be overclocked to get the same performance
You would need to be sure the memory was able to run at 1.5 volt or less

More votes for the 6850


Ok I'll keep that in mind for the motherboard. If I'm not happy with the one I have once I get things going, I'll consider an upgrade to something a little more quality. Part of the draw to the 960T and the motherboard were that they were bundled at a very good price. Thanks for the pointer on the memory, and the vote on the 6850.


manu 11 said:
get i3 2100 instead, better gamer in every aspects.


Thanks for the advice, but I already have the 960T, too late to turn back now!
April 17, 2012 11:40:26 AM

stick with the 6850 Instead of the OCZ, get a Corsair CX 430, more than plenty for the 6850.

if you already have the WD green drive, a 64 GB SSD is a good investment
April 17, 2012 9:58:31 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
stick with the 6850 Instead of the OCZ, get a Corsair CX 430, more than plenty for the 6850.

if you already have the WD green drive, a 64 GB SSD is a good investment


Alright thanks for the advice on the Corsair CX 430. It seemed too low to me but I checked it out and turns out a lot of people are in fact using it with the 6850. I may still opt for the 550W mentioned above based on the fact that I might want to try some overclocking in the future. I admit I don't know much about overclocking so just tell me if that's a bad idea.

Well actually I don't have the WD green hard drive yet, I had chosen it and considered it as good as purchased, but I still have my money, and time to change my mind. Can someone recommend a better storage option, 500gb - 1tb hard drive for around 100$? Thank you.
!