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First build ever (~700ish), would really appreciate opinions!

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May 8, 2012 11:40:54 PM

Hey guys, I'm new here and also new at making computers in general. I have spent the past few days doing a bunch of research and I've come up with what I think will be a decent build, but I would really appreciate some opinions!

Approximate Purchase Date: Not in a hurry, but would like to get it within the week

Budget Range: 600-700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Programming, that's about it

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Not picky, as long as it's somewhat reputable.

Country: U.S

Parts Preferences: No Preference

Overclocking: Probably

SLI or Crossfire: Not in the near future (we'll just say no)



And here's what I have now:

Rosewill CHALLENGER case $49.99
Samsung by seagate Spinpoint 500gb $79.99
GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 (seemed like a good MB for the price and it's rating, but I really have no clue) $109.99
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850 1gb 256-bit $149.99 with $15 rebate
APEVIA 500w Power Supply (thing is $20 after the rebate which seems too good to be true?) $39.99 + $20 rebate
G.Skill Ripjaw 2x4 GB DDR3 1600 $46.99
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 119.99
Cooler master hyper 212 (if I decide to overclock) $29.99
Acer 21.5" screen 139.99

total price w/ discounts and shipping: $740 - 45 in rebates = $695


From all my research, everybody seems to be all about the i5/i7, but honestly I think the Phenom would fit my needs fine gaming-wise and budget-wise, and I don't really use intense programs like photoshop very often.

Any opinions on where I could cut back or improve would be great.

Thanks guys!

More about : build 700ish opinions

May 9, 2012 12:00:12 AM

Your build is very nice for the price.
Though the PSU is not very good at all. This will cost a little more but you'll need it. It is very very important not to skimp out on the PSU. This is $50($40 after rebates)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your Motherboard is good. Has alot of features at a very affordable price.

As far as the i7/i5 vs amd thing...Your budget wouldnt be able to add a i5/i7. You would be looking at an i3(dual core). While this is an excellent processor the phenom's quad core will give you the edge in gaming.

Good luck with your build!
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May 9, 2012 2:26:30 AM

To parrot what everyone else has said, do not get that PSU. Bad quality PSUs can damage the rest of your computer's components and sometimes they like to do sneaky things like give the rails too low of an amperage to run a decent graphics card. It's best to sidestep the issue entirely and get a good quality one from manufacturers like Antec, Corsair, PC Power and Cooling, etc. The one that computernewb recommended is a great one.


There's one last thing I'm going to mention, and I know people are going to disagree with me, but I feel I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't at least bring this up in more detail. I would go with an Intel i3 before I went with the older Phenom IIs. Don't get me wrong, those old Phenom IIs are great, but they're starting to show their gray hair. In multi-threaded applications they still have the upper hand thanks to their quad core architecture. But when it comes to single or dual thread tasks (like the majority of games) the i3 is faster, even when the Phenom IIs are overclocked. Take a look at this article to learn a bit more http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a... . And those results are with the i3-2100. The i3 2120 is only $125 on Newegg and has .2 Ghz faster clock speed, which would put even more distance between the i3 and the Phenom IIs. The last thing is that the AM3 socket is dead, and you're buying what is essentially the best for that socket. What this means for you that a year or two down the line, if you get a new game and decide your computer's CPU is holding you back, you have to go replace the mobo and the CPU. Where if instead you go with Intel, they've just released a whole new line of processors on the same 1155 socket. So if you wanted to upgrade, you could get yourself an i5 or i7 and avoid the extra cost of a new mobo. As another check on me, check out Tom's gaming CPU recommendations. You won't see a Phenom at your price level, or for that matter any AMD CPUs anywhere on it (much to my displeasure believe it or not) http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

All that said, the 965 will game at a nice level, I'm not trying to be an AMD vs Intel troll. I just felt I should make you aware that for roughly the same price you could get a bit more out of your purchase.

Last but not least, besides the PSU and my concern about the CPU aside, you obviously did your research. It's a very strong build for your given budget, kudos on that!
May 9, 2012 4:09:18 AM

Thank you everyone for the responses! Definitely gonna suck it up, ditch that power supply and get a better one.

You bring up a really interesting point about the i3, I was under the impression that the Phenom would perform better for gaming than an i3 would. I would much rather go with the i3 so I can upgrade to an i5 or i7 in the future if I want to, as you had stated.

Onimaru said:
i personally recommend this i5 3570k barebone kit from tigerdirect $500 after MIR http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


This looks like a fantastic deal, I would buy it right now except the only thing that bugs me is I'm still kind of cloudy about onboard graphics... would that perform as well as an i3 and a decent dedicated graphics card?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2012 4:38:24 AM

dont buy that i5 package from tigerdirect. its has an Ultra power supply which are really bad. There is no discrete graphics card and its actually $600. its $500 after rebates which is in itself a gamble. a weaker cpu such as the i3 or the phenom ii plus a good graphics card (like the 6850) is better for gaming.

heres a comparison between the i3-2100 and the phenom ii x4 980. they didnt have the i3-2120 which is clocked 200 mhz higher and the phenom ii x4 965 can easily be overclocked to 3.7. it gives you a rough estimate.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=362

where the quad core really shines is in huge multiplayer games such as battlefield 3 and WoW raids.

Try to get as many facts as you can before deciding but both are good budget gaming cpus.
May 9, 2012 6:37:50 AM

computernewb said:
dont buy that i5 package from tigerdirect. its has an Ultra power supply which are really bad. There is no discrete graphics card and its actually $600. its $500 after rebates which is in itself a gamble. a weaker cpu such as the i3 or the phenom ii plus a good graphics card (like the 6850) is better for gaming.

heres a comparison between the i3-2100 and the phenom ii x4 980. they didnt have the i3-2120 which is clocked 200 mhz higher and the phenom ii x4 965 can easily be overclocked to 3.7. it gives you a rough estimate.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=362

where the quad core really shines is in huge multiplayer games such as battlefield 3 and WoW raids.

Try to get as many facts as you can before deciding but both are good budget gaming cpus.


^ +1 to everything

I highly encourage you to do your own research on the pros and cons of both. They're actually quite unique in their strengths and weaknesses for being at almost exactly the same price point.

One last thing that you might want to consider is saving up just a bit more for an i5-2400, or even more for the i5-2500k. Then instead of having to choose between a quad core or a superior architecture, you can get both. I don't how easy it would be for you to come up with that difference in money. If you can do so relatively easy, I couldn't recommend it enough. If not, it's a far cry from crippling your build.

But whether you go with the 965, the i3, or an i5, it'll turn out to be a pretty good machine, so don't sweat it too bad lol.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2012 7:12:15 AM

jrile said:
Thank you everyone for the responses! Definitely gonna suck it up, ditch that power supply and get a better one.

You bring up a really interesting point about the i3, I was under the impression that the Phenom would perform better for gaming than an i3 would. I would much rather go with the i3 so I can upgrade to an i5 or i7 in the future if I want to, as you had stated.



This looks like a fantastic deal, I would buy it right now except the only thing that bugs me is I'm still kind of cloudy about onboard graphics... would that perform as well as an i3 and a decent dedicated graphics card?



Something you should keep in mind if you decide to go with the i3 build with the intent of upgrading later is that Intel will be coming out with new processors in 2013 that will not use the same LGA1155 socket, meaning to upgrade with a current CPU when this happens, you will have to buy a new motherboard as well. My advice is if you want to go with an Intel build today, to find a way to work one of the quad cores (be it 2400 or 2500k) into your budget.
!