First build for ~600USD

Hey guys, I'm building my first PC, sadly enough, I'm kind of on a budget. I have selected a couple of parts that caught my eye, but I haven't bought anything yet, so there's still time to make changes.

Approximate Purchase Date:

No idea. Still doing research. I guess I'll buy the parts when I know what I want, but I'm not in a big hurry.

Budget Range:

Right now I have selected parts for about 290USD (more or less), I wouldn't want to go over 600, but I guess I can do it if it's an absolute must. (Who knows, maybe you can give me some tips on the parts and that'll help out.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important:

Gaming, video rendering and editing, programming and some more gaming.

Parts Not Required:

I already have a monitor, keyboard, mouse and everything else involving external hardware, I just need the PC itself.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

None, any site that can ship to the EU will work.



Parts Preferences:

As I said, I'm on a budget, so I guess I'm ganna go with AMD (I would like to avoid any hardware by Asus however, due to past experiences). The rest does not really matter.


Not ganna do that anytime soon, I should first get into building and hardware.

SLI or Crossfire:

That's not important to me, I don't think that my selected Motherboard even supports that.

Monitor Resolution:

1280x1024 for now, maybe I'll upgrade in the future.

Additional Comments:

This is my first build, so don't be too rough on me for my newbie selection of parts.
Also, I can't use newegg due to their shipping restrictions, but I will still use it for info and price reference.

Okay, so the parts I've picked out already. (As I said, things can still change, so I value your opinion, for as long as it's backed up by facts.)

The case - Thermaltake Commander MS-I. I've chosen this mid-tower because I like the number of fans I can install, good ventilation and the overall look of the case (I just love the lines on that thing, the side see-through part is also kind of cool). It's a hand-screw case, so that saves a lot of time. There's also a dividing plate for cable management. A mini case wouldn't fit anything a gaming system would require and a full sized tower seems to be an overkill. This looks to be the most reasonable option.

Motherboard - ASRock 970DE3/U3S3. As I said, I'm running on a budget, so this is something I'd have to stick with. Not a lot of comments on this thing. I just like the price and the stuff I'm getting for my money. Reviews and specs are a bit odd, different sites state a different number of max RAM I can add (some say 32GB, some 8GB, but that's irrelevant, I guess). It has four ram slots, so there's enough room for improvement, as well as two USB 3.0 connections. Overall, this looks to be a cheap and trustworthy option with room for upgrades.

Processor - AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX. This may be an overkill (I'm oblivious when it comes to this kind of hardware). It has the option for overclocking, even though I don't really need it. Feel free to suggest anything better.

Power Supply - no idea, I guess it would have to be something with 24 pins and enough to run a gaming set up (so something over 600W), a bronze rating would be great as well.

Ram - CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1600C9DHX
I've chosen two sticks 2gb each, because I don't feel like buying 1 4gb stick, two separate sticks can handle better loads and heat issues. (or my info is off) Anyway, there are two extra slots, so I can upgrade in the future.

HDD - Also no clue, I have a bunch of external drives, so I don't need an insanely large HDD.

Video card - Also clueless. Something with 1gb ram and DX11 support would be great though.

So, that's about it. To recap: I need a power supply, HDD and a graphics card. I have a budget of around 600 USD (I can live with both a bit more or less). Feel free to suggest parts other than the ones I've picked.

18 answers Last reply
More about first build 600usd
  1. If you are doing video editing, 8GB of RAM will greatly help. The CPU is so-so. If you can get a Phenom II x4/x6, it'd be faster than the FX. For the HDD, just get a 500GB HDD, I think it will suffice. For the GPU you have several options. What kind of video rendering do you do? Some programs like nVidia GPU's better due to the CUDA, but if your program doesn't take advantage of CUDA, you'll be fine with an AMD card. So eher are your options:

    GTX 560 Ti
    HD 6870
    HD 7850

    For the PSU, 600W, even 500-550W will be plenty.
  2. Well, I'm only a beginner when it comes to editing. I mainly want a card that can handle HD stuff like a really high definition video, a really detailed photoshop picture. I'll mainly use it for games however.
    Also, I'm trying to stay within the lines of my budget as hard as I can with this.

    Quick question, will it do any harm if my PSU has more W than my system requires?
  3. Not at all! It just gives you more headroom to upgrade, and more headroom for overclocking. I guess either a 560Ti or HD 6870 will be good for your purposes.
  4. The motherboard I've chosen does not have a PCI express 2.1 slot. So yeah, plus, those are a bit over my budget.
  5. it doesnt matter. pcie2.1 will go into pcie2.0 just fine. just like you can put a 2.0 on a pcie1.0

    Fot your PSU, you dont need anything near 600w. a 550 will give you PLENTY of room to upgrade. im sure you can SLI/CF with a 550w from corsair/antec.

    Do you want me to select a build with your selected parts?
  6. Sure, that would be amazing.
  7. Lets start of by including the parts you ALREADY have selected.

    This being said, the ASrock mobo that you selected looks like a real decent board especially at that price (im an intel fanboy so my mobo's are STUPID expensive) so i would give you a thumbs up on that.

    CPU: The FX-4100 in my opinion is NOT worth it, mate.
    I would go for a Phenom ii X4 965.
    why? it scores better in gaming, simple as that. AND IT OC's like a house on fire.
    however, if you feel the urge to upgrade in the future, AMD's Piledriver (2012) cpu's will be in that AM3+ socket!

    CASE: that case is nice. if you like it, go for it. nothing fancy, but it will house your components well. however, you could also look for a less expensive case
    such as

    its totally up to you. just dont buy a 300$ full tower.

    RAM: its cheap. any ddr3 will do. I am a crucial fan myself so:

    POWERSUPPLY:BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT! YOU NEVER WANT TO CHEAP OUT HERE. buy a psu from a reputable house brand such as Corsai, Antec, Seasonic, (top 3).

    this should be ample for any single gpu and enough for midrange CF/sli in the future with OC.

    GPU: this depends, do you have Windows?

    total so far is like $330.
  8. Thanks, that really helps.
    I'm ganna go with my case (purely for the looks).
    The CPU, as I said, I'm oblivious when it comes to that. I'll probably go with your pick as at the time the pricing is better and you're not the first to tell me to go with Phenom.
    Ram, that's tricky, I don't really want to go with something totally random. Crosair seems to be a fairly popular brand with high quality products (I don't mind spending extra for reliability).
    PSU, don't worry, I'm not ganna go with something random. My first idea was to go with either Crosair or something from OCZ Tech. I'm probably ganna go with something rated at least a Bronze 80. I still need to pick a decent amount of Watts.

    HDD, and VGA, I'd like some specific offers on that.
  9. Corsair Ram is legendary. Ram is all about reliability, not speeds because all ram at ddr3 1600 will yield same performance.
    try NOT to get RAM with higher heat spreaders because aftermarket cpu coolers may not fit! i found out the hard way -.-

    PSU wise, a corsair or antec 600w will be LOADS. even for upgrades. That phenom AT LOAD only eats 250ish watts at stock clocks (just looked it up)
    AMD CPU's run a bit warm. Do invest on a aftermarket CPU cooler such as a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 with ARCTIC SILVER 5 thermal paste.

    -let me ask you. Do you have a copy of Windows7 or will you be purchasing that? i ask because it will impact your budget and card.
  10. I have a legit copy of Win7. (Plus, Win8 is just around the corner.)
    Thanks for the heads up about the ram. I will be getting a couple of case fans, but I don't really know about the CPU fan.
  11. OK good! that frees up a significant budget for better GPUs.
    CPU fan:
    One of the best Cpu fans. should be sold twice the price due to the great performance. read the reviews about people with phenoms.
    PS. I checked if the Hyper 212 would fit in your case and it should. just get low ram heatspreaders.

    CPU fans are rather inexpensive, get some quiet case fans, or leds, whatever you like, just make sure your case can fit it.

    just get any 7200rpm HDD. not sure what you may find in Europe but any WD, Seagate, Samsung HDD 7200 rpm drive will do great.

    VGA: at your resolution, there are many cards. however, i personally recomend
    GREAT budget card, FREE dirt3 game, good all around performer.
    once again, you can CF these with a 600w lol. 600w is plenty. just check the 12V rail on the PSU as each card requires different Voltages on the 12V rail the 6850 needs 34Amps on the 12V rail. Going with this card and CPU will let you play BF3 (idk what games you play) at high on 1080p if u upgrade your monitor. MAX at current res.
  12. Your second link (the VGA) is the same as your first (the HDD). Thanks for the help, that narrows it down a lot.
    ^ that should be better ahahaha sorry about that
  14. Thanks for the great build. I think I've got everything I need. :D
    Though it would be interesting to hear other opinions.

    My build so far.

    Case -]

    CPU -

    RAM -

    HDD -

    VGA -

    PSU -

    Motherboard -

    As you can see, I'm using everything you've chosen for me as you're awesome and you've made a great list.

    I'll also pick up some fans and cooling units along the way (if the one that comes with the processor isn't enough).
  15. Think about case fans after you monitor the temps on the stock fans of the case. If it ever turns out that the stock fans were good enough, you would have wasted $ for no reason.
  16. Okay, let's talk proper ventilation. At least one fan should suck cold air in, one should push hot air out. Correct? If so where should be the in and out located (using the case I have chosen.
  17. Have more air coming in than leaving the case, so I recommend 2 in the front and one in the back as exhaust.
  18. Okay, so I can't use newegg, are there any other good online stores that ship outside of the US? EU stores would also do. I live in Lithuania, and it's a bit neglected.
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