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Need help choosing PC parts for new build

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October 9, 2012 4:50:48 AM

Hey everyone.

I'm planning on building a desktop in the next week, and I'm trying to decide which setup I should go with. I want to try and build the cheapest possible desktop that I can build that will play most games at at least mostly medium settings at 1280 x 720 resolution (since my TV only supports up to 720p resolution.)

I want this desktop to last me at least a year without needing to upgrade parts, or get new parts due to parts breaking down and such, because I won't be upgrading for a very long time, since I don't have a lot of money to spare, so... here it goes.

These are the parts that I was originally going to go with and buy: (until I started thinking)
- AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE Quad Core @ 3.4GHz ($100)
- MSI 970A-G46 Socket AM3+ Motherboard ($85 - $10 Mail-In-Rebate)
- 4GB (2 x 2GB) G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL DDR3-1600 ($24)
- ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 1GB GDDR3 Graphics Card (I already own this, and I realize this isn't a good graphics card for gaming, so don't tell me that)
- 100GB 5400RPM HDD (I already own this, and I can't remember what brand at the moment)

In total, ^^^ this setup ^^^ would cost me about $260-$270 after taxes, shipping, discounts and rebates.


OR, for a total of $300, I could upgrade the motherboard to a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Socket AM3+ motherboard.

OR, for a total of $315, I could get myself a Cooler Master V6GT CPU cooler for the first setup (the MSI motherboard and the X4 CPU)

OR, for a total of $320, if I buy a cheaper CPU (the one I was looking at was an AMD Athlon X3 460) and keep the MSI motherboard, I could get myself a 500GB WD Blue 7200RPM HDD (and still have the 100GB HDD for extra) and upgrade to G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit.

OR, for a total of $330, I could buy an AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE (which is still cheaper than the 965 BE,) and keep the MSI motherboard, I could get myself a 500GB WD Blue 7200RPM HDD (and still have the 100GB HDD for extra) and upgrade to G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit.

More about : choosing parts build

October 9, 2012 4:59:52 AM

Go for an A10-5800K over a Phenom II 965 with an ATX A75 FM2 motherboard. $300 is an incredibly tricky budget to work with - you might want to up it to $450 / $500 to be on the safe side. That way you get a system that lasts far longer with fewer headaches and leaves you plenty of room for expansion.

Here's a sample configuration:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard ($99.99 @ NCIX)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.32 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.03 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($107.99 @ Computer Valley)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $515.28
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 9, 2012 5:04:35 AM

every time I see a post suggesting the APU's not one lists 1866 memory. That's what these things were made to run. and because memory means everything to the types of processors i think you should get the fastest they support......... whether any benchmark proves me wrong or not.
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October 9, 2012 5:10:17 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Go for an A10-5800K over a Phenom II 965 with an ATX A75 FM2 motherboard. $300 is an incredibly tricky budget to work with - you might want to up it to $450 / $500 to be on the safe side. That way you get a system that lasts far longer with fewer headaches and leaves you plenty of room for expansion.

Here's a sample configuration:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard ($99.99 @ NCIX)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.32 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.03 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($107.99 @ Computer Valley)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $515.28
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)



Problem is that I don't have over $500. I have about $330-$340 (that also includes taxes, shipping, etc) that I can spend, and I CAN'T go over that.
October 9, 2012 5:24:34 AM

swifty_morgan said:
every time I see a post suggesting the APU's not one lists 1866 memory. That's what these things were made to run. and because memory means everything to the types of processors i think you should get the fastest they support......... whether any benchmark proves me wrong or not.


That will not make any difference though. On default settings your motherboard runs the lowest speeds and timings that it can handle. I read the article with the chief AMD designer. But the speed differences between 1600 and 1866 are so minor that it's hard to notice.
October 9, 2012 5:48:36 AM

Quote:
do you have a case and psu?


Yes, I have a case and PSU.

Okay, so I've done a bit more thinking, and I'm now kind-of choosing between:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE Quad-Core @ 3.4GHz
G.SKILL Sniper Series (2 x 4GB) 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
MSI 970A-G46 AM3/AM3+ Motherboard
500GB Western Digital 7200RPM Internal HDD

Total comes to $330 after taxes, shipping, rebates, etc.

OR

AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE Quad-Core @ 3.2GHz (200MHz slower CPU)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series (2 x 2GB) 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM (4GB less RAM)
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Socket AM3/AM3+ Motherboard (more expensive motherboard)
500GB Western Digital 7200RPM Internal HDD (same HDD)

Total comes to $348 after taxes, shipping, rebates, etc.


How much better is the Gigabyte motherboard in comparison to the MSI motherboard?? Is it worth the extra $18 for a 200MHz slower CPU, 4GB less RAM, but a better motherboard (if it's a better one)?
October 9, 2012 5:56:27 AM

firinmylazerman said:
Yes, I have a case and PSU.

Okay, so I've done a bit more thinking, and I'm now kind-of choosing between:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE Quad-Core @ 3.4GHz
G.SKILL Sniper Series (2 x 4GB) 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
MSI 970A-G46 AM3/AM3+ Motherboard
500GB Western Digital 7200RPM Internal HDD

Total comes to $330 after taxes, shipping, rebates, etc.

OR

AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE Quad-Core @ 3.2GHz (200MHz slower CPU)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series (2 x 2GB) 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM (4GB less RAM)
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Socket AM3/AM3+ Motherboard (more expensive motherboard)
500GB Western Digital 7200RPM Internal HDD (same HDD)

Total comes to $348 after taxes, shipping, rebates, etc.


How much better is the Gigabyte motherboard in comparison to the MSI motherboard?? Is it worth the extra $18 for a 200MHz slower CPU, 4GB less RAM, but a better motherboard (if it's a better one)?


Motherboard makes no difference in how your system performs. If you want to use newer hardware (USB 3, SATA 6, etc) then it's worth it but otherwise it isn't.
October 9, 2012 6:03:27 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Motherboard makes no difference in how your system performs. If you want to use newer hardware (USB 3, SATA 6, etc) then it's worth it but otherwise it isn't.


Yes, I realize that the motherboard won't improve performance, but the MSI motherboard isn't as good, when it comes to build quality, as the Gigabyte motherboard, from what I've researched. However, I don't know how much of a difference that will make, which is why I was asking :p 

Okay, how about this setup then:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE Quad-Core @ 3.4GHz
G.SKILL Sniper Series (2 x 4GB) 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Socket AM3/AM3+ Motherboard
100GB 5400RPM HDD (which I can use for my OS temporarily for now, since I have a 1TB external HDD which I can store my data on)

Total would come to about $315 after taxes, shipping, rebates, etc.
!