Opinion on Builds

I have spent the past two or three days surfing this forum and newegg, putting together a variety of builds, and bare parts lists (lacking a few pieces), and I want input and opinions on them. I will be using it for gaming and multimedia, such as art and audio editing.

My budget is 400 to 580 USD.

I will be making this purchase one piece at a time over the next month or two, one out of each paycheck.

I will be re-using my HDD, Optical Drive, and I have access to an HDD fan, PCI slot GPU cooler fan, and 3 or 4 case fans, 80 and 90mm.

I have access to a fresh copy of Windows 7 or 8, off of Dreamspark. I can get them for next to nothing for being a student. It will all be a clean install upon installation.

I also have access to a 22 inch widescreen monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

All purchases will be made in MS or online, in the US.


First idea for a build, a Mini/Micro-ITX build. Saw the new Bitfenix Prodigy and got inspired.

Case: Bitfenix Prodigy
GPU: ATI Radeon 7850 1GB
CPU: Intel Core i3-3220
Motherboard: Asus P8-H77-I Motherboard
Memory: Samsung 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) MV-3V4G3D/US
PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 500W
CD Drive: Re-use
HDD: Re-use, will be doing a clean boot and install with Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit.
Fans: Re-use, if needed, and can buy additional if needed down the road.


Processor: Intel Core i3-3220
Cooling: Cougar Vortex HDB 140mm Fan
Motherboard: AsRock Z77E-ITX
RAM: Samsung 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) MV-3V4G3D/US
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 7850 1GB
Case: BitFenix Prodigy Black, $80
Power Supply: OCZ Fatal1ty 550w modular PSU, $70
CD Drive: Re-use
HDD: Re-use, will be doing a clean boot and install with Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit.
Fans: Re-use, if needed, and can buy additional if needed down the road.

I don't have anything on an AMD build, but I'm open. I'm looking for best bang for buck.

But I was then thinking, ability to expand, future proofing, would it be better to go with a Mid-ATX case, or something like that? I love the aesthetics of the Prodigy case, but my budget in mind, and future proofing/expanding in mind, what would be my best option? Any ideas?

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More about opinion builds
  1. Best answer
    I highly recommend getting the fx-6300 over the 3220. On single threaded apps, they perform about the same, and the 6300 far outperforms the 3220 on multi-threaded apps.

    Here is my recommendation. It is actually very similar to my build.
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($74.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cougar Solution (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($51.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $534.93
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-11 10:11 EST-0500)
  2. Thank you sooooo much for your reply, I was looking hope in this thread. Yeah I have heard more and more about the FX vs the i3, but oh well. I will go with the FX. I love the bitfenix case, but it has almost 0 hope for expanding and adding stuff. How is that case for cooling? I only ask that because of where my PC will be placed at. Also, how is that Mobo/cpu for overclocking, peripherals, addons, etc? Thanks so much. Also, sound card/network card? Would I have an option for those with this motherboard, in the future?
  3. Cougar makes fantastic cases, and are very good for cooling.

    The Extreme 3 is a quality mobo that overclocks as good as any, and has plenty of room for expansion.
  4. Gah now someone else replied to my other thread >.< Now I have to builds, an intel and an AMD. Thoughts?

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($162.55 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: Antec Basiq 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($41.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $599.00
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-11 05:07 EST-0500)
  5. Also, for the AMD build, I've heard rumors about BIOS being difficult to update, etc with some motherboards. Someone mentioned Vishera compability?
  6. Normally, you don't need to update the BIOS, but I have not heard anything. That doesn't mean there isn't a problem, I just haven't heard about it.

    I see a couple issues with the Intel build.

    The PSU is small for an overclocked GPU and CPU.

    The GPU is a 1GB version as compared to a 2GB version in the AMD build.

    Also, the HAF 912 doesn't have any front USB 3.0 ports, if that is of any importance to you.

    To be honest, in games, I don't think you will see much of a difference between the i5 and the 6300. Games are far more GPU dependent. That is ultimately why I went with the 6300 over an i5.
  7. Okay, I'm going with your build, I just have a few more questions. As far as the case goes, cooling is most important, then expandability, and reliable front port peripherals. I don't know the diff in USB 2 and 3, and not too comp savvy on the trends.

    I also just read about the Vishera fear in some forums, saying that some motherboards aren't shipped with the BIOS ready for the new AM3+ FX chips.

    Lastly, the question I had for you was on the MoBo. I read over some reviews for that board on newegg/amazon, and is it normal for the bad reviews to be that bad? I've never bought offline and I'm just paranoid.

    I found an ASUS and a Gigabyte board, the GIGABYTE GA-990 and
    ASUS M5A99X. Any thoughts on those?

    Other than that I think I'm good. I had that same fear about that PSU though with that intel build too.
  8. I also found this about the front USB 3.0

    "There is a USB 3.0 connection, but it is rendered almost useless due to the A connector which will not plug directly into the motherboard. Instead, the cable must be run across the length of the case to the back panel causing cable management among other issues."

    Anyway around that?

    Other than that small thing and the above MoBo fear, all seems well.
  9. I had no issues with my mobo and CPU and the BIOS, and I have a Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 and the 6300.

    As far as reviews on NewEgg go, those are highly unreliable. More people that have bad experiences post than people that have good experiences, so, there will be more bad than good.

    The difference between USB 3.0 and 2.0 is that 3.0 is significantly faster than 2.0. As far as cable management goes, I feel that the reviewer was not very creative with routing such a small cable. I doubt that there would be any issue.

    There is nothing wrong with being paranoid, as you should be to an extent to make sure that you get what you want and that everything is quality.
  10. Okay, so question, any reason you use the gigabyte over the asrock you mentioned for me? My max absolute would be 580 to 600 dollars, so I could spare a little if it means quality.
  11. I would consider the quality of both boards equal. I got my board because it was on sale for $60. (Normally $100)
  12. Okay, thank you again for all the help, large possibility I may contact you in the future with this build or problems, is that okay?
  13. Best answer selected by MusicMelody.
  14. I would be glad to help.
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