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Silock
02-08-2010, 11:15 AM
Raidmax Smildon Case

The power supply it came with sucked and had to be replaced with a better unit. I really like the case itself, though. It's nice and roomy, has plenty of space for some fans, and the sides both come off for ease of access.

2x2 Gb G-Skill DDR3 1600 Ram

Since I was going the budget route, the ram is not ideal. It would have been better to get DDR2, but that was way more expensive than the DDR3, and getting 2 more 2 gig sticks would have pushed me over my budget. Still, it's just a difference between "very fast" and "insanely fast" so it still works great.

ASRock M3A770DE Mobo

Nice little motherboard. Bios is nice and simple to use, but it has a lot of advanced features on it. The only thing that sucks is that while it does have two PCI slots, only one is 16x. The other is 8x. So, no dual graphics cards for me. I'd get a new mobo before a new graphics card, anyway, though, so it still is great.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 1 gb

Great card. Reliable so far, but does require a lot of power. Runs cool, though that might be my case being awesome.

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500gb HD 7200 RPM

Not the biggest, but then this is strictly a gaming computer. I have 3 other computers and a ton of external storage, so this wasn't a big deal to me. It works fine.

LG DVD Burner

Functions.

AMD Athlon II X3 425 Rana 2.7 GHz

This is what I REALLY like. It's only a triple core processor. BUT, the motherboard let me attempt to unlock the fourth core. Success! On a grand scale! The 4th core and its cache are both functioning, turning this budget processor into a quad core screamer. It's now a Phenom II X4 running at a stable 3.1 GHz with no VCore increase. I'm planning on bumping up the clock even more, as it's been super stable at this level for a few days now. I couldn't be happier with this budget processor turned champ.

Xigmatek S1283 CPU cooler

Unfortunately, the stock cooler for the Athlon sucks balls. It was IDLING at 35C. WAY too hot. It was cooking. So, I installed this CPU Cooler, which brought idle temps down to 15C. Nice. Only problem is that the cooler was so large, I couldn't get one of the side doors back on without removing the fan. That wasn't such a big deal, as I just move the fan on that door to an empty space the case had on the other side. Conveniently enough, that fan blows right on the Hard Drive. As a bonus, the massive fan on the CPU cooler blows right on the graphics card. Win-Win. Another downside is that the mounting bracket that came with it made me move the RAM, so I can't put 4 sticks in without fabricating a new bracket for the CPU Cooler that faces another way. Not a big deal right now, but might be an issue in the future.

Corsair 650TX Power Supply

As mentioned before, the power supply that came with the case sucked balls. This one doesn't. Plenty of power to spare, and lots of connectors. It's not modular, but hey, it was cheaper and this is a budget PC.

Total Cost $600, not including monitor

Really, really happy with it.

Pants
02-08-2010, 11:22 AM
Dang, nice work on the chip.

Fish
02-08-2010, 11:31 AM
Why do you think it would have been better or cheaper to get DDR2? DDR2 is both older and slower.

Where did you price/order from?

Silock
02-08-2010, 11:37 AM
Why do you think it would have been better or cheaper to get DDR2? DDR2 is both older and slower.

Where did you price/order from?

Newegg.

DDR2 is older, yes, but slower in my configuration, no. The timings on DDR2 are tighter and better than my currently configured DDR3. That's why DDR2 is still more expensive than DDR3. It's sometimes better for gaming. If I were to step up to 4 sticks of DDR3, it wouldn't be an issue. Anandtech has a good article on it somewhere.

Saulbadguy
02-08-2010, 11:45 AM
I have the same case. It's solid for what it is.

Fish
02-08-2010, 11:51 AM
Newegg.

DDR2 is older, yes, but slower in my configuration, no. The timings on DDR2 are tighter and better than my currently configured DDR3. That's why DDR2 is still more expensive than DDR3. It's sometimes better for gaming. If I were to step up to 4 sticks of DDR3, it wouldn't be an issue. Anandtech has a good article on it somewhere.

DDR2 is not more expensive on average.

DDR2 1066: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010170147%201052420643&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&Order=PRICE

DDR3 1066: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010170147%201052429231&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&Order=PRICE

And I'm familiar with the Anandtech article. But it was written 3 years ago. A lot has changed since then. That was when DDR3 was just coming out. http://anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2989

I'm not knocking your system in the slightest. It's a nice setup for that price. I just think you made the right decision with the DDR3.

Count Zarth
02-08-2010, 12:06 PM
Should have got a 4890 instead of the 250.

Silock
02-08-2010, 12:08 PM
DDR2 is not more expensive on average.

DDR2 1066: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010170147%201052420643&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&Order=PRICE

DDR3 1066: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010170147%201052429231&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&Order=PRICE

And I'm familiar with the Anandtech article. But it was written 3 years ago. A lot has changed since then. That was when DDR3 was just coming out. http://anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2989

I'm not knocking your system in the slightest. It's a nice setup for that price. I just think you made the right decision with the DDR3.

Oh, I know. The decision to go DDR3 was strictly made on a future-proofing basis. I know it will be faster eventually. I just don't know for SURE that it's faster with this older, bargain model processor, even though it's AM3. Not a big deal, either way, as the performance differences are pretty minimal.

It was more expensive when I ordered it. Remember, I had to go 2x2gb. For some reason, it came out that DDR2 was like $15 more expensive, which isn't a big deal, but I had a budget. Not a big deal, really.

Silock
02-08-2010, 12:09 PM
Should have got a 4890 instead of the 250.

Nope. Remember: I was on a strict budget. The 4890 would have put me way over. A good 4890 was at LEAST $80 more expensive than what I got.

Count Zarth
02-08-2010, 12:22 PM
Nope. Remember: I was on a strict budget. The 4890 would have put me way over. A good 4890 was at LEAST $80 more expensive than what I got.

Hmmmm, for some reason I thought the 250 and 4890 were on the same price level.

SLAG
02-08-2010, 12:27 PM
I am about to build my own PC at the end of the week -

I am looking at spending about the same amount you did -Maybe just a TAD bit more no more than $650

I was going to get a 920 Core i7
4GB DDR3 Ram
That same WD blue 500gb
and then cheap -o- $30 Vid card and a cheap case and a semi-cheap PSU

Waiting on tax return to pull the trigger on it - should be here on friday!

BryanBusby
02-08-2010, 01:27 PM
PSU is one of the things I definitely would not go cheap on.

SLAG
02-08-2010, 02:20 PM
I know you said gaming - so I assume your Running Windows 7 X64?

I am hoping to avoid running windows all together but Starcraft 2 might force my hand

Silock
02-08-2010, 07:16 PM
I know you said gaming - so I assume your Running Windows 7 X64?

I am hoping to avoid running windows all together but Starcraft 2 might force my hand

Yup. Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate.

Silock
02-08-2010, 07:17 PM
Hmmmm, for some reason I thought the 250 and 4890 were on the same price level.

They're close, but the 4890 is around $200, and I paid $115 for the GTS 250.

Silock
02-09-2010, 12:38 PM
Got it stable at 3.4 now with no VCore increase!

w00t! This thing is a champ!

beach tribe
02-10-2010, 08:10 AM
I'm in the beginning stages of building an HTPC, and it truly seems like i can get killer components just by buying an already built gaming CPU, and stripping it. I was adding up the costs, and I was able to find a more powerful set up for 450 than i could build for 600. Is this true because those companies buy in bulk, and can get the components cheaper,
or do i just not know what I'm talking about?

Silock
02-10-2010, 05:01 PM
Link?

For a HTPC, I'd get a netbook. My HP Mini 311 has ION graphics, and HDMI out. It plays 1080p movies perfectly to my screen, and only cost $399. I'm sure you can find even better deals on it now.

Fish
02-10-2010, 05:02 PM
How's the video card holding up in gaming?

QuikSsurfer
02-10-2010, 05:21 PM
Link?

For a HTPC, I'd get a netbook. My HP Mini 311 has ION graphics, and HDMI out. It plays 1080p movies perfectly to my screen, and only cost $399. I'm sure you can find even better deals on it now.

I just bought a silver 1201n for $484.
12.1in screen - HDMI out
1.6GHz Intel Atom Dual Core N330 Processor
2GB DDR2 RAM, 2 x SODIMM Slot, 4GB Max

Can't wait for it to ship! :)

Silock
02-10-2010, 07:36 PM
How's the video card holding up in gaming?

Haven't run into a game yet that I can't run full screen 1080p with max settings.

QuikSsurfer
02-10-2010, 10:29 PM
Haven't run into a game yet that I can't run full screen 1080p with max settings.

Well what games made beyond 2006 have you tried?

Silock
02-10-2010, 11:11 PM
MW2, L4D2, ME2, DAO

QuikSsurfer
02-10-2010, 11:35 PM
You're playing those at max settings on ur 311? No way.
What resolution and adv fps?

QuikSsurfer
02-10-2010, 11:38 PM
We're talking about different systems

SLAG
02-11-2010, 02:27 AM
Silock,

I just finished pricing/ordering my build
Care if i hijack your thread or should i start a new one?

Silock
02-11-2010, 05:56 AM
You're playing those at max settings on ur 311? No way.
What resolution and adv fps?

I thought we were talking about my gaming rig.

Of course not on my 311. I can barely play Civ IV with 2 players on that thing. It's not a gaming PC.

Silock
02-11-2010, 05:56 AM
Silock,

I just finished pricing/ordering my build
Care if i hijack your thread or should i start a new one?

Do whatever you want. Might run into a bit of confusion, but it's fine with me lol

BryanBusby
02-21-2010, 02:45 AM
Sup. gonna hijack this thing as my build is a bit similar.

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard

-$126.98 after newegg combo discount and $10 MIR

OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV4GK

-$87.99 after $20 MIR

HIS H577FM1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

-$152.99 after $10 MIR

Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 Modular Active PFC Power Supply

-$54.99 after $10 MIR

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

-$54.99

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

-$49.99

LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04

-$26.99

Total Price: $551.55 after shipping, mail-in rebates and Bing cashback

Notes:
-The RAM looks like it isn't install and use at full capability off the fly. Fun.
-Reviews look pretty good for Rosewill case. Do wonder if video card is gonna fit though...
- <3 modular power supplies
-Went with ATI over Nvidia. Nvidias more recent cards are too pricey and are huge power drains. I'll settle with laughable drivers instead.
-I do remember the stock cooler that came with my AMD Athlon 2500 Barton core sucking hardcore, so I guess I'll need to shop for a better heatsink.

oaklandhater
02-21-2010, 07:48 AM
Should have got a 4890 instead of the 250.

If your useing Windows 7 I would stay the hell away from ATI I had to RMA my 2 5770's becuase of there bullshit drivers.

beach tribe
02-24-2010, 06:34 AM
Link?

For a HTPC, I'd get a netbook. My HP Mini 311 has ION graphics, and HDMI out. It plays 1080p movies perfectly to my screen, and only cost $399. I'm sure you can find even better deals on it now.

I was thinking about that, but my purpose is to build a PVR via firewire coming out of the back of the HD cable box, and straight into a Mac. (Hackintosh in this case) I downloaded a program called Firewire SDK for my old Mirror drive door G4, and could not believe how easy it was to set it up. I was capturing HD through that bitch, and the G4 failed on me. I have fixed that G4 so many time for basically nothing, but this time, I'm pretty sure the proc. are fried since I took off the heat sink, and they were basically black with burnt boogers where the thermal paste would be.
BUT, I was hooked on the whole, HD, Blue ray capture, and playback world. I didn't get but a taste of it before it died. I heard it's a major pain in the ass to capture like this on a PC. I could be wrong, and if I were, I probably wouldn't bother with the Hack. Actually I think I'm gonna set up a dual OS build.

Oh, and after more research it turns out I was wrong about the prices.

Guru
06-25-2010, 04:57 AM
Silock I may have to pick your brain on this one. Little higher than I want to spend but the fact you got it to unlock the 4th core intrigues me.

Fritz88
06-25-2010, 05:00 AM
How's the ATI Radeon 5850?

Silock
06-25-2010, 07:27 AM
Silock I may have to pick your brain on this one. Little higher than I want to spend but the fact you got it to unlock the 4th core intrigues me.

Most of the games don't even use the 4th core. It was really just a bonus. Most of the three core chips have a functioning 4th core, anyway. I'm sure that the cost of everything in this computer is lower than $600 now, anyway.

QuikSsurfer
06-25-2010, 08:45 AM
How's the ATI Radeon 5850?

good card.
how much are you wanting to spend?

Guru
06-25-2010, 02:20 PM
Most of the games don't even use the 4th core. It was really just a bonus. Most of the three core chips have a functioning 4th core, anyway. I'm sure that the cost of everything in this computer is lower than $600 now, anyway.
Actually, I priced each part last night and it came to 687. I was expecting a lower price not higher.

Silock
06-25-2010, 03:04 PM
Well, I had some deals. You can search for equivalent stuff on Newegg. I'm sure there are deals going on with similar parts.

Guru
06-25-2010, 03:05 PM
Well, I had some deals. You can search for equivalent stuff on Newegg. I'm sure there are deals going on with similar parts.I'm too far out of the loop now. I really have no idea what to look for anymore. Your thread is close to the answer but I don't know where to trim the fat. I've become more of an electronics guy and less of a computer guy. I just need the thing to handle all Steam games is all.
\
My benchmark is actually $500 but I know that is damn near close to impossible. I can live with $600 and under though.

Any help from anyone would be appreciated.