Critique this Budget Gaming PC

amalston

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Mar 6, 2009
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I am attempting to build a budget gaming PC that's essential purpose will be to play World of Warcraft. I want enough "upgradibility" so the system can be updated with newer CPU's as to not require a motherboard change. So when newer Blizzard games (Starcraft 2, Diablo 3) are released I can play them with a processor upgrade or maybe a graphics card upgrade, if they require it. I want to build the initial system on a 400$ budget.

I have a couple questions.

I have chosen to use an AMD compatible AM2+ motherboard, rather than an Intel compatible LGA 755 motherboard. I am using older generation motherboards because I could not afford the motherboards or CPUs used in the Core i7 platform on my budget. AMD motherboards in my price range have more "upgradibility" as it appears AMD plans to continue supporting its AMD2+ socket type for the foreseeable future. Is this a correct assessment?

Even though certain LGA 755 CPU's continue to outclass all AMD CPU's is it correct to assume that if AMD will continue to support its AM2+ socket type eventually more powerful AMD CPUs will be released that will out perform the LGA 755 CPU's, a dead platform that has been made obsolete by the newer Core i7 platform. By this reasoning, would it be more prudent to purchase an AM2+ motherboard over an Intel 755 motherboard?

Here is a a list of the parts I want to buy. I chose an AMD platform because I assumed AM2+ will have a longer lifetime and have more "upgradibility" than the Intel 755 platform.

cpu
AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103300

motherboard
JetWay JHA06-GT-LF AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G ATX AMD Motherboard $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813153132

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128373R

graphics card
MSI R4830-T2D512 Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Original Price: $99.99, $79.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127420

Note: New graphics card, 9800 gtx rebranded as 250.
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/nvidia_geforce_250_rebranding_complete

Note: New graphics card between the 4830 and 4850.
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/ati_rv740_benchmarks_leaked_decidedly_respectable#comments

hard drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395

ram
Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
$29.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220293

case and power supply unit

ENERMAX PANDORA 185 ECA3070BS Black/ Silver SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400W Power Supply
$24.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811124118

I did not include a DVD drive or an operating system, don't need either.

The total of all the parts is $424.94, and including shipping $451.57. With mail in rebates deducted $381.57.

If there are any better parts or if anyone has any personal experience with the said parts please provide your input. All comments and questions are welcomed.
 

shiftstealth

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Jan 2, 2009
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I'm using the gigabyte board and a 7750, only have the 7750 for 4 more days, got a 940 in the mail, love this board so far.

Overclocked my 7750 to 3.2GHZ @ 1.425V on that board as well.

The board also supports Phenom 2's as i just stated.

Get a WD drive, seagates fail. Look for a 500W PSU with case if your going that way as those PSUs are generic and arent really 400W

It seems that AMD will support AM2+ longer than LGA775 will last yeah, AM3 is already able to go into am2+ sockets.

The 940 Imo is better than the Q6600 but isnt as good as the Quad core extremes in the 775 so yeah i like amd more in that sense.

Diablo 3 All you should need is a video card if you get a kuma to 3.2ghz


PS on that mobo im using well soon

Phenom II 940 (Speed TBD)
4GB 800 mhz ram @ 4-5-5-15
GTX 280 650 mhz core overclocked @ 60C while heavy gaming
Corsair 650W PSU
Thermaltake V1 as cooler on the Kuma so @ 1.425V im only at like 46C 100% load for 5-10 minutes.
 

amalston

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Mar 6, 2009
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Nik_I, that board would be an excellent choice, but I really want a board with 2 PCI-e 16x 2.0 slots so I can do Crossfire.

I also want to add that I plan on upgrading this system to a quad processor and run another graphics card in Crossfire configuration, would that be possible with my current chosen 400w PSU?

I noticed some motherboards state explicitly they support crossfire, and some do not. Should the motherboard I have chosen support crossfire, even though it does not explicitly state it does?

Also does anyone know how to compute how many devices you can hook up to your PSU until it becomes unstable?
 
You need a bigger PSU for HD 4830 Crossfire. Sapphire recommends at least 450W.
It also needs to have two PCI-E connectors. Something like Corsair 550VX would do, for example.
 

amalston

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Mar 6, 2009
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Thanks for the help guys. I purchased my parts earlier today and here is what I chose.

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case for 45 dollars from Microcenter.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply for 50 dollars including instant/mail-in rebates and coupons.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500410AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive for 60 dollars

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148377

POWERCOLOR AX4830 512MD3-H Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail for 65 dollars including mail in rebates and coupons.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131129

ASRock A780GXE/128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
140W phenom w/ 128M sideport memory, AM3 CPU ready for 80 dollars, including 7 dollars shipping.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157139

AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition Processor - Retail for 55 dollars including coupons.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103300

Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail for 17 dollars including rebates and coupons.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220293

LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM for 25 dollars.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136153

The total is 425 dollars (not including the case). Including rebates the total is 370 dollars.