General Purpose PC, First Time Build, $600 Max

tnp

Distinguished
Jul 24, 2009
2
0
18,510
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1 month
BUDGET RANGE: US$500-600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 1080p H.264 playback, Smooth BluRay playback (in the future), Web Browsing, MS Office, Possibly some video transcoding

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, OS, Optical Drive, Artic 5 Silver Thermal Compound

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Have had good experience with NewEgg, but am open to other sellers

PARTS PREFERENCES: Western Digital Hard Drive, DDR3 Memory

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024, eventually 1920x1080 when I upgrade monitor

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I will NOT be gaming on the computer at all. I would like a decent CPU cooler (not whatever may be included in a retail CPU kit) and a reliable PSU with room for expansion (addition hard drive(s), additional optical drive(BluRay) in the future). Would also like some extra expansion slots because I may want to add in a wireless card or TV tuner some time in the future.


I have been looking around at parts for some time, and have been reading the forums here and at other websites, and this is what I have come up with but I am completely open to suggestion:

Case:
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

PSU:
Antec EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Processor:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail

CPU Cooler:
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

RAM:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK - Retail

Video Card:
SAPPHIRE 100253HDMI Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Low Profile Video Card - Retail

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
 
Dont forget to look at combos

AMD 720/ASUS 790GX $205 -$15 MIR costs $5 more before rebate but is a better board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.205337

Antec 300 Illusions/EA650 $132 saves you $5 and comes with more fans
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.215888

That ram and hard drive are fine, the stock cooler that comes with the AMD processor may even be better than that Freezer. Its pretty hefty. You may not even need a video card with that motherboard as many people use the 790GX chipset for HTPCs, and even if you do you dont need 650 watts, so you can swap down to the EA430 and save even more if you arent planning on adding a gaming card in the future
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006&Tpk=EA430

 
This looks very nice. It's a good PSU choice quality-wise but it's a bit excessive. I suppose it will be a good investment at that price though.

Do it this way though and you'll get the same case with two extra blue fans:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.215888

Sunbeam CCTF would be the cooler of choice, far better than the one you listed:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207004&Tpk=CCTF
You will have to shift the memory over, but this does not impact performance. Cooler will block the first two slots.

Ref:
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm