$650 Light gaming build

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Jul 8, 2006
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763
The only suggestion being ignored was the Antec Neo Eco PSU because 1. It didn't fit the budget with the rest of the build and 2. Its $71 and a Seasonic 520W S12II costs slightly less from Amazon with free shipping. You told me not to buy the cheaper Antec or the OCZ and I didn't; I'm not ignoring suggestions.

horrorshow posted early on suggesting I go to a Phenom II 945 X4 with G. Skill ram so I built around that with a combo deal that let me get the 945 CPU + $96 A-DATA ram and save $15 making it the same price as the cheapest G. Skill which lacks heat spreaders and both have lifetime warranties. I was perfectly fine with the biostar motherboard but was concerned about the amount of memory slots which is why I've been trying to piece together a system that met a decent PSU+4 slot motherboard+945 X4 that I could fit in my budget with the XFX HD4850, monitor, already purchased hard drive, and DVD drive.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
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46,062
You guys are a bit a crazy man. The OP is just asking questions and justifying certain decisions. We're not always right ya know....

Anyway, OP, enjoy the build. Post a final build list before you buy for last minute changes. etc.
 
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You guys are a bit a crazy man. The OP is just asking questions and justifying certain decisions. We're not always right ya know....

Anyway, OP, enjoy the build. Post a final build list before you buy for last minute changes. etc.

I might be ordering it tonight. I have like 6 different builds in a spreadsheet that I'm all looking at but the ones that fall under budget do so because I changed the HD4850 from XFX to Asus for a combo deal + mail in rebate. Builds with an X3 440 and X4 635 are completely doable but my goal is to fit the Phenom II 945 X4 into the build even if I have to pay out of pocket for it. I could get a Visiontek HD4850 for $105 from Tigerdirect + 12% Bing CashBack and still retain a life time warranty on the card in exchange for getting a reference cooler.

Kind of depressed I missed this deal, would have helped a lot if I saw it before it went out of stock. But someone over at johnnyguru said they were defective builds and only have 1 PCI-E connector which is kind of amusing.
 
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SLiGuy

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jan 20, 2006
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1,146
Kind of depressed I missed this deal, would have helped a lot if I saw it before it went out of stock. But someone over at johnnyguru said they were defective builds and only have 1 PCI-E connector which is kind of amusing.
I bit on one of those deals last night. I doubt anyone has actually gotten theirs yet as the deal barely went up late last night, but the reason it only shows it as having 1 PCIe connector may be due to the fact that it has 1 standard 6-pin PCIe connector and 1 6+2-pin PCIe connector. So technically, it does have 2, it's just a categorization error; I believe Newegg has it listed as 1 connector as well, unless they changed it.
 
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My Build:

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
+
MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
= $215 - $15 MIR

XFX ATI Radeon HD 4850 1 GB DDR3 VGA/DVI/HD MI PCI-Express Video Card
$110

ASUS VW224T - 22-Inch Wide LCD Monitor
$150

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
$19

Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB SATA2 7200rpm 16MB Hard Drive
$40

Lian Li PC65B case
$Free, reusing it

Patriot PGV34G1333ELK Sector 5 4GB PC10666 RAM
$85 - $15 MIR

Corsair CMPSU-450VX 450-Watt VX
$65 - $15 MIR

Total = $684 -$45 MIR shipped
After Rebate costs: $639

PSU: Japanese components, Amazon dropped their price to match neweggs(except Amazon offers free shipping) and just added a rebate to it that wasn't there before, 5 year warranty, tested to put out up to 570watts while having ripple and fluctuations well within spec.

GPU: Best bang for you buck out there, double lifetime warranty from XFX

CPU: Unfortunately this PC's primary use isn't gaming even though it is part of the criteria, I felt more CPU horsepower will increase the life of the system especially since the games that are being played on the computer are mostly old to begin with and will be CPU limited if anything. I didn't feel overclocking cheaper processors was a realistic route because 1. The PC's location is in a semi closed off desk where temps won't be consistent and may even get toasty(I'm going to try and remedy this but no guarantees) 2. Costs of good CPU coolers just about cover the difference between a $100 processor and a $140 processor and the L3 cache helps a lot in some areas. I considered a P2 X2 555 but didn't think I'd be satisfied if I received it and it wouldn't unlock.

Monitor: Cheapest 22" out there, made by Asus and good enough for me.

Ram: Super cheap high end ram on sale today, allowed me to combo the CPU with motherboard for savings.

Motherboard: 4 Ram slots, USB3.0, MSI, $75 after combo savings not including the rebate. What isn't to like?

Hard Drive: Caught it on sale for cheaper than any other 500GB, Samsung F3's are the fastest around so I hear.
 
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Timonthy

n00b
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
63
My Build:

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
+
MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
= $215 - $15 MIR

XFX ATI Radeon HD 4850 1 GB DDR3 VGA/DVI/HD MI PCI-Express Video Card
$110

ASUS VW224T - 22-Inch Wide LCD Monitor
$150

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
$19

Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB SATA2 7200rpm 16MB Hard Drive
$40

Lian Li PC65B case
$Free, reusing it

Patriot PGV34G1333ELK Sector 5 4GB PC10666 RAM
$85 - $15 MIR

Corsair CMPSU-450VX 450-Watt VX
$65 - $15 MIR

Total = $684 -$45 MIR shipped
After Rebate costs: $639

PSU: Japanese components, Amazon dropped their price to match neweggs(except Amazon offers free shipping) and just added a rebate to it that wasn't there before, 5 year warranty, tested to put out up to 570watts while having ripple and fluctuations well within spec.

GPU: Best bang for you buck out there, double lifetime warranty from XFX

CPU: Unfortunately this PC's primary use isn't gaming even though it is part of the criteria, I felt more CPU horsepower will increase the life of the system especially since the games that are being played on the computer are mostly old to begin with and will be CPU limited if anything.

Monitor: Cheapest 22" out there, made by Asus and good enough for me.

Ram: Super cheap high end ram on sale today, allowed me to combo the CPU with motherboard for savings.

Motherboard: 4 Ram slots, USB3.0, MSI, $75 after combo savings not including the rebate. What isn't to like?

Hard Drive: Caught it on sale for cheaper than any other 500GB, Samsung F3's are the fastest around so I hear.

The CX400 is perfectly enough for a single 4850 for $27AR, and an Athlon X4 635 saves you ~$70 while sacrificing only about 5-10% performance.
Spending the extra $70 on a 5770/GTX460/HD5830 would be alot better for gaming IMO.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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Messages
763
The CX400 perfect enough for a single 4850 for $27AR, and an Athlon X4 635 saves you ~$70 while sacrificing only about 5-10% performance.

Just my 2 cents.

The 635 is $100, the 945 is $140. edit: or did you mean the CX400+635 saves me $70?

I still feel concern with the CX400 but I know its a great PSU that delivers more than it is rated for but the 450 has the longer warranty by 2 years. It is something I'm still debating but I also know 4850's eat more power than the modern 5750's. Those components do save me money but then where would you suggest I invest that money in the system? That is why I have a 945 picked out because I feel it has the best return for improving the computer's speed in the long run.
 
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Messages
763
I suppose I'll swap out for the 400w then. I doubt the corsair will fail me if it makes it past the first 3 years. CPU probably won't be overclocked because of the case placement and stock cooler and if the GPU does get OC'ed it should be able to handle it.
 

Timonthy

n00b
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
63
The 635 is $100, the 945 is $140. edit: or did you mean the CX400+635 saves me $70?

I still feel concern with the CX400 but I know its a great PSU that delivers more than it is rated for. It is something I'm still debating but I also know 4850's eat more power than the modern 5750's. Those components do save me money but then where would you suggest I invest that money in the system? That is why I have a 945 picked out because I feel it has the best return for improving the computer's speed in the long run.

For some reason I though the 635 was $75, sorry.

The fact is the 635 and 945 are pretty much identical in terms of design besides the lack of L3 which helps more in rendering and encoding than gaming; and for future proofing, the best option is actually the X3 435+good GPU, then upgrade later when DB comes out, as then even the flagship Thubans whould be slow in comparison.

The fact is unless you are going to play games like GTA4 which is extremely CPU intensive, getting an better GPU will net better performance, and you could always OC the CPU.

Heres a chart with the power usages, http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_465/27.html
The 4850 uses the same power as the 5850, which is about a quarter better than the 4850.

Your net power usage of your whole system w/o the GPU is only about 150W MAX. (~125W for the CPU, ~10W for the board, ~5W for the RAM, ~5W for the HDD, and another 5W for FANs/LEDs)
with the 400CX out putting a net 325W, you'll have 175W leftover for a GPU, which is enough for even a 5870.
 
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Messages
763
For some reason I though the 635 was $75, sorry.

The fact is the 635 and 945 are pretty much identical in terms of design besides the lack of L3 which helps more in rendering and encoding than gaming; and for future proofing, the best option is actually the X3 435+good GPU, then upgrade later when DB comes out, as then even the flagship Thubans whould be slow in comparison.

The fact is unless you are going to play games like GTA4 which is extremely CPU intensive, getting an better GPU will net better performance, and you could always OC the CPU.

Heres a chart with the power usages, http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_465/27.html
The 4850 uses the same power as the 5850, which is about a quarter better than the 4850.

Your net power usage of your whole system w/o the GPU is only about 150W MAX. (~125W for the CPU, ~10W for the board, ~5W for the RAM, ~5W for the HDD, and another 5W for FANs/LEDs)
with the 400CX out putting a net 325W, you'll have 175W leftover for a GPU, which is enough for even a 5870.

More expensive GPU would be a little crazy considering most the gaming on it will be UT2004 and some source games don't you think? Thats why I was going to put more into the CPU because a 4850 is already overkill and I don't know what to do with the extra money other than a CPU or GPU. Tomshardware's performance index shows a 945 is about 22% faster then the 435(which is a small increase for a $75 price difference no doubt). If this system was for myself I'd be all for the 435 because I would appreciate a faster GPU however grandma is probably more interested in the computer lasting longer doing what she does.

Ventilation around the computer is very poor so overclocking would definitely require an aftermarket cooler that runs $35~ from what I've looked at so that option looks somewhat risky.

X3 435(and a possible core unlock) + 5770 vs a X4 945 + 4850 in a computer that will be surfing the web 95% of the time for its lifespan(which will probably be something like 8 years).

How are the stock AMD coolers? If I did go with the 435 whats the cheapest aftermarket cooler I can get that will be able to handle an OC to 3.5ghz? I suppose down the road a CPU upgrade would probably be pennies for an X6 by the time the system slows down enough to warrant a CPU upgrade.

And is there any major difference between the 440 and 435? The combo hossdaddy posted a 440+asus motherboard that saved $15 earlier in this thread making the CPU cheaper than an oem 435.

edit: I've been spending way too much time looking at every possible combo for this rig and I've come to the following conclusions:

1. a 4870 is faster than the 5770 for cheaper 95% of the time and after rebate is $10 more than a 4850
2. Gaming wise CPU makes no difference, and I'm way too caught up on whether an X3 can handle browsing the web for longer than a Phenom II can
3. 400W PSU is enough
4. Overclocking the CPU and keeping it stable is probably unrealistic without a high end(expensive) HSF given the poor airflow to the computer
 
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Messages
763

Yes I know :p I was just building a system around it

XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
+
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7
= $209 - $40 MIR

Why the 650W? Because with an X4 635 it fits the budget and after all the savings makes it almost as cheap as the 400w


AMD Athlon II X4 635 Propus 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX635WFGIBOX
+
MSI 770-G45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
=$165

Why? Because I like quads, it fits the budget, and I don't want to risk unlocking/overclocking grandma's rig man. I've been too hung up on the differences between a Phenom II's cache and an Athlon II's when it really makes little difference with such low end graphics anyway

ASUS VW224T - 22-Inch Wide LCD Monitor
$150

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
$19

Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB SATA2 7200rpm 16MB Hard Drive
$40

Patriot PGV34G1333ELK Sector 5 4GB PC10666 RAM
$85 - $15 MIR

Total = $667 - $55 = $613 after MIR

I give up this build is perfectly fine and arguing the differences between X3 OC'ed + 5770/4870 vs X4 + 4870 vs Phenom II X4 + 4850 is just spinning tires. Ordering within the hour unless anyone gives me anything else to be indecisive over.

Thanks for the help to anyone who contributed to the thread :) and sorry if you felt ignored with your suggestions
 
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horrorshow

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
8,068
Solid rig man. I'd game on it.

Go for it!

And don't forget to post pics when it's setup!
 
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Messages
763
Solid rig man. I'd game on it.

Go for it!

And don't forget to post pics when it's setup!

The worst part is I'm tempted to swap my 512mb 4870 with the 1GB :p

Who knows maybe for the first time in a build I get a great CPU and it has unlockable L3 cache.
 
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4LC4PON3

DERP!
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
4,230
LOL its a Solid build expecially for an elder women. No one here is offended or anything. Grab the build & game on. Im also with you on this I always go for a Quad core because the chances are you get a x3 core & it doesnt unlock or even does unlock you basicly wasted money & time

if it unlocks you waste alot of time just testing the stupid thing
if it doesnt unlock you lost a core that could be essential to the game since games are coming out that use Quads
 

horrorshow

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
8,068
LOL its a Solid build expecially for an elder women.

Seriously man, if some burglar came in and took my rig in the middle of the night, and his
Grandma showed up all like; "Here ya go sonny" etc.

I'd game on it for sure.

A x4 635, 4GB, and a 4870 1GB?

Shhhhhiiii....... That will play pretty much anything on the market right now and look fantastic!

(I'm saving up for a secondary rig, and this build is pretty on point with what I'm planning)
 
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763
Posting from the rig now, idles at 29C and sits at 34C while web browsing(stock cooler with AS5).

Only have 1 issue, the Power LED header in the motherboard manual is only 2 pins, my case's connecter is a 3 pin connector with 2 wires. The only other place I can connect it is marked POWER LED and GROUND where the corresponding wires go and STANDBY in the middle where there is no wire.

When I connect it my power LED flashes, I hit the power button and the light goes out with no boot. Any ideas? I'll post pictures of the manual in a few hours, I have to go to class.

edit: Odd, works now...but the light stays on when the system is off.
 
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horrorshow

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
8,068
Sounds like it's just a bad light on the case.

Either way, PIC PLEASE.

This was a labor of love for several of us, so it's nice to see the fruits etc.

:)

A few benches would be fun too heh
 
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I'll grab my camera tomorrow and take some pics.

The processor was a nightmare though, I pulled it out of the plastic case and it had foam from where it sits in the packaging STUCK in about 1/5 of the pins. I had to take a needle and perform careful surgery to extract it

edit: Been testing the system a bit, default vcore was 1.375v (I read motherboards are always way off with AMD processors) and was hitting 1.425v under load with a max temp of 65C. AMD rates the processor at 1.25v, I have it set at 1.211v in the motherboard now hitting 1.272v under load with a max temp of 55C. I might try a little overclocking considering the amount of room I've got to play with(71C rated max) and temps will drop a bit over the next few weeks with the AS5 setting in.


The XFX 4870 is another story, the fan is absolutely quiet even at 100% but its running furmark right now and hitting 91C, my Powercolor doesn't go past 67C with 40% fan speed. The XFX uses a non reference cooler so it might be a lot weaker(the fan definitely is as the normal 4870 fan is a beast). I was told XFX allows cooling modifications under warranty, can I apply some AS5 and try to drop the temps some? The card is clocked at 790/1100 with no artifacting in furmark.
 
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horrorshow

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
8,068
It certainly couldn't hurt.

EDIT: That RAM OC is high enough. Apply the AS5 and work on the gpu clock etc.

As for the proc, I would aim for 3.4Ghz since your using stock cooling.
 
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It certainly couldn't hurt.

EDIT: That RAM OC is high enough. Apply the AS5 and work on the gpu clock etc.

As for the proc, I would aim for 3.4Ghz since your using stock cooling.

The card is as high as the drivers let me take it, I'm fine with that :p. Will throwing on AS5 void XFX's lifetime warranty?

http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=1296382

Couldn't help myself, had to bump from 1.365v default to 1.375v to get 3.4ghz stable at all(currently 15minutes into intel burn test which means it would probably pass prime for 10 hours no problem)

CPU-Z reports a max vcore of 1.448v, coretemp reports I've hit 71C with hovering around 68-70C. So this is the max I can do on stock cooling. 1.440v was unstable at 3.4ghz, I might be able to get another 50-100mhz without touching the vcore but its doubtful and already running max temps(it will never see 71C real world or even in prime, prime will probably push it to around 65C).
 
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horrorshow

Supreme [H]ardness
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The card is as high as the drivers let me take it, I'm fine with that :p. Will throwing on AS5 void XFX's lifetime warranty?

http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=1296382

Couldn't help myself, had to bump from 1.365v default to 1.375v to get 3.4ghz stable at all(currently 15minutes into intel burn test which means it would probably pass prime for 10 hours no problem)

CPU-Z reports a max vcore of 1.448v, coretemp reports I've hit 71C with hovering around 68-70C. So this is the max I can do on stock cooling. 1.440v was unstable at 3.4ghz, I might be able to get another 50-100mhz without touching the vcore but its doubtful and already running max temps(it will never see 71C real world or even in prime, prime will probably push it to around 65C).

If you really wanna have some fun, try Rivatuner or ATI tray tools.

Or.... go all out and flash your bios....

:)
 
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If you really wanna have some fun, try Rivatuner or ATI tray tools.

Or.... go all out and flash your bios....

:)

What part of CPU limited games don't you understand :p

edit: Never use MSI's overclocking software, apparently 1.35v vcore equals 1.8v under load....I've never shut a computer off so fast in my life. The processor is rock solid at 3.4ghz with 2100mhz HT Link and NB at 1.448v but 3.5ghz is completely unstable and even if I could hit I'd rather not increase the vcore anymore.

Prime hits 66C under load, Intel Burn Test hits 71C, system idles at 37C.
 
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