TechSpot

Attempting another budget build... again

By PoisonWolf
Oct 25, 2009
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. How's this for a budget build?

    Hey guys,

    I'm back. I've been shopping around lately, and this is what I've put together and i was wondering if anyone could give me some thoughts if this is an excellent performance/price ratio.

    I've come down to earth and decide that it's not worth spending 1000 USD on a PC when the very next year, the prices of all those components will drop drastically. What do you guys think of this? Will the integrated ATI support a resolution of 1680x1050?

    Is there anything else I'm forgetting? The reason why I chose the Propus is because some people are reporting that they are still getting the Deneb cores with just the L3 disabled so I thought that would make it an awesome deal for the price paid.

    Edit: I've opted to go with another PSU. Anymore ideas on how to drive down the cost of tower whilst maintaining an excellent performance/price ratio would be most welcome. However, I absolutely love the tower and that would be a staple (I like big fans!).

    [​IMG]

    or

    [​IMG]


    Cheers.
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    The second build is the better one.

    You can also do with a cheaper motherboard, like a 760G-based one, especially if you are only going to use the onboard video card.
  3. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    +1 Rage.

    What OS will you be using? Is 4GB RAM really necessary?
  4. Kcircyrd

    Kcircyrd TS Rookie Posts: 316

    Not good enough for a gamer. That much memory is a waste for anything else.
  5. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Guys,

    Uh, I'm going to be installing Windows 7 Ultimate on it. Also, that Biostar board apparently only supports DDR2, so I've swapped it out for G-Skill's DDR2 version which is suprisingly 5 USD more expensive? What? And I intend to play and overclock this processor.

    I love watching tonnes of flash videos. I think the only game I will play on this is Warcraft 3 (is the onboard video good enough for this? I don't know what is the max resolution for output that the onboard video will support). Other than that, I don't foresee myself playing anything else. Maybe Left 4 Dead?

    Any other recommendations?

    In the future, I might opt to get a decent single card, I'm not for double cards or anything like that, that's why I opted to stick with an ATX sized board since I've read that micro ATX boards can get really tiny?

    Cheers.
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    I you'll use it for gaming any time in future then stick with the 4 Gigs of RAM.

    Well, the onboard may be decent enough for WoW but L4D and other games will require a better graphics card.
  7. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Rit,

    Thanks for that. But just to clear things up, it's Warcraft 3, not WoW. I absolutely Wow. You know, that RTS from yeeaarrrsssss aggooo. Haha.

    Thanks again guys, I wouldn't mind hearing for more recommendations.

    Cheers!
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Warcraft III will run without issues. I would go with a cheaper case like the Antec Three Hundred though.

    Also, you will be fine with 2GB of RAM, unless you will ever be gaming on it, like Ritwik7 stated.

    mATX boards just have fewer expansion slots (i.e. PCI slots) compared to ATX boards. They are also usually worse-off when it comes to overclocking, since the HSF on the NB is not as well-cooled as on larger boards, and closer proximity to a hot video card and CPU (due to the smaller size) does not help.
  9. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Guys,

    One thing that has been bogging me, is it worth getting the better motherboard that supports DDR3? Or is there very little difference between DDR2 and DDR3 right now?

    Thanks Rage, okay, is there a board you would recommend that makes it easier to clock this processor to say 3.0 Ghz on air alone? I really love the case, but alas...if I need to drive the price down, I guess I will do what I must. :( Also, which Antec Three hundred are you referring to?

    Cheers.

    EDIT: I've went with the Three Hundred Illusion. Total price has dropped to 507 USD including shipping! Also, is buying a static wrist strap necessary for a first time builder? Thanks so far guys, I'm all for more recommendations on cheaper and better alternative mobos to drive the price down even further! But I definitely want to unlock that L3 cache on the Propus. :D
  10. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    There's no guarantee that you will be able to unlock the L3 cache on the Propus. Some of them (those based on the Deneb) will have their L3 cache disabled.

    There's no reason to go with DDR3 RAM on a budget build. There will be no performance differences.

    There may be other boards at lower prices but will probably require a BIOS update to support the Athlon II X4 for which you'll need to possess an older AM2+ CPU.
  11. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Rit,

    Thank you for your reply. Any specific mhz I should be aiming for? 800, 1066? There doesn't seem to be a drastic drop in the 800 vs 1066 ranges at all. I really wish this Crucial Ballistix would be in stock. The price is awesome for that range but it's out of stock. I wonder where Newegg will have them again.

    Once again, thank you everyone for the prompt replies and stuff. I'm currently reading on the Three Hundred Illusion and it seems that there's no switch for the LEDs at all...I might just splurge and stick with the HAF 922. I'll make that call later on tonight when it's time to place the order.

    Cheers.
     
  12. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Guys,

    Alrighty, I've come a decision and this is my final build I think. Are there any compatibility errors? I've decided that it was ridiculous for me to spend so much on a DDR2 ram and opted to just swap out the board selections and went for the cheaper DDR3. I know it's more expensive, but I figured, why pay 500 for a mobo that is using technology that is slowly phasing out. I might as well just pay 20 USD more for something that will last a little longer in this fast changing times.

    Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate all the feedback and help. Here's to this PC lasting me through grad-school!

    Cheers.

    [​IMG]
  13. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

  14. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    HelloKitty,

    Thanks so much for that suggestion, I don't know how I missed that. Do you know if it works with the AM3 platform and stuff though? I was getting confused because some RAM started advertising in the specifications like "Ready for Core i5 and i7 and P55 and AMD AM3, etc".

    If it works, I'm definitely adding that in.

    Cheers.
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,896   +88

    you will not be able to unlock the L3 cache as there physically is no L3 on the die.....Chinook is a liar! LOL
  16. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Red,

    Are you sure though? So many people are reporting that it can be unlocked. Surely they are not all lying?

    Also, how much of a difference are we talking about should there be an L3 cache versus the lack of it?

    Cheers.
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,896   +88

    Hi poison,
    I have been looking into this as in depth as I can around the net and all of the 'under the micron scope' shots (if you will) . show that the L3 is not there physically to unlock. most of the stories about L3 being unlocked around the web seem to be around this guy "chinook, that's not saying much for the success ratio of such an endeavor, or the value of it if its true as it was probably disabled (if it existed at all) because of defects in the first place.
    as for the second question, benches have shown a surprisingly low performance increase with the added benefit of L3 cache in applications other than gaming for that price range of CPU's.
    heres a benchmark to look at :) http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-athlon-ii-x4-620-review-test/1
  18. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Red,

    Thanks, I appreciate the time you put into that. On the brighter note, I don't think a lay person like me will notice too much whether the L3 is there or isn't. I'm upgrading from an ancient Core Duo T2500 laptop. Anything now will be an improvement for me (I think?). I think a person mentioned somewhere that a website ran a test stating that as long as DDR3 was used, the lack of L3 still makes it comparable against one other processor that I can't recall (not too familiar with AMD namings).

    I'm going to try and call Newegg tomorrow and see if they can waive my shipping or give me a discount. Lawl. I know it's unlikely, but it doesn't hurt to try I think.

    Thank you very much everyone, I totally appreciated all the help I've gotten here. I hope overclocking this thing to 3.0 Ghz won't be too hard! I have no idea on how to do any of that and will look forward to learning it. :D

    Cheers.
  19. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    Yes those DDR3 modules will work great :).
  20. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Guys,

    It just totally dawned on me. I'm sorry if this is extremely silly. But do I need to buy more SATA cables? Or are there any other cables I should be buying in order to get this running?

    I'd be so silly to have everything in front of me only to realize I don't have enough cables. :(

    Cheers.
  21. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    You'll get more than enough cables with the mobo.
  22. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Guys,

    I've managed to get a POST SCREEN! w00t! Haha, on the downside, my HAF-922 came with a little dent on the side panel. ;(

    Anyhow, I was wondering, it is stated that both 200mm fans are 700 RPM fans. however, when I looked at the BIOS and checked the RPMs, only the top-case fan is running at 700 (roughly) RPM. The front fan is only running at 350-ish.

    Is this an indicator that I'm drawing too much power from the board? (All fans are connected to the mobo) or is this the mobo controlling the fan speeds (I don't think this is the case because all my fan plugs are 3-pin sockets. Also, the corsair PSU is awesome and sturdy but the cables are not long enough to go behind the panel and as a result of this, it's like World War 3 in the case right now. :(

    Cheers.
  23. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Download and install the AMD Overdrive Utility. There is an option to set all fan speeds to 100%.
  24. PoisonWolf

    PoisonWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Rit,

    Thanks. Now, I just realized a problem, the RipJaws I have in there are only showing up as DRR3 1333. Is it okay if I manually change it to DDR3 1600? Do I need to adjust anything else besides that in the BIOS? I'm also not getting the reported 8-8-8-24 timings. :( I'm getting 9-9-9-27 or something like that.

    Cheers.
  25. bleaktrotter

    bleaktrotter TS Rookie

    Sometimes motherboards don't read memory specifications correctly when they see them. If your memory is rated for 1600mhz and 8-8-8-24, then you can set those in the motherboard.
    Personally though, if it were me, I'd stick with only lowering the timings. By changing the memory speed, you could be overclocking your CPU's speed and making your system unstable.
    Read up on overclocking before you change any of those. Not saying you should overclock, but that subject will perhaps help you understand why your motherboard lowered the memory's clock speed. It could be because the CPU's multiplier, FSB speed (that's what those athlon's use, eh?), and memory clock didn't have a common denominator.
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