CPU/motherboard/RAM combo for less than $300

By ikesmasher ยท 11 replies
Nov 30, 2013
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  1. My current specs are as follows:
    Corsair C70
    Seasonic 750w PSU
    evga SC GTX 660
    White label 500GB 7200RPM SATA hard drive
    5 case fans + sentry fan controller

    What im looking to replace:
    Intel DG41CN motherboard
    4GB DDR2 (800?)
    Intel core 2 quad Q9400

    My requirements are:
    Must be at least 8GB of ram at at least 1600 for frequency.

    The CPU must be at least quad core (or in the FX series case, advertised quad core, because im pretty sure its similar enough). Must also be overclockable for future OCing.

    And the motherboard has to be normal ATX form factor. As much as I hate to limit colors, I would like the motherboard to have no reds or greens or anything like that. Basically, Blue/black/gray/brown is ok for base color. Id prefer for the motherboard to support SLI just in case, for the future. (by that I mean two of the PCI express slots run at x16/x16 or x16/x8.) Must be able to overclock selected CPU without dying.

    What my uses will be:
    3d modeling/occasional rendering in 3ds max
    Gaming (to the point where GTX 660 will be the bottleneck in pretty much all games, right now the CPU is limiting skyrim/GTA IV, and im sure other games I havent tried yet)
    Photo editing, gimp/photoshop, occaisonal photoshop rendering
    Video encoding (Mostly from fraps, but from other things too now and then)
    And many other things. Nothing quite as CPU intensive as the above though.

    Thats about all I got. Also no need to worry about a non stock-cooling solution as I will be replacing it with either a nice air cooler or a custom water cooling loop (something I haven't tried yet) later on when I feel the need to overclock. Then again, if the stock heatsink uses the push pins of death, ill buy something now. THE CHEAPER THE BETTER. I'd save $50 for a slightly degraded processor.
  2. hopgop1

    hopgop1 TS Booster Posts: 167   +34

    Do you have a budget in mind?
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,997   +1,317

    $300. but the less the better-basically the best price per performance build I can get for $300 or less. That has at least a quad core processor.
  4. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    hopgop1 likes this.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,997   +1,317

    I guess I should make clear that $300 is a strict max. And I was considering the FX yesterday but it went out of stock and I don't think it'll be back with those prices soon. If it does ill likely pick it up.

    Thanks for your input though, I'm not sure how I missed that motherboard.
  6. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Ah I see, you cant go over period, well I would still stick with that board, if you can get to frys Electronics, theres a sale on an i5 3570k and MSI Z77 board for $181.

    Or alternatively, drop the FX down to an FX 6350/70 and grab some 1600 ram to keep within budet of Vengeance.
  7. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,997   +1,317

    If the nearest frys wasent 2 hours away and I had access to a car to get there, I would be all over that :/

    Thanks for the help!
  8. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,997   +1,317

    Will an FX-63XX processor have significantly worse performance then the 8320 for my applications in the OP? Keeping in mind that I dont do particularly high end stuff in 3d modeling or photoshop or things like that, 3d modeling being lowish poly game models and stuff. But id like it to be much faster than my current processor when I do those things...
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    This should answer your question better than I ever could.
  10. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,997   +1,317

    Alright That does help, and while there is a performance change, I wont be using it all that much and I just have one final question:
    With an FX-6300 and a GTX 660 SC, will I ever have to worry about a CPU bottlenecking games?
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    That is a difficult question to answer, and really depends on how CPU dependent the game is or will be when it comes out. I'm not sure you should be looking at it, the way your question implies. Although I can certainly understand why you would want to know.
  12. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    In truth, the answer is a simple no. The performance game to game will of course vary depending on how CPU driven the game is. If your speaking on the idea of the GPU being the reason the game is not running well, then yes at that point the GPU will get to the reason of hte bottleneck in high end games. You could run a SLI/CFX high end setup on the CPU and still utilize the max power of the GPU's, only will in some really CPU driven games you might noticed some differences in performance. But for straight GPU driven games, you will be more than fine with an FX 6XXX series CPU. Plus you can overclock it up to 5ghz later on when you need some extra bang from your machine.

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