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Old 03-08-2010, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PC for the Kiddies

Hey All.. Been lurking for a while, and soaking up a lot of information.. I'm an old-school builder.. Last PC I built was a monster back in 1997 or so. So, needless to say, I'm a little out of date on products, but definitely up to speed on knowledge... I was looking to head up to MicroCenter this weekend, since they advertise better prices than Newegg, and from my research, this has proven true. Anyway, I am building this machine for my kids (3 1/2 and 2). I obviously do not need anything top of the line right now, but am looking to get something that will last a while, and will be upgradeable in the future. Please let me know what you think of this build. The only thing I'm a little unsure of is the memory.. They have a few brands there, not even sure what is good anymore...

Case -- $49.99 -- Antec VSK-2000 ATX Mid-Tower Case - Black
Processor -- $99.99 -- AMD Athlon II X4 630 Quad-Core Processor
Mobo -- $54.99 -- M4A785-M Socket AM3 785G mATX Motherboard
Memory -- $72.99 -- OCZ Technologies Titanium XTC 4GB PC-6400 DDR2 Memory Kit
HD -- $49.99 -- Western Digital OEM Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200rpm SATA 3.0Gb/s HD OEM
DVD -- $29.99 -- Samsung OEM Dual/Double Layer 22x DVD+/-RW Burner OEM
Windows 7 -- $109.99 -- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM

Total CPU Cost comes out to $467.93.

Will end up picking up a random Wireless card and speakers, to end up bringing this machine somewhere in the $520 range...

I plan on using the onboard Video and Sound for now, since they should be MORE than sufficient for Leap Frog Math! But I can always upgrade that later on. I am looking to Run this pretty cheap for now, but again, allow for upgradability. Any thoughts? From everything I can see, that Mobo/Processor are pretty nice. I am thinking what I might have an issue with is the RAM, as I have no clue if OCZ is a reputable brand.
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC for the Kiddies

You'll need DDR3 memory with that motherboard. 4GBs should be MORE than enough for your needs. Thats a pretty powerful computer to run Leaf Frog, lol. I noticed that you didn't include a power supply, you'll need one to run a computer :P.

It may be cheaper for you to buy a prebuilt, which should still be more than enough for you; but you'll be giving up any future upgrades (or complicating it at least...).
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC for the Kiddies

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Originally Posted by aliasaid View Post
You'll need DDR3 memory with that motherboard. 4GBs should be MORE than enough for your needs. Thats a pretty powerful computer to run Leaf Frog, lol. I noticed that you didn't include a power supply, you'll need one to run a computer :P.

It may be cheaper for you to buy a prebuilt, which should still be more than enough for you; but you'll be giving up any future upgrades (or complicating it at least...).
The motherboard says it's AM3, but it's tech specs say it only takes DDR2...
I'm slightly confused here...
But if dcusick wants something upgrade able in the future...
He should get an AM3 motherboard that takes DDR3 memory.
Something like either a 780L, 785g, 790gx, or 890gx, as long as it takes DDR3 memory he should be good.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC for the Kiddies

Quote:
Originally Posted by orihS ‪‪‪Shiro View Post
The motherboard says it's AM3, but it's tech specs say it only takes DDR2...
I'm slightly confused here...
But if dcusick wants something upgrade able in the future...
He should get an AM3 motherboard that takes DDR3 memory.
Something like either a 780L, 785g, 790gx, or 890gx, as long as it takes DDR3 memory he should be good.
lol oops, thx for pointing that out orihS. I automatically assumed AM3 = DDR3. I know AM2/AM2+/AM3 take DDR2, but i didn't think an AM3 board would only take DDR2.

Newegg.com - ASUS M4A785-M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

Thats the exact same motherboard, but it says AM3/AM2+/AM2.

Anyways yea, that board will take DDR2. Like orihS, i also recommend getting an AM3 board and getting DDR3 memory to go along with it.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC for the Kiddies

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Originally Posted by aliasaid View Post
You'll need DDR3 memory with that motherboard. 4GBs should be MORE than enough for your needs. Thats a pretty powerful computer to run Leaf Frog, lol. I noticed that you didn't include a power supply, you'll need one to run a computer :P.

It may be cheaper for you to buy a prebuilt, which should still be more than enough for you; but you'll be giving up any future upgrades (or complicating it at least...).
You know, when I first checked everything out, I could have sworn that Case included an Antec PSU. Looking at it now, I guess I was wrong. I will have to add that to my list, thanks for pointing that out. I understand it is a little powerful for now, but in a few years, I would still like to be able to use this machine for some more advanced kids games... On top of ALL that, this computer will blow my current PC out of the water. So I can probably kick them off this PC when I need to do the video editing for the family movies. Would be nice to have that flexibility now.

I looked around at prebuilts, and I found this to be a much cheaper option. And I can control everything that I put in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orihS ‪‪‪Shiro View Post
The motherboard says it's AM3, but it's tech specs say it only takes DDR2...
I'm slightly confused here...
But if dcusick wants something upgrade able in the future...
He should get an AM3 motherboard that takes DDR3 memory.
Something like either a 780L, 785g, 790gx, or 890gx, as long as it takes DDR3 memory he should be good.
I agree, I was totally confused by this as well. I was initially looking at the Asus Mobo that was a step down, and it was labeled AM2/AM2+/AM3. That I know took DDR2. When I decided to go with this upgraded one, I saw it labeled as AM3, and it still took DDR2. I did look around the Asus site, and it is true that this board is AM2/AM2+ compatible as well, so still uses DDR2 memory. I wll look around, and see about getting a straight-up AM3 board, and upgrading the memory to DDR3.

Anyone have any thoughts on good memory brands?

OCZ, Patriot, Corsair, Crucial, AData??!?
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC for the Kiddies

The one I was looking at was the OCZ Reaper.

At $70 for name-brand 4gb DDR3 memory, I think it's a good deal. The only thing you'd have to worry about is which one to get (which one is compatible with your motherboard)
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC for the Kiddies

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Originally Posted by m42orion09 View Post
The one I was looking at was the OCZ Reaper.

At $70 for name-brand 4gb DDR3 memory, I think it's a good deal. The only thing you'd have to worry about is which one to get (which one is compatible with your motherboard)
That memory requires 1.9v to run at stock specifications.
If he had a newer Intel board, it wouldn't work, but being as he's using an AM3 board it should probably be fine. (Though ZipZoomFly is out of all it's budget DDR3 offerings.)

Also, to the OP's question.
Choose whichever brand is cheapest and is between 1333Mhz-1600Mhz in case you wish to overclock, (Also AM3 CPU's were made to run the memory at 1333Mhz at stock speeds.)
OCZ gets a large amount of reported DOA sticks with their budget RAM... If you do buy from them, run memtest as soon as possible.
I wouldn't touch a DDR3 1066 set.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC for the Kiddies

when you look at the microcenter website. LOOK up in the right corner and click on the march specials . they have a cpu/motherboard combos . after you look through the specials you might end up with a completely different build.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC for the Kiddies

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Originally Posted by orihS ‪‪‪Shiro View Post
That memory requires 1.9v to run at stock specifications.
If he had a newer Intel board, it wouldn't work, but being as he's using an AM3 board it should probably be fine. (Though ZipZoomFly is out of all it's budget DDR3 offerings.)

Also, to the OP's question.
Choose whichever brand is cheapest and is between 1333Mhz-1600Mhz in case you wish to overclock, (Also AM3 CPU's were made to run the memory at 1333Mhz at stock speeds.)
OCZ gets a large amount of reported DOA sticks with their budget RAM... If you do buy from them, run memtest as soon as possible.
I wouldn't touch a DDR3 1066 set.
Thank you again Shiro. I will go with the OCZ 4GB DDR3-1600(PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Memory Kit (Two 2GB Memory Modules)
set from OCZ. I am only 30 minutes away from Microcenter, if I get a dead stick or Memtest pops up some errors, I can easily exchange them if needed, without having to worry about shipping...

Quote:
Originally Posted by baih777 View Post
when you look at the microcenter website. LOOK up in the right corner and click on the march specials . they have a cpu/motherboard combos . after you look through the specials you might end up with a completely different build.

That is actually where I got my current build from.. The deal they have going now, is that if you get the AMD Athlon II X4 630 processor, you can take an additional $20 off of any AMD Mobo. I was originally looking at the 620 processor, but with this deal, I decided to go with the 630. I originally chose the M4A785-M mobo, since it got great reviews, especially for use with the 630. But after the suggestions above, I think I might go with an AM3 board, so I can up my memory to DDR3 sticks. Right now, I'm leaning towards this one... M4A785TD-M EVO Socket AM3 785G mATX Motherboard


**EDITED to add link to Memory Sticks
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC for the Kiddies

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Originally Posted by dcusick View Post
Thank you again Shiro. I will go with the OCZ 4GB DDR3-1600(PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Memory Kit (Two 2GB Memory Modules)
set from OCZ. I am only 30 minutes away from Microcenter, if I get a dead stick or Memtest pops up some errors, I can easily exchange them if needed, without having to worry about shipping...




That is actually where I got my current build from.. The deal they have going now, is that if you get the AMD Athlon II X4 630 processor, you can take an additional $20 off of any AMD Mobo. I was originally looking at the 620 processor, but with this deal, I decided to go with the 630. I originally chose the M4A785-M mobo, since it got great reviews, especially for use with the 630. But after the suggestions above, I think I might go with an AM3 board, so I can up my memory to DDR3 sticks. Right now, I'm leaning towards this one... M4A785TD-M EVO Socket AM3 785G mATX Motherboard


**EDITED to add link to Memory Sticks
Good motherboard choice.
Just make sure that RAM is good when you get it, and everything should be A-OK.
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