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I wanna build $500 Gaming Machine

Last response: in Systems
December 8, 2005 3:57:29 PM

I need some help i will only use this computer for 3 games WoW Cod Cod2 this is all i need it for.

I need some help i only have $500 to work with all i wanna build is the tower.

Please help me

December 8, 2005 4:41:00 PM

Do you have any parts to start with? Case, Power Supply, CD-Rom, etc?

It's alot easier to stay under $500 if you have some of the basic components laying around.

If not my first suggestion would be to look for a cheap barebones case.
December 8, 2005 4:43:47 PM

Yes i have keyboard mouse montior. but i dont have a case and psu and i need everythign thats in a tower
Related resources
December 8, 2005 4:57:09 PM

Back in October THG ran a story about a $500 gaming system. If you haven't seen the article here is a link.

Like the article explains the most important components are the video card, processor, and ram. Everything else could be fairly generic, as cheap as you can get.

You are going to get the most bang for your buck from an AMD processor, so I would look for that platform. Try to get at the very least 512MB of RAM, maybe more if the games you want to play require more.

Because graphics are the most important thing in regards to games, make sure you allocate at least $100-150 for a video card. The Nvidia 6600GT would be a good choice for a budget system.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
December 8, 2005 5:07:52 PM

I was reading that went to and they no longer have the s939 3000+ L2 512k 1ghz FSB so i am like well i am SOL :oops: 

so i was thinking of getting a AMD Sempron 64 s745 and mb with a pci-e 16x :lol: 
December 8, 2005 5:55:19 PM

Would this be good for Budget gaming pc for like WoW Cod Cod2


Cpu:AMD Sempron 64 2800+ Palermo 800MHz FSB Socket 754 Processor Model SDA2800BXBOX - Retail

MB:ECS NFORCE4-A754 Socket 754 NVIDIA nForce4-4X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Memory:CORSAIR ValueSelect 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model VS512MB400 - Retail

HD:Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM

Video Card:XFX PVT42PUDP3 Geforce 6800 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail


Video card: Leadtek PX6600GT TDH Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail

DVD-Rom:LITE-ON Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model SOHD-16P9SV - Retail

Let me know what you think :lol: 
December 8, 2005 6:03:05 PM

I have played WoW on a system with 512 RAM and it was painful especially during travel (which is a big part of WoW), or say a fight with many players involved. The frequent memory freezes were a big part of what made me upgrade to 1Gb. I know you are on a budget, just a thought though.
December 8, 2005 6:09:08 PM

so just throw other 512mb andi am good i hope :lol:  :D 
December 8, 2005 6:19:18 PM

I tried doin a $500 gamer and found it viable with slight upgrade than Tom's. Well, his machine is like 520 so not exactly 500.

CPU is fine but you need some OC. Cuz 2.0 ghx is like the minimum. An alternative is sempron 3000 for 12 bucks more but you only need to OC 200mhz instead of 400mhz.

scrap that dvd rom and get one for dirt cheap from a used parts shop. Or use a cd-rom 'cause you don't need all dvd yet.

like killz86 said, save what ever money you can and get 1gb of ram. It is crucial that you do that!!! look around on I think zipzoomfly has the corsair VS for 73 free shipping. if you don live in CA then no tax.

get the 6800 in my opinion. the extra 128mb of ram on it will be handy. for better performance you probably wanna OC the GPU too.

PSU: cheap ones come with the case. so look around on newegg.

anyway this thing will be not upgradable in the future so your stuck with it.
December 8, 2005 6:55:06 PM

i need this computer to play WoW i love that game :lol:  and thats really the only game i play so i mean i could spent more then $500 like $600 but it would take me a little longer to get it or even $700 i dont know what i could use it for on $200 extra money :lol: 

so just let me know

December 8, 2005 7:12:29 PM

Here is a gaming rig for under $500. All parts can be found on I have included the model numbers so you can simply plug them into the search box.

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 2800+ Socket 754 -$125- ADA2800AXBOX

Motherboard: Chaintech microATX Socket 754 PCI-Ex16 -$44- MBAV-MK8T890

RAM: Corsair ValueSelect 2x512 pc3200 -$72- VS1GBKIT400

VideoCard: Sapphire x700 256 PCI-Ex16 -$102- 100122

Harddrive: Western Digital 80gb SATA150 -$55- WD800JD

Case: Aspire MidTower 420watt PowerSupply -$36- ATXB2KL-AL/420

Optical Drive: Rosewill CD-RW/DVD-ROM -$26- RB-321

TOTAL: $460

Further recommendations: The above rig should run your games with total smoothness on med-low settings. Its only $460 but u have to take shipping into consideration, possibly another $30-40. Also if you can find a CD drive at almost no cost you could spend the extra money in a video card. Overclock your processor from 1.8ghz to 2.0ghz, the extra 200mhz should give a large perfomance increase. GOOD LUCK
December 8, 2005 7:22:41 PM

The configuration that poO_onyou listed seems pretty good. You have to watch out for the motherboard there is a bios upgrade that needs to be done right out of the box.

Like I said earlier the Nvidia 6600GT for $120 would be a much better card than the Sapphire x700 that poO suggested. You had said that you liked the 6800GT which is an even better card. Either one of the Nvidias would be a good choice.
December 8, 2005 7:24:14 PM

Also with only the $50 cost difference I would definately go with an Athlon 64 over a Semperon 64.
December 8, 2005 10:15:52 PM

Thanks for helping me on this now i know what to get when i get my income tax :D  :D 

Thanks alot :lol:  :D  :D 
December 9, 2005 1:55:35 AM

what kind of computer did you build.

And other thing i dont know is was thinking of going with p4 with pci-e 16x but i dont know
December 9, 2005 2:09:16 AM

my computer has elvolved over time is not a staight build. currently i am running a AMD 4000+, 2 gigs XMS memory, 80gb hd, 9800pro (next big thing to upgrade, my current mother board has both AGP and PCIE). My computer can run WoW maxed out graphics no problem at all. The RAM is a huge factor for playing MMOs like WoW and EQ2 u must get 1 gig. I went heavy on my processor because i play more counter strike: source then anything, which is a very processor heavy game.
December 9, 2005 3:00:34 AM

I have to work on building a new one soon, but what I built spring 2004 was:

P4 3.0 Ghz Northwood
2x512 Mushkin 2-2-2 special PC3200
2 36GB Western Digital Raptors - RAID 0
200GB Seagate SATA 7200RPM
Sapphire ATI 9600SE AGP8x
16x Dual Layer DVD/RW

I haven't gotten into WoW but it works good for UT2004 and WarCraft 3.
December 9, 2005 3:12:41 AM

My old computer was until it got stolen. :x :cry:  :cry: 

Mb:K8V Deluxe
Cpu:Amd Anthlon 3000+ 512k 800fsb s754
Memory 1gb ddr400
HDD 80gb sata
Video Card:ASUS Geforce 6800GT 256mb DDR3 APG 8X
Cutsom Case
DVD-Rom 16x black
DVD-RW Black

17" LCD
HP 4-1 printer
Wireless mouse and Keyboard
Creative THX 7.1 750Watt system

I mean all the parts i had cost like $1300 or a little more

I miss my old computer so much because i put my blood and time in to it (i got cut alot lol)

but that was my computer before it got stolen from me :cry:  :cry: 

And now i am on Hp Intel Celeron 466 256mb 4mb video card 20gb hdd 17" montior AND I HATE THIS COMPUTER!!! :twisted:

thats why i asked about building 1 for $500 because thats all the money i have coming from my taxe return that i can use towards a computer the rest of it towards bills :cry: 
December 9, 2005 3:55:58 AM

Sucks dude! Do you have house insurance or renter's insurance? If you do you should be able to get some money out of them, all you would need is a police report if you reported the theft.
December 9, 2005 11:38:42 AM

more like a $500 budget gaming machine come on man go all out
December 11, 2005 11:42:19 PM

I just built one :) 

Chaintech nforce4 ultra mobo
2.0ghz athlon venice core
1 gig DDR 400 corsair ram
connect3D x800 GTO

used rest of parts from old pcs


it doesnt run games on heighest but i play F.E.A.R. and doom 3 and all those at neer highest with perfect smoothness.

It seemes not needed to run games at max, cuz seriously ur not supposed to be able to run ur games at highest of heighest. Thats just for the rich geeks. You know if its a good game playing it on med graphics wll be 99.9% just as good.

and it is :) 

im very very satisfied for my like 480 dollar machine.

it just flys along with everything.

I got 2 hdds, i can dl like 9 movies at once, while playing fear and having a bunch of progs running in the background.
December 12, 2005 3:59:53 AM

Yah... Just to jump in imho its highly important you get a 939 mobo and processor if you ever want to upgrade the budget system cause 754 is old.. make sure you get pcie also if you can fit it in your budget cause ati and nivdia dont make agp anymore...
December 12, 2005 4:01:29 AM

Or i should say they dont make there new cards in agp anymore...
December 12, 2005 5:00:25 AM

i did not know that
December 12, 2005 5:04:01 AM

Thats why im upgrading to pcie while my card is worth 250$ still. Cause for 250 i can throw 200$ on that and grab a nice pcie mobo and 7800gt.
December 12, 2005 5:26:34 AM

i mean see i need to know what would get the best gameplay for WoW
out of $500

like MB
Video card

i mean should i get nvidia or ATI

please let me know
December 12, 2005 10:14:20 AM

$500 is tough for any type of gaming machine, but you can put together a good "budget rig." Priority for parts on a gaming rig: GPU, CPU, Mobo, RAM, and PSU. I'll post later with a good spec recommendation around your price. Gotta get ready for work right now...
December 12, 2005 10:20:39 AM

lol, honestly?

Go buy the cheapest dell you can find and put a 6600 256mb card in it.

That is $500 and it will barely play WoW but for $500 thats all you can do.
December 12, 2005 10:26:01 AM

ARGH - 6600 256 SUCKs. Damn marketing BS - 256MB of RAM MUST be better than 128MB on that 6600GT.
December 12, 2005 2:30:13 PM

1. Mobo: Chaintach VNF4 Ultra $69
2. CPU: A64 3200+ (Venice) $163
3. GPU: eVGA 6600GT $125 after MIR
4. RAM: PQi Power series (2x512MB) $66.43
5. Case/PSU: Antec SLK 1650B $62
Antec Sonata II for $80 after MIR. The rebate on the Sonata II ends 13Dec, but there may one after the end of the year, too.
6. HDD: WD Caviar SE 40GB $49.
7. DVDRW: NEC 3550A $39

Total: $573.43 after MIRs.
That's assuming the SLK1650B case. If that amount is not feasible, then you can go with a s754 Sempron and a different mobo. It would put you in the $500 a performance price. I would recommend waiting until you can get the A64 - it has significant performance advantages over the Sempron in gaming.
December 13, 2005 12:23:16 AM

ARGH - 6600 256 SUCKs. Damn marketing BS - 256MB of RAM MUST be better than 128MB on that 6600GT.


i am not one of those ram=better people but for 6 bucks you have can 256 of FASTER ram. The 256 models have DDR3 instead of thats an upgrade for $6. its either the 6600 256 r the 6600GT....either is fine.

The only problem with what you posted is that he would still need Microsoft home XP which is roughtly $89 which goes over the budget.

You can get a cheap ass dell for like $299 with everything you need and then you have roughtly $200 for a gpu...
December 13, 2005 12:32:13 AM

I have windows Xp Pro form m last compuer that is the corp. verison

I was thinking of doing a intel system on the p4

just let me know what you think

December 13, 2005 12:46:08 AM

if you already have windows....get what rugger said.

intel BLOWS for gaming.
December 13, 2005 1:42:15 AM

I mean 500$ is a tight budget for gaming pcs honestly your better off with a x360 if you ask me lol.. srry i know im not helping.

Um you could try this..

Socket A mobo (60$)
Athlon xp 2000 (can get them for about 70$ i think OEM)
512 of cosair value ram (70$)
Case../w psu ahhh 80$
6600gt (best card for the money) (110$)
cheapest harddrive you can get off newegg...(50$)

Its Super tight budget... did i say super? lol.. Um off the top of my head thats exactly 500$ without shipping/tax

Another thing id do is order everything from and use fedex for shipping even if its 5$ more, ups breaks stuff. When you pick stuff make sure you enter the item into the search and see if there is a referb one that will save you alot of money.

Here is a secret: reason i was able to afford my 6800gt is cause i looked on newegg every day for 1 week straight looking for a referb 6800gt from a GOOD brand cause all they do is send it back to the manufacter and i got mine for 250$ basicly NEW with all the games...Splitters...Drivers...EVERYTHING even though newegg says you dont get anything with it. If the person before returned everything then you get ALL of it for 30-80$ less. And i havent had one problem i can overclock past Ultra speeds and i get 5737 on 05. So dont think referb stuff is always bad.

Anyways hope that helps you.

December 13, 2005 1:09:28 PM


The Intels are almost always more expensive when compaired to the AMD processors, and like others have said Intel does not work as good for gaming. If you are going as cheap as possible you need to look AMD.

Athlon 64 2800+ or 3000+ would probably work best with your budget.
December 13, 2005 8:33:29 PM

why are you repluing to me but talking to killz?

And amd isn't cheaper.

I can get a computer with keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS, and everything for $299. Because of Dell....For a super cheape computer you can't beat a Dell.
December 13, 2005 9:10:55 PM

It wouldn't hurt to look on eBay. My last 3 video cards have come from there. Staying 1 generation or so behind can save you some decent money that can be applied elsewhere.
You could even try and find a whole system. I'm sure someone is dumping their 3GHz Socket 478 P4 with a 6600GT or 6800 in it (or whatever your AMD/ATI preference is).
Thinking bout your upgrade path is a good idea on paper, but in reality, the interfaces will most likely have changed by the time you're looking to buy again anyway. If you're on a budget, for you maybe 'it' really is on eBay.
December 13, 2005 9:13:45 PM

i hate ebay....but thanx for the thoughts....

Just a little FYI....clcik reply on the post of the person you are talking to.
December 14, 2005 7:17:09 PM

Like I said pickxx AMD is "almost always" cheaper. Dell orders processors in such high quantities that if you buy a whole cheap system, the P4 in it is cheaper. If you buy compairable processors in a single quantity the AMD is going to be cheaper.

....and sorry for clicking the wrong person when I last replied, I guess some people get ticked off if you don't respond right.
December 15, 2005 4:25:46 AM

....and sorry for clicking the wrong person when I last replied, I guess some people get ticked off if you don't respond right.

yes, i just makes it easier for me to know who is talking to who.
December 15, 2005 10:30:12 PM

Well heres about a $500 gaming system (i only spent 600 on mine a year ago...)

AMD 64 939 3000 or 3200 = 170
Some cheap, mobo = 60
6600 GT = 110
512 Value Ram = 40
DVD Drive = 20
Cheapest HDD = 40
Cheap Case/PSU combo = 40

Thats like 530... but u can skimp on the cpu i think..
December 16, 2005 10:01:30 AM

Yes the Dell is cheaper....but it is cheaper for a reason. You need to verify there is an AGP or PCIe slot on the mobo so upgrading the GPU is an option. The performance difference between stepping down to $300 and stepping up $75 is phenomenal. I just wouldn't go that route...
December 16, 2005 12:01:01 PM

I wouldn't either but a full computer for $500? thats your only option.....

Personally i would wait for a bigger budget. he cheapest option i would build a computer with is about $650....and thats reusing a lot of stuff.
December 17, 2005 2:17:30 AM

Ok...I think i found my computer but i need help on picking my video card. :( 

Here is The Spec's i have 2 differnt spec's so let me know what you think of this..

MB:ASUS K8N-E DELUXE Socket 754 NVIDIA nForce3 250Gb ATX AMD $59

CPU:AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Newcastle 800MHz FSB Socket 754 $124

Memory:p atriot Signature Series 1GB PC400 $59.50

HDD:Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 $55

Case:RAIDMAX Scorpio Black Gaming Case 420watts $45

CD:ASUS Black IDE CD-ROM Drive Model $20

CD-RW:ASUS Black IDE CD Burner Model $23

Keyboard&Mouse:Logitech Cordless Desktop LX700 $79.98

Now i dont know which video card to get :( 

1ST : ASUS V9999GT/TD/256M Geforce 6800GT 256MB GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X Video Card $285

2nd:p NY VCG6600GAPB Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X Video Card $116

3rd:Apollo 9800PRO AGP 8X / 4X Radeon 9800PRO 128MB DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card $95

4Th:JATON 3DForce6600GT Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X Video Card $113

Or i could do this for Mb and video

Mb: ASUS 90-M9L0L1-G0UAYZ Socket 754 NVIDIA nForce4-4X Extended ATX Motherboard/VGA Set $150 :p 

Video card:ASUS EN6600/TD/128 Geforce 6600 128MB DDR PCI Express x16 Video Card

Now the Video card and MB are both for $150 or if i dont go with this i need help picking on of the video cards above^^^^ :lol: 

Please let me know


P.S Please help me on this
May 12, 2009 5:35:48 AM

Try Mine AMD Phenom 9650
Sapphire Radeon 4670
Foxconn A7Da
Cheap cooler
500 GB Drive From WD AT 7200 RPM

PS: This Has Been tested By me Playing COD 1,4,5 ,Left 4 Dead,Transformers ETC
And Noticed Little Flaws When overclocking With FoxOne,Has crossfire 2 PCIE 16
Updateable To AM3 (when have more $$$ Vid card update) and i suggest better Power Supply about 500-600 watts
a b B Homebuilt system
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 24, 2010 6:25:30 PM

Pfft! Thread from the 2005 @@ Anyway fast forward Oct 2010