My friend needs a gaming PC for $550, help please

Could you guys help me build my friend a decent gaming PC for this price? He says that he wants to go with AMD and wants to use Socket 939 if possible for upgradability. Here is the current build I have, but any changes, major or minor, would be apprieciated. Please keep the budget at or below $550. Also note that he wants to do as little overclocking as possible. The main games he is going to play are Morrowind, Oblivion, Half-life (2), Day of Defeat, and more (his current PC can't play most modern games, so I don't know what else he would like to play).

TUL AX480A-GF Socket 939 ATI Radeon XPRESS 200 ATX AMD Motherboard - $50

AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 1GHz HT 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor - $120

G.SKILL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400- $63

MSI NX6600-TD128E Lite Geforce 6600 128MB 128-bit DDR PCI Express x16 Video Card - $79

APEX PC-115 Beige Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply - $25

Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2 - $90

Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JB 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - $51

NEC Beige 16X DVD +/- burner $37

Total: $515
49 answers Last reply
More about friend gaming please
  1. He has a PC with a 737 MHz Pentium 3, FX 5200 (PCI, not AGP) 256 MB RAM, a case that is really wearing down (its complete crap, I really doubt he would be willing to keep using it) and an extremely weak PSU (I think its like 200W).
  2. try configuring ur friend's PC through dell. :D Dell offers some cheap PCs and it even includes a flat panel display! :) :)

    P.S Dell does not sell AMD based PCs which kinda sucks with them! Michael Dell... a real Intel Fanboy! :lol: :lol:
  3. Quote:
    OK, that PC needs to be blown up into gazzilion pieces. No way you can make that respectable.
    That's why I decided just to build an entirely new PC for him. Would the new build be able to play most recent games decently? A 6600 is ok, one of my friends has one and he can play any game that has come out so far (not at great image quality, but hey, he can play them).
  4. Seems I have accidentally forgot to add in the 6600. I just edited it in.
  5. Thats what I call mission impossible........
    My A64 3500+ / 7800GS, 2GB ddr400, everything overclocked ...allready sweat and choke when I run oblivion with reasonable detail@ 1024x768....mind you my system is more like low end when you wanna play games like Morrowind.
    Things like a 7900GT could help you enormously , also would at least 1GB of ram(even if its valueram) ,...the money's a problem but there's no solution for this.
    If you wanna play with the big boys you need some cash...
    I dont think your 512mb ram would not be enough to even run it properly .
    I think it would be like a slideshow...HL2 could be playable but not in full detail/high res , hell no......
    Winxp demands 512 MB all by itself , let alone games......that means alot of swapping...
    Maybe save some more and then buy this setup...just more ram and a good GFX card
  6. GF 6600 you have allready....
    vanilla one?
    You can try and O/C it some , but even then its really mediocre.
    If you want to play in more then 800x600 at minimum details in these games you will have to upgrade....really
  7. Quote:
    Thats what I call mission impossible........
    My A64 3500+ / 7800GS, 2GB ddr400, everything overclocked ...allready sweat and choke when I run oblivion with reasonable detail@ 1024x768....mind you my system is more like low end when you wanna play games like Morrowind.
    Things like a 7900GT could help you enormously , also would at least 1GB of ram(even if its valueram) ,...the money's a problem but there's no solution for this.
    If you wanna play with the big boys you need some cash...
    I dont think your 512mb ram would not be enough to even run it properly .
    I think it would be like a slideshow...HL2 could be playable but not in full detail/high res , hell no......
    Winxp demands 512 MB all by itself , let alone games......that means alot of swapping...
    Maybe save some more and then buy this setup...just more ram and a good GFX card

    I don't think he minds playing with most of the effects off; he is used to using an FX5200. I just bumped up to 1 GB of RAM though.
  8. If he can get a loan untill the rebates roll in Tiger has a deal you get a bare bones PC (well not too bare actualy if you look) 3.2Ghz celeron D and almost everything else you need for $199.99 Spend the other 300$ on a decent video card and he should be ok ? thats the best I think you can do right now...

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=2119967&sku=I69-2119%20I&CMP=EMC-TIGEREMAIL&SRCCODE=WEM1089C

    check it out if you want ? its not a socket 939 or AMD but its in his price range assuming like I said that he can get a loan from some one untill the rebates flow back in.
  9. Quote:
    GF 6600 you have allready....
    vanilla one?
    You can try and O/C it some , but even then its really mediocre.
    If you want to play in more then 800x600 at minimum details in these games you will have to upgrade....really

    Low detail will probably be fine for him... he is coming from a 737 MHz Pentium 3, FX 5200 (PCI, not AGP) 256 MB RAM.
  10. Here's an idea..........
    Put some lipstick on that ole hag and sell it to some new noob for $200, that'll give you $750.
  11. How about this for $550:

    p100; 8meg ram, 2gig ide, 4meg ISA video card; 200watt power supply, 360k floppy, 2400baud modem; packard-bell case.
  12. Might I suggest not to spend so much money on the operating system. I am not going to tell you how, but if you have such a tight budget, wouldn't it be nice to be able to spend that money on a better graphics adapter or something else performance-important ?

    greetz
  13. Quote:
    Might I suggest not to spend so much money on the operating system. I am not going to tell you how, but if you have such a tight budget, wouldn't it be nice to be able to spend that money on a better graphics adapter or something else performance-important ?

    greetz

    I know, but I don't really want to... then again, its Microsoft.

    Edit: or do you mean Linux?
  14. Well....90$ won't get you nowhere......

    I agree, try NOT to get that XP copy and save that money til 200$ for a new VGA
  15. Quote:
    Well....90$ won't get you nowhere......

    I agree, try NOT to get that XP copy and save that money til 200$ for a new VGA


    I can get this graphics card if I don't get the OS. The specs look a lot better than the 6600... 4 more pipes and 200 MHz faster.
  16. Ok, nice choice for the budget!
    Attach a colling fan to the heatsink and you're done

    You can also get this
    and try to unlock the 4 remaining pipes for a total of 16 BUT I don't know if it supports Pixel & Vertex shader 3.0
  17. $550?

    hmm...all following prices from newegg:

    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice retail $120

    ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 $67

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 80gb $51-can upgrade it later(add another HDD, easy), SATA 3gb/s.

    FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX400-PN 400W PSU $40- DON'T USE A CHEAP PSU!!!

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811164040 $22 -case- 3x80mm fans...looks great to.

    x800GTO $130. The HIS Hightech version is at $125 after MIR atm. Should OC to 500mhz core and 1200mhz mem. get the x800GTO2 if you can at $130, OC it and flash it for 16pipes!

    Patriot Signature Series 1GB (2 x 512MB) $66

    BenQ Black DVD±R DVD Burner- $36

    Forget XP, get linux ;). This system should play oblivion but you'l have to turn of some of the eye candy. Mobo has AM2 "future proof" slot for next gen AMD CPU's. The PSu is great quality, don't buy a cheap one because if it blows it can take all your components with it.
  18. that comp wont handle mondern games that well. Tell him to wait and save another 500 or buy a 360
  19. The PC sped'd out by the original poster is going to have severe problems playing Oblivion... I believe the Athon 3000+ is acceptable... but 1 GB of RAM and the 6600 video card will both be limiting factors.

    I have an X2-4400 OC'd to 2.6, 2 GB RAM, WD Raptor and a 7800 GTX and it still skips from time... I just can't imagine Oblivion being playable on that rig.

    Btw, if there was a game I was going to consider paying $550 to play... Oblivion would be it. It's amazing.
  20. There is no such thing as a "550 dollar" gaming computer. Just not acceptable.
  21. Quote:
    I have an X2-4400 OC'd to 2.6, 2 GB RAM, WD Raptor and a 7800 GTX and it still skips from time... I just can't imagine Oblivion being playable on that rig.


    Here's a clue, turn down the details. My system handles it just fine at 1280x1024, Medium Textures (had it on high before and can't tell the difference now), and all sliders to full.
  22. Forget about upgrading that present system, it might be worth something to a museum, but not for any other purpose.

    As for building a "gaming" system for $550, IMHO, it's not worth trying because any "low-end" gaming card is going to cost at least $150 and eat up most of the money left for the remaining hardware. My best advice is to save up another $150, that'll leave you $700 for a low-end gaming system.

    Here are some minimum specs if you decide to try it:

    -Get a newer processor, at least 2.2GHZ for AMD, 3.2GHz for Intel. You won't be able to get a dual-core, so don't worry about them. About $150

    -New case: $60

    -New Power Supply, >450watts: at least $60

    -1Gb memory, $80

    -HDD...whatever works for you....: $75

    -Motherboard: $80

    -Video Card (The budget killer!!! About $150 if you want something able to play games at respectable resolution. Get something with at least 256mb, preferably PCI-X format for upgradeability.

    This will run you about $650, not within your budget, but should be possible with some hard work and saving your lunch money :roll:
  23. Question does he want to keep his old PC up and running cause I don't know how big his old HD is but you can save $50 if you reuse his old HD. I mean if its at least 20gigs that would allow him to put on the OS and install a few games. Then take that 50+35(you had a total of 515)=85 that you can add to the video card (which realy is the most important to a game machine) for a total of 165 and if you realy think about it screw the dvd burner for now if you can and reuse his old CD/DVD drive if you can (hopefully its a DVDddrive for oblivion) and that gives you another $37 for a total of $202.

    I would get this $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102620

    Then use the left over money ($100) to upgrade the PSU/CASE combo and then if there money left either get a bigger HD or the DVD burner
  24. Quote:
    Edit: or do you mean Linux?


    I prefer windows XP (pro) as gaming platform,


    greetz
  25. Quote:
    Question does he want to keep his old PC up and running cause I don't know how big his old HD is but you can save $50 if you reuse his old HD. I mean if its at least 20gigs that would allow him to put on the OS and install a few games. Then take that 50+35(you had a total of 515)=85 that you can add to the video card (which realy is the most important to a game machine) for a total of 165 and if you realy think about it screw the dvd burner for now if you can and reuse his old CD/DVD drive if you can (hopefully its a DVDddrive for oblivion) and that gives you another $37 for a total of $202.

    I would get this $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102620

    Then use the left over money ($100) to upgrade the PSU/CASE combo and then if there money left either get a bigger HD or the DVD burner

    His hard drive is 15 GB and he has a CD drive... not burner.
  26. Quote:
    Edit: or do you mean Linux?


    I prefer windows XP (pro) as gaming platform,


    greetz
    I know, but he could use wine.
  27. Antec Case 400W: 80$
    AMD Athlon 3000+ : 119$
    ASUS A8V-MX: 57$
    Mushkin dual-channel 512MB RAM: 38$
    X800GTO 128MB: 89$
    Western Digital Caviar 80GB : 42$
    NEC DVD and CD burner: 38$
    Floppy: 8$

    Total: 471$

    And if you take 1GB of dual-channel RAM instead of 512Mb (-38$ + 70$) - HIGHLY RECCOMENDED:

    Total: 503$

    So there you go! You've got yourself a very decent gaming system for less than 550$! You have an Athlon 64, 1GB of dual-channel DDR 400 RAM, a Western Digital Caviar 7200Rpm, a nice X800GTO; pretty cool stuff, isn't it? Morrowind and Half-Life 2 will run like a breeze on this system, while you should expect medium-ish settings in Oblivion, a game that puts even high-end computers to the test. Whoever said you can't get decent gaming performance for under 550$ is just plain wrong.

    I haven't throwed in Windows because I consider it is part of the software. However, if you want to keep the price around 550$ with Windows XP Home Edtition, you have to stick with 512MB RAM, and throw away the floppy (-8$) (what a pity!);

    Total: 556$

    However, keep in mind these are significant downers.
  28. I´ve noticed this asus is agp, go for the asrock motherboard that have pci express
  29. Its tough on that budget if not impossible to build something decent from from new parts. It would be hard even with twice your budget.

    CPU - you need at least an AMD 3200 and preferably 3700 or greater.
    RAM at least 1 GB preferably 2 GB, 512MB just doesn't cut it these days
    At least an nVidia 7 series GPU - yes the 6600's will work but not at a resolution that makes things easier.

    I used to run an FX5200 on an old MSI board with a 478 Northwood P4 and it could just about handle NFS2 but could only really manage Halo at 800x600 with most of the settings turned down. I now run an AMD 4000 with 2 GB RAM + 7800GT. It runs super smooth with everything turned up and even on Far Cry which has way more demanding graphics. Still use the old rig for internet surfing, wordprocessing etc. but the difference between FX5200 and GT7800 is night and day - just no comparison.

    For the money you're looking to spend I'd suggest looking for a refurbished computer (Gateway or similar with 3.0 GHz Pentium) and stick a decent graphics card in it as that latter item probably makes the single biggest difference to gaming performance. You need to be sure that whatever you're getting can accomodate a decent graphcis card - preferably PCIE.
  30. I think he's better off teaching his friend how to enjoy old games.

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
  31. WTF is that mobo? xDxD

    That processor is a little bit......dunno.....

    ducky, waddayasay about an 3200+, ASRock 939Dual-SATA2, a WD 250Gb 7200rpm SATA 3.0, 1Gb (one stick) of corsair valueselect and a x800GTO2?
  32. Quote:
    WTF is that mobo? xDxD

    That processor is a little bit......dunno.....

    ducky, waddayasay about an 3200+, ASRock 939Dual-SATA2, a WD 250Gb 7200rpm SATA 3.0, 1Gb (one stick) of corsair valueselect and a x800GTO2?


    Just that hard drive alone would add like $40 to the total cost. I'd get the 7600GS because it's a more modern design, 90nm, and has sm3. And the 2x512 to have DDR.
  33. about the gfx, I thought that too, but due to the critical lack of money....

    about the HDD: unles that drive goes boom, he wont need another HDD for a while

    about the ram: yeah, I though the dual channel stufff, but he can save to buy another 1Gb stick later instead of having to deal with the 512Mb ones

    I thiink he said he could get the XFX 7600
  34. Quote:
    about the gfx, I thought that too, but due to the critical lack of money....


    I'm not talking about the 7600GT; I'm talking about the GS which is basically the "vanilla" 7600.
  35. : p didn't saw the GS xD, yes, the x800GTO2 may not support S3.0, but 16 pipes is worth to consider............ah what the hell, let him go with the GS


    BTW, and excuse my ignorance, but, what do you mean by the term "vanilla"
    lots of things go walking on my head and don't know which one to shoot
  36. he's way better of spending more on the ASrock mobo since you can pull off some amazing OC.

    ASrock 939dual-sata2 $67
    3000+ $120
    2x512 patriot ram $66
    case----screw the case, put the rig on a cardboard like they do in benchy
    Aspire 500W $40
    DVD-$30 (does he really need RW?)

    Total: $323

    Now, get a XP for free(many ways.......) Linux is nice but it WON"T run any game. :cry:

    You have like 180 left, so get a X850Xt for $170 and you're set!! With this guy you can play some modern game at acceptable detail and FPS

    Edit: i didn't see the 550, so with $220 he can definitely get a X1800GTo and enjoy games
  37. Quote:
    : p didn't saw the GS xD, yes, the x800GTO2 may not support S3.0, but 16 pipes is worth to consider............ah what the hell, let him go with the GS


    BTW, and excuse my ignorance, but, what do you mean by the term "vanilla"
    lots of things go walking on my head and don't know which one to shoot


    "vanilla" meaning just a standard 7600 with no confusing suffix. hell, for like $60 more, he could get an x1800gto, overclock it to xt spec (maybe not xt, but xl for sure), and unlock it to 16 pipes.
  38. does the x1800GTo unlock now?? I thought it's impossible.....................
  39. interesting finding on the x1800, didn't knew that they could be unlocked....
  40. Quote:
    The PC sped'd out by the original poster is going to have severe problems playing Oblivion... I believe the Athon 3000+ is acceptable... but 1 GB of RAM and the 6600 video card will both be limiting factors.

    I have an X2-4400 OC'd to 2.6, 2 GB RAM, WD Raptor and a 7800 GTX and it still skips from time... I just can't imagine Oblivion being playable on that rig.

    Btw, if there was a game I was going to consider paying $550 to play... Oblivion would be it. It's amazing.


    1gb should be able to play this game fine on med settings. Definatly stop playing at 1600x1200 or whatever it is your playing at and lower the res :P.

    And $550 for a gaming PC is possible, its just not going to be very high settings.

    Make sure you get a good PSU, FSP are known for being great, so stick with a good company(just because an Aspire 500W PSU is rated at 500W doesn't mean its good...its all about the rails AMP's etc). also 500W on a system like this is overkill anyway.

    Quote:
    he's way better of spending more on the ASrock mobo since you can pull off some amazing OC.

    ASrock 939dual-sata2 $67
    3000+ $120
    2x512 patriot ram $66
    case----screw the case, put the rig on a cardboard like they do in benchy
    Aspire 500W $40
    DVD-$30 (does he really need RW?)

    Total: $323

    Now, get a XP for free(many ways.......) Linux is nice but it WON"T run any game. Crying or Very sad

    You have like 180 left, so get a X850Xt for $170 and you're set!! With this guy you can play some modern game at acceptable detail and FPS

    Edit: i didn't see the 550, so with $220 he can definitely get a X1800GTo and enjoy games


    Lol, whatever happened to an HDD? Thats an extra $50 or so. And i'd invest $22 in that case i mentioned before, better cooling with some fans. Pretty cool plan though :P.

    It's probably worth buying a 7600GT now IMO, or buy a vanilla 6600 and then get say a 7900GT later(although get at least a 3200+ now instead, bottlenecks are to be avoided :P)
  41. Just thought of adding my 2cents worth about your "mission impossible" issue here. Understandably, $550 is a VERY moddest budget to be putting together a gaming rig that would be able to handle most new games. For a really good rig, you'd need $1000 +. Having been in the same position with having a tight budget, research has told me the following will be a good start. Taking into account it is $25 over your friends budget, but worth it...

    ASUS A8N-VM Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $65

    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 1GHz HT Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3000BPBOX - Retail - $119

    Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model KVR400/1GR - Retail - $76

    Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $71.00

    eVGA 256-P2-N420-AX Geforce 6600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail - $149.00

    ASUS 16X DVD±R DVD Burner With 5X DVD-RAM Write Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model DRW1608P2SBLACK - OEM - $38

    ASPIRE X-Infinity ATXB6KLW-BK/420 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX 420W power supply for AMD/Intel Power Supply - Retail - $57.

    All from newegg. I have had most to all these in my rig, actually still have the cpu but with a A8N SLi Del mobo. Upgraded my 6600GT 128MB 2 weeks ago to a 7800GT, HUGE difference. This setup will give a good start to a hopefully promising gaming "career". When the $$ start coming in, you can start upgrading the sucker. I am also aware that i went a little overboard with the HDD, but you can never have enough space, so start working on that early...

    Oh yes, the Windows, don't go for Homo Edition. It is crap on hardware driver support and some software doesn't even like it that much. Go for Pro Edition, and for now I know it is not legal but get a pirate copy with SP2.

    One opinion that i would like to make, why would you want to spend $8 on a Floppy drive, they aren't even being used anymore. Just a thought...

    Anywho, these are my thoughts, plz feel free to comment. Hope it helps squaterer...
  42. Quote:
    Just thought of adding my 2cents worth about your "mission impossible" issue here. Understandably, $550 is a VERY moddest budget to be putting together a gaming rig that would be able to handle most new games. For a really good rig, you'd need $1000 +. Having been in the same position with having a tight budget, research has told me the following will be a good start. Taking into account it is $25 over your friends budget, but worth it...

    ASUS A8N-VM Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $65

    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 1GHz HT Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3000BPBOX - Retail - $119

    Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model KVR400/1GR - Retail - $76

    Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $71.00

    eVGA 256-P2-N420-AX Geforce 6600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail - $149.00

    ASUS 16X DVD±R DVD Burner With 5X DVD-RAM Write Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model DRW1608P2SBLACK - OEM - $38

    ASPIRE X-Infinity ATXB6KLW-BK/420 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX 420W power supply for AMD/Intel Power Supply - Retail - $57.

    All from newegg. I have had most to all these in my rig, actually still have the cpu but with a A8N SLi Del mobo. Upgraded my 6600GT 128MB 2 weeks ago to a 7800GT, HUGE difference. This setup will give a good start to a hopefully promising gaming "career". When the $$ start coming in, you can start upgrading the sucker. I am also aware that i went a little overboard with the HDD, but you can never have enough space, so start working on that early...

    Oh yes, the Windows, don't go for Homo Edition. It is crap on hardware driver support and some software doesn't even like it that much. Go for Pro Edition, and for now I know it is not legal but get a pirate copy with SP2.

    One opinion that i would like to make, why would you want to spend $8 on a Floppy drive, they aren't even being used anymore. Just a thought...

    Anywho, these are my thoughts, plz feel free to comment. Hope it helps squaterer...


    Why the 6600GT and the Aspire case? I'd prefer to get the Cooler Master and Thermaltake case/PSU. I don't like no-name brands...
  43. Quote:
    Hi, here's a suggestion for a great system that will cost you only $484.


    That's not a very great system. Mine was a lot better.
  44. Quote:
    Make sure you get a good PSU, FSP are known for being great, so stick with a good company(just because an Aspire 500W PSU is rated at 500W doesn't mean its good...its all about the rails AMP's etc). also 500W on a system like this is overkill anyway.

    godlyatheist wrote:
    he's way better of spending more on the ASrock mobo since you can pull off some amazing OC.

    ASrock 939dual-sata2 $67
    3000+ $120
    2x512 patriot ram $66
    case----screw the case, put the rig on a cardboard like they do in benchy
    Aspire 500W $40
    DVD-$30 (does he really need RW?)

    Total: $323

    Now, get a XP for free(many ways.......) Linux is nice but it WON"T run any game. Crying or Very sad

    You have like 180 left, so get a X850Xt for $170 and you're set!! With this guy you can play some modern game at acceptable detail and FPS

    Edit: i didn't see the 550, so with $220 he can definitely get a X1800GTo and enjoy games


    Lol, whatever happened to an HDD? Thats an extra $50 or so. And i'd invest $22 in that case i mentioned before, better cooling with some fans. Pretty cool plan though Razz.

    It's probably worth buying a 7600GT now IMO, or buy a vanilla 6600 and then get say a 7900GT later(although get at least a 3200+ now instead, bottlenecks are to be avoided Razz)

    I have that PSU and that's why i recommend it. rail readings:
    3.3V @3.34
    12V@11.84
    5V@4.95

    Everything is within 3% like the PSU spec says, which is pretty darn good for a $40 PSU

    I thought his friend had a 20gig HDD he could reuse, that should do for now.

    regarding the 3200+: well the reason you get that mobo instead of other cheap ones is because the ASrock has good OC reputation. 220mhz is pretty manageable even with basic rams.

    with his budget by the time he buys the 7900GT the GF10000 would be out

    Quote:
    Hi, here's a suggestion for a great system that will cost you only $484.

    That's stolen from Tomshardware!!!!!!!!
  45. Cause, like i said ducky, the 6600GT has been tried and tested. I put a vanilla 6600 256MB AGP in my gf pc and honestly, i have not been disappointed. She's running an P4 2.8Ghz HT, with 1Gb cheapy ram, some-or-the-other Intel mobo and 2 80Gb Seagate hdd's. Running BF2 at 1024x768 and mostly high detail is not prob for it. Doesn't have any lagging. I personally had the 6600GT 128MB PCI-x in my rig which has a 3000+ 64 (not oc'd), A8N SLi Deluxe, 1Gb Value Ram, Leadtek 7800GT 256MB (since upgrade 2 weeks ago) and an array of hhd's. But the point being, i also ran BF2 1024x768, but cranked all details on high it did not produce a stutter.

    Main point is then that in fact, in my opinion, the 6600GT 256MB PCI-x should make a great card to start of with on the budget. He can always save up some $$ and upgrade at a later stage.

    I honestly just took the Aspire case because it already has the 420Watt PSU. I know it might not be the best, but looking at the budget i think worth considering.

    Anything else, quack at me.... 8)
  46. Try this board instead:
    http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pro_mbd_detail.php?UID=702

    "Put up" with the performance until able to slap in a PCI Express Graphics x16 card later on when they can afford it. (It will just oust the mainboard you're looking at already, and has decent overclockability if that is their thing).

    The PCIe x1 slot is also positioned in a 'decent' spot. :)

    The -FID model with:

    K8NGM2-FID:
    - nForce 430 chipset
    - GeForce 6150
    - Onboard GbE LAN
    - IEEE1394
    - DVI connector

    See:
    http://www.nvidia.com/page/gpu_mobo.html
    Under the "NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6150 and NVIDIA nForce™ 430" section.

    8)
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