Building a $1,200.00 Computer

Hello, I'm thinking about building a new system, my budget is $1,200.
I already have the keyboard and mouse, but I still need the monitor and speakers included in the $1,200

I will use the computer for gaming, as far as case and power supply, I dont want to go over $80 all together.

If I could get a nice gaming laptop for that money please let me know, thanks
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  1. Quote:
    Hello, I'm thinking about building a new system, my budget is $1,200.
    I already have the keyboard and mouse, but I still need the monitor and speakers included in the $1,200

    I will use the computer for gaming, as far as case and power supply, I dont want to go over $80 all together.

    If I could get a nice gaming laptop for that money please let me know, thanks


    Gaming laptop is a paradox. If you want to play any decent game on laptop prepare for the following:
    1) 9-11 lbs
    2) Amazingly short life on your batteries (get 2-3)
    3) Spending $3000+ (at least)

    So... built a desktop.
  2. Amazing, everything you posted was 100% correct.
  3. $1200 Bucks is one Heck of a good budget in my neck of the woods. My recommendations

    Opteron 165 - $325
    Asus Nforce 4 16X $200
    2GB DDR500 <$200
    LG DVD Burner $40
    WD Raptor 150 $275
    EVGA 7600GT $200
    GOOD PSU $65
    Decent Case $75

    Total $1180 or so.

    Of course I'd wait and go AM2 if you can. DDR2 is going to get very nice in price.
  4. Crap! I just realized I left out the monitor! :)
    Ok, scrap the Raptor and get a NORMAL HD.
    Use the extra $200 to get a 17" 1200X1024 8ms monitor.
    There are lots of them in that range.
  5. No point in 16X itself, true. Lots of points in eSata, Raid5, passive cooling, 8 phase power, etc. Find all of these in another enthusiast board for me.
  6. Allow me to help, here are some recommendations I have:

    All prices are from Newegg.com and include shipping in the price.

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ - $297
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103562

    I think you should look at dual core processors as in the future that will become more important. No need for an Opteron, unless you are doing serious overclocking, save the $30. This processor is a real solid preformer and is middle of the road as far as dual core prices are concerned, making this one of the the best bang for the buck processors out there. You should be able to get 200MHz OC out of this with stock cooling easy (real nice fan/heatsink that comes with this).

    MSI K8N SLI-F Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - $103
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813130527

    You do not need the highest end board, you can get a real nice, feature filled board (Gigabit LAN, 8 Channel Audio, SATA RAID), that has SLI if you do decide to add another graphics card in the future for around $100.

    XFX Geforce GeForce 7900 GT EXTREME (520MHz) 256MB PV-T71G-UDE7 Video Card - $314
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150139

    You are looking for gaming so the most important part is the video card. Best bang for the buck is a 7900GT or an X1800XL, I like the Nvidia cards because they preform better in the games I play that's why I selected that one, but you could go with this ATI for the same price:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814125211
    It's really up to you to decide, look at what benchmarks best on the games you play.

    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Dual Channel - $146
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820231047

    I have this RAM, the timings you get (2.5-3-3-6) are the best in the price range. Once again best bang for the buck.

    BenQ 16X DVD±R DVD Burner
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827101002

    DVD burner, pretty standard, if you want lightscribe, it will cost you a little more.

    Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 300GB Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - $105
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148064

    300GB for $100, hard to pass up. If you want a Raptor, it's about $55 more for only 74GB. Then you might want a second HDD for lots of storage. Multiple HDDs will blow up your budget and not result in much of a speed boost for the money you spend. This HDD is a good way to go, again good bang for the buck.

    COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 ATX Case - $61
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811119047

    Case design is personal, totally up to you. I have this case, great airflow, nearly room temp inside. You can get away for less, but don't get a power supply and case together, they always come with super cheap-o power supplies and you don't know the specs beyond wattage.

    Rosewill RV450-2 ATX 2.01 450W Power Supply - $42
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817182015

    Again best bang for the buck. I have had good luck with Rosewill. I recommend at least 450W for a gaming computer. Whatever you do make sure your power supply is dual rail (two 12V rails).

    Creative Inspire T3000 2.1 Speakers - $49
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16836116147

    Great speakers for the money, but you can make up your own mind. You might want 5.1 or something else so this is just to give you an idea of what to expect.

    Before Monitor about $1160 including shipping.

    The monitor is up to you, I would assume you would like an LCD, expect 17s to start at about $200 and 19s to start about $225. Depends on what you want to spend. In gereral you want the lowest pixle pitch, response time, and highest refresh rate, contrast ratio and brightness. Stay away from widescreens for gaming.

    There is room to cut stuff out in there, or scale back to get into your budget, post your reaction and I can help get closer to your budget if you wish. I am assuming others are posting prices before shipping, so these prices look higher then others. I don't do this with every poster, just once and a while so everyone with about the same budget can get an idea of what my recommendations are.
  7. Quote:
    $1200 Bucks is one Heck of a good budget in my neck of the woods. My recommendations

    Opteron 165 - $325
    Asus Nforce 4 16X $200
    2GB DDR500 <$200
    LG DVD Burner $40
    WD Raptor 150 $275
    EVGA 7600GT $200
    GOOD PSU $65
    Decent Case $75

    Total $1180 or so.

    Of course I'd wait and go AM2 if you can. DDR2 is going to get very nice in price.
    Yuck; why would you waste money on a dual 16X board and a Raptop 150 if you'll only be able to get a 7600GT?
  8. ASPIRE X-Navigator ATXA9NW-BL/500 Black/Blue Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX 500W daul 12V (Ver. 2.03) Power Supply - Retail -$100
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3200827AS 200GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM -$89
    ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 Socket 939 ULi M1695 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail -$67
    XFX PV-T71G-UCF7 Geforce 7900GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail -$319
    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model F1-3200PHU2-2GBNS - Retail -$165-15=140
    AMD X2 3800+ -$300
    Acer AL1711FB Black 17" 12ms LCD Monitor - Retail -$180
    ($1,192.96)
    Any questions? Believe it or not, that motherboard is fantastic despite the low price tag. Another motherboard that should sell for $120 is the one in my signature, it is only $69 despite it's comparability with a DFI Ultra-D. Something else to consider is switching the 7900gt with an X1800XT. Food for thought.
  9. mopar said it very well. only thing i would get an antec truepower 430 psu for quietness and goodness. also theres only about 40 bucks there for a monitor. oh and i dont think u mentioned a sound card. u should pick up a decent sound card for between 40 and 100 depending on taste - audigy value or x fi
  10. With onboard 5.1/7.1 these days, who needs high end sound cards that just eat up your budget? And, don't half-ass it on PSU, considering if that fries, GG for your system.
  11. First off, did you read my posts? Second, the hard drive is ALWAYS the weakest link. So, it ALWAYS makes more sense to spend more there. Third, I am not recommending the 16X board for it's SLI abilities, I am recommended it because it has every OTHER bell and whistle a nice system that may not be upgraded in a while should have. Fourth, most people are just silly with there video cards. Yeah, the 7900GT is great, no doubt. But does anyone really need it? NO! Deal with 1200X1024. It looks fine. Heck, run 1600X1200 without the HDR/AA, it's really not so bad. If you want the best possible performance for the money, go ahead and waste it. But if you want a well rounded system that will be plenty capable for years on a budget, Build it that way.
  12. if you could somehow get a monitor for real cheap you could build a heck of a comp for 1200 but if that includes a LCD it will drop dramatically.
  13. Centurion 534 Case $50 after rebates ($70 before)
    Thermaltake 430 watt PSU $30 ($40 before rebates)
    Asus A8N-E motherboard $93
    AMD Athlon 64 3700+ $235
    Patriot 2x512 mb 2-3-2-5 DDR400 memory $64 ($86 before rebates)
    eVGA 256mb 7600 GT $165 ($180 before rebates)
    Western Digital Caviar 250 GB hard drive $93
    Sony DVD-Rom Drive $20
    Floppy Drive $10
    Windows XP Home $90
    Viewsonic 17" 8ms Monitor $226
    Creative I-Trigue 3300 2.1 Speakers $67

    Alright, if I added correctly, that brings the total out to $1143. That should be enough to cover shipping. If you could save up a bit more, or use your own copy of Win XP, then I'd suggest buying an eVGA 256mb 7900 GT (for around $320). The 7600 GT is hardly bad, and it will you give you a very nice experience, bu the 7900 GT is in an entirely different league.
  14. Are you kidding? You're in the wrong forum my friend. If you can afford something better, get it.

    Hard drives are the last part of a high performing system.
  15. He said $1200. He requested a monitor and speakers as well. What, pray tell, is your problem?
  16. A few things to add to my first post. First if I put this in here without shipping included, adding a monitor would make this less then $100 over budget, I don't know what the original poster intended, with or without shipping. But none the less a few cut backs here or there could bring this in on budget. Second, sound, in a budget computer onboard audio is perfectally acceptable. Spending $120, which is 10% of the budget on a sound card (SB X-Fi) is not the best use of that money. If better sound is desired in this budget, a SB Audigy SE for $30 is fine (unless the person is an audiophile into audio capture and editing). The jump from onboard to Audigy SE is a whole lot bigger then a jump from Audigy SE to X-Fi. Next the motherboard thing brought up by shabodah. There are three nForce 4 SLI X16 motherboards to my knowledge and none of them provide a significantly superior feature set compared to an nForce 4 SLI board, for this budget. The only things that those boards offer are (I know I have an MSI K8N Diamond Plus) another gigabit LAN controller, more SATA RAID controllers and firewire. All of those could be added with inexpensive expansion cards later on if so desired. They may overclock a little better and support Quad SLI (when those cards come out) but in this instance, the extra $100 is better spent in the area of the video card. Finally for the hard drive. The preformance gains of a more exotic HDD setup (RAID, Raptors or both) are not worth the cost. Once a game or other program is loaded the processor, video card and memory are far more important. Save the money and go for a better video card. Once again more bang for the buck. I think this is the most well rounded way to build a computer for this money and I have explained my reasoning well.
  17. Quote:
    Allow me to help, here are some recommendations I have:

    All prices are from Newegg.com and include shipping in the price.

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ - $297
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103562

    I think you should look at dual core processors as in the future that will become more important. No need for an Opteron, unless you are doing serious overclocking, save the $30. This processor is a real solid preformer and is middle of the road as far as dual core prices are concerned, making this one of the the best bang for the buck processors out there. You should be able to get 200MHz OC out of this with stock cooling easy (real nice fan/heatsink that comes with this).

    MSI K8N SLI-F Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - $103
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813130527

    You do not need the highest end board, you can get a real nice, feature filled board (Gigabit LAN, 8 Channel Audio, SATA RAID), that has SLI if you do decide to add another graphics card in the future for around $100.

    XFX Geforce GeForce 7900 GT EXTREME (520MHz) 256MB PV-T71G-UDE7 Video Card - $314
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150139

    You are looking for gaming so the most important part is the video card. Best bang for the buck is a 7900GT or an X1800XL, I like the Nvidia cards because they preform better in the games I play that's why I selected that one, but you could go with this ATI for the same price:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814125211
    It's really up to you to decide, look at what benchmarks best on the games you play.

    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Dual Channel - $146
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820231047

    I have this RAM, the timings you get (2.5-3-3-6) are the best in the price range. Once again best bang for the buck.

    BenQ 16X DVD±R DVD Burner
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827101002

    DVD burner, pretty standard, if you want lightscribe, it will cost you a little more.

    Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 300GB Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - $105
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148064

    300GB for $100, hard to pass up. If you want a Raptor, it's about $55 more for only 74GB. Then you might want a second HDD for lots of storage. Multiple HDDs will blow up your budget and not result in much of a speed boost for the money you spend. This HDD is a good way to go, again good bang for the buck.

    COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 ATX Case - $61
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811119047

    Case design is personal, totally up to you. I have this case, great airflow, nearly room temp inside. You can get away for less, but don't get a power supply and case together, they always come with super cheap-o power supplies and you don't know the specs beyond wattage.

    Rosewill RV450-2 ATX 2.01 450W Power Supply - $42
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817182015

    Again best bang for the buck. I have had good luck with Rosewill. I recommend at least 450W for a gaming computer. Whatever you do make sure your power supply is dual rail (two 12V rails).

    Creative Inspire T3000 2.1 Speakers - $49
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16836116147

    Great speakers for the money, but you can make up your own mind. You might want 5.1 or something else so this is just to give you an idea of what to expect.

    Before Monitor about $1160 including shipping.

    The monitor is up to you, I would assume you would like an LCD, expect 17s to start at about $200 and 19s to start about $225. Depends on what you want to spend. In gereral you want the lowest pixle pitch, response time, and highest refresh rate, contrast ratio and brightness. Stay away from widescreens for gaming.

    There is room to cut stuff out in there, or scale back to get into your budget, post your reaction and I can help get closer to your budget if you wish. I am assuming others are posting prices before shipping, so these prices look higher then others. I don't do this with every poster, just once and a while so everyone with about the same budget can get an idea of what my recommendations are.


    These are good suggestions. But I have a few revisions of my own to make. There is no point in buying an SLI mobo because SLI is pretty much a waste and completely not worth it. So you can get a decent non-sli mobo for around $70. For the ATI card: opt for an X1800XT not XL, they perform a lot better. Also in the benchmarks I have seen, X1800XT beats a 7900GT. You can get one for around $320-330. Scrap the Rosewill power supply for something with a little more power and for a company with better reputation.
    Eh, but good luck with the system.
  18. Ok how do you like my list of suggestions though? It's a few posts back.

    With that list though, let me make a few comments.

    Dual core for a ~$900 gaming rig is just plain stupid. MSI is ok, but I'm sure you can do better for the motherboard. If you want an NVidia card, go with eVGA or BFG. 1 GB of Ram is sufficient for this level of a PC.
  19. Quote:
    First off, did you read my posts? Second, the hard drive is ALWAYS the weakest link. So, it ALWAYS makes more sense to spend more there. Third, I am not recommending the 16X board for it's SLI abilities, I am recommended it because it has every OTHER bell and whistle a nice system that may not be upgraded in a while should have. Fourth, most people are just silly with there video cards. Yeah, the 7900GT is great, no doubt. But does anyone really need it? NO! Deal with 1200X1024. It looks fine. Heck, run 1600X1200 without the HDR/AA, it's really not so bad. If you want the best possible performance for the money, go ahead and waste it. But if you want a well rounded system that will be plenty capable for years on a budget, Build it that way.

    How is the hard drive always the weakest link? Western Digitials/Seagates are highly unlikely to fail, and the performance of a Raptor blatantly isn't worth it. When you buy an SLI X16 board, you pay for 2 Nforce SLI chips along with a bunch of other crap you'll never use, thus paying over $200 for a motherboard is a simple waste. Also, paying $300+ for a video card ABSOLUTELY makes sense since he wants the system for gaming, and because all modern games are limited by the graphics card. You make it sound like any 7900gt will be able to run any game at absolute highest, which is plainly false. That's just about enouh for 1280x1024@8AA, 16AS + HDR. Other than SATA2, a motherboard really doesn't need anything to be "future proof". SLI is such a waste of your hard-earned money, new memory can be put in any motherboard, and AM2/Conroe haven't even been released yet.
  20. Thanks so much for all the help, I'm sorry I couldn't post a reply earlier.

    Before looking thourgh all the builds I liked doomturkey build, but I don't think I will be using the SLI at all.
    I noticed pretty much everyone recommended a processor 3700+, I was wondering If I got an AMD Athlon64 3200 1000mhz, and saved me some money there If I could go with a 19' monitor and get 2 hard drivers of 160gb and have them on RAID instead of getting one big 300gb hard drive.

    As far as buying the Raptor I think they are too expensive and too small.
    And I dont think I need a $100 sound card.

    Thanks so much for the help everyone
  21. If you want to save money, go with the AMD 3000+. It will still perform well, if you can compare it to my P4 630 @ 3.0 GHz. That should give you another $115 to work with. However, I would recommend using that money towards this Radeon X1800XT. At $285, that would be in your price range, and give you pretty awesome performance. Also, two 160 GB hard drives won't give you that much of a performance lead over a single good one. If you can deal with loading things up in two seconds over one and a half, I'd stick with the single hard drive at your price range. Trust me, you'll like great graphics at 17" more than you'd like good graphics at 19". Besides, 17" is hardly small to begin with. What I recommend: saving up a bit more and snagging both the X1800XT and this monitor.
  22. My advice is to wait few more months for the Conroe to come out.
    It will drive all prices down.
    Very important: GET A BIGGER CASE W/ PSU - FULL ATX CASE - you dont want to sqeeze in all these expensive components into a smaller case.

    Dont go for the DDR1 - it will be fully replaced next year.
    And for economic point of view - always buy the most expensive quality parts because they do not depreciate so much in time

    Good luck
  23. Quote:
    Thanks so much for all the help, I'm sorry I couldn't post a reply earlier.

    Before looking thourgh all the builds I liked doomturkey build, but I don't think I will be using the SLI at all.
    I noticed pretty much everyone recommended a processor 3700+, I was wondering If I got an AMD Athlon64 3200 1000mhz, and saved me some money there If I could go with a 19' monitor and get 2 hard drivers of 160gb and have them on RAID instead of getting one big 300gb hard drive.

    As far as buying the Raptor I think they are too expensive and too small.
    And I dont think I need a $100 sound card.

    Thanks so much for the help everyone

    If you want to be future proof, just get an Intel 955 board with DDR2, an overclocked Celeron and wait for Conroe to come in July.
  24. You're just not listening. I am not recommending SLI, nor am I saying that a nicer video card wouldn't be nice. I am saying that if you are ok with medium graphic settings, you DON'T need to fork out the cash for a high-end card, you'll be fine with mid-range. Hard Drives are the weakest link in the sense that they are the SLOWEST part in the system, the CPU, memory, ETC, ETC, are VASTLY faster, so when you have to load from the HD, you notice it more than anything else. Having played many games on many systems, one on the BIGGEST things I've noticed is how much a HD can improve your OVERALL system speed. Even better, add a RAID controller with a LARGE amount of cache. I have never had a HD fail in under 5 years, that was not my point at all. Passive cooling, dual gb ethernet, lots of SATAII, high stability, are all reasons why are recommend the 16X board. You simply can't beat it in those areas at this time.
  25. Quote:
    You're just not listening. I am not recommending SLI, nor am I saying that a nicer video card wouldn't be nice. I am saying that if you are ok with medium graphic settings, you DON'T need to fork out the cash for a high-end card, you'll be fine with mid-range. Hard Drives are the weakest link in the sense that they are the SLOWEST part in the system, the CPU, memory, ETC, ETC, are VASTLY faster, so when you have to load from the HD, you notice it more than anything else. Having played many games on many systems, one on the BIGGEST things I've noticed is how much a HD can improve your OVERALL system speed. Even better, add a RAID controller with a LARGE amount of cache. I have never had a HD fail in under 5 years, that was not my point at all. Passive cooling, dual gb ethernet, lots of SATAII, high stability, are all reasons why are recommend the 16X board. You simply can't beat it in those areas at this time.

    Regardless, it's still a huge waste of cash. The reason it's so expensive is the fact that it has 2 NForce SLI chips, neither of which he will need. The system is for gaming, thus it's obvious he wants to play games as high and as fast as he wants. Putting money towards any other goal is using the $1200 in a way it wasn't intended. The hard drive will always be far slower than the CPU/memory combination, but that doesn't justify the cost of a Raptor or a huge drive. What it does justify is doing RAID 0 with 2 80 gigabyte Seagates. Even with the passive cooling, which I might add, can fail without good case flow, a custom installed Zalman can do the same thing.
  26. wait a little....the new processors will be here..........conroe ..stuff....................


    am2 also looks promising......even if it`s not much from old ddr
  27. So, you're going to put a Zalman on the North and southbridges, then? Ok, go right ahead. I'm not saying that there are not better motherboards for the price, but it's been 6 years since he's had a new system, who knows how long it'll be till the next one. 6 years is more a enterprise/workstation lifespan, thus, I recommend a higher quality board. (1) 150 Raptor will be as fast and more reliable than (2) 80GB 7200 drives, period. Now if you moved up to a pair of 250GB 7200.8, maybe they'd be close, but still not significantly different and still less reliable. I don't think EVERYONE is looking to get that last frame out of their system. Believe it or not, some people are ok with 60FPS and medium quality settings. The 7600GT is a really great card. People liked their 6800 ultra's last year, too.
  28. Hi stranger,

    Great that you want to try building a $1200 computer. Here are my thoughts in response.

    1) Try to consider if you need SLI. SLI is the current hot trend and many gamers are going for it. If you play a lot of 3D games, then its a good idea. But be prepared to fork out $$$.

    2) Do you need dual core? If so, you are probably a hard core gamer too. Again, another hot trend but you may not need if if you're a everyday user.

    3) Do you want to have a beautiful looking case, modded lights and water cooling? If not, go for a simple case and save money.

    If you want more details, check out my guide to building a gaming computer for just $1000.
  29. If the motherboard price is a big deal, the AsRock 939 eSata is a good choice, too.
  30. Look at this budget man! Including the monitor and the speakers for a grand total of $1242!!!!

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 300GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s $115.00

    Tyris T701DB Black 17" 8ms (Tr: 2ms + Tf: 6ms) DVI LCD $189.99

    Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 $76.00

    Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS SB0350 7.1 OEM $69.00

    Creative Inspire P7800 90 Watts 7.1 Speakers $79.00

    AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 1GHz HT Socket 939 E4 $203.00

    CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400
    eVGA 256-P2-N553-AX Geforce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 COMBO PRICE $358.00

    Thermaltake TR2 W0070 ATX 430W Power Supply $39.99

    COOLER MASTER Centurion 532 $66.99

    LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner W/ LightScribe and 5X DVD-RAM
    $45.99


    GIFT: Microsoft Age of Empires 3

    That's it man, hope it works for you! The best that I can do to stick to your budget. You can check all the prices on NEWEGG.COM


    Roberto
  31. Quote:
    So, you're going to put a Zalman on the North and southbridges, then? Ok, go right ahead. I'm not saying that there are not better motherboards for the price, but it's been 6 years since he's had a new system, who knows how long it'll be till the next one. 6 years is more a enterprise/workstation lifespan, thus, I recommend a higher quality board. (1) 150 Raptor will be as fast and more reliable than (2) 80GB 7200 drives, period. Now if you moved up to a pair of 250GB 7200.8, maybe they'd be close, but still not significantly different and still less reliable. I don't think EVERYONE is looking to get that last frame out of their system. Believe it or not, some people are ok with 60FPS and medium quality settings. The 7600GT is a really great card. People liked their 6800 ultra's last year, too.

    My 6800gt is showing its age in good games at his res. I can't do any AA in FEAR or Quake Ultra settings. BTW, RAID 0 with 2 7200rpm drives will annhilate any Raptor, at half the cost and just as much (if not more) storage. Plus, Seagate drives never really fail, so if it's reliability you could just pick up two of those.
  32. Glad to see more people are building their own, rather than throwing money into the Dell machine for a substandard rig. Here is what I can come up with on short notice with 1200 beans:

    ASUS A8N5X Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX AMD Motherboard - $79

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ - $297

    AData Vitesta 2x 1Gb DDR400 - $134

    Seagate 300Gb, 16mb cache 7200rpm HDD - $110

    Antec TruePower 2.0 TP2-550 ATX12V 550W PSU -$99 (before $20 MIR)

    Connect3D 3038 Radeon X800GTO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express - $158

    ***This setup rang in at $877 on Newegg. This leaves you only $230 for the monitor and case, however, I'm always willing to help someone else spend money that I don't have!! The monitor and case are largely determined by need and aesthetics, so I'm not going to try to pick them for you! Just shop around a find one you like.

    Good luck.


    ***This setup will run you about $1090, leaving almost $for whatever you want to use as a case, speakers and a monitor. Shouldn't be too hard to keep the
  33. I'm confused (not hard to do given my level of expertise) with all the talk about Raid vs. Raptor.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/02/06/wd1500ad_raptor_xtends_performance_lead/page14.html

    This pretty much says that Raptor beats a Raid 0 in speed, ease and security. But most people have dissed the Raptor in favor of Raid 0. What am I missing? Cost alone is causing everyone to favor Raid 0?
  34. You can't do AA at hi res with FEAR?? Wow, really? Please read above posts about medium settings. Not everyone is playing only first person shooters and trying to do so at a professional level. Not everyone is going to have an issue using 1200X1024 res. Just because someone is a "gamer" doesn't mean they are a "hardcore gamer." Hate to say it, but I've never cared if I could run AA or not. Games are just as FUN without it. If you're playing for FUN, it doesn't matter.
  35. Cost is a big factor, two average drives cost less than 1 new raptor. Lots of misconceptions about where Raid 0 helps. It's great for the things that consistantly use very large files. Those things are usually audio and video editing and CADCAM type things, NOT games. Load times in Half Life two are more affected by whether you are running 32bit or 64bit XP than they are by the RAID factor.
  36. Quote:
    You can't do AA at hi res with FEAR?? Wow, really? Please read above posts about medium settings. Not everyone is playing only first person shooters and trying to do so at a professional level. Not everyone is going to have an issue using 1200X1024 res. Just because someone is a "gamer" doesn't mean they are a "hardcore gamer." Hate to say it, but I've never cared if I could run AA or not. Games are just as FUN without it. If you're playing for FUN, it doesn't matter.

    Who says I'm not having fun? I can do high end everything except soft shadows and AA @ 1280@1024. Quake 4 won't get that high though..
  37. Quote:
    I'm confused (not hard to do given my level of expertise) with all the talk about Raid vs. Raptor.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/02/06/wd1500ad_raptor_xtends_performance_lead/page14.html

    This pretty much says that Raptor beats a Raid 0 in speed, ease and security. But most people have dissed the Raptor in favor of Raid 0. What am I missing? Cost alone is causing everyone to favor Raid 0?

    2 74 gb raptors will pound a 150 gb raptor. despite this, a RAID0 7200 will still win in many applications and cost a whole lot less.
  38. The "many" applications you speak of are NOT games. And that's all that is applicable here. Go review Seagates new SAS 3.5" perpendicular drives, they will POUND everything, period, but I'd have to get a second mortgage to afford one. Too much depends on APPLICATION.
  39. I just wanted to add that the Thermaltake 430W PSU is not suited for a gaming rig. The total wattage is not bad, but unfortunately it only has 18A on the 12V rail. This is becoming less and less adequate as time goes on and leaves no upgrade path for the future. It is a good and reliable PSU for a 3.0ghz P4 and a 6600GT range setup. That is the box I have it in.

    My advice would be to watch the 12V rails of the PSUs you consider. Dual core processors and high end video cards require more than the 18A this PSU has on this rail. You won't want to replace a PSU just to upgrade your processor or video card. Nice, dual 12V rail PSUs tend to have >34A on this rail. Look to spend $50-60 on a nice stable PSU (I like FSP group & Antec) that will allow for future upgrades. Many nice Antec case/PSU combos cost around $100. Just some stuff I've learned over my last several builds.
  40. Quote:
    I just wanted to add that the Thermaltake 430W PSU is not suited for a gaming rig. The total wattage is not bad, but unfortunately it only has 18A on the 12V rail. This is becoming less and less adequate as time goes on and leaves no upgrade path for the future. It is a good and reliable PSU for a 3.0ghz P4 and a 6600GT range setup. That is the box I have it in.

    My advice would be to watch the 12V rails of the PSUs you consider. Dual core processors and high end video cards require more than the 18A this PSU has on this rail. You won't want to replace a PSU just to upgrade your processor or video card. Nice, dual 12V rail PSUs tend to have >34A on this rail. Look to spend $50-60 on a nice stable PSU (I like FSP group & Antec) that will allow for future upgrades. Many nice Antec case/PSU combos cost around $100. Just some stuff I've learned over my last several builds.

    OCZ for uber PSU =)
  41. I've used OCZ ram in the past but never a PSU from them. I wasn't even aware that they were in the PSU business. May have to do some research on them. I'm guessing they're pretty high.
  42. Quote:
    I've used OCZ ram in the past but never a PSU from them. I wasn't even aware that they were in the PSU business. May have to do some research on them. I'm guessing they're pretty high.

    Yeah, expensive. But it is a really, really nice power supply.
  43. Yes! OCZ power supplies are great! BUT expensive. OCZ actually has their name on the product but it is produced by another company.
  44. Wow, I got sooo many great builds Im all confused.
    I heard some ppl mentioning CONROED ??? what's that? a new kind of processor? should I wait for it?
    thanks soo much every1
  45. Conroe is the new processor from Intel. It's based off of old P3's (I think) since P4's were dissapointing. It supposedly will give a huge performance boost over today's CPUs. There was a big movement went it was announced to wait, wait, and wait some more for it to come out. Don't ask me whether you should hold off, because I am not knowledgable enough and you need to do your own research into the matter to determine whether or not you can wait.
  46. Yeah, if you want to wait, go ahead and wait, but don't specifically wait for conroe, just wait for the whatever the latest and greatest is, regardless. No sense in waiting for one specific thing, there will be new generation video cards, motherboards, ram, hard drive, etc, etc. out by then.
  47. I don't understand his logic; why should he spend 200$ on a motherboard and 300$ on a hard drive, if he is already strapped for cash?
  48. Quote:
    Yeah, if you want to wait, go ahead and wait, but don't specifically wait for conroe, just wait for the whatever the latest and greatest is, regardless. No sense in waiting for one specific thing, there will be new generation video cards, motherboards, ram, hard drive, etc, etc. out by then.

    Not really. Conroe comes in July, which isn't too far away. Getting a decent video card/ram now will pay off, and just buying a cheap processor to eventually upgrade does make sense.
    BTW, Conroe will be a dual core based on Pentium M processor technologies. It will be 65nm, include SSE4 and other major improvements. It will work on any current Intel board that supports dual-cores with only a BIOS update. There will be a wide range of Conroe's available, ranging from 1.67-3.33ghz.
  49. $1200 is not Strapped for cash. I'm looking at longevity here.
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