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building budget gaming pc

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April 26, 2006 2:23:16 AM

I am a first time builder hoping to build a system for under or around 1000 usd. I am interested in building a system that is capable of playing BF2 decently. Here are the parts I have in mine but im open to any info or insight that anybody is willing to give.

Motherboard:
ASUS A8N-SLI Premium Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard

Fan/heatsink:
Thermaltake VENUS 12 80mm Ball Cooling Fan/Heatsink

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar SE WD1200JBRTL 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive

Memory:
CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory

PSU(still looking for a good case but someone told me to buy seperate PSU):
Thermaltake TR2 W0070 ATX 430W Power Supply 115/230 V

CPU:
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2000MHz HT 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor

Video card:
eVGA 256-P2-N553-AX Geforce 7600GT CO 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card

The price for all this is around 700 so i still have a little bit of money to work with. Im not worried about a monitor, i have that covered. Again, this list is just something me and a friend put together and not what im set on.

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April 26, 2006 2:31:18 AM

I would bump that 7600gt to a 7900gt for better results and but a amd 3700 or opteron 148 if you would like to overclock down the line
April 26, 2006 3:38:10 AM

The Aspire X-Dreamer II case has received pretty good reviews and you can get it with a 420W power supply shipped for $73.

I'm curious why you chose an Ultra ATA100 drive over an ATA133 or SATA drive. You can get a 250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s drive with double the cache for only $20-$30 more than the one you listed.

If I had $1000 to spend on a PC, I would equip it with a 7900GT and an Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (something like this).
If I was looking to spend more like $750, I would go with the 7600GT and a 3700+ (like this).
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April 26, 2006 3:41:52 AM

Drop the SLI motherboard, get 2 gigs of ram, 7900GT. Buy an Antec Sonata II case+psu. Quality power supply and amazing case for really nice price. Get a 3700+ cpu, the difference in price is negligible.

If you make those changes you would be able to run BF2 on max settings.
April 26, 2006 3:47:08 AM

To play BF2 smootly you will need at least 2Gb ram, and take sandman's advice and try to budget the 7900gt and a 3700. The A8N-SLI Premium is nice, albeit expensive, and hopefully you don't get bitten by the asus QA bug.

I have an evga board works well for $85 shipped - I have that w/ an X2 3800, patriot 2g 2-3-2-5 kit and 7800gt plays BF2 very well.

My son uses a 3700 w/ 6800gt and a gskill (2gb kit, 2-3-2-5 for $187 w/ a $50 MIR so it is a killer deal) and BF2 lags a bit, but playable... hate to cripple his gfx settings or resolution...
maybe the 7600gt will perform better?
April 26, 2006 4:03:48 AM

I disagree that you need 2GB of RAM to run BF2 smoothly, as I've seen lots of different hardware run it fluidly with 1GB. You might also want to check out Gamespot's BF2 Hardware Guide or this article at Tom's which talks about how much RAM you really need.
Of course, more is almost always better, so I won't disagree that 2GB is the way to go if you want to spend the money. It's just that in my experience 2GB vs 1GB doesn't get you much bang for your buck yet.
April 26, 2006 4:06:47 AM

It is only if you want to run BF2 on max settings that you need more then 1 gig of ram.
April 26, 2006 4:20:37 AM

Quote:
I am a first time builder hoping to build a system for under or around 1000 usd. I am interested in building a system that is capable of playing BF2 decently. Here are the parts I have in mine but im open to any info or insight that anybody is willing to give.

Motherboard:
ASUS A8N-SLI Premium Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard

Fan/heatsink:
Thermaltake VENUS 12 80mm Ball Cooling Fan/Heatsink

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar SE WD1200JBRTL 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive

Memory:
CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory

PSU(still looking for a good case but someone told me to buy seperate PSU):
Thermaltake TR2 W0070 ATX 430W Power Supply 115/230 V

CPU:
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2000MHz HT 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor

Video card:
eVGA 256-P2-N553-AX Geforce 7600GT CO 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card

The price for all this is around 700 so i still have a little bit of money to work with. Im not worried about a monitor, i have that covered. Again, this list is just something me and a friend put together and not what im set on.


You don't need that motherboard, ditch it and get something like the A8N-E for $93 and spend the almost $100 you save on getting a 7900GT. Also, not just games, but your system will be happier, especially once Vista comes out with 2GB of RAM. Corsair is selling 2x 1GB XMS RAM with $191 wit h a $50 rebate right now on newegg, so it does not break the bank. Plus you get much better RAM.

Edit: as other posters have said, get an SATA II hard drive. Much better cable management than IDE and a smal speed improvment.
April 26, 2006 7:54:09 AM

thanks so much for the useful information. I appreciate people taking the time and responding to help a first time builder.
April 26, 2006 3:48:08 PM

For a good case and power supply combo I recommend the Antec LifeStyle SONATA II for $119 shipped.

Antec is a very well known and well respected company that makes good quality cases and PSUs. Of course they stick their own PSUs into thier own cases.

Depending on who you ask people's opinion on Thermaltake's PSUs will range from crap to okay. Antec's PSU will range between good and excellent. That's speaking generally of course.
April 26, 2006 3:49:02 PM

I have beeter offerswith cheap prices and with Dual Cores, and TV TUNER., and 1 gb of memory. and monitor, and XFI sound card.

I truly recommend CRT monitor for gaming especially for BF2.

This what i will built


check for configuration prices at end of this message.

This is an Gaming, Entertainment, Multimedia PC. U wont find this prices, and features at a local best buy or other electronic store. They dont even include a video card and sound card.

Asus A8N-SLI Mainboar
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ or (X2 3800 or x2 4200) Optionals
Corsair 1024 GB PC3200 DDR DIMM
Seagate Barracuda ST3160023AS 160GB Hard Drive
Creative XFI Music sound card
ATI All-In-Wonder 2006 Edition Radeon X1300 Video Card buil it TV TUNER
or( ATI X1300 Normal Video card) optional
Power Supply-ThermalTake 430W
DVD-Rom-NEC ND-3550A Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer
Cooler Master CAC-T05UW Centurion 5 Black/Silver Mid Tower
Samsung CRT monitor 19" .20mm 1940x1440


Motherboard;Asus A8N-SLI Mainboard $115.83
http://www.ajump.com/ajump/product.asp?pf%5Fid=0640159&...

CPU:AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Processor $207.50
http://www.buydeal.com/MfrListingDescription.jsp?ListId...

Memory:Corsair 1GB PC3200 DDR DIMM Memory $99.59
http://www1.bottomdollar.com/p__Corsair_1GB_PC3200_DDR_...

Hard Seagate Barracuda ST3160023AS 160GB Hard Drive $75.26
http://www.buydeal.com/MfrListingDescription.jsp?ListId...

Video Card:ATI All-In-Wonder 2006 Edition Radeon X1300 Video Card $171.99
http://www.futurepowerpc.com/scripts/details.asp?PRDCOD...;REFI
OR
Sapphire Radeon X1300 Video Card $80.81
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Sound Card:Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic $110.95
http://www2.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?utm_id=17&ref=...;sku=

Power Supply-ThermalTake Thermatalke TR2 W0070RUC 430W Power Supply $37.88
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

DVD-Rom-NEC ND-3550A Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer - Black $43.34
http://www1.bottomdollar.com/p__NEC_ND_3550A_Dual_Layer...


Case:Cooler Master CAC-T05UW Centurion 5 Black/Silver Mid Tower $62.79
http://www.shopperexpo.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCo...

Monitor-ViewSonic VX2025WM Black/Silver 20.1" LCD Monitor $420.17
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=202310998&Sea...

I will absolutely go with AMD. Are much faster processors, and overclockable. better performer than Intels. Intel are weigh behind. Dont get fool with intel high clock speeds.

Also includes an Creative XFI sound card. Experience High Fidelity in 24 bit. Take your DVD movies and music files to the next level with cool surround sound.

.All-in-Wonder® 2006 PCI Express for quality picture, gaming, video editing and TV/PVR on your PC. Step-up to the all-in-one TV/PVR, video editing and gaming card for a complete digital multi-media system. The All-in-Wonder® card delivers superior visual performance for all types of entertainment and productivity on your PC. This all-in-one card delivers 3D hardware acceleration, TV and FM radio on your PC with PVR capabilities, video editing and software, interactive program guides, stereo FM tuner and input output capabilities for multimedia devices such as DVD players, VCR’s or camcorders. Experience AVIVO take your movie files into HD.


Total with tax and Shipping will be:

WITH MONITORS

Not Too Fast w/ AMD 3500 single Core
$1,004.18w/ ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER W/ Samsung19" crt
$908 W / NO ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER just a with a normal ATI X1300 w/ Samsung19" crt

VERY VERY FAST w/ AMD 3800 X2 DualCore
$1,094.68 w/ ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER W/ Samsung19" crt
$998.5 W / NO ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER just a with a normal ATI X1300 w/ Samsung19" crt

Extreme Fast w/ AMD 4200 Dual Core
$1,151.62 w/ ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER W/ Samsung19" crt
$1,055.00 W / NO ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER just a with a normal ATI X1300 w/ Samsung19" crt


WITH NO MONITORS


Not Too Fast w/ AMD 3500 single Core
$814.18 w/ ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER
$718.12 W / NO ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER
just a with a normal ATI X1300

VERY VERY FAST w/ AMD 3800 X2 DualCore
$904.68 w/ ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER
$808.5 W / NO ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER just a with a normal ATI X1300


Extreme Fast w/ AMD 4200 Dual Core
$961.62 w/ ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER
$865.00 W / NO ATI X1300 ALL IN WONDER built in TV TUNER just a with a normal ATI X1300


To buy this processors
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Dual Core Processor $298.00
http://www.directron.com/ada3800bvbox.html
OR
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Dual Core Processor $354.95
http://www.futurepowerpc.com/scripts/details.asp?PRDCOD...;REFI

hopefully this is are very convincing prices

GOOD LUCK!
April 26, 2006 4:15:30 PM

Just one problem with your setup though. It's a good all rounder for an HTPC, but I wouldn't recommend a X1300 for gaming purposes. Having a 7600GT or faster serve the OP better because his focus is on gaming and the 7600GT will last him longer as games become more GPU hungry like Oblivion.

For gaming purposes I would also recommend the Audigy 2 over the X-Fi. Not sure if one could tell the difference in sound between the cards for games. I would grudgingly agree that the X-Fi may sound better than the Audigy 2 for HTPC use if connected to good quality computer speakers. But if it was connected to an actual audio system, then yes I would recommend the X-Fi.
!