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whats a decent gaming rig Under $600

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May 7, 2006 1:07:50 PM

I am going to build my first computer and i have a tight budget of $600. It can go a little bit over but not too much. I was just wondering if anyone could help me with this. I would like Nvidia GPU and Intel or AMD 64 CPU. I would also like this to be a decent gaming PC. Thanks all your help is appreciated.
May 7, 2006 1:57:58 PM

here's a suggestion...

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue $61 shipped
FSP Group AX450-PN 450W $51 shipped *free shipping!*
AMD ATHLON 64 3000+ $104 shipped
MSI K8NGM2-L Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 $65 shipped
G.SKILL 1GB (2 x 512MB) DDR 400 $81 shipped
BenQ Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD-R...2M Cache with LightScribe - OEM $39 shipped
WD800JB 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM $50 shipped
MSI Geforce 7600GT 256MB w/ Prince Of Persia 3 $180 **w/ $20 MIR**
$631

tough to crimp any more... if anything use the $20 MIR on the gpu to justify the extra expense :wink:
May 7, 2006 2:18:27 PM

OP didnt say he needed to burn DVDs so you scrap the 39 dollar burner for a 20 dollar DVD rom, and put the extra 20 to double or almost triple the HDD space which he would need for gaming. you can beat 80 for a gig of RAM. antec sonata II goes for 102 shipped on egg i think and that includes a 450 psu.
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May 7, 2006 3:37:07 PM

Wow thanks guys for all your help. I will be ordering those parts shortly and yeah I will be using the dvd burner that i forgot to mention. Thanks for your help
May 7, 2006 4:00:17 PM

If it makes a difference I wouldn't bother going with the LightScribe burner, as LightScribe is crap, although I don't know what the price difference is in the US and if it's only a few $$$ then don't bother dropping it.
May 7, 2006 4:42:28 PM

ASUS P5ND2-SLI Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition 93
Intel Pentium D 805 Smithfield 533MHz 130
Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 85
eVGA 256-P2-N549 Geforce 7600GS 256MB PCI Express x16 129
CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 Unbuffered DDR2 667 76


513 for the above rig

leaves you a few bucks for a case DVD drive and floppy?

new egg pricing.

game general purpose and gaming pc for $600
May 7, 2006 4:56:03 PM

Check the Classifieds section on this site and the Buy/Sell/Trade section on tech-forums.net. I was able to put my rig together for much cheaper by buying used.
May 7, 2006 5:01:21 PM

Quote:
ASUS P5ND2-SLI Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition 93
Intel Pentium D 805 Smithfield 533MHz 130
Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 85
eVGA 256-P2-N549 Geforce 7600GS 256MB PCI Express x16 129
CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 Unbuffered DDR2 667 76


513 for the above rig

leaves you a few bucks for a case DVD drive and floppy?

new egg pricing.

game general purpose and gaming pc for $600

For a budget gaming PC, that is probably one of the worst processors you could get.
May 7, 2006 5:45:23 PM

Buy an Emachine T6528 and slap in a 7600GS.
May 7, 2006 6:46:06 PM

Quote:
antec sonata II goes for 102 shipped on egg i think and that includes a 450 psu.


Right now the Sonata II is going for $113 shipped on newegg, so there's not much difference between that and the $112 Cooler Master case/FSP psu setup suggested by doolittle. Both PSUs are solid choices... the cases look pretty similar too... Either way, you can't go wrong, although spending over 1/6 of the budget on casing and power could be too big of a chunk... You can get a pretty good case/psu combo for <$70 shipped -- Check out APEX brand, e.g.
May 7, 2006 7:56:42 PM

ADM or Intel ???
May 7, 2006 8:04:20 PM

Quote:
ADM or Intel ???


Who wants to take the first shot?

(I'd pick Intel, ADM don't make processors as far as I know)
a b 4 Gaming
May 7, 2006 8:09:05 PM

Quote:
I am going to build my first computer and i have a tight budget of $600. It can go a little bit over but not too much. I was just wondering if anyone could help me with this. I would like Nvidia GPU and Intel or AMD 64 CPU. I would also like this to be a decent gaming PC. Thanks all your help is appreciated.


Do you have any spare parts that you can use like a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc? Do you already have Windows XP?

Windows XP Home = $90
Windoes XP Pro = $150
May 7, 2006 8:20:29 PM

DO NOT GET THE 7600GS, get the GT as the 1st person suggested. in fact, stick with the first list, doolittle's. get the 3000+ not the intel for gaming. k bye gl
May 7, 2006 9:52:48 PM

yeah I got montior kyebord mouse speakers windows etc.
May 7, 2006 10:13:34 PM

Hmm...I think the GT may be out of your range, and I have to say nay to the Intel Rig, sorry. Not enough processing power, as most of the times CPU's are the bottlenecks.

~Ibrahim~
a b 4 Gaming
May 8, 2006 2:22:51 AM

Quote:
yeah I got montior kyebord mouse speakers windows etc.


This configuration after a $10 instant rebate, $20 mail-in rebate and $40.58 of shipping charges comes out to $605.04.

Antec SLK3800B Black Case w/ 400w PSU

Athlon 64 3000+

BIOSTAR GEFORCE 6100-M9 Micro ATX

OCZ Value Series 1GB (2 x 512MB)

MSI Geforce 7600GT

Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB 3.5" Hard Drive

BenQ 16X DVD±R DVD Burner

Considering the fact that it has a 7600GT, I think that's a pretty impressive build.

Some people may question the BioStar motherboard, but it is a good motherboard. While I've never used this mobo I have used BioStar before. A good mix price and performance. Remember, you're on a budget.

As I said before, total cost including shipping and after rebates is $605.04
May 8, 2006 3:51:04 AM

Quote:
most of the times CPU's are the bottlenecks.


That's a huge overgeneralization. Look at dolittle's proposed rig and compare CPU cost to VGA.
May 9, 2006 12:17:11 AM

Cost? I'm a little confused. I'm just saying that AMD processors are better at gaming than Intels, and that when you make a gaming rig, the processor usually isn't the weakest link. I might have overgeneralized it, though.

~Ibrahim~
May 9, 2006 2:34:33 AM

Quote:
Cost? I'm a little confused. I'm just saying that AMD processors are better at gaming than Intels, and that when you make a gaming rig, the processor usually isn't the weakest link. I might have overgeneralized it, though.


Waitaminute... First you say the CPU is the bottleneck and now you say it isn't the weakest link?
May 9, 2006 5:09:16 AM

I think X box 360 is under 600 bucks AUS hehehe. (and its just for games) Will a 600 dollar PC really play some of the new games out there like oblivion?
May 9, 2006 10:11:53 AM

Quote:
Buy an Emachine T6528 and slap in a 7600GS.


No no no no please don't do that :( 
May 9, 2006 4:26:17 PM

Please ignore answers from people who have never used a budget PC. Oblivion plays fine at 1024X768 at low/medium settings on a budget cpu and 7600gs/gt. In fact, my brother in law is playing with a athlon xp 3200 and 9800 pro on low settings and loves the game.
May 9, 2006 6:04:47 PM

Quote:
Please ignore answers from people who have never used a budget PC. Oblivion plays fine at 1024X768 at low/medium settings on a budget cpu and 7600gs/gt. In fact, my brother in law is playing with a athlon xp 3200 and 9800 pro on low settings and loves the game.


My kid plays Obliv on his $600, 3 year old Dell laptop.

Ya just gotta want it.
May 9, 2006 10:36:54 PM

Yes I will conceed that you can "play" games like oblivion.... at lower settings.... will it lag? will it look better on a console?
May 9, 2006 11:02:37 PM

Agreed, at least get a this rig, but it is over the price range and the graphics are easily surpassed by even some older cards, heck I can bet my GeForce 4 Ti 4600 could beat it! Well, maybe, hopefully. It is a rue day when your graphic card is owned by an onboard. It is a rue day, indeed. That 7600GT/GS will own this 6150 or whatever it has!

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/HP-Pavilion-Media-Center...

OR


http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Gateway-Desktop-PC-GT401...

I would recommend building one over both of these, but they are merely suggestions.

~Ibrahim~
May 10, 2006 12:50:23 AM

Quote:
Agreed, at least get a this rig, but it is over the price range and the graphics are easily surpassed by even some older cards, heck I can bet my GeForce 4 Ti 4600 could beat it! Well, maybe, hopefully. It is a rue day when your graphic card is owned by an onboard. It is a rue day, indeed. That 7600GT/GS will own this 6150 or whatever it has!

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/HP-Pavilion-Media-Center...

OR


http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Gateway-Desktop-PC-GT401...

I would recommend building one over both of these, but they are merely suggestions.

~Ibrahim~


"Powerful graphics: The nVIDIA® GeForce 6100 delivers exceptional graphics performance that will enhance your enjoyment of the latest games and your favorite movies. When you’re ready, use the available PCI-Express x16 slot to add an even more powerful graphics card."

LOL; to think that the average consumer will actually beleive that crap.
May 10, 2006 12:51:30 AM

Quote:
Please ignore answers from people who have never used a budget PC. Oblivion plays fine at 1024X768 at low/medium settings on a budget cpu and 7600gs/gt. In fact, my brother in law is playing with a athlon xp 3200 and 9800 pro on low settings and loves the game.


My kid plays Obliv on his $600, 3 year old Dell laptop.

Ya just gotta want it.

I play oblivion on an IBM PC XT running DOS.
May 10, 2006 6:51:27 AM

Quote:
"Powerful graphics: The nVIDIA® GeForce 6100 delivers exceptional graphics performance that will enhance your enjoyment of the latest games and your favorite movies. When you’re ready, use the available PCI-Express x16 slot to add an even more powerful graphics card."


"Errr, it's alright, you can watch DVDs on it, but it's not really as good as any of our other cards and if you do buy it you'll want to spend more money on a proper graphics card"
May 10, 2006 7:39:39 AM

you can even save money on the PSU and get a 400W or a 350W for that setup.... it would run that with no problems.... but if you upgrade to more powerful hardware, IE. OC a dual core cpu, 7800 or 1900/1800 and multiple HDD's, you would need a new psu. Depends on the future of your build.
May 10, 2006 11:23:15 PM

another great build, but I personally would get a Full Size ATX motherboard, I hate those cramped ones: restricting airflow, enough dust to power NYC, and enough cuts to make a lion-torn carcass merely seem like a flesh wound! Just my humble opinion, but the smaller ones are sometimes cheaper.

~Ibrahim~
May 12, 2006 4:12:43 AM

Quote:
Elbert wrote:
Buy an Emachine T6528 and slap in a 7600GS.


No no no no please don't do that

Its not the best ideal granted but what can you expect for $600.
May 12, 2006 8:11:42 AM

We've all owned sh!t PCs, although I didn't realise it was something to show off about.

And don't EVER buy an eMachine or equiv. There are so many threads here that are people complaining they can't upgrade their cheap pre-built machine because of proprietary sockets in the case, PSUs, motherboards etc... it's just not worth the hassle - do you really want to have to buy a new case, PSU and motherboard just to install a slightly better video card?
May 12, 2006 11:16:34 PM

Quote:
Something better than an emachine lol. look at my previous post. at least with it, you have more upgrade room, not to mention better components.

I dont like defending emachine but your build only has a 64 3000 while the emachine has a 64 3500 and unlike yours it has an OS. The emachine does only come with 512 Mega but I would be more enclined to replace 512 Mega with 2 Giga than to replace 1 Giga with 2 Giga speaking to the upgrade question. Yes I can find the bad in anything before you ask. Your Power supply is a good one but, the 7600GS only requires a 300W so, later he could always get a power supply that support the latest GPU which yours may not.
May 13, 2006 2:49:13 AM

Quote:
ASUS P5ND2-SLI Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition 93
Intel Pentium D 805 Smithfield 533MHz 130
Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 85
eVGA 256-P2-N549 Geforce 7600GS 256MB PCI Express x16 129
CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 Unbuffered DDR2 667 76


513 for the above rig

leaves you a few bucks for a case DVD drive and floppy?

new egg pricing.

game general purpose and gaming pc for $600

For a budget gaming PC, that is probably one of the worst processors you could get.

Apparently you didn't read the article Tom's did on this processor! As for a first time builder though, I wouldn't recommend it since overclocking would be involved. Of course you can still get a nice overclock without messing with the voltage so maybe it would be o.k.?
May 14, 2006 3:13:09 AM

If you are on a tight budget........why not go for a DELL and slap a graphics card in it. You can't compete with Dell in terms of price....
May 14, 2006 3:53:01 AM

Quote:
If you are on a tight budget........why not go for a DELL and slap a graphics card in it. You can't compete with Dell in terms of price....


You can compete if you build it yourself
May 14, 2006 4:13:14 AM

Quote:
If you are on a tight budget........why not go for a DELL and slap a graphics card in it. You can't compete with Dell in terms of price....

Price alone that maybe true but price for performance Emachine beats them in gaming. I would take the $450 Emachine with the 64 3500+ over any Dell under $600.
May 14, 2006 8:49:55 AM

DON'T GET A DELL OR EMACHINES.

You'll totally kick yourself when it comes to upgrading. Like I said before...proprietary parts make upgrading/doing anything useful with them beyond standard spec increadibly difficult.

Think about it - they want you to buy another Dell or eMachine, why would they make it easy for you to just upgrade it on the cheap and not have to buy another computer.
May 14, 2006 5:17:45 PM

Quote:
DON'T GET A DELL OR EMACHINES.

You'll totally kick yourself when it comes to upgrading. Like I said before...proprietary parts make upgrading/doing anything useful with them beyond standard spec increadibly difficult.

Think about it - they want you to buy another Dell or eMachine, why would they make it easy for you to just upgrade it on the cheap and not have to buy another computer.

Emachine doesn't use proprietary part they just use cheap parts. You can upgrade any part of an Emachine just aslong as you know that Emachine's OS want install on another motherboard and the power supply isn't going push the top of the line GPU. The companys that use proprietary part are Compaq, HP, and Dells case want fit most motherboards. Proprietary is when 1 or both part requires another before it will work like Compaq's motherboard requires the Compaq's power supply. I want buy a Compaq or HP for just this reason as for Dell its systems for the parts are over price to pay for tech support which I never need unless I need to RMA.
May 14, 2006 5:28:44 PM

Well I'm glad you're enjoying your eMachines PC, but in this case it's not really the best option.

Pre-built PCs almost always come with a PSU that's only about 10w more than it actually needs. A 7600gs uses up 30w approx (?) and I wouldn't guarantee it not blowing up a cheap-o PSU.

And I'd wager that they use custom motherboards, because I've seen them use custom motherboards before. Custom motherboards = proprietary parts - often with no AGP/PCI-E support and 2 or even just 1 DIMM socket.
May 14, 2006 7:13:00 PM

Quote:
Well I'm glad you're enjoying your eMachines PC, but in this case it's not really the best option.

Pre-built PCs almost always come with a PSU that's only about 10w more than it actually needs. A 7600gs uses up 30w approx (?) and I wouldn't guarantee it not blowing up a cheap-o PSU.

And I'd wager that they use custom motherboards, because I've seen them use custom motherboards before. Custom motherboards = proprietary parts - often with no AGP/PCI-E support and 2 or even just 1 DIMM socket.


My old HP motherboard (socket 775) fit into this Cooler Master case. It was a proprietary model, but at least it was a standard design. The HP power supply worked with this DFI board that I'm using right now.
May 14, 2006 10:11:58 PM

Exactly! The only thing wrong with this computer is that is over your budget, but I think the money is well spent on the extra stuff:

X2 4200+
2GB of RAM
250GB Hard Drive
nVidia 6150 w/open PCI-e x16 slot
DL DVD Burner w/Lightscribe
MCE 2005
One of those media 9-in-1 things

For only $779! (Hurry, the $100 rebate ends in six days!) I think that is a pretty amazing deal, and I just read a review on the site of a guy who got a new case/w PSU and a 7900GT and is blazing. I personally like one reviewer who says "...and the 2000[Mhz] speed bus is just great to have..." Yeah, I like the way he put it, just amazing.

~Ibrahim~

*smacks head repeatedly*
How could I forget the URL?

How stupid can I get?
May 15, 2006 4:33:21 PM

Quote:
Well I'm glad you're enjoying your eMachines PC, but in this case it's not really the best option.

Thanks its good!

Quote:
Pre-built PCs almost always come with a PSU that's only about 10w more than it actually needs. A 7600gs uses up 30w approx (?) and I wouldn't guarantee it not blowing up a cheap-o PSU.

I have a 7600GS in it now as well as 4Gb of Ram with 3Gb as software SSD and it comes with the required 300W PSU.

Quote:
And I'd wager that they use custom motherboards, because I've seen them use custom motherboards before. Custom motherboards = proprietary parts - often with no AGP/PCI-E support and 2 or even just 1 DIMM socket.

None of those mean proprietary. No AGP/PCI-E only means cheap Intel onboard chipset and 1 DIMM again means cheap motherboard. Proprietary parts are parts that force you to buy addons from them. Look back at what I wrote about Compaq for if you need to replace their PSU you have to buy from them because the motherboard will not work with any other PSU. If you owned a compaq you had to buy their RAM in most cases.

Quote:
My old HP motherboard (socket 775) fit into this Cooler Master case. It was a proprietary model, but at least it was a standard design. The HP power supply worked with this DFI board that I'm using right now.

If it was proprietary it would not have worked. HP, to sale the newest products sometimes has to take standard but cheap equipment. Did all the parts work with the DFI mobo? If so you got really lucky. Maybe HP has seen the error of their ways.

Standard equipment are parts based on standards ment to work with all other equipment which complies with those standards. Proprietary equipment are parts that only work with other intended proprietary parts and are protected by patients to guard against other from making parts for. A proprietary mobo may have an AGP slot like the presario 5838 which comes with a voodoo3 card. Upgrading the card will require upgrading the PSU which is proprietary and cost $159 for a 250 watt PSU at last check.
May 15, 2006 5:25:24 PM

Quote:
Exactly! The only thing wrong with this computer is that is over your budget, but I think the money is well spent on the extra stuff:

X2 4200+
2GB of RAM
250GB Hard Drive
nVidia 6150 w/open PCI-e x16 slot
DL DVD Burner w/Lightscribe
MCE 2005
One of those media 9-in-1 things

For only $779! (Hurry, the $100 rebate ends in six days!) I think that is a pretty amazing deal, and I just read a review on the site of a guy who got a new case/w PSU and a 7900GT and is blazing. I personally like one reviewer who says "...and the 2000[Mhz] speed bus is just great to have..." Yeah, I like the way he put it, just amazing.

Thats a great system but for a gaming rig the X2 4200+ is only and equal to the 3500+. Games right now will only use 1 core not both. The money for the X2 4200 maybe better spent on a 4000+ for gammers.
May 15, 2006 6:14:53 PM

I'm finding this topic very informative, as I have an old (5+ year) Athlon XP 1800+ with VIA KT266/333 and it's begging for a new motherboard/cpu, which means I think a new PSU (have thermaltake dual fan 420w regular ATX), new ram (mines Kingston PC2100 512 x2)

I was actually looking at the eMachine T6528 as an option so we'd have a computer to use while I save up to get a new one built (no I can't do it myself -- I can install RAM, that's it). I've been searching all over the place to find out if I can replace the substandard PSU that eMachines are known for - like which one would work, and of course would have to get a PCI-E card (that doesn't cost the world) for our online (mostly flash-based) heavy games.

I did find out that the motherboard is an MSI MS-7207 (K8NGM2-L) socket 939 for AMD 64/64FX/64x2 dial core, supports CoolnQuient, chipset is NVIDIA 6100, then 2.56 DDR SDRAM Dimm Dual channel DDR 266/333/400 (not sure what that means). That motherboard (retail version) is here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

I'm also looking at things on eBay, most of us new to this trying to build or at least get the components for someone knowledgeable to build can get really confused really fast. I think that's another reason many people just go get that eMachine or whatever other name brand. Plus, not all of us are good at the "tweaking" things .. like this ULi thing?

I really did like that first recommendation.

I found this Asus A8N-SLI Socket 939 Barebone Kit, only thing is it's AMD Athlon 64 3200+ OEM (don't know about this for gaming)

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

I was looking at an AMD 3500+ san diego and an ASrock board - but it has that ULi "thing" that you have to do something with to use a separate video card. So, living down? to my username here, being older and disabled, yes I was looking at the eMachine. Just don't know what would be good to upgrade what's needed so it lasts and could be used as our first network after new one is built.
May 15, 2006 11:10:34 PM

Hi! Computers aren't too confusing once you get the basic parts down. I see you've gotten a good idea and have the basics down. You shouldn't be needing a power supply as
1) 420W should be more than sufficient for you
2) Thermaltake is a good brand.

The memory is at the right amount, 1GB (Which is 512 + 512 = 1024, 1GB = 1000; we round off that 24 to an even 1000) but the speed could be better. What I would do is sell those two 512 sticks of Kingston and use that money to buy more RAM. Now, the current speed you are running your RAM at is lower than what it could be, it is like you have room for 5 lanes, but you are only using 3. What speed you have is 2100, while you want the much faster 3200.

Ram speed is read two ways: One, by the rated MHz speed and then the speed it is running at:

266MHz = PC2100
333MHz = PC2700
400MHz = PC3200

As you can see, the MHz numer on the right is multiplied by eight to get the PC speed. Either way, it is the same speed whichever way it is read. What your computer says is that is can support slower speed RAM. AMD CPUs can use at a maximum of 400MHz/PC3200 currently. Why would someone choose slower RAM even if the computer can support faster? Simply, it is cheaper to get slower, but the price/performance ratio says 400MHz is your best bet.

ULi? I'm somewhat confused, I thought they were a chipset manufacturer. Did you mean SLi? That is a way to use two graphic cards at once, which is way too much power for most users, and I think is a waste of money, but I won't get into that. I DO think you meant S:i, which is a new technology made my nVidia, pioneered by 3DFX. It uses two entire graphic cards, coupling there power together to share the load and theoritically double the power. Now it hasn't been doubled yet, as games are optimized to use it, but spending that much money for a not-so-much speed increase is not worth it. This is a personal opinion, but I'm 1000% sure you wouldn't be needing it, unless some freak accident happens and you start to love first person shooters which must be played on 30" screens with all details turned up and must play at playable levels. Otherwise, you are fine. SLi is a software AND hardware thing, and they go hand in hand. You must have a SLI compatible motherboard, which means a nForce chipset and two PCI-e x16 slots, and you must have the specific drivers. SLi is aimed at enthusiasts, not you. Not trying to be blunt, but...

For just online flash-based games, that 6100 in there should be perfect. I would say, spend the extra money on the T6532. More RAM, but I think that is it. Maybe not, your call. I would like to draw attention to the PC I mentioned earlier, but that one may be overkill for online games.

I'm a little confused. Do you want to build a new computer, upgrade your old one, or buy a new one? Hope I've answered some questions, and with my spelling and grammar, probably raised a few. If I'm still being too geeky, just respond back and I'll uh...whats the word..."simplify" it. I tried not to use the word "dumbing down," lol, just kidding.

~Ibrahim~

The 3200+ is a perfectly fine CPU for most games
!