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Building a system under 500 dollars Need Help

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June 14, 2006 4:54:42 PM

I found this great guide here http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/10/14/the_/page9.html

So far I can build this very same system for approx. 450.00 (check half way down the page for specs) at newegg.com which would be perfect for what I want to do right now.

I am however a gamer and was wondering if I should dump the radeon AGP that the guide recommends for a PCIE x16 card? and if so any recommendations on which PCIE card (around 100-150.00) I should get?

Or should I try to spend the extra 50.00 dollars on more memory?

Thanks
June 14, 2006 5:14:25 PM

eVGA 256-A8-N340-TX Geforce 6600 256 MB
Nvidia not ATI, but for 150 you might find a 7600gt on rebate by eVGA. 500 is quite a challenge. Talk about paul from robbing peter, or is it peter robbing from paul. anyhow, Check here too for some cheap stuff computer geeks pricewatch Rebates can be your best friend. I imagine the 6600gt would do alright still and the dif between agp and pcie is moot. Still, if it's even steven, get pcie. In the end you'll be scraping low to mid-midrange performance for games, but i'm guessing you're ready for that. Ram at 1 gig will make a noted difference in overall performance if you have 50 dollars to spare. Which would i choose in a pinch?..gpu upgrade or ram....probably gpu. After you scrape together 50 more bucks you can get another 512.. if you don't really care about eye candy..get the ram now
June 14, 2006 5:20:15 PM

I would look around for a deal on an X850pro card. You'll get much better performance for around $150.
Related resources
June 14, 2006 5:27:01 PM

True....true. That would be a better deal. I haven't seen them for that price myself, but I second the idea.
June 14, 2006 7:11:11 PM

Thanks for the tips. I will check into those cards and those websites that were mentioned.

This is a starter PC until I can get the big bucks for a significant gpu and cpu. But for the most part I like to play strategy games like Age of Empires III, Warhammer 2k and a couple MMO's like City of Heroes and World of Warcraft. I think this machine can get me from A ---> B and when the time comes break out the bucks for SLI :) 

This is only the second machine that am attempting to build :) 

Thanks!
June 14, 2006 7:18:44 PM

That PC from Tomshardware guide will really hinder gaming. I took the liberty of swapping out some part in order to get better gaming performance while staying in the $500 budget:

Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB $46 + $5.5 shipping

ECS RX480-A (1.0) ATX AMD Motherboard - $56 + $7 shipping

POWERCOLOR Radeon X800GT - $149 + $5.50 shipping - $25 Mail-in Rebate

LITE-ON Black ATAPI/E-IDE DVD-ROM + $23 + Free Shipping

Thermaltake TR2 W0070 430W Power Supply - $40 + Free Shipping - $10 Mail-In Rebate

CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) - $82 + $5 Shipping

AMD Athlon 64 3000+ - $96 + Free Shipping

Total Price Cost of Parts.................$491.95
Total Shipping Charges....................$46.20

Total............................................$538.15

Mail-In Rebates.............................($35.00)

Grand Total...................................$503.15
==============================

Yes, I know some of these components are considered budget. But Using them leaves enough money to boost RAM to 1GB, and a X800XT GPU.

ECS motherboards are very basic. From what I've read a lot of PC manufactures outside of the US uses their motherboards.

As much as I like Seasonic (I have one myself), I just can justify spending money on a Premium PSU for a $500 budget PC. Thermaltake makes adequate PSUs, I had one before I upgraded to Seasonic. Nothing to write home about, but the saving does go towards more RAM and the X800GT.

=========================

If you don't mind spending a little more for a better GPU then consider the following options:

HIS Hightech Radeon X800GTO - $155 + $7 shipping - $30 Mail-in Rebate

SAPPHIRE Radeon X850XT - $159 + $5.50 Shipping - $20Mail-in Rebate

eVGA Geforce 7600GT 256 - $170 + $5.50 Shipping - $20 Mail-in Rebate

Enjoy!!
June 14, 2006 8:06:33 PM

Quote:
That PC from Tomshardware guide will really hinder gaming. I took the liberty of swapping out some part in order to get better gaming performance while staying in the $500 budget:

Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB $46 + $5.5 shipping

ECS RX480-A (1.0) ATX AMD Motherboard - $56 + $7 shipping

POWERCOLOR Radeon X800GT - $149 + $5.50 shipping - $25 Mail-in Rebate

LITE-ON Black ATAPI/E-IDE DVD-ROM + $23 + Free Shipping

Thermaltake TR2 W0070 430W Power Supply - $40 + Free Shipping - $10 Mail-In Rebate

CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) - $82 + $5 Shipping

AMD Athlon 64 3000+ - $96 + Free Shipping

Total Price Cost of Parts.................$491.95
Total Shipping Charges....................$46.20

Total............................................$538.15

Mail-In Rebates.............................($35.00)

Grand Total...................................$503.15
==============================

Yes, I know some of these components are considered budget. But Using them leaves enough money to boost RAM to 1GB, and a X800XT GPU.

ECS motherboards are very basic. From what I've read a lot of PC manufactures outside of the US uses their motherboards.

As much as I like Seasonic (I have one myself), I just can justify spending money on a Premium PSU for a $500 budget PC. Thermaltake makes adequate PSUs, I had one before I upgraded to Seasonic. Nothing to write home about, but the saving does go towards more RAM and the X800GT.

=========================

If you don't mind spending a little more for a better GPU then consider the following options:

HIS Hightech Radeon X800GTO - $155 + $7 shipping - $30 Mail-in Rebate

SAPPHIRE Radeon X850XT - $159 + $5.50 Shipping - $20Mail-in Rebate

eVGA Geforce 7600GT 256 - $170 + $5.50 Shipping - $20 Mail-in Rebate

Enjoy!!


A couple things:

1) Why the IDE hard drive?
2) Why the X800GT when you can get an X800GTO for about $100?
3) Why the Value Select RAM when you can get this OCZ EL RAM for $5 less?
Just a couple suggestions
June 14, 2006 9:32:16 PM

Quote:

A couple things:

1) Why the IDE hard drive?
2) Why the X800GT when you can get an X800GTO for about $100?
3) Why the Value Select RAM when you can get this OCZ EL RAM for $5 less?
Just a couple suggestions


1. The IDE drive was one of the original parts listed in THG's guide so I just decided to keep it. Also, SATA drive costs slightly more money and I wanted to stay within the $500 as much as possible.

2. I didn't see the X800GTO for $100 at Newegg when I did my filter. Of course the X800GTO for $100 is a great deal.

3. Well, apparently I decided to stop scrolling downwards when I saw Corsair. Ironically the OCZ RAM you are referring to was right under the Corsair, so my laziness stopped me from seeing that deal.
June 15, 2006 12:39:17 AM

that,

or this case

they also come in silver and some with window for around the same price just depends on the style you like
June 15, 2006 4:15:22 AM

X800GTO
They're out there for 100 on newegg (power color), but the clock speeds are lowered. This HIS would work well.
June 15, 2006 5:07:22 AM

Quote:
X800GTO
They're out there for 100 on newegg (power color), but the clock speeds are lowered. This HIS would work well.


Actually that was the first alternative video card I recommended:

Quote:

If you don't mind spending a little more for a better GPU then consider the following options:

HIS Hightech Radeon X800GTO - $155 + $7 shipping - $30 Mail-in Rebate

SAPPHIRE Radeon X850XT - $159 + $5.50 Shipping - $20Mail-in Rebate

eVGA Geforce 7600GT 256 - $170 + $5.50 Shipping - $20 Mail-in Rebate

Enjoy!!
June 15, 2006 12:25:59 PM

AM2 is foreign to me. Can you explain the difference between an AM2 and a regular 939 board?
June 15, 2006 1:50:54 PM

Quote:
AM2 is foreign to me. Can you explain the difference between an AM2 and a regular 939 board?


Socket AM2 is something new that AMD just released last month. It is the successor to socket 939. AMD will stop producing S939 Athlons by the end of the year, if I remember correctly. Other than the fact that an AM2 Athlon will not fit in a S939 motherboard, the major difference that most people are concerned about is support for DDR2 RAM.

S939 Athlon uses the older DDR RAM that you are probably familiar with. DDR2 RAM is the next generation and is not compatible with DDR RAM; DDR2 RAM has 240 pins while DDR RAM has 184 pins. Think of pins as connection points. I believe DDR2 RAM is slightly more expensive than DDR RAM at the moment.

Faster versions of the Athlon 64 will only be released for socket AM2 motherboards such as the announced Athlon 64 X2 5000+, and the Athlon FX-62. S939 Athlon 64s will be stuck with the X2 4800+, and FX-60.

AMD's next generation CPU, K8L, is expected to be released next year only for socket AM2.
June 15, 2006 2:45:00 PM

Quote:
I believe DDR2 RAM is slightly more expensive than DDR RAM at the moment.

It is for speeds above 667. At least where I live, you can get some DDR-400 for nearly the same as some DDR-II-667 modules.
June 15, 2006 8:35:21 PM

Quote:
I believe DDR2 RAM is slightly more expensive than DDR RAM at the moment.

It is for speeds above 667. At least where I live, you can get some DDR-400 for nearly the same as some DDR-II-667 modules.

I suppose you can get DDR2 667 RAM, but I'm guessing that performance will be a little slower than if DDR2 800 RAM was used.
June 23, 2006 1:07:52 AM

Hey I have finalized my build and I would like some opinions and just general advice since I will be purchasing this next Tuesday! I can't wait.

After looking at AM2 boards I have decided instead to go with an ASUS A8N5X 939 board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

with an Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 2000MHz HT Socket 939:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

The reason I went with a regular 939 board instead of AM2 was because I couldn't find a good AM2 mobo with generaly good ratings at a low cost at Newegg.

After debating between buying a XION II Case with 450w PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

or buying a case without a PSU and purchasing the case and PSU separately listed below:

Case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

I think I will end up getting a cheap case and buy the above thermaltake PSU even though buying the XION II is cheaper, what does every suggest?

And 1 gig of Adata Ram:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

With PCIE graphics:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Total cost is 513.00 which includes shipping.

What does everyone think of the mobo/cpu combo? Will I have any problems with the above arrangement? Like I said earlier I want to build a decent machine that I can afford under 500.00 with a potential to upgrade later.

Thanks guys
June 23, 2006 3:10:24 PM

Getting the case and seperate PSU i a good idea since most combo case & PSU are pretty bad (Antec and Silverstone are a couple of exceptions). While Thermaltake isn't the greatest, they do make decent PSUs.

I would prefer to go with a RAM namebrand, also having only one stick of RAM would actually slow down the PC a little bit. I would suggest the OCZ Value Series 1GB for $78.50 which includes shipping and after a $10 mail-in rebate.

Finally if you can afford to spend a little more money, get the Athlon 64 3200+ ($99) or the 3500+ ($109) because the 3000+ is really low end. People say games depends more on the GPU than CPU, but having a decent CPU is also important.

Have fun with your build.
June 23, 2006 3:39:21 PM

Forget value RAM; get this OCZ Enhanced Latency for the same price. And I agree; get the 3200+ rather than the 3000+.
!