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Gaming System for around $700

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July 10, 2006 3:37:56 AM

Was building a system on Newegg for a Mac friend to show him how low cost building a desktop PC can be and figured I would post what I came up with because it's actually a decent little gaming system for right at $720 after a mail in rebate.

Processor:
AMD Athlon64 3000+ AM2- $93.00
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819103639

RAM: Corsair XMS 1GB DDR2-800- $104
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145566
If you want to go to 2GB you can go to 2GB for $198.

Motherboard: Asus M2NE- $95.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16813131022


Hard Drive: Seagate 250GB SATA II- $79
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16822148142

Video Card: eVGA 7600GT 256- $164.99 (plus $30 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16814130017

Case- Antec Sonta II Black w/ 450W PSU- $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16811129155

Basic Logitech keyboard and mouse- $30

DVD-Burner: Lite-on 16x: $37.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16827106013

$748.53 shipped
$718.53 after MIR for Video card..

Feel free to comment, but I think thats a nice little system, which is dual/quad core upgradable for under $800.

EDIT.. lol its in the price.. silly me

More about : gaming system 700

July 10, 2006 3:55:37 AM

Very nice. However, you forgot to add Windoze. There's another $90.
July 10, 2006 3:58:48 AM

I think it's missing a mobo too.
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July 10, 2006 3:58:53 AM

Windoze, schmindoze. Go with linux. It'll feel right at home with the former mac user...
July 10, 2006 4:25:20 AM

Quote:
Noticed that too...


lol.. orginal post edited with motherboard. It was in the price already somehow just didnt make it in the post.
July 10, 2006 4:50:11 AM

Very nice system, AM2 overclocks very well if your friend becomes intrested in overclocking
July 10, 2006 6:20:37 PM

If you want to OC Epox has a AM2 board out right now and its is about 90 bucks and they are known for good OC boards.
July 10, 2006 7:07:59 PM

I'd go with the Epox motherboard as Sandmann suggested
July 11, 2006 3:47:31 AM

Going to add to this post again. Someone asked me to build them a $1000-1500 computer to do PVR and some multitasking.


Processor:
AMD Athlon64 3000+ AM2- $93.00
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819103639
No real need to go dual core right now- the 65nm AMD CPUs will provide much more benefit. Could go with X2-3800+ after the price cut.


RAM: Corsair XMS 2GB DDR2-800 CLS 4- $250.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145034

Motherboard: Asus M2NE- $95.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16813131022


Hard Drive: Samsung 250GB SATAII x2- $77 ea
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822152025


Video Card: eVGA 7600GT 256- $164.99 (plus $30 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16814130017

TV Tuner with HD support: Pinnacle Studio Plus 700- $134.99
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=343049

Case- Antec Sonta II Black w/ 450W PSU- $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16811129155

Basic Logitech keyboard and mouse- $30

DVD-Burner: Lite-on 16x: $37.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16827106013

Media Center OS- $109.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16832102357

Media Center Remote- $35.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16880100851

$1216.43 shipped

Again feel free to comment!
July 11, 2006 11:09:45 AM

DOH, why .... no monitor :( 
July 11, 2006 3:51:05 PM

Oaky - I used to do exactly what you are doing for a living, so here are a few suggestions.

The video card you want is an All-in-wonder. This saves you a ton of money - and works well as a PVR/Tivo clone, while producing acceptable gaming results.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102685
Really a simple desicsion here. Comes with a remote, too. HDMI and S-Video out as well.

Secondly, never cheap-out on the memory or motherboard. You absolutely want it to never be an issue. This is like sticking a remanufactured chevy bock in an old Mercedes. I hate service and support calls as much as the next guy.

As for the CPU, it must be dual-core. PVR and encoding and so on cripples your system, just like burning a DVD. It means the thing is off-limits while it's doing its thing unless you want glitches and problems. Dual-core fixes most of this - it can at least do web surfing and email while it's grinding away.

Now for the nitty-gritty:
Processor: Intel 805. Overclock very mildly to *3.4* and stick a Zalman cooler on it(the basic aluminum fin one should be fine). Silenx is another option - quieter.

Ram - CLS 2 - 1 gig. You don't need 2 gigs to run an A/V card if you have a dual-core system. Saves some money, too. the AIW X1900 is a screaming card.

Windows XP Pro - $150. No getting around this. Home is utter crud by comparison. Media center is also crud - the programs built into the ATI A-I-W are more than adequate.

Motherboard - Anything by ASUS or Gigabyte is fine. Just get one with a 4-phase cap setup/power converter.

Case - buy locally. I got the same case locally for $65, no shipping. Why ship empty metal?

DVD needs to be dual-layer. He will like the ability to copy DVDs as well I bet. Maybe $10 more for this feature.

www.silenx.com - makes the best case fans for this application. You need it to be quiet as possible while watching movies or piping them out to the TV set. The extra $50 you spend on these fans will be a godsend.

Yes, it means going to two places and a local shop to get a case, but the total should be well under $1000.


**EDIT**
For your friend's gaming system, I suggest a good $150-$200 video card with GDDR3 on it, a simmilar 805 or one of the new Celerons with the 512K cache(OCs to 5ghz easily - producing a score of 10,000 on 3-Mark 2005 - it's NOT the Celeron you know) - cheap as an Althlon for gaming - the 3.33Ghz version runs as fast as a 3.2Ghz Northwood and costs $80. And that's stock, before you get into overclocking.

Memory - don't bother. I gig of cheap CLS 2 DDR400 is more than adequate and saves money for now. The video card will do most of the work for your friend anyways.

Case - use whatever you have lying around. Seriously - $100 on a case is nuts. Another advantage with the Celeron or Athalon is a 400-450W power supply will be more than adequate. We're talking $69 case here, bought locally. The Celeron D 356 uses a paltry 75W. And goes faster than any Northwood P4 ever did. He can upgrade to a faster CPU later - the real money should be on an ATI X850Xt or simmilar video card. That's going to be doing 80% of the work.

A couple of other items:
Windows XP Pro - he has to suck it up for this one, I'm afraid. OTOH - I'd wait until Vista comes out in a couple of months. XP Pro should drop $50 or more in price then.

Monitor - XDS XF-7i. This is a clone of the same technology that Hitachi used to use. .20 dot pitch and sells for $120 all over town. For gaming on a budget, this looks and feels like a BMW. For half the price of any decent LCD. Oh - it does 1200*1000 and has good refersh rates.
July 11, 2006 10:32:34 PM

why such a beefy psu? its only a 3000 and 7600gt...get a $50 PSU and use the extra 50 on a cooling fan to OC or a better video card or a better cpu...i dunno
July 11, 2006 10:36:12 PM

oh and am2 sucks...example: u need ddr2 800 (butt load of money) get a $50 psu, amd s939 3800, 7600gt and yeah and DDR 400 ram (SO MUCH CHEAPER)
July 11, 2006 11:05:27 PM

eh whoever got socket 939 this year will upgrade there boards because am2 is the new socket they will be having .. therefore you really cant upgrade your cpu to any of the new processors...

i would use an example of good and bad things

socket 939 and am2.. am2 board is the future. 939 isnt

having a intel mobo would be good because in my opinion you can upgrade in the future.


therefore get a new intel board or a am2 board. and get an am2 chip. am2 mobos cost like 90 bucks right?


im going to open my computer to see if it has space to fit two 250 gb hard drives and 2 dvd burners.

so i know if i have room to fit all this.
July 12, 2006 4:52:21 PM

Quote:
Oaky - I used to do exactly what you are doing for a living, so here are a few suggestions.

The video card you want is an All-in-wonder. This saves you a ton of money - and works well as a PVR/Tivo clone, while producing acceptable gaming results.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102685
Really a simple desicsion here. Comes with a remote, too. HDMI and S-Video out as well.

Secondly, never cheap-out on the memory or motherboard. You absolutely want it to never be an issue. This is like sticking a remanufactured chevy bock in an old Mercedes. I hate service and support calls as much as the next guy.

As for the CPU, it must be dual-core. PVR and encoding and so on cripples your system, just like burning a DVD. It means the thing is off-limits while it's doing its thing unless you want glitches and problems. Dual-core fixes most of this - it can at least do web surfing and email while it's grinding away.

Now for the nitty-gritty:
Processor: Intel 805. Overclock very mildly to *3.4* and stick a Zalman cooler on it(the basic aluminum fin one should be fine). Silenx is another option - quieter.

Ram - CLS 2 - 1 gig. You don't need 2 gigs to run an A/V card if you have a dual-core system. Saves some money, too. the AIW X1900 is a screaming card.

Windows XP Pro - $150. No getting around this. Home is utter crud by comparison. Media center is also crud - the programs built into the ATI A-I-W are more than adequate.

Motherboard - Anything by ASUS or Gigabyte is fine. Just get one with a 4-phase cap setup/power converter.

Case - buy locally. I got the same case locally for $65, no shipping. Why ship empty metal?

DVD needs to be dual-layer. He will like the ability to copy DVDs as well I bet. Maybe $10 more for this feature.

www.silenx.com - makes the best case fans for this application. You need it to be quiet as possible while watching movies or piping them out to the TV set. The extra $50 you spend on these fans will be a godsend.

Yes, it means going to two places and a local shop to get a case, but the total should be well under $1000.


This looks like a great build for my system on $1500. Basicly I'm looking for a one stop media/gaming system for the living room or bedroom. Question though would it be better to get a high end card like 7900GT and a dedicated TV-Tuner/PVR card, rather than the AIW. The save on cost sounds good in theory, which would go towards a 19" - 21" Widescreen LCD. The memory suggestion is a great tip too since I was dead set on 2 gigs. I think I can throw in a Creative soundcard with that savings. I have Creative speakers that are a few years old, so this is ideal for me. Any other suggestions?
July 12, 2006 6:25:45 PM

yea i agree with him with the all in wonder card. is it worth it save money by getting one or is it much better if you get both seperate?

but then it does come in the fact i would like to get a 20'' ws lcd monitor and since if i got a all in wonder card i have some good savings from it.

im also with the same thing as youwith the spreakers i got some logitech speakers that still works great. but whats the point of a sound card? i mean i know the point but why buy one when the onboard sound card is really just as good.

i sumed up all the prices and since this monitor looked like the one with the most savings i got this:

https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/WishList/MySavedWi...

what could i improve on ?
July 12, 2006 7:15:09 PM

nice little setup.
July 12, 2006 7:34:27 PM

The reason for the sound card is because with my old Inspire speakers the reciever only has Reg. Front Rear connections. The Center/Sub having to use a Digital cable only supported with Creative sound cards. I'm not even sure if the current gen still supports the connection. The thing that sucked was that I had a phillips card at the time, still do in fact. I've been putting off getting the sound card until I got a new system. All this after being spoiled with a kick ass Klipsch 5.1 system for a year and a half until the amp blew. Cool thing about those though is that the speakers still worked, so I ended up using them with a new sub for my HT.

For Reference here is what I have Inspire 5.1 Digital 5700
July 13, 2006 4:26:47 AM

what do you guys think of the all in wonder?

which one would be better?
July 13, 2006 6:20:43 AM

The latest AIW is smoking fast and has the remote plus all the software he needs to do PVR and so on - right out of the box. This means you can get by without any of the media center nonsense, or the seperate tuner card. And you can easily install XP Pro with the money saved.
!