CHEAP gaming PC?

Is it possible to find a good gaming PC I can play games and online games like WOW without breaking the bank? A tower for 600 or less?
I need a good

graphics card like nVidia GeForce 7600gt or gs?

at leaste 1 GB RAM or more

Don't give a hoot about Vista, unless I can run it preinstalled well and at leaste Home Premium. May just reinstall my XP

Processor:Anthlon 64 (2.2 GHz), No Pentium/Do I need core 2 dual or can I even afford it?

I'm an oder mom 56 with a 20 yr. old and 16. We play the Wii and game together so I am not that computer literate (be a bit specific here but I can navaigate the web well) or I would build my own. I can install wireless cards, video and sound upgrade cards, never did RAM before and my present system is deff. not PCI Express, H_ _ _, I don't even know if it's PCI or the other type A?? expansion. Guess I feel the need for tech support-preferably in ENGLISH please. My present Dell could be upgraded, but by the time I do that I might as well buy new. I have a 15" LCD which is ok, :roll:
Intel (R)
Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.66GHz
512MB of RM
I know it BlOWS!
34 answers Last reply
More about cheap gaming
  1. You could build something like this.

    Video Card
    DVD Burner

    This comes to about $622 plus shipping. You could save about $20 or so on a smaller hard drive and $30 or $40 with a different case, although for the money Antic has a good Power Supply. Could save with this case

    Putting it together is easy, pretty much everything only plugs in one way and ASUS gives good directions, you can go to their site for this board and check out the manual.
  2. OK- you really got me goin now-maybe I can build it myself?! Thank you for being soo specific in your siting everything for me. I copied it down and am looking into it. Thanks for all your work and time :wink:

    Still wish I could find a prebuilt to suite my needs under 600. Yea right... :lol:
  3. You can get a dual core Dell pretty much set up as the one above for less than $600 without the monitor and it includes Windows Vista Premium. It's a Dimension E 521. I configured it with onboard graphics because the video cards they offer aren't worth the money meaning you'd have to add $100 plus with rebate for a 7600 GT. You could get the one configured above with OEM version of XP, which right now is a better choice than Vista, for the same price.

    As with just about everyone on this site, at $600 or so I think you're much better off building. You know you will have quality parts, you'll be able to easily upgrade when you want, you'll have beter warranty on the parts, you'll have the confidence to fix problems or upgrade yourself saving a lot of money in the future, you'll gain Geek cred and new level of cool with your kids and their friends (for me it's my grandkids), and when friends and family have computer problems, they'll come to you, a definite mixed blessing, I've made it know I work for beer. Near the bottom of the newegg page for the motherboard there is a link to the ASUS web page for the particular board. Go to the page and download the manual, will just come up as a Acrobat Reader page and read through the instructions and see if you think you can follow them. It'll take you less than 3 hours the first time, by the 3rd time you'll be down to an hour to put it together. What takes time is installing Windows and your programs and copying files over to the new machine. If you run into problems, there is plenty of help on this site. If you're thinking your too old to start building, I was older than you when I built my first computer and yes it's scary the first time you build one but so are most things that are worthwhile the first time you do it. It's is also difficult to really screw up if you follow the directions unless you do something stupid, like making adjustments with a hammer. The only tools you'll need are a smaller phillips head screwdriver, small flat head, and needle nose plier. You can get a small computer tool set for about $15 to $20, which is a good idea.
  4. g-paw your the best :lol: I'm in NE now, but orig. a NORSK from WIS. so I can relate to the workin for beer part, ha! I must admit I only drink champagne and wine now :twisted: .

    I am going to do it! I will go through all you've suggested and do it myself. I'm actually gettin kinda excited about it. I am a retired art teacher so I have jewlry making tools which will do just fine!

    I think I'll give this present dell to my son for homework and internet. What keyboad,monitor and wireless mouse can U suggest?

    Added U to my buddy list if U don't mind-Here we go... 8) kat
  5. I like Logitech for a mouse and always get the least expensive optical, I don't play games so as long as the mouse works I'm fine with it. I also use a $15 to $20 keyboard. I have a Samsung SyncMaster 740B, 17", and a 940B, 19" and my wife has a 940B as well so I guess I'd recommend a Samsung. Giveng your son the old Dell is a great idea given kids tend to quickly end up with spy/virus infested machines. My one grandaughter that lives with us had to re-install Windows after getting nasty viruses a couple times and she became much more security conscience. You can get a wireless router and card for $80 or less so he can get on the net. If you need a copy of Windows, I'd suggest OEM XP, $90 at newegg. In fact, I'd suggest you get everything at newegg. Very good prices and excellent service. If you have a digital camcorder, I would suggest a motherboard with onboard firewire, which is the best connection for camcorders. Let me know if you do and I can recommend a couple of mobos.
    For the memory given budget constraints I'd suggest Kingston, good and inexpensive. Once you choose the mobo go to the Kingston website and enter the mobo model and they will tell you what memory will work. Also suggest before buying to post your build to ensure compatibility. If you have specific questions, feel free to PM me or just continue this thread.
  6. I agree with g-paw....... I've been building for 10 years or so & wouldn't do it any other way...... Here's a build link that I sent to my cousin this morning.... It covers most of the basics... The picking & choosing parts is better handled here IMO.... I do some things differently, but that comes from a lot of building knowledge.......

    g-paw.... Sounds like my Family... I do the building & they buy me the Coors beer.... :wink:
  7. I go for the more expensive beer than I usually buy for myself, preferably Bass. Nice guide, I generally just follow the manual that comes with the mobo when I need to reference something, e.g., front case connections and memory. KrazyKat may not get too many calls given she drinks champaigne unless she is will to settle for cheap wine :)
  8. OK, I'll put something together in the next few and U tell me if it's compatable, and no way am I interested in cheap anything, just wish I had the $ to pay for what I do like :P The only x I have a beer these days is a couple good German Octoberfests in the Fall.

    I play games alot so I am going to forgo the floppy and upgrade the monitor if I can save some bucks on the tower. kat
  9. Floppys are $6 or $7 and when you need them, you really need them. Start with the CPU. Check out these charts and focus on the things you'll do, e.g., games. Create an account on and while you're checking these charts, check newegg for prices. Intel is faster than AMD but I've found AMD is less expensive and a better choice with a budger around $600 to $700, my builds are usually in this price range. Once you decide on the CPU, the next thing is to decide on a mobo and then the memory. Put together you're ideal machine in a newegg wish list and then you can bring it back to reality. I'd price both an AMD and Intel system. For me, choosing the parts are the most fun followed by the build itself. Software is a necessary evil. :) Remember, you can always upgrade the components. E.g., I've gotten a couple machines with onboard video, office/work computers and later bought a video card. Given you're a gamer this won't likely work for you but to save money you could get a lower level video card that will get you through for a while and then upgrade.
  10. I've been reading and researching for a few days now and was pretty excited by this first building, but just spoke to my older bro who has owned a lot of computers and he suggest buying an HP and switching out graphics card. He insists if anything goes wrong it's on me as no one honors warrenties because they'll say I did something wrong and I am foolishly throwing $ away. He also said I could not build one any cheaper after good rebates from BB or CC. I was down and then a Korean grad student working for my husband said the same thing and he rebuilds computors all the time. :?

    I at leaste feel I know soooo much more than 3 days ago, and can go out armed with great info, but feeling a bit skimish on the first build.

    Not sure how to proceed accept to gain more knowledge. I sure don't want to waste anyones time here and I'm sooo greatful for all your support and expertise. :oops: Thank you all so much, kat
  11. I would disagree with your brother regarding warranties. If you buy from a good company, e.g., mobo from ASUS or MSI, there are no problems, I've had to send boards back in the past, you get an RMA number, which takes 5 minutes or less and ship it back. And this is true of other parts. More often than not the parts are warranted for more than an HP or Dell unless you pay to extend the warranty, a waste of money. E.g., mobo warranted for 3 years and memory warranted for life. newegg also offers their own warranty, e.g., 30 day refund on mobo and 1 year replacement. As long as there is no physical damage, these companies will honor the warranty and physical damage is very unlikely if you avoid hammers. :D

    A couple of years ago I put together a spread sheet of the cost of a build vs buying a Dell. At around $1000 the build was about 20% to 25% less. Around $800 or so it was around 15% and at your budget around 8% to 10%, given discounts today it may be different. If your buying a $400 to $500 machine with monitor, he's right. Much above this it is break even or savings. But building is not just about saving money. When you build you know the quality of every piece going into the machine. You are not getting top grade pieces in a cheap HP, Dell, or whatever. In addition, these name brands are difficult to upgrade because of proprietary issues. Not sure if they still do but at one time Dell reversed the swring on their Power Supplies so it was difficult and expensive to replace them. Finally, you build because you enjoy it and when it's done you take pride in your own creation, it's is really your machine.

    Certainly, if you're more comfortable buying off the shelf, you should do it and you didn't waste anyone's time with your post. If you learned something, it was not a waste of time. I certainly don't have a problem with someone wanting to buy rather than build, people should spend their money the way they see fit. On the other hand, I do have a problem with people that slam building especially when it appears the information they base their opinion on is faulty. Unless it's self destructive or hurts others, I think people should be encouraged to try new things.

    Regardless of buying or building I'd suggest the minimum specs for what you want to do would be: A Dual core CPU at least a 6300 Intel or AMD 3800, unless you build and plan on upgrading the CPU within 6 months, at least 1 GB of RAM with the likelihood of adding another GB in a year or so, minimally a 160 GB hard drive, given you game at least a 7600GT video card or the ATI equivalent, a DVD burner, at least 6 UDB ports, and an internal Floppy, as previously mentioned, when you need a Floppy, you really need it usually because it's the only way to boot the machine. If you are buying, post the specs and I'm sure you'll get good feedback. Good luck in whatever you decide
  12. Your brother neglects one very important bit of knowledge that he should pass on to you then...... HP is only selling machines with Vista on them..... Vista is to new & not up to gaming (driver wise) yet....... Oh you can game on Vista, but performance is down right now....

    Most of the things that you've been told here are for a XP system, that's where you can get in cheap & stable.... Step up to Vista & your going to need at least 2 gigs of RAM, which adds costs..... The hardware isn't as stable with Vista yet... It may take 6 months for Vista to become a fast, more viable OS than XP..... But right now OEM builders like HP are struggling to get a machine up with Vista...... It'll be awhile before you see a optmised Vista & a machine to run it on....

    For someone new, I wouldn't call you a early innovator... Vista is for early innovators right now.....

    I believe Dell is the only OEM selling a XP machine at this time, although I could be wrong on that......
  13. Good points. In addition, many of the driver problems with Vista seem to be with the video drivers and she'll want to upgrade the video card buying off the shelf.
  14. You're right that's why I am trying to bump up to 1000 for a 2GB system and I am also considring an imac. They just don't have many options. What I want only comes in a 24" LCD which drives the cost out of my league. They have the better ram and graphics cards I found out last night by taking a peek.

    Still undecided, but am willing to spend 1000 now because I can't get a decent gaming system for less and it's hard at that price too. I do like to be able to upgrade to DX10 card when it comes out. Oh toooo much to know I just want to play WOW and do video and digital photos.
  15. If you're willing to build, you could put together an AMD dual core 3800 with 2GB of RAM, 7600GT GPU, and plenty of storage including a copy of Windows XP for less than $900 without the monitor. You can get a good 17" LCD for less than $175 while a 19" would likely be a bit above $200. This would be fine for capturing, rendering and burning videos, I used this machine to do it. I really don't know how processor intensive WOW is but I would think the X2 3800 would work, but others would have to confirm. For little less than $1000 you could go with the Intel 6300 again without the monitor. If you don't need a copy of XP, you save $90. The other possibility would be to go with 1GB of memory and a single core CPU adding another GIG of RAM when you had the money and in 6 months or so upgrade to a dual core CPU. This is clearly an advantage to building in that it allows for easy upgrades, which means after your initial investments you don't have to lay out big chunks of money. Depending on how soon your birthday is a GIG of RAM would make a nice present and a new CPU would be nice to find under the Christmas tree. I've suggested computer parts for out anniversary but my wife didn't really go for it, problem being married to a non geek. :D
  16. Quote:
    I am also considring an imac.

    For gaming..... [cough] Now I'm outta here....
  17. The imac I'm looking at would be fine for what my games are I think. I only like WOW online and games should be fine for 1 GB RAM. I just saw one for the first time today at it's real purty! :D It runs about 40% better perfomance because of the virus software U don't need. I donno, I think I'd be happy with it and I get a 150 off due to Educational rebate. I know they come out with the Leopard OS in 2 mos, but Vista is a rip off of the present Tiger OS anyway and the performance is fine not slow like a PC ith vista. kate
  18. I really don't know about macs but I would question the notion you don't need an antivirus program. I've seen enough articles on mac vulnerabilities to suggest that while they may be more secure than Windows butr they are not 100% absolutely secure. That's not to say don't buy one, just investigate their security issues and security software needed.
  19. Fair enough, and I also appreciate the comment about a gaminging PC, yet I don't play anything more demanding online than WOW and most PC games I have are mac compatable so I like the imac due to it's graphic photo interations as I want to do a lot of other applications not just a flat out screamin 1,500 to 6,000 PC.

    Won't it be ok for what I need? Should I go for more than 1 GB RAM and upgrade video card from ATI Radeon x1600-128MB to 250MB?

    Motherboard I know has to be compatable with Inte core 2 dual processor, but other than that I can't find out much and I know this is very important cause I woun't be upgrading in the near future if at all.

    That's another concern I have (upgrading). Because imac is sooo tight can I easlily upgrade RAM later? Does it have a dual slot?

    Thanks for your help as MACS are a dif. species and I don't get a lot of help from others as they own PC's. I know I could put one together, but truthfully I don't think I want to anymore. I can only afford around 1,200 and I hate to spend that on my first build or even 800. kate
  20. If you've pretty well decided on a MAC or want more information on MACs, I'd suggest you find MAC forums. You're right, most of the members of this forum are using PCs.
  21. Still reserching and if I go for PC I'll build, otherwise I'll keep looking for mre info on imac. Give me a few days to decide. kate
  22. Let us know
  23. i just built a dell xps 210 for $938 here specs

    Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition with re-installation CD
    MEMORY 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz- 2DIMMs
    HARD DRIVE 320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ edit
    OPTICAL DRIVE 24X CD-RW/ DVD Combo Drive
    MONITORS No Monitor
    VIDEO CARD 128MB ATI Radeon X1300
    SOUND CARD Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
    KEYBOARD & MOUSE Dell USB Keyboard and Dell Optical USB Mouse edit
    FLOPPY & MEDIA READER Dell 19 in 1 Media Card Reader
    My Software & Accessories
    SPEAKERS No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
    ANTI-VIRUS & SECURITY Trend Micro Internet Security 15-months

    Dell Recommends
    Help Protect Your New PC!
    PC-cillin™ Security Software, 24 months!
    Help Me Choose
    Upgrade to Trend Micro Internet Security 24-months [add $19]
    PRODUCTIVITY No Productivity software pre-installed edit
    My Service
    WARRANTY AND SERVICE 1Yr In-Home Service, Parts + Labor, 24x7 Phone Support edit
    DATASAFE ONLINE BACKUP Free 10GB DataSafe Online Backup for 1Year edit
    AUTOMATED PC TUNEUP 1 Year Automated PC Tune Up edit
    DIAL-UP INTERNET ACCESS No ISP requested edit
    Modem Integrated 56K Data / Fax modem
    Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 8.1
    Network Card Integrated Intel® PRO 10/100 Ethernet
    Labels Windows XP™
    Mouse Mouse included with Keyboard purchase
    PHOTOS, MUSIC & MORE! No Entertainment software pre-installed
  24. Hey guys, im 15 and looking to get a nice, fast computer that can support gaming (WoW, Halo Pc, etc.) im pretty much at the budget of 500 bucks for my tower. Building a computer would be great but im not sure if im ready for that, since i wouldn't know what is compatible. SO i have a link for a website with some nice (or what seems to be nice) Towers. Can anyone tell me if they would be any good? and what kind of upgrades i should get for it(included on the page there) thank you a ton


    P.S. - if you know of a laptop around the same price that can do about the same, it would be greatly appreciated if you included that.


    This is better than the one you have listed. It doesn't mention the hard drive, or what OS it is using, or MB, or PSU on the bulldogbox site. Before you add the one I showed to your cart, remember to buy an OS. This will put you a tad bit over you budget. It will be impossible to find a laptop of the same specs under 500 dollars, unless you search on ebay. If you already have a keyboard and mouse, unselect them and save a couple more bucks. Secondly, no monitors come with either, so don't go "Oh ****! Where is my monitor?!" and blame me. :D Happy shopping. :D

    If you have any more Q's, don't be afraid to ask.
  26. Ok thanks a ton for your time and effort to help me. I'm going to check out the link you posted now. And as for the other things to buy, i just bought a wireless HP mouse to use on the fam computer because the old one just stank * ill use it for mine :D *

    Thanks again, and ill probably have some more questions for you
    cya :hello:
  27. why have more than one video card? should i have a 2nd one? (cant afford the 3rd). if its not neccessary for a fast computer, then i dont want it. reply soon plz. i want to order if i can convince my parents. thx
  28. i had just finished building the 'perfect' computer and though iw as a hundred-eighty nine over, it was still awesome and worth it. when i told my parents about it they said they had never heard of the company and wouldnt let me buy it *ugh-wasted 20 minutes* so i guess if anyone knows of liek a Dell that is good (im looking right now) or something that is'name-brand' that wuold be awesome. BTW happy new years guys!
  29. I'll take bulldogbox over Dell any day! We've had 3 Dells and they've all died. Customer service doesn't speak English, won't just send you a box for repairs, hangs up on you, etc. I bought

    from bulldogbox and the guy has been very helpful, there is 30 days to return, 1 year warranty and they speak English! I don't care if it's not brand name, it's faster, has more memory, and it's cheaper!
  30. I have been wanting a gaming PC for Christmas, as suggested by my brother, and I saw one that is extremelly cheap for it's standards, though I'm not allowed it :fou:! Anyway, it is intended for gaming, but it can be used for normal things, as it can multitask very well. It has a cool, sleek design and a liquid cooler system. It also has 4GB of memory and a 640G of RAM. This should cover everything you need to do. Sorry I couldn't provide a link, though if on Google you search 'Acer Predator' then this is what you are looking for. I live in Britain, so I can only provide a cost in pounds. Brace yourselves! :bounce: £800. There it is. £800. You can even get Norton 360 (highly reccomended) for £20 more. Hope I helped! :D
  31. i5 - 750 2.66 GHz Turbo Boost To 3.2 GHz, 8MB Cache
    Intel DP55WB 16x, S, L
    DDR 3 -1333 2 * 2 GB Gskill
    LG DVD-Writer 22xD
    Seagate 500 GB
    Antec 300
    Logitech Mouse - Cordless USB For Laptop
    CollMaster SMPS 600
    1GB 4890 ATI PCX-16X,D,DDR5

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
  32. I've got mine from here:
    <a href=""></a>
    What I liked is building time - received my computer 6 days after placeing order and didn't pay for any fast service. Computer was as promised, great quality, processor came overclocked to 3.6Ghz - very nice for a i7 920. So far no problems. May be little more expensive than CuberPower but with much better quality and faster. They have WOW gaming computers too, I think they come with WOW dvd
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