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Help!! i need to build a rig for 600-700

Last response: in Systems
August 23, 2006 12:05:35 AM

Hello, I am totally new to this forums so if i have not done something incorrectly please count it up towards my noobhood.

I need to build a gaming rig for 600-700

i already have the periphials(dvd burner) and HD(SATA) and case(alienware tower)

i need Processor,MOBO,RAM,Video card,PSU

I have my eye on the AM2 processors, because i want to be able to upgrade in a year. Also i have always gotten ATI cards but i want to try out Nvidia but if ther is a better ATI card for the price of nvidia then that is ok, i want to be able to play the latest games (oblivion please!!)on the highest settings(i have an 8ms 19' LCD 1280x1024). I really would like to get 2 gigs of ram also.I had a build but my current PSU could not handle it and i don't have enough to get one that could handle the load. I know toms hardware is teh uber hardware site so i thought i would test out the knowledge of the forums. Thanks for the helpQ

More about : build rig 600 700

August 23, 2006 1:11:46 AM

Good. Well, throw in a FSP 400W, with 34A on 12V+. OCZ 2GB of RAM, 800Mhz. Go for CAS4. Too expensive? Get 667Mhz CAS4.Video card X1900XT. Look hard and you'll find a few under $290. A X2 3800+. Mobo: Hmm...How about the Biostar TForce 550? So, lets add up the total and see what we get:

FSP 400W


OCZ 2GB DDR2-800, CAS 4


AMD X2 3800+


Biostar T-Force nVidia 550


Sapphire X1900XT


Not sure on mobo. I'd go with a better one, I just don't know of a better one.

I'm slightly overbudget, even after the rebates...Hmm...I say downgrade the RAM to DDR2-667Mhz. Sorry for short response, busy, not enough time.

August 23, 2006 1:29:30 AM

OCZ 2GB DDR2-667Mhz, CAS4

There. That should put you in the good. Slightly higher than $700, but it will be kick-a$$. The TForce overclocks rather well, I hear. You could make a X2 4800+ out of it or a X2 5000+ if you are lucky. Stock cooler owns.

667Mhz vs. 800Mhz isn't that big of a difference. Some, but not huge.

X1900XT owns at Oblivion, especially at 12x10. You'll be able to turn a majority of the settings on high, a few at medium, maybe one at low/off.

Related resources
August 23, 2006 2:04:45 AM

ok cool. What if i went with a 939 socket instead. I know it is a dying socket but i don't plan on upgrading for atleast 2 years.
August 23, 2006 2:53:58 AM

Socket 939!

3200+ Venice, 75 newegg
DFI LanParty SLI-DR, 144 newegg
OCZ Powerstream 520w, 110 on newegg
Open Box 2x1gb ddr400 RAM, 150 newegg
nVidia 7800gt/ATI x1800xt, around or under 200$ on ebay.

Overclock your processor to 2.5-8ghz and you will officialy be able to play almost all modern games at high detail with great FPS, even Oblivion. This mobo is hands down one of the best boards for OC'ing and the power supply is highly reccommended for this board and can easily remain stable with the added power needed from the overclock.

I have this system (except for better ram) and I run bf2 at max settings with 4xAA and 16xAF at 16x12 on a wake island map with 32 ppl playing and I get 60FPS steady in open areas with tanks moving and people fragging each other. I can run this game at 12x9 with high settings no AA and run fraps while getting 75fps. Although I usualy take 2xAA and turn the niceys down when frapping.

This system is very very good for the price. A core2 duo system that can overclock easily would be nominal though.
August 23, 2006 3:16:55 AM

erm . . . socket 939 might still be able to "keep up" but it's EOL, sooner rather than later AMD is going to discontinue 939 CPU's, they are still a viable budget build option, but considering that AM2 is virtually the same price for mobo and CPU, with DDR2 prices nearly as low or equal to DDR, the best bet seems to be AM2.

A $600 to $700 budget for just RAM, CPU, Video and CPU falls more in line with a "mainstream" build instead of "budget."

look at it this way.
~$100 for an Asus M2N-E
~$100 for a A64 3800+
~$200 for 2GB of decent cas 4 RAM (steer clear of OCZ with Asus and nforce chipsets)
~$200 to $300 for a video card (x1800xt, x1900gt, 7900gt, or x1900xt)
August 23, 2006 3:26:03 AM

>.> (continues to wear s939 t-shirt)
August 23, 2006 3:57:56 AM

even though due to popular belief people are saying 939 is dead it is the best option for most people building a pc, considering the fact that the "average" user won't upgrade any of their components until say 1.5-2 years in which they will buy a totally new system because all their components are obsolete and newer generation tech is almost always faster at a cheaper price there is no reason to pay extra for AM2 with which they might not ever upgrade...

the people who always ask for help are usually the ones who will never upgrade once they have their computer, it's all the people on these forums who already know what to get, they are the ones who plan on upgrading later...

and like always, don't try making your computer future proof, its impossible...
August 23, 2006 4:08:35 AM

Kodefoo stated in his OP:

I have my eye on the AM2 processors, because i want to be able to upgrade in a year

So going on that criteria alone, 939 is not going to be a good upgrade path.
August 23, 2006 12:12:00 PM

ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra

MSI Radeon X1900XT 512MB 256-bit
$275 after rebate

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 675 (PC2 5400)
$162 after rebate

total: $679

I didnt pick a PSU because im not sure of what you want and that is very personal IMO. Itll go over your budget but damn its a good system its even a bit better than what im going for! Definetly you wont regret it.

ok is the Radeon X1900XT 512MB 256-bit better than the 7900gt?

and about the PSU i am not picky at all. I really have no clue why my smartpower antec 400w is not enough to power my rig. So i am going for whatever works on that.

also the more i think of it i most likely will not upgrade until 2 years.

i went on newegg and tried to build myself a build. I only go 1gig of ram because i already have a gig of ddr400 ram in my current rig.
here is the wishlist. What do you all think? i am totally open to changes
$600 rig
You all have been a huge help.
August 23, 2006 3:20:05 PM

The 7900GT has been having stability issues (especially the overclocked versions) so that's probably why everyone is not mentioning it as an option.
August 23, 2006 3:46:40 PM

X1900XT beats the 7900gt in most benchmarks, but where the ATI card really shines is image quality, higher minimum framerate and twice the RAM (there are only one or two cases where mfgs. have made a 7900gt with 512 MB of RAM).

As for re-using that ddr 400 with the AM2 it isn't going to work. If you want to start with 1 stick of 1 GB ddr2 then that's fine; just make sure you buy an identical stick later on (primarily to avoid incompatibilities, but also to take advantage of dual channel without hiccups)

Your Smartpower 400w PSU might work . . . but considering that ATI recommends at least 450 watts for that particular video card (granted this is a worst case scenario where the whole system is under load) . . . and knowing that the +12 volt rail only has 18 amps, the PSU has no PEG (pci-e graphics) power connector, which requires a molex to 6 pin adapter . . . well you begin to see the problems. If you are on a budget then this FSP (Fortron Source) 450w has great amps on the +12 volt rails (which is what your video card primarily relies on) and only costs about $50
August 23, 2006 6:08:50 PM

ok cool. What if i went with a 939 socket instead. I know it is a dying socket but i don't plan on upgrading for atleast 2 years.
August 23, 2006 6:46:59 PM

I'm assuming you want to stick with socket 939 to salvage your DDR Ram. If this is the case then the 4800+ dual core will be the best processor you will be able to get as long as the BIOS supports the processor.

If this is the case, then I suggest getting the Enermax PSU and MSI video card mentioned below. Everything else looks fine.

Though, this is my suggestion.

If you plan on UPGRADING the system and not doing a complete rebuild in a couple of years, your number 1 priority should be to get the best power supply and motherboard you can afford.

For upgrading reasons, I'd move over to an AM2 system. This gives you more room for upgrading in the future.

The other components get better and cheaper as time goes by a lot faster than power supplies and once you get a new mobo, it's basically a new build anyway.

PSU: Personally, I like the HIPER PSU's due to their molex connectors. It's 580W which leaves you open for plenty of future ungradability. And it comes in 4 colors. - $99 and $10.84 shipping

But if $99 is a bit much, go with the following Enermax for $69 and $8.02 shipping:

Memory: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit System Memory - Retail - $194 after rebate and free shipping

CPU: - $91 and free shipping

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-M57SLI-S4 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $134.99 and $6.41 for shipping

Finally Video Card: Based on Anandtech's benchmarks

and trying to keep this in your budget,

SAPPHIRE 100189L Radeon X1900GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 (RoHS) Video Card - Retail - $198.99 plus $6.13 shipping

if you don't mind getting an OEM video card, then:

SAPPHIRE 100154 Radeon X1800XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card - OEM - $199.99 plus $6.13 shipping

With either of these 2 cards, the Enermax PSU would have to be chosen to get a total price of $708.54 or $709.54 depending on the video card which is nearly in the budget.

Now, if you can stretch your budget to around $800.00, I'd pick up the MSI video card. You have to deal with a $100 mail-in-rebate, but if you want to play Oblivion with eye candy on at 1280x1024, this is the one to get for under 300 bucks.

MSI RX1900XT-VT2D512E Radeon X1900XT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail

After rebate this is $274.99 plus $6.41.

With the Hiper PSU, the total comes out to $817.64 or $784.82 with the Enermax PSU.

Decisions, decisions, decisions ...
August 23, 2006 7:33:16 PM

WoW!!! thanks for the very detailed responce!

you all are such a great help that i think i am going to wait another month or 2 and save more because i really want to be able to play oblivion and that 512mb ati card looks very sweet!

thanks again for all the fast and helpful responces!
August 26, 2006 2:19:16 AM

He would get MUCH higher performance spending the money from that ram on a better GFX or CPU. Plus, get the refurbed ram.. 2gb for 150$ or so if they have any in stock.

x1800xt or 7800gt will be your best 200$ bet for graphics performance.
September 7, 2006 3:02:15 PM

ok here is what i am going with so far. MY total budget is 750 including shipping and BEFORE rebates. I have been doing alot of searching and researching. I am going with socket 939 because the AM2 is just not worth the performance increase..

here is my rig so far:

SAPPHIRE Radeon X1800GTO2 512MB/16 piplines!! (already ordered and on the way)

Antec SONATA II Case w/ 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 ATX 12V V2.0 Power Supply

AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego

Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit

i just have not decided on a mother board yet. I am not a fanboy of any certain brand so i am just looking for a stable motherboard that i could possibly overclock the processor and ram. I am also concidering buying a tube of Artic Silver 5 so that my processor will be nice and cool..

oh i forgot to mention.. I have about $60-70 wiggle room on the motherboard.. What about an open box board i have looked into this board...


or perhaps this board? Asus Board

I only know of one brand,Asus, that works really well but i am not sure if my ram will go well with it.
September 9, 2006 2:02:30 AM

Can you squeeze in faster RAM, possibly DDR500? They aren't too much more. I have to say DFI for the motherboard..