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$1,000 Gaming Rig Template (excludes Monitor & Shipping)

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September 14, 2006 9:39:08 PM

Scroll down to post #8 to see an Athlon build

******UPDATED******

11/01/2006 - There are a few changes to this rig. Windows XP Home is been included in the total price in case you do not have an operating system. I was able to squeeze it in due to a few price drops and a couple of mail-in rebates.

If you already have an OS, then the Core 2 Duo E6600 will fit into the budget. A nice upgrade from the E6400. Or keep the E6400 and drop the 7900GT 256MB in favor of a 7950GT 512MB video card.

The other big change is the video card. The Sapphire X1900XT 256MB has been replaced by the XFX 7900GT 256MB since the X1900XT have become quite a bit more expensive. There is a $40 mail-in rebate for the XFX 7900GT.

RAM seems to have dropped in price a bit. The 1GB of OCZ used to cost $130, now it is $118 and there is a $10 mail-in rebate.

A minor change is the hard drive. The Hitachi 160GB drive is out of stock so I replaced it with the Western Digital 160GB drive.

Lastly, because of the switch from the X1900XT to the 7900GT video card, power consumption under full load on the 12v rail has dropped from 220w down to 160w. Yes, the Radeon X1900XT is a very thirsty card.

******UPDATED******

9/27/06 - Most price changes. RAM has been changed from Geil to OCZ due to recent spike in RAM prices. Also the keyboard and mouse combo has been downgraded to wired instead of wireless. The combo includes speakers so that eliminated the cost of separate speakers.

Older - The X1900XT 256MB GPU has replaced the slower 7900GS GPU that I orginally listed. The E6400 CPU has replaced the E6300 that was originally listed. Also the RAM has been dropped from 2GB down to 1GB to bring the cost back down to a little over $1,000.

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

It seems there are quite a few people looking to build a $1,000 PC. Therefore, here is a template that people can use to help figure out what parts they can get for their $1,000.

All components are included except the monitor. Shipping and taxes are also excluded. If you already have some of the components then exclude them from the total and either keep it as a savings or upgrade some of listed parts.

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 Socket T - $143

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz - $220

Video Card:
XFX PVT71GUQL3 GeForce 7900GT 256MB - $200 after $40 mail-in rebate

RAM:
OCZ Gold 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) - $118 - $10 Mail-In Rebate

Case & PSU:
Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black & 450w PSU - $90 (with current instant savings of $10; otherwise $100)

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM - $58

DVD Burner:
SONY Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL - $29

Floppy Drive:
MITSUMI Black 1.44MB 3.5" - $7

Keyboard, Mouse and Speakers:
Rosewill KMS-200 Black Combo - $15

Speakers:
Included with Keyboard & Mouse combo. - $0

120mm Fan (For the Antec Case- Front Intake):
ARCTIC COOLING AF12025 120mm - $6

OPerating System:
Windows XP Home - $90

Total Cost = $966 (excluding shipping)

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

Overclock the E6400 from 2.13GHz to 3.2GHz using the DDR2 800 RAM. 800MHz x 7 clock multiplier = 3.2GHz. This is faster than the X6800 which has a clock speed of 2.93GHz

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

The Antec Piano II uses the Antec SmartPower 450w PSU which has two 12v rails. The 12v1 rail can provide up to 15 amps or 180w. The 12v2 rail can provide up to 17 amps or 204w. Do not add 12v1 and 12v2 together unless the sticker on the PSU clearly states the PSU will provide 384w (180w + 204w) on the 12v rails. Since the sticker on the Antec SP 450w does not state this, assume the combined max power provided will be 348w, or 29 amps.

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


Power consumption of this system on the 12v rails:

E6400 @ 3.2GHz.(Faster than X6800)....................................70w CPU Power Consumption Chart
7900GT .................................................................................48w GPU Power Consumption Chart
160GB Hard Drive...................................................................18w
1 DVD Burner.........................................................................14w
2 120mm Case Fans................................................................10w

Total Power Consumption..................................................160w
Total Amps.......................................................................13.33a


All other components draws power from the 3.3v and/or 5v rails.
September 15, 2006 11:11:58 PM

Quote:
Nice system. The only change I would really make is change the video card to this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102051

It is only $39 more, and the X1900XT smokes 7900 anything, espeically the GS.


True, though I was trying to keep a strict $1,000 limit.

But the setup can be tweaked such as dropping RAM down to 1GB of DDR2 667 from 2GB, and using the X1900XT.

The power of the X1900XT should more than compensation for the loss of 1GB of system RAM, and lower the cost of the system.
Related resources
September 16, 2006 5:59:29 AM

Is AMD no longer the best CPU for "value" gaming rigs? I haven't noticed any AMD based rigs being posted on this sub-board.
September 16, 2006 1:54:09 PM

Also don't you want to buy an aftermarket fan for your CPU? I know it was suggested to me to grab one for my AMD CPU but maybe intel stock fans are better?? Thanks for posting this I might have to steal some of your ideas.
~X
EDIT: I just got finished looking at some of these pieces of Newegg and most of them have less then stellar reviews....the MoBo for instance has a lot of DOA's and I do mean a lot.
September 16, 2006 2:18:07 PM

Quote:
Also don't you want to buy an aftermarket fan for your CPU? I know it was suggested to me to grab one for my AMD CPU but maybe intel stock fans are better?? Thanks for posting this I might have to steal some of your ideas.
~X
EDIT: I just got finished looking at some of these pieces of Newegg and most of them have less then stellar reviews....the MoBo for instance has a lot of DOA's and I do mean a lot.


Unless you are overclocking like crazy you don't need an aftermarket cooler.

Newegg reviews are meaningless. Take them with a grain of salt because they are overrun with fanboys.
September 16, 2006 2:51:56 PM

Quote:
Nice system. The only change I would really make is change the video card to this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102051

It is only $39 more, and the X1900XT smokes 7900 anything, espeically the GS.
The X1900XT doesn't smoke the 7900GTX, unless you're talking about FP16 support. ;) 

But yeah, go for the X1900XT.
September 16, 2006 10:37:15 PM

*****Updated*****

11/01/06 - This is an update of the Athlon system. There are some price drops, namely the motherboard and RAM. The Sapphire X1900XT 256MB has been removed in favor of the 7900GT because of the price increase.

The switch from the X1900XT to the 7900GT will lower power consumption at full load by 60w.

Windows XP Home has been included as part of the entire package in case you do not own an operating system.

A minor change to the CPU. This setup uses the 65w version of the Athlon 64 X2 4600+. The regular 89w version is not in stock. However, this causes the price of the CPU to go up $20 from my last update.

If you already own an operating system, then you can drop the Athlon X2 4600+ and Windows XP Home and replace the CPU with the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ CPU that is selling for $400. Doing so will bring the total (before shipping) to $999.

Or drop the OS, leave the Athlon X2 4600+ and place the 7900GT 256MB with a 7950GT 512MB which sells for $330 with a $30 mail-in rebate. That works out to about $970 or $980. This would be the better option for gamers.

*****Updated*****

9/27/06 - Updated prices. Switched RAM due to recent price spikes. Wireless keyboard & mouse combo dropped for a wired combo. Speakers are included with the new combo.

Quote:
Is AMD no longer the best CPU for "value" gaming rigs? I haven't noticed any AMD based rigs being posted on this sub-board.


Here is an Athlon 64 X2 system that costs around $1,000 (excluding monitor):

Motherboard:
ABIT KN9 ULTRA Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra - $97 - $10 Mail-in Rebate = $87

CPU:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600 2.4GHz (65w version) - $269

Video Card:
XFX PVT71GUQL3 GeForce 7900GT 256MB - $240 - $40 Mail-in Rebate = $200

RAM:
OCZ Gold 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) - $118 - $10 Mail-in Rebate = $108

Case & PSU:
Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black & 450w PSU - $90 (with current instant savings of $10; otherwise $100)

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3160811AS 160GB 7200 RPM - $58

DVD Burner:
SONY Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL - $29

Floppy Drive:
MITSUMI Black 1.44MB 3.5" - $7

Keyboard, Mouse & Speaker Combo:
Rosewill KMS-200 Black Combo - $15

Speakers:
Included with Keyboard and Mouse - $0

120mm Fan (For the Antec Case- Front Intake):
ARCTIC COOLING AF12025 120mm - $6

Operating System:
Windows XP Home - $90

Total Cost = $959 (excluding shipping)

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

Power consumption of this system on the 12v rails:

A64 X2 5000+ @ 3.0GHz.(faster than FX-62).........................140w CPU Power Consumption Chart
7900GT..............................................................................48wGPU Power Consumption Chart
160GB Hard Drive....................................................................18w
1 DVD Burner..........................................................................14w
2 120mm Case Fans................................................................10w

Total Power Consumption..................................................230w
Total Amps.......................................................................19.17a


All other components draws power from the 3.3v and/or 5v rails.

Note: Not positive how high the AM2 Athlon 64 X2 5000+ can be overclocked with stock cooling.
September 17, 2006 2:15:42 AM

Brillant....But if one were to compare the two systems which would edge out for computer games? My gf's sister just graduated and wanted me to make her a computer....she really like Morrowind and Oblivion....will also do some photographic alterations
Thanks
X
September 17, 2006 3:57:37 AM

Quote:
Brillant....But if one were to compare the two systems which would edge out for computer games? My gf's sister just graduated and wanted me to make her a computer....she really like Morrowind and Oblivion....will also do some photographic alterations
Thanks
X


Core2 Duo right now.. if you don't want to upgrade for a while. An AMD system will be more upgradable in the long run but slower in the short run.
September 17, 2006 4:10:21 PM

Quote:
Brillant....But if one were to compare the two systems which would edge out for computer games? My gf's sister just graduated and wanted me to make her a computer....she really like Morrowind and Oblivion....will also do some photographic alterations
Thanks
X


Okay, based on the Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64 X2 systems in my above posts. I would say that at stock speeds the Core 2 Duo E6400 would slightly edge out the X2 4600+.

When overclocking, I would also say that the E6400 can beat the X2 4600+. However, I must add that I do not have any experience with the Athlon 64 X2 series (I upgrade from Athlon XP). Therefore, I'm not exactly sure how well the X2 4600+ can be overclocked using stock cooling.

If someone who has the X2 4600+ (or similar) CPU and wants to share their overclocking experience then please do so. Note that there is still some money left over to buy an aftermarket heatsink fan.

Contemporary Dual-Core Desktop Processors Shootout

Intel's Core 2 Duo processors

When both systems are overclocked, I estimate that the X2 4600+ would consume about 70w more on the 12v rails than the E6400 under max load (220w vs. 290w). That makes upgrading some parts a little more difficult since I estimate the PSU used for both PCs produces about 348w on the 12v rails.
September 19, 2006 8:27:20 PM

Quote:
Brillant....But if one were to compare the two systems which would edge out for computer games? My gf's sister just graduated and wanted me to make her a computer....she really like Morrowind and Oblivion....will also do some photographic alterations
Thanks
X


Core2 Duo right now.. if you don't want to upgrade for a while. An AMD system will be more upgradable in the long run but slower in the short run.

LGA775 has been around for some time. It is likely that when the next generation Core 2 Duo CPU comes out Intel will change sockets. But that's not for another 2 years. Intel will continue to release faster models based on the current architecture. Intel expects to shrink the size of the Core 2 Duo CPU next year when they switch over to the 45nm process. That should help reduce power consumption and also increase speed as well.

If you sister just wants a PC to play games and do some Photoshop work then just get a Core 2 Duo PC. If she specifically wants to be able to upgrade within 3 years to something faster without having to replace the motherboard then the AM2 Athlon is the better choice.
September 19, 2006 9:01:37 PM

go for a wired key board and mouse
September 19, 2006 9:04:51 PM

Quote:
go for a wired key board and mouse


Some people seems to prefer a wireless keyboard/mouse so that's why I listed it. Of course a wired combo could reduce the price.

Me? I got a wired keyboard/mouse for my primary PC, and a wireless Gyration combo for my HTPC.
September 19, 2006 9:09:36 PM

Quote:
An AMD system will be more upgradable in the long run

Why? Is the AMD chipset going to be around for longer than the Intel?
September 19, 2006 9:31:37 PM

Quote:
An AMD system will be more upgradable in the long run

Why? Is the AMD chipset going to be around for longer than the Intel?

Socket LGA775 has been around since late 2004 (IIRC). Intel has given no indication if Conroe's successor, Nehalem, will be using LGA775. Intel hopes to introduce Nehalem in 2008, but even they say that is pretty agressive. By 2008 LGA775 would be 4 year old. Between Conroe and Nehalem will be Penryn. Penryn is basically Conroe shrunk down from 65nm to 45nm and it will be LGA775.

AMD on the other hand, has stated that K8L (2008?) will be compatible with with socket AM2 and AM3 (DDR3 RAM support).
September 21, 2006 7:08:21 PM

Quote:
An AMD system will be more upgradable in the long run

Why? Is the AMD chipset going to be around for longer than the Intel?

Socket LGA775 has been around since late 2004 (IIRC). Intel has given no indication if Conroe's successor, Nehalem, will be using LGA775. Intel hopes to introduce Nehalem in 2008, but even they say that is pretty agressive. By 2008 LGA775 would be 4 year old. Between Conroe and Nehalem will be Penryn. Penryn is basically Conroe shrunk down from 65nm to 45nm and it will be LGA775.

AMD on the other hand, has stated that K8L (2008?) will be compatible with with socket AM2 and AM3 (DDR3 RAM suSocket pport).
it may be the same Socket but you may need a new chip set
September 21, 2006 7:30:54 PM

Quote:
Unless you are overclocking like crazy you don't need an aftermarket cooler.

Newegg reviews are meaningless. Take them with a grain of salt because they are overrun with fanboys.


Uh, wasn't overclocking an essential part of this recomended build?
September 21, 2006 8:31:42 PM

Quote:
Unless you are overclocking like crazy you don't need an aftermarket cooler.

Newegg reviews are meaningless. Take them with a grain of salt because they are overrun with fanboys.


Uh, wasn't overclocking an essential part of this recomended build?

As far as I know the same HSF is used for all Core 2 Duo CPUs. Since the HSF is capable of cooling the X6800 @ 2.93GHz, I speculate that it can handle the E6400 OC'ed to 3.2GHz. But that would be the limit before it is absolutely necessary to by an aftermarket HSF.

Caution should be used when overclocking. Therefore, I recommend checking the CPU temperature with the Corp Temp utility. In my opinion if the CPU is above 65C under full load, then I would replace the stock HSF or lower the overclock.
September 27, 2006 5:10:42 PM

Updated as of 9/27/2006

See Post #1 for Core 2 Duo system.

See Post #8 for Athlon 64 X2 system.
November 1, 2006 2:45:30 PM

The $1,000 Core 2 Duo system has been updated. Windows XP Home has been included in case you need an OS.

I'll update the Athlon system (post #5 I think) when I get a chance.
November 1, 2006 6:22:32 PM

The Athlon system has now been updated. See post #8.

Prices have been updated. The X1900XT 256MB has been replaced by the 790GT 256MB video card because of price. Windows XP Home is now part of the package.

If you already have an operating system, then you can drop Windows XP Home and the Athlon 64 X2 4600+ in favor of the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ for a decent boost in performance. Or dropp in a faster video card.
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