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The $800 gaming rig! How does it look?

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September 20, 2006 12:22:52 AM

I've only got about $700 to spend but I can't seem to get this combination under $800 so here goes. All prices are from Newegg.com with shipping included.

I only play one game - Dark Age of Camelot and I'm not really worried about going SLI or Crossfire.

CPU - AMD 3800+ x2 Manchester - $162
Mobo - ASUS A8N5X Socket 939 - $83
Memory - Corsair 2 x 512 DDR 400 (PC 3200) - $123
GPU - Geforce 7900 GT 256mb - $239
HD - WD Caviar 160GB, 16mb cache - $70
Case - Rosewill R 5601-BK with 2 120mm fans - $67
Power supply - Thermaltake Pure Power 2.0 500watt - $0 - I already have this in my old dinosaur.

Total cost: $744 - with tax around $800

So how does it look?
What would you change?
Can I find these items cheaper bsides Ebay? I'm not adverse to using Ebay but I'd like to know my options before I spend the money.

Thanks in advance for any help!

More about : 800 gaming rig

September 20, 2006 12:45:07 AM

Looks good, but you could go AM2 for about the same price. Then you could upgrade in the future without having to change your motherboard.

Motherboard-MSI K9N NEO-F 76.99
Processor-AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ AM2 153.99
Memory-Crucial Ballistix 1GB (2 512Mb) DDR2 667 cas latency 3 109.99
September 20, 2006 12:58:44 AM

wha... a 3800 X2 for $162 when you u can get an e6300 for $183?? gotta switch that out. RAM prices have skyrocketed.. that sucks that 1gb is $123 now. used to be $80 or less. well actually you cant really afford to make any changes with that budget. 939 sure is gonna feel old soon though
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September 20, 2006 12:59:53 AM

Do you already have an O/S? If not, better add another $90 for that.

What about optical drive(s) and cables?

If it were me, I'd go with an X1900XT. They run cheaper than the 7900GT, and they're a bit better at the benchmarks. I would also consider a cheaper case; perhaps with the savings from the video card also you could swing a 2 gig of RAM (2 X 1GB).

As for where to shop, you can often save a dollar or two here or there (especially if you do the rebate thing), but for overall pricing and service, it's hard to beat NewEgg,

Just my couple of cents worth...
September 20, 2006 1:09:16 AM

I already have the O/S and optical drives so no added expense there. I agree with changing to AM2 socket. It will certainly be an easier upgrade later on. Thanks for the mobo suggestions. I'll look into the X1900XT.

Regarding the e6300 vs. the 3800+ x2...
I tried and tried to fit that in but I couldn't find a good way to do it and keep the cost down. If anyone knows how to do it, I'd much rather be running Conroe. The benchmarks are WAY better!
September 20, 2006 1:17:21 AM

I don't know if the same applies to AM2, but 3800 X2 overclocks well in 939--it'll help make up some of the difference. Overwise, properly setup AM2's are a bit faster anyway.
September 20, 2006 1:24:16 AM

in my opinion i wouldnt do that, first of all, id go with an intel at THIS time for performance and price, an e 6300 would be great.id go for an x1900xt also as someone stated earlier, but i think youd should save up and change all of your build. heres what i would do for that budget, this is almost similar to what i have.
Asus P5B-V
C2D E6300
G Skill 2GBHZ
the rest you can figure out yourself, such as hd, case, and psu.
the reason i have no video card listed is because the x3000 sould be able to hold you over until r600 or g80 or anything good comes out for vista. so for thetime being if you really are desperate about gaming then go ahead and get a 7600gt to hold you over.
September 20, 2006 1:34:49 AM

heres some stuff that would be good for the intel build
Crucial Technology Ballistix 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT6464AA663 - Retail 109.99

BIOSTAR 945P-A7A (8.0) Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945P ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: 945P-A7A(8.0) 79.99

Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 ATX 12V V2.0 for AMD & Intel systems Power Supply - Retail 99.99 plus free shipping

and the cpu @ $183. thats 472.97, then add the hdd
September 20, 2006 1:50:35 AM

Quote:
Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 ATX 12V V2.0 for AMD & Intel systems Power Supply - Retail 99.99 plus free shipping


Outpost.com has that case for 79.00 right now.

http://shop4.outpost.com/product/4470276

Check it out. It is a pretty quiet case. Got one myself on Sunday morning.
September 20, 2006 4:58:01 AM

okay, with that sonata off of outpost that saves $20. and a 160 GB hdd is only gonna run 54.99 - Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: WD1600JS

that brings your total to $517.50 including shipping (theres no taxes charged on the egg either). so that gives you almost $200 to mess with the graphics card. x1800GTO, x1900GT, or 7900GS will be in that range. and that does it-- the intel rig thats good for $700.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2006 6:42:14 AM

Don't get the 7900GT for $240, the x1900xt 256MB version is more powerful, and is the same price. If you go AM2, make sure your ram is DDR-800 CL4, or else it will be slower then a S939 system. $800 is tough to get C2D on, but I'd try to do it.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2006 3:59:41 PM

Get a faster processor.
September 20, 2006 5:21:02 PM

Quote:
Here is a core 2 setup that may work for you. $700 core 2. After shipping it comes out to like $702 or something.


Now that there is a fantastic deal, you could even up the graphics card to a x1900xt for not much more or get another Gig of RAM.
September 20, 2006 5:28:01 PM

Thanks to all who have posted suggestions.

I'm seeing suggestions of changing the GeForce 7900 GT to a lower card like the 7600 GT or the ATI X1900XT. Everything I'm seeing on the benchmarks shows that the 7900GT is just a better card. Am I reading this wrong? Are those other cards being suggested because they cost less and will still the job until DX10 comes out?

Dark Age of Camelot (the only game I play) is a single threaded game. I do run 2 accounts off the same computer. Will the dual core of a Conroe really help me that much more than say the AMD 3800+ x2?

Thanks again for helping out the gimpy old man!
September 20, 2006 5:29:28 PM

Quote:
Thanks to all who have posted suggestions.

I'm seeing suggestions of changing the GeForce 7900 GT to a lower card like the 7600 GT or the ATI X1900XT. Everything I'm seeing on the benchmarks shows that the 7900GT is just a better card. Am I reading this wrong? Are those other cards being suggested because they cost less and will still the job until DX10 comes out?

Dark Age of Camelot (the only game I play) is a single threaded game. I do run 2 accounts off the same computer. Will the dual core of a Conroe really help me that much more than say the AMD 3800+ x2?

Thanks again for helping out the gimpy old man!


The Conroe E6300 is a LOT better than the x2 3800+, and if you read Wusy's quite frankly brilliant overclocking guide for it you can get a lot more performance out of it!
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2006 5:48:47 PM

Quote:
Everything I'm seeing on the benchmarks shows that the 7900GT is just a better card. Am I reading this wrong?


What benchmark do you have that shows a 7900GT outperforming a x1900xt?
September 20, 2006 5:51:54 PM

the thing is with that 3800X2 is that I believe it will start to bottleneck your video card the next upgrade you do.

C2D is great but most of the motherboards are a lot more than the AMD ones (right now) I havent done enough research on the value intel boards right now to make a recommendation there.

If you can squeeze some more bucks go with bit beefier CPU.
September 20, 2006 5:55:16 PM

Ok I must be getting old because I looked back over all the benchmarks for the 2 vid cards and the X1900XT beat the 7900 GT all the time.

My bad! :tongue:
September 20, 2006 5:58:59 PM

Quote:
Ok I must be getting old because I looked back over all the benchmarks for the 2 vid cards and the X1900XT beat the 7900 GT all the time.

My bad! :tongue:


Hehe, we all make mistakes sometimes!

So far it looks like the best parts for your system are a x1900xt and a Conroe E6300, with whatever mobo/ram you want.
September 20, 2006 6:49:12 PM

Why are you buying out dated technology? If you are going to go AMD, then at least go AM2 as your system won't be as upgradable. If you already had DDR400 Ram, then I could understand. But since you are buying it then there is no reason not to go AM2 as the cost will be the same.

Personally, I'd be going C2D. CPU: E6300 - $183 Motherboard: ECS NForce 570 - $78 after MIR

Memory: CAS Latency 3. Enough said. Crucial Ballistix - $115 after MIR

Video Card: Same price as 7900GT but oh so much better. Benchmarks Sapphire X1900XT - $245

Add your case and power supply for a total of $758.

Only 14 bucks more than the system you put together but at the same time, much more "future proof" as you could always get an E6700 in the future when it eventually becomes a low-end chip and will be relatively cheap to buy.
September 20, 2006 6:51:07 PM

What about saving money with the good ole X1800XT?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2006 6:54:13 PM

Hasn't been on newegg, except the more expensive 512MB versions. Lowest price I've ever seen them for is $200. I'd gladly pay the extra $40 to get the power of the x1900xt.
September 20, 2006 8:13:21 PM

There was a 256MB X1800XT for $191 on newegg about the time I posted earlier.
September 20, 2006 8:31:09 PM

Yup, right now you can find a couple open box X1800XTs on Newegg for less than 200$, which are still better than 7900GTs. This would allow you to stay at about 700$. Alternatively, switch to an Athlon 64 instead of X2s (X2 are sometimes barely faster - big deal), and keep the X1900XT. This would be my favored solution. Aim for a 3500+ or 3700+.

Getting a Conroe would be really cool but now we're looking at 800$ somewhere.

It all depends how much you're willing to invest. If it's 700$, then it's 700$!
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2006 8:41:09 PM

It depends on what you want the x1800xt for. If you are only concerned with gaming, an openbox x1800xt would do fine. If however you want to start using its (A)VIVO functions, then you'd want the cables, adaptors, software, etc that a retail bundle would come with.
September 20, 2006 9:32:55 PM

Ok...

2nd draft AMD version. I'm now at $784.21 TOTAL with tax and shipping (newegg.com).

case - Rosewill R5601-BK (has 120 mm fans front and back).
HD - Western Digital Caviar 160gb / 16mb cache....fast, fast, fast and I won't use even half that amount of storage.
GPU - SAPPHIRE Radeon X1900GT 256MB (only $200 and better than a GeForce 9800 GT)

ram - GeIL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel. Timing is 4-4-4-12, cas latency is 4.
CPU - AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Dual Core Processor (only $189 which is $11 more than X2 3800+ Brisbane 2.0GHz 2 x 512KB)
mobo - BIOSTAR TFORCE 550 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550

or the Intel version. Coming in at $809.95 including tax and shipping.

ram - GeIL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel
CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz
mobo - ECS P965T-A (V1.0) Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express

I think I know what everyone is going to say but I'm throwing it out there anyway.

FIRE AWAY and thanks for the help again!
September 20, 2006 10:51:12 PM

Nice great machine for €800 ,like the lads said go for the Core 2 duo its well worth it Im a big fan of Cooler Master the last 2 rigs I built were cooler master and I have only good words there a really good no hassle case.
Great deal here at newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... for $45
a b B Homebuilt system
September 20, 2006 11:25:06 PM

If the only game you play is Dark Age of Camelot, what does a $200 graphics card buy you over a $150 or even $100 card? If your budget is $800, this is something you can cut for now. Remember you might need additional cooling, cables, a h/w firewall if you don't have one, etc; and DX10 will be out soon enough. Go AM2 or C2D with the lesser card now, then if your needs change, you can buy a better DX10 card when your budget allows.
September 21, 2006 6:32:00 AM

Quote:
Ok...

2nd draft AMD version. I'm now at $784.21 TOTAL with tax and shipping (newegg.com).

case - Rosewill R5601-BK (has 120 mm fans front and back).
HD - Western Digital Caviar 160gb / 16mb cache....fast, fast, fast and I won't use even half that amount of storage.
GPU - SAPPHIRE Radeon X1900GT 256MB (only $200 and better than a GeForce 9800 GT)

ram - GeIL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel. Timing is 4-4-4-12, cas latency is 4.
CPU - AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Dual Core Processor (only $189 which is $11 more than X2 3800+ Brisbane 2.0GHz 2 x 512KB)
mobo - BIOSTAR TFORCE 550 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550

or the Intel version. Coming in at $809.95 including tax and shipping.

ram - GeIL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel
CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz
mobo - ECS P965T-A (V1.0) Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express

I think I know what everyone is going to say but I'm throwing it out there anyway.

FIRE AWAY and thanks for the help again!


They're both VERY good systems and apparently that x1900GT is a very good card, never had any experience with it myself however.

In my opinion the better performing system of the 2 would be the Conroe, as the E6300 matches the x2 46/4800+ and sometimes even the fx60/62!!

It's your decision however, the x2 4200+ is a very capable processor, will easily play any game you throw at it for the next 2 years or so.

Whichever system you choose, i hope you enjoy it!
September 21, 2006 11:35:03 AM

am2 would be a good choice especially if eventually you would get a quad core amd cause they will rape intel quadro like anything because amd will have actual 4 cores and not just two core duo chips which make it quite hot almost prescott *shudders*
September 21, 2006 12:50:54 PM

Personally I'd look at upgradability.
I like jtt's suggestion.. for the game you play why not grab a 7600GT for $120.. would bring you into budget.
A year from now you won't mind dumping a $120 card for a dx10 upgrade.
September 21, 2006 7:30:16 PM

Quote:
am2 would be a good choice especially if eventually you would get a quad core amd cause they will rape intel quadro like anything because amd will have actual 4 cores and not just two core duo chips which make it quite hot almost prescott *shudders*


This is a pretty dumb statement. No one knows for sure, and the last stuff I read about 4x4 is that it WILL be a simple repackage of a pair of X2s with dynamic allocation of cache between them... So who knows.

Nevermind the fact that the first C2Q will be a $1k+ C2Extreme. Likely the same with 4x4....
September 22, 2006 3:57:36 PM

Thought i'd chip in on this quad core debate. What i believe happening is that the first TRUE (according to Aditya's definition) quad core's will come along from both AMD and Intel at around the same time.

AMD's first quad core chip (not counting the 4x4) is codenamed "K8L" and it will be a 65nm Chip and should be released before H2 2007. Here's a sorta roadmap for AMD:

http://tomshardware.co.uk/2006/07/20/amd_to_accelerate_...

Best i could find on short notice.

Intel's first "true" quad core is scheduled to be a 45nm product and is slated to be out around H2 2007, i can't remember it's codename and google searches for quad core chips only comes up with Kentsfield. I'll post a link for an Intel roadmap later if i find one, they seem to be very hard to find for some reason.

Hope i have been help to some people, corrections are welcome.
September 23, 2006 9:05:59 AM

If I had to go budget I would get this...

ASROCK 939Dual-VSTA = 69.99

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ = 175.99

CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) = 114.99

Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA = 54.99

Rosewill R5601-BK Case = 49.99

Comes to 459.96. And you don't need cables or anything.

The upside to this setup... It has AGP 8x and PCI-E 16x. So you can stick with a budget AGP, or go with high end PCI-E.

XFX PVT73KUAL3 Geforce 7600GS 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP = 124.99

This card can run just about anything out right now.

Or you can go with 7900GT PCI-E.

Or even a 7800 AGP.


ALSO.. ASROCK makes a AM2 CPU board that plugs into the ASROCK 939Dual. It will allow you to upgrade to AM2 and DDR2 later if you wish.

So upgradable score = A+

Value = A+

Budget = A+
September 23, 2006 12:16:55 PM

Quote:
If I had to go budget I would get this...

ASROCK 939Dual-VSTA = 69.99

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ = 175.99

CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) = 114.99

Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA = 54.99

Rosewill R5601-BK Case = 49.99

Comes to 459.96. And you don't need cables or anything.

The upside to this setup... It has AGP 8x and PCI-E 16x. So you can stick with a budget AGP, or go with high end PCI-E.

XFX PVT73KUAL3 Geforce 7600GS 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP = 124.99

This card can run just about anything out right now.

Or you can go with 7900GT PCI-E.

Or even a 7800 AGP.


ALSO.. ASROCK makes a AM2 CPU board that plugs into the ASROCK 939Dual. It will allow you to upgrade to AM2 and DDR2 later if you wish.

So upgradable score = A+

Value = A+

Budget = A+


Just thought i'd recommend the 7300gt GDDR3 instead of the 7600gs, from the benchmarks i have seen it is the better performing card!
!