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Computer based off -- GUIDE: 3+GHz Core 2 Duo Budget System

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February 5, 2007 4:29:46 AM

Hi all I am trying to build a budget system that still has some power. I loved the ideas in the thread about the 3+GHz Core 2 Duo Budget System for $631 but it was a small bit weak on the gaming front I thought so I played with it and here's what I came up with. Please suggest/critique. Thanks :) 

Note: All prices include shipping as currently on Newegg

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor $189.00

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 ATX Intel Motherboard $125.12

GIGABYTE GV-NX76G256D-RH GeForce 7600GS 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Silent Pipe Lead Free Video Card $111.12

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $69.99

2x CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory $166.00

NEC Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 18X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2M Cache E-IDE / ATAPI DVD Burner $28.99

RAIDMAX Ninja ATX-918WBP Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450watts PS2 ATX12V SATA Ready Power Supply $85.26

APEVIA CF12SL-UBL 120mm Blue LED Case Fan $11.98

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $10.98

APEVIA ATX-CW500WP4 ATX 500W Power Supply $39.99

Total Price including shipping is $814.45 Please keep in mind that I am stretching my budget quite a bit on this already so any suggestions that you have please let them be how to lower the price and keep best performance possible.

I am also going to be trying to oc this thing based on the guide mentioned above. I would like to oc the ram and cpu. Is the ram good for oc and how much can I expect? I assume that the board/cpu is good for oc because of the guide. Thanks a ton for the help everyone.
February 5, 2007 4:43:57 AM

When the other poster refered to this system they also mentioned getting a 7600 series GPU.
You should look for DDR2-800. The XMS2 series is very highly rated as an O/Cable RAM. I would go 2x1GB and have room for 2 more GB in the future. Some features of Vista will use it. By then you would have the new DX-10 card to go with it.
February 5, 2007 10:50:01 AM

Quote:
EVGA 256-P2-N615-TX GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Move To Wish List $109.99
($94.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate)


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

I wouldn't touch gs except maybe 7900gs. gs is much slower than gt.

TWIN2X1024-5400C4 is a very good choice. Cheaper & faster than some in the same price range.

The case isn't great for overclocking with 80mm fans. Get one of these with 120mm fans.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?DEPA=0&ty...

& an extra 120mm fan for optimal cooling. & at least this psu:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
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February 5, 2007 1:13:47 PM

Quote:
Hi all I am trying to build a budget system that still has some power. I loved the ideas in the thread about the 3+GHz Core 2 Duo Budget System for $631 but it was a small bit weak on the gaming front I thought so I played with it and here's what I came up with. Please suggest/critique. Thanks :) 

Note: All prices include shipping as currently on Newegg

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6300 $187.00

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 ATX Intel Motherboard $125.12

GIGABYTE GV-NX76G256D-RH GeForce 7600GS 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Silent Pipe Lead Free Video Card $111.12

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $69.99

2x Corsair XMS2 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 675 (PC2 5400) $166.00 Buying 2 sets of these for 2GB total ram. Not sure whether I should do this or buy 2 1GB sticks of another overclockable ram.

Pioneer Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 5X DVD-RAM 40X CD-R 32X CD-RW 40X CD-ROM 2M Cache ATAPI DVD Burner $28.99

LOGISYS Computer Area 51 CS51WBK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case With 24pin, SATA connector 450W Power Supply $49.98

3x MASSCOOL FD08025S1M4 80mm Case Fan $3.87 Case comes with 1 80 fan, putting it in front. Going to put 3 more on. One more on rear, one on side and one on bottom.

ZALMAN ZM – 32K Heatsinks only $10.98 Putting this on the Northbridge

VANTEC NXP-301 Controller, Panel $17.98 Could help with keeping case quiet/cool ratio. Plus I kinda like it :) 

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $10.98

Total Price including shipping is $782.01. Please keep in mind that I am stretching my budget quite a bit on this already so any suggestions that you have please let them be how to lower the price and keep best performance possible.

I am also going to be trying to oc this thing based on the guide mentioned above. I would like to oc the ram and cpu. Is the ram good for oc and how much can I expect? I assume that the board/cpu is good for oc because of the guide. Thanks a ton for the help everyone.


Ok firstly - Swap the E6300 for a E4300 if you're overclocking this runs cooler and is easier to overclock its also cheaper ;)  forget the northbridge heatsink you wont need it also look into an HIS X1650XT plenty of power for todays PC games @ 1284 x 1024 and it wont break the bank.

Mobo is good, Ram is good but i'd get 2 x 1GB sticks leaving you room to upgrade, perhaps a samsung DVD-R if cheaper if not your one will be fine.

anything you're not sure about pm me and i'll get back to you when i can!

Good luck m8!

P.S. Come on guys he asked how he could make it cheaper but still keep performance.
February 5, 2007 5:38:57 PM

Thanks for the tips everyone!

I updated my initial post to reflect changes made.

Based on the suggestions I nixed the northbridge cooler, changed to the E4300, and changed the memory to TWIN2X1024-5400C4. I went with 4 sticks for purely economic reasons. I will have to worry about upgrade later.

The E4300 seems like it works really well for overclocking. The memory the same and I am going to trust that I don't need the extra northbridge cooler.

As for the case and the card. I can't change cards as I really don't have the extra money to spend. Same for the case. I am also kinda forced to use the stock PSU. I also looked into getting a Artic CPU coler but the only ones that worked with my chipset were too expensive.

With my case would it be smart to use a 120 fan in it or just go all 80?

Also I would like to make sure that my ram will function well with my mobo. This is something that I don't know a whole lot about.

Any other suggestions for cases/cards/psu's would be great but keep in mind I really can't spend any more than I have listed. I am trying to achieve good performance with some pretty hard cash limits. Matter of fact I've gone over and would love to cut where possible.
February 5, 2007 6:33:37 PM

Quote:

Based on the suggestions I nixed the northbridge cooler, changed to the E4300, and changed the memory to TWIN2X1024-5400C4. I went with 4 sticks for purely economic reasons. I will have to worry about upgrade later.


That's a good choice. 2 gigabytes is more than enough ram for any applications that will come out in the next 2-3 years. It's also cheaper to get 4x 512 than 2x 1024.

Quote:
The E4300 seems like it works really well for overclocking. The memory the same and I am going to trust that I don't need the extra northbridge cooler.


Yes, the E4300 is an excellent choice for over-clockers. Runs cooler, doesn't need DDR800 ram to hit 3 ghz and is even cheaper than the 6300. Think of the 4300 as a 6400 underclocked.

Quote:
As for the case and the card. I can't change cards as I really don't have the extra money to spend. Same for the case. I am also kinda forced to use the stock PSU. I also looked into getting a Artic CPU coler but the only ones that worked with my chipset were too expensive.


Try to cut funds anywhere you can. Even go with 1 GB instead of 2 GB. Your gaming performance will really take a hit if you go with a 7600GS instead of a 7600GT. Also, there are much better pre-gen cards that smoke the 7600GS for the money. You could find an X800GTO on Ebay or on other sites than Newegg or even a 6800GT or 6800. Think of it this way, if you get 1 GB of ram now, you can easily get another 1 GB later and just add it in. But if you go with the 7600GS, you can't "add" parts to make it a 7600GT, you're pretty much just stuck with a 7600GS.

Quote:
With my case would it be smart to use a 120 fan in it or just go all 80?

Also I would like to make sure that my ram will function well with my mobo. This is something that I don't know a whole lot about.

Any other suggestions for cases/cards/psu's would be great but keep in mind I really can't spend any more than I have listed. I am trying to achieve good performance with some pretty hard cash limits. Matter of fact I've gone over and would love to cut where possible.


I have a great build for 750 if you want to see it.
February 5, 2007 6:49:36 PM

Sure, I would absolutely love to see your build. Thanks for the advice. I will look a bit more into cards.
February 5, 2007 7:12:14 PM

Open box cards almost always have that questionable life time left in them.

Sure they'll run fine out of the box, but I guarantee they have a shorter lifespan than a card that hasn't been touched.

That being said, here's my magic 700 build:

Motherboard:
ASUS P5B LGA 775 P965 ATX - $124.99

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo Allendale E4300 - $189.00

Memory:
Corsair XMS2 DDR675 2x 512MB - $83.00

Video-card:
EVGA 7900GS 256MB KO - $169.99 + Rebate

Hard-Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 120GB SATA OEM - $54.99

Case:
Raidmax Ninja ATX with 450 PSU - $69.99

Optical Drive:
NEC Black DVD Burner - $28.99

Sub-total:
$720.95

With this build you get a 7900GS, that can easily over-clock, you get a good processor, good motherboard, good ram (1 GB is good enough for now, you can get two more 512's later or even a 1 GB stick) and a decent case/PSU. You still have $50 to play around with.

You can decide:
Upgrade to an X1950 Pro and get some thermal paste or extra fans.
Keep the 7900GS and use the extra money to get a stand-alone PSU and cheaper case with no PSU.
Keep the 7900GS and get a Freezer 7 Pro cooler and thermal paste for your CPU.
Upgrade to an X1950 Pro AND get a Freezer 7 Pro but maybe no thermal paste or extra fans.
February 6, 2007 2:02:14 PM

Ok, so here is my last round of changes. Note that I stretched that budged once again by 30 some odd dollars. This is my absolute cap. no....really...pinky promise this time :) 

I was going to get the XMS2 series ram but Newegg was all out of it and I would like to buy everything at one place.

I dropped all the 80 fans and went with one 120 for the front. I am thinking this will work coupled with the 120 in the rear. Am I right?

I read the reviews of the Ninja case, which I really like btw, and they were all yelling that the PSU is a piece of garbage so I got a new PSU. That's what pushed me over the top but I would rather be safe especially as I am overclocking.

I dropped the fan control...sniffle...I hate to see it go but it became plain unnecessary with two fans.

I'm sticking with the GS. When I upgrade to a video card its going to be much better than what I can afford now and will probably be DX10 so I would rather spend as little as possible in this department now.

Any ideas on how I can tweak this further or do I have it pretty much where I want it? Thanks for all the help everyone.
!