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Building a Gaming Rig on a Budget which parts u recommend?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 12, 2007 6:51:11 PM

ok, after like almost 3 years of having this build, its about time for me to upgrade.
After listening to several opinions, I have found it best to upgrade by mid may when Intel, AMD and new video cards will have come out and have driven the prices lower.

Here is my current SetUP:

CPU: AMD XP 2500+

MOBO: ASUS A7N8X-E

RAM: 2GB (1GB x 2 Dual Channel) DDR400 PC3200 (i believe brand is PNY)

Video Card: Sapphire X800pro 256mb

Sound Card: Audigy 2ZS

Hard Drive: Western Digital 250GB Sata II

PSU: Thermaltake 430w http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec 900 (plus 2 fans that I added, so a total of 6 fans in the case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now, out of all this parts, I'm planning to change CPU, MOBO, RAM and Vid Card.

Here is what I was considering and take in mind I'm on a real budget here.


CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2.2GHz ($99.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

MOBO: ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra ($99.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

VC: EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB ($259.99)
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

RAM:CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 ($128.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...


So as you can see, my total Budget is of about $600 for all the parts.
Is this the best I can do with that money?

Another thing to take into consideration is that I DON'T overclock, im not THAT computer savy and don't really want to risk buying a new Cooler and voiding the warranty or kill my chip. I rather use my stuff just retail.
So buying a CPU better than another because it can O'c better is NOT for me, nor I care for it.


And lastly, will that PSU have enough juice for that PC? or will I have to buy a new PSU? (would suck, cause I just bought this one like 3 months ago.
April 12, 2007 10:27:38 PM

ne1?
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2007 10:31:07 PM

I don't know about the rest of it, but the graphics card is a perfect choice IMO.
Related resources
April 12, 2007 10:38:58 PM

do you think that Video Card might be bottleneck by that CPU?
April 12, 2007 10:52:20 PM

What about an SLI board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... incase you ever feel the need for s second 8800, just thinking ahead.

The CPU is OK for now, and the good thing is the AM2 socket seems to have a very good upgrade potential for future chips coming from AMD. Although saying that - I would bump the chip to a 4600+, the CPU's with a clock speed divisible by 400 work faster with DDR2 800.
April 12, 2007 10:58:53 PM

the problem with the SLI is that I don't have that much cash, so by the time I can save enough for another 8800 there will probably be much better cards.

Like take it right now, if I were to Sli 2 cards at $150 each, I bet they are still not as good as 1 8800, which is cheaper than those 2 SLI.
April 12, 2007 10:58:57 PM

unlike the 939 they screwed me on....i think id go intel just because of that.
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2007 11:07:19 PM

Quote:
do you think that Video Card might be bottleneck by that CPU?


Sure but it's a different issue, if you can afford a better CPU then get it.

IMO, get a stronger CPU not an SLi board, whatever premium for the SLi board would be better spend on a stronger proc.

Also why bottleneck everything, either get a Core2Duo and then a mid-range card like an X1950XT for $180, or get the best CPU you can to match the GF8800GTS-320, no matter what you're dealing with a budget, there wil be bottlenecks, even an LN2 cooled OC'ed C2D SLi GF8800GTX rig is technically being bottlenecked, you just don't notice it because there's no C4D Quad SLI GF9900XGTXS with a Hype RAMDrive machine to compare it to.

At least focus on one part to take you into the next year or two, and in the original configuration the GTS-320 matches that requirement for the price. You can't avoid bottlenecks on a budget, just plan wisely which you want to tackle first on your next upgrade.
April 12, 2007 11:08:47 PM

Quote:

IMO, get a stronger CPU not an SLi board, whatever premium for the SLi board would be better spend on a stronger proc.


The SLI board I posted was $5 LESS than the origanal
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2007 11:16:16 PM

Quote:

The SLI board I posted was $5 LESS than the origanal


Well that's not normal. I wouldn't pay more, but if it's less then it's just a cheaper MoBo regardless of SLi.

I just wouldn't pay the usual SLi tax for a MoBo versus putting that money into a better CPU.

More options for less always good, as long as it's not just an overpriced 'non-SLi' board.
April 12, 2007 11:21:16 PM

the parts chosen are a decent match IMO... the only concern would in fact be the 430w psu, make sure you have at least 26 amps combined on the +12v rails... otherwise youll most likely end up underpowered

since your budget is $600, you may be better off waiting till further price drops to happen (later this month?), that way you can fit a better psu into things (if you need to)

edit: i just checked your current psu specs...

Quote:
+3.3V@20A, +5V@30A, +12V@18A, -5V@0.5A, -12V@0.8A, +5VSB@2A


it only has a single +12v rail at 18 amps... which is nowhere near enough (still have to provide power to your cpu, hdds, cd drives, etc also)... unless it has a second +12v rail they didnt list...
April 13, 2007 1:25:24 AM

thanks, yeah, Ive been thinking of waiting prolly until mid, if prices drop enough, then I hope I can fit a New PSU into the build.

which PSU you recommend I get?
April 13, 2007 5:02:31 PM

cool thanks, I just hope by mid may prices will have dropped enough so I can add a PSU to the mix.
a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2007 12:48:27 AM

Not a well known brand, and the reviews on the front page aren't very promising;

Reviewed By: JH on 4/10/2007 Tech Level: somewhat high - Ownership: more than 1 year
Pros: Lights are nice
Cons: Died after a year and a half

Bad Capacitors
Reviewed By: livefromyadkin on 4/5/2007 Tech Level: somewhat high - Ownership: more than 1 year
Pros: Ran great for a year and a half. Looks great!
Cons: Capacitors are shot. I found at least three that were leaky! Seem to be very low quality caps.
Other Thoughts: Wish I had gotten a longer warranty! And Newegg has always been excellent.
April 15, 2007 2:49:08 PM

another question, once I get the New Parts and considering im gettnig a directx10 vid card.
Should I upgrade to Vista? I already own a copy.
Or should I just Stick with XP?

I mostly only game and surf the game, so dunno if its worth the change.
April 15, 2007 2:59:57 PM

as far as that psu... it seems good, 33amps total on the +12 rails, and nearly all the reviews are positive on it, you might want a second opinion though about it

as far as going to vista... simply, its not worth it yet... not till they can get rid of the bugs and quirks it still has (in other words wait till SP1 is out before switching, if you want hopefully all the functionality that XP has)... ...i had been using it for a few months, but the loss of a few features drove me back to XP again... i just couldnt stand not having them at all for that long.. (no spdif passthrough for watching dvds, and no horizontal spanning for my monitors, it was limited strictly to dual view, which really kinda sucks)... plus after using it that long, i didnt realize just how much slower vista really was... ...so IMO i think you should wait till at least the first service pack is out, it should be faster, more non beta drivers should be out, applications should be more stable, and hopefully lost features will be returned (again, thats the only reason im not really using it anymore)
April 15, 2007 3:24:04 PM

thanks for the reply, I think will stick with XP then, at least for now.

ANother question, kinda dumb. I am currently selling some comics on ebay to finance all thos parts.
If I were to get more money than I had anticipated, should I put the extra cash towars the 640mb version of the 8800gts vid card? or instead go for a faster CPU?
April 15, 2007 3:29:42 PM

well, actually, going for the 8800GTS 320 for resolutions up to 1280x1024 will offer pretty much identical performance to the 640 version... go for the 8800GTS 640 at higher resolutions than that, as the memory amount begins to play a more significant role, especially if you keep increasing the resolutions

heres a post i had made just recently, regarding cpu/gpu purchases and gaming (it was for oblivion, but even still):

Quote:
your cpu in all honesty is not going to be a big problem... especially for oblivion... ...for oblivion, the first thing to take a dive for performance is guaranteed to be your gpu... so you most certainly dont want to sacrifice performance here if you can help it... secondary comes memory amount (2GB is preferrable)... then cpu speed (dual core preferrable)... then memory speed (ddr2-667 at least usually, if youre running AM2 or C2D)... then hard drive (WD 160GB 8MB WD1600AAJS is only $54, but is the fastest 7200 available)... etc... ...at the very least go for an 8800GTS 320, as a minimum... especially if you can swing the price (evga 8800GTS 320 is $260 after $20 rebate)... as far as OCing, definetly do it, as youll save yourself most likely a decent amount of money that could go to the gpu purchase instead... the X2 3600+ is a prime example for OCing, which can get you fairly close to 3GHz, as was pointed out, for only $80 retail too (or $65 oem, with no heatsink included though)... ...or you can go the route of getting a faster cpu for more money... and sacrificing your gaming performance some by investing in a weaker gpu... ...your call though... ...as far as OCing your X2 4200+, im sure that can be pushed to at least 2.6GHz without much problem, if you were open to that


Quote:
im just trying to get the best fps i can (40-50 would be nice) with the best graphics i could while maintaining the frame rate, would a X2 5600 and a X1950 pro work better? then just upgrade my graphics card in 5-6 months? i remember someone telling me that "game preformance isnt always about the best hardware, its about the best set-up" would you agree with this statement?

Quote:
well... regarding best hardware and best setup... as far as i can tell they usually go hand in hand... ...you could say best hardware period, or best hardware for the money... ...one is going to be absolute, and the other is going to be relative... ...if youre more budget conscious, go for whichever hardware fits your budget, and still offers acceptable performance (making multiple lesser replacement purchases usually ends up being more expensive in the long run, and if youre trying to save money, this usually would not be the way to go then, eg, an expensive gpu now, and another expensive gpu only a few months from now)... ...for the budget concious gamer, a cpu would be more of a waste to invest in, in all honesty (especially if your cpu is fairly recent, meaning within the last few years)... as the performance return is going to be minimal, compared to the performance boost of current gpus, over older gpus

either way, its advisable to wait until the R600 is released, if only for the possible price drops


edit: again, the cpu performance return above an X2 4200+ like youre considering is going to be minimal at best, when it comes to gaming... and if youre not gaming at resolutions above 1280x1024, the 640 version isnt going to provide much benefit... ...i would suggest though, that if your hdd is at all sluggish for performance, to instead get the 160GB hdd i pointed out for $54, and use your 250GB as a backup hdd (having 'at least' one backup hdd is definetly recommended if you dont already), plus your OS will thank you anyhow with the performance boost of hosting the OS on the faster hdd
April 15, 2007 4:13:24 PM

Quote:
ok, after like almost 3 years of having this build, its about time for me to upgrade.
After listening to several opinions, I have found it best to upgrade by mid may when Intel, AMD and new video cards will have come out and have driven the prices lower.

Here is my current SetUP:

CPU: AMD XP 2500+

MOBO: ASUS A7N8X-E

RAM: 2GB (1GB x 2 Dual Channel) DDR400 PC3200 (i believe brand is PNY)

Video Card: Sapphire X800pro 256mb

Sound Card: Audigy 2ZS

Hard Drive: Western Digital 250GB Sata II

PSU: Thermaltake 430w http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec 900 (plus 2 fans that I added, so a total of 6 fans in the case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now, out of all this parts, I'm planning to change CPU, MOBO, RAM and Vid Card.

Here is what I was considering and take in mind I'm on a real budget here.


CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2.2GHz ($99.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

MOBO: ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra ($99.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

VC: EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB ($259.99)
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

RAM:CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 ($128.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...


So as you can see, my total Budget is of about $600 for all the parts.
Is this the best I can do with that money?

Another thing to take into consideration is that I DON'T overclock, im not THAT computer savy and don't really want to risk buying a new Cooler and voiding the warranty or kill my chip. I rather use my stuff just retail.
So buying a CPU better than another because it can O'c better is NOT for me, nor I care for it.


And lastly, will that PSU have enough juice for that PC? or will I have to buy a new PSU? (would suck, cause I just bought this one like 3 months ago.
I have the motherboard your getting, i had/have the processor(replaced with x2 5600), and i have that brand of memory. The x2-4200 is a fine processor, but i think i would 3 either spend the xtra 23 bucks and get a x2-4600, just so it wont bottlesneck that gpu. DEFINATELY get a new psu, that power supply is a good one( i actually used that psu when i had a xp2500), but your gonna be in the big leauges now, you dont want a pinto engine in a mustang chasis,
April 15, 2007 4:51:41 PM

Quote:
well, actually, going for the 8800GTS 320 for resolutions up to 1280x1024 will offer pretty much identical performance to the 640 version... go for the 8800GTS 640 at higher resolutions than that, as the memory amount begins to play a more significant role, especially if you keep increasing the resolutions

heres a post i had made just recently, regarding cpu/gpu purchases and gaming (it was for oblivion, but even still):

your cpu in all honesty is not going to be a big problem... especially for oblivion... ...for oblivion, the first thing to take a dive for performance is guaranteed to be your gpu... so you most certainly dont want to sacrifice performance here if you can help it... secondary comes memory amount (2GB is preferrable)... then cpu speed (dual core preferrable)... then memory speed (ddr2-667 at least usually, if youre running AM2 or C2D)... then hard drive (WD 160GB 8MB WD1600AAJS is only $54, but is the fastest 7200 available)... etc... ...at the very least go for an 8800GTS 320, as a minimum... especially if you can swing the price (evga 8800GTS 320 is $260 after $20 rebate)... as far as OCing, definetly do it, as youll save yourself most likely a decent amount of money that could go to the gpu purchase instead... the X2 3600+ is a prime example for OCing, which can get you fairly close to 3GHz, as was pointed out, for only $80 retail too (or $65 oem, with no heatsink included though)... ...or you can go the route of getting a faster cpu for more money... and sacrificing your gaming performance some by investing in a weaker gpu... ...your call though... ...as far as OCing your X2 4200+, im sure that can be pushed to at least 2.6GHz without much problem, if you were open to that


Quote:
im just trying to get the best fps i can (40-50 would be nice) with the best graphics i could while maintaining the frame rate, would a X2 5600 and a X1950 pro work better? then just upgrade my graphics card in 5-6 months? i remember someone telling me that "game preformance isnt always about the best hardware, its about the best set-up" would you agree with this statement?

Quote:
well... regarding best hardware and best setup... as far as i can tell they usually go hand in hand... ...you could say best hardware period, or best hardware for the money... ...one is going to be absolute, and the other is going to be relative... ...if youre more budget conscious, go for whichever hardware fits your budget, and still offers acceptable performance (making multiple lesser replacement purchases usually ends up being more expensive in the long run, and if youre trying to save money, this usually would not be the way to go then, eg, an expensive gpu now, and another expensive gpu only a few months from now)... ...for the budget concious gamer, a cpu would be more of a waste to invest in, in all honesty (especially if your cpu is fairly recent, meaning within the last few years)... as the performance return is going to be minimal, compared to the performance boost of current gpus, over older gpus

either way, its advisable to wait until the R600 is released, if only for the possible price drops


edit: again, the cpu performance return above an X2 4200+ like youre considering is going to be minimal at best, when it comes to gaming... and if youre not gaming at resolutions above 1280x1024, the 640 version isnt going to provide much benefit... ...i would suggest though, that if your hdd is at all sluggish for performance, to instead get the 160GB hdd i pointed out for $54, and use your 250GB as a backup hdd (having 'at least' one backup hdd is definetly recommended if you dont already), plus your OS will thank you anyhow with the performance boost of hosting the OS on the faster hdd


Max, reso my monitor can handle is 1680x1050.

In that cause wich is better?
April 15, 2007 4:59:08 PM

1280x1024=1,310,720 pixels
1680x1050=1,764,000 pixels

for that resolution, it looks better to go for the larger 640 version
April 15, 2007 5:03:03 PM

alrighty thanks.
April 15, 2007 5:04:07 PM

welcome
April 16, 2007 12:36:51 AM

Everything looks good except the current PSU you have is NOT enough for that video card, no where near enough.

I recommend getting this PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Three +12 rails supplying 18 amps each = 54 amps! More than enough.

The CPU might be a minor bottleneck so if you have the money, I would bump it up to a x2 5200 (higher clocked and has 1 mb l2 cache on each core), so if you're not going to overclock, it should last you longer and be less of a bottleneck than the x2 4200. I know that's around 120 bucks more you have to pay, but think about it, that PSU should last you for a very long time! And the CPU should last you for a couple more years.
April 16, 2007 1:18:53 AM

Or, just get an X2 3600+ Brisbane (they're dirt cheap) and overclock the hell of it. They can easily get to 5000+ speeds.
April 16, 2007 2:31:35 AM

dude, first of all, it is most definitely not 54A! you don't just add the Amps on each rail, you take the amount of watts over the 12V rails and divide it by 12. The information on newegg is not sufficient to figure out how many Amps that PSU give, so you go the manufacturer website and they say it has 42A. That's still a good amount though
!