Budget Gaming Build - Advice Appreciated!

Hi everyone, I'm building a PC for general use and playing WoW and Eve-Online. I'd like something that is relatively quiet and leaves room for upgrading later on should I require more performance. My budget is $1000 CDN, and so far I have come up with the following:

Case and PSU (500W)
Antec Sonata III Black ATX 16IN Mid Tower Quiet Case 3X5.25 2X3.5 4X3.5IN 500W Air Duct 120MM Fan $120

Processor
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Dual Core Processor Socket AM2 Brisbane 1.9GHZ 2X512KB 65NM 65W Retail Box $60

Motherboard
ASUS M2N-E ATX AM2 Nforce 570 Ultra PCI-E16 PCI-E4 2PCI-E1 3PCI SATA RAID Sound GBLAN Motherboard $109

2 x 1GB RAM
Kingston ValueRAM KVR667D2N5/1G PC2-5300 1GB 1X1GB DDR2-667 240PIN DIMM Memory $80 (total)

250 GB Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200.10 8MB 8.5MS SATA2 NCQ Hard Drive $60

Video Card*
ASUS Radeon X1950 Pro 581MHZ 256MB 1.4GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDCP HDTV Out Video Card $180

Optical Drive
Samsung SH-S183L Black SATA DVD+RW 18X8X16 DVD-RW 18X6X16 DL 8X Lightscribe DVD Writer OEM W/ SW $38

Mouse/Keyboard
Logitech Deluxe 250 Desktop Black Keyboard & Optical Mouse PS/2 OEM $19

Monitor
BenQ FP92W 19IN Widescreen LCD Monitor SILVER/BLACK 5MS 1440X900 700:1 300CD/M2 VGA DVI-D $180

Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
$134

I may use one of the following video cards instead of the one listed above. I realize I am downgrading signifcantely, but it does save me on the budget. Questions about switching are - which one should I go with (I am leaning towards the HiS ICEQ3), or are there any other obvious alternatives.
*Alternative Video Cards:
HIS Radeon ICEQ3 X1650 Pro 256MB 256BIT GDDR2 PCI-E VGA DVI-I HDTV Out Video Card $104

Diamond Viper Radeon X1650 Pro 600MHZ PCI-E 256MB 800MHZ GDDR2 Dual DVI-I HDTV Out Video Card $80


What I've listed above is, aside from headphones, all the hardware I have for this PC. I will be purchasing a DWL-122 wireless adapter to connect to my home network, and my main questions are:

- Am I missing anything? I'm thinking I might need some kind of 10/100 adapter if I want to connect to the internet using a wired connection, but I'm willing to leave that out for now if I can.

- Are all the parts compatible? I've already caught myself looking at AGP graphics cards and had a 32-bit version of the OS on my list, so I wouldn't be surprised if I missed something else.

-The DLink adapter I'm going to get is around $40 - are there compatibility issues if I get an onboard one? This one in particular ($30): ASUS WL-138G-V2 Wireless G Network Adapter PCI Card 802.11G 54MBPS
My router is a Dlink DI-524.

My total should come around just above $1000. Including taxes, shipping, that puts me over my budget - although I can handle that, are there part selection choices that I can change which will bring me under $1000 and still leave me open for upgrades later?

Any other comments/suggestions are greatly appreciated, this is my first build so it should be interesting to see what happens when I finally buy the thing and try to assemble it! Thanks!
11 answers Last reply
More about budget gaming build advice appreciated
  1. It looks like you have a good entry level gaming computer there with soome room to grow. Just a couple suggestions though, I would ditch the 64 bit windows and go back to the 32 bit. You can't benifit from 64 bit with your setup and you'll save yourself the headache of driver problems with the 64 bit OS. I would definately stick with the video card, it's a solid choice and will last you until the next time around when you can go to an nVidia 8xxx or ATI 2xxx card. Your motherboard comes with a 10/100 NIC so you won't need to buy one for your LAN connection, just wireless. Wireless card isn't too bad, but I would try for one from a networking company like Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Buffalo. You can probably cut costs a little by picking a different case, just make sure you get a good and reliable power supply.
  2. Do not get a X1650 Pro, they arent good cards. If you need to save money, drop down to a 7900GS or even a 7600GT (but just rather get the X1950 Pro).

    You can also consider the 8600GT. It isnt as fast as the X1950 Pro, but it supports DX10, which may or may not count for much. Alternatively you can get the X1950 Pro, and upgrade to DX10 when DX10 games actually come out, and also when second gen DX10 cards come out.

    The two major issues with Vista 64 are hardware and software compatibility. I'd suggest getting Vista 64 drivers for all of your hardware before you buy. At least see if they are available. If they, change OS or hardware to suit.

    Also remember any 16 bit apps wont run on Vista 64. 16 bit apps things like old games and Windows 3.1 kinda stuff.
  3. Particularly for a gaming computer, you don't want Vista. It was released before it was ready. Wait for SP1 at least.
    I'd get WinXP. It works.
  4. Quote:
    I'd get WinXP. It works.


    well, said, I'd agree with everything said above, apart form the suggestion to get the 7600GS or GT, i say, avoid the GS like the plague and get the GT if you have to, the GS is quite a bit worse.
  5. keep the x1950... you'll avoid upgrading for a lot longer. Everything else seems to be pretty mint and you put yourself in a position to throw in a better processor whenever you feel like upgrading. **EDIT** yea, ditch the Vista and go with XP-- it's also cheaper!

    If you care, there's a 20" Widescreen Optiquest (ViewSonic) LCD for $170. I just got the 22" version of this monitor and it is SWEET.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2945470&CatId=1410
  6. First of all, thanks to everyone for their input!

    I have already ditched Vista-64 in favour of Vista-32, but I'm not going to go the XP route anymore. For the video card I think I'm going to go with the 8600 GT, mainly because of its Direct 10x compatibility (which will save me from upgrading later):

    ASUS GeForce 8600GT Silentcool 540MHZ 256MB DDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDCP HDTV DIRECTX10 Video Card

    From what I understand the 1950 Pro is the better card, but I made this choice to save a small bit of money and somewhat future-proof myself.

    I changed the RAM, because apparently you can't just multiply-by-two a 1GB set (thoughts on that would be appreciated, since this is an additional $20)
    Mushkin EM PC2-6400 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-18 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit

    I had to change the HD because the sale version was sold out, hopefully the new one is an appropriate replacement:
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive

    The last change I'm probably going to make is the monitor. I have access to this TV:
    Tosihba 23HL85 23" (CNET Link)

    I'm pretty sure that my computer will be able to connect to it/run properly since the TV has the VGA connection - I'm pretty sure my motherboard will have a VGA as well, right? I didn't see one on the specs, but I see one in the picture... that could potentially save me $200.

    Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
  7. Usually TV's and such like that or even the video card will come with DVI-I to VGA adapters so you should be just fine on that end.

    I'd say you have a solid system!
  8. Quote:
    First of all, thanks to everyone for their input!

    I have already ditched Vista-64 in favour of Vista-32, but I'm not going to go the XP route anymore. For the video card I think I'm going to go with the 8600 GT, mainly because of its Direct 10x compatibility (which will save me from upgrading later):

    ASUS GeForce 8600GT Silentcool 540MHZ 256MB DDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDCP HDTV DIRECTX10 Video Card

    From what I understand the 1950 Pro is the better card, but I made this choice to save a small bit of money and somewhat future-proof myself.

    I changed the RAM, because apparently you can't just multiply-by-two a 1GB set (thoughts on that would be appreciated, since this is an additional $20)
    Mushkin EM PC2-6400 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-18 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit

    I had to change the HD because the sale version was sold out, hopefully the new one is an appropriate replacement:
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive

    The last change I'm probably going to make is the monitor. I have access to this TV:
    Tosihba 23HL85 23" (CNET Link)

    I'm pretty sure that my computer will be able to connect to it/run properly since the TV has the VGA connection - I'm pretty sure my motherboard will have a VGA as well, right? I didn't see one on the specs, but I see one in the picture... that could potentially save me $200.

    Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.


    The TV will be low resolution, possibly 1024x768 or at best 1366x720. Better to get a real monitor. VGA is the blue output from the video card by the way.

    I don't see any reason why you can't just buy two of those sticks which are VERY cheap by the way, and use them in dual channel mode, unless they're picking from a stack of 1GB sticks that have different part numbers which I kinda doubt theyre doing :)
  9. It's ordered. I will obtain a monitor seperately, as I've seen some relatively cheap ones in local stores.

    Thanks everyone for your help! We'll see how the assembly goes in a few days.
  10. why dont you just warez the windows like the rest of the world does?
    there isnt any difference from a retail one, you can update, tweak it...etc the works
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