Low budget gamer build

I'm looking to build a new computer with a focus for gaming. My last desktop is four years + old and can't quite do anything besides play movies, and my laptop isn't suited for anything of the sort.

I'm a college student, and looking to keep the cost low while being able to pick up a better graphics card/processor sometime down the road. I plan on overclocking so that I can get the most bang for my buck. This means getting a motherboard with DDR2 and DDR3, and LGA 775 for peryn support.

I've already bought a Cooler Master Centurion 5 case, and a power supply (Ultra X-Finity 600W--not the greatest, but it was supposed to be nearly free after rebate). I'm looking to buy the core of the system very soon. Here's my list so far:

Intel E2160 94.00 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10005514

Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R 159.99 +6.61 (shipping) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128048

G.Skill 2GB RAM 88.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098

Sapphire x1950 Pro 134.99 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=326853

Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7170A 35.99 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=172523

WD 2000JS 54.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144416

------------------------------------------
Total 568.95


I'm looking to keep it under 600. Can anyone suggest better bang for the buck components than these? I'm not looking to spend an extra hundred dollars or so on a better graphics card like the 8800, and the 7900gs have gone up in price recently. I'm a fan of Oblivion, and from what I've read ATI's line gets better frame rates than nVidia due to the difference in pixel shaders (my guess).

Like anyone else, I'm a big fan of free shipping. :wahoo: Let me know what you think.
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  1. You have a pretty good budget list there. If you put up another 10 bucks you can get a better HDD with 50 more GB and better cache size.
  2. Is it just me or is it weird that the OP's motherboard is his most expensive component?
  3. I figured I couldn't skimp on the motherboard. I wanted something with DDR2 and DDR3 support with LGA 775 that had a solid reputation as an overclocker. Do you have any suggestions?
  4. Get the GA-P35-S3L, use the savings to get a better CPU. Don't worry about DDR3 support, by the time you need it you'll be out of college and you'll just spend the first paycheck or two on a new PC.

    Edit: yeah, I know, it's weird advice coming from somebody who did get the P35C. Truth is, my local shop didn't have the GA-P35-DS3R so I wasted $30 and got the GA-P35C-DS3R instead. Not a reason for you to do the same :D
  5. Forget worrying about DDR3 support.
    DDR2 will do you fine for quite a while.

    In general DDR2-800 will not limit you at all and there is even DDR2-1066 and faster RAM out there.

    You can grab the model with just DDR2 support for $20 or $30 less.
    That may put you in range to get an E4400 which should perform a little better. Or keep the CPU and go for an X1950XT with the savings.
  6. Gigabyte GA-P35-S3L $87
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128057
    E4300 $119
    http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?scriteria=MB-BA23789&RSKU=MB-B A23789
    Freezer 7 Pro $22
    http://www.directron.com/acfz7pro.html
    2GB Super Talent DDR2 800 4-3-3-8
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820609026
    X1950X T $167
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102067
    LG 18X $28
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136119
    200GB WD $55

    $572, no rebates.

    This way you get the most for your money in my opinion. E4400 + Freezer 7 Pro will allow you to overclock to around 2.8-3.0Ghz easy. E4400 has 2MB cache which is good for this price. X1950XT is considerably faster than X1950Pro, they are based on different chips.

    P.s - I agree with others, forget about DDR3 for now, by the time DDR3 becomes affordable, there'll be a huge variety of boards based on X38 chipset and possibly better, P35 will be today's 650i or so.

    Good luck.
  7. After looking through Dior's suggestions I've come up with a revised list. I didn't mention that I've already got an Artic Freezer 7 Pro. So here's what I'm looking at:

    Gigabyte GA-P35-S3L 86.99 + 6.33 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128057

    E4400 125.00 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=80868

    2GB G.Skill RAM 88.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098

    x1950xt 167.99 + 6.33 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102067

    LG Black 18x (SATA not IDE) 30.99 + 5.84 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136120

    WD 2000JS 54.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144416

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Total 554.95 + 18.50 (shipping)

    Why should I go with the Super Talent over G.Skill? I see the difference in the CAS latency for lower timings, but is it worth the extra 10 bucks?

    EDIT: Since my price cap is 600, should I use that to look for something better besides the hard drive? Thanks
  8. looks pretty good actually :). if you don't really care about timings, you can go with the Gskill, it should be perfectly fine for you. Just if your Overclocking, you might want that extra boost, but its the end of the world lol.
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