Well I was going to build a $1000 comp but my dad just informed me that the absolute max he will let me spend is $600. I told him that was impossible to game on, but no I know better than you. Anyways please help me out.
I do not need a sound card or case.
I would also like to not upgrade this for a while.
hmm you'll fall into alot of issues. A $600 budget is too low to build a BioShock capable PC that'll run it fast and at full blast. Minus the case your talking about making $600 bucks purcase the mobo, cpu, memory, video card, DVD drive and HDD. Your Video card will be the critical key to running Bio Shock and a good one will run you around $350 and that's more than half your budget. I'd try and just save up a lil more on your own and maybe try and dumb $300 to $400 on top. I tried to make a $600 rig, which i can, but fitting your needs it would not run Bio Shock the way it's supposed to be ran (at full blast baby). Invest in an Xbox 360 kid and buy Bio Shock for it and just slowly build your gaming rig.
Last but certainly not least, I'd get this PSU since the Corsair's out of stock. I have it with an 8800gts and an OC'd X2 3800+. It's not as good as the Corsair, but it's $30 cheaper which would even allow you to get a case (or pay for shipping )!
XCLIO GOODPOWER 500w http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817189005
New Total: $583.93
Normally I wouldn't suggest a faster processor and a slower video card for gaming, but that 1MB L2 cache on the E2160 just scares me. With the money saved on the PSU you could even stick with the x1950xt and still not spend much more.
I just finished Bioshock last night and it ran fine on my 1950Pro at 720p (I play on my TV), which surprised me since I only bought the card as a budget replacement while i wait for the new cards to arrive. But I guess if you are going to play at higher resolutions, maybe the 1950XT would be better.
I haven't seen any benchmarks, but I've heard that the 1950PRO does a really good job in Bioshock, I think the number I heard was like 40% better than the 7900GS, its closest competition. I remember because that's the card I have, and I'm pretty happy with it. Of course the XT is more powerful, but what we have here is a rock bottom budget build, and I got my 1950PRO for $105 After Rebate.
Also, you might look at an AMD CPU, not so much because the CPU's are that much cheaper, but Becasue you can get a decent board for less.
However if you want to overclock, the e2160's are awesome. I've got a friend who just bought one due to extreme budget limitations and he's running it at 3.4GHz, but he really wants to get it to 3.6 for a 100% overclock, because he's heard a lot of other people getting them that high. I just had to laugh when he told me, since I can remember when 30 or 40 percent was considered good.
The E2160's are very good for budget minded folks as the previous poster mentioned. Of Course the E4300 is very good too, but considering there may be a $600 max and the Op Still needed a case, OS, and maybe other parts. We need to be looking at how to cut even more from the build not add.
In addition to the 1950pro as being a good card, the FSP 400w PSU comes in @39.99 and will run the 1950pro just fine. I prefer the Corsair, but the poster may have a hard budget and need everything.
A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K - Retail
Model #: ADQVE1A16K
Item #: N82E16820211066
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: ST3250410AS
Item #: N82E16822148262
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model LH-20A1L-06 - Retail
Model #: LH-20A1L-06
Item #: N82E16827106072
The video card has a $40 MIR. It's still a little more than the one cited by homerdog, but unlike that one exhausts most of its heat out of the case. Anyway, this build ought to play Bioshock (and other games) reasonably well, and is upgradable.
The XCLIO "MUST" be a good PSU, It's called "GoodPower" so much supply "Good" power? I'm sure they would have called it "PCFryer Power" if it was that bad :>
I don't get it, I've had this PSU for about 3 months with an 8800gts 320MB @620/950 and an X2 3800+ @2.5GHz and it's 100% dual prime stable while running a videocard stress test for 24 hours. Speed fan never shows the 12V rails going below 12V, and they don't fluctuate either. On top of that, it's also very quiet. I was under the impression that XCLIOs were made by Channel Well, who also makes Antec power supplies. Please correct me if I am wrong.
But if you really insist on building a PC - go for something with LOTS of video memory - one of the complaints about Bioshock is that it has the 'stuttering' problem from HL2 - I guess it uses a caching system for textures.
Anyway, my roommate tried to play it on his Alienware laptop - which has two 7800's in SLI....BUT, each only has 128MB of video memory - so he was getting the stuttering.
So make sure you get a video card with lots of video memory on board.
The reason ben72227 and a few others are suggesting an Xbox 360 is due to the OP's budget. To be honest, if I really wanted to play Bioshock as well, I would buy an Xbox 360 because I also don't have a lot of money to build a new computer.
I think jtt283 knows how to build a $530 system! Good advice. After shipping and everything it will probably come close to 600 anyway. But what about the OS? If you don't have an xp retail/upgrade cd already, you're going to be stuck paying over 600. And there's not much you can cut if you want something modern. Tell your dad that ~620 is a serious dropoff gradient for good performing long lasting systems. Oh... you should be able to get a WD 320 gig drive for ~$70. 250 gig is kinda skimpy.