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The $500 Gaming Machine, 2007 Edition

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September 10, 2007 4:07:58 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/09/10/the_500_gaming_machine_2007_edition/index.html

Last year we assembled an entry-level gaming PC for as little as $500, and it did the job well. Our new machine at least doubles the performance of its predecessor, with a dual-core CPU, mainstream DirectX 10 graphics, lots of RAM, plenty of storage and a highly-efficient power supply. CPU possibilities include AMD or Intel devices.
September 10, 2007 4:42:23 PM

Very sensible approach to building a reliable gaming platform, it just goes to show people that it doesn't take a lot of money and/or high-end hardware components to get the job done.
My previous post:"gaming hardware, just the facts" reinforces this concept.
There's nothing wrong with building a Quad-Core, CrossFire, RAID(0+1), 3.5GHz Over-Clocked, Over-Heated Super-Computer..............but it's not necessary to get the job done.

:hello:  Folding@Home
September 10, 2007 5:04:18 PM

The entire article contains reference to the Intel "T2160" please correct this to E2160 to avoid confusion.
Related resources
September 10, 2007 5:23:27 PM

Interesting, I wish you would cover a budget $300 gamer build, this is a very nice mainstream component build, but a lot of kids want to game and it would be nice to show them that you can do it on a budget.

In that vein I like the Conroe-L for $50-65, it is single-core, overclocks like a champ, and the 7900GS, also overclocks like a champ (Mine went over 650mhz and was pushing close to 700mhz before I ran into heat issues).

PS since the graphics and the Processor are easily the two main contributors to the speed of gaming, why no nVidia cards? I notice you cover AMD and Intel, why not put a competing nVidia product in? Kudos for the 7900 mention, but does it really draw more power than the 8600?? The 7800 series is a hot power hog, but the 7900 is not. For the money a 7900GS is $120-$140 bucks left and right on ebay and puts a smack-down on the 8600 series, (the half-width, 128-bit, bus really hurts the 8600).

Last but not least, why not build with a DX9 series card? You won't be playing DX10 series games on a low-end rig anyway (and gamers aren't lining up for Vista anytime soon), and the 7900 series is the place to be for the next year anyway.

Keep up the good work, I need my dose of new products (hop to it guys, the Anandtech site has a Barcy and a Phenom preview.)
September 10, 2007 5:23:34 PM

mad-dog said:
Very sensible approach to building a reliable gaming platform, it just goes to show people that it doesn't take a lot of money and/or high-end hardware components to get the job done.
My previous post:"gaming hardware, just the facts" reinforces this concept.
There's nothing wrong with building a Quad-Core, CrossFire, RAID(0+1), 3.5GHz Over-Clocked, Over-Heated Super-Computer..............but it's not necessary to get the job done.

:hello:  Folding@Home



I Was wondering what that T was for...someone release a new Terminator machine that I haven't been told about? :) 
September 10, 2007 5:35:19 PM

So you spent $100 on a 500W power supply and the system uses 100W at full graphics load? Sounds like $ well spent. On a budget build, please keep the very high end components out of the build. Yes, a good power supply is required, and maybe the bundled power supply that came with the case is not good enough (i've had mine for 2 years in a dual core x850xt machine), but there are plenty of good power supplys for $50-$70. Antec earthwatts, Corsair, seasonic to name a few. Your system is so low power it could run off a notebook power brick. No reason to run a 500W monster high end psu. Any mainstream dual core rig can run on a quality 380W power supply. Otherwise, you did a pretty decent job on your build.
September 10, 2007 5:40:41 PM

autoboy said:
So you spent $100 on a 500W power supply and the system uses 100W at full graphics load? Sounds like $ well spent. On a budget build, please keep the very high end components out of the build. Yes, a good power supply is required, and maybe the bundled power supply that came with the case is not good enough (i've had mine for 2 years in a dual core x850xt machine), but there are plenty of good power supplys for $50-$70. Antec earthwatts, Corsair, seasonic to name a few. Your system is so low power it could run off a notebook power brick. No reason to run a 500W monster high end psu. Any mainstream dual core rig can run on a quality 380W power supply. Otherwise, you did a pretty decent job on your build.


Autoboy has an excellent point. Hell, they should have used the $20 HiPro 300 watt PSU at newegg. HiPro is stuffed into gateway and IBM machines, and are generally very quality units. For 100 watts max power consumption, even if all that came off the 12 volt rail, a 300 watt PSU would suffice just fine. I run a Dell 250 watt PSU, and I would not even think twice about using it to power either one of these systems (b/c right now, with a D 805 and Ti 200, my rig that the dell PSU powers consumes 130 watts at the outlet! lol )
September 10, 2007 5:51:32 PM

The E2140 may have also been a better CPU for your build to better match the Price of the AMD CPU/Mobo.

It would not have faired as well and the $10 upgrade may be worth it, but the same applies.

I agree about the PSU as well.
A FSP 400w PSU can be had for $40.
It is a quality PSU from a well known company and would actually get your $500 PCs into the $500 ballpark.

It likely would have also allowed for the 7900GS to fit in your price.
It uses only 2-3watts more than the 8600GT you referenced so no need for more cooling or a better case.

Note: I would have also been curious about moderate OCing. The Intel chip for sure can improve drastically by simply increasing the FSB to 533. No extra cooling required. If you do not OC, these systems are just not that good for the money, IMHO.

Buy a System at CircuitCity for $450 and add-in the 8600GT Video Card and you have a faster system that also ships with an OS, Mouse/Keyboard/Speaker, Memory Card Reader, LightScribe, etc.. etc.. etc... and is $100 less than yours after an OS is purchased.
--------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Compaq-Presario-Desktop-...
--------------------------------------------------------------
Since the CircuitCity Model can't be OC'd, it will soon be dusted as soon as you set these chips to very moderate OC's that do not require voltage increases or non-stock cooling.
September 10, 2007 5:54:22 PM

I also agree with the comments about the power supply being overkill for this build. I also wonder why the article spoke so highly about Dx10 gaming yet ran their tests on XP? A con for the Intel chip was that it lacked VT, why does a cheap gaming system need VT? There was also a lack of gaming benchmarks which is very disappointing, unless you just play Quake.


Not the Tom's Hardware's best showing at all.
a b 4 Gaming
a c 111 à CPUs
September 10, 2007 5:56:25 PM

$500 gaming rig! Build the best $500 gaming tower you can. This video card is good for gaming? Am I missing something here or did they only show i fricking gaming benchmark, quake 4, which is how old now. Ya, lets do a whole article about gaming system, tell how we should use a directx 10 video card and then show 1 benchmark from a game that is a few years old. Good job. What the hell does this article tell me about me about how well I can play games for $500 if they don't include any benchmarks for games!!
September 10, 2007 6:08:04 PM

nice budget machine... 2 Q's though: Why the micro-atx with onboard vid? I realize that if you are married to the 690 chipset you pretty much get the video, but if you jump ship to an Nv chipset on the amd platform you get a fullsize atx w/o video in the nforce 520 or the like... and all for 25 bucks less. Even if you MUST have that 690 you can drop that hdmi on the MSI board and drop 25 bucks there as well. This was just in a 5 min search on newegg. I assume the intel platform is similar in the price drops for going sans-video.

Honestly, if you are running a discrete video card why are you getting onboard graphics? and b/c of that graphics card, who cares if there is hdmi on the mobo or not? You are not using it! lol... And then for expansion purposes you can do more w/ a fullsize ATX board. JMO of course...

Second Q: Why the discrepancy from what you chose for video card and what the Tom's articles say? Personally, I know what a solid video card purchase is, but I am calling you on what will be perceived as contradiction by the proto-noobs that dig deeper than your immediate suggestion. You chose the HD2600pro and then reference the tom's charts for that
Quote:
As you can see in our VGA Charts, both cards offer mainstream performance at very acceptable prices.
The problem is that we CAN'T see that, as that card is not on the charts at all! (at least not on the US version) only the XT is. The next glaring issue with your suggestion is that the monthly "Best Gaming Graphics Card for the Money" totally disagrees with your choice as it says the best for under 100 bucks is the older 7600gs.

Now I realize that the "ranks" change constantly, and perceivably the 2600pro could now be a better performer than the 7600. If you have tested and proven that then great, just point that out in the article as to why it differs... of course it looks like you did not even look at your own articles the way it stands now... you reference one as proof that has none, and don't even mention the one proves you wrong. Bad form.

I am a Tom's reader of many years, and I realize that you have many different authors. However, part of good journalism is to check your sources and even read previous work from your offices before publishing a new work that might refute them. Especially when the source and contradicting info is your own! These issues have become more glaring as time goes on here at Tom's.
September 10, 2007 6:28:05 PM

I didn't really get why they used a 2600pro. A 7600gt costs about the same yet has better performance.

And why did they use a more expensive 45W AMD processor? A 65W 4600+ costs about the same and i don't think 20W would fry that beast of a PSU they chose.

September 10, 2007 6:33:21 PM

agreed on performance... but honestly I wouldn't mind the 2600pro choice if it did not directly conflict with all charts and recommendations here on their own site.
September 10, 2007 7:17:00 PM

Good Catch on that one.
The X2-4400+ or the 4600+ are clearly better choices.
Both are faster and one is even cheaper.

The Mobo is a bad choice as well.
Why pay for the onboard HDMI when you are not using the integrated graphics?

Between the 4400+ and the Mobo - We just saved another $25.

If we put the Mobo Savings into the CPU instead of cost savings, we are now looking at the 4800+ or 5000+.

On the other hand, we could get a really nice gaming card with that extra $25 as well.

It's almost as if they intentially spent more than necessary on the mobo and bought an over-priced CPU to help ensure balance with the Intel System.

Sorry, but w/o an OC the AMD system should be much better than the Intel System at the same low-end price point if components are properly selected. The Intel System will OC like BigBen on Steroinds, but don't handi-cap AMD were it rightly shines.
September 10, 2007 7:35:59 PM

I agree completely with Zen. Good article, but for a gaming system witha nice 500 watt PSU.... using a little extra power is acceptable. The 4400+ and motherboard savings would have allowed you to get an 8600GTS, x1950Pro, 7900GS...

Good article and idea, but the title is flawed. I would understand if energy efficiency and silence was the end goal... but this isn't an HTPC, its a GAMING PC, as your title clearly states.
September 10, 2007 7:44:57 PM

hahahaha gaming pc and only 1 game benchamrked.

not to mention they bought the wrong parts for the purpose.
September 10, 2007 8:12:03 PM

too much power supply, and too much concern about power consumption. def didn't understand the GPU, or CPU choices.
September 10, 2007 8:57:37 PM

Nice article but I would like to see you guys go super cheap. I am sure you can do better than this. :non: 


September 10, 2007 9:04:16 PM

Albeit the minimalist approach, there are better options for the money.........
Take it for what it's worth and learn from it.

Folding@Home
September 10, 2007 9:06:03 PM

adder1971 said:
too much power supply, and too much concern about power consumption. def didn't understand the GPU, or CPU choices.

meh, I like the psu choice. Overkill on the psu is a good thing regardless of the budget as it is the one part to last the longest, be replaced the least, neglected the most and is the foundation for all...

I do share your problems with the other choices though...
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2007 9:21:12 PM

Even if you are building a system primarily for gaming, who would build it with just a DVD ROM and no DVDRW?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 10, 2007 11:07:16 PM

muk said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/09/10/the_500_gaming_machine_2007_edition/index.html

Last year we assembled an entry-level gaming PC for as little as $500, and it did the job well. Our new machine at least doubles the performance of its predecessor, with a dual-core CPU, mainstream DirectX 10 graphics, lots of RAM, plenty of storage and a highly-efficient power supply. CPU possibilities include AMD or Intel devices.


It would have been interesting to see the Intel System built with a Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L board($75 at Newegg). Slightly cheaper and has solid caps. Easy Gigabyte OCing also.
September 10, 2007 11:18:14 PM

I still use a 32X CD player in my gaming rig! I've needed a DVD player once and I just shared the drive from my normal rig. The gaming rig changes so much that I have to maintain a normal work machine or I would go crazy with all the reinstalls etc. For a long time a 1ghz athlon was all I needed until I started doing transcoding. Now I have a dual core Athlon with onboard graphics and I have to ignore the urge to upgrade it.

Pretty much all these guys do is to just find some parts laying around the office and tell the intern to go build a system with it and write a story. That is about all that goes into these kinds of stories so they don't actually find the best budget stuff around, just the best around the office so nothing is perfect. I do wonder about the efficient nature of the build but I'm not going to quibble over it. It is "A" $500 gaming machine, not the "best" $500 gaming machine. If all you do is warcraft and quake 4 this is a great build and looks pretty much the same as my latest gaming machine upgrade, except I used the centurian psu, 2.5ghz processor for the same $, cheaper matx board cause I don't use the onboard vid, 2GB ram because who the hell builds a system without 2GB these days anyways, and a 2600XT instead of the pro left over from my HTPC because I could never get the color output right. So yeah, it is a pretty ok build considering. The only thing really out of place was that psu. This is pretty much on par with their HTPC builds and HDTV articles so I really never expect much anymore. It helps me understand how the layman thinks about computers though.
September 10, 2007 11:40:36 PM

tlmck said:
It would have been interesting to see the Intel System built with a Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L board($75 at Newegg). Slightly cheaper and has solid caps. Easy Gigabyte OCing also.

For $75 you can get mid range to low high end am2 board.
September 11, 2007 12:18:21 AM

Too much money was spent on making the PC upgradeable like the PSU. They could have also included some OCing results with stock cooling. Both of those processors could have OC'ed like 25%. If they had gone with a X2 3800+ 65W and a E2140, 2 cheaper mobos, another gig of ram, and an 8600GT or even a 2600XT they could have made a much better system for the price. Seriuosly, a 500W PSU for that?

Another thing is they got 1 GB of ram and talk about using DX10 which means they need to use Vista to validate that thought. You really need 2 GB for a good Vista experience.
a b 4 Gaming
a c 111 à CPUs
September 11, 2007 1:46:24 AM

Ya, crappy system with no idea how it really handles games.
September 11, 2007 2:39:51 AM

Where the heck are all the GAMING benchmarks for this GAMING rig? The only game reviewed is a 2 year old OpenGL game?! I was really excited for this article and read the whole thing through - and was horribly let down.
September 11, 2007 3:24:34 AM

Here's what a real ~$500 gaming rig is:

CASE: Cooler Master Centurion similar to theirs
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $55 shipped
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 430W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $60 shipped
DVD burner: Samsung 20X SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
-> $32 shipped
HDD: Seagate 7200.10 250GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
-> $70 shipped
RAM: A-DATA Extreme 2 X 1GB CAS4 DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
-> $90 shipped - $30 MIR = 60 shipped
MOBO: Intel- GIGABYTE GA-P31-DS3L All solid capcitor 1333 FSB ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $81 shipped
MOBO: AMD- GIGABYTE GA-M61P-S3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-> $81 Shipped
CPU: Intel- Intel Dual Core E2140 1.6GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $76 shipped
CPU: AMD- AMD Athlon X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1 GHz
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $66 shipped
Video Card: HIS Hightech Radeon HD 2600XT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $105 - $10 promo code: EMC907VGA13 = $95 shipped

Total: Intel-
$524 shipped after MIR
Total: AMD-
$514

That's a REAL $500 Gaming PC
September 11, 2007 3:27:09 AM

Also, that's all from newegg and I didn't even spend 15 minutes looking around for prices. If someone spent more time looking around deal sites and other places for the best prices on similar hardware they could probably save another $20 or so.
September 11, 2007 5:09:06 AM

I wasn't happy.

Case: Centurion 5 $50

CPU: X2 4000+ $65

Mobo: BIOSTAR TForce TF7025-M2 AM2 $70

RAM: PQI Turbo 2GB DDR2-800 $68

GPU: PNY VCG7900SXPB GeForce 7900GS $120

PSU: COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power RS-430-PMSR/P ATX12V Max: 400W (Continuous) $33

HD: Seagate Barracude 320GB $65

DVD: Generic $30

Total: $501
September 11, 2007 5:52:31 AM

No love for the mighty x1950pro at the $120 rebate mark? It absolutely stomps the 7900gs.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2007 6:12:01 AM

sanjiwatsuki said:
I wasn't happy.

Case: Centurion 5 $50

CPU: X2 4000+ $65

Mobo: BIOSTAR TForce TF7025-M2 AM2 $70

RAM: PQI Turbo 2GB DDR2-800 $68

GPU: PNY VCG7900SXPB GeForce 7900GS $120

PSU: COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power RS-430-PMSR/P ATX12V Max: 400W (Continuous) $33

HD: Seagate Barracude 320GB $65

DVD: Generic $30

Total: $501

Yeah you could even adjust the mobo down to a $50 one that overclocks well and save $20 there. But who would put a 550w PSU for that small of a system? Sorta like having a 1000hp mustang that can't get out of 1st gear! Buy the Kia and be able to move around at 40% of the cost. Not rocket science.

I think the Intel setup made them pick the higher priced AMD board. AMD's right now are the best budget system right now. Yes they don't OC nearly as well as the Intels, but if you look at the budget AMD setup (CPU/RAM/Mobo) combo, it's hard to match that price/$ on the Intel side.
AMD
x2 4000+ $65
2gig RAM $60
Mobo $50

INTEL
e2140 $75
2gig RAM $60
Mobo $75

So basically your saving ~$35 right off the top and usually the Intel based Mobo's usually have less options for the same price as the AMD's have. I'd put the $60 savings on PSU, ~$30 savings on Mobo and put that into a x1950pro/7900gs/8600gts if I was build a $500 budget build.
September 11, 2007 2:00:06 PM

I don't understand it but that article just looks thrown together really quickly.
September 11, 2007 2:36:54 PM

The article is total trash. A $99 power supply? My god. $60 is just fine. And a $75 AMD motherboard with integrated graphics? Why on earth would you want integrated graphics? The HDMI is nice but this is not an HTPC. Besides my Gaming rig is also an HTPC and it does not have HDMI (My tv takes VGA). Anyway, yeah this is a joke. They purposefully skewed the hardware choices so that it made intel look better. Why not match up a better AMD cpu so that both systems cost the same. (The AMD was cheaper.) I mean come on "Tom" be a little less blatant about who you are owned by! lol. You need to remove the HDMI expense from the AMD system and replace the BE-2350 with something more reasonable. I mean, OMFFG an X2-4800 brisbane is only 7 bucks more FFSakes wtf is wrong with you??! If you had only picked that CPU the AMD system would still have been cheaper than the intel, and would have performed better. You could get a freakin X2-5200 system for less than that intel and all you need to do is get a AMD mobo without the stupid integrated graphics and HDMI. goo goo ga ga? Like I said, stop shilling for Intel and do a decent fair review of something for once. People are going to link to this guide left and right, and you are ripping them off and passing them really really bad info. I mean, omg you even screwed up on the graphics card, since the 2600pro is slower than the 8600GT. And yeah the 8600GT is 17 bucks more but wtf, you are the ones that allowed 17 bucks more in your intel budget. WWWTF??? Why did you not give the AMD system the better GPU to match the price? huh?
September 11, 2007 2:51:33 PM

decripple said:
Here's what a real ~$500 gaming rig is:

CASE: Cooler Master Centurion similar to theirs
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $55 shipped
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 430W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $60 shipped
DVD burner: Samsung 20X SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
-> $32 shipped
HDD: Seagate 7200.10 250GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
-> $70 shipped
RAM: A-DATA Extreme 2 X 1GB CAS4 DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
-> $90 shipped - $30 MIR = 60 shipped
MOBO: Intel- GIGABYTE GA-P31-DS3L All solid capcitor 1333 FSB ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $81 shipped
MOBO: AMD- GIGABYTE GA-M61P-S3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-> $81 Shipped
CPU: Intel- Intel Dual Core E2140 1.6GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $76 shipped
CPU: AMD- AMD Athlon X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1 GHz
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $66 shipped
Video Card: HIS Hightech Radeon HD 2600XT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
-> $105 - $10 promo code: EMC907VGA13 = $95 shipped

Total: Intel-
$524 shipped after MIR
Total: AMD-
$514

That's a REAL $500 Gaming PC

and you have to add the price of a fire wire card to the Intel system to or find a intel board with it to match the amd system.
September 11, 2007 2:55:31 PM

Very nice, but I would go with a cheaper AMD mobo and then dump the extra cash into a x1950pro. There is no reason to match a $80 AMD mobo to an $80 intel mobo, because an $80 AMD mobo has more features or quality than an $80 intel mobo. omg are you shilling for intel too? /rant off
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2007 3:25:16 PM

woody240 said:
Where the hell were you all a few days ago when I ordered this system:
http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWish...

At least your system has a halfway decent graphics card in it. A x2600pro isn't a gaming GPU by any means!!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a c 143 à CPUs
September 11, 2007 3:31:07 PM

I'll go along with the consensus. I know I've posted some better cheap builds.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2007 3:59:45 PM

One would think that they would read some of the forums and notice trends and follow some of them when building budget builds. We're more budget savy on computer parts than most consumers know.
September 11, 2007 4:05:55 PM

I just want to comment that it seems at least half of the Toms hardware articles I read have obvious grammar or spelling errors, and this one is no exception. On the first page mind you! disproportion ally? What? Was this lost in translation or what? You people should really proofread your stuff.
September 11, 2007 4:12:38 PM

and another thing...though this has been touched on. Who builds a budget gaming pc to play Quake? Seriously. If you buy a dx10 card, it should be for dx10 games. Otherwise your money is better spent on a faster dx9 card.
September 11, 2007 4:30:05 PM

Well I guess they set up the rig for future upgrades by including a $100 PS. IF I was doing that though I'd spend $30 more and get a 600W silencer supply from PCPowerand cooling.

Still when I build a cheap gaming rig I skimp on parts that have the least to do with gaming. hard drive, dvd drive, case, and yeah power supply and motherboard too.

So in the interest of being different from other posted builds which are better than the article's builds I'm going to show a build for a rig that has an 8800 gts in it that still stays in the $5xx range. :) 

These deals available on Newegg and/or ZipZoomFly and/or Ebay.

$50 various AMD am2 socket Motherboards
$65 4000 x2 cpu
$60 2 gigs of ram after rebate on newegg (lots of deals in this price range.)
$20 DVd player
$25 80 gb hard drive from Ebay
$110 CAse w/PS to drive the 8800 gts ($30 cheap case with $80 Corsair CMPSU-450VX w/ 33A on single 12V rail)
$250 8800 gts

Total $580

September 11, 2007 5:12:41 PM

lunyone said:
But who would put a 550w PSU for that small of a system? Sorta like having a 1000hp mustang that can't get out of 1st gear! Buy the Kia and be able to move around at 40% of the cost. Not rocket science.

horrible analogy... higher ceiling on a psu is NOT the same as a car stuck in 1st gear. It gives you expansion room and greater certainty that you won't have problems related to cheap/bad psu's. A powerful sports car stuck in 1st gear is just broken. Bigger psu does not give you more "power"... nor is it's capability wasted as a higher-end psu usually gives greater efficiency... which means less heat and lower electricity bills... Your car actually increases cost as the power goes up... just wrong analogy all around. ;) 

The article addressed it though, and I also mentioned my thoughts on it above... who would do that? I would. Going back to jan '03 I put a 430w enermax psu in my AMD 2700+ system with a 9700pro. I STILL run that psu with massive upgrades to the system. It has at one time run 2 video cards, 4 hard drives, 3 opticals, lights, numerous usb devices and hardware monitors with the proc oc'd and still clips right along. THAT is why it is worth it to spend the money on the psu... it will last through many upgrades. That psu has lasted where friends of mine have burned through 2 or 3 $50 psu's. It cost me $99 back then. It was worth it. :sol: 


sanjiwatsuki said:
I don't understand it but that article just looks thrown together really quickly.

bingo, my thoughts exactly.

September 11, 2007 6:30:46 PM

Any benchmarks pitting this machine against other machines to show how it compares to bigger, badder machines?

Also, what would anyone change if you wanted to keep the same budget but have a non-gaming machine mainly for standard internet, email, etc?
September 11, 2007 7:32:46 PM

Umm, whats with the "If you want power efficiency go with AMD" when the intel chip selected uses significantly less under load than the AMD chip and barely consumes more than the AMD idle? That and the intel chip outperforms the AMD chip chosen. Yes, core 2s typically need more power than the AMD counterparts, but not in this case, intel wins hands down in both categories with the parts chosen...
Also, a cheaper yet better performing dx 9 card can be upgraded later, dx 10 is NOT requisite for now. If you want dx 10, wait until prices drop a little more (when next generation comes out)
September 11, 2007 9:10:28 PM

kelemvor33 said:
Also, what would anyone change if you wanted to keep the same budget but have a non-gaming machine mainly for standard internet, email, etc?
More processor, less video card, less power supply, and a smaller case.
September 11, 2007 9:57:47 PM

sojrner said:
horrible analogy... higher ceiling on a psu is NOT the same as a car stuck in 1st gear. It gives you expansion room and greater certainty that you won't have problems related to cheap/bad psu's. A powerful sports car stuck in 1st gear is just broken. Bigger psu does not give you more "power"... nor is it's capability wasted as a higher-end psu usually gives greater efficiency... which means less heat and lower electricity bills... Your car actually increases cost as the power goes up... just wrong analogy all around. ;) 

Want a good car analogy? how 'bout this: Why build a 500 HP capable balanced and blueprinted shortblock containing high nickel content block with four bolt mains, micropolished forged crank, full floating forged pistons with flycut valve reliefs, chrome-moly rings, and a set of polished oversized connecting rods, if you're just going to finish off the build with stock top end components and then put this 200 HP engine in your daily driver? It's a waste of money the way it is, investing over 3 grand in a bullet proof bottom end when a simple remanned shortblock would only be a third of the cost and probably would be just as reliable in your daily driver. Sometimes a plain old 2-bolt block, cast crank, mismatched rods and some cast pistons are really the way to go. Same thing applies to power supplies.

kelemvor33 said:

Also, what would anyone change if you wanted to keep the same budget but have a non-gaming machine mainly for standard internet, email, etc?

Switch to a Celeron or Sempron, get a cheaper PSU, and get cheaper mATX mobos and use the IGPs on the mobos.
September 11, 2007 10:26:47 PM

woody240 said:
Where the hell were you all a few days ago when I ordered this system:
http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWish...


This is not a bad system in the least.
You should be able to clock the CPU to about 3.0-3.2 Ghz w/ little if any voltage adjustments and beat much more expensive CPUs that are not OC'd and beat what you can do with the cheaper CPU's when they are OC'd.

a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b à CPUs
September 12, 2007 12:07:08 AM

1744818,44,60839 said:
horrible analogy... higher ceiling on a psu is NOT the same as a car stuck in 1st gear. It gives you expansion room and greater certainty that you won't have problems related to cheap/bad psu's. A powerful sports car stuck in 1st gear is just broken. Bigger psu does not give you more "power"... nor is it's capability wasted as a higher-end psu usually gives greater efficiency... which means less heat and lower electricity bills... Your car actually increases cost as the power goes up... just wrong analogy all around. ;) .quotemsg]
Your right, bad analogy :pfff:  I should've said a Dam holding water back (available power) and only trickling out the amount needed on that system. I agree a good PSU is always a good buy. I just thought that they went way overkill on that setup, with the goal of getting a "budget" gaming system. The only thing budget in that build was probably the case/memory!!
!