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Help me build a $600-700 gaming machine

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September 21, 2007 6:35:00 PM

I haven't built a computer in over 5 years so I'm not very up to date with the latest technology. I was hoping I could get some help with a build. My budget is not super strict, but I'd like to not spend much more than $700, ideally less than that. I'm looking to play some of the latest games (even if I have to play them at < optimal settings), web, poker, dvd burning, etc.

I saw the $500 gaming machine guide on this site and I figured I could use that build with a few upgrades. Here is what they recommend in that article.
Pentium Dual Core E2160 $92
Motherboard Elitegroup G33T-M2 $89
RAM Patriot PDC21G6400K, 2x 512 MB DDR2-800 $49
Graphics Card Gigabyte Radeon HD 2600 Pro $85
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.10, SATA/300, 320 GB $65
Power Supply Silverstone ST50EF-Plus $99
Case Coolermaster Centurion 5 CAC-T05 Black/Silver $49
Other Samsung SH-S183 DVD-ROM $30
Total Cost $558

I definitely plan to upgrade to 2x1gb RAM. I'd also like to stick with Intel. Does anyone have any suggestions for what else I could upgrade? Or should I go with something completely different?
September 21, 2007 6:45:53 PM

Planning to overclock? Cause Intel cpus have great overclocking potential. If not, AMD might be better for the budget since their cpus cost less which leaves room for a better gpu.
September 21, 2007 6:56:30 PM

Umm....I've never overclocked before. I'd have to read and learn more about it before I feel comfortable overclocking.
Related resources
September 21, 2007 7:06:34 PM

Well if you do plan on overclocking in the future AMD has okay OCing but Intel has better. Right now for $800 budget rigs, I think people should choose AMD because their budget cpus are better. Cheaper CPU +MB with similar stock speed which leaves room for better graphic card. But if you do plan on overclocking i guess intel would be better giving you more performance for the money.
September 21, 2007 7:15:26 PM

In this range AMD dominates, i would go for a Gigabyte 690G board with a 4400 or 5000 X2, it performs much better than the current one you have selected. Should leave you some room for a better graphics card cause the 2600Pro is a terrible card, something like a X1950Pro or X1950XT if you can still find would be way better, even a 7900GT/S.

September 21, 2007 7:56:24 PM

I get a free copy of Windows from my University so I don't need an OS.
September 21, 2007 8:18:08 PM

Dvd Burner 26.99 LG
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case 17.99 Rosewill(gets the job done)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hard Drive 48.49 160gb Western Digital
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Memory 69.99 Gskill 2x1g
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Motherboard 67.99 GIGABYTE GA-945GZM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU $74.99 Intel E2140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video card 99.99 ATI 1900gt
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU 59.99 FSP 500w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
total 466.42

With the little bit of money left over, you can get a nicer case or motherboard. I am personally fine with having a cheap case because all it does is hold your stuff.
September 21, 2007 8:32:42 PM

Even with a nicer motherboard if he dont overclock the AMD rig will destroy it. Plus the 2160 is much better at overclocking than 2140. Even if he wants to overclock, AMD rig can overclock to 3.0ghz. I will go with what rwpritchett and if u have more room get an 8800 gts 320mb. Remember theirs shipping and taxes thou.
September 21, 2007 8:42:10 PM

I like what I have read about the E2160, such a simple overclock and a great architecture. It is a great deal, but you need to jack up the FSB speed to beat the AMD chips. Really, it is an "overclock for dummies". And yes, go for an X1950Pro and 2 gigs of RAM. Get the best video card you can afford, even at the expense of other components.
September 21, 2007 10:01:57 PM

Intel ftw if ya wanna overclock. Amd if ya don't. As others suggested, a 5200+ is the bang for your buck if you don't overclock. However if you are planning to upgrade every year or so, Intel would probably be a better choice since the Amd's AM2 socket is kinda outdated. Your pick but here's my suggestion: 5200+, 8800GTS 320mb, some decent motherboard (since you're not gonna overclock), 450-550watt PSU, some decent case, and 2gigs dual channel ram of the popular brands (doesn't really matter).
September 21, 2007 10:53:56 PM

Here's a simple Intel E6750 build w/2GB Ram for $695 ($630 after mail-in rebates)
Build list from Newegg

Core hardware:
Intel Core 2 E6750 CPU
650i motherboard
2GB Ram
250GB Sata hd
18x DVD-RW Sata

The list has everything but monitor, speakers, and OS.
September 22, 2007 2:17:22 AM

tuskon, the rig rwpritchett will be cheaper and better for games because of the better graphic cards.
September 22, 2007 4:16:27 PM

Will I need to buy a heatsink/fan for the CPU? If so, what are some good ones?
September 23, 2007 1:43:59 AM

Ok. Here's what I'm leaning towards.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ $125
GIGABYTE GA-MA69GM-S2H Motherboard $80
COOLER MASTER Hyper TX2 CPU Cooler $30
SAPPHIRE Radeon X1950PRO 256MB $135
A-DATA (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $69
FSP Group (Fortron Source) 500W Power Supply $60
Seagate Barracuda 160GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive $54
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 Computer Case $50
Sony NEC Optiarc 18X DVD±R DVD Burner $31
Total $634

I really don't use huge amounts of HD space so I skimped a little on the HD. 160gb is way more than enough for me. How's the rest of it look? I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on this if no one points out any problems to me.
September 23, 2007 3:21:28 AM

splashpot said:
Ok. Here's what I'm leaning towards.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ $125
GIGABYTE GA-MA69GM-S2H Motherboard $80
COOLER MASTER Hyper TX2 CPU Cooler $30
SAPPHIRE Radeon X1950PRO 256MB $135
A-DATA (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $69
FSP Group (Fortron Source) 500W Power Supply $60
Seagate Barracuda 160GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive $54
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 Computer Case $50
Sony NEC Optiarc 18X DVD±R DVD Burner $31
Total $634

I really don't use huge amounts of HD space so I skimped a little on the HD. 160gb is way more than enough for me. How's the rest of it look? I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on this if no one points out any problems to me.

Okay here's my suggestion, which will get you a 8800gts for better gaming and push your budget to get it.

Keep Mobo/PSU/HDD/DVD Burner the same, but use these instead:

GPU - $297 shipped - $20 MIR = $277 shipped! Plus you have the 90 "Step up" program if you want to upgrade within the 90 day period.
EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CPU/Memory Combo - $170
AMD x4800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Combo link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N...

Basic Case - $30 shipped!! Not the best, but will save you $36 from the Coolermaster one.
Rosewill R6426-P BK ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

System total - $727 - $25 in MIR's - $702!! Now that is streaching the budget. You could opt for a cheaper Mobo and pull this build below $700, but that is up to you.

!