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New Gaming Build On A Sub $800 Budget

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October 24, 2007 4:03:47 PM

Gaming PC unexpectedly died... this was a 3 year old build w/a 6600GT so was about time to upgrade anyway. I'm looking to spend as little possible, but still end up with one of the new Core 2 Duo's. I have 2 spare 80GB SATA drives that I would use for loading OS + storage. Comes out to around $600 - plan to upgrade video to 8800GTS eventually, and I believe the power supply should be able to support that.

So far, this comes to $600, but still need OS so out the door w/shipping should hopefully be under $800:

http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=5120674

Thoughts? Any recommendations appreciated.
October 24, 2007 5:33:18 PM

One thing that immediately comes to mind is that you should buy this video card instead. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It has a slightly bigger rebate and it's overclocked about 25% faster than the one you have in there now.
Also spend a slight bit more and get this PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It has more amps on the 12V rail (18+18 doesn't equal 36, just google it ;-), and also much higher efficiency (you'll save on the power bill and generate less heat).
October 24, 2007 5:41:49 PM

Looks pretty good for your budget. As for the 8800GTS, you may want to wait to see what the GT is like before committing. If your not sure what your PSU can handle the card, just make sure the Amps on the +12v rail meet the requirements on of the card. (I ran an 8800 gts on a 450w RAID MAX but only because it had enough Amps per rail.)

The motherboard doesn't support SLI, which I'm not sure if you're interested in or not, but I figured I'd mention it in case you overlooked it.

Overall it's pretty good. Are you going to go Vista or XP?
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October 24, 2007 5:46:33 PM

Ever since when did the P35 D3SL get a $30 price boost?

Also, rosewill is pretty much a no-no when it comes to PSU. Can someone post the Tier chart(I'm not a home.)?

I'm not sure if the GT will be in his price range. The speculated prices are at $199 and $249. He has a $119 card on his list.

-Adam
October 24, 2007 6:34:52 PM

Also look into the CoolerMaster 534 case.
October 25, 2007 3:17:29 PM

Thanks to everyone who replied... I updated list to incorporate PSU suggestion and vid card... I also changed memory to 6400, which didn't have much impact to bottomline so that's good - still around $600 pre OS.

XP is the OS I plan on going with... anything to know about loading onto SATA? Do I need to buy floppy to load SATA drivers before installing windows or do the new XP builds (buying new XP OEM copy) recognize SATA?
a b 4 Gaming
October 25, 2007 3:46:48 PM

I've never had a problem loading XP SP2 from a SATA CD onto a SATA primary HDD. Drivers are not necessary. In BIOS, the SATA ports should be set to Native, not RAID or AHCI.
October 25, 2007 4:00:43 PM

Yeah, SATA should be pretty seemless. The first time I got SATA I really didn't even pay attention until I plugged everything in and noticed I didn't have any IDE cables :D .
October 25, 2007 4:16:32 PM

Try the Sapphire X195GT for $112.99 comparison here - it seems to have a slight performance edge over the 7900

Put the tiny savings against the $20 you need to get the E6750. Nice simple build - you won't be disappointed!
October 25, 2007 4:37:10 PM

actually tom's vga charts have the stock 7900 gs edging out the 1950gt and his card listed here in his wish list is an overclocked 7900 for a little less. i think it's a good choice to nVidia here..
October 25, 2007 6:09:01 PM

Look at Tom's Recent Article on AMD's processor, I would go with that.

AMD's Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Black Edition
October 25, 2007 6:55:09 PM

Here is a PSU with a little more kick and $5 less. (PCP&C 470w)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XP Pro does not really gain much for a home user.
Try This....... and save $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Swap out the E2160 for the E6550 and save about $90.

This gives you $135 to play this.
This shuold give you the funds to purchase either an 8800GT or 8800GTS.

The 8800GT should be available next week for approximately $250.
The 8800GTS GPUs will likely quickly fall below this price point since they are not quite as fast.

This should get you a real killer machine.
October 25, 2007 8:23:38 PM

You might price shop at a few other places. Looks like most of the parts are cheaper at ZipZoomFly when you take shipping into consideration.
October 25, 2007 8:30:36 PM

zenmaster said:
Here is a PSU with a little more kick and $5 less. (PCP&C 470w)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XP Pro does not really gain much for a home user.
Try This....... and save $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Swap out the E2160 for the E6550 and save about $90.

This gives you $135 to play this.
This shuold give you the funds to purchase either an 8800GT or 8800GTS.

The 8800GT should be available next week for approximately $250.
The 8800GTS GPUs will likely quickly fall below this price point since they are not quite as fast.

This should get you a real killer machine.


I like your approach...

My reasoning for XP Pro over Home is that I connect to my home machine from work frequently via RDP which wouldn't be possible with XP Home. On the other hand, is the extra $60 for Prof worth the luxury of connecting home? I could go w/XP Home and use something else for that remote connection.

As for your point concerning processor, isn't that fairly substantial downgrade from E6550 to E2160? What would you believe the impact to performance to be like going from E6550 to E2160?

I suppose in either case, whichever route I choose now will determine where to upgrade to in a year or so... either upgrade CPU or Vid card.
!