Budget Gaming Rig (1st build :))

Hi all, I'm planning to build a new gaming rig from scratch, but I'm more than a little rusty on my component knowledge ...it's been 5-6 years since I've upgraded/purchased anything :P. Just looking for a little feedback on these three rigs I have planned out - one is my budget model (parts of which would be upgraded before the end of the year), one a 'reasonable' one that would sustain me for a while, and the other is the whole-hog (but not too beasty :P)

a) I don't really know if these MBs and CPU/gfxs etc. are even compatible, and b) if there's anything that strikes you as too weak or expensive, just yell out! The rig will primarily be used for gaming, along with a small amount of photoshop, net usage and Office etc. I can't afford a real beast (ideally i don't want to spend over AU$1000 (about US$1150 I think?)), but i want it to perform well with the current generation of graphics-heavy games - crysis/oblivion equivalent. Anyway, here they are...prices are in US$, but I'm buying in Australia.

Any help you could give me would really be appreciated! : )


rig 1: the basics (will upgrade cpu and gfx substantially in a year's time)

Sempron 3000+, $30
M2N-X-Plus, $101 (also saw a M2N4-SLI for $90-something)
Asus 512Mb 8500GT, $84
160Gb Seagate 7200 IDE $65
Kingston 2G (2x1) Twin 6400 RAM $68
19" Acer P193WB $220
Coolmaster OV 460W Case+P/S, $96
plus optical, vista and a kb/m

total cost: $788

rig 2: the 'reasonable' rig : P

AMD AM2 X2 5200+ $106
Asus 512Mb 3850 $232
M2N32-SLI Deluxe $213 (will i need 32 bit for this cpu/gfx?)
160Gb Seagate 7200 IDE $65
Kingston 2G (2x1) Twin 6400 RAM $68
19" Acer P193WB $220
Coolmaster OV 460W Case+P/S, $96
plus optical, vista and a kb/m

total cost: $1257

rig 3: the whole hog

Phenom 9500 $234
Asus Maximus Formula $368
250Gb Seagate 7200 IDE $72
Asus 512Mb 3850 $232
Kingston (4x1)G Kit-800 $113
19" Acer P193WB $220
Coolmaster OV 460W Case+P/S, $96
plus optical, vista and a kb/m


so there we go.

13 answers Last reply
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  1. If you're going to run Oblivion, Crysis, and/or other graphics intensive games, your low-end system really isn't going to meet your goals. Processor and graphics just won't cut it.

    I noticed you're using an IDE HD's on all of your rigs. The motherboards you've chosen support SATA, so you might want to seriously consider switching to a SATA HD.

    I'm also curious why you chose an SLI mobo for your second rig when you're only using a single ATI card. You might be able to pick a slightly cheaper mobo and use the extra money elsewhere.

    The maximus formula is an intel motherboard only as far as I know. You'll need to choose an intel processor (I might recommend the 6750 as an inexpensive gaming chip) or else switch to an AMD motherboard. Personally, I think that motherboard has more features than you'll be able to use with your setup. It might be best to pick out a mobo at half that price and either save $ or spend on upgrading another component.
  2. thanks a lot for your help, this is kind of highlighting my almost complete lack of knowledge...tbh i didn't even know what SLI was until now, and you're right, I don't really know what those IDE drives are doing there >_<.

    what would you suggest as far as motherboards that would be compatible with Phenoms and possibly a 9800gfx go? Keeping in mind that I'm not fussed with SLI etc, what features/specs should I look for?
  3. Another option is to go with Intel.

    Unless a AMD fanboy, atm Intel is doing pretty well.
    If you want budget you can get a E2xx0 series and overclock it.
    Then spend more for a HD3750 or 8800GT
  4. I think you would get much more performance if you focus less on proc and mobo andmore on nicer components. In a couple months when you get the cash you can drop a new prorc in and sell the old one on craigs.

    I think you could save a lot of money, if on your build you went with an Athlon X2 3800($48): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103732

    and an AMD 690G ($65) based mobo:


    Then you could splurge on a slightly nicer HD($85):


    Nicer video card: ($250)

    And better ram:($102
  5. mm, interesting...if i upgrade to a 9800 (or better) when they a) come out and b) get cheaper, or just wait for a few months with the entire rig, is that mobo compatible? thanks for your help : )
  6. No, but by the time it is actually practical to purchase and use a phenom the list of compatible mobos will be longer and more affordable. You could upgrade to an X2 6000 or BE 6400, which could tide you over for another year at least. The CPU climate will be totally different by the time you will want to graduate to a phenom.
  7. Thanks for the input vonbose.

    I've had a bit of a change of plan, getting a decent video card now and chucking in a second one via crossfire in a few months. This is how the build is looking to turn out atm:

    CPU: AM2 4000+, $63 (anything up to a 6000+ is on the cards)
    MB: Not sure, the only feature I really need is Crossfire functionality - can anyone recommend a not-too-expensive board with Crossfire? (est. around $100).
    Video: Asus X3850 (with another to follow in Crossfire later on), $226
    HDD: 250Gb Seagate 7200RPM SATA, $67
    RAM: 2Gb PQA DDR 1066, $69
    Case/ PSU: Thermaltake SopranoVX, $ 106
    Monitor: 19" 5ms Phillips WS, $205
    Optical: Asus DVD-RW $37
    Input: Logitech LX710 Wireless D/T, $70
    OS: Vista Home Basic, $94

    Total: approx. $1050.

    So as you can see there's still a few things I'm not sure about...

    1. I'm assuming those dual 3850's will be able to handle anything I throw at it for a while...or am i wrong? And for that matter, if i'm going to be running 2 video cards, it isn't really worth upgrading to 3870's instead, is it?

    2. As I mentioned, I really have next to no idea what I'm doing with motherboards. The supplier I'm using has these AMD boards on sale, are any particularly notable?

    Asus (AMD-939) A8X-S
    Foxconn (AM2-940) N570SM2AA
    Foxconn (AM2-940) K8T890M2AA
    Foxconn (AM2-940) C51XEM2AA

    2. Keeping in mind this gig will see quite a bit of gaming, is there really a significant difference between 5ms and 2ms monitors?

    3. And finally, if anyone can recommend a decent case or kb/mouse combo, that'd be great (not too fussed really). Sale at supplier mentions:

    SHAW Super Swing-550W Deluxe ATX

    Any (more) help would be awesome : )

  8. $1000AU equals $872 USD, so is that the target value in USD? I don't want to overspend for you on my Intel recommendation...
  9. sorry, you're right, i got that the wrong way round in the first post...*smacks forehead*.

    i'm really not overly concerned about the budget at this point - ideally i'd like to keep it under around AU$1300 (US$1150 or thereabouts) but another $50 isn't going to break the bank - feel free to chip in with something a little more expensive if you think it's worth it : ).
  10. Dont waste your money on a slow amd system. I got a better configuration. This processor outperforms any AMD sick including phenoms in all games. Also, this processor performs better than E6850 at a lower price, and this processor overclocks easily to 4.0 air cool. Somebody already got this cpu clock to 4.7 air cool. I dont think you want a power supply that comes with a case. THis power supply are crap, and noisy as ****. Well, heres the configuration.

    Ultra X-Connect ULT31560 ATX 500 Watt Power Supply $92.40
    : Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor$229.00
    ntel E8400 3.0 Dual Core Processor $212
    GigaByte GA-P35-DS3L Motherboard$102.93
    VisionTek Radeon HD 3850 Video Card $184.01
    Patriot Memory 2GB PC2-6400 LAT:4 $73
    Pioneer DVR-112D Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer $35.71
    WD Caviar SE 250GB Hard Drive $64.00
    COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP 58.28

    ncluding tax/ shipping in TOTOAL: $1051 in U.S. Dollars
  11. I agree with the above setup, but maybe get a better PSU for future Crossfire and a better case for the overclock cooling. Not sure of cheap western component website so i can't give a best case to have.
  12. typical budget build:
    gigabyte p31, cheap random ddr2 800 1GB x2, sata2 160gb+ 7200, 550w psu, 3850/8800gt, 32bit vista home or xp, e2180/e2200/e4400..... :pt1cable: :pt1cable: :pt1cable:
  13. AMD 5000 black = $99
    AC 64 Pro cooler = $20
    MSI K9A2 CF = $99 crossfire available
    GECube HD 3850 = $150
    Earthwatts 500W PSU = $50
    NZXT Apollo casing = $50
    Patriot Memory 2GB PC2-6400 LAT:4 $73
    Pioneer DVR-112D Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer $35.71
    WD Caviar SE 250GB Hard Drive $64.00
    Acer 22" = $220
    Total = USD$863 or AUD$982
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