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New Gaming Build on the Cheap!

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Last response: in Systems
January 27, 2008 6:10:19 PM

:hello:  I have been using a dell with a 2.8 pentium d and x600 for a whlie now and want to build my own PC for the first time. I play Halo PC, TF2 and other source games, and Battlefield 2142 but want to be able to play Crysis, Call of Duty 4, and other new games. My budget is around $850, no more than $900. I will be using XP and already have the disk. I will probably be ordering everything from newegg unless theres a good deal somewhere else.
Here it is...

SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B - OEM

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Hanns·G HW-191DPB Black 19" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail

EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX ATX12V V2.2 450W Power Supply - Retail

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400 - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E2160 - Retail

DVD Burner doesn't really matter to me. That case seems to have good cooling. I might go for the Centurion 5 with the side window instead? I think that hard drive will be enough for now. Monitor seems good. I've heard good things about this video card but should I wait for the 9600gt instead? Or try to find a good deal on a 8800gt or hd3870? The PSU should be enough, I used the PSU calculator online and heard corsair is reliable. AS5 of course because I want to overclock to ~3ghz. Good deal on the RAM. I hear lots of good things about this motherboard, and I've read about how to OC on it. I want to get the e2160 to 3ghz or a little more, I should be able to do this fairly easily right? Thanks for any and all advice! :bounce: 
Edit: I read that now is not a good time to buy with all these new things coming out... is that true? Will I be able to get a much better system for this price in a month or two?

More about : gaming build cheap

January 27, 2008 6:31:03 PM

As far waiting to upgrade is concerned, the PC industry is moving so fast that no matter when you upgrade there will be something better coming out just around the corner, Moore's Law and all that.

January 27, 2008 7:23:41 PM

I did the same thing you are going to do back in June. Prior to finally purchasing, I decided to buy a good motherboard that would allow me to upgrade components as I could afford. As hawkspur states, it won't matter what you buy today, so do your best to future-proof (what an oxymoron in this industry) your purchase. As a motivated noob, I would invest in a quality motherboard, your choice Intel vs Nvidia, and a quality power supply. The e2160 is a fun cpu to mess with, but todays prices are such that you may want to forego the OC'ing of the e2160 for one of the e6x50 cpu's. However, there is always a however, there are many experienced contributors to these forums that willingly share their knowledge, a lot of what I have learned has come at their expense, hopefully one of them will respond to your inquiry.
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January 27, 2008 7:39:42 PM

looks good,
I just built a pc with that motherboard, its a great overclocker.
Also, the e2160 is a great cpu, but i would go for a e2180 or e2200 for the higher multiplier, and its only like 10$ more.
With that motherboard and A e2180, i was able to OC the CPU to 3.33 GHZ in like 5 min. with 1333 FSB and ddr2 800 OC ddr2 900
January 27, 2008 8:29:51 PM


CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX ATX12V V2.2 450W Power Supply - Retail [...] 6817139003

Never buy a PSU from newegg, it's one item they always rip people on.
$60 shipped, $50 after rebate:

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K - Retail [...] 6820211066

Go with a namebrand like Crucial or Corsair for a similar price, especially since you're overclocking:

Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E2160 - Retail [...] 6819116036

As stated before, go for the e2180 and an aftermarket cooler, about $100 shipped:

VisionTek 900206 Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail [...] 6814129102

If you want to sign up for a visa and google checkout you can get an 8800GT 512 for $210
January 28, 2008 8:25:06 PM

thanks for the advice. i think i will stick with the e2160 because tom's did the article about getting it to 3.2 or something on stock cooling and i'm a noob :p  I've decided to get the corsair xms2 ram instead. ok i will buy the PSU from thanks for showing me that. unfortunately i don't have a credit card (16 years old) and my parents don't want to go for that so i'm sticking with the 3850 unless prices drop or i find a really good deal or something. thanks again :) 
January 29, 2008 9:12:32 AM

yuo're gettng almost precisely what i'm getting :) . nice work :) 
January 29, 2008 10:29:43 AM

You might consider the Antec Sonata III case with Antec Earthwatts 500w PSU. I am not enamored of the glossy black finish on the case, but I think it is much sturdier and quieter than the one you select and quieter too. It also has eSATA on the front, a very nice feature if you plan to use an external HD for backup. Only $68AR with free shipping - so also cheaper than the pair you selected. The Earthwatts is a very good PSU - equal to the one you selected.
January 29, 2008 10:33:58 AM

it's the same PSU, actually...
January 29, 2008 10:46:56 AM

I returned that same case. Its a pos honestly. Horrible air flow. The Antec 900 is better in just about every way and about 200 times better for air and noise.
January 29, 2008 6:32:47 PM

i don't think that'd work for me...
only one fan and i'd rather have a side window.
with over 600 pos reviews of the centurion 5 i'm going with that
January 29, 2008 7:38:43 PM

I just bought one of those exact Centurion cases. Look for my review (as "Onus"). I gave it three eggs for good, solid materials, low noise, and muted good looks, but dinged it for lousy internal build quality. Half the mobo standoffs I could get in at all had to be forced with pliers. Others wouldn't go in at all, and because the holes were collectively spaced wrong, there's about a 1/16" gap between the mobo connectors and the rear faceplate (most of those flexible little grounding prongs don't reach).
Anyway, my system is up and running, but I'm not planning to ever re-use this case. Too bad, really, because I do like its looks.
January 29, 2008 7:58:42 PM

actually, I'm willing to go out on a limb here, and say that for relatively good price point, you can get a 790FX AMD setup with a 5000+ barcelona core, and then when AMD gets their faster B3-stepped Phenoms out, you can snag a fast quad-core for a great pricepoint in 6 months. or, just overclock the heck outta the 5000
January 29, 2008 8:07:50 PM

oops i should update the top part... i'm going for a centurion 5 with side window now
January 29, 2008 9:09:04 PM

@ serj, care to spec out that build??? seems interesting
January 29, 2008 10:13:24 PM

Bobdole. Man that's funny. I just saw him last night on the State of the Union Address.

Anyway, I just ordered that board and chip tonight after weeks of reading and posting. Cheers.