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Gaming PC Build - $1,100 budget

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February 17, 2008 8:37:44 PM

Hello everyone, this is my first time posting here (long time lurker)! I just wanted to run what I have so far on the machine I'm looking to build soon.

This machine will primarily be used for gaming, currently playing WoW, TF2, and Lotro. I'm a big MMO and FPS fan so I would also like this machine to be able to play up and coming games such as Warhammer Online with ease. I'm looking to spend around $1,100USD and would like to get everything from NewEgg. I also don't plan on overclocking, will most likely be running the system at default speeds.

Case:
ThermalTake Armor VA8000BWS Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $110

Processor:
Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.0GHz) Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $240

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $120

Video Card:
EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $260

DVD-/+RW Drive:
SAMSUNG Black DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $28

Power Supply:
I have a NeoPower 500 that I might use to save some money, unless you guys think thats a bad idea? From what I seen the NeoPower 500 is a tier 2 PSU.
OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS ATX12V / EPS12V 600W Power Supply 100 - 240 V CB, CE, CSA, UL, FCC - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $90

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Price: $90

Memory:
2 - Crucial Ballistix 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...
Price: $80

Total: $1,018

I'm currently at $1,018. So any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! I'm basically looking for the best bang for the buck in terms of gameplay. If you see something that I have currently picked out that doesn't look right, please post with any suggestions!

I already have the following: Monitor, Speakers, Mouse/Keyboard, OS: Windows Vista Business, so they have not been included in the $1,100 budget.

More about : gaming build 100 budget

February 17, 2008 9:26:08 PM

If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, I think you would be satisfied with a cheaper case perhaps.

the rest looks pretty good, though I just don't know how much the ram is compared to 800, price difference is pretty large
February 17, 2008 9:48:54 PM

Which case would you recommend?

I was thinking of getting the following RAM:
Crucial Ballistix 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...

I'm just not 100% sure what type of performance hit I would take.
Related resources
February 17, 2008 10:21:25 PM

I would recommend an antec 900 big case with lots of airflow.I don't think it would have a huge perforomance hit.
February 17, 2008 10:27:23 PM

Looks good except look at these PSU's:

CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 520W Power Supply
or
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX ATX12V V2.2 550W Power Supply

(Get the "Retail" version of the optical drive in order to get software with it. This will include the decoder you'll need to watch movies on it.)

February 17, 2008 10:59:48 PM

Crucial Ballistix as is overclocks very well. The DDR2 800 will overclock up to 1200. And there is a minimal performance difference. Plus with the 800 u save a good amount of money. With the extra cash get a nicer PSU. Corsair and PC Power & Cooling are good.

Everything else looks good

Also, Mlaporta, the OEM comes with software (at least mine did)
February 17, 2008 11:23:08 PM

Looks good.

There is very little difference in application performance(vs. synthetic benchmarks) between fast and slow memory (3%?). DDR2-800 is cheap and should work well.

Vista loves memory. It would cost you less to get a 4gb(2x2gb) kit of corsair ddr2-800 for $74 after rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 18, 2008 12:32:27 AM

I updated the memory.

Is the OCZ StealthXStream power supply not that good?

I actually have a NeoPower 500W power supply laying around the house, do you think that would be sufficient enough to power this system?
February 18, 2008 9:19:13 PM

Better Heatsink for OC'ing?
February 19, 2008 5:55:48 AM

What's a good heatsink to go with?
February 19, 2008 6:25:55 AM

Wolfdale is cool, but I hope those rumors about overheating is not true.

The case is subjective, I feel other cases look prettier, so whatever floats your boat.

Seagate is a good choice!

Your PSU on the other hand is nice but, I think for about the same price a Cosair 520w(modular)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

my personal fav+ the Mushkin 580w(modular) would be a better investment.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Oh yea, if you update the price on your ram, its actually $39.99 after rebates.
February 19, 2008 7:38:25 AM

MrGrimm said:
Which case would you recommend?

I was thinking of getting the following RAM:
Crucial Ballistix 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...

I'm just not 100% sure what type of performance hit I would take.


Are you kidding? Crucial's Ballistix DDR2 is one of the top overclockers, my PC2 6400's (DDR2 800) can run at 1200MHz 5-5-5-15 @ 2.2v. I will give you prices and links to what I know to be a better product for less money.

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $119.99
Free 3 Business Day Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick - Retail $124.99 ($114.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free 3 Business Day Shipping


I really like the rest of your build and stick with those Crucial Ballistix. :) 

February 19, 2008 9:22:15 AM

chuckm said:
If you want a non modular PSU, this is a very good deal;

http://www.buy.com/prod/Corsair-VX-550W-Power-Supply/q/...


That 550VX PSU is not an HX series, the 520HX is one series better (one step up) and the PSU is the most important PC component. Don't skimp on the PSU, because ripple current will decrease the life of your components.
February 19, 2008 10:58:54 AM

If you were considering going quad here is an interesting buy.
http://www.stalliontek.com/product_p/cpc4d-q6400.htm
Should be able to get 3.2-3.4ghz out of it and nothing will give you any better or noticable real world gaming differences plus you have the additional benefit of faster multitasking.
February 19, 2008 2:13:24 PM

The retail cpu cooler that comes with the E8400 is small, but it will do the job if you are not overclocking. The 45nm processors run cool. On the other hand, an oem cooler will do a better job of cooling, and will be quieter. Almost any should be better than the retail cooler. Look for one that has a large slow(<1200rpm) 120mm fan that faces the rear to help eject cpu heat.
The thermalright ultra 120 extreme is currently the best out there, but it is pricey and does not come with a fan.

Cases are largely a personal thing. If you like the looks, and it holds your parts, then go for it. I personally do not like cases with front doors. You have to keep fussing with them to put in your cd's. I also don't particularly like "bling". What I do like is a quiet case, and I also like a case that has washable filters for the intake fans.
My favorite case is the Antec SOLO.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 19, 2008 2:57:03 PM

I agree with geofelt's sentiments on cases. Looks are very personal, but doors are a p.i.t.a. Type and placement of external ports might be considered. Some cases have firewire and/or eSATA; some have their ports in the front, others on the side, or on the top.
Top fans are nice, but make sure that A) they won't block your chosen PSU (which may be deeper than average), and B) people can't or don't place drinks where they can topple over into the fan opening.
February 19, 2008 2:58:09 PM

After checking out the links that geofelt posted, I'm probably going to go with my NeoPower 500 PSU to save money. It is a tier 2 PSU, so hopefully I won't have any issues. What do the rest of you think?
February 19, 2008 3:03:24 PM

I also like those Centurion cases, although I have noted extremely variable build quality in some models. On one, the holes for the mobo standoffs weren't threaded properly, so I could only use maybe 5-6 of the holes, and half of those I had to force with pliers. On another, the case was "out of alignment" (best way to put it), but could be flexed back into position. That one may have been a shipping issue.
February 19, 2008 3:56:41 PM

you could try the Elite 330? but be warned, i cut myself (and bled a lot) trying to remove the cd drive door...
February 19, 2008 7:48:06 PM

systemlord said:
That 550VX PSU is not an HX series, the 520HX is one series better (one step up) and the PSU is the most important PC component. Don't skimp on the PSU, because ripple current will decrease the life of your components.


True the 550 is not an HX, wasn't designed or priced to be, but it holds its own and the ONLY thing it gives up is being modular. The OP wouldn't be skimping by going with it.Here's a head to head comparison;

http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQyMCws...
!