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New budget gaming rig-opinions and suggestions appreciated.

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February 19, 2008 8:22:06 PM

I'm looking to build a decent gaming rig that will last a year or two. This will also be the first system I attempt some real overclocking. This build will most likely be my holdover system till I'm ready to put together a cutting edge machine. Anyways, here is what I'm looking at:

CPU: Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail: 73.99
I plan on taking this up to 3 ghz with an aftermarket cooler, probably the new Xigmatek HDT-1283, which runs 30.99, and some AS-5, of course.

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail: 89.99
Everyone raves about this board and its overclocking capabilities, plus its pretty cheap and I've always had good luck with Gigabyte boards.

RAM: G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail: 44.99
After doing some reading, G.SKILL seems to be a good RAM for OC'ing, so I'll give it a try.

HD: Seagate Barracuda ST3250310NS ES.2 250GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive: 80.99
250 gigs should suit me just fine. I'm still using an 80gig in my current system, and have never really gotten close to filling it. Of course, I'm anal about keeping it clean and clutter free.

DVD: LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - Retail: 31.99
I know some people don't like LITE-ON drives, but I've always had good luck with them.

Video Card: MSI NX8800GT 512M OC GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - MSI Unique Quad Copper Pipe Cooling Technology.: 219.99 (199.99 after rebate).
Super sweet deal.

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail: 79.99
I love the overall look of this case, and the cable management seems to be really well done.

PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS ATX12V / EPS12V 500W Power Supply 100 - 240 V - Retail: 61.99
This seemed like a really good deal. I couldn't fine the StealthXStream series anywhere on the tiered listing, though, so I may be shooting myself in the foot here. Anyone have experience with them?

Total before shipping/rebates: 714.91 (all from Newegg)

This is revision 3, which is still cheaper than the original configuration. I think I'll be pretty satisfied with it. I don't really plan on playing much Crysis, so I don't need a system that will make my eyes bleed. Also, can anyone recommend a good widescreen LCD in the 20-22" range, preferrably $250 or less. Thanks again for all the help guys. I'm hoping to have everything ordered and build within the next 4-6 weeks (stupid rent and bills). Also, sorry for the lack of links, but I figure most of you already know the ins and outs of all the stuff listed. :) 
February 19, 2008 8:45:47 PM

Ahh! Don't post product links like that, lol. Just E2160, etc. would do. :p 

That's a pretty nice setup though, I can't really say anything is wrong or needs to be changed. A+ for a budget system and wise hardware choices all around. (I would say the E8400 would last you a bit longer -- The Q6600 is still a good proc, but the Q9450 is going to replace it soon... so it's hard to recommend atm)

Also, not really anything wrong with it, but you may want to look at the 7200.11 Barracudas.

As for the Antec case / PSU, meh. I haven't witnessed many, if any at all, that have had trouble with Antec PSU's. Even if they aren't the greatest, they certainly are reliable.
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February 20, 2008 12:51:56 AM

Getting an e8400/q6600 is splurge? You should see what the extreme overclockers have. Aside from engineering samples which can't be bought at retail.

The budget is approved by the Congress of Gamers.
February 20, 2008 12:56:33 AM

Looks like a good set up. If you wanted to save like 20-25 on ram you could get the 46.99 G.Skill kit from new egg... not even really necessary though. You did a good job compiling that list.
February 20, 2008 2:28:37 AM

good build ^^. it should make you very happy indeed :) 
February 20, 2008 12:16:08 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys!
February 20, 2008 2:51:09 PM

mayor_mccheese said:
Hey, if you are still thinking about the e21xx for your cpu, this is a good deal
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Doesn't come with a fan, but if you do much OC'ing it's better to get a different fan than stock.


Gah, I wish I'd known about that about three days ago. xD I already have a fan, and ordered that exact processor, just retail, for $80. :/ 

But I agree with most other people here, that's not a bad build. Pretty much the same as mine (which should arrive tomorrow or Friday), but with a hard drive and video card. xD
February 20, 2008 5:32:45 PM

Why don't you trust tigerdirect? I have had good luck with them, though I would not get stuff with mail in rebates, but I have had good luck with tigerdirect.
February 20, 2008 9:16:32 PM

Because a few items I've bought from them were packaged like refurbs, without the refurb price...
February 20, 2008 9:25:59 PM

Now I personally have always had decent experiences. But I can understand what your saying. I know one time I had a mobo from there go out in a little over a month, and they returned it and gave me a better board with no extra charge, so I was pretty satisfied.
February 20, 2008 11:03:11 PM

I bought the E2180 OEM from Tiger last week for 49.99, they have been running an extra 10 off from time to time, I have seen it three times in the last two weeks. But it only last an hour or two then they boost the price back up to the 59.00 which is still a heck of a price.
February 20, 2008 11:48:50 PM

I would say get the case that you want. It is one part that you have to look at everyday and can last you thru many builds. Your talking a differnce of around $45. $110 (current price)for the Sonata III vs $155 for the RC 690 and a cheap PSU.
If that puts you over the budget about the only other thing I see to cut is the memory, maybe something like a G.Skill kit for $45. Or video card, something like this 3870 for $190.
February 21, 2008 12:49:14 AM

I personally think there are much better cases for approximately the same price, but maybe that's just me. Browse around an online reseller.

Oh, and I could swear there are processors with better overclocking potential. It all depends on your budget. I'm sure for not much more, you can get one that will handle overclocking a lot better.
February 21, 2008 2:07:25 AM

if you can wait, the prices of the 3870s are sinking in march :) 
February 21, 2008 3:30:16 AM

Deathviper said:
I bought the E2180 OEM from Tiger last week for 49.99, they have been running an extra 10 off from time to time, I have seen it three times in the last two weeks. But it only last an hour or two then they boost the price back up to the 59.00 which is still a heck of a price.



yup I got it for 50$ too, the price kept changing it was strange that it would change so quickly. that extra 10$ off made it a supergood deal.
February 21, 2008 1:21:18 PM

Yeah, after reading some more on the Sonata III and its grounding problems, I think I might bite the bullet and grab the RC 690. I saw an OCZ 500W StealthXstream PSU on newegg for like 62 bucks yesterday, so I may get it. I couldn't find i on the PSU tier listing so hopefully it won't be a turd. I may go with a 3870 to help keep costs down. I'm sure it'll suit my needs just fine. As far as the best E21xx for overclocking, I thought I read somewhere that one was better than the others but couldn't find it after I went back to double check. Anyone have any links or info on that? Thanks again for all the help guys!
February 22, 2008 3:36:17 PM

Made a couple revisions. Feel free to poke holes through my hopes and dreams. :) 
February 22, 2008 4:32:12 PM

Better hd w/32mb cache: Seagate Barracuda ST3250310NS ES.2 250GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Samsung SH-S203B SATA

(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.)

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler

or for serious OC:

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound
February 22, 2008 4:33:36 PM

SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22" 2 ms (GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1 (DC 3000:1)
February 22, 2008 4:37:41 PM

hd 3870. 185, better card.
February 22, 2008 4:39:50 PM

You should look a litle closer on the 8800GT prices they are pretty close to $180 like your spending on the video card:

MSI NX8800GT 512M OC GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - MSI Unique Quad Copper Pipe Cooling Technology.

$20 bucks more ($199.99 w/rebate) for a card that will last ya quite some time...
February 22, 2008 4:41:13 PM

Check out buy.com as well, I've heard you can get a better deal on a PSU there than on the egg.
February 22, 2008 4:44:59 PM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
Check out buy.com as well, I've heard you can get a better deal on a PSU there than on the egg.


Yeah, I was planning on shopping around when I get home tonight. For whatever reason Newegg gets through the filter at work, so I just use it as a good reference.

February 22, 2008 4:46:15 PM

mlaporta said:
You should look a litle closer on the 8800GT prices they are pretty close to $180 like your spending on the video card:

MSI NX8800GT 512M OC GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - MSI Unique Quad Copper Pipe Cooling Technology.

$20 bucks more ($199.99 w/rebate) for a card that will last ya quite some time...


Oh snap, I completely overlooked that card somehow. That's a great deal. Ahh the joys of competition.
February 22, 2008 4:50:22 PM

mlaporta said:
Better hd w/32mb cache: Seagate Barracuda ST3250310NS ES.2 250GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Samsung SH-S203B SATA

(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.)

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler

or for serious OC:

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound


Oh, nice, thanks for the info on the HD. Man, I thought I was being pretty thorough in my research. Also, I was already planning on the Xigmatek cooler, but good looking out. :) 


mlaporta said:
SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22" 2 ms (GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1 (DC 3000:1)


That's certainly a nice monitor, but kinda more than I wanted to spend. I found an Acer 20" on the Egg for 189.99 that looks like it would be a good fit with the rest of the system. Thanks for the suggestion, though. I'll definitely keep it in mind if I decide to dig a little deeper into the shallow pockets.



February 22, 2008 5:02:35 PM

I plan on doing some actual website to website comparison the get the best price I can. Once again, thanks for all the suggestions. I'm so ready to put my current system out to pasture.
February 22, 2008 5:03:47 PM

A quick note on the 20 inch acer. They have the 22" acer for $30 more, w free shipping. Might want to consider.
February 22, 2008 5:04:06 PM

oops sorry, at new egg.
February 22, 2008 5:07:14 PM

Hahahahaha I know what you mean by shallow pockets, I have 70% of my components and am waiting on some prices to fall so I can purchase the rest and finally build my new system. It's not easy being poor :cry: 

:non:  Read some reviews and then decide between the displays, I have heard a great many people say how great that Samsung display is, but hey you can't squeeze water out of a rock can you, or maybe you can wait a few more weeks till the rock is more pliable :D 
February 22, 2008 5:09:33 PM

buzznut said:
A quick note on the 20 inch acer. They have the 22" acer for $30 more, w free shipping. Might want to consider.


Oh nice. Yeah, the 20'' has almost 15$ shipping, so that's a pretty nice bargain for the extra real estate. Man, I'm getting crazy antsy to start ordering parts. I wonder if my landlady would let me skip rent this month. :) 
February 22, 2008 5:26:24 PM

Yeah ham, I went from a 19 inch acer to that model and am loving it. Everybody notices my monitor when they walk in my home office.

I think you'll be pleased.
February 22, 2008 5:29:14 PM

Mlaporta is right, the Samsungs are generally considered superior monitors, but are not even close in price.

February 24, 2008 2:43:47 AM

samsung manufactures all it's own parts down to the screws. this = lower price with better value/quality. Anyway. msi=crap... i've had tons of headaches with some of their stuff, might as well buy a dell haha! anyway, if that doesn't tick someone off, this might... ati hd 3870 would be best choice as of today especially looking forward, It's architecture is built more around dx10 (than nvidia's current line up), and (like it or not) will be ever more prevalent in the upcoming year or two. (believe me, i hate windows shista, and the idea of having to put it on my machine just to play games makes me want to beat someone over the head with a three foot long dildo). On that note. I am poor as well.
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