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$5/600 gaming rig

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February 20, 2008 7:41:27 PM

I'v just been asked to build a new computer for a friend. Im trying to make the best gaming rig i can for under $600 ($500 if possible). I do plan overclocking a little, but i havent researched cooler yet. This will be my first 'complete' rig, so any suggestions will be helpful.

heres what i have so far:

Case: Cooler Master Elite - $34.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel E2180 - $82.99
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ECS 945pl-a - $43.97 - (minus $20 rebate)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD3850 - $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: Corsiar Xms2 2x1gig - $74.99 (minus $40 rebate)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 250gig - $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Ultra X-Connect 500watt - $39.97
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Keyboard/Mouse: Logitech EX110 wireless - $24.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Optical Drive: Sony Nec Dvd/Cd Burner - $29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

thanks for any help/suggestions

More about : 600 gaming rig

February 20, 2008 8:59:11 PM

You can get the OCZ Stealth 500watt for $50

Also, going with AMD would lower your price a decent bit while keeping performance acceptable.

I like the ASUS M2A-VM motherboard. They overclock well and have a decent feature set. Also, I have built 4 PCs with the 4000+ brisbane in the past month or so, all of which have overclocked to 2.8+ on stock cooling with vcore on auto!

So:

4000+: $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
M2A-VM: $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD3870: $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ 500: $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
250GB HDD: $64
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2x1GB G.Skill: $45 (will run 4-4-4-12 timings at 2.0)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With the case, mouse, optical drive you already picked. Also, I suggest trying to get most parts from the same place as it makes warranty and rma claims much easier. Even if it costs a little more, try to stick with one place. (Newegg rox)

Total: ~$554 and it will run games better than the original set-up.
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February 20, 2008 9:08:18 PM

I'd stick with intel. the GA P35 DS3L is an awsome board especially if you plan to overlock. I have a 3850 512mb and it runs everything I've thrown at it so far. Prices are supposed to drop even further by march on the 3850/70 so if you can wait another few weeks.

Solid build so far. Hope your build goes well!
February 20, 2008 9:11:24 PM

Just wanted to note that the 3870 is now right around 200 bucks as TSI Monster noted. Definitely worth the upgrade for 20 bucks. Just thought I'd point that out again.
February 20, 2008 9:45:10 PM

For a gaming build, going with the e2X00 over the AMD 4X00+ is going to do nothing but raise the price.
February 21, 2008 2:05:50 AM

i like the build; i'm running something similar and am doubting wheter i need to OC, so you should be pretty good if you slap in an HD3870

gosh, i love AMD
February 21, 2008 2:27:56 AM

comparing amd 4000+ to intel e2180 (w/ gigabyte p35 mobo) it looks like amd is the better deal saving ~$70 in combination with the motherboard TSIMonster suggested.... i was kinda hoping to buy my first intel cpu :(  oh well, maybe when i decided to upgrade, but by then phenom gen2s should be out.

im still undecided as to go with the 3850 or the 3870, but hes still undecided as to when he filing his taxes so i guess i can wait to see what the price cuts will be and decided from there.

iv also heard mixed reviews on the g.skill ram vs corsair xms2 for overclock potential, so ill do some comparison research with that.

ill also be doing some research to see how far i can safely push the 4000+ on cheap air. maybe 2.6

again, thanks for the help
February 21, 2008 3:10:28 AM

definitely get that 3870...20 bucks more for a 3870 should be a no-brainer...it will be a lot more future proof (even though the 3850 is still pretty damn good!)
February 21, 2008 3:24:43 AM

I would also say to look at the amd x2 5000+ BE but i just realized that might put you over ur budget...
February 21, 2008 4:09:13 AM

Get the 2160 its cheap and effective. I overclocked from 1.8 to 3ghz easily with a rosewill HSF.
February 21, 2008 4:47:03 AM

i just found an e2180 for 49.99 (with $20 rebate) at tiger
combined with the gigabyte ga-p35-ds3l (89.99)
totals: 139.98 (+ shipping)

4000+ (59.99) + asus m2a-vm (64.99) = 124.98 (plus shipping)

$15 difference

the e2180 seems to be equivalent if not better then the 4000+ in most tests. it also seems to dominate when it comes to overclocking (reaching benchmarks surpassing a stock e6750)

is there any evidence that supports amd?

as for video, i am going with the 3870, unless the price gap between the 3850 changes to at least $40

im still undecided for ram, however im leaning torwards corsiar xms2 simply for the lower price
February 21, 2008 7:59:06 AM

that would be a wise choice
February 22, 2008 1:22:36 PM

afrobacon said:
i just found an e2180 for 49.99 (with $20 rebate) at tiger
combined with the gigabyte ga-p35-ds3l (89.99)
totals: 139.98 (+ shipping)

4000+ (59.99) + asus m2a-vm (64.99) = 124.98 (plus shipping)

$15 difference

the e2180 seems to be equivalent if not better then the 4000+ in most tests. it also seems to dominate when it comes to overclocking (reaching benchmarks surpassing a stock e6750)

is there any evidence that supports amd?

as for video, i am going with the 3870, unless the price gap between the 3850 changes to at least $40

im still undecided for ram, however im leaning torwards corsiar xms2 simply for the lower price


Thats a good deal on the intel stuff, I would go with that. The ram I listed is much cheaper and will clock the same as the XMS2. The AMD stuff is only better when it is cheaper. For a budget gamer, the GPU always will be the most limiting factor, not the CPU. The E21X0 is worth $15 more, though for sure!
February 22, 2008 9:02:05 PM

Use craigslist for the Graphics card and maybe the cpu, got a 7950 GX2 for $120. I saw several 7900/7800's for $80-$120, and the occasional 7950 and 8800 gts/gt/gtx for pretty cheap like $200-$250 (not the GTX)
!