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Reality check - my first build and a $700 budget

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March 15, 2008 6:43:01 PM

So I did some homework and pieced together the following build based on my budget, needs and theory of where the market's going. I'd appreciate any help or recommendations - thanks!

Budget: around $700 max

Needs: moderate gamer, mostly MMO's but some shooters (BF2142 and Battlefield2, and whatever may come next assuming my machine can handle it). Currently game at 1200 x 1024, but I'd like to upgrade eventually to 1600 x 1200 (see parts list below).

Theory: Budget CPU with a high-end GPU. I plan on upgrading again in 1-2 years depending on need again.

Parts list: I'm recycling an old Chieftec DX-01BD case; an 80mm antec case fan; my SB Audigy 2 (I got kids so I always use head phones); and A Samsung 930B monitor (I'd like to upgrade to a 22" or 24" but that won't happen for a while).

CPU - Intel Pentium E2180 Allendale 2.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E2180 - Retail - $80

As I said above, a budget CPU that based on reviews and other posts appears to be OC-friendly (this will be my first time OC'ing) and I hope to get 3ghz out of it. I figure I'll upgrade again in the future once their's a need on my part and prices drop some more.

Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $150

I wanted to go for the cheaper DS3L (I don't need all the bells & whistles from the DS3R) but reviews here and on newegg give me the impression it's not as good and may have a conflict with my memory.

Mem - G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail - $45

What a bargain!!!

HD - Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $50

CPU Fan - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail - $27

GPU - EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $230

I thought about going for the 9600GT, but with a $30 rebate the price was so close I figured I'd just go for the 8800GT. I'm going with the 512MB with the expectation that I'm upgrading my monitor in a year and will be using the higher resolution - if not for that, I probably would just stick with the 256MB card.

PSU - Thermaltake W0093RU ATX 12V 2.0 Version 500W Power Supply - Retail - $80

I used Extreme Power Supply Calc and calculated a 472W need, even after overclocking and assuming 100% capacity and 20% aging on the PSU. Very conservative, but I just don't want any problems now or in a few years.

Does anyone see anything I've missed? Any red-flags? Thanks for your help and input.

More about : reality check build 700 budget

March 15, 2008 7:14:42 PM

Drop the Thermaltake PSU.
Buy.com has a deal on a Corsair 550 VX for $65 after rebate right now. It is $85 with free shipping before rebate, so it should fit your budget.

I would personally get the DS3L motherboard and also get different memory. The Crucial Ballistix 2x1gb kit is $65 minus a $30 rebate right now on newegg.

That way you can upgrade to an 8800 GTS 512mb with the extra $60 that you save.

Everything else looks great; go for it.
March 15, 2008 7:28:00 PM

I'm sure I can save you a few bucks, got a boy and a budget exactly like yours. First off, take a look at this cooler, from what I've read, it's does just as well as a TRUE at a lot cheaper cost, good deal with rebate;
http://www.jab-tech.com/Xigmatek-HDT-S1283-Heat-pipe-Di...
Tigerdirect has the CPU for $50 after rebate, better hurry, looks like it's about to sell out;
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Better bargain on better memory;
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Link for the Corsair VX550, use the google chkout and it's a great deal;
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...
Good luck with the build and the kids.






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March 16, 2008 12:43:44 PM

Quote:
PSU - Thermaltake W0093RU ATX 12V 2.0 Version 500W Power Supply - Retail - $80

*blows whistle* *pulls out red card*

Nonsense. The egg user reviews aren't reviews, just personal comments. If you want to trust a review, google it. Tom's is a good start.

Go with the rest.
March 16, 2008 1:15:42 PM

Thanks everyone for your help - I'm ordering my parts from Newegg and Buy.com - unfortunately I checked the forum too late for the CPU bargain from tigerdirect - but I'm still saving some pretty significant dollars over my original build based on your suggestions.

Best regards - Ed
March 16, 2008 2:27:06 PM

Cpt Deadboots said:
Drop the Thermaltake PSU.
Buy.com has a deal on a Corsair 550 VX for $65 after rebate right now. It is $85 with free shipping before rebate, so it should fit your budget.

I would personally get the DS3L motherboard and also get different memory. The Crucial Ballistix 2x1gb kit is $65 minus a $30 rebate right now on newegg.

That way you can upgrade to an 8800 GTS 512mb with the extra $60 that you save.

Everything else looks great; go for it.

Agreed. Don't trust the Newegg reviews. Most people have RAM problems (for the DS3L) because they don't know how to increase DDR2 voltage.
!