Need opinion on budget gaming build

Hi everyone, this is my first time ever building a comptuer, and would like some opinions on my build. I don't know what brands are good, but I just took what people recommended for me and threw it together. I'd appreciate it if I could get some opinions on the build.

A couple of things to mention, as a college student, I'm on a tight budget around the $500 area. Im mainly building this comp to play a new game Age of Conan. I don't want to run the game on high, just medium as long as I get decent fps and runs smoothly, but of course I'll use it for future games.
I won't be overclocking, I don't know how to do it, nor really understand what it is, so I'd like to avoid ruining my comp.
The only thing I don't want to change is my video card I listed. People have told me an 8800GT is great for the game, and I chose the 256mb over 512mb because I won't using a high resolution monitor.

Help is appreciated.

SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B - OEM Item #: N82E16827151153 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151153

Rosewill R220-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail Item #: N82E16811147074 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147074

Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM Item #: N82E16822136075 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136075

BIOSTAR TA770 A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail Item #: N82E16813138102 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138102 XFX PVT88PUHF4

GeForce 8800 GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail Item #: N82E16814150278 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150278

SUPER TALENT 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model T800UX2GC5 - Retail Item #: N82E16820609027 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820609027

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Brisbane 2.7GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO5200DOBOX - Retail Item #: N82E16819103210 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103210

XCLIO STABLEPOWER 500W 500W ATX Power Supply - Retail Item #: N82E16817189014 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817189014
11 answers Last reply
More about need opinion budget gaming build
  1. Ok..

    Biostar makes terrible motherboards in my experience. When you order 29 machines at the onboard sound is bad on 27 of them, I cannot recommend that vendor to anyone. Is it opinion sure, but still. Look at this board instead:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131289

    Next, CPU is a good choice along with the hard drive and burner. Rosewill cases are simply ok. The PSU never heard of that brand, and I would NEVER buy a PSU I don't know about. Actually, better idea: kill 2 birds with one stone. Look at the Antec Sonta III case. I know its $130, but its a great case, with a good PSU. You can never invest enough money into the PSU, which is the lifeblood of your system. Crappy PSUs damage systems.

    256MB video card is going to be torture with Age of Conan which a resource hungry. You will probably need to go to the 512MB version. Spend $10 more on the RAM and get this stuff:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231087

    This might cost you more than $500, but a gaming system for $500 is not really a realistic goal.
  2. I beg to differ. I was a happy biostar customers twice in a row. Until I switched back to the dark side - intel. :) Only the T-Force is what I'd recommend.

    $500 is doable for a budget gaming pc. Swap the psu out for a Sparkle/Fortron.
  3. What do you think of this PSU?

    Antec earthwatts EA430 430W ATX12V v2.0 Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, FCC, TUV, CE, CB, C-tick, CCC - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006

    It's down to 430W, but I heard its a good brand. Will it be enough power to power by build?
  4. That PSU is fine. Good choice.
  5. I am actually in the same boat you are. I am building a new system and I don't want to spend much on it.

    This is what I finally sorta figured out. Very similar to Tom's $500 gaming system.


    Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro

    GA-P35-DS3L Motherboard

    Intel® Boxed Pentium® Dual-Core Processor E2180 (Im going to try and overclock it, can't be to bad by following the guides)

    WINTEC AMPO 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

    XFX PVT88PYDF4 GeForce 8800GT 512MB

    I already have that exact same Antec case they recommend, and I am going to be reusing my HD also, just like the one you posted. My only problem is a damn cheap OS that works with Age of Conan. What do you guys think about the setup?

    This is costing me $385 after rebates. Not bad.
  6. Earthwatts is great.

    balthezor, you can save money by using the stock cooler if you're not overclocking. The stock one is ok for light to medium overclocking. If you're shopping at the egg, might as well check out the xigmatek hdt-s1283 for about the same price as Freezer.
  7. Possible to overclock it to 3Ghz with the stock cooler? If it is, then great, save me 23$.
  8. The 8800gt 256 is not supposed to be that great. As someone else said the 512 would probably be better, however if your budget is tight, there is also a card called the 8800gs. Look into an overclocked/superclocked version of that. According to benchmarks it should fall in performance somewhere between the 9600gt and 512 mb 8800gt. Even though the gs only has 384 mb of memory. But that might be a little cheaper, there is one on newegg that is 149.99 I think, but I believe it's the overclocked version, has free shipping, and call of duty 4. Plus a 30 dollar mail in rebate.

    Another card to look at is the 9600gso which is basically the same card as the 8800gs, just renamed/rebranded to sell. Or the 9600gt would be a better choice than the 8800gt 256.

    The x2 5200+ is a good choice, I've got one with the Windsor core I think, but it's very quick. Not the fastest, but it's no slouch either. Dump the Super Talent memory. I had some of that in my pc, and it had the heatsinks on it. About a month or 2 after being built, I started getting errors like blue screens and what not. Tested, turned out the heatsink had apparently retained heat and made it get too hot essentially frying my memory. Thankfully I had a stick without a heatsink and was able to get another stick cheap. With the other memory I've got, it has no heatsinks and I'm not having any problems 3-4 months later. And cooling was adequate I would think. I've got a 250 mm side fan blowing directly in, 80mm exhaust fan as well as the fan that pulls out the PSU. My cpu was running only around 30 degrees C.

    Case looks ok, but I'd make sure I have as many fans as possible consider maybe a pci slot cooler to go under the video card to help pull some of the hot air out of your case.
  9. For about $125 dollars total more than you're planning to spend on a solid mid-range system, you can switch to an Intel 45nm Core2 chip platform that'll be easier to overclock (many people easily getting 3.2 - 3.6 or more with this chip on air cooling). I know you said you probably wouldn't oc, but you could oc this CPU by 30-50 in about 2 minutes with almost no technical knowledge. Even running at stock it would be much faster than the Athlon chip.

    With the CPU oc'd and the GPU upgraded to the 8800GT 512 MB, you would get very near high-end gaming performance.

    Hard to believe what you can get for $625 these days.

    The only question in my mind would be if you'd need a beefier PSU - probably depends on how much oc'ing you'd be doing. The Antec Sonata III w/500w earthwatts PSU would be a good choice as someone else mentioned.

    1 SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827151153
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan -- $9.992 Year Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan -- $14.99 -$4.00 Instant

    $29.99
    $25.99
    1 Rosewill R220-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811147074
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$5.00 Instant

    $29.99
    $24.99
    1 Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    Item #: N82E16822136075
    Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy
    Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan -- $9.992 Year Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan -- $14.99
    $44.99
    1 GIGABYTE GV-NX88T512HPV1 GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    Item #: N82E16814125088
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16814125088
    $40.00 Mail-in Rebate
    $179.99
    1 Antec earthwatts EA430 430W ATX12V v2.0 Power Supply - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817371006
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan -- $14.992 Year Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan -- $19.99 -$10.00 Instant

    $69.99
    $59.99
    1 SUPER TALENT 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model T800UX2GC5 - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820609027
    Return Policy: Memory (Modules, USB) Return Policy
    Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan -- $9.992 Year Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan -- $14.99
    $39.99
    1 GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813128337
    Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16813128337
    $89.99
    1 Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale 2.53GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E7200 - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819115052
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16819115052
    $131.99
    1 ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
    Item #: N82E16835186134
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
  10. modode said:
    For about $125 dollars total more than you're planning to spend on a solid mid-range system, you can switch to an Intel 45nm Core2 chip platform that'll be easier to overclock (many people easily getting 3.2 - 3.6 or more with this chip on air cooling). I know you said you probably wouldn't oc, but you could oc this CPU by 30-50 in about 2 minutes with almost no technical knowledge. Even running at stock it would be much faster than the Athlon chip.



    That's pretty impressive proc once oc'd. Actually makes me want to buy it. People did say that they were able to oc it much higher. I have no knowdlege in overclocking, is it easy to learn and will it ruin my comp?

    O and is the ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler necessary? If I do try overclocking, I probably won't do it big, maybe just hit 3.0-3.2Ghz. But I guess it would be easier to just buy it now and assemble rather than buying it later, and taking apart my comp to install it.

    O, and I also decided to change my PSU. Some people said it wouldn't be enough, or just barely enough power. So I changed it to this, is this a good PSU?

    Antec BP550 Plus 550W ATX12V V2.2 Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016
  11. The Antec PSU is a good choice imo.

    I'd say the Freezer Pro is necessary if you want to overclock.

    There's always some risk with overclocking that you could damage your hardware, though imho these days with the right CPU and MB it's not likely at all, especially with less than extreme overclocking efforts (you're not going to try for 4+ ghz right off the bat). Gigabyte boards are designed with enthusiasts/overclockers in mind. If you pull up various overclocking articles regarding the Core 2 CPU's on Tom's site and Anandtech, you'll get an idea just how easy it can be. There's plenty of info elsewhere on the web too - here's an especially basic easy one to get you started:
    http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/NewTech/2006_motherboard_newtech/article_05_oc_965p-ds3.htm

    My gigabyte MB for example will try to boot twice with whatever oc settings you plug into the bios, and if it fails will revert to default settings and boot right up. It's getting more and more idiot-proof all the time.
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