$750-800 Budget Gamer

My old Athlon 3500+/Radeon X850 system not only won't run much any more, but it's starting to crash in all sorts of fun ways, so I think it's about time for a new PC. I've never done my own build before, but I'm relatively confident that I could pull it off. Having run through the usual suspects' configurators for PCs, I'm finding that my own build will be WAY more affordable. Here's what I've been thinking thus far, having done a bunch of reading on the forum:


CASE/PSU:

Antec Sonata III 500 w/ 500W PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129024
179.94 bundled w/ 4GB RAM

I've heard some scary things about built-in PSUs, so I'm not so sure about this move, but it does save me a significant amount of money because of the combo deal with the RAM. Is this a terrible idea, and if so what are some solid case/PSU options that'll keep me cool and well-powered without upping the price too heavily?

Mainboard:

Open Box: DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813136038R
89.99

Heard some very good things about this board. Open box is a little iffy, but the price is right. I'm looking to do some light overclocking, but preferably without messing with voltages. Always open to other similarly-priced options.

CPU:

Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115052
129.99

It was a tossup between this or the E8400, but it looks like the 7200 overclocks very cleanly and the price is definitely right. Will I regret not going for the higher cache on the 8400?

COOLER:

XIGMATEK HDT-S963 92mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233001
24.99
+ Bracket
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233019
6.99

I hear this is god among coolers

ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020
6.99

Again, just following suggestions from the board, it seems like this is the paste to have

RAM:

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231122
Bundled w/ cost of case

Makes for a great combo deal with the Case/PSU and gets rave reviews on Newegg

VIDEO:

SAPPHIRE 100242L Radeon HD 4850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102747
194.99

Shiny

HD:

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218
99.99

Rave reviews on Newegg and plenty of space

OPTICAL:

LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106263
23.99


All told, this puts me at $757.86 plus about $15 in shipping, which is right where I'd like to be. I really can't afford to step up more than, say, $50 overall price-wise, but I'd love to hear suggestions for what sorts of catatrophes I might avoid by switching to better parts or parts that will play more nicely together. I have access to WinXP and Vista in all flavors for free through my University, and will be reusing all of my peripherals. At the moment I'm running a 19" 1280x1024 monitor, so no need to push huge resolutions, though I'd like to upgrade in the direction of a 1680 widescreen in the next year or so. Thanks in advance!
4 answers Last reply
More about budget gamer
  1. I would spend the extra money and buy a decent PSU the ones that come with the cases are worthless most the time and I would probably not buy an openbox mobo but thats just me...
  2. Your setup looks great, and dont worry about that case/psu. While generally yes, psu's that are supplied with a case are junk, that antec comes with a quality earthwatts PSU.
    http://www.circuitremix.com/index.php?q=node/94&page=0%2C0

    I would change 2 things, the Motherboard and the cd drive. LIte-on I dont know much about, but I know this drive is really good and quite.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151154

    Open box comes with no cables, manuals, or extra accessories.Unless you plan on Xfire, there is no need for a dual pci express motherboard.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128347
  3. I would also concur, do not do open box. I mean you may get a great board, but then your board may be junk as well. Kind of a toss up.
  4. 1) Case is aluminum w/3x120mm case fans, and side airduct. It has good airflow, and plenty of room to work with...it's a large case.

    2) PSU has dual 12V rails at 18A...rated higher than that Antec PSU...good for pushing that vid card.

    3) Motherboard is the new P43 chipset, has great reviews, easy to work with unlike a DFI, and it's not an open box. It has PCI-E Gen 2 and is a great deal at that price.

    4) Memory has much better timings than the Gskill, and gives you more head room for overclocking wich is going to mean alot when you go to overclock that E7200.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119106 $52.99
    COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150070 $4.99
    MASSCOOL FD12025S1L3/4 120mm Case Fan - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341012 $69.99 (49.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS ATX12V / EPS12V 500W Power Supply 100 - 240 V

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341012 $129.99
    Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale 2.53GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233001 $24.99 ($14.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    XIGMATEK HDT-S963 92mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233019 $6.99
    XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128347 $99.99
    GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail Great value for OC performance w/PCI-E Gen 2

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146731 $89.99 ($74.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102747 194.99
    SAPPHIRE 100242L Radeon HD 4850

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218 99.99
    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106263 $23.99
    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 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020&Tpk=mx-2 $6.99
    ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

    Total
    $805.88
    $750.66 w/mail in rebates
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product