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re: $500 gaming setup article

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July 5, 2008 9:21:28 PM

making a new system, salvaging most of the parts from my old PC and friend's stuff lying around. so basically what I'll be purchasing are just the new motherboard, CPU and VGA.

I'm gonna try and stick to the $500 Gaming PC article( http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-graphic-game,18... ), since I'm not really that versed in all these, but I do have a couple of questions...

  • CPU selected was the Intel E2160. Price is awfully close to the Athlon 64 4400+ and from the old notion that more GHz the more processing power you have, what exactly was the deciding factor? Considering too that the 4600+ also almost as cheap...

  • I'm salvaging parts from my old computer and a friend is cool enough to give me a couple of sticks of RAM (512MB DDR2 667x2, I know... :(  )
    Now I can't purchase the CPU, Motherboard and VGA all in one go and gonna have to ditch the VGA card for the time being, researched and found out that the motherboard in that article did not have built-in VGA
  • Anyone have something similar to that motherboard, but with built in VGA?


  • I assumed that built-in video/sound/lan was pretty much standard nowadays,
  • do boards still have an IDE connection standard still? since I'd still be using two IDE hard disks and one CDRW...

    July 5, 2008 10:33:25 PM

    If all you need are a motherboard, CPU, and VGA for under $500...
  • $130-- Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 (2.53 GHz DualCore, good overclocker)
  • $170-- ATI HD4850 Video Card (best price/performance ratio on market)
  • $108-- Gigabyte DS3L Motherboard

    That comes out to only $408, leaving you with almost $100 for new RAM (not sure if you have DDR2 ram lying around to use).

    So with RAM, a dual-core CPU, an outstanding video card, and what looks to be a good motherboard, you're total will be right around $475.

    Edit: Didn't see that you were getting RAM from your friend, but you might be better off just getting some new, for higher capacity and speed. Also, don't go with built-in VGA. The 4850 is definitely the way to go.
    July 5, 2008 10:57:35 PM

    If this is for any gaming what so ever do NOT, i repeat do NOT, go with built in VGA. It will render most games practically useless.....Never mind let me rephrase that, it will NOT render most games.
    Related resources
    July 5, 2008 11:01:07 PM

    You definitely need a video card instead of built in video.
    July 5, 2008 11:08:57 PM

    I like andy's suggestions. Swap in the E2xxx CPU if you need to save some for other components/shipping. The RAM your friend gave you will work, but 2GB of fast DDR2-800 RAM is really cheap right now, so I would go with some better RAM. The Athlons are clocked a little higher, but the old days of measuring performance by clock speed are long dead. If they weren't the 3.8GHz P4 would still be king. The E2xxx would be a better choice. I would definitely recommend overclocking it though as even at 2.0 or 2.2 GHz it's going to struggle. 3.0 is very easy with those CPUs, you don't even need aftermarket cooling.
    July 5, 2008 11:11:16 PM

    500USD wasnt' exactly my whole budget, it's far less :(  and I was trying to get to the gears set up for the 500USD gaming PC in the article.

    I know that on-board video will suck majorly but the reason I want to purchase a motherboard with one is because I can't purchase CPU+mobo+videocard in one go and will have to settle for CPU+mobo first (with my friend's RAM), since I do use the computer for more than just gaming - like doing work, and grab the videocard and better RAM when I have the moolah.


    on a sidenote, hoping someone will still be able to explain, newegg has two GA-P35-DS3L listed. one is 60USD, the other over 100USD. from what I can tell they're the same thing, model# and specs.
    (checked with local stores and one of them carries the model, thing is they're priced on par with the 100+USD one :(  )
    July 5, 2008 11:13:15 PM

    If you can't get the GPU right now, get a G33 motherboard. It is crap for games still, but the chipset is new enough that once you have a discrete card you'll be good to go.
    July 5, 2008 11:35:04 PM

    IDE is not the standard anymore.. You would need to get SATA drives...
    most if not all new boards will come with only 1 IDE port.. So you will be limited to only 2 IDE devices...

    You can pick up a 500gig SATA hard drive for $70.....

    The 4850 is a great card for the price!!
    or you could go with an 8800GT as well!!!
    I would also suggest the e7200.... It is cheap, and very overclockable..

    Are you in the US or elsewhere?
    If the US.. I'd suggest you try ZipZoomFly or NewEgg.. Both of those places have great selections and pricing....
    I choose ZipZoomFly over NewEgg on most orders for myself, due to the fact that 90% of the items I get are Free Shipping as well as NO TAX.....
    compare prices with shipping and tax, not just the main cost of the item, when you decide on ordering stuff...
    But for $500.. You can do alot...

    CPU e7200......$129.90
    GPU 8800GT....$149.99 = Palit 512mg 8800GT
    Motherboard...$79.99 = GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L
    Memory ..........$36.90 = Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 2GB Kit DDR2-800
    Hard Drive.......$70.99 = seagate Barracuda 500gig w/16meg cache

    Total = $467.77

    You could still use 2 of your old IDE devices..... But I'd suggest you just use the IDE dvd drive you have and keep the ide hard drives as back ups or something....

    This will have you gaming with about anything out now, you would even be able to play Crysis... Everything on high in XP, not Vista... But heck it would still play sweet...

    Just my 2 cents on the $500 gaming budget.....

    And all prices were from ZipZoomFly.. Free shipping and no tax are a big plus on alot of things...
    a b B Homebuilt system
    a b V Motherboard
    July 7, 2008 4:11:37 PM

    ^+1. Again if looking to save cost get a E21x0.
    July 7, 2008 4:37:06 PM

    I think I'll stick to the rig listed on the article and probably get a cheap card.

    advice still much appreciated. :) 
    !