Budget Gaming PC - Advice Needed!

I just bought the game Age of Conan and it has a hard time running on my current computer. I am going to order a new computer, but I pretty much have a budget of as low as I can get it. This is my build so far. I'm using ncix.com because I am Canadian, and Newegg sadly doesn't ship to Canada.

Case: Antec Sonata III Black ATX 16IN Mid Tower Quiet Case 3X5.25 2X3.5 4X3.5IN 500W 120MM Fan

PSU: Power supply bundled with case.

Motherboard: ASUS P5K ATX LGA775 P35 DDR2 2PCI-E16 3PCI 1PCI-E1 SATA2 Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core Processor LGA775 3.0GHZ Wolfdale 1333FSB 6MB Retail

HARDDRIVE: Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3YR MFR Warranty

RAM: Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL 4-4-4-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory

GPU: BFG GeForce 8800GT OC 512MB GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDCP HDTV Out DIRECTX10 Video Card


Total without rebates: 844.61$

Total with rebates: 779.61$


Im going with that motherboard because I feel if I need more graphical power later on I can just get another 8800gt and sli them. Please feel free to give me advice and optimize my build, as I would like to get the most I possibly can for this money range.

12 answers Last reply
More about budget gaming advice needed
  1. Please, squeeze some extra $ out of your pocket and get a sound PSU.
  2. That PSU is a very good quality PSU. It has been reviewed multiple times and it has ran similar, more powerful computer builds by itself. Once its time to pop in another 8800gt I will be upgrading the PSU.
  3. ellyo414 said:
    I need more graphical power later on I can just get another 8800gt and sli them.

    You can't SLI nVidia cards with a P35 you would have to go with ATI cards and CrossFire
  4. Overall it's fine. But you should not go cheap on PSU, this one may or may not last because most PSU that are bundled w/ cases are cheap and some times it may even damage your hardware. So if you have money to spare and have plans for future upgrades i would suggest possibly a Corsair 750W, that should be plenty for that future SLI and possibly more hard drives and such.


  5. That mobo is Intel based and supports crossfire not SLI. If in the event you really, really do want go to nvidia/SLI that mobo needs to be changed.

    But i strongly suggest you stick with ATI instead. Spend $25 more and get a HD 4850 instead... there will be a huge performance increase compared to the 8800 GT. And that mobo will support crossfire (so it can stay) for if you want to throw in another 4850 in the future (albeit only 8x/8x crossfire so it may bottleneck a bit but it's not going to be worth the $125 for you to upgrade the mobo if this is budget). But the problem here is your PSU probably doesn't have enough kick to support this. Consider upping that.
  6. The problem is Age of Conan highly favours Nvidia video cards, the game is litteraly 10 times smoother with an Nvidia video card. I understand that 4850's are the most bang for the buck right now but Nvidias outperform ATI in almost every game.

    I am going to be changing the motherboard to an SLI'able motherboard, any suggestions for a new mobo?
  7. Go shop on directcanada.com, they have free shipping for a while.

    Here is what i would do:
    - 4gb MEMORY (patriot 4-4-4-12 for example) 95$
    - radeon 4850 GPU 193$
    - corsair 550w PSU 84$
    - gigabyte ep35-ds3l MOBO 90$
    - seagate barracuda 500gb 32ms HARD DRIVE 74$
    - antex three hundred CASE 52$
    - xigmatek cpu heatsink 33$
    - artic silver 5 thermal grease 6$
    - core 2 duo e8400 189$
    - same dvd drive 17$

    833$ * 1.05 for taxes = 875$ shipped ;)

    Your order on ncix i bet will cost 40$ to ship so (780 + 40) * 1.05 = 861$. You better pay 14$ more for something with 4gb, a better GPU and cooling!
  8. The Antec Earthwatts 500w that comes with that case is not a bad PSU. I think you are fine with the exception that I think you would be better off with a P45 motherboard and I've seen a lot of deals around where you can get a 4850 for the price of that 8800GT. As the other's have said you need a Nvidia chipset to run SLI and there aren't any Nvidia chipsets I would suggest. I think you would be much better off with a P45 and a 4850 and if you wanted to upgrade to 2 4850's in the future that PSU would have plenty of power for it.

    You would be better off with a motherboard like this or this
  9. From reading reviews i would replace that 8800Gt with an ati 4850. which costs 199 right now.

    I have an OC 8800gt from evga, i love it but it doesnt compare with the new 4850. The only 8800 card that is close is the gtx, which is still like 400 if you can find it.
    Check out some articles at tomshadware.com for referencing the video cards.

    Anyways check out other sites like newegg.com they have some much better prices. You can get a 500gb western digital drive for about the same price.

    For your cpu, the wolfdale is a nice chip but for $200, i believe you can get a q6600 quad core.

    Your mobo is a great choice, and considering it has 2 pci-E slots you can buy a second 4850 down the road and use a crossfire config. But you may have to increase your psu at that time.

    Anyways, newegg is a very dependable online site that many people who read these forums have used.
    Hope this helps you out.
  10. Quad cores are no good for gaming yet... does anyone know if the stock psu from the sonata 3 case can run a 4850?
  11. ellyo414 said:
    Quad cores are no good for gaming yet... does anyone know if the stock psu from the sonata 3 case can run a 4850?

    As I said before it will run 2 4850's
  12. @ellyo414:
    Looks good to me. You did your homework.

    The Antec PSU is good enough. I calculate 34a on the 12v rails, which is enough to run any single vga card out there. I can vouch for a couple of good no hassle experiences with Antec replacement parts.

    If the evga version vga card is available, consider it so you could use their "trade-up" program if you wanted a stronger card within 90 days.

    As mentioned before, the intel chipsets can upgrade via crossfire, not sli. Even then, the intel boards seem to be less troublesome, and your upgrade path is to sell the 8600 and use the proceeds on a larger single card.

    I would consider a 4gb memory kit in a 2x2gb configuration. The Corsair 6400C5 is not much more. Corsair produced some benchmarks showing a nice increase in many games with 4gb vs. 2gb.
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