what is considered a light gaming machine?

Im always hearing about stuff being good for light gaming versus heavy gaming. Not just on this site, but on a lot of them people talk about hardware i thought to still be quite good, such as a geforce 8800, as a vid card only for people who rarely play games. But thats getting me kinda confused i think. Thats why id like to hear what some people consider "light gaming" and what they consider as a "light gaming rig". I'm just trying to figure out what side of the market i should look towards whenever i consider purchasing stuff.
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  1. In my opinion:

    Light gaming:
    Any CPU + value GPU like the 8600GTS

    Moderate gaming:
    Any CPU + mainstream GPU like the 8800 GT or GTS

    Heavy gaming:
    Fast Dual Core CPU (Quad Core optional, but not necessary) + powerful GPU like the 9800GTX

    Xtreme gaming:
    Overclocked Quad Core CPU (OC'ed Dual Core still enough though) + XFire or SLI with high end cards only.
  2. AMD Budget Gaming Rig

    Total w/shipping: $494 ($434 after rebates)

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ Brisbane 2.8GHz 65W: $87
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103235

    MSI K9A2 CF-F V2 AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX: $104
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130172

    MSI R4850-T2D512 Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3: $198 ($168 AR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127359

    Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Power Supply: $60 ($30 AR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006

    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800: $45
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098


    Intel Budget Gaming Rig

    Total w/shipping: $500 ($440 after rebates)

    Intel E2200 2.2GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W: $80
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116063

    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P45: $117
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128345

    MSI R4850-T2D512 Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3: $198 ($168 AR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127359

    Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Power Supply: $60 ($30 AR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006

    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800: $45
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098
  3. Add hard disk, case and optical drive to above and you have a complete moderate gaming system.
  4. I was mostly just wondering about this because computer upgrades are a possibility for me, but most people seem to suggest the highest end stuff possible. For example, while looking at some laptops online, and asking people, they repeatedly tell me to get 1 or 2 m8800's even though i say i play games every once in a while. So to make my question more specific, i play Oblivion off and on with my crappy system with low fps and ocassional ctd's. What kind of cheap upgrade(looking to start new but can salvage some parts) would it take to go from 1024X768(no aa) res with all shadows off to 1600X1024(no aa) res with shadows on, but the rest of the settings the same(ultra high).(my current rig does 1024X768 and shadows off avg. like 15-20 fps, and id like closer to 30 avg with 1600X1024) I was under the impression that hardware has advanced enough that i could get these results mega cheap now compared to a year ago. My total budget is $500. I like what evongugg came up with for builds, but id have to buy a new case because my current Emachines case could never fit a mobo that size. It fits a 9.6in by 9.6in mobo(mini atx?) Ive got a decent 160Gb 7200rpm ate hdd, a dvd burner, and cd drive, so theyre good enough. Psu is only 300W, prob needs upgrading... In addition, i think id need to drill another hole in the case somewhere and add a fan or 2, its emachines so the venting quality is bad. Thanks for the help tho.
  5. I just ordered my parts 2 days ago and my complete build came out to be $470 (without mail in rebates...with mail in rebates, it'll turn out to be a little over $400)...try to take advantage of combo deals and promo codes in order to save money.

    My build:
    CPU: AMD X2 6000+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103773

    Video card: ATI HD4850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125224

    PSU: Raidmax HYBRID 2 RX-530SS 530W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152028

    RAM: G.SKILL 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231121

    Case: Thermaltake WingRS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133048

    Mobo: Ordered this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138106, but got this one in the mail: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138102...GOTTA LOVE NEWEGG!!!

    HDD: used old WD 200gb hard drive from old rig...
  6. Anything that the owner is happy with when he is playing the games he plays randomly!
    It is hard to specify any better since it is based on the game more than the hardware today, take Crysis as an example.
  7. Well as far as games go, Oblivion is pretty much it. Second to that demand wise is Rome:total war. And my current crappy machine handles it well w/ all settings high. I'm not too into a fps game which requires a real high end rig for high graphics cuz one little pause could mean death in online play... But i like the idea of building a system around an hd 4850. When the 4870x2 comes out the 4850 price should go down(hopefully thats soon). Oblivion isnt very cpu intensive since even at highest settings its obviously my gpu holding me back, changing its clock settings affect performance considerably. I like the price your build came out to be Ashlan, and it seems to me like youll get your money's worth out of it. If you have it now, or when you get it can you tell me what you think about it? Like is the case good quality, did it give you probs with setup, and what are u gonna use it for? Oh, and most importantly, can it run with ide cable equipment? Cuz none of my current stuff is sata, all old ide technology, but idc.
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