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Budget Entertainment/Gaming PC

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Last response: in Systems
July 23, 2008 9:14:17 PM

This is my first time building a PC and after a couple days of research, I've come up with a rough build. I'm planning on using this computer for mainly watching HD movies and some medium gaming. I just have to run games at a decent setting so that it looks nice and runs smoothly and only really looking forward to Starcraft II and Spore. I also play Age of Empires III, Company of Heroes, and Call of Duty 4.

Just need a basic look through to make sure everything is compatible and suggestions are openly welcomed. I don't plan on OCing or running SLI/Crossfire and this system will only need to last me for as long as it can, but I'll upgrade certain parts as prices drop and I find that I need it. I also won't be purchasing hard drives. I have a collection of 250 GBs from an old server that I will be using. I'm thinking about buy the bigger 1TB and such near Black Friday when they get ultra cheap.

Also, I'm not familiar with aftermarket coolers at all and fans, so I definitely need advice there.

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Motherboard: ASUS P5QL-E LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

GPU: ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC, CCC - Retail

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

Memory: OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail


Again, I am trying to figure out if certain parts are overkill for my needs such as the PSU and additional parts that I might need. I also will be running Windows Vista Business 32 Bit and Red Hat Linux 64 Bit.

Thanks for any help.

More about : budget entertainment gaming

July 23, 2008 10:37:30 PM

I'm not familiar with the motherboard, so I can't speak to that, but the rest of the list looks good. I would have said you're over spending on the Power Supply just a bit, but with an Instant $50 off AND a $30 Mail in Rebate AND free shipping, I can't (and won't) argue the choice (Nice Find, btw!).

The retail version on the CPU (which you have selected) comes with a stock Heatsink/Cooling Fan (HSF). Since you're not intending to overclock the system at all, there is no need for an after-market HSF.

So long as your hard drives are SATA, I'd say you're good to go!

-Wolf sends
July 23, 2008 10:55:46 PM

Everything looks good, except you should use a SATA DVD burner instead of IDE. The motherboard you listed only comes with one IDE connection. There is really no reason to go IDE on a new build. That may also hamper your plans on using your old hard drives if they aren't SATA.
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July 23, 2008 10:59:40 PM

A good 450w or 500w power supply would be fine for your system.
Go SATA on your HD and DVD burner. Your mobo supplies the SATA cables.
I like this memory more
You might check the price on the Intel E8500, i think with the new price cuts it's pretty close to the E8400 now.
BTW good solid system, good solid choices.
*edit* saw that there's just a $20 difference in the 450w Corsair PSU and the 650w one. I'd just spend the extra $20 and get headroom in case you upgrade your graphic card in the future to a power hungry one.
July 25, 2008 12:42:41 AM

Alright, I decided to get this DVD Burner instead since it's SATA and still comes with free shipping.

Sony NEC Optiarc Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 1X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R Burner - OEM

However, I have a few different choices for a motherboard and case. I just want something with good cooling and looks nice. It doesn't have to look cool, but not stupid. Also, I prefer to not have a side window and staying under $100 including shipping is a plus.

For a motherboard, I've been looking into WIFI integrated boards and I only need PCI-E 16X 2.0 slot and I don't need to overclock. Bang for the buck is priority. I don't really need to future-proof since I plan on upgrading my components whenever they don't meet my needs anymore.

For cases:
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Looks great, and the somewhat mesh seems that it would help the system stay at low temps.

Rosewill R5604-TBK 0.8mm Japanese Cold Rolled Steel Screw-less Dual 120mm Fans ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

The top looks kind of strange, but it's a good price.

COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 RC-590-KKN1-GP Black SECC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Again, it's really meshy... if that's even a word. Seems good and it's cheap... real cheap.

For motherboards:
ASUS P5QL-E LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

The previous one I selected.

I'm really clueless on motherboards and again I just need it to run my above components. I'm not interested in running SLI/Crossfire, but I understand that some motherboards have problems with the E8400 CPU. Don't really know the difference between MicroATX and ATX, so if someone would care to enlighten me, that would great. Also, if I purchase a cheaper/budget motherboard, will it crap on me faster? I don't mind paying more if it increases the build quality.

Feel free to suggest any case or motherboard that you think I might like. I greatly appreciate suggestions.
July 25, 2008 2:26:38 AM

I'd stay with the 690 for the case. I'd go with the ram dirtmountain reccomended. Here's the DVD burner I'd go with though: SATA, lightscribe, Samsung, 22X as opposed to 20, all for $28: . I'd guess that motherboard would be fine, but read some reviews on it. After all, the P5Q is only $20 more, and the Gigabyte GA-EP45-D3SL is $2 less. I'd go with that P45 Gigabyte over a P43 Asus if you're staying in that price range.