Low budget first gaming build

Hi! first post here...
I'm looking into building a budget gaming system, as a learning project/first build. Mainly looking for performance in games, and not much else, and am very interested in overclocking. My budget is around $650, here's what I'm thinking so far:

Motherboard:GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel

CPU:Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale 2.53GHz

Graphics:SAPPHIRE 100242L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
$174.99 (-$20.00 rebate)

Memory:OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
$49.49 (-$30.00 rebate and - $19.99 Combo deal w/ sapphire 4850)

Hard drive:Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

Optical drive: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R

Case:RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP With 500W Power Supply
94.99 (-$20.00 rebate)

CPU cooler:
Newegg combo w/ Cpu=$25.00

better PSU

I just started interning as a computer tech (I am only in high school, and also broke lol), so I can ask questions about building and overclocking there, but anyone have any hardware suggestions? looking for best gaming performance per buck. Will be on a 1680x1050 monitor, but I don't need to run at highest resolution. Oh, and since I will be gaming with headphones on, noise Isn't an issue (the louder the better.)
Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions.
...and apologies in advance for the noob-ish rambling nature of this post.
15 answers Last reply
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  1. Hello and welcome to the forums mate :)

    That looks very nice,but i have some few suggestions for you:
    Change the motherboard to GIGABYTE P35 DS3L/DS3R or ASUS P5K-E WIFI.
    Get a DDR2 800 RAM with 4-4-4-x or lower timings(if u want to OC,because lower timings are better.)
    Others look fine :)
  2. true
  3. Thanks, just the help I was looking for!
    +10 points for helping a noob.
  4. Well, you are gambling on the case power supply. Given that you are a poor student, probably an OK gamble.

    Did you check for memory compatibility with the memory or board manufacturer? That's always a good idea.

    Ideally, you want 4-4-4-x, as Maziar here says. However, getting something at that latency with decent voltage numbers is going to be too much for your budget.

    I didn't check this for compatibility, I'm throwing it out as an alternative though because of the listed voltage. Lower is better, and it's only $2.00 more.
  5. He can get a DDR2 800 RAM with 4-4-4-15 for $49.49:

    Or this Patriot model which has 4-4-4-12 timings (however u may want to go with the OCZ one because 4-4-4-12 and 4-4-4-15 are both good) :

    Also checking Memory compatibility list is a good idea but it doesn't mean that if a RAM isn't in that list then its not compatible.
  6. The build looks like a perfect budget build. Agreed about the memory. I would also suggest getting 4 GB (2x2GB). It's really quite cheap now, and worth it.
  7. Well, after seeing that thread where those three Raidmax 500W PSUs smoked and croaked at 75% load, I'd be very nervous about Raidmax. Typically, one of the Antec Earthwatts PSUs is available cheaply on Newegg. OMW to work; will try to return and post a link later.
  8. Thanks for the suggestions about the RAM. It turns out that the OCZ ram that Maziar suggested is $20.00 off with the purchase of a Sapphire 4850 on Newegg(combo deal). and with a $30.00 rebate, that comes out to being free. And better than the RAM I had chosen before. Maziar, i practically owe you 50 bucks. Thank you!
    And about the case- I know it comes with a no name power supply, that will likely die, or hinder overclocking. I think that the case should at least provide good airflow for cheap, and I will replace the power supply as soon as I can afford to, or start overclocking. when buying the case with the PSU as opposed to without, its only a $10.00 difference.
    I will probably eventually get more memory, but budget and gaming performance take priority.
    Thank you all so much for your help!
  9. No problem mate :) glad i could help u :)

    As i told u,if u can go for OCZ STEALTHXSTREAM 600W or PC&POWER COOLING 610.
  10. Right now, the Antec EA430 (430W) is available for $35 after $30 MIR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006.
    That is enough for your system, although not much more. If you intend to overclock, you might want something beefier. This 600W OCZ is $54 after $25 MIR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341010.
  11. I agree with the Antec, although I thought it was $30 after rebate. Anyway, you can get a nice Centurion 5 case by Cooler Master for $50 and be close to the price of the Raidmax anyway.
  12. I also like all of the CoolerMaster cases I've used, including the ones at the low end. They have plenty of room, and good airflow. They either have 120mm fans, or places to mount them. Some manufacturers will put 80mm fans where a 120mm would fit, just to be cheap. The tool-free design is nice, although I'd use screws if you're going to ship the finished system. UPS shook the HDD out of place on one I shipped to my niece, snapping the connectors off.
  13. So ill get a better PSU(above) , and maybe consider some other cases.

    oh, and which is better:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103031 for $30.00,
    or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200015 for $25.00 (50.00-25.00 for combo deal.)
    note: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-cooler-charts-2008-part-2,1782-13.html
    Used in Tom's $500.00 budget build. (or any other ideas?)
    I'm off to work now, thanks again!
  14. I would get one of these for a cooler all three are great coolers and are similarly priced to both u have listed.

    $10 MIR + $10 instant

    $10 MIR
  15. Thanks for your help. went with the Rifle 120. I did order with a bigger case (the antec 300) so it should fit okay. Oh, and i also got the stealth 600 watt that maziar suggested. Cant wait for it to get here, hope newegg is as fast as they usually are.
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