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Budget Gaming Build - Need advice badly !!

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July 24, 2008 11:47:49 AM

Hello,

Quick introduction about myself since I'm new here.

I'm basically the guy that gets ripped off everytime he buys a new rig, I don't know much and while I try my best to figure out what I should be looking into, there are so many components availlible and so many brands that I realise everytime that, after reading for hours, I'm still at the same point..: Clueless.

I've been reading the forums here for hours and I thought the users were very helpful and knew a hell of a lot more than me, so I'm risking myself asking for advice.

---

Here's what I'm looking for:

I'm a gamer. I would LOVE to be able to get a performant system to simply be "up to date". I'm looking for a system that would, basically, run the games that are on the market right now with minimal lag, just something that would allow me to feel like i've got something solid for a year.. At the same time, I don't have alot of money to spend.

I would like to stay between a 500-700$ range.

I wish I could say more than that, but, really, I'm absolutely clueless. What I can say, however is that my duron 1.3ghz and my old geforce 5200 doesn't cut it at all anymore.

What I would mostly need help with is to put my finger on affordable MOBO, CPU, VIDEO CARD & MEMORY that would allow me to run the games that are on the market right now. If I need to spend a little more to get it, then I will.

This is pretty vague, I know, but hopefully someone can get me on the right track, so I don't end up buying a piece of junk from Future Shop again..

Thanx a TON in advance, and sorry for the mediocre english.

Edit: I should probably mention I'm looking for PCI-E video and that I've got a 22" ACL Widescreen. (1680x1050)
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July 24, 2008 1:07:57 PM

I love you guyz, thanx a ton.

Now one more question, does Newegg ship to Canada? *gasp*
July 24, 2008 1:22:35 PM

no

In canada to find good price, try www.shopbot.ca.

Or good online store (from where I have ordered) : NCIX, Tigerdirect.ca, canadacomputers, dytronix...
July 24, 2008 1:31:27 PM

Sweet, thanx alot again. :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2008 1:31:51 PM

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R
Memory Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2-800
Graphics Diamond Radeon HD 4850
Samsung SH-S203N
Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB
Audio Asus Xonar DX
Enclosure Antec Sonata III w/500W PSU
ZALMAN CNPS9500 heatsink + fan

About $956.42.
July 24, 2008 1:47:09 PM

sisley_111 said:
no

In canada to find good price, try www.shopbot.ca.

Or good online store (from where I have ordered) : NCIX, Tigerdirect.ca, canadacomputers, dytronix...



from what i've seen from using shopbot, directcanada.com tends to have some of the lowest prices around. sometimes their prices are even lower than newegg!
July 24, 2008 2:04:10 PM

I like what I see and read on the stuff you listed, jitpublisher.

What I'm wondering is, since the price difference between the MSI P7N SLI Platinum and the P5Q you suggest is only about $25 in Canada, should I go for the P7N since it does the whole crossfire/SLI action?

If I had the mobo to do it, I would probably be tempted to slam another Radeon in there later on, like alot of people suggest.

Now, If I was to buy the P7N, would everything else work optimally with it?

Thanx again for the help, it is immensely appreciated.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2008 2:04:52 PM

evongugg said:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R
Memory Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2-800
Graphics Diamond Radeon HD 4850
Samsung SH-S203N
Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB
Audio Asus Xonar DX
Enclosure Antec Sonata III w/500W PSU
ZALMAN CNPS9500 heatsink + fan

About $956.42.



Good CPU, RAM, mobo, HDD, PSU. Diamond has earned a place on my personal "Do not buy" list, for a variety of reasons (including incompetent tech support), so I'd choose another brand of HD4850.
You may or may not need a sound card. I'd suggest you try the onboard sound first, especially considering your budget.
Not a bad cooler, but I've heard a lot more people crowing about the Xigmatek S1283 lately, WITH the separate retention bracket. The case is a big personal preference item, but note that that one comes with a decent PSU; most PSUs with cases are excrement.
Personally, Mushkin has become my favorite RAM because it almost always operates at the JEDEC standard 1.8v, meaning you won't need to play stick-swapping BIOS games to get it to work, but it can be tweaked later.
July 24, 2008 2:13:28 PM

So, for an extra ~$400, would it be a considerable increase in performances vs the build "jitpublisher" suggested?

Budget-wise, a $500 system is very attractive to me, but I could probably survive a few extra weeks of piling up some cash if the increase in performances is really significant and worth the dollars.. :confused:
July 24, 2008 2:27:42 PM

Quote:
from what i've seen from using shopbot, directcanada.com tends to have some of the lowest prices around. sometimes their prices are even lower than newegg!


directcanada put low prices but they don't have a lot of item in stock. For example, they were the first to put the hd4850 below 200$ (around 190$) but the card was backorder. When the card was back online, the price was the same as the others stores...
July 24, 2008 3:15:13 PM

Also check out canadacomputers.com, as they do sometimes have great deals and reasonable shipping rates. (prices comparable to newegg.com)

I second the pairing of an e8400 and an ati 4500. If you want to save a little money, then replace the e8400 with an e7200 and overclock it a little bit, $193 vs $137 @ canadacomputers.com If just for gaming, this'll do ya just fine, besides nehalem is coming out this fall and is going to blow everything away anyway.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2008 3:19:59 PM

jitpublisher said:
CPU- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $179
Motherboard- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$129
GPU and Memory http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The last item, the 4850 can be bought in a combo deal with 2gig OZC memory for $204 right now....very good deal.

That is $512.
Spend another $100 on a decent PSU to power it all, and you are golden.


This is a good system. Just add hard disk, optical drive, case, power supply and CPU cooler.
Dual cores are faster in gaming right now. If you believe in quad cores, you can change that.

a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2008 3:26:24 PM

If you want a $500.00 system, look at this:

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: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138102

Add a hard disk and DVD-RW of your choice.
The power supply is on the weak side.
July 24, 2008 3:37:13 PM



Since the OP is on a budget, I would recommend the Gigabyte P35-DS3L, which is a solid board, reliable overclocker, and considerably cheaper than that ASUS board (nothing against ASUS boards, other than price).
a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2008 3:38:17 PM

e3masta said:
So, for an extra ~$400, would it be a considerable increase in performances vs the build "jitpublisher" suggested?

Budget-wise, a $500 system is very attractive to me, but I could probably survive a few extra weeks of piling up some cash if the increase in performances is really significant and worth the dollars.. :confused:

The main difference is the motherboard/CPU in evongugg's list. The P45-DS3R allows you to CrossFire later on. Also the CPU in his build is a quad core. If you are looking in to save some money you can swap out the Q9300 to a E8400. jitpublisher's list also doesn't account for cooling fan, PSU, DVD burner, case,etc.
July 24, 2008 3:42:46 PM

Don't go for the extra $400. Do a $500 build. Why almost double the price for 5-10% gain in performance? Plain stupid. I just put together a new build a couple of weeks ago (Newegg rocks!):
ASUS P5Q (it's P45 Intel motherboard, just came out last month, 1600FSB!) $150
Intel E8400 $150 (combo deal discount)
Radeon HD 4850 ($175)
2GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer free with HD 4850 (best memory out there by Toms standards, see their build articles, Tracer LEDs look amazing in my case)
Western Digital 640GB WD6400AAKS (the best hard drive on the market for the money, read/write speeds better than Raptor 10000rpm drives) $90
July 24, 2008 3:53:05 PM

Or get an E7200..OCs and performs like the E8x00s for less.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2008 4:11:10 PM

I would not buy a RaidMax PSU, even on a low-budget build. Typically one of the Antec Earthwatts PSUs (right now the EA430) can be had for a good price on Newegg, so I would guess that this would probably be true for a Canadian supplier as well.
I've also seen some good prices on some OCZ 600W models.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2008 4:12:19 PM

+1.

@OP: Do you plan to overclock?
July 24, 2008 9:30:21 PM

I've never Overclocked before, but I hear that it is usually very safe and easy to do nowadays. With a little coaching, I just might OC a little bit if I feel the PC isn't giving me what I need, but overall I doubt it would be essential for what I want to do.

(Amateur FL Studio producing & Gaming - I'll get me some good audio much later when I want to get more serious with FL)

At the same time, if it's risk free and can give me a little extra for my money, why the heck not? :) 


Also, thanx a million times for all the feedback, I wasn't expecting this much help and "dumb questions" answering.. you guyz are great!
a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2008 10:14:08 PM

So what's the final specs?
July 24, 2008 10:25:05 PM

I'm leaning towards..:

Intel's E8400 (~$200) (thinking of the E7200 also..saves me 75bux)
Giga's HD 4850 (~$225)
Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2 1066Mhz PC2 8500 2GB Kit (~$70)

Western Digital Caviar 250GB SATAII 7200RPM 16MB Buffer (OEM) (~$70)
Antec EA-430 430W (~$60)

And I don't know wich mobo to pick, either go with the cheaper ones and use the E8400 or shoot for the xFire ones and get an E7200. I've had alot of bad experiences with mobo's, so it makes the choice even more difficult.

Hopefully all of this stuff works togheter! *shock*

Going to have to do some shopping, everything I find seems to cost ~10% more than newegg.. that increase and the taxes takes the $500 system to around $700-750 one. :( 
a b B Homebuilt system
July 25, 2008 1:44:12 PM

You should be careful with the DDR2 1066 RAM. They are known to have incompatibilities. Try and get 2*2GB DR2 800 RAM. The E7200 is a good chip go for it if budget is a concern. Be careful with the PSU. It's a good quality one, but you might want to get a 550W or so (ie Corsair 550). As for motherboard:

If doing CrossFire: P45-DS3R
If not doing CrossFire: P35-DS3L or P45-DS3L.
July 25, 2008 5:45:07 PM

Don't bother with 1066 MHz RAM, just go 2x2gb of DDR2 800 and you'll be great. But at the same time, don't be fearful of incompatibilities; find a motherboard you like and then look on the manufacturer's website to check RAM compatibility.

And Shadow, I can't find a P45-DS3R anywhere. Where can you purchase one?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 25, 2008 6:21:57 PM

^If from the US :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

note: I do not put the "E" on any of the boards(ie EP45-DS3L). It makes typing easier. There is no Gigabyte P45/X48 with out the "E" in front. The EP series of boards have DES (Dynamic Energy Saver) software. To disable DES just don't install the software.
July 25, 2008 10:36:04 PM

Sounds good, I will probably go for the 7200.

As for memory, thanx for the headsup, they were similar in prices on the site I was browsing so I figured what the hell, get the 1066.

Ill look into a quality PSU also but I have a question about the video card.

Between the Gigabyte and the Sapphire, there's about a 50$ difference down here. Are they similar or should I put the $50 for the Gigabyte?
July 27, 2008 7:19:19 AM

Gotcha.

I can't say THANK YOU enough to you guyz, especially to you, Shadow, to have been so generous of your time. All of the suggestions and information has helped me alot, I feel confident about building myself a solid rig now.

In the next few days I should be done shopping for prices and I'll come back to post the hardware I chose and how much the system will cost me to build, for those it might interest.

Thanx again, I'm amazed I've received this much help, you guyz rock!
!