LFC on proposed build of budget gaming machine

First, for some perspective, here is what I'm currently using:

Dell Dimension 8300
Intel Pentium 4 2.60GHz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB AGP

My current rig gets the job done with video quality turned down, but I can see the writing on the wall with the newer games coming out.

I mostly play MMOs and single-player RPGs. I'm looking for good frame rate with AA and AF turned on for games like Age of Conan and Oblivion at lower screen resolution (currently 1280x1024). When finances allow, I'll upgrade to a higher resolution monitor.

I am not planning on overclocking.

Here is my shopping list:

Motherboard: MSI P43 Neo3-F LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard ($85; $70 after rebate)

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor ($190; only $15 more than the 8400 and it comes with World in Conflict)

CPU cooler: Using the box cooler that comes with CPU (again, I'm not overclocking)

RAM: pqi TURBO 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory ($76; I know that only 3G will be available, but it's more convenient than having to buy 2x1G and 2x512MB memory)

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW ($50)

PSU: Rosewill RP500-2 ATX12V v2.01 500W Power Supply 115/230 V CSA, UL, TUV, FCC ($50)

Now comes the video card. I've read a lot of reviews on both of these cards and I'm leaning towards the ATI Radeon 4870, but I invite comments.

Graphic card: ASUS EAH4870/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card ($285; $255 after rebate)

--- or ---

MSI N260GTX-T2D896 OC GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card ($270; $230 after rebate)

I don't list a HD, optical drive, monitor, speakers, etc. here because I'll be salvaging them from my current rig.

I would appreciate any feedback, advice or comments on my proposed build. I'd like to get the parts purchased and start building so I can enjoy my new toy. :)

Thank you for your time and assistance,

4 answers Last reply
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  1. I'd suggest a better power supply than the one you chose. Rosewill is not a great company for PSUs

    Go with PC Power and Cooling, OCZ, or Corsair.

    I'd go with the 4870 over the GTX 260.

    Everything else looks good.
  2. Thank you, huron. I'll look into those brands.
  3. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131113&nm_mc=AFC-SlickDeals&cm_mmc=AFC-SlickDeals-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA

    I'd switch the Asus to the Powercolor, 'cause grid>alone in the dark and I hate supporting Asus. I'd also switch the PSU to the OCZ as it's got a nice rebate, and it's far more reliable than Rosewill.

    Oh, almost forgot-Get the Antec Three Hundred instead of the Centurion 5. Buy.com has it for $55 with free shipping. You can't beat that deal.
  4. Thank you, effel. Good recommendations on the card and PSU.

    Regarding the Antec Three Hundred case, I've never built my own machine, but I've read that having the PSU on the bottom of the case can make it more difficult to connect the cables. Is this something I should take into consideration?
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