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Programming, CS3, and Game rig for ~$1000

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  • New Build
  • Visual Studio
  • Programming
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
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August 11, 2008 8:29:49 PM

Hello, My friend is in school for programming and needs a new computer.

He uses Visual Studio, CS3, and likes to play games(FPS mostly)

Can only spend about $1000 including monitor.

I have been building several different rigs on newegg and am having trouble. Thought you might have some advise.

Games are not a big issue but he would like to be able to upgrade the GFX card down the road. Does not need SLI or Xfire. But most likely starting off with a $50-$100 card and upgrading when has some extra cash so I think a mobo with one 2.0 PCIe x16 is called for.

Was looking at the Q9450 but with his budget I think he'll have to go with the Q6600. Possibly overclocking it a bit, don't know much about OC but that's what the internet is for :p 

On the PSU, looking for a good price but do not want to skimp on the important stuff.

Edit... here is a list I'm workin on now. http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

More about : programming cs3 game rig 1000

August 12, 2008 2:44:25 AM

If your looking for a cheap but good graphics card i recommend the ATI 4850, you can find them for about 160$ right now and i hear get very good fps in most games with everything on high
August 12, 2008 3:59:17 AM

cant see secure wishlists

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August 12, 2008 9:47:19 AM

if u swap to AMD and ATi youll save money but still get a similar system spec!

new AMD tri cores would suffice for his needs and 4 gig of decent memory is a must!!

as for MOBO Asus are my favourite and the best xfire enabled one is about 130 pound so it wont break the bank!

check out OCUK.co.uk if u live in england
August 12, 2008 7:34:08 PM

groo said:
cant see secure wishlists



That's a public list there buddy, did you even try the link?

As for the 4580. I know you ATI boys are creaming over it and the 4870 but both are out of the budget. Games are not the main focus, more like an after thought. Prolly gonna have to go with a $50 range card for now.

Please help me out here guys.
August 13, 2008 8:25:05 AM

NMD said:
That's a public list there buddy, did you even try the link?



No I didn't, I tried 2 or 3 just before yours and they were private, and yours even said secure in the link so I assumed...

If you want to save some coin, maybe an antec sonatta III with a PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It should save you $60. I think I read a 4850 only needs 450watts. I overclocked mine pretty high with a 510. you could probably save a little bit getting a cheaper 4850. lots of 2x2gig DDR2-800 in the 70 to 80 range (even less with a rebate), why spend 120?

I'd get a bigger HDD.
August 13, 2008 4:34:15 PM

one more thought. if your going to get a $50 vid card to hold you over, I suggest 1 of 2 options.

1. just get a mobo w/ onboard graphics. its always good for a backup, or multi screen setups.

2. get a used card that someone upgraded from. new, cheap cards are optimised for video watching with thier new features, nice for a HTPC. for you, I look for something with more horsepower and fewer bells and whistles, maybe a 7900gt or something.

if you can afford it, get the 4850.
August 13, 2008 5:55:36 PM

Proximon said:
I can save you a bit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Sonata is a great idea too.

Glad to see you came around to 4850.

I currently own an 8800GT, I am not a fanboy. 4850s simply dominate.


groo said:
one more thought. if your going to get a $50 vid card to hold you over, I suggest 1 of 2 options.

1. just get a mobo w/ onboard graphics. its always good for a backup, or multi screen setups.

2. get a used card that someone upgraded from. new, cheap cards are optimised for video watching with thier new features, nice for a HTPC. for you, I look for something with more horsepower and fewer bells and whistles, maybe a 7900gt or something.

if you can afford it, get the 4850.



I have been changing this list a lot so not sure what was on there when you guys looked, was the 900 and the Antec PSU on there when you looked?

Yea, I managed to sneak in the 4850 but have not sold him on it yet. I am concerned about the PSU, I tried to sell him on the Sonata III but he was not feeling it, do you think the Sonata's PSU would be better than the Antec I put on there? It's a really good deal with that 900/PSU combo, only end up paying like $100 for both with rebates.

Cheaper ram looks good, I have had awesome experience with Mushkin. But, really only saving less than $20 over the set I picked out when you account for free shipping.

FYI, I was not trying to insult anyone with the ATI comments. I have read a lot about the 48XX cards and I know they are very good. I was just tryin to be funny.
August 13, 2008 10:10:06 PM

Just because a respected PSU maker makes a PSU, does not mean that particular one is any good. The only exception to that rule is possibly PC Power & Cooling.. and maybe Corsair but don't count on them.

That said, I'm not sure on the BP series. I'll check and get back to it.

The Antec that comes with the Sonata is an Earthwatts, which I know is solid.

Do you have some RAM to boot from initially? Because that 2V RAM you have listed will likely need a BIOS adjustment before it boots.
August 13, 2008 10:43:08 PM

Okay, so the one that comes with the Sonata III should be enough for the 4850?

Or could you recommend one that will work well for a good price?
August 13, 2008 11:25:23 PM

I know you might not use the Antec 900 but i just got mine in the mail today and i have to say it is the best case i ever bought i love this thing. But if your watching budget you should maybe go down to a 19" monitor trust me you don't need 22"
August 14, 2008 12:52:01 AM

ohh and unless your doing like movie editing and photoshop at the same time you might want to go with a E8400 wolfdale
August 14, 2008 5:05:43 PM

I started out with the E8400/8500 but decided on quad instead.

One thing, my friend has been told by his classmates and teacher not to get Vista, especially x64. I am trying to convince him that it will work fine with this hardware and that most Vista problems are from older hardware and drivers(that and user error).

What do you guys think?

What I'll probably do is let him use my copy of x64 Vista and if he has problems he can switch to XP or buy his own copy of Vista if I ever get rid of my crappy 680i board and want to install it again.
August 14, 2008 6:10:36 PM

Vista64 is fine, but letting him try yours is a good idea.

you seam overly focussed on rebates, and yet you have a budget.
a budget implies you only have so much to spend.
rebates take many months to get in the mail. a dollar in the hand is worth 2 in rebate..
thats about what I evaluate a rebats worth at, 50cents. there is the opertunity cost and the posability that you wont get your rebate without even more than the expected hassles.


quality PSUs and Memory, might help stability (more so when OC'd), but don't do anything for performance on thier own. any extra overhead is wasted.
August 14, 2008 7:38:22 PM

I would not say I'm overly focused. He wants to pay ~$1000 total, there is no set amount of money he has in his hands right now.

I rather like rebates. Its a nice surprise to get a check in the mail, I look at it as bonus money.

Any one else got thoughts on Vista?
August 15, 2008 10:47:16 AM

Vista x64 has been pretty decent for me actually. A few hiccups and some alterations needed regarding my programming environments, but all in all its been bearable.
!