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[New System Build] $500 Gaming PC

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August 14, 2008 12:58:36 PM

I'd like to post what I think would make a suitable $500 gaming rig and gather some opinions on whether or not it could be improved performance wise by using parts you would recommend instead.




CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale 45 nm 2.53 Ghz. $119

Mainboard: BIOSTAR TForce TP43D2A7 LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX (single PCI express 2.0)- Retail $89.00

Graphics: SAPPHIRE 100226L Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 $94.99

RAM: Mushkin 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel $59.99

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE WD800AAJS 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $37.99

Case: RAIDMAX ARES ATX-801WBP Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450W Power Supply $49.99

Optical Drive: LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 - OEM $23.99


Total: $476.93

One configuration I was thinking about was switching the Wolfdale core with an E2180 Allendale 2.0 Ghz which goes for $70 and then taking that additional savings and putting it towards a slightly better graphics card. However, I'm worried about the CPU then bottlenecking that card's performance.

Thoughts on this anyone?

Thank you,

- opcode

More about : system build 500 gaming

August 14, 2008 1:16:18 PM

Here is a setup i will do for a friend:

e2160
radeon 4850
gigabyte ep35-ds3l
Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC2-5400 DDR2-667 CL 4-4-4-12
Antec three hundred
OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA2 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Cache
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro

555$ canadian (you can get it for lower at newegg if you search a bit i'm sure)
August 14, 2008 1:45:14 PM

well first of all, if you plan on OCing, then I would definitely recommend getting the e2180 so that you can get the 4850...

...if you dont plan to OC, here is something I put together quickly...(*WARNING! AMD CONFIGURATION*)

Case: Raidmax Ares (since thats the case you proposed initially)...$35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156208

HDD: Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive...$50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145213

RAM: G.SKILL 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)...$40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231121

Mobo: Foxconn A78AX-S AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard...$65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186147

CPU + GPU combo: AMD X2 6000+ + ASUS ATI HD4850...$286 (before $30 mail in rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103773
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253

Total: $475
Shipping: $24
Final Total: $499

EDIT: forgot the DVD drive...lol...well thats another $25, so if you want you could get a cheaper cpu

Also try to look for good combo deals and promo codes for your items...slickdeals.net is a great place to check em out...
Related resources
August 14, 2008 2:08:03 PM

I'd wait a week or two, e5200 is due out latter this month and will be as good or better then the e7200 and much cheaper. TP43D2A7 only has 3 percentage based voltage options, i'd rather spend a lil more and get the TP45HP which one of the best oc'ers around atm and gives you a cheap upgrade path with 8x8. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227139 is only ddr800 but is a good deal ar and will probably oc to the similar speeds as the 1066s due to the tight timings and low voltage. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121217 good deal on a 3870, but again you have to wait a few days for it to be in stock. buy.com has a sick deal on the the sonata III for $79 shipped.
August 14, 2008 2:50:55 PM

Raidmax PSUs are crap that will choke and croak in short order. Usually one of the Antec Earthwatts models can be picked up cheaply. If you can order from Newegg, they've got the 610W PC Power & Cooling PSU for only $80 after MIR for the next few days. Even in a $500 build, that's an outstanding deal, and leaves room for future expansion.
Drop the RAM back to DDR2-800. Mushkin is a good choice though.
August 14, 2008 3:13:00 PM

darckeen said:
I'd wait a week or two, e5200 is due out latter this month and will be as good or better then the e7200 and much cheaper.


i thought the e5200 was a replacement for the e2200

which would mean it will be cheaper than the e7200, but not better

http://www.nordichardware.com/index.php?news=1&action=m...


August 14, 2008 3:29:02 PM

Newegg has this great deal on a earhwatts 380 watt psu $29.00 :D 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Its not much, bet enough for a budget build like yours.

I personally have a e2180, and have it OCed to 3.0 easy.

I say drop the e7200 and get a e2180. Use the saved money on a 4850. Like others have said, raidmax PSU are crap and arnt worth it. Buy the Earthwatts PSU and this case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 14, 2008 3:41:05 PM

It would really be worth it to spend the extra money for the 4850 over the 3850, the price of one game for a signifigent boost in fps.
August 14, 2008 3:46:05 PM

Good OP build with the worst part that Raidmax power supply. Go super cheap on case and get a better power supply. With the HD3870 only $99.99 after rebate or the 8800GT only $119.99 with no rebate i'd bump the GPU up a bit and stick with the E7200. Go with the DDR2 800 RAM to save a little money, $38 after rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you absolutely must go with a budget case/PSU combo to make budget the Rosewill 450w is actually a step up over the Raidmax. (friends don't let friends buy Raidmax power supplies)
August 14, 2008 3:55:20 PM

opcode,
your build has too much focus on CPU thus forcing you to give in to older parts in other aspects of your build. Given the new ATI 4800's cards are out with very good price tags, the ATI 3850, as of now, is definite NOT something you want to buy new and keep. 4850 when comparing to 3850 is almost night and day IMO due to its vast improvements so you definite would want a 4850 for much better gaming experience for the coming years. And guess what? You can :)  I am also surprised that they still make 80gb HDDs (haha) the Seagate 250gb is a very good HDD (I own 4 of them) it's very slim and quiet and all that translates into a much better fit for your config. And guess what? Yep, you can. :)  There isn't much that you can gain from using 1066 DDR2 rams when comparing to 800's. Moreover 800's can 'OC' to 1066 or higher if you so desired :)  Cases that comes with 'free' PSU's are iffy at times and heavily depends on the brand as well. So if I could choose I would have picked the Rosewell, I used Raidmax PSU once and ended up doing RMA due to DOA (waste of time & probably $$$ as well :( ) All in all, put your main focus on a quality video card b/c you want this to be a gaming rig and go from there! :) 

Spider Platforms are more suitable for budget builds IMO b/c of the newer Chipsets and other small +'s :)  There are some nice rebates to consider right now so it's a good time to think about them. Also most of these are 3 Day Free Shippings from 'Egg so Shipping would be about $5 +/- 5.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz (BE) --------------------- $66
BIOSTAR TFORCE TA780G M2+ AMD 780G Micro ATX --------------- $70
ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M HD 4850 512MB ------------ ($188-30) $158
A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) ----------------------- $40
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB ----------------------------------- $60
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA ------------------------ $24
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle ----------------------- ($37-10) $27
Rosewill TU-155 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400W ------- $70

Subtotal: --------------------------------------------------------------- $515

If you can squeeze out a bit more cash and im talking about $155 see below
'*' indicates upgraded items

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ Brisbane 2.8GHz (BE) --------------------- $90
*BIOSTAR TA790GX A2+ AMD 790GX HDMI ATX -------------------- $100
ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M HD 4850 512MB ------------ ($188-30) $158
A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) ----------------------- $40
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB ----------------------------------- $60
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA ------------------------ $24
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle ------------------------ ($37-10) $27
*CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W (FREE 8GB Flash Drive) - ($120-20) $100
*Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower ---------- ($110-40) $70

Subtotal ------------------------------------------------------------------ $670

[Scalability] CPU, MOBO, PSU & Case all for the purpose of future budget upgrades. The CPU will be able to OC well under the Rifle Cooler. The MOBO can take another GPU when the price gets better later for you. PSU has 4 PCI-E which would be enough even if you get your hands on (2) 4870's :)  Case should have plenty of rooms for hardware expansion.

[Future-Proof] First of all the MOBO has the latest set of Chipsets (not SB700 but SB750). The 4850 should be pretty awesome and add another one for CFX and you'll be good for the years to come. Corsair PSU are things that last due to their exceptional quality and at 750w it should be plenty of power for this spidy platform. Antec 900 has tons rooms and tons of air best bang for your bucks.

[Future Upgrades]
- Pick up another Seagate 250gb and do a RAID0 if you want gaming performance or overall PC performance for that matter.
- Add another pair of A-Data RAMs for 4gb setup with more memory.
- Stick another ASUS 4850 later for CrossFire X and get ready for games in the next few years.
- Switch to AMD Phenom 9850 or 9950 went prices come down (if you do lots graphic related and video related works with it switch to a Phenom x4 ASAP you wont regret it)


gl
August 14, 2008 4:30:39 PM

getting 4ghz on air with the 5200 when its supposed to cost 25% less then a 7200 and the same as a 2200 seems as good or better, to me atleast. definately worth holding out till the end of the month and seeing what the real world performance and pricing is if your aim is to build a high performance system on a tight budget.
August 15, 2008 12:25:07 AM



CPU: AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor Model HD960ZWCGDBOX - 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

Hard Drive: Western Digital http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Digital Caviar SE WD800AAJS 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Motherboard: BIOSTAR A770 A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

RAM: OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P800R22GK - Retail

PSU: Rosewill RP550-2 ATX12V v2.01 550W Power Supply - Retail

Case:Rosewill RZS01 BLK Black Sturdy SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Optical Drive: LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_recorder Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 - OEM

This is with the current combo deals that newegg is offering so if you get this, get it soon before the deals are over

CPU and GPU: $317.98 (before $30 rebate)

Hard Drive: $37.99

Motherboard: $69.99

RAM: $49.49 (before $30 rebate)

Case and PSU: $82.98 (before $30 rebate)

Optical Drive $23.99

So thats $560 with shipping after rebates for a quad core and a 4850.
!