Suggestions for a budget gaming rig for an old timer

Ahh yes, the 1000th post from some new person looking to build a cheap gaming computer. I figure a formal apology is due before spewing out this post, so...sorry!


Anyhow, hi. I've been out of the loop with gaming hardware for about 3 years now and I'm trying to make my way back in. My current machine and the last one I built is an athlon 64, 3000+ system with a good old 6800gs agp video card. I built the system about 5 years ago and I figure now is as good of a time as ever to build a new machine.

I've done a little bit of homework but I'm still a little unsure as to what route I want to get the most bang for the buck. My budget is between 600 and 900 dollars. I'm not interested in anything other than the pc itself as I am using an acer 22 inch lcd, a 5.1 surround sound audio system, and all the other little things that make up the external crap. I also have a 200gb external hard drive and don't foresee myself needing anything bigger than 100 gigs within the system itself (just a good old sata drive will do).

As of now, the 4850 or 4870 sound right up my alley in terms of video performance but I'm looking for suggestions for everything else. The last I remember, 1mb cache procs and pc 3200 ram were the top of the line so I definitely need some help. Case (I really don't like overly gaudy neon explosions), motherboards, psu's, and proc suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I plan to use win xp or xp 64 bit depending on the circumstances.

Thanks in advance.
8 answers Last reply
More about suggestions budget gaming timer
  1. MOBO - $160
    Open Box: ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131219R

    CPU $170
    Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

    GPU - $180
    SAPPHIRE 100242L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102747

    Heatsink - $37 + $8 for bracket
    XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233003
    XIGMATEK ACK-I7753 Retention Bracket For 4 heatpipes model only - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233020

    RAM - $78
    A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211188

    HDD - $85
    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

    PSU - $60
    Rosewill RP550V2-D-SL L 550W SLI Ready-ATX12V V2.01 Dual Fans Power Supply 115/230 V CSA,UL,TUV,FCC - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182030

    Case - $50
    COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119068

    Optical Drive - $24
    LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106263


    Total Price - $850 this price does not include the various mail-in-rebates or shipping.
  2. Is it $600 or $900? That's a large difference.

    Based on you using your old PC for 5+ years, I would say to go quad-core for a little future proofing, and also by a $210-240 4870 (over the 4850) as it will max most games nicely on your 1680x1050 screen and should easily stay near the top of single GPU cards for several years.
  3. Quote:

    PSU - $60
    Rosewill RP550V2-D-SL L 550W SLI Ready-ATX12V V2.01 Dual Fans Power Supply 115/230 V CSA,UL,TUV,FCC - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817182030

    Case - $50
    COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119068


    You should replace those two item by the Antec sonata III (case with 500w power supply), cost less and i think the antec power supply is better than the Rosewill one.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129024
  4. Thanks a ton for the recommendations. I'm currently using an antec case and power supply and have had no problems with it other than it being a little too big for my tastes so I think the Sonata is a good choice. I can also knock off the optical drive since that is taken care of as well.

    I was considering a phenom proc and an appropriate board rather than Intel which might also lower the price. If you guys have suggestions for that as well, that'd be great.

    As previously stated, I'd like to stick between 600 and 900 dollars Noya, not too big of a difference in my opinion.

    Thanks again for all of your help, you've made my day much easier!
  5. nishiki said:
    Quote:

    PSU - $60
    Rosewill RP550V2-D-SL L 550W SLI Ready-ATX12V V2.01 Dual Fans Power Supply 115/230 V CSA,UL,TUV,FCC - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817182030

    Case - $50
    COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119068


    You should replace those two item by the Antec sonata III (case with 500w power supply), cost less and i think the antec power supply is better than the Rosewill one.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129024



    I should have put this in my original post but thank you for picking a different power supply. I, in fact, don't know much about PSU's and will just typically pick whatever has the highest rating and fits in the budget. For the CPU the Q6600 would be an excellent choice and since you so not need the optical drives it will not increase the original price.

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

    wow, I didn't realise this until now but the price of the Q6600 is only $189.
  6. SO would you say that the Q6600 is a better performer than the Phenom 9850? They're about the same price (10 dollar difference) so that is where I am still in limbo.
  7. Here is a comparison of the two cpu (except its the 9850 BE that is tested)

    http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=735&p=0

    Hope that will help you

    At stock speed they are close to each other but with some overclock the Q6600 is better at gaming and since you want to game and the cpu cooler listed by mexpedip is good for a nice overclock...id say go for the q6600.
  8. Hi couple of comments:

    - An E8400 and 48xx will serve you well. Although if you intend to keep the PC for a considerable time then you may want to invest in a quad core processor to pre empt better threading of programs over all the cores available.
    - Steer clear of Rosewill power supplies they are very poorly rated.
    - Take 4Gb of Mushkin, Corsair, OCZ or Geil RAM they are all an improvement over A-Data.
    - I would also be tempted to say go with a P45 or P35 motherboard rather than an open box one - just preference that I don't want something someone else returned as faulty!!

    Hope that is useful for you.
    Jeremy
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