Help! $700ish for a gaming pc, don't know where to start.

I haven't upgraded my pc for a long time, so I figure using some of my friend's parts and $700 will get me a pretty massive upgrade. I have never built my own computer or picked out the parts for one. I know nothing of sockets or pins or ddrs. My friends are going to help me assemble it, I am hoping that experienced people here can help me select what I need. Here are some random facts that might help you help me.

This computer will be mostly for gaming, I do no video editing.
I plan on reusing: case, hard drives(2), my 19" syncmaster 940mw, keyboard, mouse, speakers.
I don't plan on upgrading this after it is built with a 2nd video card.
I have never used vista before, everyone is telling me to stick to xp. Thoughts?

Thank you in advance for helping a newbie!
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  1. I just helped someone put together a $700.00 system:

    Start with that list near the bottom I made.

    If you have a good XP license, at a 700.00 budget you can wait a bit before upgrading to Vista 64 bit.
  2. Proximon said:
    I just helped someone put together a $700.00 system:

    Start with that list near the bottom I made.

    If you have a good XP license, at a 700.00 budget you can wait a bit before upgrading to Vista 64 bit.

    Doh, should have seen that. Thank you.
  3. Ill give you a similar tip that i just gave to the guy whos building the 700$ rig Proximon pointed out...

    It;s a key variable in this equation if you will overclock. In my humble opinion, If budget builds is the topic, i would go for an Intel e2180 (70$) and Overclock it beyond 3.0ghz easily with the Artic cooling freezer pro 7 (25$) and get even more performance than an e8400 core2duo at stock clocks, saving almost a 100$... or if you think than a dual core pentium is too ugly for a rig, just get the core2duo e7200.

    IMO, i'd go for:
    saving some money on this motherboards, you might be able to get the ATI hd 4850 (175$) video card, wich is great for builders that dont mind for the possibility of a second video card upgrade... with the corsair 550w(85$):

    Ill definitely go for the Antec 300 case(60$) which at that price has NO rival IMO. with i dont know, a 320gb hard drive(60$) ? and a dvd burner bla bla (25$)

    Now i would recommend Vista, although there;s high controversy on which is better for gaming rigs... vista is not just more expensive than XP but requires more RAM, especially for gamers. XP may live with 2gb of RAM for a while but it will definitely be an old dinosaur. So once again, IMO get Vista home prem 64b (110$) with 4gb of RAM(70$):

    So at the end its like 780$ and like 730$ after rebates... It;s what i would totally go with!
  4. the best graphics buy is the ati 4850 (i like the ones with the non standard cooling)
    2 or 4 gb of 800 ddr2 is great
    the wolfdale core 2 duo's are very nice
    spend a little bit more on you mainbord it will be nice if you upgrade later
    (there are some boards supporting ddr2 and 3)
    a aftermarket fan is necessary fore overclocking and good otherwise but not needed
    a 500w psu should do just fine to top it off get 80%+ ef
  5. From the tone of the first post, I'm going to assume you're not interested in OCing. If that's the case, go with an AMD build.

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz
    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB
    CPU/HDD Combo deal = $162

    ASUS M3A78-T AM2+/AM2 790GX = $140

    Antec Three Hundred = $70

    mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 5-4-4-12@1.8V = $69 (after MIR)

    CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W = $90 (after MIR)

    ASUS Radeon HD4850 = $153 (after MIR)

    I know you said you'd reuse a case and HDDs (and I'm assuming you could reuse a DVD drive, too), but you'll probably be happier with the Antec 300 case and WD 640GB HDD. Especially the HDD since it'll almost certainly be faster than the ones you're thinking about reusing. The above comes to a grand total of $684 (after MIRs and before shipping). If you need to save some money for a new OS, you could drop the case (I'd still recommend getting the new WD 640GB HDD, though) and you could drop the MoBo down to a 780G like the GIGABYTE GA-MA78G-DS3H ($90). The 650W PSU I recommended is probably a bit overkill, but it'll give you plenty of head-room for future upgrades (like an HD4870 when they're more affordable) and it'll probably be able to be carried through to your next build so it's a reasonable component to make an investment in the future.
  6. While some people will suggest specific models I'll suggest just the right brands and let you choose want model suit your buget (too many variables as far as price and availability...)
    1.INTEL because AMD is getting better with every release but still not there yet...
    2.GIGABYTE it's the real gamers choice period!(best bang for the buck out there!!)
    3.PATRIOT/MUSHKIN/OCZ all makers of good mem. with some very decent pricing get a 4gig kit DDR2 800
    4.SEAGATE HD (5years wall to wall waranty!!! less noise/heat)
    5.BFG LS series (I'm testing one right now and for a budget series PSU it's great)But if you want the best well no question PC COOLING & POWER is the best!
    6.ATI HD4850 BEST bang for the buck GPU out there! (Tom's charts agree with me...)
    7.ANTEC Three Hundred as Wanker posted it's simply the best budget gaming case on the market!

    As far as using Vista for gaming well forget it for now !!!Vista is NOT at this moment a gamer friendly OS even with the biggest gaming rig possible perfomance wise it's still behind XP ...only time will tell but if you want the best performance for your budget build stay away from vista!

    I'm an independent system builder/tech and building machines is what I do... :sol:
  7. Thank you for all the posts guys, giving me a lot to think about...I think I'm slowing starting to understand some of this! Some other good news, my windfall that is making this purchase possible got a little bit bigger. I am convinced I do want to get the Antec 300 after all of the suggestions, plus having those audio ports up front look handy. Point taken on the hard drive, as the ones I would use are old. Here is what is on my newegg cart right now:
    Antec Three Hundred- this was $60 yesterday, today it's ten bucks more expensive.
    WD Caviar 640gb-$85
    Lite-on dvd drive-$18$70
    vista home premium 64bit-$110
    CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W-$80 after rebate
    Asus 4850-$153 after rebate

    I think I am going to bite the bullet and give vista a shot. The psu and memory were recommended downthread and both look ok to me...Which leads me to the mobo/processor. I want Intel, as they seam to be more opimized, and from what I read, more ability to overclock. Whether or not I would do that in the future, I don't know. However I would like to have that option. The GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775 seems to have what I need, and the price is right at $100. Would an E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz be overkill for my build? It's pricey, but if it's worth the performance upgrades I could handle it. So much for staying on budget. Again, thanks for the help
  8. The problem with going for an Intel build just to keep the option to OC open is that you're going to be sacrificing performance to do so. The E8500 is $100 more expensive than the X2 6000+ and it's only 160MHz faster. And at the X2 6000+'s pricepoint, you're looking at the 2.4GHz E2220 as the direct competition.

    If you think you're going to OC at some point in the near future, by all means go with Intel (btw, the E8400 is a bit cheaper and will OC just as high). But just know that until you do OC you're either going to have a much thinner bank account or a slower rig.
  9. i would go fore the intel 7200 2.53ghz with the 45nm core and only $120 (and would be faster than the amd offering, though i wish it wasn't so)
  10. The E7200 at stock speed will not be faster than the X2 6000+ at stock speed. Until someone can show me where Intel is faster clock-for-clock than AMD, 3.0 > 2.53 by my math. However, if you're OCing, than yes the E7200 will be faster and well worth the extra $30.
  11.'s not that AMD are bad CPU's (I was using AMD for about 8-10 years ....) As of right now they still have issues like stability problems , LOTS of returns/defects (I'm in the business I should know..) I'm running a INTEL E-8400 up to 4.0 with only the XIGMATEK S-1283 for cooling, it's nearly impossible to beat that good of bang for the buck ratio!!! and only 169$$ on Newegg... :pt1cable:
  12. As I said, if you're going to OC you'd be a fool not to go with an Intel build. But some people either don't feel like putting the time and effort into learning how to OC, or they'd rather not void their warranty. In which case, there is nothing that makes AMD inferior clock-for-clock to Intel. And AMD offers a better price/performance than Intel at stock speeds (atleast until you start getting into the very high clock speed chips where AMD doesn't even offer any competition).
  13. intel has being faster clock for clock since they released conroe processors two years ago and penryn just builds on that lead.

    here is proof that the e7200 at stock is faster than the 6000+ at everything:

    wether that gain is worth 30 dollars more is debatable. the e7200 is more energy efficient, so if you keep the computer on long enough(~1500 hrs @ full load), you'll make up the difference on your electric bill.

    for OP, go with any of the e7XXX or e8XXX processors and you'll be happy.
  14. That's a great link, simpletron. In another thread I looked at THW's CPU 2007 Comparison Chart and noted that the E8400 gave ~30% more fps at a 85% cost increase in comparison to the X2 6000+. The link you posted shows the E7200 gives ~15% more fps for a 30% cost increase. Price/performance still gives the edge to AMD, but you're correct, clock-for-clock Intel is faster.

    What I'd really like to see is a comparison that includes the E5200, E7200, E8400, E8500, X2 5600+ Brisbane, and X2 6000+ Windsor. That would cover both the ~$100ish pricepoint comparison and the ~3.0GHz clock speed comparison between all the commonly recommended dual-cores. I guess it's off to google!
  15. Lots of returns? I'm a tech and I don't think I've ever seen a bad AMD cpu. Granted, I'm apple certified, but I've also been working on PC's for years as well and since 97 or so, and do some builds and what not, keep a windows pc for gaming(Ironically how I got into computers, lol) I've been using AMD and always good things to say about them and for all of my builds, I never used intel for my personal systems.
  16. this turning into AMD versus INTEL all over again!!!! As I said before AMD is not a bad CPU but there is a reason why AMD lost so much ground in the CPU market...they used to be quite even in market shares but now if you compare LATEST generations of CPU's from both companies well it's clear that INTEL as got the better of AMD!! please stop comparing AMD's X2 with INTEL's latest gen. the x2 release dates back to may 2005!!!! In pc years thats alot!!!!! :whistle:
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