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advice on <$1000 Build: upgradeable, moderate gaming rig

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Last response: in Systems
September 2, 2008 6:47:32 AM

Hey all,

first time builder here, looking for general advice and feedback. I think everything is compatible... but once again this is my first build. Not looking to do any real overclocking, but I may mess around with some smaller things.

Purpose: Cheap, upgradeable, moderate gaming rig.

Target Price: <$1000

Current build (~$900*):
PSU: $90 Thermaltake 550W ATX
CPU: $50 Athlon BE-2400 (dual core, 2.3GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 65W) (no stock fan or heatsink... should I bother getting one?)
Mobo: $70 Biostar A770 A2+ (cheapish... but I think it gets the job done. But as far as upgrade-ability, I dunno)
RAM: $75 Corsair XMS2 DHS 2x2GB (cas 4, 4-4-4-12)
GPU: $100 Biostar GeForce 8800 GT (512MB, 112 streams, 600MHz core)
HDD: $80 Seagate Barracuda 500GB, 32MB Cache

Monitor: $200 Asus 22" (already bought, and it's beautiful!)
Case: $50 Thermaltake M9
Optical: $30 Lite-On DVD/CD burner w/ Litescribe
Sound: $25 Creative Soundblaster SB0570
Wireless: $20 Gigabyte GN-WP01GS (apt complex only has wireless)
OS: $100 Vista Premium 64Bit

I also am looking at a similarly priced build with a Rosewill RX630 psu instead, but I intuitively trust it less.

Any advice/pointers are more than welcome!



*prices from with many combo deals which reduce the overall price by about $75

More about : advice 1000 build upgradeable moderate gaming rig

September 2, 2008 2:38:06 PM

well, you do need a heatsink of some sort.

I'd say this CPU for moderate power
this one doesn't come with a heatsink either, but you get alot more performance out of it.

you could try ebay for a stock heatsink if you waant to go real cheap, but I'd just get a cheap aftermarket one from ebay if I were you.
this mobo has newer chips, and comes with lots of combo deals, for not much more.

the ea500 and sonata is a better deal than what you are looking at.

I bet you can get a much cheaper wireless card that will still do the job. you might want to try one with a remote antena too, that should get the antenea away from any electronic noise caused by the computer itself.

you might find a used 8800 localy for less than the $100 you are looking to spend, now that everyone is upgrading to newer and better cards.
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September 2, 2008 4:15:21 PM

+1 on psu change, that psu case combo is a very good one. and proximon suggested mobo has great sound so wouldn't need sound card. and 4850 is big improvement.

wd 640gb is $5 more for 140 more gb hard to pass that up.

ram - get 1.8v ddr2 800. probably chose what you did due to lower cl but they achieved that by upping the voltage so not better. Get standard 1.8v and can overclock if you need to.
September 2, 2008 4:21:32 PM

if you change to that mobo you would want to change to intel cpu. $170 will get you all you need (e8400). you should be able to get all of that for under 1k. have done several of these on other posts.

cpu 170 (e8400)
gpu 175 (4850)
mobo 140 (p45)
hdd - 85 (wd 640gb)
ram - $70 (mushkin 1.8v after rebate 2x2gb)
case/psu - $100 (antec sonata III with antec 500w earthwatts)
vista - 100
dvd - 30 (your choice)

total is $870 with room for wireless and heatsink if you want to OC.
September 2, 2008 5:03:58 PM

if monitor was supposed to fit in the 1k then you can drop down to p43 mobo (asus p5ql) for $95. which would put you at $815.
September 2, 2008 7:24:56 PM

you all are a huge help, thanks!

I'll be back with more :-)
September 4, 2008 8:51:33 PM

Righto, decided to go with intel (after everyone pushed me that way. See the bottom of here for what I'm looking at.
September 4, 2008 9:17:25 PM

for $85 you can get 640gb wd hdd. so $5 for 140gb more. well worth it. :) 
September 4, 2008 11:53:04 PM

yeah but I really don't need the space and the seagate has a 32MB cache... I figure that will make more of a difference to me than the extra space. I have a 40G hdd now, and it's only 80% full... blasphemy I know :-p

thx though!
September 5, 2008 1:12:05 AM

actually there have been studies and the 32mb 500g drive and the 16mb 640b drive are pretty much even. with each of them winning a couple of categories but not by much. so with them being even why not have the extra space? but again, it isn't going to make or break your system, just an idea. :) 

enjoy your system! :) 
September 5, 2008 6:33:31 AM

hm, I'll have to look more into that. Thanks for the heads up!