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Help with new system $500 Budget

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October 17, 2008 3:59:51 PM

Good Morning,

My p4 sony vaio died a fews months back and I have been without a gaming system since. Still don't have the cash to really get that uber gaming system I read about on the forums but I would like to build a rig for gaming on a very tight budget. I am not salvaging anything from my vaio so everything will be new. I need your help folks but please leave the enthusiast setups out because I don't need a motherboard that supports 16gigs of ram as i don't ever see myself buying that much ram. Heck i don't see myself buying 8 gigs of ram. I don't even know if this is feasible as I only have $500 dollars to buy everything including things like OS(trying to get vista home premium atleast unless I can get away playing newer games on XP Pro), and whatever else I need (thermal paste?) . I would like to just enjoy playing old/new computer games such as warhammer, crysis, and operation flashpoint 2 when it comes out without spending so much money on what seems like hardware I won't even get full potential out of ie mobos that support 16 gigs of ram I will never buy. When I hear that the radeon 4850 outperforms the nvidia 9800 gt by a few percentage points I can't help but ask do I really need to buy the 4850 if I can still enjoy playing a game with excellent framerates on a less expensive vid card? I don't know lots of clarification needed maybe i'm just thinking about all this wrong. I have never overclocked but I am willing to if it means better performance for my system especially if it can be acheived on stock setup as I don't think I will have enough to buy water cooling and all that. So without babbling anymore can you all suggest some setups and I will then setup wishlists on newegg. Thanks in advance.

More about : system 500 budget

October 17, 2008 4:09:50 PM

if you're on a tight budget you'll most likely want an athlon 64 x2 processor. they are cheap, like below $100 for a decent one, but they outperform the pentiums. for a video card you might wanna get an 8800gt or 9800gt. 9800gt is just a rebranded 8800gt with smaller die so there's reallly no difference, but the 8800gt is sold out at alot of places.
October 17, 2008 4:21:56 PM

I think you can get a decent P45 for around $100.

You can get a decent GPU for $70-100 (4670, 9800 GT), or if you can go up to $130-150, you can get a 4850.

HDD - Western Digital 640 GB - $75-80

CPU - E5200

2x2GB of DDR2 800 RAM for only $50 (most of the time newegg is running a deal like this).

Optical drive - $25 or so

Case - Antec 300 - good cooling and price

PSU - 500w or so - Antec, PC power and cooling, etc - proabably can get one for $50-80 or so

Vista Home Premium x64 - ~ $100

I think that puts you pretty close. That CPU is supposedly one heck of an overclocker, so you you could push it with an aftermarket cooler.

Go check some parts and come back with a list, and we'll try to help you narrow it down/improve it.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2008 5:01:16 PM

Well lets try this

FSP Group AX500-PN $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Vista Home Basic $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BIOSTAR GF8100 M2+ SE $59.99 + 8.25 ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) $37.99 - $10 CPU combo Deal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500AAJS 250GB $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Lite-On DVD Burner Black $23.99+8.97 ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PNY VCG96512GXEB GeForce 9600 GT 512MB $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAIDMAX xB ATX-528B Black $21.99 + $14.99 ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


And all this gives you a grand total of $501.12 with shipping. Yeah that's a really tight budget. If you can afford to spend a little more you should go with the MSI 9600GT that's overclocked with a dual slot cooler and maybe spring for a better case. If you have to cut back from somewhere on the build just don't do it by getting a cheaper PSU. That Forton PSU is good stuff as it has 18A on it's 12V rails and is pretty reliable.
October 17, 2008 5:03:39 PM

Do you need a monitor too o.O?
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2008 5:09:33 PM

By the way I chose the nForce board so you could use hybrid power and power down the 9600GT when you're not using it. Since thats not an EE certified power supply you may appreciate the power savings on your electric bill :D .
October 17, 2008 5:18:41 PM

I would steer clear of vista home basic. You can find an OEM of home premium if you search around for less than $100
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2008 5:23:51 PM

+1 on avoiding Vista Home Basic.

You should also make sure to pick a SATA DVD burner instead of the one suggested. There is no reason to put a big IDE ribbon cable in a new build.
October 17, 2008 5:27:49 PM

too bad this wasn't posted yesturday. tigerdirect was selling 1GB of Crucial Ballistix Dual Channel ram with a rebate that would get all your money back
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2008 5:29:20 PM

Good suggestions from megamanx. For the case and ps, you can substitute a rosewill r363 for $50 shipped (w 400w ps), and get 2x2gb gskill pc6400 for $59.99 (no rebates). I've been building systems for 16 years, but recently found a compaq presario for $199 at Fry's. I'm pretty happy with it. I may never build again. Dell has a vostro 200 with e7200 Intel cpu, 2 gigs of pc6400, 250gb hardrive and vista basic for $349. The power supply should be adequate for a mid range video card, such as the 3650. The deal is posted at fatwallet.
October 17, 2008 5:37:03 PM

GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2-800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


ZOTAC ZT-96TES3P-FSP GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Use your old case
KB/Mouse
Monotor

edit: Total $443.94
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2008 5:43:05 PM

Here is a bottom-dollar AMD build, followed by upgrade options:

Rosewill R220-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:R220-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147074

$29.99 -$10.00 Instant $19.99
I've built in this case. Plenty of room, and will take another 120mm fan up front.

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-DS4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Model #:GA-MA790GP-DS4H
Item #:N82E16813128352

$138.99 -$10.00 Instant $128.99
The integrated video on this board can handle Guild Wars at 50+ FPS on a 1440x900 monitor with good ( although not maxed) settings. Will take the latest 140W Phenoms.

Antec Basiq BP500UB 500W ATX12V Version 2.01 Active PFC Power Supply - OEM
Model #:BP500UB
Item #:N82E16817371019

$39.99 -$10.00 Instant $29.99
An Antec PSU at this price is hard to beat.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO5000DOBOX - Retail
Model #:ADO5000DOBOX
Item #:N82E16819103211

$59.99 $59.99
Good enough for now, but can be upgraded to a faster dual-,tri-, or quad-core CPU if desired.

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K - Retail
Model #:ADQVE1A16K
Item #:N82E16820211066

$32.99 $32.99
Runs on the JEDEC standard 1.8V.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #:ST3250410AS
Item #:N82E16822148262

$54.99 $54.99
There are more bang/buck drives, but this should be sufficient for a budget build.

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model iHAS220-08 - Retail
Model #:iHAS220-08
Item #:N82E16827106265

$28.99 $28.99
Retail drive includes all needed software and another SATA cable.

Subtotal: $355.93
Does not include O/S; pick whichever you want, and still come in under $500.

Upgrade options:
Processor can be upgraded to a Phenom. In that case, you can also use DDR2-1066 RAM on this board for maximum performance.
Add a video card if/when you need it. If you are satisfied with your available OS, an HD4670 will fit in your budget for around $90.
The PSU is good, but not great. You might prefer one of the Earthwatts models, or Corsair, or some other quality brand. The one chosen will have no trouble with this rig, however, even if you add a video card.
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2008 6:12:53 PM

Here's the Intel version:

Rosewill R220-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:R220-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147074

$29.99 -$10.00 Instant $19.99

ASRock P43Twins1600 LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: P43Twins1600 <<---- edited to remove smiley.
Item #:N82E16813157130

$89.99 -$10.00 Instant $79.99
There might be some slightly better choices, but not really on this budget. This board will give you what you need.

HIS Hightech H467QS512P Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #:H467QS512P
Item #:N82E16814161249

$89.99 $89.99
I like this one because of the dual-slot cooler, even though it shouldn't get too hot. If my 3850 croaked, I might get this one myself.

Antec Basiq BP500UB 500W ATX12V Version 2.01 Active PFC Power Supply - OEM
Model #:BP500UB
Item #:N82E16817371019

$39.99 -$10.00 Instant $29.99

Intel Pentium E2180 Allendale 2.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E2180 - Retail
Model #:BX80557E2180
Item #:N82E16819116052

$69.99 $69.99
An e5200 or e7200 would perform notably better, but this will do for this budget.

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K - Retail
Model #:ADQVE1A16K
Item #:N82E16820211066

$32.99 $32.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #:ST3250410AS
Item #:N82E16822148262

$54.99 $54.99

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-08 - Retail
Model #:iHAS120-08
Item #:N82E16827106264
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy

$25.99 $25.99

Subtotal: $403.92
Add your OS of choice. By the time you pay shipping, getting Vista even for a good price may bust the budget, unless it has some wiggle room.

Upgrade options:
A faster CPU would be nice here. There's no CPU cooler in this budget build, so you won't be able to OC the 2180 too much. Given the choice, I'd rather get the faster CPU at the outset.
A 500W PSU is big enough, but there are nicer ones.
October 17, 2008 6:57:19 PM

Hey Buddy,

I hope all is well. It seems as though you have some experience with computer, as you are willing to build one yourself. There are several good suggestions here, some may seem more of the same. Though at the same time they differ quite a bit.

I see you talking about gaming, and with some pretty demanding games as well, I doubt you are looking for a uber high-resolution gaming experience, just something playable and enjoyable for your down time.

It seems most posts on here are pushing for the AMD platforms. I am not biased to either CPU except for whom wears the performance crown a the time of purchasing. Though the margin is small, I would have to suggest Intel.

500 Dollars is a good amount to spend on a computer. I think most of us are expecting that you already have a monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers. I don't fully understand why you would want to go with vista, you say for gaming, but DX10 isn't worth the plunge for vista, especially with a mid-range computer such as this. I would highly suggest XPMCE. Cheap and easy to find. Also, it is important to not cheap out on any of the parts, even though you have a budget, it is essential to get the right component within it's class.

Anyways, on with the specs! Here is what I would do!

Case - Get a good case. Something you will have room to put more stuff in later if you decide. And something that isn't going to fold up because it's made of cheap aluminum either.
Antec Three Hundred Black Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard - This motherboard is small, but also from one of the greatest manufactures due to the terrific customer support. It does lack dual channel support, but I guarantee, you will not notice with any application or game you will run on this machine. EVGA 630i - 7150 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - The intel Core 2 Duo E8400 is an awesome CPU that you would not need to overclock at all to get awesome performance from.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - CORSAIR 2GB of Ram is the perfect amount for all duties on a small box like this build, especially with XP. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card - Again I am going with EVGA because of there awsome customer support, and lifetime warranty, as with the motherboard. The 8600GT GPU will give you enough horsepower for your games at mostly high setting and medium resolution with exceptional framerates above 50 in most game.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive - If you just plan to play games and install some programs, the cheaper you can get the better, I would suggest at least 120 Gigs. The problem is the smaller hard drives are not much less expensive than the larger ones, so you might as well go with the price/size target, or at least close. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD drive - There is no reason you can't use the cd drive form your dead Vaio, unless, it too is dead. But expect to pay 25 dollars for one.

Power supply - No reason to cheap out here, no excuse either. Since this is only a small build, you don't need much of a high output power supply, just something that will last. Antec makes great products and also offer a great warranty. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Price

Case - 60.00
Mother board - 88.00 (68.00 after 20.00 mail in reabte)
CPU - 165.00
RAM - 48.00 (18.00 after 30.00 mail in reabte)
Video Card - 80.00 (40.00 after 40.00 mail in reabte)
Hard Drive - 70.00
CD Drive - Free, please use the one from your Vaio!
Power Supply - 30.00

Total Before Rebates = 541.00
Total After rebates = 451.00

Toss in a copy of Windows and you are aiming right around 515.00! This is a sweet little rig for the price! Very nice indeed. It's important to look around and find what you really like, but I suggest all these manufactures because the warranties on each of them are great, so if anything goes wrong, most parts can be replaced. If you have any questions, get in contact! I hope you like this system as I think it would suit perfectly!

Best,
Antonio

October 17, 2008 7:12:44 PM

o1die said:
Good suggestions from megamanx. For the case and ps, you can substitute a rosewill r363 for $50 shipped (w 400w ps), and get 2x2gb gskill pc6400 for $59.99 (no rebates). I've been building systems for 16 years, but recently found a compaq presario for $199 at Fry's. I'm pretty happy with it. I may never build again. Dell has a vostro 200 with e7200 Intel cpu, 2 gigs of pc6400, 250gb hardrive and vista basic for $349. The power supply should be adequate for a mid range video card, such as the 3650. The deal is posted at fatwallet.


I think the Dell deal is really sweet.
You can add a Full Size 19" monitor for $90
Even if you don't want it, you can sell it for $120-$150 on Craigslist.

The PSU is not too bad and you can toss in a decent gaming card like the 4670 or 9600GT and you should be set for around $400-$425 is you take into account Monitor Resale profits.
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2008 7:13:52 PM

Yeah, the SATA version costs a few bucks more

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but I was trying to fit in enough to suggest a 9600 GT, and it still went a little over a dollar over with shipping ^_^. Anyway the Antec Basiq is O.k, but the Fortron is a better quality PSU and has one more AMP on both 12v rails. The Antec Earthwatts series is also of a better quality than the Antec Basiq.

If you could use your old case and optical drive you may be able to go with a 9800GT for the GPU. It's not like your old computer is going to be able to use those anyway ^_^. I recommend staying away from any 8600 or 9500 series cards. The cheapest card I would recommend getting would be a Radeon 4670, since going any lower won't really allow you to game unless you start putting your settings at low quality. The Radeon 4670 will let you play Crysis on medium, medium high depending on your resolution. The 9600GT is significantly faster, while the 9800GT is much faster and should allow you to play Crysis on high and have decent settings on Warhammer.
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2008 9:36:06 PM

For $50, I'd absolutely choose an Antec Earthwatts, including over the FSP. FSP isn't bad at all, but the Antec has active PFC and is more efficient. Note also, that like many FSP PSUs, the claimed wattage is the peak; really it is a 450W PSU. That isn't necessarily a problem, but the Antec is a 500W PSU and I think the peak is higher. Even the Basiq has active PFC, but it is not as efficient. I'm not sure, but I think it may be built by FSP! Anyone know for sure?
Anyway, assuming its PSU can handle a 4670 (no PCIE power connector is required), and the case has acceptable cooling, that Dell actually does look like a decent deal.
!