This is my first time building my own system completely on my own. Shopping around online and reading this forum and others, I'm looking at a rig that's around $500. I'm on a tight budget and would like to keep the price approx. the same. My build:
How's this build look? Is there anything I'm forgetting? I'm the least confident on the motherboard choice; it's a little overwhelming with all the options and trying to keep the price low. I'd appreciate any help or advice you guys can give. Thanks.
actually looks pretty good (PSU might suck a** though so beware that you may need to get a new one...)
if your not planning on overclocking the system looks fine... except for the fact you can lose 20 $ on the e8500 and pick up an e8400 instead
also i'd go for a 4850 over a 9800 gt... despite the fact they are 30 - 40 $ more
also for about 10 - 20 $ more you can get 4 GB now a days... its the sweet spot in terms of pricing/quantity/performance
You need an Operating system... vista 64 is recommended if you don't already have one other wise windows xp 32 or 64 bit will be fine
as for a motherboard if you do plan on overclocking... you'll want a p45 as the have better overclocking features
I hear this one is able to get about 500 FSB w/ almost no tweaking... on quad cores... so on a dual you could probably get mid 500s or something... on a e8400 that would run you 4.5 ghz... thats pretty nice...
Good suggestions by jtt as usual. You might also replace the Logisys case/psu with this Rosewill case/psu. The Logisys psu has 10 amps on the 12v rail (it's a very old and dated design) the Rosewill is a more modern design and while i wouldn't normally recommend it, it's far superior to the Logisys one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I think if you could up the budget a bit, you'd have a higher quality build.
I would dump the e8500 for an e7200...save $80 and the e7200 will hit 3.16ghz on the stock cooler with a single BIOS adjustment. You lose some catch, but the $80 savings put into a better graphics card will do a lot more.
If you check slickdeals.net and fatwallet.com, you can now catch HD 4870's and gtx260's at about $200 with rebate. But you'd also need a decent $50-60 power supply (Corsair or Antec).
For another $20-25 you could get a top quality Asus P45 motherboard, $10-20 more gets you 4gb of RAM.
So, if you dump the E8500 for an e7200 (OC to 3.16ghz+...it's easy), buy a 4870 or gtx260, upgrade the mobo to a P45, add a better PSU and 2gb's more RAM = $605 and a much better gaming rig i my opinion. Once you have a 3.0ghz+ Core 2 CPU the limiter is really the GPU.
jtt knows his stuff. The only thing I would argue with is the case... just because I like Cooler Masters so much better. The Centurion (any of them) is a great case with excellent cooling and plenty of room. I really liked mine (the 534) for its all-metal construction and brushed aluminum front panel.
You should be able to get an E7200 to 4.0+ no problem. Get a Xigmatek HDT S-1283.
I'm keeping the same CPU and GPU for now. I don't think there's that much of a performance difference between the GPUs for what I'll be doing (light gaming, I don't play cutting-edge FPS's), and I can always upgrade that easily later. I really appreciate the advice on the motherboard, I feel a lot more confident now. The DVD burner, I have software already, and $4 for lightscribe is a nice option. And the case, I'll spend a little more for something a little more stylish. What the heck, right?
Nice job then.
I've also used some CoolerMaster cases, and inside they and the Rosewills look very similar; the Raidmax you've chosen also looks about the same, and already comes with all the fans.
Because of your light gaming, give the HD4670 a look. It uses a lot less power than the 9800GT and will run cooler. If you can wait a week or two, Cleeve will have updated his Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money article; I'm curious myself as to where the 4830 will fit in.
In any event, have fun with your build.
If you are certain you want to stick to a card in the $100 range then don't go for the 9800GT. That model is a rebranded 8800GT, all that's changed is the sticker on it. You could get the 8800GT with absolutely same performance for a bit less. My suggestion to you would be to take an 8800GT to save $25-30 and use that to get better RAM.
You could also go for the E8400 which is a bit cheaper and has no real performance loss, as the CPU will never limit you here. Just in case you want to squeeze another $20 cut or so.
Other people suggested the E7200 instead already, so I didn't bother to do that, but if this was my build I'd switch the CPU for the E7200 and take an HD4850 instead as GPU. With the Mushkin 4gb RAM. I'm fairly sure this would give you overall better performance, not that your current build is not good though.