$400 Gaming System

For XMas, I'm going to build my little brother his first gaming system. Problem 1: I don't have tons of cash. So, this won't be blazing fast. Then again, he isn't playing much more than World of Warcraft and maybe Medieval: Total War.

Problem 2: The only OS I have is a copy of Windows XP 64-Bit. I also have a copy of Windows Vista Server 2008 32-bit lying around though.

Now, my current rig is a P965 with a E4300 oc'ed to 2.4 gigahertz, with an 8800GT (stock clock) and 2 gigs of RAM. XP 64-bit. I'm thinking of canablizing that graphics card, and maybe the DVD player and Power Supply, unless I can somehow muster together a system that will play well for $400 with the PS, dvd player and graphics card included.

Anyone have an recommendations of how to do this?
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  1. there was a guide to build one under 500 so if u are willing to bump your price up a little then http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-marathon,2058.html
  2. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121002

    HEC case with 585 watt PSU for 60, cheaper PSU I know, but showing 2 12v+ rails, one at 19 amps, the other at 20, so it may do ok. Think it's got free shipping too.

    ATI 4670 video card, 80 bucks but 65 after mail in rebate


    2 gb A-DATA ddr2 pc6400 for 26 bucks-free shipping


    Foxconn AM2+ board with free shipping for 54 bucks...should also be able to pop a phenom chip in later if you want.


    Athlon X2 5200+ for 66 bucks. Free shipping as well.


    So 286 for that setup, before the one rebate. Most of the stuff is free shipping. If you want you could even go so far as to grab him a 19 or 17 inch widescreen monitor. Or grab a better video card and maybe vista home premium.
  3. ^Good set up except for PSU. I would not trust that PSU. Antec has good PSUs for a cheap price. Also consider swapping out your 8800GT and get your self a 9800GT (~$100 after MIR @ newegg). Also get a Antec 300.
  4. Uhm, I thought the 8800gt and 9800gt were virtually the same card? If that's the case, maybe look at a 4830 as those are about that same price point as well. Granted the PSU may be suspect. The reason I chose it was because he said he was on a budget. On paper it looks like it would be ok if you don't put too much on it. But if you can afford to spend more, then yeah, get something better. But for a budget it might be ok.
  5. Well i'll admit to being a cheap bastard, but how about you build yourself a new system and gift your brother with your old system? Would that open up a bit more in the budget?
  6. @dirtmountain: no. I've lost faith in the quality of PC games, so I don't game a lot on them anymore. I'm out for a laptop during the after christmas sales. I still have my Xbox 360, and all the games I care to play are on it.

    @ohiou_grad: yep, same card. Think Shadow was thinking I was going to buy an 8800GT, no if I buy a new card, it'll be a 9800GT or an equivalent Radeon piece. And I'm digging the setup you have, but I think I'll shell out another $20 for 2 more gigs of ram, and another $22 for a DVD player (his current PC has a CD reader, yah that old, so there is no way I'm gonna salvage that).

    So far, what I've come up with is:

    LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - $23.99

    HEC 6C28BBX585 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 585W Power Supply - $59.99

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3160815AS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - $41.99

    MSI N9600GT-T2D512-OC GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - $94.99 (w/ $20 mail in rebate)

    OCZ Fatal1ty Edition 4GB (2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - $42.99

    ASUS M3A-H/HDMI AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard -
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO5000DOBOX -

    $120.99 for the combo.

    Total comes to $400.44 w/shipping. Actually, my brother just informed me that due to my being a student of the school I go to, I get a free copy of any Microsoft product. I'm already downloading a copy of Ultimate 64-bit, Office Pro 2007, and some other stuff. Too bad I can't legally sell it to pay for the computer :(

    And as far as monitors go, he already has a 20 inch Trinitron. Yes its bulky and old looking, but it works, and it has fantastic color (something flat screens lack for any small amount of money).

    And btw, the reason I didn't go with your mobo recommendation ohiou wasn't because it was bad, but because I thought PCIe 2.0 support would be nice if he ever wants to upgrade the card. Anything ATI 4850 and up pretty much requires it, so one day when there is GTX 280 power at the $100 price point, and quad cores are cheap, it'd be good to know he can just put those two in and be loaded for bear.
  7. As I said, I was looking at cheap. Again, the PSU with that combo should run what you want, but you may want to look at a better one like the others suggested. I've never used that brand myself, but for the price, it looks decent.

    On the board, I was just showing something he could pop a quad in that was cheap. It's up to you though. They did have a biostar board I think for 99 that supported crossfire, so maybe another option there as well.
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