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New build - decent gaming, reliable, ~600

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November 30, 2008 2:15:31 AM

My computer has begun to fail and I’ve decided to start shopping around for a new one. Budget is around $600 if possible.

I’d like to get something relatively cheap, reliable, and able to run games, though I don’t need the most amazing resolutions or graphics. I’ve used the $625 PC in the November PC builder article as a guideline, with a couple changes. Take into consideration the fact that I have never overclocked before, but would like to learn how to do so with this machine. I've made notes below some of the components, but feel free to suggest any appropriate changes.

MOTHERBOARD
$120 (-20 rebate)
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(Is it worth upgrading to this MB? Some comments seemed to suggest so. If not, I’m happy to go cheaper.)

PROCESSOR
$83
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core
Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MEMORY
$50
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
New DDR2 800 CL4 @ 1.8v~1.9v
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GRAPHICS CARD
$150 (-20 rebate)
SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0
x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(This is out of stock at newegg at the moment, although I can buy it elsewhere for a similar price. The main reason I was sticking with it is because, using the article as a guide, I’m pretty sure it will work with the system. If there are better options for equal or less cost, I’m all ears.)

OPTICAL DRIVE
$30
HP Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X
DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X
DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HARD DRIVE
$70
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA
3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(I don't currently have a backup system in place. Do you recommend getting a second internal hard drive, or a smaller external hard drive? Mobility isn't too much of an issue, since I've always been fine with just a small usb drive for that sort of thing.)

CASE
$70
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(This seems to come highly recommended. I’m happy to accept cheaper options, however.)

CPU COOLER
$19
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

POWER SOURCE
FREE - I already have this
Cooler Master 450W RS-450-ACLY
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(This is my current power source. If this will work, awesome! If I need a new one, please suggest one for me. I’m not worried about upgrade potential at this point – if I do upgrade, I can always buy the necessary power source later.)

MONITOR
FREE - I already have this. Included mostly for reference, if for some reason it matters let me know.
Acer 19” LCD 5MS DVI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Finally, is there anything else I'd need to purchase? Cables, fans, anything else?

Thank you in advance for any help, advice, or comments.
November 30, 2008 2:38:34 AM

If you're buying for sure get the antec 900 from newegg right now...It's on sale for $60 and it's a $140 case...buy now! If you do get a back up go external and disconnect when not backing up...I mean, what if you get a power surge...both hdd's will go and you have no backup
November 30, 2008 2:53:58 AM

Unfortunately, the Antec 900 seems to have sold out on newegg.

I hadn't thought of the power surge thing, so I'll stick with the external hard drive for a backup.
Related resources
November 30, 2008 2:54:45 AM

The other motherboards i'd recommend over that Gigabyte run about $88 after rebate, a $12 saving isn't worth downgrading to and your choice keeps the crossfire option alive.
The E5200 is a great budget CPU, the E7300 would be a better choice, but it's $37 more expensive. If you can wiggle free the extra money, it's a good option.
Memory is a good choice, at a good price, you may have to set the voltage for it in BIOS on post to 1.9v
Good graphic card, i wasn't happy to see how noisy it was though. Right now it's tough to beat the deal at $130 after rebate, but if you order and there's other cards available with good coolingat the same price, i would spring for one of them.
The Antec 300 is a good case, but one reason they picked it is that it was $50 with free shipping and had good combo deals with a power supply. A good deal right now on the NZXT Hush for $40 and free shipping, it's biased more towards quiet rather then cooling, but it's a decent case at a low price right now. It would save you $30 + about $15-$20 in shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or if you were looking for a more gaming style case with great cooling this NZXT Tempest would probably cost you the same as the Antec 300 if you factored in the shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'd go ahead and use your existing power supply.

The build you had listed is a great build, there are some changes that can be made to it, but most cost more $$$. If you do go with the Hush case, it would free up enough money to go with the E7300, i think it's a very sensible upgrade
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



November 30, 2008 4:05:42 AM

If the 7300 overclocked (or not) beats the 5200 overclocked, and if a relative newb can overclock both of them, then the 7300 sounds like a good deal. I'd read a bunch about the 5200 being great for that sort of thing, which is why I initially went with it.


A cheaper case also sounds like a good way to save some cash. I don't care about looks at all, just relatively cheap, sturdy, decent ventilation, and free shipping (good point on that last one!). So for another case option, how about this one? I have never heard of the manufacturer, but it looks/reviews alright:

Rosewill R5604-TBK 0.8mm Japanese Cold Rolled Steel Screw-less Dual 120mm Fans ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Then for similar graphics cards. Just looking through newegg for HD4850 cards in the 100-200 price range, I found these two:

POWERCOLOR AX4850 512MD3-PPH Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GV-R485ZL-512H Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

They have similar prices to the Sapphire card if I were to buy it elsewhere, and fewer noise complaints. From looking at the specs, they're pretty much the same (one comes overclocked already, is this a good thing?). If one of those comes recommended, it would be nice to be able to get everything from one supplier.
November 30, 2008 5:56:18 AM

I've used Rosewill cases in several builds, i've never had to retap screw holes and all have worked fine. Not a bad choice for a budget case. I like that the powercolor is factory overclocked, also see reports that it's quieter then the Sapphire. Good choices. The E7300 will usually overclock a bit better then the E5200, it's a higher binned chip. The overclock that Tom's got on the E5200 was a very, very, very good one. Many E5200s won't overclock that high.
November 30, 2008 2:04:56 PM

Alright, I'll switch in the Rosewill case, Powercolor GPU, and 7300, with a tentative plan of ordering everything BUT the motherboard today to take advantage of rebates and such. Unless someone comes up with problems or better ideas before then!

The motherboard is sold out at newegg, becoming available again around 12/3. I don't mind waiting a bit, although I think I found the same mobo for sale from buy.com: http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=209765490 for a similar price (minus rebate, since I won't have that from newegg anyway).
November 30, 2008 3:38:02 PM

One last mobo question. Is there any reason to NOT get this board instead of the gigabyte one (i.e. still possible to upgrade somewhat, still reliable, still potential for OC, and cheaper too)?
ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!