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Sub-$800 Build

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December 3, 2008 9:55:47 PM

I'm planning on building a new computer sometime in the next few months. I'm planning on using it for gaming, watching movies, and a little editing/conversion. I'm not planning on overclocking (at least not right away), so I'm sticking with a stock cooler. I will be running at 1680x1050 resolution. I'm using a laptop with integrated Intel graphics now, so even a constant 30fps on my games will be heaven! Here's what I'm thinking:

GPU - Radeon HD 4830 or GeForce 9800 GT ($125)
CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 ($160)
Mobo - GA-EP45-DS3L 775 ATX Motherboard ($130)
RAM - 4GB DDR2-800 ($50)
HD - Samsung 320GB SATA ($55)
DVD - Samsung 12x DL 20x DVDRW Burner ($25)
OS - Windows Vista Premium 64bit OEM ($100)
Case - XION case & 480W ATX12V PSU ($50)

That comes out to around $700, so I have some room for extra goodies :D 
This will be my first personal build, but my third overall. My other two were identical with E8400, 8800GT, 4GB DDR2-800, ASUS idr the model number, and 320GB HD.

More about : 800 build

December 3, 2008 10:17:40 PM

u should definitely get a better power supply (assuming the power supply is Xion too). if u buy a cheap one, its going to mess up eventually and ruin who knows how many pieces with it.
December 3, 2008 10:20:01 PM

Alright, what kind of psu would you recommend? I won't need anything too powerful, but I want to leave the possibility of OC and expansion open.
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December 3, 2008 10:20:40 PM

I would look at another case if that is the Xion Onyx case. I've had one for a while but I'm much happier with my Antec 900 and it cools SO much better. Also I didn't find the Onyx case appealing after a while. Other than that it's a great build. Also mine came with a 500W Xion PSU, it lasted over a year, but then died on a day it hit 90F+ outside, I would spend your extra on a different case+independent PSU from a brand like Antec, or Corsair.

Corsair 55VX, A little expensive but it's a solid PSU Corsair makes some of the best:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 3, 2008 10:22:03 PM

Tagan makes a great 700w SLI certified PSU for pretty cheap.
December 3, 2008 10:25:39 PM

Actually it's the Xion Solaris case. The Antec 900 is too expensive for what I need, and cooling isn't one of my necessities at the moment. I'm not really how to buy a power supply, i.e. what to look for, because most of the things on the market seemed to be geared toward gamers/OCers. 500W should be plenty for now (right?), but I don't even know what brands are reputable in that category.
December 3, 2008 10:27:42 PM

mersonix said:
Tagan makes a great 700w SLI certified PSU for pretty cheap.


The motherboard doesn't support SLI or Crossfire. Anything over 500watts is overkill since he will be limited to 1 GPU.
December 3, 2008 10:28:47 PM

I'm less concerned about the case right now than the PSU. I'm planning on going to Micro Center to get most of these things, so I'll probably decide on my favorite case there. But besides the power supply, do you think that the other components are balanced for an entry level gaming system?
December 3, 2008 10:31:26 PM

Antec, PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, OCZ - some of the most reliable PSU brands. try to get an 80+ certified PSU (more power efficiency and more reliability).

that being said, i think this one is the most affordable 80+ certified PSU's around: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

remember that if u buy a good one now, u wont need to buy one for ur next build after this one and u'll be able to upgrade to a much more powerful video card down the road.


*edit*
my sister has the Xion solaris case. its ok for short term PC use and its quiet. i dont know how it is for gaming. personally i'd go for the antec 300 or the cooler master from above, but thats ur choice. i know ur going to be limited by going to microcenter instead of getting the most selection/deals online, but here is the link anyway:

http://www.buy.com/prod/antec-three-hundred-atx-compute...
December 3, 2008 10:32:58 PM

Yes, but 650W is probably more than what I'm looking for, even if I want it for my next system.

edit: The reason I want to go to Micro Center is 1) Save money on shipping, could be around $30, 2) It's nice to see your case and components first hand before you actually buy them, 3) I had a bad experience with NewEgg where I had to return a case and it cost $30 on shipping

So if I need to, I will buy from NewEgg, but personally, Micro Center is more convenient, and has cheaper prices on some things.
December 3, 2008 10:44:24 PM

Oh, I see. So should I expect to pay around $50 for a decent power supply?
December 3, 2008 10:49:23 PM

xion psus are hurting...avoid that....if you get into heavy editing and conversion consider a 2nd drive now or down the road...in my experience with converts...having it convert from a file on disk1 and outputting to disk2 speeds the converts...
December 3, 2008 10:54:40 PM

I probably will get an extra drive eventually. I might get a 500GB one now instead, since they're pretty cheap. I do, however, have an external drive. But, by "editing and conversion" I mean converting DVDs for use on my iPod :p  It takes so long on my laptop now (~12hours a movie) that I felt I should mention it. I should probably also mention that I have 2 IDE CD drives that I'll probably use, just because I can... but that shouldn't really affect things.
December 3, 2008 11:03:21 PM

also, what games do u plan on playing? do u like to have AA on? those cards might be powerful enough, but it all depends on what games u play and how much eye candy u want.
December 3, 2008 11:08:23 PM

well, right now I don't have that many games... mostly some RTSs, and a couple FPSs like Halo 1 lol... I might want to get COD4 later down the road, or maybe Crysis. But what card would you recommend in this price range? Should I get a less powerful CPU or less RAM to get a more powerful GPU? Remember, I'd just be happy with a constant 30fps; I'm coming from integrated graphics!
December 3, 2008 11:29:51 PM

ah ok, the Radeon HD 4830/GeForce 9800 GT/Geforce 8800 GT should all be fine for what you want to play (with the exception of Crysis, which kills expensive video cards too).
December 3, 2008 11:31:36 PM

well yeah, I just want Crysis to push my system to its limits. I'm also willing to lower settings, if I must; once again, I'm used to integrated, where I have to lower the settings all the way and still get <10fps!
December 3, 2008 11:42:05 PM

brendano257 said:
I would look at another case if that is the Xion Onyx case. I've had one for a while but I'm much happier with my Antec 900 and it cools SO much better. Also I didn't find the Onyx case appealing after a while. Other than that it's a great build. Also mine came with a 500W Xion PSU, it lasted over a year, but then died on a day it hit 90F+ outside, I would spend your extra on a different case+independent PSU from a brand like Antec, or Corsair.

Corsair 55VX, A little expensive but it's a solid PSU Corsair makes some of the best:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I agree with both. I just bought the Antec 900 last week on the EGG for $60(black friday sale) and after putting all my crap into it, I would definitly say it's worth it's full price. The Corsair 550vx is a good PSU too put one in my Bro's pc when I built it. Not sure how much the 550VX is nowadays but there are alot of other great PSU at 550w that are between $75 and $100 on www.newegg.com
December 3, 2008 11:47:44 PM

I've looked at the 900, it looks like it gets great airflow, but its too expensive, especially because it doesn't have a 3.5in slot for a card reader, and only 3 DVD slots. It looks nice, but its out of my price range. And for the PSU, I'll probably just get a $50 range one. One question- will I have to/should I make sure that the one I'm buying has PCIe connections? I'm not sure if these graphics cards need external power.
December 4, 2008 12:12:46 AM

i too bought the antec 900 on black friday for $60. it does come with a 3.5" slot converter metal thingie (hard to describe lol) but i agree that it costs too much to put within his budget.

forgot to mention earlier...things u want to look for in a PSU:
- brand
- total amps on 12V rail
- video card connectors
- total watts

the newer high end video cards (ATI 4870 X2 and Nvidia GTX 280) require a 6 and 8 pin connector. anyway, u only need a 6 pin power connector for the video card ur going to get.

*edit* i found some 6 to 8 pin adapters so i guess u dont have to worry too much about that. just make sure u have enough watts for future cards and ur set.
December 4, 2008 12:15:52 AM

Yes but then I have no room for my 2 CD drives now do I? Really, my case is the least important thing right now. I'll just pick out something that looks nice and has decent air flow at Micro Center. There's a nice Gigabyte case I used in another build with 4 5.25" slots and 1 3.5", plus 3 or 4 HD spots inside. It was $30, and you can't beat that price.
December 4, 2008 10:49:57 AM

Actually, there are three drive bays and i could fit 6 HDD in my case. Just chillz bro, just trying to help out. Anyways, I would strongly suggest the OCZ PSU and as far video card I have an EVGA 8800gt and it handles anything I throw at it pretty well(COD 4, Supreme Commander etc), so I would sugest this 9800gt which is basically a revised 8800gt http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it has a $20 rebate(EVGA will give you the rebate) plus it has dual slot cooling which will definitly help you on heat issues. And just for hell of it, heres a couple more cases both have free shipping, cost about $40 and look like they would have good cooling... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 4, 2008 6:14:17 PM

Okay, I'll try to get something like that. I would, however, prefer one that doesn't have a dual-slot cooler, so it doesn't block a pcie x1 or a pci slot.

Anyways guys, I think most of my questions have been answered. I won't actually buy it until after the holidays, but I'll be sure to take you're advice into account. Unless there are any more comments?
!