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Yet another budget gaming build

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March 17, 2009 12:27:05 AM

Hello, I'm a first time builder looking to build a PC for gaming and everyday use, on a tight budget. I'm trying to keep it under $800 USD, including OS. I already have a 22" (1680x1050) monitor, speakers, and keyboard (but may need a new mouse).

Here's the build I'm currently considering. I would like opinions, tips, known compatibility issues.

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 RC-590-KKN1-GP Black SECC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

CPU: Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail with XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket and ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

Video Card: EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Optical Drive: LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM


I do have a few questions more:
Will the CPU cooler fit on this board and in this case?
Is that PSU overkill? I don't want to get anything that won't give me enough juice or will peter out in a few months.
I intend to use this for everyday activity (internet, work, etc.) as well as gaming, and would like it to last a few years (though upgrades are certainly an option later down the line). Should I be overclocking?

More about : budget gaming build

March 17, 2009 1:18:31 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16827129032 LG DVD Drive $22
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16822136319 WD 640GB HD WD6401AALS $80 (32MB cache)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811129042 Antec 300 case $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16835233003 Xigma CPU Cooler $36 - $10MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820145590 4GB DDR2 800 $45 - $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814125256 1GB 4870 $200 - $30 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDet...st=Combo.165025 Phenom II 720BE and Biostar 790GX $212
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... OCZ 600W $70 - $20 MIR

$720 - $90 MIR + $99 for OS

In this build the CPU and GPU are fairly decent steps up.

Concerning your build your PSU isn't really overkill but anything more would be, you could go as low as a 450W PSU given the CPU and GPU you chose.
March 17, 2009 1:47:32 AM

If you want to go amd there is that route, but, gotta know if he is willing to make the amd or intel build.

The pII 720 tricore is a cpu mainly used for gaming and can keep up quite a bit with the latest dual cores for intel. the PII 940be is a quadcore for "futureproof".

you've got a descent build of your own on the intel side, would just change the cpu to an e8400(eventhough the e5200 can clock just as high with a big multiplier).

The 9800gtx could be changed to a GTX 250 which is a cheaper more upgraded brand of the 9800gtx or go higher to a gtx 260 if you want to keep it on nvidia.

go for a 1gb 4870 for ati.

the corsair 650tx is a nice psu and will be just fine but, if you do decide to sli you will need a motherboard change(750i-790i boards) and psu change. for ati, you will need again a motherboard change(more pci-e x15 slots) but same brand and a psu change.





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March 17, 2009 2:03:34 AM

I'm constantly warned against AMD, but it wouldn't kill me to consider it. I doubt I'll be doing SLI or Crossfire, but if it's not too big a price hike I'll get a compatible board just in case.
March 17, 2009 2:11:22 AM

Well, first, do you want to stick with intel, or go intel?..


if you go Intel, recommended motherboard is the UD3P gigabyte.
$134.99 with a rebate.
March 17, 2009 2:14:00 AM

Aporia said:
I'm constantly warned against AMD, but it wouldn't kill me to consider it. I doubt I'll be doing SLI or Crossfire, but if it's not too big a price hike I'll get a compatible board just in case.



Four years ago intel sold Pentium 4 cpu's that were slow and hot. AMD had Athlon 64 and were king of the hill .
Today the fastest cpu is intel Ci7 , but the best gaming value is AMD . The combo listed above is a serious kickass combo with much more power than the build you suggested . Its more powerful than an intel e8500 in most games . The poor e5200 would just get sand kicked in its face

Quality wise Ive had no problems using AMD cpu's .
March 17, 2009 2:18:00 AM

Thats not mostly true, the 720be can be better than the e8500, but, in certain games its not, these 2 do bump heads for the most part. Its a tri-core yes, but, it doesn't mean it's utilizing all 3 cores.

There both hot on the market, not temperature wise, gaming wise, there both spectacular.

Its really your pick O.P. Intel or AMD, AMD has made its comeback for budget builders, i will confess to that. the x4 940 is basically an alternative for the i7 core build.

x3 720be would be pretty neat.
March 17, 2009 2:35:40 AM

fullmetall said:
Thats not mostly true, the 720be can be better than the e8500, but, in certain games its not, these 2 do bump heads for the most part. Its a tri-core yes, but, it doesn't mean it's utilizing all 3 cores.

There both hot on the market, not temperature wise, gaming wise, there both spectacular.

Its really your pick O.P. Intel or AMD, AMD has made its comeback for budget builders, i will confess to that. the x4 940 is basically an alternative for the i7 core build.

x3 720be would be pretty neat.



I will stand by my statement that the 720 be is better than an e8500 in MOST games . In games that use a single core one 720 core at 2.8 GHz is usually better than an e8500 at 3.16 GHz . In games that can use all 3 cores it will have a definite advantage .

And lets keep in mind that the intel $800 build uses an e5200 , not the much faster e8500

The AMD wins in terms of raw power , and since AM3 chips will slot right in to that mobo you are not buying the last of a dying platform like you do when you buy socket 775 intel
March 17, 2009 2:35:44 AM

I got one of those Athlon 64s four years ago and I've only had good experiences with it. It's just that the impression I got is that recently Intel has far outshined AMD. Still, I'm not dead set against AMD and for that price it's hard to say no. I'm taking a look at it...

What do you think of that Biostar mobo?
March 17, 2009 2:46:04 AM

I havent used a biostar board . The newegg reviews are pretty reasonable .

And it does use the best motherboard chipset for AMD .

March 17, 2009 4:51:31 AM

Hey guys. I'm still playing around, and I'm wondering: for an Intel build, what do you think of the E7400?
March 17, 2009 8:41:03 AM

Aporia said:
Hey guys. I'm still playing around, and I'm wondering: for an Intel build, what do you think of the E7400?



I have an e7300 in this computer . Its a good chip , easy to overclock . Mines at 3.33 Ghz and benches higher than an e8400 . It could easily go higher but at that speed its almost never spinning up the fan of the [ aftermarket ] heat sink to the point where I can hear it .

The e7400 is the exact same chip

Neither has the power of the AMD

March 17, 2009 8:53:32 AM

Outlander_04 said:
I will stand by my statement that the 720 be is better than an e8500 in MOST games . In games that use a single core one 720 core at 2.8 GHz is usually better than an e8500 at 3.16 GHz . In games that can use all 3 cores it will have a definite advantage .

I'm gonna have to disagree with that statement, the wolfdale cores are faster clock for clock than the Phenom II's. In single threaded games the E8500 is better, in multithreaded, the 720. I do agree though that there is much more value going for the AMD chip. The Wolfdale cores will also OC higher than the phenom II's, so if the OP will OC then that is something to keep in mind as well. 3.8 is about as high as I have seen a 720 go on air cooling, I don't know if water cooling would make a difference or if 3.8 is the wall for that chip, but you can get the wolfdale processors to 4.2 on air, 4.6 on wc. That being said, I recommend going for the biostar+720 combo as well, you just can't beat that value, especially working with an $800 budget and the 720 is hands down better than the E5200 or E7400, which would be the OP's other options at this price point.
March 17, 2009 9:55:53 AM

My issue when comparing the 720be and the E8500 in single thread games and saying there is an advantage is that the real world difference (the one you feel when playing the game) is zero. These single thread games are either maxed out or going to be GPU limited with either CPUs the only differene is the benchmark numbers.

March 17, 2009 10:59:45 AM

MykC said:
My issue when comparing the 720be and the E8500 in single thread games and saying there is an advantage is that the real world difference (the one you feel when playing the game) is zero. These single thread games are either maxed out or going to be GPU limited with either CPUs the only differene is the benchmark numbers.

Yes thats true, just like you won't see a difference between 50 and 60 FPS in a game...but that doesn't mean its not there.
March 17, 2009 12:14:52 PM

So, getting the amd 3 chip will allow you to get the am2+ equipment to run it and upgrade fully later on if needed to am3 motherboard/ddr3 memory.

IMO: PII x3 720BE
Asus/Gigabyte 780g -790x or the combo deal is probably best.
DDR2 800 - ocz/g.skills/mushkin/ (corsair- for cheap price but, looser timings).
4870 1gb/gtx250-260.
WD hdd black: 320gb-640gb (if you have the money).
xigmatek s1283

Basically the build mykc made


March 17, 2009 7:01:37 PM

xthekidx said:
Yes thats true, just like you won't see a difference between 50 and 60 FPS in a game...but that doesn't mean its not there.



I agree with MykC that the differences are tiny . They are not close to 10 fps in any real world situation . Usually one is better than the other [ depending on the game ] by a fraction of a fps .

But one is much better value , and manages that result at 2.8 GHz
March 17, 2009 8:29:32 PM

Yeah I know, I was just making a point. Basically splitting hairs, I didn't mean to say the differences were 10 FPS, probably more like 55 vs 58 or something miniscule like that. While I believe that looking purely at performance I would pick an E8500 over the 720 BE, the Value of the 720 is just unbeatable, especially in a -$45 combo deal, and if I were building a system at this price point it would definitely be my choice for the CPU.
March 17, 2009 10:42:53 PM

720 BE puts the hurt on the E8400, more often than not it gets better framerates, again miniscule difference but its still there. AMD has been hurting for some revenue which is why their prices are so good right now, which is good news for consumers. Unless you are very opposed to an AMD build, I think the 720 is the best option for you.
March 17, 2009 11:27:11 PM

Okay. I was just looking through a catalog for a local parts store and they have the E8400 for a great price... a bit cheaper than the 720.

If I go with the 720, would you say this is a good mobo for it: GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail? I'm not sure about that Biostar board.

Also, is the Xigmatek S1283 good with the AMD chips/boards, or is there a better for a similar price? (From what I can see, just about every AM2 compatible cooler blows up/down instead of back out of the case, will this be a huge problem?)

By the way, I just want to say that you all have been very helpful, and I appreciate it.
March 17, 2009 11:35:35 PM

The S1283v is the one to look at for am2+ boards.

the 770 isnt bad, neither is the 780g if its not to much.
March 18, 2009 12:56:04 AM
March 18, 2009 1:04:53 AM

I think you might want a motherboard with SB750, for the ACC. Rumor has it, that it can unlock the fourth core on the X3. Whether or not that 4th core will function for you, isn't certain, but others have had success with their free extra core. I'm not certain if the SB700 on that 770 board will do this for you.
March 18, 2009 1:07:33 AM

I have that same exact case, its a nice case. The build looks good.
March 18, 2009 1:34:44 AM

I would go for the SB750 board, if you want a higher quality board than the Biostar then look at this, with the combo savings its only like $15 more and much better:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Or if you have your heart set on that mobo then that CPU and cooler combo you found is excellent, its probably top 3 CPU coolers for AM2+
!