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Help me fill in the blanks on this budget build

Last response: in Systems
April 2, 2009 4:56:51 AM

Well, two of the computers in my house recently died out. Have another thread on it, but I'm expecting the worst so I'm planning a parts list in case they don't come back alive. :cry: 

I haven't built a computer in years so I'm out of the loop on which models to look for. I read that even prebuilts nowadays can get even cheaper than buying your own parts, so that's also something I'm considering...

I'm trying to build a budget computer (Under 550$ each hopefully? 400+ would be awesome but something tells me that ain't happening), that can at the very least play Left4Dead at medium settings. It's not for me, but for my siblings. :wahoo:  I guess Diablo 3 and SC2 would be better benchmarks? I think they'd kill me if I build one that couldn't play them although I don't think system requirements are out yet.

I'm deathly afraid of parts being incompatible. Upgradeability would be nice to save some money long term.

2 systems of...

GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail 85$

No idea.

No idea.

No idea. 9600GT? Radeon HD 4670?

Probably will opt against it.

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - 65$

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail - 30$

I do have some of these lying around though, too old?:

No idea. I do have 1x Antec NEO 480W (Max) though, but I'm not 100% sure it still functions.

DVD Drive:
Sony Optiarc Black SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM - 27$

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - 50$

Also have an old Antec case, but not sure if it will fit motherboard.

Got my Windows XP CDs around here.. somewhere.

Have spare monitors lying around. :wahoo: 

257$ so far excluding tax/shipping.

Thanks for reading.
April 2, 2009 5:45:53 AM


Well if your going to go for a cheaper cooler master case (great brand btw) then it's hard to beat the Centurion 534 for airflow/cooling. It has a meshed front, side airduct and vent, and is set up to run 3 x 120mm case fans. It comes with two of them, but you deff. want to add that third one for better airflow/cooling. <--- better pics and reviews of that case on this link $41.82
Cooler Master Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP No PS ATX Mid Tower Case (Black)

or..... $22.99
Centurion 534 Black Mid Tower, W/O window, W/O PSU - Refurbished $4.99
MASSCOOL FD12025S1L3/4 120mm Case Fan - Retail

This is the same mobo you chose...and it's a great one btw..over clocks great, but I found it cheaper on this site down below. $74.99
GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L Core 2 Quad/ Intel P43/ DDR2/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

Nobody uses 2 gigs of RAM anymore. Even if your 32 bit OS only reads 3 gigs, 3 gigs > 2 gigs...get Vista 64 later on down the road, or better yet Windows 7 when it comes out. But ditch the 2 gig idea. $39.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

Best bargain cpu's are the E7200 (my fav btw) and the E5200. E7200 has more cache and a multiplier of 10.5. So with a decent heatsink you can easily move up your FSB to (10.5 x 333) and run it at 3.5GHz @ 1333 FSB. With the E5200 it has a multi of 12.5, so it's easy to move up your fsb to (12.5 x 266) and run it at 3.32GHz @ 1066 FSB. Combo Price: $135.59 Free Shipping
E7400 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz 1066MHz 3M LGA775 CPU, OEM
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU Fan For Intel CPU
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

or..... $119.99 Free Shipping*
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

or... $72.99 Free Shipping*
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

or... $62.00
Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor E5200 2.5GHz 800MHz 2MB LGA775 CPU, OEM

New gts 250 512mb down below. It's comparable to the 9800gtx+ but it uses less power, it's on a smaller die..runs cooler, has more goodies, and uses only 1 PCI-E. $129.99
EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Here's some quality psu's to consider. Good amperage and efficiency. $59.99
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ400FTY 400W ATX12V / EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $59.99 ($49.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $59.99 ($49.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $74.99 ($64.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

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April 2, 2009 6:20:10 PM

The OCZ Fatal1ty PSUs have not been reviewed yet, AFAIK. Antec (esp. Earthwatts), PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, and Seasonic would all be safe choices. An Earthwatts 430 is $55 now.
I liked the looks of that Coolermaster case, and bought one. I had to properly tap some of the standoff-holes, but that wasn't too big a deal.
If you are not going to overclock these, stay away from the E5200 as it is slow at stock.
I'm looking for an excuse to buy a 4670 myself. It uses very little power, and for the games I play (Guild Wars and Sacred 2 mostly), should be fine. My primary rig has a 4850 in it, which is overkill for those games at 1680x1050.
April 2, 2009 6:23:58 PM

Oh, and I agree with xthekidx on the Seagate drives. I would not buy one. I've been getting WD drives, mostly 320MB, and they've been fine. For $80 though, I may pick up at least one or two of the one he linked.