1st Timer: Budget Build Check and Advice

Hello. This is my first attempt to build a computer and my head is spinning from all the component options. I’m a bit overwhelmed to say the least. I’ve been reading as much as I can and this forum has been an immeasurable help, so thank you so much for that.

I took the build below from another post (which I jumped and would again like to apologize for that. Inexperience is no justification for rudeness…). It’s a mix from xthekidX and White Fang, except for the PSU. Right now, the build runs around $517, which I’m happy with. I would like to stay as close to $500 as possible. Still have a couple of questions though.

1.) Am I putting the money in the right places? For example, would it be better to find a cheaper case and spend the difference on a higher-end PSU? Or would you suggest other parts all together?

2.) I mixed and matched components from 2 different builds to change pricing, so will everything still work together?

I know these are basic questions, but I could really use the help. Thanks in advance and thanks again for all the postings.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as possible, within the next 1-2 weeks hopefully.

BUDGET RANGE: As close to USD $500 as possible.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Casual Warcraft player (obviously I would like to play with as high of settings as my budget allow, but I'm realistic.) on-line course work; storing pictures and music; light photo editing; web research. Family computer.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor

PREFERRED PARTS: None. I know the Intel 5200 will OC better than a comparable AMD, but would still be open to AMD builds.


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NewEgg seems the best so far.

OVERCLOCKING: Honestly, I have no idea. I know it would enhance gaming though. Comments and thoughts more than appreciated here. I suppose the option would be nice…

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N95TD3-512I GeForce 9500 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card – Retail

CPU/MOBO Combo: GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail / Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

PSU: COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3 500W ATX12V V2.3 Power Supply - Retail

CASE: COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

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

HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM


OS: Vista Home Premium 64-bit
8 answers Last reply
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  1. That's a pretty solid build except for the graphic card. You'd be much better off going with a HD4670, 9600GT or a HD4830. You'll spend a bit more money, but get better performance. Listed from lowest performance to highest.

    I'd also change out the case to a cheaper one with free shipping. This one at $40 with free shipping would save you about $25. (shipping a case runs me about $15)
    review of that case
  2. When it comes to PSU, you always want one that you know you can rely on, one that has quality. Money should be the issue when it comes to PSU's.

    a 400cx corsair can power any thing just fine from ati 4830 and below.

    if you would like, theres also the amd 7750 kuma build, i build one last night for someone.

    something like this

    RC-690 - Case

    WD Black 640gb - Hard Drive

    Gigabyte 770atx - Motherboard

    7750 Black edition Kuma + 4670 Combo - CPU/GPU

    LG 22x DVD - optical Drive

    400cx - PSU

    2x2gb PI Black G.skills DDR2 800mhz - Memory.

    for below $500
  3. or he could download the win7 RC and save himself a few bucks which he could put towards a phenom II build.
  4. Wow. Fantastic advice all the way around. Thanks a ton! Made some nice changes I think.

    I think the 4670 vid card would be enough, but if I went with the BFG GeForce 9600 GT would the 400W Corsair still be enough for that?

    Am going to look into that Kuma build... I've noticed a lot of people reviewing vid cards have listed a similiar set-up.

    Thanks again!
  5. the 4670 would out perform the 9600gt and to answer the 400cx + the 9600, yes it will be able to be stable.

    The 400cx can run as much as a 4830.
  6. The 9600GT easily outperforms the HD4670. Here's a good article showing newer games that came out about Christmas time and performance of different cards in them. They include the 9500GT, HD4670, 9600GT and the HD4830.

    also check Tom's own graphic card hierarchy chart

    The Corsair 400w power supply would be fine for any of the cards you had listed. I'd also throw in the 9800GT and the GTS250 55nm

  7. When you add in shipping your price will jump up.

    I just did some research for someone else who wanted to build a $500 PC capable of gaming and it's really not quite possible, but my best recommendation was this:

    1) buy this prebuilt at Walmart USA http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10910181

    2) Purchase the following ATI 40nm when it comes out for about $100 in May

    the card is just awesome, and it very likely will play nice with the internal PSU since it will only add 40W to the system when maxed out. Get one that blows air out the rear of the case.

    This way your getting a system you don't have to ship, it's built, Vista x64 already installed, WiFi, 4GB, media card reader. Warranty etc. Once the graphics card is installed you'll see a big gaming boost and the overall system will be balanced and no major upgrade should ever be done.
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