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Solid Gaming Puter ~ $800

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April 29, 2009 8:28:54 PM

Hey all. I have spent the last few days browsing Newegg for parts for my build. I want to build a solid gaming computer for around $800. Unfortunately, that price must also include a WinXP OEM (unless someone has a cheaper suggestion for an OS) and a 22" 1680x1050 LCD monitor to replace my behemoth Samsung Syncmaster. I've been in school for the last 3 years, so the last time I built a computer was in 2004/2005.

Ok, here is what my searching has uncovered as possibilities:

1. CPU/MOBO: Probably an AMD chip, they were good when I last built, but in your guide they were not viewed favorably. I was looking for a chip in the $60-$90 range, and a MOBO in the $70-$80 range. I would imagine that ATX is preferable so that I can be sure to have enough room for a good vid card?

Graphics: I wanted to spend around $180 on this. Based on the April review, Tom's recommends either the HD 4870 1GB or the GTX 260(core216) I want to be sure to get good frames on HL2 based games and Fallout 3, etc.

Monitor: the Acer X223WBD 22" 1680x1050 had high reviews and a $160 price on Newegg, so I was looking at that. I can't imagine really needing more resolution then that after playing CS:Source at 800x600 for the last month.

RAM: How much and how fast I guess will depend on the rest of the build.

PSU and Case: This is tricky. I hate spending a lot on a case, but I gather that a good PSU is critical. Recommendations here would be great.

Ok thanks, I'll wait for some replies.

More about : solid gaming puter 800

April 29, 2009 8:48:13 PM

I wanted to add that I don't need a mouse, keyboard, speakers, or optical, and I can handle the HD on my own I think. I am not too proficient with hardware, I pretty much just learn when I build and then don't keep up, so I've never OC'ed. I'll try it if it is cost effective, simple, and safe.
April 29, 2009 9:26:24 PM
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April 29, 2009 10:14:53 PM

So just be be sure, this AM3 CPU will run on any AM2+ mobo?
April 29, 2009 10:44:19 PM

Most older AM2+ motherboards will need a BIOS update for the AM3 CPU's.

This combo will save you $20:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

If you're pushing your budget a little too close, this CPU is a pretty good gamer:

AMD Athlon X2 7850 Kuma 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=355...


Edit: If you go with the cheaper CPU you could step up to a lot nicer motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
April 29, 2009 11:19:35 PM

For OS you can use Linux, but if your a gamer, you might not be able to play all of your games. But it's free, so there's really nothing to lose to just try it. Who knows, you could save $100. Just download WINE so that you can use Windows programs.
April 29, 2009 11:21:22 PM

The Windows 7 RC is supposed to be released to the public on May 5th. It will expire in about a year, but it's free until then. Be sure to get the 64-bit version so you can use all 4GB of RAM.
April 29, 2009 11:48:37 PM

Thanks for that CPU suggestiong shortstuff, I think I'm going to look at that. I also like the board you suggested, seems to have a lot of upgrade possibility which I like, since hopefully my budget will grow as I start working and can get a faster CPU or drop another GPU into that extra PCIe slot.

One question though, the specs on the MOBO say the ram should be DDR2 1333 OC. Will DDR 2 1066 or DDR3 1333 run there? thx.
April 29, 2009 11:51:17 PM

The RAM speed rating on a motherboard is just a maximum. You can use any RAM up to that speed. AM2+ motherboards use DDR2 RAM, AM3 motherboards use DDR3 RAM. You can not put DDR3 RAM in a AM2+ motherboard.
April 29, 2009 11:56:05 PM

So to be clear, if I decide to upgrade on this MOBO, even though it says it's an AM3 board, I should stick with DDR 2 RAM?

Sorry for so many questions, thanks for your assistance.
April 30, 2009 12:54:25 AM
April 30, 2009 1:00:09 AM

BTW, the reason i don't use combos is you never know when they end, when the OP goes to buy the computer, he may find that he can't get the extra money off

and about the windows, if you know someone with a copy that switched to vista, you might be able to get it from them
April 30, 2009 1:44:09 AM

^ Yeh, Corsair makes good stuff. 550 VX would be perfect for you.

I like XFX better than HIS, too :)  Their customer support is EXCELLENT, and they're awesome with their warranties. It's well worth a few extra bucks to get a card from them. There's an XFX Core 216 on Newegg for $180 right now, or you could go with the ATI card macabre recommended.
April 30, 2009 1:48:04 AM

Forgot to add: I'd really try to shoot for a Cooler Master case and a tri-core. I've never been disappointed with Cooler Master; haven't heard much about HEC.
April 30, 2009 2:44:46 AM

All the parts in the build you posted above are compatible with each other.
!