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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
^ 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.