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Advice on $500-600 gaming PC

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April 30, 2009 3:15:46 AM

Hi,

I'm going to build a gaming pc (able to play Crysis, CoD5, etc.) for a friend who wants to keep it b/w $500-$600. The monitor, mouse, keyboard, optical drives will be scavenged from his current system.

Here's what I have:

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail 44.99
Thermaltake Purepower W0100RU 500W ATX 12V 2.0 Power Supply - Retail 45.00
GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail 52.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail 184.99
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail 46.99
SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail 149.99
Western Digital WD3200KSRTL Caviar 320 GB SATA 3.5-Inch Hard Drive 63.95
Windows XP 64bit (owns this already)
TOTAL = $579

Any thoughts on cost-cutting, system stability/ability to play, etc.? Will this 500W power supply be adequate (he won't get into crossfire)? We will NOT be OC'ing.

Thanks,
Kenny

More about : advice 500 600 gaming

April 30, 2009 6:29:59 AM

That thermaltake PSU is bad, don't use it. Something like this would be alright:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What size of monitor will he be using? Crysis won't be playable at its highest settings with that GPU unless its a 1440x900 resolution monitor or smaller. Why are you buying a new case...unless the old one has really bad airflow, I would just reuse it, since you won't overclock you won't need to worry about fitting a cooler or anything in the case.
April 30, 2009 7:41:10 AM

Well, I guess you can always go with Cooler Master Elite series if you want a new case. They're a bit cheaper but with smaller fans.

Another thought is that if you have a very small monitor, it might be more cost effective to get a 4850 instead of 4870, since the performance between those two at low resolution seems to be quite similar, and you can get a 4850 ~$110 after mail in rebate on new egg.
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April 30, 2009 8:19:09 AM

kladal said:
Hi,

I'm going to build a gaming pc (able to play Crysis, CoD5, etc.) for a friend who wants to keep it b/w $500-$600. The monitor, mouse, keyboard, optical drives will be scavenged from his current system.

Here's what I have:

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail 44.99
Thermaltake Purepower W0100RU 500W ATX 12V 2.0 Power Supply - Retail 45.00
GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail 52.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail 184.99
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail 46.99
SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail 149.99
Western Digital WD3200KSRTL Caviar 320 GB SATA 3.5-Inch Hard Drive 63.95
Windows XP 64bit (owns this already)
TOTAL = $579

Any thoughts on cost-cutting, system stability/ability to play, etc.? Will this 500W power supply be adequate (he won't get into crossfire)? We will NOT be OC'ing.

Thanks,
Kenny


Switch psu's to the one the kid suggested, lose that E8500...switch up to a E7400, then switch vid cards to a gtx 260 or a 4870 1 gig...whatever is cheapest atm.
April 30, 2009 2:37:57 PM

I have read that the OCZ Fatal1ty PSU is made by Sirtec, which has a spotty reputation. I have yet to read a technical review of it, so I wouldn't buy one just yet. For a 4870, a 500W-550W PSU from Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, or Enermax would be safer choices. The Thermaltake isn't good for its labeled rating.
If you want to save money on a case, I like the cheap Rosewills because they come with one 120mm fan in the rear, and they'll take another one up front. Since you won't be overclocking, you probably won't need it (but will if you do). The cheap Coolermasters are similar, but I quit buying them due to build quality issues. The Rosewills are definitely cheap cases, but I have not had the same quality issues (e.g. untapped screw holes, misaligned panels) with them.
April 30, 2009 3:19:58 PM

I wouldn't trust a rosewill PSU, and it's amperage and stability you want, by that I mean, you can shove a 80plus silver PSU with 450w (like the silverstone NightJar) in an i7 PC with a 4870 and it won't crash due to not having enough power, you try that with a 600w rosewill and goodbye i7 PC.
April 30, 2009 3:41:55 PM

For a decent PSU you will need to spend a little bit more. This is the minimum I would go with

Antec earthwatts EA430 430W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

FSP Group AX500-PN Max: 450W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and both are for $54.99

I wouldn't go with anything cheaper, but hey it's your system. If you want to go with a cheaper PSU and risk turning your new machine into a dead box because your PSU blew up and fried everything else, then go for it :D . For that budget you may want to consider an AMD 780G based board and a Phenom II 720BE.
April 30, 2009 3:46:55 PM

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Here's two reviews, although only one is recommended. It did state that for the cheaper model it's kind of hit and miss since a number of manufacturers made them and not all have the same quality standard. Just have to read the label before hand for the particular model for the +12V wattage I guess.

EDIT: Personally I don't have any experience with using Rosewell, so I can't recommend or not recommend it. The Antec PSU Megaman mentioned would be a good choice, though.
April 30, 2009 4:04:19 PM

Are you going to overclock your system? If so i would get better RAM...but if you are going to overclock moderately or not at all, that RAM is perfect! Gigabyte mobos are a good choice and they have detailed info on their websites too.
April 30, 2009 4:19:14 PM

Dragoon, that's not the same Fatal1ty he listed. The 700W one is made by someone else.
Antec Earthwatts is vastly superior to FSP and is a great choice; the latter is an old design that doesn't even have Active PFC (note voltage switch).
April 30, 2009 4:27:24 PM

Ah, good to know... I guess I'll need to print out the list of LU for manufacturers when I go to the shop for my PSU upgrade this weekend...
April 30, 2009 7:22:34 PM

Thanks for all your input. One question: since I am NOT OC'ing, what is a safe mount of juice for this machine? 500W?
April 30, 2009 7:53:28 PM

Don't think you even need 500 (ESPECIALLY since you're not OC'ing; you could definitely overclock with 500 watts coming from one of the brands jtt283 suggested). I have a Silverstone ST400 (400 watts) powering my overclocked Q6600 and GTS 250 and have no problems whatsoever.

Great motherboard choice - I've got the older version of that board; it's excellent. Saves you some bucks for your GPU and CPU. If you're not overclocking, why not go for the Q8400? I understand that the E8500 will provide a few extra frames if you're gaming, but I love my quad for multi-tasking. Duals seem to bog much more easily.
April 30, 2009 8:41:45 PM

i actually just did this for a friend go figure... so your budget is 500-600?

here you go, well keep your case i like cooler master...

amd 940 phenom II (lovely quad core)...$189
ECS BLACK SERIES GF8200A (lovely board used in 5 of my customer builds supports oc'ing)...$79
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066ghz (faster better ram than what you picked)...$64
Samsung 500GB HDD (again used in all my builds)....$55
your case...$49
MSI R4770-T2D512 Radeon HD 4770 512MB (saves you money while on par with the 4850)...$109
COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3 500W....$39


every part i suggested i have used more than once....

with this build you get a quad core, plus a graphics card that is on par with the 4850, as well as more HDD space, and a good power supply, oh yea not to mention faster better ram

all for ~$583...all on new egg...hope this helped
April 30, 2009 8:49:45 PM

Aw man, no OC...No fun! LOL ^_^
!