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Building a $500-$600 PC

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May 1, 2009 6:43:34 PM

So I am planing to build a $500-$600 gaming rig. I need some advice on the parts. How does the Core Quads compare to Core i7 or the AMD Phenom x4. Or should i go with the Core 2 Duos. I plan on using it for 2 years. it should be able to play the latest game on high settings. What would you guys recommend? As for the graphic cards I have a 24 inch monitor so please a recommend a suitable card :) 

More about : building 500 600

May 1, 2009 7:02:12 PM

ok this is the question I have been waiting for hehe,
for that money you should get:
E5200
P45 with 2 x PCI 2.0 lanes
500-600W PSU
Antec 300 or similar case like the 590
Xigmatek or cheaper cooler
Vista Home premium if you need it
Monitor if you need it
1 x 4850
or 2 x 4830 in CF

proper build with links to newegg coming in a few min -
May 1, 2009 7:03:16 PM

High end gaming = Core 2 Quad (some) or Core i7
Midrange = Core 2 Duo or Phenom
Low end gaming = Any of the above

Windows Vista/7: I can run Crysis with 50+ FPS on a E6600 3.5GHz w/DDR2 1066. The CPU does run at 90-100% in battle and my lowest frames are 23 because its OC'd good on an. 8800GT SC factory settings (Settings = High w/4xAA and 8AF). Runs a max of 8-9 HD movies at the same time with CPU 100%

Question: Are you looking for a computer that can just play games, encode fast, etc...? Midrange media and gaming? Or machine that plays solitare? What's the max resolution on your screen (1920x1080 owns)?

If you do get decide on a Core i7, you will probably pay over $600... If you go for a Core 2 Duo or Quad, you can get a high end graphics card and still get a good OC for games and appications.
Related resources
May 1, 2009 7:07:31 PM

I just want to play the latest games on it. Please suggest the components i am new all of this stuff.
May 1, 2009 7:30:31 PM

CPU:
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz - $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO
:ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:
ASUS EAH4770/HTDI/512MD5 Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 - $47
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical:
LG Black 22X DVD Burner - $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827136152

HD:
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB - $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel - $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
OCZ GameXStream OCZ600GXSSLI 600W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU cooler
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - $32
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - $36 - the best of the two - tricky to mount sometimes though - also a cool black version for $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
+Arctic silver thermal compound $10 or something

OS - Vista 64 bit - $99

Total sum: whoops a bit over $678 - 718

Its gonna be really hard getting you on budget to play the latest games at max details, but getting you a system that will play them a lower setting is not impossible at all - remember that the cpu is much less important here than the gpu,
I thought I could build you a killer 4830 CF system to bragg about to your friends - but newegg just through a spanner in the works there as the old mail-in-rebates are gone and instead of costing $75 a pop they now cost $90 - stupid but they could go down again

So then the idea with this build was to have you crossfire 4770s, as together they beat a 4890 by 20% and only cost $200. That doesn't seem to be feasable on you budget if you don't already have an OS and a monitor. Another powerful solution would be to get a single 4870 or 260 GTX - however you don't have the money to get a PSU that will crossfire those later.

As for the CPU you can OC it to 4.0Ghz and get some serious value for your money

Remember with a build that if you buy a good case and PSU that they will almost never become obsolete - so it is really worth investing there, because in 3-4 years time you can still use it for the next build.
May 1, 2009 7:38:59 PM

$500 to $600, what is this build not including, maybe u can save by re-using some old components, like your hardrive, disc drive, case, or maybe your power supply. This is a really tight budget.

Here is what I'm thinking:

Phenom II 720BE - $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Buy with intent to overclock.

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P - $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Radeon 4770 $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL HK 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) - $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream 500W - $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black 22X DVD Burner - $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB - $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That totals to $590, without the case. The GPU is a bit weak, 2 of them in crossfire would be perfect for your 24 inch monitor, but thats another $100 or so.

I suppose you could shave off a few dollars, maybe on the hardrive, psu, disc drive, about $10 on the ram, and maybe get the slightly slower phenom X3. In total, maybe you could shave off about $60 or so, and then maybe include that second 4770, it would go past $600 though.

If you like that route, let me know and i would see if i could recommend some slightly cheaper parts.

May 1, 2009 7:44:09 PM

I could stretch my budget to $800 i suppose than what would you recommend. Good bye lappy!
May 1, 2009 7:45:23 PM

I wouldn't get the slower PII 710 X3, it has a locked multiplier and doesn't OC.
Better really to spend less money on the CPU - it wouldn't give you much back in terms of fps on that 24 inch.
2 x 4770s in CF will however give you much much more

Also the hard drive that kevin suggested has a double the cache - its really a judgement call there because it is a better hard drive for only $5 more - however it will not get you those fps either - so your choice as the 16 MB cache is not too shabby either
May 1, 2009 7:47:49 PM

intel

amd


both of the builds (+~$50 for shipping and stuff). You can cut prices by getting 2 gigs memory!

What it boils down too
AMD: Few bucks cheaper, 15-25% percent fastering in gaming then intel, comsumes more power. (Athlon x2750 is essentially as Quad Core w/ 2 Cores off)
INTEL: Bit more expensive(~$20), 0-20% faster in office applications, comsumes less power (cuz of 45 nm)
May 1, 2009 7:54:28 PM

That Kuma is not near as powerfull as the E5200 - not worth it.
Both builds rely on getting a cheaper case + PSU combo - You won't be able to make many future upgrades with a 380 W PSU - at least not when it comes to CF.
It really boils down to how much you want a powerful system and if you are willing to OC to get it. If so I would not get that case solution with PSU, and you will also need an aftermarket cooler.
If however you don't really feel all that bothered about the power (fps) and want an easy build with little or no OC, than desidude has two builds for you there
May 1, 2009 7:58:15 PM

I would go for AMD but I want a Phenom x4 could it fit in $800.
May 1, 2009 7:59:47 PM

Are you going to be overclocking or not? because this an important point -otherwise my advice might be irrelevant to your situation
Also you will not see any noteworthy difference between 3 and 4 cores in gaming:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/multi-core-cpu,2280...

So again the GPU is the only thing that is gonna give you a noticeable increase in fps on your budget
May 1, 2009 8:00:35 PM

No OC I dont want to take chances
May 1, 2009 8:03:16 PM

Ok then, well you should just go with desidude's builds, they won't power max settings on crysis at 1920 x 1200, but the are decent builds and it will be hard to get better bang for the buck without OCing or spending more on the case and PSU.
Remember that we are pretty much hardcore enthusiasts here - so we have tendency to get too excited about these things - desidude's build will make you happy I think, go for the AMD on and maybe consider geting a 4870 if you want to spend more
May 1, 2009 8:14:25 PM

I agree with nerrawg about cutting back on the cpu to improve your gpu, but if you're really willing to stretch your budget to $800, i would stick with my build, add the second 4770, and a case, and it should still fall less than $800. Yes, you can get more bang for buck when cutting back on the cpu for the gpu, but at $800, i would prefer the Phenom 720, because 3 cores and higher clocks will make some difference, not to mention being futureproof.
May 1, 2009 8:26:35 PM

Under $600
May 1, 2009 8:34:06 PM

WOW batuchka, now i can't beat that. Nicely cutting back on just about everything to max out on your video card. Indeed, if you're just looking for frames per second, this is it.

I personally would prefer a more all round system, but for pure gaming, that is it.
May 1, 2009 8:51:22 PM

Excellent suggestion batuchka - think that is a winner, just one thing if I haven't seen wrong - OS?
May 1, 2009 10:17:01 PM

I thought the 4890s required 550w PSUs...
May 1, 2009 10:58:26 PM

To be honest, that 4890 setup is certainly interesing, but it has quite a few drawbacks, still, for a $600 pure gaming system, it is great.

What i would be worried about is the psu, 500W should technically be enough, but psu's that come with cases are usually poor.

The cpu/mobo combo will get the job done, but it will seriously bottleneck that gpu, although is would still outperform a single 4770 on a better cpu/mobo, so i suppose i shouldn't argue there, but that setup will suffer in the near future.

If you are thinking about now and not later, and you want good frame rates over anything else, then by all means, go with the 4890 setup. I, on the other hand, prefer balance, but it is not up to me.
May 1, 2009 11:40:35 PM

here is one for you, all from new egg...$606

7850 kuma AMD....$69
Coolermaster Centurian 5 CAC Case...54.99 (there are cheaper but its got a window ;)  )...$55
500GB Samsung HDD...$55
ECS Black Series MOBO (love this board)...$70
MSI 4890 OC Video card...$239
Coolermaster Extreme 600watt powersupply...$70
Wintec 4gb (2x2gb) 1066mhz memory...$48

~$606

gives you a great board (even if you oc), great powersupply, great memory, and a 500gb HDD
May 2, 2009 9:27:16 AM

Err i know its a PSU bundled with casing but its an 80% efficient Antec Earthwatts 500 we are talking here hehe
May 2, 2009 10:29:06 AM

batuchka said:
Err i know its a PSU bundled with casing but its an 80% efficient Antec Earthwatts 500 we are talking here hehe


Oh, my bad, yea thats a good psu.
!