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New Build Mid-level gaming/office productivity $500

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May 15, 2009 3:53:56 PM

Hi all,

I'm on the quest to build my first PC. Currently using an old Dell Inspiration 8400 from 2005. It has: 3.0 GHz P4 with H.T., 2 gigs ram, GeForce 6800 256mb. Works great, but the system is showing its age.

Looking to build a "mid-level" gaming machine. I also use my comp for a lot of office productivity (Excel, Word), music, and burn DVDs.

Games I play include: BF series and its mods, CoH series, C&C series, Rise of Nations, Civilization series, AoE series, CoD series, HL/HL2 and its mods. I've seen a lot of great new games recently, and I doubt my current system will run them adequately.

Here we go:

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
End of May (after payday!)

BUDGET RANGE: $500 USD, although I'm willing to bump up the budget a bit (no more than 10-15%) if needed.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Office 2007, surfing the internet, music, burning DVDs

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, Reusing Win XP Pro (unless not recommended)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: The Egg and Tiger

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Only preference would be nvidia

OVERCLOCKING:
Probably not

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, probably SLI

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I like 1280x1024

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Here's what I've been looking at. What's you take?

MOBO: MSI K9N2
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.1 GHz
Memory: OCZ 4 gigs PC 6400 DDR2
Video: 2 XFX GeForce 9600 GSO 768 MB in SLI mode
HD: Seagate Barracuda 500 GB
PSU: Ultra LSP 550 Watt
OS Win XP Pro SP3


Thank you for your thoughts/suggestions! :)  Either way, I think this build beats my current system hands down.
Mike



May 15, 2009 4:06:04 PM

That build is fine...i would look at gigabyte SLI boards in terms of price tho...

For your power i hope you get a PSU that has x2 6-pin adapters for the graphics cards...

For higher bandwith in RAM, i would also look at DDR2 1066 but DDR2 800 works just fine if you are not overclocking the ram
Related resources
May 15, 2009 4:40:15 PM

Are you going to re-use that old Dell case? That will effect your budget and build a little. Keep in mind that it's a little more difficult to build in a Dell case than a custom case, but it can be done.

The build below comes out to ~ $505 w/out a case, after rebates and before shipping. Depending on if you need/want a case or not, it can be tweaked a little.

e7400/GA-EP45-UD3R combo- $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asus 4850 - 95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec EA 500w - 70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4G G.Skill PI Black - 55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital 640g cavair black - 75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 15, 2009 4:57:13 PM

Kill@dor said:
That build is fine...i would look at gigabyte SLI boards in terms of price tho...

For your power i hope you get a PSU that has x2 6-pin adapters for the graphics cards...

For higher bandwith in RAM, i would also look at DDR2 1066 but DDR2 800 works just fine if you are not overclocking the ram



Thanks Kill@dor.

PSU does have two 6-pin connectors for the graphics cards.

I do not plan on OC the ram. For longevity/down the road, would the 1066 ram be a worthwhile upgrade over the 800 ram?
May 15, 2009 4:58:41 PM

aford10 said:
Are you going to re-use that old Dell case? That will effect your budget and build a little. Keep in mind that it's a little more difficult to build in a Dell case than a custom case, but it can be done.

The build below comes out to ~ $505 w/out a case, after rebates and before shipping. Depending on if you need/want a case or not, it can be tweaked a little.

e7400/GA-EP45-UD3R combo- $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asus 4850 - 95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec EA 500w - 70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4G G.Skill PI Black - 55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital 640g cavair black - 75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Sorry, aford10, I forgot to mention the case in my OP.

I was going to try to reuse my Dell case, but after tinkering around with it I changed my mind.

Case: Ultra X-Blaster Mid ATX
May 15, 2009 4:59:09 PM

It's just OC'd DDR2 800
!