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$500-$600 Solely Gaming PC Need Your Advice

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July 5, 2009 3:26:02 AM

Hi Everyone,

I have a work laptop already but has no gfx card so I can't use it for any 3d games. I want to build a $500-$600 PC solely for gaming. I will be checking incessantly every 15-20 minutes hoping for replies so please respond if you are knowledegeble and love helping out with this stuff!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Asap
BUDGET RANGE: $500-$600 (less the better, economy is hurting me :(  )
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: No keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, sound card, OS, wireless card
PEFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg only.
PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference, just reliability and performance for $$
OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024--1680x1050 (depends, basically best graphics card for the budget limit I have would work)
OS: Windows 7
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looks/design not important. I have a external DAC and sound system so all that is unneccessary.

Games I would like to play (high settings hopefully):
Starcraft II
Diablo III
Crysis
Call of Duty 4

Computer use horizon: I hope to use this for at least 3-4 years. Small upgrading I'm willing to do to keep it up with the times.

LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS50
Item #:N82E16827136167
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$24.99

Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
Item #:N82E16824009145
Return Policy: Monitor Replacement Only Return Policy
$159.99

XFX Radeon HD 4870 HD-487A-ZHFC Video Card
Item #:N82E16814150394
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$144.99

Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive
Item #:N82E16822136161
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$49.99

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813128359
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$114.99

Intel Pentium E5200 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
Item #:N82E16819116072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$69.99
1
Sunbeam CR-CCTF92-4 92mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2
Item #:N82E16835207006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$29.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129042
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
&
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Item #: N82E16820231166
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$89.94

Grand Total: $684.87
July 5, 2009 4:09:48 AM

CPU: Pentium Dual core E5200 -$70
RAM: 4GB DDR2-800 -$45
Mobo: P45 chipset motherboard - $90
Case: Antec 300 or similar - $50
PSU: Antec 650w -$70
HDD: WD 640GB w/32mb cache -$70
CPU cooler: Arctic cooling freezer 7 pro -$30
optical drive: SATA DVD burner -$25
video card: GTX 260 core 216 /4870 1GB -$165
Related resources
July 5, 2009 4:18:50 AM

ehanger said:
CPU: Pentium Dual core E5200 -$70
RAM: 4GB DDR2-800 -$45
Mobo: P45 chipset motherboard - $90
Case: Antec 300 or similar - $50
PSU: Antec 650w -$70
HDD: WD 640GB w/32mb cache -$70
CPU cooler: Arctic cooling freezer 7 pro -$30
optical drive: SATA DVD burner -$25
video card: GTX 260 core 216 /4870 1GB -$165


Hmm what do you think of my setup here?

I was going to use AMD phenom instead because it is triple core...
July 5, 2009 4:39:10 AM

You have the case on their twice man.

And no motherboard.


Look for a WD Caviar Black HDD, even if you want to go with the 500GB version, although most go with the 640GB version
July 5, 2009 4:42:05 AM

yea the case shoudlnt be on there twice.


the reason mobo and other stuff are missing is b/c i didnt know what to choose :( 
July 5, 2009 4:54:21 AM

I'd just rock ehanger's build, i.e. the Tomshardware SBM cheapo build. I'm sure someone can offer opinions on an AMD build for the same price range.
July 5, 2009 7:40:16 AM

LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS50
Item #:N82E16827136167
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$24.99

Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
Item #:N82E16824009145
Return Policy: Monitor Replacement Only Return Policy
$159.99

XFX Radeon HD 4870 HD-487A-ZHFC Video Card
Item #:N82E16814150394
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$144.99

Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive
Item #:N82E16822136161
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$49.99

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813128359
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$114.99

Intel Pentium E5200 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
Item #:N82E16819116072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$69.99
1
Sunbeam CR-CCTF92-4 92mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2
Item #:N82E16835207006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$29.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129042
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
&
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Item #: N82E16820231166
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$89.94

Grand Total: $684.87

Ok, I decided to take your advice and op with the lower cost intel 2 core processor. I still need to shave off another $100...can you guys help me? Where can I shave off the extra $100 without a big hit in performance/having to upgrade again soon? Also, do I need to order a separate ethernet card or does the mobo have it already?

As for the cooling system, do I need to order separate case fans or additional cooling supplies or is what I am ordering currently fine?

Thanks for all your help!
July 5, 2009 12:27:39 PM

Well simply by looking at what you have here are a couple areas you could shave a bit off the cost

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$89.99

SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99

That alone saves $70 and getting the 4850 will keep you running most games decently for a while, however you may save $70 dollars but the unfortunate thing is your setup doesn't seem to have a power supply, so essentially you are right back where you were before pretty much, it's just really tough to build a gaming computer with a monitor for under $600 and still have it be decent. I will try to look later to see if I can put something together for you but right now its 7am and I still haven't slept, so I'll try to put something up later for you, but I get the feeling someone will chime in before that, sorry I can't be of more help right now.
July 6, 2009 2:57:57 AM

FreyG said:
Well simply by looking at what you have here are a couple areas you could shave a bit off the cost

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$89.99

SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99

That alone saves $70 and getting the 4850 will keep you running most games decently for a while, however you may save $70 dollars but the unfortunate thing is your setup doesn't seem to have a power supply, so essentially you are right back where you were before pretty much, it's just really tough to build a gaming computer with a monitor for under $600 and still have it be decent. I will try to look later to see if I can put something together for you but right now its 7am and I still haven't slept, so I'll try to put something up later for you, but I get the feeling someone will chime in before that, sorry I can't be of more help right now.



great thanks frey! I'll wait for your recommendations... and yea I just realized I didn't put in a PSU. How much wattage would I need? And does the HD4850 vs HD4870 have a huge performance difference?
July 6, 2009 5:34:39 AM

Well a 4850 will probably be about a 15% decrease in performance compared to the 4870. Now I tried really hard to put something together that was $600, and I got pretty close, this system will probably last maybe 1-2 years before needing upgrades, I really think you would be much more pleased if you saved up some money and say made your budget around $700-800, you can do a lot more with that bit of money, but anyways here is the best I could come up with, I tried to use some of the things you had already come up with.

Motherboard - $52.99
GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $69.99
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler - $29.99
Sunbeam CR-CCTF92-4 92mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive - $44.99
Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500AAJS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor - $129.99
Acer B203Wbdmr Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor with Height & Pivot Adjustments 300 cd/m2 2500:1 (DCR) Built-in Speakers - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case + Power Supply Combo - $99.94
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Antec Basiq BP500U 500W Continuous Power ATX12V Version 2.01 Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Video Card + RAM Combo - $134.98
SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2RPR800C44GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Total - $588.86

For me with shipping it came out to a bit over $615, that's the best I could do, perhaps someone else can put something better together for that price, but I still recommend just saving for a bit longer and getting an extra $100-200 to work with, you will have a system that can last for quite a bit longer with the extra money.


July 6, 2009 3:40:37 PM

I agree with FreyG, you will be better off in the long run if you save an extra 100-200$. I can come up with an AMD setup that will cost you aprox 550-600$ but it will not be futureproof and you will have to upgrade sooner than later.

On a side note you posted : PARTS NOT REQUIRED: No keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, sound card, OS, wireless card... Does this mean you already have a monitor?


July 6, 2009 3:49:50 PM

Good list from freyg.

You can omit the cpu cooler to save another $30. The stock cooler will do the job that needs doing for now. You really don't need to OC much, if at all. Under load, it will spin up and be noisy.

The key component is your video card, try to stay with the 4870.
July 6, 2009 11:33:35 PM

Yeah I didn't really think the aftermarket cooler was completely necessary either, wasn't sure how much overclocking he wanted to do, but with the money saved from that you could upgrade the video card to a 4870, they are going on newegg for around $130.

And I'm assuming that you didn't have a monitor since you put one in your build, I don't know I was kind of confused as well because it says one wasn't required yet you put one in your build. If you really don't need one then $600 for a gaming computer is actually quite a bit easier to do, but if you do still need a monitor then I'll go with what I said before of saving up a bit more money. Though I understand it isn't easy to do I'm essentially in the same situation, just gotta save up a bit more and in the long run that extra money you put into the system will save you more in the long run.
July 7, 2009 4:57:33 AM

Wow thanks guys for the reply... the monitor requirement i forgot to change... originally I was going to just use my 5+ year old dell LCD monitor but then I read another post saying its a waste of money to get such a highpowered video card if you aren't going to at least run the game in 1680+ res. So yea I do need a monitor.

I see what you mean by the budget limit though. What about the original build (see screenshot I have)? How long can I run with that before having to upgrade? And if I did have some wiggle room, would it be a better idea to upgrade to the AMD Phenom II 720 processor (i.e. get a better processor) or get a better video card? And yea I have the aftermarket cooler on there because I was copying parts of it from someone's elses build on this forum and was pretty much clueless on what was necessary and not :) 
July 10, 2009 1:16:33 AM

jamestown33 said:
LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS50
Item #:N82E16827136167
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$24.99

Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
Item #:N82E16824009145
Return Policy: Monitor Replacement Only Return Policy
$159.99

XFX Radeon HD 4870 HD-487A-ZHFC Video Card
Item #:N82E16814150394
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$144.99

Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive
Item #:N82E16822136161
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$49.99

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813128359
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$114.99

Intel Pentium E5200 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
Item #:N82E16819116072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$69.99
1
Sunbeam CR-CCTF92-4 92mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2
Item #:N82E16835207006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$29.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129042
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
&
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Item #: N82E16820231166
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$89.94

Grand Total: $684.87

Ok, I decided to take your advice and op with the lower cost intel 2 core processor. I still need to shave off another $100...can you guys help me? Where can I shave off the extra $100 without a big hit in performance/having to upgrade again soon? Also, do I need to order a separate ethernet card or does the mobo have it already?

As for the cooling system, do I need to order separate case fans or additional cooling supplies or is what I am ordering currently fine?

Thanks for all your help!


On a side note : There is no PSU listed here and the ram pricing is wrong :

That G.Skill 1066Mhz is 49.99$ Not 89.99$ meaning you just saved 40.00$

And I agree with FreyG below... Save up a lil more and get yourself a better CPU. This way you wont have to worry about upgrades and you will have a CPU that you can depend on.

And you do not need a seperate ethernet card, The motherboard comes with built in ethernet.
July 10, 2009 7:30:48 AM

Hey sorry for not replying, did a bit of traveling the last few days.

And yes I agree his build he listed was fine, however his didn't have a power supply listed, so tack that on there and we are up to a computer that will run him close to $750, and he wanted one for less then $600.

Now as I said the build I showed you was about the best you can do for less then $600, sure throwing in an X3 720 will be a really good upgrade, but then you will be spending around $200 for the motherboard and CPU, which is about $80 more then the one I showed you, then you will have to upgrade to DDR3 which is around $10-15 more. And if you wanted to throw in a 4870 thats another $30-40, and then this $600 computer turns into a $700-750 one.

So as what I said before and I am probably sounding like a broken record saying this, just save up, you wont regret it, the extra money you put in now will make the computer last another year or two, and that's worth much more then you will be putting into it.

So if you decide you want to up the budget to maybe $700-800 I, or many others can show you a decent system to build for it, and yes I'm sorry a better computer can't be built for your budget, I know this economy is rough right now, I am in the same situation as you, I am also very much in need of a new computer but I don't want to regret what I build now, because I know with what I have it wont last, my next build I want to last me around 3-4 years, with minor upgrades of course.

Well I guess I really haven't said anything new in this post just didn't want ya to think I've abandoned you or anything =)
!