Gaming build around $500

Hey I am trying to build a new computer to play some of the current games, Fallout 3, Crysis, Mass Effect and COD:MW2. I would like the computer to last me into the future for the new Star Wars online game and Starcraft 2. How does this build I have put together look so far? Anything I can do cheaper or more efficiently?


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 15 days BUDGET RANGE: US$300-$550

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard,Mouse, Monitor, OS (Vista), Speakers and HD(Have 1TB WD ready to go)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg and Tigerdirect(no tax for CA) but any site will do.

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU and ATI Graphics Card I would like to at least get a 4870.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 for now may upgrade in the future. I have a spare 37" 1080TV that I may hook it up to.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Just looking to get a decent rig for as cheap as possible.

Here is what I have so far...

RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply - Retail Case + Power Supply $89

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail CPU $120

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBNT - Retail Ram $46

XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retai Video Card $150

Foxconn A7GM-S 2.0 AM2+ / AM3 Ready AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail Motherboard $70

LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM
CD/DVD Burner $25

Total: $500

One thing I wonder is, how much better would it be to go to an AM3 motherboard and DDR3 obviously its faster but will it really give me much of a boost for the amount its gonna cost to upgrade to it?

Thanks for you help
8 answers Last reply
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  1. DDR3 does not improve your performance. It is going to be the only RAM in the future, but for a budget build today DDR2 is OK to use.

    You will have to get a better PSU though. If you want to learn about PSUs see that section of my guide.

    Here is a good case and a good PSU:
    Antec 300
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042
    OCZ 600W
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017


    If you really needed a flashier case this is one:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=40000007%201055508421%201309321152&Description=NZXT&name=5&ActiveSearchResult=True
  2. +1 for a better PSU...

    And instead of a IDE DVD drive, get a SATA DVD - Thinner cable, less clutter...
  3. And maybe about $30 more, you can go the DDR3 route...

    Mobo -
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130228

    RAM - Though its a 1066MHz, but has CAS 7 -> It would be as good as a 1333MHz CAS 8
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148150
  4. batuchka said:



    Thank you very much, I just have a few concerns, this motherboard is not compatible with the AM3 processors unless you flash the bios which I will be unable to do without an AM2 processor. Also how did you get the video card so cheap? Its showing up as $150 for me.

    Thanks,
    Mike
  5. It comes with a couple free items, that are listed as costing 30 bucks each. So, the items are actually free but the card costs $60 more than that.

    I thought your original plan was fine, you just needed a better PSU.
  6. try2catchmike said:
    Thank you very much, I just have a few concerns, this motherboard is not compatible with the AM3 processors unless you flash the bios which I will be unable to do without an AM2 processor. Also how did you get the video card so cheap? Its showing up as $150 for me.

    Thanks,
    Mike


    Having actually built with 780/760G the former was released far earlier and all 760Gs so far that i have built have been able to run P2X3/X4s out of the box ^^In fact 780Gs far more likely to have dated BIOS Haha it is the same price on that GPU actually just with the 'free' gifts component prices shown separately :lol:
  7. I don't care for the Foxconn board though, I would go with this ASRock instead

    ASRock A780LM $54.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157153

    I like the ASRock A780GMH better, but it's price seems to have crept up by a bit and it's out of stock right now. The PSU in the Similidon should be o.k for that build. If you're worried about it though you can get the Similidon without the PSU (it's $10 cheaper), and go with

    Antec earthwatts EA430 430W $59.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006

    You can stick with the Similidon PSU for now though and upgrade the PSU latter on when you want to get a crossfire board and add another 4870. Just don't get the Similidon with the light up PSU (newer version) as that one is of even worse design and has a higher failure rate it seems.
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