Building a gaming PC around $800

Hi everyone,

I have been saving and researching parts for months and this is what I have come up with (below). My goals are: #1 reliability (just want to go back to playing games and not think about pc parts for the next couple years) #2 be able to play games at or near the max graphics settings for the next couple years #3 spend no more $ than I need to without spending less than I should (I tried to assemble the best lower-end gaming pc I could and it happened to come out to about $800 rather than trying to stay under a certain budget amount and in 12 mos. having to upgrade something to play a new game)


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, as a DVR (after I add a tuner card, which will be a couple more paychecks), general surfing/word processing/etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (I have an ancient 19in. crt monitor but it will be a few more paychecks until I can get a 20-something inch flatscreen)


PARTS PREFERENCES: I have always used intel and prefer to stick with that

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (if it could be done without causing problems)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (doubtful, other than getting a few more gigs of RAM I don't plan to upgrade for a couple years)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: no idea, will have to wait until I get a new monitor



Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V
SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Intel Core2 Duo E7500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

EVGA 896-P3-1257-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked
Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

With the current combo deals, specials, etc. and including shipping this stuff is $818.07

Thanks for any helpful feedback on better parts to choose or less expensive ones and especially if anything on this list is just wrong and could cause me problems!!

- Jerry
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Your build looks similar to the $600 rig of the May System Builder Marathon. Maybe you can save money by going down to the E5200? I like your choice of GPU though, so I'd go with that instead of Tom's recommended XFX.
  2. Yeah, I used that article as a resource. Thanks for the suggestion. I agree that the difference in performance between the 5200 and the 7500 would be hardly noticable and a good way to cut out a few bucks. :)

    Based on replies on neweggs forum I am taking just $50 more and going with an AMD quad core Phenom II, XFX HD-489A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI and 8gigs of RAM. Those 3 changes will get me more cpu and gpu and the difference in price is really just the cost of the extra 4gbs of RAM.
  3. Best answer
    Don't know what motherboard you are going to use with the AMD Phenom II but might I suggest the: (if you aren't going to crossfire)
    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    And use it in a combo with this
    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail
    $164.98 (you save $10 w/ combo) - $20MIR = $144.98
  4. dont get 8gb of ram, you wont use it for a while unless you are doing photoshop while playing crysis, so for a while its just a waste of money and by the time you need it prices will have dropped alot.
  5. Thanks Rokez, I went with almost the exact same gigabyte mobo but an matx one.

    I agree hunter that I won't be using 8gb any time soon. I read on Tom's that ddr2 ram is going up in price and as ddr3 becomes more mainstream and less people use ddr2 that it may continue to go up... that may be true or it may not... but I just ordered my parts and for the extra $59 I went with all 8gb. I have had fun the last 6 mos. learning about building systems and parts but I am looking forward to finishing my build in the next week or two and then hopefully not opening the case again for the next 2+ years... and with the 8gb of RAM already in there I was willing to live with just a little overkill. :)
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