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Gaming Rig for GTS 250/600W PSU with budget $400-500

Last response: in Systems
August 18, 2009 5:03:18 AM

Hi, I bought a GTS 250 512MB and CoolerMaster Extreme 600W about a month ago and now I am upgrading my system, a 4 year old P4 based. I will mainly use it for gaming and image processing. My current PC can't even give me 100 fps in CS and I won't use my gfx card with it as there is no point to it.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week or two unless advised otherwise.

BUDGET RANGE: Around USD 400-500. Actually, I will be buying in India in Rupees, but since the budget can be adjusted slightly, the price differential can be absorbed unless it is too much.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Image processing (not heavy duty), net surfing, Video encoding, watching movies including HD movies.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I will keep the following from my current system:
-GTS 250 512 MB
-PSU CM Extreme 600W (contrary to its name, it is just passable, it seems)
-LG 14" LCD display (L192WS - a bad one but I will have to make do with it for now) with max resolution@1440X900
-160 GB SATA HDD. I might junk the old 80GB though.
-Logitech keyboard and mouse.

Method of purchase: Retail. Online shopping for hardware is still in its infancy here in India and I don't wish to try it.


I prefer Intel but if the price advantage for an AMD is sufficient, I will go for it too. I am thinking of the following:

- CPU - I am thinking of going for a Q9550, as it has 12 MB cache and good clock speed. It will be perfect for gaming, but I am not sure of the price. Other Q9000 series porcessors could be opted for if cheaper/necessary.
-A compatible motherboard. Not sure how much it will cost and if I should go for a cheap one or a better one. NO OVERCLOCKING for me!
-A good but cheap cabinet without a good PSU.
-4 GB DDR3 RAM, but if necessary (and compatible with a Quad Core mobo), I can settle for a 4GB DDR2 RAM as well.
-A good 500GB/1 TB HDD. No point in having a fast system with an old HDD.

I specifically want advice on motherboard+CPU+RAM, the others I can adjust as per the prices here. And the i7's too expensive here!

BTW, will my PSU be sufficient to run a system like this?

OVERCLOCKING: No, as I will almost certainly don't have a cooling solution.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, for the ame reason as above. Besides, I don't think that I need it for a 1440X900 resolution?

AMBIENT CONDITIONS: For around 4 months, the conditions are at 37-42 degrees Celsius (99 F - 108 F) and humidity varies from 60-95%.


Also, should I wait for some time for the i3/i5 to come out? Will they be cheaper/better than the quad core? How much will I have to wait?

I know that this is a long post, but I don't want to make a mistake with this one. I am regretting buying the CM 600W extreme PSU. All suggestions are welcome. Please feel free to make drastic changes to any of my mentioned preferences
a b 4 Gaming
August 18, 2009 5:06:06 AM

Are there any etailers you can buy from? I know that the price differential in many places is way more than the conversion rate would lead one to believe. Consider an AMD 945, it performs similarly to the Q9550 but for significantly less over here. If you could post a link to an etailer near you i will price out parts on there. What is your budget in rupees?
August 18, 2009 5:17:01 AM

My budget in Rupees is around Rs 25000.

Well, I have been to two websites, but I don't really know how much their prices vary from the retailers: (They are migrating their site so this is their temporary site)

EDIT - Looking at their prices, most items are more expensive than I will find at retail!
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August 18, 2009 1:33:01 PM

Look guys, you can suggest as per US prices, as I said in my original post. I will find the parts their Indian prices. But at least suggest something. Or tell me to wait for the i5 and price wars, if any :p 
a b 4 Gaming
August 18, 2009 3:35:08 PM

Take a look for an AMD 945
A 770 board, make sure it is AM3 so it uses DDR3
The antec 300 provides pretty good cooling and has the option for 3 more fans.
The samsung F3 is a single platter 500GB drive
Newegg prices on DDR3 ram are higher than they were a couple weeks ago and the stock sucks right now, just find some stuff that is 1333MHz or 1600MHz with CL7, if you need to save some you can drop down to the AM2+ version and get DDR2 ram.
August 19, 2009 6:58:27 AM

The antec 300 seems quite expensive here. can I go for the Coolermaster Elite 335 or the like instead?

Also, I am trying to find the best prices for the other parts. Will update and ask for more advice soon :) 
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2009 2:27:48 PM

Its not going to have much in the way of air flow. Try to find a case with options for a front fan atleast.
August 20, 2009 3:05:55 AM

Ok, will look for the alternatives and ask here. Thanks for your replies so far :)