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HTPC and Light Gaming $300

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August 19, 2009 9:09:09 PM

THIS is a build for my parents and my sisters. They will use it to watch dvds, surf the web and some light gaming. Gaming wise probably some sims 2 and 3, mount and blade, but no COD or crysis. I have my own computer for gaming. I already have some parts (check Parts not required section)


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP

BUDGET RANGE: $300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: light gaming, surfing the internet and watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hard drive, dvd drive and maybe case(look at comments)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: NO

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 due to 42" tv

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have a emachine T2040. I was wondering if I could use the case for this build. Does emachine make standard cases for mobos?

CPU and MOBO: Dont know if i should go e5200+g31 or amd athlon II x2 240+g31 equivalent?
What is the amd equivalent of the g31 mobo? Should come out at about $120.

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G. Skill 2x2gb ddr2 800 $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Could the psu handle a 8800gt? Because I have one in my gaming machine. Might be a good time to upgrade my machine to a HD 4870 and give the 8800gt to this build instead of getting a hd4670. Of course, it will cost them $65 nonetheless.

GPU: Sapphire HD 4670 $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $290

More about : htpc light gaming 300

a b B Homebuilt system
August 19, 2009 9:15:45 PM

amd g31 equivalent is the 770
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2009 9:23:10 PM

The 770 has no onboard graphics, the 760g would probably be the closest equivilant, for $123 you can get this combo with significantly stronger onboard graphics than the G31 and still uses DDR2.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Since the MIR on the 400CX got smaller this one is a better deal with more power and modular, it wont have any problem powering a 4670 which should be plenty for sims.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2009 9:26:51 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... (GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H + AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz) $122.98

AMD chips take advantage of extra RAM bandwidth, so DDR2 1066 RAM is usually recommended.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail $59.99

Yes, the PSU would power an 8800GT.

Edit: Beat by hunter315 again! :) 
August 19, 2009 9:33:01 PM

Good finds.
I dont care much for onboard graphics since i will be buying a GPU. By "g31 equivalent" i meant a mobo that is low in price, no cf or sli, stable and an okay overclocker. But i see what you mean.
Any idea about the emachine case?

To shortstuff: which psu? the 400CX?
Thanks
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2009 9:42:23 PM

Either one would have no trouble powering it, it uses surprisingly little.

Which emachine as in the case? If it had a BTX board or is a microatx case you will need to swap it out as we both listed a full ATX motherboard.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 19, 2009 9:47:06 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX240OCGQBOX - Retail
Subtotal: $283.96
add graphics you take 4670 personally i'd chose the 3870 it is bout 10% ahead of the 4670
August 19, 2009 9:55:42 PM

hunter315 said:
Either one would have no trouble powering it, it uses surprisingly little.

Which emachine as in the case? If it had a BTX board or is a microatx case you will need to swap it out as we both listed a full ATX motherboard.

The emachine website says the T2040 has a Intel® 845GL chipset. I dont know the board. How could i check? I would say that the case is considerably smaller than my antec 300. The emachine is from 2002ish I think.

The 770 looks pretty expensive at $85 especially when a g31 is $55
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2009 10:06:21 PM

Based on the height dimension shown here it has to be a micro ATX case, unless they invented a 2" tall PSU that i havent head about yet, the case is 7.25x14.125x16 and an ATX board is 12x9.6
http://www.emachines.com/support/product_support.html?c...

Gigabyte makes good boards, the 785g chipset is also newer and will run cooler. Dont venture into ECS when you can have a gigabyte board via the combo shortstuff and i posted for only a few more dollars.
August 19, 2009 11:06:18 PM

hunter315 said:
Based on the height dimension shown here it has to be a micro ATX case, unless they invented a 2" tall PSU that i havent head about yet, the case is 7.25x14.125x16 and an ATX board is 12x9.6
http://www.emachines.com/support/product_support.html?c...

Gigabyte makes good boards, the 785g chipset is also newer and will run cooler. Dont venture into ECS when you can have a gigabyte board via the combo shortstuff and i posted for only a few more dollars.

So are you saying that the 785g will fit into the old emachine case? I really dont know much about cases, especially with an old computer. I got into computer building in 2007, so I dont know much about old hardware and cases.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2009 11:10:31 PM

Oh, didnt realize it was a microATX board, yes it should.
August 20, 2009 8:43:23 PM

I found a new ram and gpu combo.
So this is how the build looks like so far:

Amd athlon II x2 240 + Gigabyte 785g $123
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OCZ ModXStream 500w PSU $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ddr2 1066 + msi hd 4670 $111
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Subtotal $294
MIR -$40
Shipping $7
Total $261

I am going to check the emachine case to try and see if the holes in the mobo match.
September 6, 2009 4:51:13 PM

I ended up going with:

Amd athlon II x2 250 + Gigabyte 785g for about $128 i think ( it was only a little bit over the x2 240 bundle)

Corsair 400CX b/c dont need too much power

G. Skill ddr2 1066

Total $235

I decided to give the integrated graphics a try. Will get a hd 4650 if i am not satisfied.
The mobo worked with the case as well.
Only problem is that the computer all of a sudden (usually when idle or almost idle) becomes extremely silent. I dont mean the audio. I mean the noise made by the computer hardware itself. When I open the case to see if the cpu or psu fan has stopped, the screen turns black. I think it might be the two old harddrives that I have that might be overheating. The system doesnt have good cooling, but speedfan shows that the cpu doesnt get that hot ( 43C idle). I might have made a mistake connecting the front panel cables to the mobo.

Any ideas or recommendations?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
September 6, 2009 6:38:09 PM

Hmm Cool n Quiet at work? Recheck with your mobo manual to confirm front panel headers on mobo connected correctly with front panel connectors from case :p  I'd say for non gamers or peeps willing to game 1024 x 768 low the IGP on that 785G would be fine but if intending to get a discrete i'd set a HD4670 as a minimum actually ^^
September 6, 2009 7:14:50 PM

batuchka said:
Hmm Cool n Quiet at work? Recheck with your mobo manual to confirm front panel headers on mobo connected correctly with front panel connectors from case :p  I'd say for non gamers or peeps willing to game 1024 x 768 low the IGP on that 785G would be fine but if intending to get a discrete i'd set a HD4670 as a minimum actually ^^


Thanks for the reply.
It might be Cool n Quiet but the problem is that the screen turns black and it freezes. It is almost like a BSOD but no blue or white text. I already know that some sort of cpu frequency lowering program is enabled in the bios, and it lowers the cpu freq to .8 Ghz most of the time. But the computer doesn't go "silent" like I described earlier. The "silent" situation seems different and also the fact that the screen goes black afterwards is weird. WHile the screen is black, the computer seems to be working at 100% until I press the power button to turn it off.
I have Windows 7 rc1 if that changes anything.
!