$500- $650 Gaming PC

Hi, I am new around here, and I am planning on building my first PC. Currently I have a Dell Dimension 8400 with a Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz processor. I figured it's time to upgrade. :na: Unfortunately I'm pretty short on cash. This PC doesnt not have to be the latest and greatest, but I want to be able to play games on it like Call of Duty 4 (hopefully Modern Warfare 2 also :p ), Team Fortress 2, Half-Life 2. Maybe Crysis although not on high settings. I thought I had the build figured out but now I'm hesitating and I'm wondering what build other people would recommend for my budget.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next few months?


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the internet, gaming, ms office, watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS


PARTS PREFERENCES: none, my first build.


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, What do you recommend?


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a quiet PC, if possible.


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  1. Hey Nate, Welcome to the forums.

    Are you able to buy/build now if the prices are good or are you waiting a few months for the money to come in? Prices and discounts change with inventories and new product launches. So its best to ask what to do within 2 weeks of the actual purchase.

    If you are waiting, that is good as new CPUs will be hitting the market in the next month or two. Should drop prices of the current stuff a little and get you more PC for your buck.

    One thing if you can edit your first post, if you have a monitor, it is built to run at a max resolution. If you can either find that info or give the model number, that would help. You can find your resolution by going into the display setup and seeing how high the resolution will go in windows. That will be the max for the monitor you are using.

    As far as picking parts, there are good guides here in this forum. Check the sticky for Proximons guide on choosing parts. I also have my own in my sig and Tecmo34 has one thats good to. Give those a read and post what you would pick out and we'll be happy to comment and suggest any improvements we can.
  2. This build is at the low end of your budget at about $500 including shipping. It uses a very budget case, a PhenomIIx2 CPU, a budget hard drive and a GTS250 1GB for a graphic card. It should give you an idea what's available at the low end of your budget.

    CPU/motherboard combo - PhenomIIx2 545 and a 785G mATX for $140

    RAM/GPU combo - 2x2 GB DDR2 800/GTS250 1GB - $185

    Burner/power supply combo - Samsung SATA burner, OCZ 500w power supply $81

    Case/card reader combo - cheap Rosewill case, card reader $25

    Hard drive - WD 320 GB SATA Caviar blue - $50

    Just at $500 including shipping, $40 in rebates available if you send them in.

    Some changes that could be made and still keep you in budget would be a PhenomII x3 720 CPU, an AM3 motherboard and slightly more expensive DDR3 RAM.
  3. Definitely under budget once OS is ditched (and DVDRW SATA added) in this suggested config :P
  4. thank you all, and skora my max screen res. is 1280 x 1024.
  5. batuchka's build is a great place to start with a few tweaks.

    Instead of that mobo/PSU combo, get the PSU/optical combo dirtmountain has

    Just buy the HDD that batuchka has by itself and get this mobo/OS combo

    Get this GPU. More than enough for that monitor. I use the 4850 at 1280x1024 and everything on max except Crysis, that's only high, not ultra.

    Total = $640 - $20 mir.
    Also check the latest email promotions. I had 3 codes plugged in and they saved me another $10, but not sure what items they are for.

    Now if you want to push the budget to $665 amir, you can get the 945x4 with the same ram in a combo.
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