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Building 20+ Gaming PC's

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August 28, 2009 6:18:08 PM

Hi, (Please note, we live in the U.K so we do not have access to Newegg or Tigerdirect etc.)

I don't want to go into to much detial, so to get straight to the point -

We will be opening an Internet Cafe in Turkey (please note: Internet cafes in Turkey are not the internet cafes you find in the U.K or U.S. Internet Cafes in Turkey are what they call "Gaming Cafes." It's very rare people in Turkey purchase a P.C for their homes, they go to internet cafes instead and play games for hours on lan parties. It's insane.)

As the title points out, we will be building 20 or more gaming PC's. Here are the details below:

Budget:
£5,000 ($8,100 - Yes, the dollar is terrible lately. It used to be $12,000 a few years ago)

The systems we build must hold for 3 or more years without the need for any "crucial" upgrades. I forgot to mention, most internet cafes here still use Pentium 4 gaming set ups with 8500GT's.

The Specifications we had in mind are:

CPU: Q6600 / AMD Phenom II X4 955.
GPU: 8800GT (and above)
RAM: 4GB DDR2 800Mhz Crucial Ram
HDD: 250GB Sata II
PSU: 480W OCZ Power Supply
MoB: We need advice on a motherboard.

As mentioned before, our budget is £5,000, and we need these systems to hold up for at least 3 years.

Could you kind folk point us in the right direction? Should we go with the above specs we listed? Or is there any suggestions for a better/cheaper way to go?

Regards.

More about : building gaming

a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2009 6:45:49 PM

Well that budget means you have roughly $400US per system.

Unless you can find some amazing deals by buying in bulk, I think you are going to have to rely on overclocking to get the needed performance without breaking the budget. If the current gaming set-ups there use P4's and 8500GT's, then I think its safe to assume the games played there are not the newest, and therefore do not need very powerful systems. Games from a couple years ago, even the ones today, see performance increases from clock speed, not cores, so I think you could get a few years off a dual core system.

What other kind of parts will be needed, or what do you currently have, in terms of cases, optical drives, paripheals, etc.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (I realize you can't order from here, just posted for information)

The Intel E5200 is a popular low budget CPU, because it OC's really well.
August 28, 2009 7:04:37 PM

Transmaniacon said:
Well that budget means you have roughly $400US per system.

Unless you can find some amazing deals by buying in bulk, I think you are going to have to rely on overclocking to get the needed performance without breaking the budget. If the current gaming set-ups there use P4's and 8500GT's, then I think its safe to assume the games played there are not the newest, and therefore do not need very powerful systems. Games from a couple years ago, even the ones today, see performance increases from clock speed, not cores, so I think you could get a few years off a dual core system.

What other kind of parts will be needed, or what do you currently have, in terms of cases, optical drives, paripheals, etc.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (I realize you can't order from here, just posted for information)

The Intel E5200 is a popular low budget CPU, because it OC's really well.


Hi, thanks for the quik reply, and thanks for understanding the situation.

I'm familier with the E5200, infact is extremly cheap. Core 2 Duo has began entering Turkey's internet (or "gaming") cafes bit by bit. But its still very rare to come across ones that have good GPU's like the 8800GT. The most I've seen here is the Core 2 duo 2.0Ghz with the 9600GT and 2GB Ram.

I was looking for double what I've seen so far so I can go ahead and be 1 step ahead of everyone else, thats why I suggested the specs above. 80% of internet cafes you will find overclocked Pentium 4's that are playable but not plesent with newer games. (GTA IV and Crysis are out, its unplayable.)

Most people here are freaks of 2 games. CS:S and a WoW a-like game called "Kinght Online." 20 people get together and go on CS:S rampages for hours. (I personally hate the game, I don't see what people see in it tbh.)

But I gave people a test drive of "Far Cry 2" and CoD4 and CoDWaW and they loved it. I know its going to be a hit.

We will be having 20 top end gaming PC's and 10 low end Pentium 4 PC's for CS:S and Knight Online.

Can you give me an insight on what the best Core 2 Duo CPU I could get within the budget? Or what the best AMD CPU I could get within the budget? I had my eye on the Phenom II X3. What do you guys think? Does it overclock well? What Core 2 Duo CPU will match the X3?

Thanks.
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August 28, 2009 7:11:07 PM

O, I forgot to explain why I'm not getting them from Turkey directly. Turkey is very expensive in its tech department. I mean, if the e5200 costs $50 in the states, in Turkey it will be priced at $100. Everything is pretty much double the price there. That's why I wanted to get them cheap or in bulks from the U.K and ship them over there. :) 
a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2009 7:14:46 PM

That makes a lot of sense, sounds like a lucrative business too, especially if you can deliver the newer games and offer a better experience =)

The Phenom II X3 is going to be your best choice. At $119.99 for the Black Edition, its a steal, and can be overclocked very easily to perform well.

What will be your monitor resolution at the gaming cafe? If your getting something like 19" or less, or even CRT, then you could run any of the games out today with something like a HD4850 or even a HD4830, both sub-$100US these days. I think the HD4850 would be a solid choice because at that resolution, it keeps you competitive.

Let me know what resolution your considering, and then we can figure out a good GPU
August 28, 2009 7:20:53 PM

Nice find, that deal but it looks like only 8 available. Still, looks pretty good to me.

I agree with the HD 4850 suggestion, best bang for buck in my opinion. Also look at the HD 4670 for a low power solution, could be pretty nice considering the price for premium power supplies.
a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2009 7:22:34 PM

Hmm the CPU and RAM are great, and being pre-OC'ed is handy, however the Motherboard uses the nVidia chipset which isn't the best in terms of reliabilty and performance.

It does seem a little pricy though to be honest, converting that, its about $260 for something you could pay $150 for and do yourself.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
= ~$160US

This would be a decent core system, that is pretty inexpensive. You can OC that CPU to 3.2 GHz pretty easily, and pick up a better GPU than you first suggested, giving you good performance at lower resolutions.
August 28, 2009 7:22:44 PM

That's £250 all in.

The E5200 is a good start - a Q6600 is going to set you back at least £140 alone!

I would lean towards an ASUS barebones 775 system, check out ebuyer. That will get you a half decent case, motherboard and PSU for around £75. 4GB of budget RAM, the cheapest 250 GB sata and DVD-ROM drives you can get, the E5200 and for graphics the 9600GT will top out at around £250-£260.


This will play most stuff out there on medium detail 1440x900 no problems, but I don't know about a 'three year guarantee' and does not include

mouse
keyboard
MONITOR

honestly? - that's a very low budget, for what you need with a three year shelf-life? - Not sure it can be done, maybe others can help here - there might be an AMD solution that is cheaper / faster, I don't know.

August 28, 2009 7:39:09 PM

Transmaniacon said:
Hmm the CPU and RAM are great, and being pre-OC'ed is handy, however the Motherboard uses the nVidia chipset which isn't the best in terms of reliabilty and performance.


BS! You don't know what your talking about.
August 28, 2009 7:41:23 PM

All ASUS motherboard are warranty for three years.
August 28, 2009 7:49:20 PM

Transmaniacon said:
That makes a lot of sense, sounds like a lucrative business too, especially if you can deliver the newer games and offer a better experience =)


Yup, I've been planing it out since December last year, just never had the chance to go ahead with it, due to some personal problems. I found the perfect place, its like I found the lost world or somthing, a place like that comes around once in a lifetime.

My idea for the cafe will have:

- 4 Pool Tables
- 20 Pro Gaming PC's
- 10 Low End Gaming PC's
- 5 Xbox 360's
- 5 PS3's.

People don't get consoles here becuase 90% of Turkey is all PC's, is another reason why they are so expensive here, nobody buys them. So bringing consoles into the idea will over kill profits :)  Pool here costs $12 an hour, and most pool houses are full, I'll put pool prices at $6 (half the price) and they will never be empty :D  I'm just pure awesome right?

Transmaniacon said:
What will be your monitor resolution at the gaming cafe? If your getting something like 19" or less, or even CRT - Let me know what resolution your considering, and then we can figure out a good GPU


Regarding this... I have 19" TFT's in mind. Most probbally running at minimium 1024x748+ ( I have the screens sorted out for a deal price over in Turkey, so no need to worry about them, its mostly the GPU I need help with.)

Thanks!
a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2009 8:01:43 PM

baddad said:
BS! You don't know what your talking about.


I wonder why no one recommends them then? Or how people often advise newcommers against choosing an nVidia chipset motherboard.

@turkissed1

Heh you ought to make a blog of this process, would be interesting to see how it turns out.

Here is the GPU I would recommend: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD are pretty standard, as mentioned earlier any 250GB SATA II Drive from Western Digital or Samsung would be fine. If we go back and use the $160 option I listed earlier, add in the GPU and HDD, we come to $300, which leaves a decent amount of money for peripheals and an optical drive and a case.

Something simple and compact like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... would be decent. You could pick up a couple cheap LED fans to put in the front and give the atmosphere a more modern feel. So now at 350, you need an optical drive, $30, and a keyboard and mouse, $20, and theres the $400 budget.

This gives you an E5200 that can be OC'ed easily with the stock fan
HD4850 which will run thnigs great at those resolutions
4GB of DDR2800
250GB HDD


There is just one thing left that you need, and thats a PSU...

This is the best budget PSU I would trust, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... so if you could scrap together another $800, then you can make this work, with a budget of $450 per computer. It will be hard to do much better, unless you drop down to maybe a 160GB HDD and 2GB of RAM. Then you could prob squeeze it all in for $400.
August 28, 2009 8:06:14 PM

baddad said:
All ASUS motherboard are warranty for three years.


Warranty is not an issue to be honest, if the blow they go in the trash. Don't forget, I'm shipping them abroad. Sending one back and back again just to get it fixed will cost the same price as buying a new one.
a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2009 8:09:43 PM

If you do a little research and buy quality products, even if they are cheap, you can avoid those hassles. Especially in a business environment, losing a PC for a week means less profit and those kinds of hiccups can be easily avoided.
August 28, 2009 8:20:33 PM

Transmaniacon said:
Heh you ought to make a blog of this process, would be interesting to see how it turns out.


Yup, will be doing that. If everything goes to plan, it should be complete within the next 3 months for the winter season.

I should have made my self a bit more clearer on the budget. The budget is only for the CPU, GPU, MoB, Ram & PSU. The HDD and the Monitors along with the PC cases will be purchased here in Turkey. Also along with the Keyboards... The keyboards are in a different layout to the U.K or U.S ones. Plus, there will be no CD drives in the PC's. Everything will be transferd over via External hard drive... Plus it will be a HUGE save.

For the PSU, I had in mind the 480W OCZ, well that was for the original set up for the Quad.

I just have my doubts about the E5200... I mean, at the end of the day it only has a 2MB cache, and even though its using a new wolfdale... It's a Pentium. It's not REALLY going to last to long me thinks. I was hoping to get at least a Core 2 Duo or the AMD X3.

Is there no way that it can fit into the budget? Stupid Ecominical crsis BS... 3 years ago £5,000 was way over the $12,000 mark. Now its a typical $8,100.
August 28, 2009 8:25:16 PM

With such a tight budget, it's impossible to recommend exactly what to buy since we don't know what you are paying for the parts. We need to know where you are purchasing from. But in general, a good budget built would be

e5200 (easily oc to 3.0ghz)
hd4850
G31 motherboard
2gb DDR2-800
Cheap hard drive
400W quality psu (don't skimp if you want the computers to last)
Any cheap case
August 28, 2009 8:48:49 PM

Hmm, after a bit of googling, the 4850 seems to have the performance of the 9800GTX... Is this true? I just can't seem to find a benchmark on both cards.
August 28, 2009 9:03:13 PM

Here is a decent benchmark for the 9800 and 4850.

I used this one because it is a sum of all benchmarks and ideally any games playing favorites between Nvidia and ATI will be glossed over.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

also, this chart is 1680x1050, which i know is higher than the one you suggested, but this will give you an idea.

For COD and things like that, at 1280x1024, a 4850 should be able to handle it JUST fine.

I do agree with orangegator, if at all possible, don't skimp on the PSU, especially if you want these to last.

Best of luck with your business, you're doing what i think would probably be my ultimate job. I would love to own a business like that.
a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2009 9:16:56 PM

Interesting proposition. Here is my take:
1) You will be using a 19" monitor. That will be a 1440 x 900 resolution.

2) How good does your gaming need to be? I would think it needs to be very good to attract and keep customers. You should be able to deliver 60fps for good gameplay. It is the graphics card that mostly determined how much FPS you get. Read this article to get an idea of what you can get: The benchmarks were done using a E8400 cpu @3.0.
http://www.guru3d.com/category/vga_charts/
My take is that you should be looking at something like a GTS250/9800GTX/4850 class card. That will cost in US$ 110-130. It is the heart of your system. I would suggest looking at EVGA and XFX units because of their lifetime warranty. Something like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) The cpu is less important as a rule. At a clock rate of 3.0 or better, the vga card is much more important for gaming than the cpu.
Today, very few games can make use of more than two cores.
Flight simulator X and supreme commander are exceptions. It is not a trivial matter to code multi threaded programs,
and game vendors will not sell too many games that require quads to run.
I don't see this changing in the next couple of years.
I would see you using something like a E7400@2.8 or possibly even something slower. I would avoid overclocking to preserve your warranty, and prolong the life of the cpu.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) For such a cpu, the motherboard is not that important. A P43 or P45 based board will do fine. You don't need extra features and overclocking. Asus, Gigabyte, or even Intel would be Good. You should expect to pay about $80:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5) You will need a PSU of 400 watts, and a 6-pin pci-e cpnnector. It should have 24A on the 12v rails. Above all, it should be from a quality vendor with good support. Here is one list of quality psu"s:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
PC P&C or Corsair would be my preferred vendors. How about the Corsair 450VX for $75:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The unit is relatively efficient, which is good if you are paying for electricity.

6) Today, 4gb of ram is preferred. Here is why it is better than 2gb for gaming, even with a 32 bit OS:
http://www.corsairmemory.com/_appnotes/AN804_Gaming_Per...
Cpu performance is not very sensitive to ram speeds.
If you look at real application and game benchmarks(vs. synthetic tests),
you will see negligible difference in performance between the slowest DDR2 and the fastest DDR3 ram.
Perhaps 1-2%. Not worth it to me.
Don't pay extra for faster ram or better timings. You should be able to buy a 4gb(2x2gb) kit for $50:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

---good luck---

As an aside, last year, I visited turkey. We had a good time and everyone we met was nice. I particularly liked our visit to Ephesus.
a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2009 9:24:21 PM

phenom 720 be
780g mb
4 gig of ram
4870 or 4850 both are better than the 8800gt
250 gig hdd
a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2009 10:06:21 PM

Seeing as you don't need a case or accessories, get the 720 BE and an HD4850
August 29, 2009 1:40:05 AM

godbrother said:
Yup, I've been planing it out since December last year, just never had the chance to go ahead with it, due to some personal problems. I found the perfect place, its like I found the lost world or somthing, a place like that comes around once in a lifetime.

My idea for the cafe will have:

- 4 Pool Tables
- 20 Pro Gaming PC's
- 10 Low End Gaming PC's
- 5 Xbox 360's
- 5 PS3's.

People don't get consoles here becuase 90% of Turkey is all PC's, is another reason why they are so expensive here, nobody buys them. So bringing consoles into the idea will over kill profits :)  Pool here costs $12 an hour, and most pool houses are full, I'll put pool prices at $6 (half the price) and they will never be empty :D  I'm just pure awesome right?



Regarding this... I have 19" TFT's in mind. Most probbally running at minimium 1024x748+ ( I have the screens sorted out for a deal price over in Turkey, so no need to worry about them, its mostly the GPU I need help with.)

Thanks!


Wow, great idea and I am happy for you if it's working. Since you are starting the place, maybe you should get 10 or 12 systems instead of 20. You don't know if it will work for now and you could buy computers later if you really need it.

I think you should at least invest 650$ by PC. At 400$ you aren't going to get great performances. I don't think your clients will be really happy if the hardware is too slow.

You should at least put a ATI 4870 in every computers. E5200 cpu are a good idea, or you can go with Phenom II X2 550. The 550 can be unlocked to a 4th core quite easily with the right motherboard, but the boost in performance can also involve instability with the wrong motherboard.

As for the cases, Cooler Master offer a nice variety of low profile case like the Centurion which I totally loved for around 40$.

For memory, generic stick will be way enough. 2GB will be enough in my opinion, 4GB will not offer much of boost in game performances.

For power supplies, Corsair is the best, but way too expensive for you. OCZ can offer you about the same quality for half the price. I will go with 550W minimum. If you run a lot of PCs, you will need to invest in 80+ power supplies. Trust me, you will save a lot of money over the year on your electric bill. Right now the best priced power supplies with a really high efficiency for the power you need is the OCZ ModXstream 600W.

By the way, you should run your PC at the native resolution of your screen. If you don't do it, the image quality will be greatly reduced. A 4870 is able to run most game at 1600X1200
a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2009 1:50:12 AM

Considering the competition, something like an Antec Earthwatts (even the 380W is enough), powering a 780G board with a 550BE CPU and a HD4850 GPU, 4GB of RAM.
No overclocking; it may reduce component life, and makes restoring a faulty system needlessly complicated. If that breaks the budget, get HD4670 GPUs instead. If there's more room in the budget, get 720BE CPUs instead. Do you need wireless LAN cards in any of these? Extend system life by making sure they all have surge protectors.
a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2009 2:19:09 AM

redgarl said:
...

You should at least put a ATI 4870 in every computers. E5200 cpu are a good idea, or you can go with Phenom II X2 550. The 550 can be unlocked to a 4th core quite easily with the right motherboard, but the boost in performance can also involve instability with the wrong motherboard.

As for the cases, Cooler Master offer a nice variety of low profile case like the Centurion which I totally loved for around 40$.

For memory, generic stick will be way enough. 2GB will be enough in my opinion, 4GB will not offer much of boost in game performances.

For power supplies, Corsair is the best, but way too expensive for you. OCZ can offer you about the same quality for half the price. I will go with 550W minimum. If you run a lot of PCs, you will need to invest in 80+ power supplies. Trust me, you will save a lot of money over the year on your electric bill. Right now the best priced power supplies with a really high efficiency for the power you need is the OCZ ModXstream 600W.

By the way, you should run your PC at the native resolution of your screen. If you don't do it, the image quality will be greatly reduced. A 4870 is able to run most game at 1600X1200

====
I need to disagree with some of that. 4870s might go a long way to making these last three years, but they will break the budget because they will also require beefier PSUs. Considering that the competition uses 8500GTs, even the 4850 becomes generous. At 1440x900, even the HD4670 is a competent gamer. The GPU is one piece that might reasonably expect to need an upgrade every couple of years, so I wouldn't try to make the initial purchase last three years. At only $100-$120 per, that's not an unreasonable expense.
From reviews, Antec Earthwatts is at least as good as Corsair's low end, and is cheaper. HardwareSecrets just posted a positive review of even the 500W Antec Basiq. I do agree that 80+ is a good idea though, so that means Earthwatts. The EA-380 can power a 4850. If you think you need to start with 4870s, or anticipate that ATI/nVidia will ignore a customer base asking for less ravenous GPUs, get EA-500s. Check for deals; newegg runs them, so your vendor(s) probably do too. The low-end OCZ's have not yet been reviewed, but they're made by Sirtec, a company with a dicey reputation. The cheapest ones aren't 80+ either. If you want better, check out the Antec Truepower New 550, which is 80+ bronze. They're around $80 though, which may put them out of range. Corsair's VX and HX lines, though undeniably good, are only 80+ certified, and generally more expensive.
Do not try to unlock extra cores. I think you want uniformity and stability. If you want more cores, fit them into the initial budget, or anticipate simple drop-in CPU upgrades in a couple years when the 720BE or 945 are half their price or lower.
Low-end Coolermaster cases suck. They have quality issues, and I think durability is more important in this environment than tool-free mounts ("hey everybody, free hard drives!"). If you want cheap cases, get Rosewill.
a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2009 5:13:49 AM

I think for a LAN/gaming shop to be practical:

1. Have start up costs kept as low as possible
2. Cut out the glam and flashiness and keep power consumption low as it will be contribute to ongoing operational cost
3. Get a chip just nice to address games


For me :

P2X3 710
2 X 2 DDR2
any AM2+ as cheap as possible capable of supporting the chip - prolly mATX
mATX case (small footprint, save space for shop)
19" LCD with 1280 x 1080 or 1440 x 900
HD 4670/9600GT (low power)
80+ certified 350-400 watter PSU

the above template would be good to go and not cost a bomb initially and in the long run IMO hehe
August 29, 2009 6:24:18 AM

Onus said:
====
I need to disagree with some of that. 4870s might go a long way to making these last three years, but they will break the budget because they will also require beefier PSUs. Considering that the competition uses 8500GTs, even the 4850 becomes generous. At 1440x900, even the HD4670 is a competent gamer. The GPU is one piece that might reasonably expect to need an upgrade every couple of years, so I wouldn't try to make the initial purchase last three years. At only $100-$120 per, that's not an unreasonable expense.
From reviews, Antec Earthwatts is at least as good as Corsair's low end, and is cheaper. HardwareSecrets just posted a positive review of even the 500W Antec Basiq. I do agree that 80+ is a good idea though, so that means Earthwatts. The EA-380 can power a 4850. If you think you need to start with 4870s, or anticipate that ATI/nVidia will ignore a customer base asking for less ravenous GPUs, get EA-500s. Check for deals; newegg runs them, so your vendor(s) probably do too. The low-end OCZ's have not yet been reviewed, but they're made by Sirtec, a company with a dicey reputation. The cheapest ones aren't 80+ either. If you want better, check out the Antec Truepower New 550, which is 80+ bronze. They're around $80 though, which may put them out of range. Corsair's VX and HX lines, though undeniably good, are only 80+ certified, and generally more expensive.
Do not try to unlock extra cores. I think you want uniformity and stability. If you want more cores, fit them into the initial budget, or anticipate simple drop-in CPU upgrades in a couple years when the 720BE or 945 are half their price or lower.
Low-end Coolermaster cases suck. They have quality issues, and I think durability is more important in this environment than tool-free mounts ("hey everybody, free hard drives!"). If you want cheap cases, get Rosewill.


First off, I don't think that playing Crysis with a 4650 or a 8500GT is a good idea at all. Look, for a gaming rig, you need a graphic card, and at little over 125$, a 4870 is the cheapest card that will truly fit his needs. I will not game on something with less than a 4850. It's for playing games, not watching movies.

Also, the OCZ ModXstream series got an efficiency of >85% at typical load with a single 4870 and they are retailing for about 50$. Also, for the price they are, you don't have the right to even argue about their quality. They got better efficiency than the Corsair TX series and they are reliable. You also need to take into consideration that these desktop are not for web browsing. I am sorry, but 550W minimum. If he want to change the graphic cards later, he would need to buy 20 new power supply.

The difference in price is ridiculous anyway at this level of power. So you are telling him to to pay 20$ less for every platform and buy new power supply when he will upgrade the graphic cards. I am sorry but that's a bad move and he will end up paying more for having about the same than what he could get now.

The 4850 and the 4870 are now at a ridiculous price. You can get a new 4850 for 80$.

Cooler Master lower end case are great for the kind of stuff he wants to build. Sincerely, the Centurion I bought for my mother is one of the greatest little case 40$ can gives you.
a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2009 12:42:59 PM

Batuchka, it looks like we agree; if the low-power 9600GT (or even 9800GT) is available, within budget, either of those would be better than the 4670.
I am NOT suggesting he get new PSUs. That's the point. With die sizes shrinking, GPUs should not be getting more and more voracious. And yes, at 1440x900, gaming on a 4670 is entirely feasible; some settings won't be maxed, but I don't think that matters, not in this environment.
OCZ has released some excellent products. In a business environment, however. I will never suggest something untested. I really think the Truepower New would be great, but I realize it probably exceeds the budget. Every now and then, one of the Earthwatts models will be in the $30-$40 range. Can't beat that with an impact hammer.
August 29, 2009 3:35:14 PM

Hi fellas. I greatly appreciate all the feedback given, I wasn’t expecting this thread to get so much attention. There’s a lot of information here to think about.

- Regarding the PSU's, I for sure know that you need a nice quality PSU to run the components for a long time. The PSU I had in mind was the 500W or 600W OCZ PSU, as there the cheapest I can find in the U.K that is a trusted brand.

- Regarding the CPU, I truly do not want to go with the e5200. I know its recommended, but that’s probably only for today’s gaming. How about tomorrow? I was hoping to get the E8400 but I noticed its out of budget when needing 20 of them.

- Regarding the RAM, I would definitely go with 4GB no questions asked. I would not want a 2GB system set up, because at the end of the day, 2GB gaming PC’s have past there time. That would be for a REALLY low budget build. Plus, 4GB bundles are dirt cheap, I spoke with Crucial over the phone, and they said they will bump down the prices if you purchase a bulk over 50 2GB sticks. Seen as I’m going to need 50, I got a sweat deal done with them.

- Regarding the motherboard, as I mentioned before, it should be the least of my worries. I mean, I don’t want to get a beat down cheap basic motherboard, but I also don’t want a gamer’s motherboard, as they are extremely expensive and out of my league.

The budget set is the money we have left over from all the spending we made towards the shop. The pool tables etc etc. O and the guy that suggested we cut down on the lights and glammer in store, well no worries. The whole floor was died in Blue LED’s: http://www.deslamps.co.uk/images/GL030-Blue-Head-Clear_... Along with the whole roof being died with White Seiling LED’s.

We can actually take out a loan from the bank of upto $40,000 but I really didn’t want to start this business in a loan, I wanted it to start with pure money that does not need to be paid back. That’s why I’m trying to be so crucial with the budget, I mean I guess I can squeeze an extra buck here and there and get another $1,000 but I’m opened to see what I can afford with this budget first.

Heres what I found regarding the E8400 Bundle:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/INTEL-E8400-CORE-2-DUO-CPU-MOTHER...

What do you think of the motherboard? If the motherboard is a thumbs up, then its a good start. I have an option of 2 GPU's... The 8800GTS or the HD4850.

HD4850 1GB DDR3:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BNIB-ASUS-ATI-HD-4850-1GB-HD4850-...

or - 9800GTX 512MB DDR3:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/EVGA-GEFORCE-9800GTX-SUPERCLOCKED...

Now all thats left is the PSU...
August 29, 2009 4:41:23 PM

how would the 790gx board do
August 29, 2009 6:15:27 PM

obsidian86 said:
how would the 790gx board do


That would mean the need for an AMD CPU correct?
August 29, 2009 6:37:54 PM

I actually think your best bet in this case might be an amd am3 board and chip. The reason being it should be more upgradeable in a year or 2. Therefore saving you $$ long term.
August 29, 2009 7:05:46 PM

What do you have in mind? I was thinking on the Phenom II X3 but the MoB's for them are pricey... The CPU is cheap though.
a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2009 11:35:05 PM

9800GTX and 4850 are comparable cards. I like the 9900GTX you mentioned better because the dual slot cooler will reduce case cooling issues. The 4850 just dumps heat back into the case, heating up the vga card and the cpu. It is more expensive though.
The 8800GTS is a notch below if it is the 512 model, and another notch lower if it is the earlier model.

I don't like the bundles.

The PC bundle has stuff you don't need, and an unknown psu. The OCZ psu's should be fine.
I also do not like the motherboard with integrated graphics. If, at the end of life, you want to overclock, you will be very limited with an integrated graphics motherboard.

I would think, with a quantity of 20, you should be able to get a discount on the E8400 and motherboards. Shop the distributors.

The E7500 2.93 in the US costs $115, the E8400 3.0 costs $160. Is the $45 difference worth it?
For that difference, you could upgrade a 4850/GTS250/9800GTX to a 4870/GTX260 class card. The lesser E7500 would easily be able to drive those cards, giving better gameplay, particularly on graphics intensive titles such as Crysis.

August 30, 2009 6:02:26 PM

geofelt said:
The E7500 2.93 in the US costs $115, the E8400 3.0 costs $160. Is the $45 difference worth it?
For that difference, you could upgrade a 4850/GTS250/9800GTX to a 4870/GTX260 class card. The lesser E7500 would easily be able to drive those cards, giving better gameplay, particularly on graphics intensive titles such as Crysis.


Well, the difference between the two CPU's are as follows... The E8400 has:

- 6MB Cache (The 7500 has a 3MB cache)
- 1333Mhz FSB
- Intel Virtualization Technology

The E7500 is not the best route to take if I need these to handle games from a few years from now.

geofelt said:

I don't like the bundles.

The PC bundle has stuff you don't need, and an unknown psu. The OCZ psu's should be fine.
I also do not like the motherboard with integrated graphics. If, at the end of life, you want to overclock, you will be very limited with an integrated graphics motherboard.


No no, I wasn't going to use the intergrated card. I was going to purchase a GPU on top of the bundle.

geofelt said:
9800GTX and 4850 are comparable cards. I like the 9900GTX you mentioned better because the dual slot cooler will reduce case cooling issues. The 4850 just dumps heat back into the case, heating up the vga card and the cpu. It is more expensive though.
The 8800GTS is a notch below if it is the 512 model, and another notch lower if it is the earlier model


I was thinking... If the 9800GTX is close enough performance wise, that I should get that rather then the 4850/70 because apparently they use more power and get hotter then the 9800GTX.

In the line of business I'm opening, saving on electricity bills is priority, and if it’s not TO MUCH of a noticeable difference in game play, as said before, I'll prefer the 9800GTX.

What do you think?
a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2009 6:42:29 PM

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here you have a solid CPU that should be fine for your needs. The board only uses DDR2 so you can save money there, and its AM3, giving you the option to upgrade in the future and keep up with the technology. If you can sqeeze the Phenom II X3 in there for $120, then by all means do it, but this is a solid low cost choice that gives you the high clock speed games these days utilize.
a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2009 6:44:19 PM

I think AMD is going to be the clear winner here, because you can give yourself some future-proofing by going with an AM3 board. The Intel route will require lots of overclocking, and an eventual overhaul to X58.
a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2009 6:51:29 PM

9800GTX+: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD4850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Personally I like AMD more, but I would check the benchmarks of the games your going to have, and see where the performance differences are. The HD4850 and 9800GTX+ trade blows on most games and pretty comparable in features and price. These two have lifetime warranties, and are popular choices.

One difference though is the HD4850 at the same price as the 9800GTX+ has double the memory, though this isnt as important at your resolution. However, picking a 512MB HD4850 brings the cost down almost $20, saving you $400 on your 20 machines. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would check the benchmarks, and see if there are any considerable differences in the games you will have, if not, then get the cheaper card, the HD4850.

August 30, 2009 7:54:45 PM

Well, I think I may have just have received a miracle break through via telephone :)  OK here it goes...

My brother just called me from Turkey and he says his laid down a deal from a local distributor for ready built systems with the following specs: (price follows)

CPU: Quad-Core Q8200 - 2.33Ghz 4MB Cache 1333FSB
RAM: 4GB DDR2 800Mhz Team Elite Ram /w heat sinks!
GPU: GTS 250 - 512MB DDR3 256bit
PSU: Cooler Master 600W PSU
MoB: Gigabyte GA G31M Motherboard
HDD: Maxtor 250GB Sata II Hard drive
PCC: Random Mid PC Case
---------------------------------------------------------------------
LCD: 22" LG TFT Black/Silver Monitor
K&M: Free Keyboard and Mouse

All this is for $700! Including the 22" TFT etc etc...

What do you guys think… The guy says if we go with a 9800GT that he will knock of $20 per unit... He also says if we decide to go with a 500W OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS PSU that he will knock of an extra $15.

Any thoughts?
a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2009 9:09:13 PM

That is a pretty good deal, tbh, the 250 is just a rebranded 9800, and I would save some money going with the 500W PSU. What was your allotted budget for the monitor and keyboard mouse, this would be $665 and probably a bit over your budget, but all the work is done for you. Might be worth it for your sanity if you want to spend a little more. Even though the chipset is done for, you will get a good deal of life out of the quad-core. Also, what about a case/optical drive/and hard drive?
a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2009 11:27:40 PM

The OCZ PSU is probably a better one. Unless the Coolermaster 500 is 80+ certified, it is one of the older, overrated and less efficient models.
August 31, 2009 5:20:18 PM

Transmaniacon said:
That is a pretty good deal, tbh, the 250 is just a rebranded 9800, and I would save some money going with the 500W PSU. What was your allotted budget for the monitor and keyboard mouse, this would be $665 and probably a bit over your budget, but all the work is done for you. Might be worth it for your sanity if you want to spend a little more. Even though the chipset is done for, you will get a good deal of life out of the quad-core. Also, what about a case/optical drive/and hard drive?


Hey, thanks for the reasurance... It's infact 100% in my budget because the $400 was only for the CPU/MoB/RAM/GPU/PSU. As I mentioned in the 5th post, everything else was going to be arranged outside of this budget.

O, and I forgot to add that, it will have a random PC case, I was not informed on what it was (probbally a generic brand mid case.) The hard drive that comes with it will be a Maxtor Sata 250GB. Again, this is within the price given to me.

Just to ask, is it a wise option to go with the 500W option?... I would have thought to juice a quad and a GTS 250 would need a 600W+ hmm...

Regarding the GTS 250 being a rebranded 9800, should I just go with the 9800 and save $20?

a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2009 5:23:39 PM

The 250 is not that power hungry, although if you plan on overclocking the quad, it may be well worth it to get the bigger PSU, this gives you the breathing room for a more powerful GPU down the road.

I wasn't sure intially if this would stretch the budget, but it sounds like this is a great price, so you might as well get the better PSU.

Edit: As someone mentioned earlier, the OCZ is probably a better PSU than the Coolermaster, might be worth it to inquire about getting a 600watt OCZ PSU instead. I would figure out the exact model and check some reviews because its important to have a reliable PSU.
August 31, 2009 5:37:35 PM

Transmaniacon said:
The 250 is not that power hungry, although if you plan on overclocking the quad, it may be well worth it to get the bigger PSU, this gives you the breathing room for a more powerful GPU down the road.

I wasn't sure intially if this would stretch the budget, but it sounds like this is a great price, so you might as well get the better PSU.

Edit: As someone mentioned earlier, the OCZ is probably a better PSU than the Coolermaster, might be worth it to inquire about getting a 600watt OCZ PSU instead. I would figure out the exact model and check some reviews because its important to have a reliable PSU.


Thanks for the quik reply,

Just a question regarding the CPU, I mean do you really think its a good chip to go with? I heard some bad things about the Q8200, or was it just a bunch of trollers?
a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2009 6:42:26 PM

It is a lot stronger that what your competition is using.
August 31, 2009 7:20:39 PM

Onus said:
It is a lot stronger that what your competition is using.


:D  So true, thanks for pointing that out. The first "high-end" gaming cafe opened in the city I stay at with the following specs:

- E8400
- 9600GT
- 4GB DDR2 667Mhz

I decided to go take a peak, it was on the other side of town, and checked out system specs. They have a very good CPU for such a low standard GPU. They have close to 40 built in there. Pretty sweat place infact.

Seen as I know this is the most this city will see spec wise for the next 3 years, I will be 2 steps ahead of most cafes here, thats for sure. So I'm going with the deal offered to me. Unless you have any last minute thoughts you would like to add maybe? :) 
August 31, 2009 7:27:24 PM

Just a quik question on the PSU, as Transmaniacon pointed out I should stick with the 600 for future upgrades, but if you think about it, won't the future hold 10x more power hungry components? So going with the 600W option to make it "future-proof" will not be nessesory.

But what is storming my mind is will 500W REALLY power all the components? I mean, at the end of the day its a Quad core build, and I've never really ever seen anyone have such a low-watt PSU for a system at the spec its at...

Any advice on that? I truely do not want to under-power the PC's.
!