Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Under $600 Gaming Rig

Last response: in Systems
Share
August 30, 2009 5:37:25 AM

Looking at Newegg I have made a configuration that costs CDN $562 ($666 after S&H, taxes, etc.) I wish for opinions on what should be changed, if anything. I will be gaming on a HD TV at 1360x768, so a top of the line video card is not necessary.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next week or so. BUDGET RANGE: CDN $500-$600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet, media.

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca, ncix.com, tigerdirect.ca

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD for CPU, and ATI for GPU

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, once I feel safe with the idea. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1360x768

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Will consider overclocking if the result is more money in my pocket. Feel free to downgrade parts considering this is a budget build, it can always cost a little less than the budget. Ex. smaller hard drive, etc. Also, feel free to upgrade parts if it will result in noticable difference for little price difference.

Parts I have assembled so far.
Processor: Phenom II X2 545 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Motherboard: MSI 770-C45 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 512 MB http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM: OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB DDR3 1600 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Case/Power Supply: Logisys CS305BK w/ 480W PS http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

CD/DVD RW: Sony Optiarc http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Accessories (Fans, etc.): Wireless Adapter http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683... Case Fans http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

More about : 600 gaming rig

August 30, 2009 6:57:14 AM

I would switch the HDD for this one:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the PSU to this one:
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...

the case to this one:
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and also consider upgrading to this CPU:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 30, 2009 7:05:44 AM

Is the 720 unlockable?
Related resources
August 30, 2009 7:14:08 AM

yea i have one great cpu worth it extra few bucks now
green hd are slow get a 7200 rpm drive
August 30, 2009 8:01:10 AM

FallenSniper said:
Is the 720 unlockable?


While Biostars and Asrocks have the BIOS (and other brands/models of mobos) to do so the stepping/batch of the 720 is also another variable
August 30, 2009 2:47:47 PM

jbakerlent, he's in Canada, so those US Newegg prices won't help.
The Logisys case/PSU is only good if you intend to immediately remove the PSU and heave it as far away from a PC as possible (or at least into the nearest latrine with the other poop).
HardwareSecrets just did a review of the low-end OCZ 400W PSU, and it passed with excellent remarks. It is a Channel-Well built unit. It looks to be as good as the Earthwatts at the low end.
August 30, 2009 4:46:14 PM

jbakerlent said:
I would switch the HDD for this one:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the PSU to this one:
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...

the case to this one:
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and also consider upgrading to this CPU:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thank you for the suggestions, and everyone else for the help, but with those parts added it costs $880 which blows the point of this build. Thanks for the recommendations, but I would appreciate others that fit my price range better thanks.
August 30, 2009 6:25:14 PM

Onus said:
jbakerlent, he's in Canada, so those US Newegg prices won't help.


Not sure what you mean by prices... I just thought I'd give him the names of a few good parts to look at... Sorry I didn't take the time to look them up again on the .ca version :??: 
August 30, 2009 6:28:56 PM

To reduce price just stick with the 545, and drop down to a 4830 which will be fine at that resolution. Also, just a small thing, are you aware that the 300 comes with case fans?
August 30, 2009 8:04:26 PM

jbakerlent said:
To reduce price just stick with the 545, and drop down to a 4830 which will be fine at that resolution. Also, just a small thing, are you aware that the 300 comes with case fans?

I was not, thanks, but the fans are fairly inexpensive, yet efficient, only costing around $2 each.
I have changed the case to your recommended, took a power supply in the same series, removed some extra bits, changed to a smaller hard drive, to lower the cost further. Currently I have these parts in the build, anything else I should change/add?
Case: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Hard Drive: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Motherboard: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Video Card: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Power Supply: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
RAM: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Processor: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
CD/DVD RW Drive: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
$601.42 Before taxes and shipping
$702.75 After taxes and shipping

Edit I was looking at SSDs I can get a 16GB SSD for $59. Would it be worth it to have it for my most played games?
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
August 30, 2009 8:11:35 PM

Looks like a great build! Not much room to cut back. To clarify the 300 uses 120mm and 140mm fans not 80mm...

Edit: I would say no on the SSD.
Anonymous
August 30, 2009 10:22:05 PM

Save a bit of money ($6) and go with the:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Quick Tip: NCIX & Tigerdirect have price matching features so you can take advantage over with thanks to the site Price Canada but NCIX/TD must have that item you are price matching. Plus depending on where you live you may be able to pick up your products from NCIX or Tigerdirect so you save more on shipping. Happy hunting!
http://www.pricecanada.com/c.php/Desktop-Components-14/
August 31, 2009 12:28:12 AM

Others can correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the 545 have a locked multiplier? Would the 550 not be a better choice? In the US it's only $10 more - not sure what the difference is in Canada.

You could make up the cost difference by trying to find the Antec 300 with free shipping. Just a thought.
Anonymous
August 31, 2009 12:55:59 AM

Yes the 545 has a locked multiplier. Only Black Edition processors from AMD have unlocked multipliers. The difference here in Canada between the 545 and 550 is roughly $22 at Newegg. :( 

@OP: If you want the easier AMD PII 550 to overclock you can use this combo to combine the 550 and your RAM. (only saves $10)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...
August 31, 2009 2:08:06 AM

Could also consider the Athlon II X2 250 (unless you plan on trying to unlock all 4 cores of the 550). It is only a little slower (5% or so) in some apps, but could save you a little money if prices are creeping too high.
August 31, 2009 8:57:59 AM

Thanks for the recommendations everyone. Can anyone think of a good reason not to get the Athlon II X2 250? Price wise it may be worth it to use it. Also, is it very easy to unlock the cores on the 550, and if it is, what is the success rate? Thanks for the recommendation Rokez but the RAM is DDR2, and it's at a lower clock speed.
August 31, 2009 10:19:23 AM

No reason, unless your budget permits the 550.
August 31, 2009 2:11:29 PM

If you're in Canada, I suggest going for www.directcanada.com for your pricing instead of newegg ( canada now?!?! really didn't even know ).

It's the same compagny as NCIX but it's a little cheaper, not by much, but so far, all I check it's always cheaper on directcanada.

I just checked newegg.ca against directcanada, and DC is cheaper for all 10 thing I looked up and I'm lazy to check more parts to see if it's all like that.

There is also free shipping for DC as of +300$ and less than 100lbs order, which all or most computer build fill into. And as so far, everytime I checked on newegg, never ended up with free shipping whatsoever ( on the US one ).

I'm in Quebec, and DC is in BC, so only the federal tax of 5% and 1.5% of shipping insurance is added to the price, so it's pretty damn cheap.

So far I bought 5 times with them, had a DOA patriot memory once, sended them back and got the refund pretty easy, even if I had opened the box ( which I said I didn't anyway ). So check that site too.


PS: I did not check if your build was cheaper on DC or not, cause with threads, people tend to list a lot of pieces and now I don't know what pieces you'll get, so check for yourself on both place when you have your build completed.
August 31, 2009 4:19:01 PM

Newegg lists the OCZ RAM as deactivated.
Any recommendations for alternatives?
August 31, 2009 4:53:50 PM
August 31, 2009 6:30:06 PM

Anyone else use direct canada? Seems decent. But I have never heard of it before.
August 31, 2009 7:46:39 PM

The only note about the Athlon II is that for whatever reason, it only supports running up to DDR3 1066 officially. I have seen others running higher and although I do not, I see the settings are avaliable. Again, idon't know why this is, and personally I think 1066 is probably plenty for a system like this, but just thought I should mention it to provide you with all of the info. I'm sorry that I don't know for sure the implications of that 1066 max support. It may be meaningless (hopefully someone else will chime in if they know for sure).

Also, the X2 550 unlocking requires luck (get a good chip) and a MB with the correct BIOS (which AMD is forcing them to remove ASAP).
Anonymous
September 1, 2009 1:32:30 AM

Nice solid build you have there. Sorry I can't help you make an informed decision on DirectCanada but from my research I know that they are one of the major computer part retailers in Canada just not as big/well known as NCIX or Newegg.

Also sorry for misleading you towards DDR2 RAM, I just saw the image and could have sworn there was a combo with your OCZ DDR3 RAM but I guess that was removed when the RAM was deactivated. Your G.Skill RAM is a good alternative given the prices of RAM.
September 1, 2009 3:26:38 AM

As mentioned by EXT64 apparently the Athlon II has a memory speed limit? Anyone else heard of this? Which brings me to another question. At this point, I have two ways I can see going. I can get the Kingston RAM + Athlon II since it is lower speed http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... and http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... or I can get the higher speed G.Skill RAM and the Phenom II http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... and http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
The difference in price is $45.51. Do you guys think that the performance increase will be worth the increase in price?
September 1, 2009 3:29:47 AM

Just a quick note, you can use a Ram that is meant to run at higher speed (like I am using OCZ DDR3 1600) but it just may or may not run at that faster speed.
September 1, 2009 3:36:02 AM

EXT64 said:
Just a quick note, you can use a Ram that is meant to run at higher speed (like I am using OCZ DDR3 1600) but it just may or may not run at that faster speed.

Alrighty. What do you figure though, think that the Phenom II would work better in this build? Also, would you recommend getting the higher speed RAM irreguardless of the processor?
September 1, 2009 3:41:25 AM

Yes the Callisto larger cache makes it a better gaming chip vs Regor
September 1, 2009 11:10:37 AM

Well, the difference is not huge and some can be attributed to the PII's higher clockspeed, but the difference is there. I did a little searching, and I found a review that ran the 550 and 250 side by side, and both ran DDR3 1333 and scored nearly identical in ram tests, so I don't know why AMD didn't list DDR3 1333 as supported.

Anyway, to answer your question, it is personal preference. Obviuosly I faced the same question and chose the 250, however the 550 is an excellent deal too. I guess the answer is, if you don't mind the extra $45 (really $15-20 for same ram) then get the 550 and know you got the best you could for the money. In gaming, I saw it got between 0 and 5 FPS faster, depending on game and resolution.

The conclusion I saw (which I think is a little exaggerated) was 10% faster for PII and a better gamer. So there you go, 10% more performace for a $15 more chip isn't bad. So, for your case, the PII is probably the better choice.

Here's the site, by the way. Not the best, but the first I found:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/athlon-ii-x2-250-and-phen...
September 1, 2009 5:57:44 PM

What I was thinking too is should I get lucky I could get a Phenom II that could have it's extra cores unlocked. With the Phenom I have that option, whereas the Athlon doesn't as it is based on a dual core. Basically to me it seems to be that the difference in price could quite easily be made up if I can unlock the two extra cores, and have a cheap quad core.
September 1, 2009 6:49:11 PM

Yep, that used to be quite common, though by now they might have enough true defectives (or not). The harder part is getting the BIOS for your board that can unlock the cores, since obviously AMD wasn't too happy with this whole unlocking frenzy (though in reality, it probably helped sales by getting people to buy just for the fun of unlocking the cores, but whatever). I remember for my board (Gigabyte) people said it was the F2c, which has since been removed. You'll have to do some searching to see which (if any) unlock cores on your board.
September 1, 2009 6:51:17 PM

Nice. Grab that BIOS now so it can't run away on you, and good luck!
September 2, 2009 4:28:49 PM

Wow I just noticed that the difference between the Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 and 4850 is literally a dollar right now. They must have bumped up the price on the 4830. So I guess I should go for the 4850 huh?
September 2, 2009 5:06:48 PM

Sure. The OCZ PSU should be able to handle it, although you won't have a lot of headroom.
September 3, 2009 6:56:46 AM

Just wondering guys, on the stock cooler how much do you think I could safely overclock the Phenom II X2 550?
September 3, 2009 10:56:28 AM

I'm not certain, but probably not much (especially not much voltage increases). That said, you certainly can try setting the CPU fan at max and carefully OCing, constantly checking load temps as you go. If you are serious about a long term modest OC, you really should get a good cooler (unless the stock is better than I am expecting).
September 3, 2009 6:26:18 PM

Yeah, its been weird. They seem to have trouble keeping some Ram and a lot of DVD burners in stock. It's not like them, maybe they are cutting back a little to save money.
September 3, 2009 6:46:10 PM

EXT64 said:
Yeah, its been weird. They seem to have trouble keeping some Ram and a lot of DVD burners in stock. It's not like them, maybe they are cutting back a little to save money.

At this point I am changing the RAM in the configuration, so what do you figure now? Should I invest in a CPU cooler and overclock the Phenom, or cut back to the Athlon and don't overclock? The difference is $60 between Phenom and CPU Cooler http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683... or Athlon and stock cooler. With the things currently in the shopping cart the Phenom/Cooler would cost $676.91 and the Athlon would cost $616.91.
September 3, 2009 9:42:21 PM

That's a pretty nice cooler. it can keep my PII 940 cool (which currently is around 95-120W, depending on settings) so you should be able to OC okay.

As for your question, I don't know. I really wish I could do ram tests for you now (to confirm if the memory controllers are any different between the two) but as this is my primary schoolwork comp, I really can't do that.

Regardless, lets look at this in price vs perf. Cost goes up about 10%, and performace goes up about 5-10%. However, a reasonable OC could easily net more, so on that front the PII looks good. Then comes in the fact that OCing can be fun (or a real headache, but probably more fun). And finally, with the PII you know you got the best performance you could and won't be second guessing it.

I think for your goals, the PII is the best choice. For me, performance was secondary to power consumption, so the AII was better. Also, for whatever reason, I didn't like the idea of having a chip with disabled cores. No good reason for that feeling, but I felt that way, so when I saw a true dual core, I was set on it at once.

Edit: and also if you want another weird reason, I wanted an even GHz and the 3.0GHz AII also matches my PII.
Anonymous
September 3, 2009 9:52:08 PM

Well it depends, you can go with a aftermarket heatsink now but if you are on a really tight budget I suggest go with the Phenom II and buy an aftermarket cooler later.

PS. Better heatsink for $7 more but if you get the $15 rebate its $8 cheaper. Plus it also includes some good thermal paste (TX-2).
Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

Edit:But I would suggest sticking with the PII either way because it is so easy to overclock with.
Plus the Arctic cooler is louder than the one I suggested and Sunbeam can perform better at a lower noise level. (These temps do not represent the temps for your CPU)
Sunbeam (low): 17.8C @ 35.6 dBA
Arctic Freezer Pro: 23.2C @ 50.9 dBA
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=227...
September 6, 2009 10:56:44 PM
October 16, 2009 12:26:33 AM

directcanada is good, i've used 2 times for yate loons but now their gone :( , ncix has no shops, it's online retailer like newegg and tigerdirect has good locations for buying parts if your near toronto ( where i am :D )
!