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Cheapest gaming computer build for $700-850?

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September 10, 2009 4:50:50 AM

i know questions like this are asked a lot but i couldn't find one like this.

i am gonna build a new gaming system from scratch from newegg. my price range is anywhere from $700 to anywhere around $850.

all i really want to know is if there are any current builds already build from newegg that gets as good as its gonna get for my price range. A build thats as up-to-date as possible. this is just going to be a gaming computer that can play pretty much any game out there (not crysis on highest setting of course, but can still play crysis) and future games. And do other things like messenger, movies, etc.

i have build a lot of computers on newegg but im never sure if the parts will work as well as other parts could work together. so i am just wondering if there is a system around that price range that is as good as it's going to get. it would also be nice if it was upgradable.

i have a moniter, keyboard, and mouse but that doesnt matter for now because i can get that all later if i want. dont bother about the moniter resolution for now, i can always get the right moniter for whatever the case. it would be nice to know good moniter for w/e computer it is anyone recommends.

i also heard that new cpu's are going to be coming out pretty soon so i don't know when to build a computer, but i dont want to keep on waiting for ever.

im pretty sure there are already answers for this question in different threads but i couldn't find one so it would be great if a link or something could just be replied. and i know some people can build very nice computer build on newegg really fast so it would be sweet if you could just post the parts that all work together and everything.
September 10, 2009 4:56:16 AM

i actually do have enough money to go to around $900 even $1000 but i really don't want to hit $1000 and hopefully that extra money wont make the computer completely different lol...
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 4:57:50 AM

The place to start putting a gaming build together is with the monitor resolution .

You have to know that before picking the appropriate gfx card and/or cpu
Related resources
September 10, 2009 5:03:04 AM

i was thinking about buying this moniter:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor

im just going to have a regular moniter. im not going to have like 5 moniters or anything, just 1. im pretty sure it's not going to be over 22' inch
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 5:48:18 AM

This i5 build includes o/s and monitor not to mention other than the monitor everything on here is free shipping.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $124.90 Free Shipping*
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-P55M-D2 Combo Price: $299.98 | $284.98 - $15 off with P55 combo purchase w/ code OMGi5COMBO Free Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 Socket 1156/ Intel P55/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ MATX Motherboard
Intel Core i5 Processor i5-750 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1156 CPU, Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $219.98 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail
SAPPHIRE 100279-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $29.99 Free Shipping*
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 Free Shipping*
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM | Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159.99
Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 - Retail

Total: $979.82

*Same mobo/cpu combo as above, but @ newegg (this combo cost more at newegg).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $304.98 Free Shipping*
GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail

*You might find this handy when putting together your build.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $3.49
Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap - Retail
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 6:12:25 AM

slightly more than $850

Intels new i5 is sensational for the money , but how far can your budget stretch?

An AMD build can be cheaper and perform well too , but AMD has to cut prices in the next few days to be competitive in the bang for buck stakes again
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 6:15:24 AM

Outlander_04 said:
slightly more than $850


The OP said he could as high as $1,000. If you can put post an i5 build with monitor, o/s and gaming card... be my guest :)  This is about as cheap as it gets without posting pure rubbish for hardware.
September 10, 2009 6:16:13 AM

1860x1050 is a good resolution for a bargain gaming machine. You will be able to get good frame rates without spending gobs on graphics cards.

Follow this link and look at the "budget" build or the second "gamer" build One of those is basically what you want.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269162-31-recommended...

why_me's build is basically the same as the second "gamer" build If you feel that is to much money the net step cheaper is an PhenomII x3 720 build like the budget build. There isnt really any in-between that makes sense right now.
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 6:25:48 AM

dndhatcher said:
1860x1050 is a good resolution for a bargain gaming machine. You will be able to get good frame rates without spending gobs on graphics cards.

Follow this link and look at the "budget" build or the second "gamer" build One of those is basically what you want.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269162-31-recommended...
* edit why_me's build is basically the same as the second "gamer" build If you feel that is to much the net step cheaper is an PhenomII x3 720 build like the budget build. There isnt really any in-between that makes sense right now.


Not bad except those builds in that link don't take into account for monitor and o/s....also they are geared for SLI/Crossfire by the looks of the cases and psu's posted on all but one of those builds. As "Out Lander" pointed out, the only way the OP can go cheaper is by going with an AMD build (720), and he would be screwing himself if he did that. Better to spend the $1,000 on the i5 build and get his money's worth...imo.
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 6:38:43 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152181 $49.99 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827118030 $29.99 Free Shipping*
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6832116677 $109.99 Free Shipping*
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM | Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824009145 $159.99
Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.245596 Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $124.90 Free Shipping*
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE - Retail

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz $119
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

POWERCOLOR AX4870 1GBD5 Radeon HD 4870 $125
special edition, S.T.A.L.K.E.R game included
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


$874

BUT prices are about to drop so do not order today .
And despite why_mes assertions the 720 is as good a gaming cpu today as it was yesterday . It will easily achieve your goals

And if you subbed out the 4870 for a 4890 you'd probably game at better fps than the i5 build hes suggesting thanks to the more powerful gfx card . That would push up the cost of my build by about $60
Again dont buy today because AMD is about to announce new gfx cards so 4870 prices may drop and theres an option to get a newer gen card

September 10, 2009 6:48:27 AM

Why_Me said:
the only way the OP can go cheaper is by going with an AMD build (720), and he would be screwing himself if he did that. Better to spend the $1,000 on the i5 build and get his money's worth...imo.
I think "screwing himself" is a total misrepresentation. The AMD 720 build would leave enough budget to upgrade the graphics card a HD 4890, which should outperform the i5 with a 4870 in most current games. The title says $750-800 and the AMD 720 build will be a strong performing gaming system within that budget. He will run almost any game out there at 1680x1050 very high with no problems.

lol - higlander edited his post to say exactly what mine did while I was typing it.
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 6:55:37 AM

dndhatcher said:
I think "screwing himself" is a total misrepresentation. The AMD 720 build would leave enough budget to upgrade the graphics card a HD 4890, which should outperform the i5 with a 4870 in most current games. The title says $750-800 and the AMD 720 build will be a strong performing gaming system within that budget. He will run almost any game out there at 1680x1050 very high with no problems.

lol - higlander edited his post to say exactly what mine did while I was typing it.


I understand what you are saying, but think about this. When games get more demanding in the next few years the OP can always upgrade his video card (DX11 maybe?). I think I would much rather have a superior cpu/technology/build and upgrade the graphics card at a later date then to be stuck with an AMD 720 and miss out on an i5 rig. But to each his own. :) 

And no matter how much AMD drops their prices...inferior architecture is just that...inferior.
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 6:55:40 AM

dndhatcher said:


lol - higlander edited his post to say exactly what mine did while I was typing it.



Im tricky like that

..and why_me is still hoping intel will send him commission for selling their processors
September 10, 2009 7:03:39 AM

Outlander_04 said:
..and why_me is still hoping intel will send him commission for selling their processors
He's really good at finding those combo deals and I think is awed by the i5s great price/performance (as am I).

Sometimes the smart money decision is to just spend less and get a good system instead of spending more on a better value that doesnt give you much immediate benefit over the cheap system. Thats up to redjokr to decide. We've probably totally confused him, which I think is the honest thing to do as its a hard decision at the pricepoint he set.. :pt1cable: 
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 7:07:43 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Im tricky like that

..and why_me is still hoping intel will send him commission for selling their processors


Let's hope for competition sake that the DX11 cards save AMD's arse. I would hate to see how far their stocks dropped when the i5 came out. :p 

And how low can AMD drop the prices on their cpu's and still make a profit ? :) 
September 10, 2009 7:13:00 AM

Why_Me said:
And how low can AMD drop the prices on their cpu's and still make a profit ? :) 
I totally agree that as of this week there is no point in buying a PhenomIIx4 anymore. Its only the below $850 price range where AMD makes any sense right now.

Did I read that later this year a couple new cheap Core2 CPUs may come out to take that market away from AMD also?
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 9:41:37 AM

Someone posted the stock change in a different post, +17%.

"inferior architecture"? The x3 might be weaker then the i5, but it still does what the OP wants. By the times games get harder on CPUs, he can either upgrade to a quad, or rip everything out and start over which might make more sense anyways.

I'm not saying the x3 is the way to go, but I would at least mention it so it can be considered. If I had the money, I personally would go i5. Not however if my safe budget was $850, and i5 would cost $1000. Both have merits. Less money spent now while getting the job done, or spend more now with an easier upgrade path later on. Its up to the OP now.

Edited for spelling.
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 2:16:23 PM

Why_Me said:
Let's hope for competition sake that the DX11 cards save AMD's arse. I would hate to see how far their stocks dropped when the i5 came out. :p 

And how low can AMD drop the prices on their cpu's and still make a profit ? :) 


I thought someone reported that AMD's stock went UP yesterday...? Their acquisition of ATI looks better all the time; they may not even need to care if their CPUs are especially profitable.

Skip i5. It offers nothing today that cheaper builds using Intel S775 or AMD AM3 don't offer. If you need more, i7 on LGA1366 (NOT LGA1156) is your only choice. Of course, in 2-3 weeks there could be dramatic price changes which might make some difference, although I somehow doubt it will be i5 getting much cheaper.

The way I read the OP, his budget is $700 with some wiggle room, not $1000; but the monitor is an optional component. You can do a very competent build for even less, so why spend more?
September 10, 2009 7:55:50 PM

so....basically everyone is agreeing that why_me build is pretty much as good as its going to get for that price range even though its a little higher than what i said (idc). i was looking at that i5 build and i really like it. but is it worth buying now or waiting a couple weeks?
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 8:13:47 PM

No, we are not agreeing on that. No one is saying the i5 build is a bad performer, but I think some of us have tried to point out that a less-expensive system can be built that will meet your requirements, or you can put more money into the GPU and spend less on the CPU. If your applications were CPU-bound, perhaps an i5 (or i7) would be the way to go, but for GPU-bound gaming, the CPU matters less.
If you aren't going to build this for another couple of weeks, there could be some interesting price adjustments forthcoming as the new ATI cards are released.
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 8:25:08 PM

redjokr said:
so....basically everyone is agreeing that why_me build is pretty much as good as its going to get for that price range even though its a little higher than what i said (idc). i was looking at that i5 build and i really like it. but is it worth buying now or waiting a couple weeks?



why_mes's build is good for the price , and if you WANT to spend that ammount of money by all means go along that path .

BUT
the phenom X3 rig I listed will do everything you want , at the resolution you want to game at . It can be a better gamer than why_mes build if you spend another $60 upgrading the gfx card to a 4890 [ or new 5870 due very soon ] . And you are still under why_mes build by about $75
Games at high resolution and quality settings are more dependent on gfx card than cpu .
The AMD build will not be as fast at encoding vids or similar but is that an issue? You havent mentioned it .

September 10, 2009 8:40:49 PM

Graphics card prices may go down in the next few weeks. The AMDx3 CPU price might possibly (less likely than graphics cards) go down in the next couple weeks.
September 10, 2009 8:44:40 PM

well which one can be upgraded better in the future? because when this computer starts to get old i would like to upgrade it...or if its really old ill just rebuild a computer.

Would it be smarter to wait until all this new line of stuff comes out to buy the i5 build or would it even matter? but if i do wait a couple weeks then that AMD build would be a lot cheaper but would the i5 get cheaper as well?
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 8:46:29 PM

^+1, ^^+1; there are more specifics.
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 8:51:43 PM

As the newest, i5 likely won't get cheaper any time soon. Seems to me I just read in another thread today that LGA1156 isn't going to last past next year, but AM3 will be around for somewhat longer. I would not bet that AMD will leapfrog Intel in performance, but at least they will offer upgrades for AM3.
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2009 8:52:57 PM

redjokr said:
well which one can be upgraded better in the future? because when this computer starts to get old i would like to upgrade it...or if its really old ill just rebuild a computer.

Would it be smarter to wait until all this new line of stuff comes out to buy the i5 build or would it even matter? but if i do wait a couple weeks then that AMD build would be a lot cheaper but would the i5 get cheaper as well?


The i5 is the "new line stuff". It just came out a few days ago. The i5 is Intels replacement for the LGA 775...core2duo's/quad cores. But as others have pointed out, the AMD builds should get cheaper in the next few weeks. It's a tough call...it all depends on your budget.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
February 15, 2010 12:19:20 AM

I see its been a wile since this post but just wanted to put in my two cents in.

gameing has come a long way and the trick in building a computer is to build one ready for the future, I build gameing systems and what i see with the 900 dollar price tag is far to much for what your gettting.

my build would be
full sized motherboard asus p5q-e is a ddr that runs in parrs for the ram
with two pci-e x16 slots that willl run two graghics cards.

intell 775 chip set dual quad core 8600
two gforce 9600 gso cards
atx 600 watt power supply

two 2 gig corsair extreams
a after markent processing cooller 39 bucks well worth it.
a mid tower nothen fancy just plan 39 dollar tower
500 gig seagate hard drive with 16gig chach
22x dvd cd rw
all sata for the board can handle 8 sata conections a flpppy to match
walla you have kicken system that can dual funtion with all your home pc needs and handle any game out there at same time all this under 700 bucks

shop around for a screen i got hd tv 22 inch i use for a pc for 124 bucks new 08 models

on the other hand if you had a 1000 bucks i can build you a wicked system built around the x58 classifiedbut thats a nother story thanks for reading later gone.

gamer for life
a b 4 Gaming
February 15, 2010 3:37:37 AM

? Wow.
February 26, 2010 5:12:03 AM

I just made a new guide to building the best gaming computer under $700 check it out on my blog: http://technomaniac.comze.com/?p=335 I hope at least to come out with an up to date build every few weeks. What good is a guide if it is out of date? If you search google for a guide on how to build a computer for the purpose of gaming you will find many old articles. This article is for those computer gaming enthusiasts who want to get the most bang-for-your-buck when buying computer hardware. The key to building the most optimal computer configuration for your dollar is balance. A gaming computer is only as strong as it's weakest link. One might ask "Hey Tech-O-Maniac, since I want emphasis on gaming, can't I just buy the best video card I can get and slack on CPU and RAM?" I would answer with a resounding "NO", Even though a computer is divided into parts information needs to travel to and from each part efficiently. Hence the phrase "bottleneck" was coined.

I chose this configuration based on several factors:

Gaming Ability - You might find a cheaper system but the point of this build is to play almost all new gaming titles with high resolution and quality settings and even Crysis at 1680x1050 on "high quality" (which is a feat for a budget system).
Value - Gaming technology and computer hardware makes leaps and bounds every year. Rather than spending $1400 on a computer every four years it makes more sense to purchase a good value computer with all the amenities that you are looking for (for example DirectX version, pixel shader version, a certain game, ect.) every two years. If you set the two side by side you will have spent the same in the long run, at the end of four years the $1400 rig will be much slower and have out of date technology, which will adversely effect the quality and performance of your gaming experience. Your needs might merit a $1400+ computer, but this guide is geared for those who want to play the most game titles well for the lowest price.
Your Budget - We all can't spend the same amount on a gaming computer. Keeping your system balanced will maximize gaming performance for your dollar.
Enjoy :) 
a b 4 Gaming
February 26, 2010 6:21:32 AM

Wow thats a bad build. That build won't even power up. Not a bad idea on the video cards. Keep in mind that standard rebate policy is one rebate per person/household. This means your likely to get only one of those $10 rebates back, but thats the least of your problems.

A much bigger problem is the motherboard. 16x/4x CF is a no no. Remember that in these setups they will run at the speed of the slowest device. This means you really have a 4x/4x CF setup, and it will be slower then a single 16x card. Toms did an article on this awhile back with the p5k-e, look it up.

But even that isn't the biggest problem you have. That would be the memory you picked. DDR2 won't fit in a DDR3 board. Yes they are the same speed and 240 pins, but its notched differently. This will prevent the build from being usable, as you have no ram.

Add in the fact that you have a 500W (assuming ~30A) PSU powering two 4850s? How well do you think that will work? This build seems like you went along looking at prices and numbers, giving no thought to how it would work out. If I were looking to spend $800 on a build, I wouldn't use that one.
a b 4 Gaming
March 1, 2010 12:51:25 AM

Build looks a bit better with the DDR3 ram now, but you still have the bad mobo for CF and the weak PSU. You can fix both of those problems by changing the GPU. Switch to a single GPU and you can use that PSU and mobo. You won't have as much power, but at least it will work.

Seeing as I'm on my home computer, here is the article about CF scaling. The P35 CF is the 16x/4x config. Notice how in many/most situations it is lower then a single PCIe 1.1 card.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-pci-expre...
April 13, 2010 6:59:59 AM

@4745454b
Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. I have made the necessary changes. Thanks for the straight forward constructive criticism.
a b 4 Gaming
April 13, 2010 4:25:56 PM

No problem. I'm not trying to attack you or your baby. Simply trying to point out what won't work so you can fix it. I don't think that PSU will hand those cards for long. It should have 33A on the 12V rail, and those two cards (which have gone up in price btw.) will take over 10A each. After those cards are done, your going to have about 10A and possibly less left for the rest of the system. Getting the 550W will be better.

As I mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the prices have changed. Rebates are over, things have gone up and down. Are you still near $800? Time for one of those updates you were talking about.
a b 4 Gaming
April 18, 2010 8:45:40 AM

Not sure of the cooler for starters. Only two heatpipes, and seems to be more flash then anything else.

You still have the problem of the GPUs and PSU. I doubt a rosewill 500W PSU will handle two 4850s. You'd have better luck getting it to power a couple of 5750s. Idle will be fine, but once you fire a game up those GPUs start sucking down power I'm not so sure.

Overall not bad. The Athlon x3 will hold you back in some situations. But the biggest problem is still your choice of GPUs and PSU.
April 18, 2010 5:26:43 PM

With the cooler I figured anything would be better than stock for over-clocking and read a review on newegg: "I have an Athlon II x3 435 at 3.6ghz and it idles at 36C and only reaches 49C after 6hours underload." I figured why spend more on a cooler when I could just get a better processor with stock cooling, you know? So it seemed like the right cooler for the price and preformance.

OK, updated the PSU.
a b 4 Gaming
April 18, 2010 10:39:23 PM

That should work. The 530 might have worked as well. I'm not sure how good those Rosewill series PSU are. Hardware Secrets gave the 630 a good review and it should have plenty of power.

Still not convinced on the cooler. Just because some guy on newegg says something doesn't make it true. I get the feeling that its either money that doesn't need to be spent, or if you spend just a bit more you can get much better performance. Its not a deal breaker however, so leave it in if you like it.
October 24, 2012 5:38:56 AM

I touch myself....on the ear.
!