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Budget gaming build -- $500 - $700

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Last response: in Systems
October 16, 2009 4:23:42 PM

Hello all. Been a longtime lurker / stumbling upon TH for quite some time & I can't believe I'm making my first post :p 

Anyways, my last rig I built was ~2004 for HL:2. It has recently took a turn for the worse & I don't want to throw more money into it just to get it back up & running. So, here goes it. (not copying the template as it looks easier to read how I have it lol)

Approx. purchase date: End of Oct. 09 to mid Nov. 09
Budget range: ~$500 - $700
System usage: Gaming (Guildwars 2!!), surfing the net
Parts not required: Case, monitor, keyboard / mouse, speakers
Part preferences: Newegg only please
Overclocking: Yes
SLI / Crossfire: Mabe
Monitor res: 1920 / 1080
Other: Windows 7 / Vista included. Would like SSD, but would raid 0 / 5 if it'd be worth purchasing more HD's as far as speed is concerned.

So far, I'm not too sure where to go w/ this build, but I'll list my ideas.

CPU: Intel Quad Q8200 -- Possibly OC'ing to ~2.8 or 3.0. This is where I probably need help the most as I'd like to go quad core if I could get the clock speed / similar performance of an E8400.

HS & Fan: Zalman 9500a

Mobo: I'm an Asus fanboy, but open to other options

Vid card: Toss up between a geforce 260 & a comparable ATI. Open to suggestion here.

Ram, CD / DVD burner, hard drives etc I'll probably go with whatever is cheap.

Ultimately, this build hinges on a few aspects:
* Is it worth going quad & OC'ing? Or would I be better off going the E8400 route? Or for that matter, considering my budget, would I be better off going w/ an AMD proc?
* Is it worth going the SSD route? How about raid 0 2 drives or raid 5 3 drives?

More about : budget gaming build 500 700

October 16, 2009 4:29:08 PM

**Note** I'm not going to go w/ a super cheap PSU. I know the pitfalls of that already :p 
October 16, 2009 8:07:17 PM

1st try, waddya think?

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October 16, 2009 9:12:17 PM

Not bad, here's a few things I would change.

AMD CPUs need dual channel RAM. That should save you a bunch of $$.
The Athlon II x4 620 is $20 cheaper. The AII give you 4 cores, but the PII give you L3 cache. Your choice.

Switching to Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GBs will be cheaper and faster.

If you can afford it, try and upgrade to a 5850 when they are available. At 1920x1080 it should be worthwhile, and you get DX11.
October 16, 2009 9:25:47 PM

Thanks for the reply. . .& yes I finally noticed the dual channel / triple channel (I've been eying the 920's for so long that I lost sight of the whole triple channel / dual channel deal)

This build broke the budget, but was curious if people had opinions if it'd be worth spending the extra $$ for i5 / i7 technology.

Also, any opinions if raid 0 would be worth purchasing another hard drive (as the SSD's I want are out of budget)?

October 16, 2009 9:26:53 PM

they don't need dual/triple channel ram, you can use any ddr3 ram so don't say amd cpus NEED dual channel ram, also it would save you about 30 bucks so it's worth considering