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$500 Gaming PC

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November 3, 2009 10:18:02 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next 2 weeks BUDGET RANGE: $450-$500 Before Rebates (incl. tax, a bit less not incl. tax)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet surfing, watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (37" LCD), OS (Windows 7).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg/tigerdirect (United States)

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type: Intel CPU, and I already have two parts (include in price please) listed here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Don't know what this is lol...so no?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 37" Samsung LCD TV..?

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd like it to be somewhat quiet, and yes an open window on the side of the case with a bit of colored light of course- gotta look custom for my first build, after all! I get confused with technical talk, so dumb any ideas or anything down for me lol. And of course, thanks in advance!!

More about : 500 gaming

November 3, 2009 10:26:05 PM

You already have those two parts, or you want them, not many people would recommend putting either of those in a new system.
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November 3, 2009 10:30:03 PM

Really? I have them but I also have a receipt if you think they should be replaced. I want this to be extremely reliable and have been told by several other computer forums that the GTS250 is what I should get for reliability and performance. Help me out here, you can do a full system if you think it's what is best, and I'll return those two parts.
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Best solution

November 3, 2009 11:25:37 PM

I'm a member of the Green Camp (Nvidia) but i'll have to concede that at your price range, ATI is going to be a better choice. They really hit the price/performance sweet spot, much better than Nvidia anyway. Also, AMD might be a better choice at this price range, again from the price//performance perspective. Heres my suggestion:

Mobo: $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: $109
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: $53
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD: $48
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: $26
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That comes out at $546, over your price range by about $50 but i hope this gives you a good guideline to what you need to be looking for.
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November 3, 2009 11:33:03 PM

fyi, SLI is using two or more nVidia video cards, and crossfire is running two or more ATI video card. This probably won't happen in your $500 budget, but considering you are building a gaming PC, this piece of information can be useful when you decide to upgrade later.
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November 4, 2009 12:01:30 AM

The 500W would be great Sonic, but i put the 600W in to accomodate andrewbb's suggestion of future upgradeability for crossfire etc.

Granted the F3 is better than the Caviar and im partial to Samsung over WD but on Newegg i was going by cheapest first.

Remember aaron, my build can be improved upon 100 times over until you reach a final one but i aimed to lay the foundation for you.
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November 4, 2009 12:14:57 AM

The 500$ cap included the 250 & the PSU?
Because if it doesn't, you can add extra buck on a better G/C. I heard there was some noise problem with the 4850.

I'm really not sure of what I am saying, haven't find any reliable source yet, but I think you can pick a cheaper graphic card if you're using your LCD TV as a monitor. All you need is an HDMI output on your G/C. Note: Just think at the Xbox or the PS3, at 300$ you must agree that's not an expensive machine, but it's still able to run on your TV with HD resolution and run latest game.
It is probably not a viable option because the distance betwen you and your screen is proportionnal with the screen dimensions. So it's always good to have a monitor with low resolution, in your case, so you can surf on the net and play game normally.

Whatever, I may be wrong so I suggest you to do some research (if you still want to use your TV as monitor) or follow the classic suggestions and get a normal system with a decent graphic card. So if you can't use your TV as a big monitor, you won't be stuck with an useless card.
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November 4, 2009 12:19:42 AM

Hey powerfuel, yeah, it included the PSU and G/C. As long as the 4850 is reliable and is the best option for me, I should be fine. Does the 4850 have an HDMI output? The games I play are only on computer so xbox and ps3 aren't really viable, if that's what you meant? Any other input, guys?
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November 4, 2009 12:28:09 AM

Yes the 4850 has an HDMI output, but you requested a quiet PC. So I gues you still want something quiet and I heard that the 4850 was quite noisy.
I know you want to play PC games, but what I say is: it is possible that you can use your PC as a Xbox or a PS3 (yes, I know you can only play PC games on PC) in the case that you're using a LCD TV as a monitor.
So if I am not wrong, you should upgrade to a better (4850 aftermaket cooler or 4870) or to a cheaper card with HDMI output if you're totally sure that you can run your favorite game with your TV.
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November 4, 2009 12:34:18 AM

Hopefully someone else knows and can give opinions and options on the LCD TV/graphics card deal. Does anyone else know if the currently selected 4850 will run it, and if not, what I should replace it with?
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November 4, 2009 12:38:49 AM

Yes it will. It can't be too loud, seriously.
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November 4, 2009 12:57:33 AM

Okay, just making sure my parts list is still going to work lol. thanks guys!
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November 4, 2009 1:05:28 AM

Good GPU choice!!!!!! Games will fly!!!!!
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November 4, 2009 2:23:16 AM

All this stuff is fine with Windows 7? That won't affect anything?
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November 4, 2009 6:16:19 AM

aaron_c said:
All this stuff is fine with Windows 7? That won't affect anything?

Windows 7 will be a great choice on your new computer. Did you factor that $110 into your budget?
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November 4, 2009 10:45:52 AM

Windows 7 will be fine, be sure to install 64 bit.

aaron, post your build so far so we know what you have in mind.
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November 4, 2009 4:54:49 PM

Atomic, I'm getting Windows 7 for free. On that note, if any of you have bought a new computer in the last few months, check online for eligibility on a free copy of Windows 7! And here's the build I've got so far- is anything wrong with the BFG Tech PSU? It's ratings are much much higher than the other two listed so I'm just wondering.

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...

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...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 4, 2009 7:35:19 PM

BFG is not known for making high quality PSUs like OCZ and Corsair are. I'm not sure anyone would despise getting the BFG, but the OCZ and Corsair will be far more suggested
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November 4, 2009 8:46:13 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Sonic. I don't have any knowledge on what brands are considered better than others and what not yet, but I'm working on it. Thanks for all the info guys!
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November 4, 2009 9:20:17 PM

No problem at all, we love to help. Any more questions just ask. Please select a best answer to this thread so it will be marked as solved.
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November 5, 2009 7:57:36 PM

@sonic
I got really bad feedback with the 4850. I don't know if this is the case for every models but it runs pretty hot and if the OP is still planning to use his TV, I'd opt for a power efficient budget graphic card like one the 57XX serie card.
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November 5, 2009 11:56:22 PM

Are you a college student? If so you can get it for 30 by calling the MS Store and asking for the full version.
As far as the upgrade version, you can do a clean install you us need a vista key to activate it, if you have a vista key, you can full install it but the vista key you use will be invalid after.
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November 6, 2009 12:40:25 AM

Yes I'm a college student, are you saying I can get it for $30?!?
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November 6, 2009 12:44:11 AM

Yes, 1-877-MY-MS-STORE (1-877-696-7786). Tell them you want win 7 FULL VERSION with student discount. It will be like 37 dollars after tax + shipping and they will send order conf to your @edu address
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November 6, 2009 12:50:59 AM

Thanks so much Sonic, that's AWESOME! Do they mail it or is it an online download deal?
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November 6, 2009 9:12:07 AM

With regard to the issue of the 4850, i dont have a great deal of knowledge on ATI cards, Nvidia is more my realm. So if anyone has a more informed suggestion for the graphics card i will recommend you listen to them aaron.

With regard to the G Skill RAM, when you get the money i strongly suggest you upgrade to 4 GB (2 x 2 GB sticks) from that 2 GB choice you have there as it will strongly improve your general performance.

BFG Tech are more graphics card manufacturers, not known for their PSU's however thats not to say it won't work just fine, its simply a peace of mind issue with a PSU since its possibly the most important part to NOT skimp on in your entire build.

And thats really cool about the MS Store, so sad we can't get it here in England for that price, although my university is selling Win 7 Pro for £50 at the minute.
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November 6, 2009 9:55:17 AM

They mail both the 32 and 64 bit discs to you. As Griffolion said if someone knows a alot about 4850s listen to them, but i cant see how that card can be a problem its horribly popular and been out more than long enough for bug revisions. If you get it and its REALLY LOUD OR HOT just RMA it.
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November 6, 2009 10:35:47 PM

sonic-boom said:
They mail both the 32 and 64 bit discs to you. As Griffolion said if someone knows a alot about 4850s listen to them, but i cant see how that card can be a problem its horribly popular and been out more than long enough for bug revisions. If you get it and its REALLY LOUD OR HOT just RMA it.



Hey Sonic, I called to order my copy for $30 today and they said all they're doing is the Windows 7 UPGRADE, which will be useless obviously because I won't have a starter OS. So back to the "system builder" version of Windows 7, I read that it's identical to the normal version only without free tech support and without the pretty package, and also it gets hard wired into the motherboard and you can't take it off and put it on another computer. Does anyone know any reason I SHOULDN'T get the System Builder version of Win 7?
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November 7, 2009 1:02:25 AM

I assure you that you can get the full version of win 7 pro from the MS store by calling I have the copy that I got from them right next to me. You may have got a rep from jabib who had no clue, I'd advise you to call back again.
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November 7, 2009 1:12:02 AM

Yes, THAT copy is, that is why I advised you to call, so you can get the full version.
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November 7, 2009 1:32:04 AM

Interesting- I'll try again tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have better luck. I'll try just saying "I want to order the full Windows 7 version for $30 with the student discount". Today they put me through to digital driver, who then told me it was only an upgrade and not the full version.
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November 7, 2009 1:46:36 AM

Well that was the problem, DR is notoriously retarded.
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November 7, 2009 2:22:45 AM

sonic-boom said:
Well that was the problem, DR is notoriously retarded.


That's unfortunate- when I asked for the order, he gave me DR's number. Do they not really have to do that?
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November 7, 2009 9:45:15 AM

Nope, the MS Store rep should sell it right to you.
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November 7, 2009 1:02:12 PM

Okay, I'm going to call as soon as I get a reply with this information. Make sure I'm right on this for me, I need to call and ask for the $30 Windows 7 full version, and thats all? Don't have to ask for anything extra (i.e. discs etc)?
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November 7, 2009 5:04:58 PM

Tell them you want the full version of windows 7 on discs with the student discount. It will be 30 dollars for the win7 4.99 ups ground and 2.71 or so tax.
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November 7, 2009 5:26:53 PM

Done! I got a non-idiot today, made sure it was the full version, and it's on it's way. Saved me a ton of money, thanks!!
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November 7, 2009 5:35:40 PM

Nice. GL with the build.
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November 7, 2009 5:46:25 PM

I opted for Professional over Home Premium- is that gonna be okay?
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November 7, 2009 5:47:27 PM

Yes, Pro includes all the features of HP and more.
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November 7, 2009 6:33:07 PM

Hey Aaron,

Motherboard/CPU combo ($184.98):

AMD Athlon II X3 435 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX435WFGIBOX - Retail
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

GPU/memory combo ($213.98):

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100269VXLE Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3OB1600LV4GK - Retail

Hard drive ($54.99):

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Case/power supply combo ($114.98):

Antec VSK-2000 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ... - Retail

Total: $568.93

I think you'll find with the upgraded processor (which also allows for better overclocking, even on stock cooling -- it just came out a few days ago, Tom's has an article on it), better graphics card (Vapor-X HD 4890), better PSU (650W), and 2GB more of memory (never go below 4GB for gaming these days), it'll easily trounce the previous build in anything. It's ~$3 cheaper, too. I had to update the motherboard to accomodate faster memory speed and now it runs a bit more. :/  The new motherboard better supports overclocking and allows you to add another HD 4890 later when they come down in price (giving you a little over an HD 5870 performance) with the power supply to handle it already in there. You'll find for the extra money though it'll be far and above the X3 710 and an HD 4850, and it will handle the best of what today has to offer and into the next generation of games. It's better to spend a little more than you'd like to so you don't have to upgrade it in a year.
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November 7, 2009 6:57:27 PM

Any other opinions on this build just posted? Sonic, griff? Let me know ASAP because I'm ordering this afternoon!
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November 7, 2009 7:10:05 PM

How does this look? I can afford a more expensive case because my girlfriend is picking it up for me for Christmas :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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...

I also modified it a bit because I don't need 500GB on it, I have an external hard drive to store massive amounts of media on, so nothing will really be stored on this computer but maybe 2 games or so and MS Office. That and I accounted for a better case, the one I asked for from her, and the PSU I haven't returned yet because of price. Will that stuff be compatible and work well?
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November 7, 2009 9:43:01 PM

aaron_c said:
How does this look? I can afford a more expensive case because my girlfriend is picking it up for me for Christmas :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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...

I also modified it a bit because I don't need 500GB on it, I have an external hard drive to store massive amounts of media on, so nothing will really be stored on this computer but maybe 2 games or so and MS Office. That and I accounted for a better case, the one I asked for from her, and the PSU I haven't returned yet because of price. Will that stuff be compatible and work well?


Your modifications are fine if that's all you need (and the Antec 900 is a good case if not a little overhyped ;) ), however, I cannot recommend that you use that power supply. It is not modular, it doesn't have active PFC, and it is not 80 PLUS certified. I know it's a pain in the ass to return it and then have to get a new one, but the power supply is a very important, if not the most important, component in building a PC. If you don't get it right it can lead to tons of unforseen problems, and at worse it could ruin one or more of your components. The wattage is fine, but I can only recommend you use something that is 80 PLUS certified and has active PFC. A modular PSU is only optional, but it really makes the ease of installation much better.
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November 7, 2009 9:49:06 PM

Should I go with this one? And do I have any other sub-$70 options for a PSU? I'll return it since you are all saying its a no-go.
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November 7, 2009 10:00:45 PM

I think you should look at the 5770, less power consumption, quieter, and Dx11 and its cheaper than the 4890. You could also get a smaller PSU since it uses a lot less power. You could either go with a 500w or a 600w for x-fire in the future. A 500w will run you 65 for a high quality one. I think we even mentioned above the BFG tech wasn't so great as brockh said.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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