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Micro $400 Gaming Desktop?

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November 9, 2009 6:36:45 AM

I would like to put together a small (mini-case), gaming system for under $400.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the month

BUDGET RANGE: $400 after rebates (no mail ins)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, OS, Speakers. I can go without optical drives if necessary.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Whatever is reputable

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference

OVERCLOCKING: No overclocking, no crossfire, no upgrading, no future proofing needed.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Ideally, I would like a case that isn't very noisy/hot/noticeable. One that, for instance, I can put in a bag and take with me, though it obviously won't be as portable as a laptop. This will obviously restrict video card sizes, but hopefully it won't drive up the price. I don't mind not being able to play the newest games, but I would like to play 2007~ games on low settings/resolutions at 60fps.

If this system is not possible, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions for an alternative system that I can build that plays 1998~ games very well on low settings (Unreal Tournament, Diablo 2, etc ), for as little money as possible.

Thanks a lot,
Nukewarm
November 9, 2009 12:44:56 PM

ok, trying to build a desktop for ~$400 is not easy in the first place, couple that with gaming (low-med end) and a small build. Both of those raise the price a bit (especially small)
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November 9, 2009 1:22:16 PM

Doesnt Hurt to try though.

Im not very good at budget builds, but atleast here is the basic concept.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 Brisbane 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Foxconn A76ML-K AM3 Ready / AM2+ / AM2 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100295HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT12864AA800 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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...

Thermaltake LANBOX Lite VF6000BNS Black SECC Gaming Cube Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total is 423 before shipping, but if you decided to get a different, less small case, like say the

COOLER MASTER Elite 341 RC-341C-KKN1-GP Black Steel MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

that brings the total to 398 before shipping

Also if you're running windows vista or 7 I would recommend the upgrade to 4gb of ram.

Well any thoughts on this build would be grand, because as I said before, I'm no good at budget builds.
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November 9, 2009 2:48:39 PM

This setup will work:

Board: ASRock K10N78M $54.99
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz $76.00
GPU: HIS H485FM512H Radeon HD 4850 $109.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 2GB DDR2 1066 $52.99
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM $47.99
Case & PSU: Rosewill RS-M136-BK Black $29.99
Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R $28.99
--------------------------------------
Grand Total: $400.94 + Shipping

Everything I've listed here is from a quality name brand, but of course it's all economy-priced. I'd be careful with a Foxconn Board, ASRock is a more reputable company, although still on the economy end. I've had one of their boards last 5 years and still runs without a hitch, and they use all-Japanese parts. 350W will be enough for this build, but I can't guarantee the quality of this case or PSU... but that's what we sacrifice when we're on a budget. Still, Rosewill is a reputable brand (I've always been happy with their products). CPU is a lower power (65W) Athlon II, which is older than the Phenom series; however, less power means smaller PSU and cooler parts.


For the next step up in performance, drop in another 2 GB ram stick for another $50. You could also upgrade to a slightly newer processor for a little more money but this means more power consumption and heat (and gaming relies more on RAM and GPU than on CPU).
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November 9, 2009 4:04:32 PM

On the other hand, the HD 4850 will be a beast at such a low resolution (1024 x 768). In such a small, cheap case, I would be concerned about heat. You could definitely get away with a less expensive and cooler card, and put the saved money into a better case or more RAM. But it depends on what you want more: the HD 4850 will give you somewhat better performance, while a cheaper card (like an HD 4670) will give you a more solid, well-rounded build.


This setup is probably a more balanced build:

Board: ASRock K10N78M $54.99
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz $76.00
GPU: XFX HD-467X-ZDF2 Radeon HD 4670 $79.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 2GB DDR2 1066 $52.99
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM $47.99
Case & PSU: Rosewill RS-M136-BK Black $29.99
Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R $28.99
--------------------------------------
Grand Total: $370.94 + Shipping


So now, if we swap out the ram for this set: G.SKILL 4GB DDR2 1066 ($99.99)
Our grand total becomes: $417.94


Or we could swap out for a better case and PSU: IN WIN IW-Z583T.AQ350BL ($54.99)
Our grand total then becomes: $395.94
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November 10, 2009 4:38:16 AM

Great responses. Thanks!
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November 10, 2009 4:44:42 AM

nofun said:
This setup will work:

Board: ASRock K10N78M $54.99
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz $76.00
GPU: HIS H485FM512H Radeon HD 4850 $109.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 2GB DDR2 1066 $52.99
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM $47.99
Case & PSU: Rosewill RS-M136-BK Black $29.99
Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R $28.99
--------------------------------------
Grand Total: $400.94 + Shipping

Everything I've listed here is from a quality name brand, but of course it's all economy-priced. I'd be careful with a Foxconn Board, ASRock is a more reputable company, although still on the economy end. I've had one of their boards last 5 years and still runs without a hitch, and they use all-Japanese parts. 350W will be enough for this build, but I can't guarantee the quality of this case or PSU... but that's what we sacrifice when we're on a budget. Still, Rosewill is a reputable brand (I've always been happy with their products). CPU is a lower power (65W) Athlon II, which is older than the Phenom series; however, less power means smaller PSU and cooler parts.


For the next step up in performance, drop in another 2 GB ram stick for another $50. You could also upgrade to a slightly newer processor for a little more money but this means more power consumption and heat (and gaming relies more on RAM and GPU than on CPU).


you are wrong..foxconn is a more reputable company than asrock..do you even know how gigantic the company foxconn is? by the way asrock is owned by asus, but they just left it to those lazy people to monitor asrock that's why it sucked for the last few years until this year..they came back with their x58 and p55 mobos

wikipedia quote:

Foxconn is the largest manufacturer of electronics and computer components worldwide, and mainly manufactures on contract to other companies. Among other things, Foxconn produces the Mac mini, the iPod and the iPhone for Apple Inc.; Intel-branded motherboards for Intel Corp.; various orders for American computer manufacturers Dell and Hewlett-Packard; the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 for Sony; the Wii for Nintendo;the Xbox 360 for Microsoft, cell phones for Motorola, the Amazon Kindle, and Cisco equipment
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November 10, 2009 7:32:45 PM

overshocks said:
you are wrong..foxconn is a more reputable company than asrock..do you even know how gigantic the company foxconn is? by the way asrock is owned by asus, but they just left it to those lazy people to monitor asrock that's why it sucked for the last few years until this year..they came back with their x58 and p55 mobos

wikipedia quote:

Foxconn is the largest manufacturer of electronics and computer components worldwide, and mainly manufactures on contract to other companies. Among other things, Foxconn produces the Mac mini, the iPod and the iPhone for Apple Inc.; Intel-branded motherboards for Intel Corp.; various orders for American computer manufacturers Dell and Hewlett-Packard; the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 for Sony; the Wii for Nintendo;the Xbox 360 for Microsoft, cell phones for Motorola, the Amazon Kindle, and Cisco equipment


<<--- Schooled again by the vet. What's up with this post then: (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/268403-28-1156-owners-beware)? Or is this just a fluke?
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