Budget Build: Gaming Rig

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Right After Christmas, possibly get some great post-holiday discounts.

BUDGET RANGE: $500-$650

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet, school work, maybe some multimedia applications like Vegas & Blender (not a priority though).

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS (Windows XP 32-bit, I may plan on upgrading to Windows 7 along with it in a biit), SyncMaster n712 VGA monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Hard Drive (WD 250GB internal & 1TB external), DVD Drive (PATA/IDE), Speakers (Though I'd like to get a surround sound headset with a mic, but it's not a priority only a wish), & Microsoft Office Software.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com, but I'm open to suggestions.

PARTS PREFERENCES: So far this is an idea I have...

CPU/MEMORY: AMD Phenom II x3 720 BE/ G.Skill 4 GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333 [$190.99]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.286521

It was either this or the new Anthlon II x3 435 as in CPUs, which one do you think's the better choice? Also, is 4GB overkill for XP-32 bit? Would I get the same performance for 2 1GB sticks?

MOBO: MSI 785GM-E65 AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard [$89.99]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130233

Are there any other boards that are cheaper or offer as many features as this board has for the price? Also, do you think I should consider a 790 chipset mobo or would the increase in the cost not be worth it?

CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case [$69.95]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

Are there any other cases out there that are better than this while being a lower or equal price to this?

PSU: BFG Tech GS-550 550W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.8 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply [$49.99]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817702010

Is this a sufficient enough PSU or should I get a bigger one? Also, are there any ones out there that are more reliable than this close to this price?

HSU/GEL: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler/Arctic Silver CMQ-22G [$37.37]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.249846

Should I really invest in a 3rd party HSU or would stock be good enough for some time?

GPU: I'm kind of stuck here b/c I'm not sure which card is the best deal for my needs : ATI 4850, 4870, 4890 or Nvidia GTX 260. *Note* I'm not a fanboy of either, I just want something that will give me the best bang for my buck, performs very well, & is reliable. Also, depending on the CPU I get which one would most likely not cause any bottlenecking or screen lag.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but not right away.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, it isn't necessary at my resolution.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: With this rig, I'd like to be able to play any game of my choosing at the highest settings with an avg. of 40 fps in any game I choose (I'm particularly refering to Crysis at very high), preferably w/ AA activated also. Others I would like to play on this rig include a wide array of games like Dragon Age: Origins, Crysis/Warhead, Oblivion, Mass Effect, STALKER, FEAR 1/2, Call of Duty: 4/Waw, CS:S, The Orange Box, Jade Empire, UT2004, Battlefield 2, Far Cry 1/2, Star Wars KOTOR/Republic Commando/Battlefront 1 & 2, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy/Jedi Outcast II, Neverwinter Nights, & some free downloadable games such as Combat Arms, America's Army 3.0/Special Forces, Trackmania Nations, etc. Pretty much be able to handle any game no matter how new (Crysis)/old (Neverwinter Nights) it is. I would like to make a nice balanced system in which the parts work very well with each other at the resolution of my monitor. Also, I have no intentions of changing the monitor anytime soon b/c anything larger is just overkill for my eyes (17in). The price of parts I know will be changing in these coming months so I mainly just want to get the compenents mostly decided on before I search for the best deals.

As I said, this is just an idea I have. I'm open to any new build ideas that you guys have, as I said I'm not a fanboy. Thanks!
7 answers Last reply
More about budget build gaming
  1. Hmmm.. That looks nice. You should probably get an antec/corsair PSU... Maybe 550 watts+?

    The Phenom II x3 is much better, and 4GB is not overkill. If you can, get Win7 x64 though.

    The best bang/buck GPU now is the Radeon HD 5770. If you want to Overclock, get an aftermarket HSF. If not, keep the normal heatsink. That should be OK.
  2. Yah, I was kinda curious towards that PSU if it was enough or not. Though concerning the GPU I looked at the review on this website & it apparently doesn't perform currently as well as the 4870 which costs less than it does at the moment, is this most likely b/c the drivers aren't as matured as the 4870's are yet? If so I could expect better performance to come in the future w/ newer driver updates, correct? Also, will it even have drivers for XP or is Microsoft not supporting it anymore?
  3. The 5770 does have XP drivers, but the reason to get it over a 4870 is for DX11, which means you need vista 64 or win7 64. In all likelyhood drivers will get a 5770 up to 260/4870 performance levels eventually, but if you are sticking with XP then the 4870 is a better value for DX9 graphics.


    BFG is not know for stable, reliable PSUs. Unstable power makes for flakey system performance. Better to be safe with a quality PSU like Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, PC Power&Cooling.
  4. Then what would you suggest specifically for a good price?
  5. OCZ Fatal1ty 550W modular is one of the better inexpensive ones.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341022

    Better quality PSUs jump to near $100.
  6. Gotcha. On another note, if I was to get a new directX 11 card would the 5850 be a better choice over the 5770? Because it seems that it performs a whole lot better than the 5770/4870, is it a better investment for the price or will my system bottleneck because of being overkill for my CPU?
  7. If your budget will cover it and you can find one in stock, a 5850 is clearly a better price/performance deal than any other card available right now. At your current resolution a 5850 is probably overkill for everything but Crysis, but it will be a strong GPU for you even when you upgrade your monitor to a 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 in the future.
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