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Mid-level gaming build

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Q1 2010 BUDGET RANGE: Max $500

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

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I would like to recycle as much as possible to keep cost down. See additional comments for parts I have now

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg but not opposed to other.

PARTS PREFERENCES: N/A

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1400 X 900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking for a system that will work well for gaming through 2011-12 and allow surfing, streaming video, and processing. As stated above, I would like to keep it to a minimum on price. Below is a list of what I have now. If any of it is garbage, please let me know what you would recommend. It is will work for a little while longer, let me know that too, and I will look into replacing over time. Basically, I want to play games like Dragon Age, and Mass Effect 2, along with older titles like EU3 and Civ4. Thanks for your help.

Parts
Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H LGA 775 Intel G965 Express Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186109

AMS CF-1089BK Black Steel / Plastic MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811180030

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (Perpendicular Recording Technology)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148140

A-DATA 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1908K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211064

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211066

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115005

COOLER MASTER eXtreme RP-500-PCAR 500W ATX12V V2.01 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171018

GeForce 9400 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130390&cm_re=GeForce_9400_GT-_-14-130-390-_-Product
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about level gaming build
  1. If you want a budget build, I would go with an Athlon X4 620 instead of that weakass E6300. All those components are outdated. I would switch everyone of them out.
  2. I would say just keep the MB and either overclock or drop a new processor in....but that MB is not one that can OC well, and since its a dead socket the good drop in replacements are starting to get expensive. For the price of a good quad core 775 drop in you can get something like a

    PII 550BE
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103680
    And AM3 MB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128394

    or check the 550be combo deals available when you are ready to purchase...just be sure you get a board that supports ddr2 memory and has ACC so you can unlock the other cores of the processor. Plus, the 550 overclocks well for a AMD.

    Then upgrade your video card to a 4850
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127414

    which should work fine for your resolution. You could even get a 4870 512mb version if you can find one for about $125, but they are getting scarce. You might try checking ebay to see if there is still some old stock floating around. If you want to future proof your system a little more, get a 5770

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150447

    This will cost you between $300 - $400. Which leaves you $100+ to play with. You might consider getting a board that supports DDR3 (most gigabyte AM3 boards have two versions, one for DDR2 and one for DDR3). You can sell your current ram for a decent price and pick up 4gb of DDR3 for about $100.

    Future upgrades...case, HDD, and cpu cooler...but those can wait for a while.
  3. To clear up, the parts listed are NOT what I want to buy, they are what I have now. If as Masterasia says and it is all outdated, I could always build a word processing and web surfing computer out of what I have and a game rig separately.

    @masterasia: So I should just trash it all and start from scratch? Can you suggest a decent build that wont kill my pocketbook?

    @belial2k: I am a little confused. Are you sating keep everything I have except for the MOBO/Chip, GPU, and Mem? That was more along the lines I was thinking.

    Thanks for all the input everyone.
  4. Do you need an OS included in that $500 budget?
  5. Shortstuff_mt,
    I have a few XP licenses, but am wondering if I need to make the jump to MS7. If so, I think I can get a academia version at school, but I will need to check into that. If it fits into the budget that would be great, if not, a small amount of project creep is acceptable. Thanks

    EDIT: It would be an upgrade version, but not sure what level to go with.
  6. Check out www.win741.com if you're a student. You can get Windows 7 for $30 from there.

    I'm at work now, but I'll put together a build for you in a little while.
  7. sweet! Thanks for the heads up Shortstuff_mt, I will check it out. Thanks for the help
  8. Yes, I was referring to replacing MB/cpu/Gpu/and possibly memory depending on which MB you get and how much you want to spend. Everything else is very serviceable and can be upgraded later.
  9. Best answer
    I don't know how much "project creep" is acceptable, but here's a complete build that's about $75 over budget after MIR. You might find that acceptable since it's a complete tower and you can re-use your old build for another purpose.

    Antec VSK-2000 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129069

    Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371007

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.288873 $104.98 (Case + PSU combo)

    AMD Athlon II X3 435 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103724

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231180

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.286556 $169.98 (CPU + RAM combo)

    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128392&cm_re=gigabyte_770-_-13-128-392-_-Product $79.99 - $10.00 MIR

    SAPPHIRE 100284L Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102859&cm_re=5750-_-14-102-859-_-Product $144.99

    Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030&cm_re=sony_24x_sata-_-27-118-030-_-Product $31.99

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181&Tpk=samsung%20f3%20500 $54.99


    Total - $586.92 - $10 MIR
  10. shortstuff_mt said:

    Antec VSK-2000 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129069



    Do NOT get this case. It's a piece of crap. It is the worst Antec case ever made.
    I don't know why Antec put it out. The Antec 200 is almost the same case and is just as bad.

    These cases are very flimsy. Antec used very cheap materials to build the case.
    You can find them for $35~50 from etailers.


    If it's a budget case, then you can't beat the Antec 300.
  11. HA! My case right now is right fine POS, so I am used to bad cases. I really dont want to spend too much on the case anyway, it is what is on the inside the counts! :) That seems like a pretty good build, so 586.92 + the cost of the OS, it is a little over budget, but I can swing it more than likely. What is the expectant life of the above rig?
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