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Sanity Check for Gaming System (~$500)

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November 27, 2009 7:18:40 PM

My son is running an aging Athlon 64 with a 7600GT (AGP) that I threw in a while ago to help extend it's life. After reading several posts here in the forums, my goal was to put together a decent system that would run his games and office for school. There's nothing really to save from the system, the case is not ideal and the power supply is underpowered for today's video.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Now

BUDGET RANGE: ~ $ 500 before rebate

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Office, Internet, Gaming (mostly WoW, Half Life2, CoD, Fallout3) , Movies, Music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (currently XP, Possibly Win7 in the near future)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Cooler Master (case)

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200) He currently has a 19" that I think he runs 1024x768 and perhaps 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet operation, something he can upgrade on his own later without too much difficulty (Video, HD space, etc)


CPU & Ram Combo Deal
AMD Athlon II X3 435 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK - Retail

$169.98

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.286556

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

$79.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128392

Case & Power Supply Combo Deal
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

$94.98

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.299492

Video
GIGABYTE GV-N96TZL-512I GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

$94.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125272

DVD
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe LightScribe Support - OEM

$33.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118032

HD
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

$49.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136074


Subtotal: $523.92
Shipping: $10.81
Grand Total: $534.73


The GPU and HD could certainly be upgraded with $20 here and there, but as I'm already over my budget, I decided to leave those easier upgrades to him and focus on the CPU. Either way, it should be a huge performance boost over his current system.

Recommendations are appreciated and welcome.
November 27, 2009 7:36:19 PM

its not bad, though switch to the Western Digital WD3200AAKS as the JS has 2 platters at 160GB each and the KS has 1 platter at 320GB for more speed
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November 27, 2009 7:40:44 PM

Thanks for that catch, 16MB vs 8MB Cache as well for $2.

Updated original post.
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November 27, 2009 8:11:33 PM

That savings from case+psu more than make up for the move from 9600GT to GTS 250 hehe But at 1280 x 1024 ya a 9600GT is fine
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November 27, 2009 8:16:21 PM

I might be able to swing this one...

XFX HD-477A-YDFC Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

$114.99

I'm not sure what the FPS increase would be (let's say WoW and Fallout3) but for $20, this might be worth the wrath of the wife, which would mean watching more chick flicks than usual to regain her good graces!

Your thoughts?

batuchka said:
That savings from case+psu more than make up for the move from 9600GT to GTS 250 hehe But at 1280 x 1024 ya a 9600GT is fine

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November 28, 2009 4:43:59 AM

For the most part 9600GT < 9800GT < HD 4770 < GTS 250
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