APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Summer 2010, but let’s pretend a week from now.
BUDGET RANGE: ~$700 Shipped After Rebates
So I want to buy a gaming PC, but I want a system that is a bit more portable than the average ATX Mid-Tower case. I live at college right now, and to me, it’s just not really feasible to carry around a Mid-Tower or bigger case around. The thing is, though, I’m looking at buying this computer next summer, as opposed to in the next week, so I realize that the build advice I get now may not be as valuable in 6 months. Nevertheless:
My main goal for this thread is to post a what-if system; i.e., if I were to drop the cash right now for a system of this budget, what should I get for the best bang for buck? Other than that, I would also like any advice about what to look for in the next 6 months before I really consider buying parts. (some ideas right now that I would love to see by summer are falling DDR3 prices and a lower price for an HD 5770.)
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, gaming, and more gaming. Steam games mainly, though I would throw in a DVD drive so I can play older games too.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS, Monitor, Headset, Mouse, Keyboard (I don’t have a PC keyboard yet, but that’s outside of the PC budget. I’m looking for one under $40. Suggestions welcome!)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Preferably Newegg and Amazon. If you have anything good to say about other vendors, I’d appreciate it.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Philadelphia, PA, US
PARTS PREFERENCES: MicroATX Case, mATX mobo. Sticking to one video card, will not be buying a CF/SLI capable mobo.
Power supply MUST be modular.
OVERCLOCKING: AMD Black Edition Processor OCing sounds easy enough.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Below I will post a list of the different parts I am looking at for a “right-now” build.
Case: Thermaltake LANBOX Lite VF6000BWS Black SECC Japanese steel Gaming Cube Computer Case - Retail
I really like this case’s looks and design. The side window is really nice too. I’ve heard there are some issues though, especially with cooling. Reviews say that buying different 60mm fans help with getting the hot air out, so I’m considering that.
I’m pretty sure a 5770 will fit in the case, but could anyone help verify that?
This is pretty much the only item I’m not entirely sure about, but I can’t say I’ve found a better case for the money yet.
Total PC Cost comes to $706.87 shipped after MIR and some odd small shipping discount Newegg gives (the shipping costs for the non-free shipping items don’t add up to what Newegg quotes for shipping)
Questions/issues on my mind:
-cooling/airflow with the case (even with modular cabling)
-Does this system have a good upgrade path?
-I know it’s not in my price range, but what kind of performance does RAID striping give you if I were to purchase two of the hard drives in my list?
-Is the video card adequate for 1680x1050?
-Is the RAM overkill? Or should I watch for it to lower in price?
As for cooling, yes, you should probably get some high CFM, low noise fans like the Scythe Slipstreams.
As for RAID 0, it will give you a pretty decent read/write performance boost.
Originally, I was looking at getting a Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition for $99 instead, but getting an extra core and easily overclocking to the speed of the 550 for only $25 doesn’t sound like a bad deal.
Be aware that you may be able to unlock the 4th core.
4GB RAM is the minimum now. The GPU is fine for 1680*1150.
Also, why not just get a DVD burner? It's not that much more $.
I think I found the solution. It's an older case (as evidenced by it being discontinued on Newegg), and it's a little more expensive (~$120-130) and about 5" larger in one dimension, but it has 5 120mm fans and just as much capability as the Lanbox. Plus it looks mega-cool too.
On second thought, I think I'm going to take the fact that it's discontinued on Newegg and unbelievably expensive everywhere else as a sign that that case isn't right for me. I fell in love with its looks, but after reading reviews on Newegg, I don't feel so sure about it. For example, why bother putting in a clear window if the PSU fills up half of it? Hopefully NZXT or some other vendor that makes great looking cases will come out with something else that's more awesome.