Need help building a ~$500 Gaming Computer


BUDGET RANGE: $500 BEFORE Shipping/Taxes

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Dragon Age Origins, Bioshock 2, Modern Warfare 2.) [Will be played at low-medium settings]

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Windows 7, MONITOR, or CASE.


COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Doesn't matter!

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD Phenom II x4 or Intel i5 build if possible. Any faster alternates for lower grade top of the line models that outperform these higher grade starting models are okay as well.



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I don't care about the miniscule differences between speed. As long as this build is going to last me 2-4 years, will play all the current hot games well, and isn't too noisy, I will be happy. Thanks for helping!
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  1. Many gigs do you want on your hard drive? That would help. I have a good build for you but is $517 with a ATI 5770. Can you go over $500 at all or no?
  2. I only want 250G~ on hard drive. Seagate brand preferrably. Currently there is on at 7200 rpm on amazon that i can snatch with free 2 day shipping for 38$ compared to the neweggs 39.99+shipping/tax.

    I can go over 500, but all of my current builds, with upper-mid ranged processors are taking 600-700, I was trying to see how cheap I can make it, while still having modern parts that will last me a while.
  3. Oh well, heres my build anyway.

    Optical $28:

    Hard drive $40:

    RAM $100 (comes with street fighter 4 for FREE!):

    Mobo/CPU $145 ($10 mail in rebate):

    Graphics card/Power Supply $205:

    Total: $508 after mail in rebate.
    Only $8 in shipping and $42 in sales tax in you live in a state with sales tax.

    This graphics card isnt the best but it will keep you up to date with the DX11 and runs really cool. CPU and mobo is solid, I had to sacrifice a little on the hard drive but no biggie. I got you that optical drive because its not an OEM (it has the cords, a better warranty, and it got good ratings) The worst is to spend $20 on optical drive that doesnt work and spend half has much on it to RMA it, instead just spending another $10 in first place for a better driver that works. The RAM looks sold and comes with a free game! (street fighter4) and the PSU is 520W which is enough for your video card and its continuous so it can run at 520W forever. Enjoy!
  4. You can try this mobo/cpu combo too. Its a phenom ii X2 and you can try unlocking the cores so its like a 3 or 4 core but its not guaranteed.
  5. Thanks for this build, it's the most helpful one, I've searched so far. Will that triple core processor have a big difference in terms of performance in games from a phenom II x4 quad or an i5?
  6. Well not even the phenom ii X4 965 BE can match up to the i5 in gaming but most games now dont even take advantage of all four cores, only very few do. I cant think of any off the top of my head but most games only use 2 cores and fewer use 3 cores. Most of the work is being done by the first core anyway. The phenoms do have an L3 cache which does make it a little better than the Athlons but I heard it doesnt make that much of a difference. Most games are GPU intensive and not so much CPU, certain games like RTS's are a little more CPU driven than most games but the video card you have should last you some time, especially if your only using low-medium settings.
  7. Haha, sorry. Does it make a difference? No, not really. It does but the difference is so small. Games wont take full advantage of quad cores (meaning probably using 75% or more on each core) for awhile. 3 cores will last you awhile. Since you are on a tight budget a 3 core will do but 4 cores are a little more future proofed. You can replace the CPU later maybe a couple years from now for a quad and by that time the cheapest quad cores will be $85 or below.
  8. I would take the cpu/mobo combo suggested by squirrel. I just bought that CPU and I have successfully unlocked it to a quad instantly. Ram prime95 over night and no problems. Getting a Phenom II 945 for the price of a phenom II 545 is great =)
  9. this is offtopic for this thread, but how might i unlock the 4th quad? what is prime 95?
  10. I did suggest the anthlon X3 just because it was safe and it was a little closer to his budget but I do suggest that you spend that little extra money and try and unlock those other cores. The worst that could happen is that your stuck with a pretty good dual core cpu, if you succeed you can get 3 or 4 cores.
  11. I honestly dont know all the specfics about unlocking cores, I know it invovles going into the BIOS and something like that but I suggest you either ask people on the site about how to unlock the cores or you just research yourself. I'm not very knowledgeable in this field but there are people on the forum who are.
  12. Of those 3 titles you listed, Bioshock 2 is going to be the most demanding... so look for benchmarks for that game to help you with your build.
  13. I guess my main difference was the fact that I changed my GPU to 4860 and squirrel had 5770. Is it worth the +$40 difference to get the 5770?
  14. I would think so, since he is keeping it for 2 years. The 5770 does have DX11 and runs much cooler and that allows him to not need such a hefty power supply. If i'm not mistaken the 5770 is a better than the 4860, the 4860 is compared more with the 5750 not the 5770. Both builds are good but for a little extra my grapics card is a little more future proofed.
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