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600$ gaming pc including tax and shipping

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March 23, 2010 11:33:11 AM

Hello all, i'm looking to build a PC that is cheap but good enough to run games now, and games that are coming out soon. I don't want cheap brands, i want good brands but cheap prices. I have a budget of 600$ and would love the help of any or all of you. I've owned one computer and it broke 8 months ago, it was a pile of crap. My new comp i want it to handle the new SWTOR coming out, and games like Aion/WoW etc. I don't need an OS/Speakers/Mouse/Keyboard but everything else i do. I've written down a lot of stuff, i like what i see but i want to see what the more "savvy" think.

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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 23, 2010 1:34:41 PM

If you followed the guidelines, we could give you specific advice. You didn't mention a monitor or it's resolution. If you need a monitor, a decent quality build on this budget is impossible.

Assuming the monitor is a 1600x:

CPU: X3 425 $70
Mobo: Asus M4A77TD $75 after rebate
RAM: A-Data 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 9 $99
GPU: HD 5770 $150 after rebate
HDD/PSU: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB and OCZ StealthXStream 700W $85 after rebate
Case: Coolermaster Elite $40 after rebate
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $24

Total: $543.
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March 23, 2010 8:46:24 PM

I'm sorry, i don't need a monitor, Forgot to mention that in my original post. Thanks a lot MadAdmiral, i see we chose the same mobo/case pretty much. My computer knowledge is minimal and only one of my friends has built his own, so i thought i'd ask here. When i was choosing parts, i ended up with DDR2 ram, but you managed to get me DDR3. Is it really personal preference when it comes to Nvidia vs Radeon, and Intel vs AMD? I have no desire to overclock my PC. The graphics card you chose is 50 dollars more than the one i picked, so i'm guessing that's where you want to dump the most $ on a gaming comp. I'm so glad i looked around the web on info the past week, i was originally going to buy a Rosewill bundle case/psu but now i heard they aren't reliable. Reliable is my friend, my last comp (though it was a pile of crap) lasted me 4years, 4years without having to repair it. My friend did tell me you don't want a cheap power supply, i'll link a few things i had originally and wonder if you'd tell me what you thought.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... CPU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... graphics

I just happened to choose that card, i didn't want the free game. I'm purchasing my computer when i get paid on the 1st, i've been preparing.

Which guidlines were you referring to? Or did you just mean the parts linked as guidelines, i'm new here. Does the resolution of my current monitor matter? I'm using the monitor from my old comp from 4years ago, it's a Dell LCD monitor, not sure how to tell the resolution.

Also how many fans is enough, i've been wondering that.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 23, 2010 10:56:37 PM

It is NOT personal preference right now with the GPU. ATI is clearly superior right now. You definitely want to get the most powerful GPU you can afford. If you took a similarly priced nVidia and ATI card, the ATI card would be more powerful.

As for Intel vs. AMD, Intel's CPUs are a little more powerful. However, they're also a lot more expensive. You will not be getting a current generation CPU if you want to go with Intel. The cheapest Intel CPU that is any good for gaming is $200 (the i5-750).

CPU: That's an old CPU that's not very good. Intel's cheaper CPU are all on an old socket (LGA775), so you're locked into using older tech AND you don't have any good upgrade options. Avoid LGA775 CPUs in new builds at all costs.

GPU: Not a good choice. ATI's offerings are going to be more powerful at every price range. Regardless, if this is for gaming, you'll likely need a bigger card than that.

The resolution matters a little. If you have a very old 1280x1024 monitor, you could get an extremely cheap GPU and not see any difference. That allows more money to be spent in the rest of the build.

On the number of fans, it doesn't really matter. If you have a decent sized fan in front and one in back, that will be sufficient. The case I linked to above is a high quality, low end case.

The guidelines I'm referring to is the "How to ask for new build advice" thread. There's a link in my signature. It provides a basic form with a lot of information that helps us give better, more specific advice.
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March 23, 2010 11:33:08 PM

Thanks a lot, i really appreciate the info. According to this website http://www.whatismyscreenresolution.com/ my monitor is 1024x768. I plan on getting a new monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers after i purchase my comp, gotta get the big man out of the way first.

Is using an older monitor a problem when building a new comp? My friend did tell me about VGA or something and he had an adapter for me, or will the old monitors not work with new technology? Adata and Gskill are around the same price, would you consider Adata superior or was it a few dollars cheaper? I want the most reliable power supply i can get, and one that i can keep if i ever upgrade to i5 or i7 or something, or when i finally upgrade would it be wise to just get a whole new power supply as well?

The specs you linked i like them all, i just had questions regarding the RAM and PSU. We came across the same case, i felt that case was miles ahead of the rest i saw, because it was 50$ with a discount + free shipping. I'm glad this setup will enable me to use DDR3, i really didn't want to use DDR2.

Btw sorry if i'm barraging you with questions, i know i could get these answers if i dug through the internet. It's just easier coming to a place where people know what they're talking about, and it's faster too.

One of my online friends offered to sell me his new http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N... he thought the warranty was up, so he bought a new one, but it wasn't. I asked him if that broke on me would i be able to use the warranty, he hasn't got back to me. Was just gonna buy a new card, what do you think?

Would something like this be good for this setup http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or it's absolutely necessary i buy the 160$ card?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 2:00:57 AM

The newer cards will only have outputs for newer monitors. That doesn't mean strictly HDMI, but they won't have the old, screw-down connectors. Since your monitor has such a low resolution, grab a very cheap card like the HD 4650 ($30) or 4670 ($60). I would personally go with the 4650 and plan to upgrade to the 5850 or 5870 when/if you get a new monitor (1920x1080). Given the $120 change in GPU, I'll post an updated build below.

As for the A DATA and the G.Skill, I pretty much picked the A DATA because it was cheaper. The sticks I prefer to recommend are the G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 for $115.

That PSU is pretty reliable. I wouldn't say it's one of the highest quality units, but it's good quality, and you can't beat the price. It loses quite a bit as they don't provide as much power as they say. A higher quality unit will be included in the build below.

You likely won't be able to use the warranty. The only warranty I know of that is still in effect if you sell the part is XFX's double lifetime warranty on their new 5xxx series cards. If you can get that for the $30ish you'd spend on the 4650, I'd definitely get that 9800 GT+.

So here's the updated build:

CPU/Mobo: X4 635 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $230 after rebate. A better CPU and a board that supports USB 3/SATA III and Crossfire.
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
GPU: HD 4650 $30
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Antec Earthwatts 650W $125. A better case and a higher quality PSU.
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $24

Total: $579
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March 24, 2010 3:33:43 PM

No disrespect to the OP but the original build by MadAdmiral is better in terms of gaming hands down and CHEAPER. Please correct me if I am wrong, my tech level is only medium at best, but the 4th core wouldn't really make a huge diff over the tri and you have a wayyyyyy better video card. I am running the sapphire 5750, a step down from the 5770 and it eats through anything I throw at it. I am almost all the way through Crysis and have not had any problems on all high settings at 1600 res.

Again, no disrespect, but it seems like the one component that is most important to your build is the one you want to skimp out or cut corners on to save a few bucks.

Go with the original build man... this dude knows his stuff. I build my system around his suggestions in other posts and IT ABSOULTELY KICKS YOU KNOW WHAT. ... I would try to get a gigabyte board in there though. And even though I dont see it on newegg.ca anymore (Canada site, did not check US lately) try to get a 550 Black edition AMD and unlock it to a quad. there is as I last read on reviews, 85-90ish % success rate on unlocking thus getting a kick ass quad 3.1+ GHz for the price of a dual, which was super easy on gigabytes bios. But even the slightly faster 555 is only $30 more than the 425 X3.

But again, I am no expert, but I can testify to wat I built similar to the original build in this thread, you will not be dissapointed.

Its under your budget and if you sub a 550 CPU you will be right on budget. If you don't have any experience ovcerclocking or unlocking core, just read reviews on newegg for the processor or mobo and you will eventually run into one where someone explained how they did it. Man... if i managed too... anyone can.

Cheers!
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 3:37:48 PM

@puntacana: The first build is better in terms of raw performance. However, given the low resolution of the OP's monitor, he can improve the overall build by lowering the GPU. A lower cost GPU wouldn't show any difference in terms of FPS at that resolution. So instead of spending a lot on a high end card, the OP can spend more on the other parts of the build with the intention of upgrading later once a new monitor is bought. So instead of sacrificing the CPU, board, case, and PSU to fit in an excellent card, the OP can instead skimp on the GPU (which won't have a visible impact to performance at this point in time) and get components that are better for the future.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 3:50:38 PM

If purchasing the monitor is in the cards in the next couple of months, you might consider going with the original build and just buying an adapter to get you through in the meantime.

Something like this DVI to VGA adapter?
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March 24, 2010 4:01:40 PM

MadAdmiral said:
@puntacana: The first build is better in terms of raw performance. However, given the low resolution of the OP's monitor, he can improve the overall build by lowering the GPU. A lower cost GPU wouldn't show any difference in terms of FPS at that resolution. So instead of spending a lot on a high end card, the OP can spend more on the other parts of the build with the intention of upgrading later once a new monitor is bought. So instead of sacrificing the CPU, board, case, and PSU to fit in an excellent card, the OP can instead skimp on the GPU (which won't have a visible impact to performance at this point in time) and get components that are better for the future.


Hmm, i guess I just didnt realize how much of an impact resolution is. Thats my home work for tonight I guess.. research that.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 4:24:27 PM

The resolution can make a 5970 equal a 3670. There's a reason you don't recommend anything above an HD 5850 for a monitor with 1600x. Anything above that is completely wasted.
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March 24, 2010 4:41:18 PM

MadAdmiral said:
The resolution can make a 5970 equal a 3670. There's a reason you don't recommend anything above an HD 5850 for a monitor with 1600x. Anything above that is completely wasted.


Not to highjack this thread or anything, but this will still be useful to the OP I am sure...

If I am using currently, a 22" 1920X1080, and a 5750 1gb (I don't run all games at that resolution, Crysis at 1366x768 if I want max fps) and want to upgrade since the prices keep falling weekly it seems.. what is the highest you would go for that monitor.

Its this monitor if you need specific http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 4:56:58 PM

I would want to get either a 5850 or 5870. That said, if your PSU can handle two 5750s and you have a Crossfire enabled board, you could just buy a second 5750 and have about the same peformance as the 5850 at under 1/2 the cost of the upgrade.
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March 24, 2010 5:43:58 PM

Yes, I was thinking about crossfiring. I actually have a similar gigabyte mobo to the one on your second build, but mines the UD4P, but more or less the same. I have an Ultra 750 Watt PSU, I have not looked into if it can handle two 5750's. So far I am on the fence about cross fire. From initial research there's mixed feelings depending on what games you play whether they take advantage of crossfire...

back to the PSU issue, I only run 1 optical and one HDD and my CPU is 80W.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 6:44:46 PM

That can handle two 5750s easily.
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March 24, 2010 6:56:11 PM

See below post \/
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 7:15:15 PM

Except that's a horrible build. The LGA775 socket is dead. You're wasting money on old RAM, not to mention too much of it. You're going to get a lot of low quality parts. In general, buying refurbished is a bad idea...

EDIT: Meant to say "old RAM"...
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March 24, 2010 7:33:10 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Except that's a horrible build. The LGA775 socket is dead. You're wasting money on old, not to mention too much of it. You're going to get a lot of low quality parts. In general, buying refurbished is a bad idea...


try this build

http://www.hardware-revolution.com/500-gaming-computer-...

But get the 5770 instead of the 4850

Total is $589


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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 7:39:16 PM

Except the two builds above (the X3/5770 and x4/4650) are newer, faster, more future proof, and fit the needs of the OP better. Oh, they're also cheaper.

That's the problem with cookie-cutter builds. They're never exactly right...
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March 24, 2010 10:21:23 PM

I went with MadAdmirals original post because i bought my parts an hour before i read his updated one lol. I like what i saw, i showed it to two of my friends who built their own comps, "not as tech savvy as MadAdmiral" but they still know their stuff, and they really liked it as well. I plan on buying a decent mouse/speaker/keyboard next month, and then a new monitor the month after. Building my own comp to me is like stepping out of the stone age. I used to play on an old dell dimension from like 5years ago, it had 1.5gb of ram and i'd get 20fps in WoW if i was lucky. I have no idea what a decent or good comp plays like because i've never played on one. I originally was only going to spend 500$ but i'm glad i had the room to up it to 600$.

I was surprised to get a reply, never asked stuff like this in a forum. I read what everyone said, and i read reviews of every item linked. I just hope everything works when it gets here, waiting for the pieces to my comp to me is like waiting for Santa as a kid. Yeah i just said that, you'd agree with me had you played a POS for so long. I think my video card back then was an ati radeon from 6years ago.

I would've had room to upgrade upgrade upgrade if i read MadAdmirals later post, but i have no regret about it. If i can get 3years out of my comp i could do this again down the road, but by then i7 or who knows what will be dirt cheap. Like i said before, this was and IS my first time building a comp, and it'll be easier the second time, but that's getting ahead of myself.

I'm sure this is personal preference but what monitor would you recommend for my new frankenstein? I only ask because i'm not sure if they have compatibility issues etc. Compatibility was my biggest fear before deciding i was going to make the pc, i had no idea what went with what. My friend is giving me an adapter for my new monitor, so i can use that until i get a new one. I plan on getting another LCD but bigger and better, maybe 22-24inch.

Again, thanks MadAdmiral and anyone/everyone who help people like this on this forum or any forum. Maybe one day i'll be that knowledgeable about computer internals and i can do the same.

Edit: I haven't bought the graphics card yet, but i plan to in a week when i get paid. You stick by your guns MadAdmiral about that card you originally posted? Or would another suit my build better, don't want something too strong or too weak. I'll probably never touch Crossfire/SLI or OC my pc, maybe not even upgrade it, i don't know.
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March 24, 2010 10:22:10 PM

Best answer selected by FloydC.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 11:06:59 PM

If you're updating the monitor soon, I'd get the 5770. If it was going to be an upgrade later on (like a year or so), I would get the cheap card to tide you over until then.
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March 26, 2010 11:04:45 AM

MadAdmiral said:
If you're updating the monitor soon, I'd get the 5770. If it was going to be an upgrade later on (like a year or so), I would get the cheap card to tide you over until then.



Appreciate all you've done for me, but i have one last question. Can i use my old hard drive on my new pc? I bought a new HD, but my windows is on my old one, or will i have to purchase 7?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 26, 2010 11:19:32 AM

You can definitely use your old HDD in the new build. However, that doesn't mean you can automatically use your old version of Windows. That depends on what type of Windows you have. If the odd HDD is coming from a prebuilt, you will likely need to buy a new copy of Windows (not the upgrade version). The reason for this is that most vendors use an OEM version of the OS that will only work with the original motherboard. The disc they send you isn't a real Windows copy, it's just a recovery disc that can repair the installation.

If the Windows you had installed is a retail version (i.e. one you went out and bought), you don't need a new copy. You should still install Windows on the new HDD (if you buy it) or else the computer will seem slower than it actually is.
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March 26, 2010 3:39:35 PM

Eh, i see...

My Windows XP did come with my old Dell i had. So i can't use it at all? Or if i use it my comp will just lag? Lol oh well, i guess i gotta pick up a Windows 7. I didn't foresee this, but it's ok. Never liked the cost of Windows, felt like such a rip-off.

More time wasted eh? I can't use my PC until i have an OS correct? I think i heard it was something along the lines of "a house with no roof" or something along those lines. I was hoping i could've just downloaded a trial or something to hold me off till i had the cash.

What to do, what to do...
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 26, 2010 3:46:17 PM

Well, you can always use a free OS, such as one of the many flavors of Linux. Gaming support for Linux isn't all that great, but you can easily get online and perform more general tasks.

A computer with no OS is more like a car without a steering wheel. You can turn it on and run tests on it, but you can't actually do anything with it.

To clarify, you cannot legally load your old version of XP on a newly built computer. The license for XP is tied to the computer it came on. If you had a second key for XP, and the Dell came with install disks, you could legally install XP on the new system, using the new key, and it would run fine. (Well, as well as XP will run on the system.) Since you're going with 4+ GB of RAM, a 64-bit operating system is recommended.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 26, 2010 4:36:54 PM

If you get an OEM verison of Windows 7 it'll only cost you about $100. Which isn't too bad in my opinion. 7 is a huge step up over XP and Vista anyway.
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March 26, 2010 8:35:23 PM

On the box my motherboard reads "Windows 7 ready". Now what exactly does that mean? Sorry if that's a dumb question, just curious.
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March 26, 2010 10:17:30 PM

I purchased my OS key off of ebay for $38.00. If a friend has a disk just buy a key off ebay. They can be had for cheap.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 26, 2010 11:18:46 PM

@FloydC: It only means that you can run Windows 7 on it. There isn't anything special about it. It's just marketing.
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March 27, 2010 12:18:23 PM

Thanks guys. I put it together, it took me forever. It turned on and everything looked kosher. I'll know for certain after i get my OS/graphics card/dvd drive in a week. I still need to get that backplate on, it's not hooked up properly. I think i was supposed to put it on before the mobo, but i tried and the mobo wouldn't line up with the screws properly when i did that. I'm sure there's more stuff i messed up, but i did the important stuff 100% correct i think. I mean, it DID take me over 3hours.

Anyways, thanks again.
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