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Gaming PC for $500 to $600

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March 25, 2010 12:02:45 AM

Hey guys,

My current PC is approximately 6 years old (Dell Dimension 3000) and needs to be replaced yesterday. I somehow play world of warcraft on this system and typically get about 4 frames per second in congested areas. This system prevents me from playing 25 man content altogether. Please help me find an affordable PC that will allow me to fully enjoy my gaming experience. All help will be greatly appreciated.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE: 500-600 dollars after any rebates. I am willing to go up slightly if a good upgrade is available for a low cost addition.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: The PC will be used primarily for gaming, internet browsing, and movie watching

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any website that is US based

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am leaning toward AMD Athlon II x 3 (or x 4) CPU for my price range. The Antec 300 case is desirable. 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM is also desirable. Any cheap DVD burner will suffice.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe......

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: PC will primarily be used to play WoW. I also need a OS that would be most optimal for the system. Probably Windows XP or 7. I would also like 500 GB to 1 TB of hard drive space.


Below are some of the components that I found while researching:

AMD Athlon II X3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II x 4 with GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASUS Black DVD Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Case with PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

SAPPHIRE HD 5770 1GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am open to any suggestions.....

More about : gaming 500 600

March 25, 2010 1:32:24 AM

CASE: Coolermaster 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119197

RAM: Ripjaws DDR3 1600 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231277

CPU + MOBO COMBO (-$20): Gigabyte 770 AM3 + Phenom x3 720
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

PSU and HDD COMBO (-$20): OCZ ModXstream 600w modular + WD 500GB blue caviar
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.347302

The CPU combo you linked is not for what you typed. The Antec 300 totals $79 after shipping. for $10 more you can get a rock solid gaming case.

I threw a different CPU MOBO combo in there.

You can use an upgrade disk of win7 to clean install.

I tossed ina PSU + HDD combo I just bought myself.

$600 is tight...
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March 25, 2010 1:33:26 AM

If you didn't need an OS it could be done and done well. Are you a student anywhere? I attend a university in new york and we get windows 7 disks for $8...
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Related resources
March 25, 2010 1:52:07 AM

here is a link to a site that compares benchmarks for differtent CPU's. It might be helpful for you in deviding how much power you need or want. The gaming benchmarks are done at 1680x1050 or whatever, and are at the bottom of the comparison list.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?b=2&c=1
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March 25, 2010 3:38:22 AM


After further research, I came up with the build below. This system will cost me about $730 though. Any suggestions to lower the cost a little?

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223C

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223C - OEM
Item #: N82E16827151192


$19.99


SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814102873
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy


-$20.00 Instant
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card14-102-873

$179.99
$159.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231303


$114.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116754

$104.99


Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

*

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16817371015
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

*

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811129066
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

-$20.00 Instant
-$20.00 Combo


$169.98
$129.98

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX435WFGIBOX

*

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128435
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

*

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX435WFGIBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103724
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

-$15.00 Combo


$214.98
$199.98

Subtotal: $729.92
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March 25, 2010 4:39:15 AM

xrome said:
If you didn't need an OS it could be done and done well. Are you a student anywhere? I attend a university in new york and we get windows 7 disks for $8...


That's kinda amazing i thought i was getting a deal through my university getting windows 7 for 35 bucks
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March 25, 2010 12:57:16 PM

It definitely is still a deal at $35.

Warren: You're only getting one video card, and you don't say you have any plans to crossfire. If you don't, you could get away with a gigabyte 770 and save $50... If you do want to CF at some point, you can get the ASUS 790X and save $30.

I'm not quite sure why you picked the gigabyte 890gx, and then threw a weak processor into it. Save on the mobo, bump up the CPU if anything. There are like 40 good combo deals using the AMD athlon and phenom CPU's. No need for 890GX.

Any reason you really want the Antec 300? Just curious is all. There are cases with many more features at that price point.

lastly, I wouldn't get a dvd drive with more negative reviews than positive. Spend the extra 4 dollars and get something that actually works for the vast majority of the people who buy it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 25, 2010 2:55:46 PM

xrome said:
It definitely is still a deal at $35.

Warren: You're only getting one video card, and you don't say you have any plans to crossfire. If you don't, you could get away with a gigabyte 770 and save $50... If you do want to CF at some point, you can get the ASUS 790X and save $30.

I'm not quite sure why you picked the gigabyte 890gx, and then threw a weak processor into it. Save on the mobo, bump up the CPU if anything. There are like 40 good combo deals using the AMD athlon and phenom CPU's. No need for 890GX.

Any reason you really want the Antec 300? Just curious is all. There are cases with many more features at that price point.

lastly, I wouldn't get a dvd drive with more negative reviews than positive. Spend the extra 4 dollars and get something that actually works for the vast majority of the people who buy it.

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


xRome,
Thank you for all of the helpful advice. I am not set on the Antec 300 Illusion case so if you have another recommendation I am all ears! Good catch on the MOBO. I am now looking at a 790gx to couple with the AMD Athlon x3 435. Here is a link to the 790gx MOBO http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Having the onboard graphics would be nice for a backup. Since I am only planning to play WoW on this PC I think a single GPU will be sufficient. So there is probably not a need to ever Crossfire and I can probably downgrade the 790gx right?
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a b 4 Gaming
March 25, 2010 5:54:58 PM

I actually like the X3 Rana for this build, I wouldn't call it "weak". The 4th core isn't going to help at all in gaming. The differences between gaming on most current games (excepting heavy RTS & sim games) with 3 and 4 cores is negligible.

@warren50 - the only problem I see with your $730 build is that there's no hard drive. I would suggest a Seagate 7200.12 500 GB for $55.

I'd suggest this G.Skill 4 GB CAS 7 1333 MHz kit for $115 or Crucial Ballistix 4 GB CAS 7 1333 MHz kit for $114 (or you can pay $4 more for a Crucial Ballistix kit with LEDs).
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March 25, 2010 7:10:13 PM


Ok I added the hard drive and went with the CAS 7 memory. My final build is as follows:


ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204
$23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148395
$54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128398
$114.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814102873
$159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231303
$114.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX435WFGIBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103724
$74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full - Retail
Item #: N82E16832116716
$179.99

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16817371015
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811129066
-$20.00 Combo
$129.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Subtotal: $853.91

What do you guys think about this system? It is a good deal more than what I wanted to spend mainly because of the operating system.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 25, 2010 7:59:09 PM

I think the system is a very good budget-ish gaming system.

You could (but I wouldn't recommend) save some money by going with cheaper case/psu. You could buy a less powerful graphics card, but that would mean that gaming at 1920x1080 would really suffer.

Unfortunately, the price of Windows really kills most builds under $800-900.

If you're committed to spending under $600 including the price of Windows, your best option is probably to get a pre-built somewhere. Building your own gaming coimputer with quality parts for under $600 is a very tight fit.

That being said, I think spending the extra money for your proposed build is well worthwhile, and you have a much better system than what you would end up with for that price from a pre-built supplier.
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March 25, 2010 8:51:56 PM

warren50 said:
xRome,
Thank you for all of the helpful advice. I am not set on the Antec 300 Illusion case so if you have another recommendation I am all ears! Good catch on the MOBO. I am now looking at a 790gx to couple with the AMD Athlon x3 435. Here is a link to the 790gx MOBO http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Having the onboard graphics would be nice for a backup. Since I am only planning to play WoW on this PC I think a single GPU will be sufficient. So there is probably not a need to ever Crossfire and I can probably downgrade the 790gx right?


Yes you could downgrade to the 790GX. If you really want onboard graphics I suppose. If your vid card craps out are you really just going to use onboard, or just replace it with a new one anyways though? Additionally, the gigabyte 790gx is still a dual videocard board, plus it seems to be sata and USB 2.0. The gigabyte 770 is 3.0 so its more "futureproof" I suppose, and its cheaper. Plus no need for dual GPU slots if you dont plan to CF.

I agree with you that a second vid card doesn't seem likely or necessary for a wow player.

Look at the first reply in this thread. I gave another option for a case (HAF 922) which is considered by MANY one of the best mid tower cases around. You could also look at the storm scout. Another CM option. I personally don't like their looks, but their features are unmatched at their price point. I just bought an Antec 902, but that is considerably out of that price range.

So again, it's just my opinion and of course you can take it or leave it, it's your system and your $$$. But your price of the system keeps climbing higher... if you trying to hit a 500-600$ budget plus Windows, it makes sense to cut out things that you don't need or likely won't ever use. Like onboard graphics, and a second videocard slot to save $$$.

For the price you want to hit, I recommend trying to find good combo deals and not going overboard on unneccesary motherboard features.
I like the 5770, and if your okay with going athlon x3 then i guess that will save you money as well. People on these forums are all about the seagate HDD's lately. But I have had every other brand of hard drive fail me except western digital, so I'm brand loyal there. Better to load slightly slower and NOT crash on me in 2 years...
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March 25, 2010 9:12:14 PM

And looking for unexpected combo's is a good way to save money. For example:

PSU and optical drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

basically equates to a free optical drive. (I recommended the OCZ modxstream because i just bought it and its working out fine. $40 after rebate for a modular 600w 80+ PSU? yes please... PLUS a $20 combo on either a 5770, an optical drive or a western digital HDD? Awesome!

Look at the parts you want, and then look through all their combos trying to find any other part you already want. If it means changing a brand here or there to save an extra $20 at each combo, thats a good call if you have a budget in mind.
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March 25, 2010 9:14:15 PM

warren50 said:
I just noticed that this 790gx MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
has Memory Standard DDR3 1666(O.C.)/1333/1066. Will the following DDR3 1600 memory kits work?

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

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

What is the difference b/w these two memory kits? Is it just the CAS Latency?


yes as far as I understand if you mobo supports at least DDR3 1600 (such as 1666) then it will accept your 1600 just fine. But you'll have to go into your BIOS and manually set your timings for the RAM. takes 2 minutes and increases system stablity anyways.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Also, if you want CAS 7 RAM and don't want to increase voltage from 1.5v to 1.65v, then you could go for this and save another $5:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 26, 2010 1:56:30 AM

it wasn't easy but I put together a build for you, trying to keep your budget in mind. this is what i consider the best possible gaming computer for exactly $600 pre-Windows.

Yes you could individually upgrade each part, but I wanted to see what i can put together for your original limit of $600. take a look:

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a b 4 Gaming
March 26, 2010 3:25:07 AM

If you don't plan on playing much beyond WoW at this point, and you really need to shave $, there's no need for a CrossFire/SLI-capable board, since WoW doesn't support either.
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