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Budget Gaming Build ~$500

Last response: in Systems
May 17, 2010 3:48:37 PM

I went through and picked out the following, do you guys see any problems with it?

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3320613AS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

MOBO: BIOSTAR MCP6P3 AM3 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 / nForce 430 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX250OCGQBOX

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

PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS

Case: Antec TWO HUNDRED S Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

All of this for $515.92 + shipping

My other option is going to Best Buy and buying this:

If I did the build, I imagine I would need a CPU cooler, and thermal paste... Anything else I would need?
May 17, 2010 5:49:54 PM

I wouldn't get your hopes up about playing games on that PC. What games are you trying to play?
May 17, 2010 10:34:49 PM

Nothing very new. If I could play Starcraft II on it when it comes out, that would suffice. Any suggestions for making it better without increasing the price too much?
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May 17, 2010 10:45:41 PM

The problem is onboard graphics are just not up to handling games on a decent monitor. The old 1024x768 CRTs only needed about about 1/3rd as much graphics card power as new 1920x1080 widescreen LCDs. For any significant level of graphics detail when gaming you need to budget $100-200 for a graphics card.
May 17, 2010 11:19:00 PM

Here's a trial build that includes a 9800GT graphic card, operating system etc. $537 and all with free shipping.

Case/motherboard combo - $70 - Rosewill case 120mm fan/Biostar AM3 785G.

Graphic/power supply - $130 - BFG 9800GT/ OCZ 600w

CPU - $75 - AthlonII x3 440 3.0GHz

RAM - $95 - 2x2 GB DDR3 1333 Geil

HD - $55 - Seagate 500GB 7200.12

CD burner - $22 - Liteon SATA

OS - $100- Windows7 premium 64 bit

$538 not including a $25 rebate or a $6 promo code for the HD, all free shipping

The motherboard comes with 2 SATA cables for the HD and burner, the CPU includes a heatsink/fan and enough thermal paste to install it.

May 18, 2010 12:33:09 AM

I like that. The reason I asked here is because you guys are a lot more knowledgeable than I am, and it shows here. I do have a CD burner that still works, so that's $22 from that build. I've also got an Antec Earthwatts 350 PSU that is fairly new, could I use that instead? My monitor is a Samsung something or other with 1600 x 900 res, and I'd like to be able to use it all.

Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate the help and advice.

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May 18, 2010 1:30:31 AM

The Antec Earthwatts 380w is a good power supply and would be fine for this build.

This might be an option a 240GT combo deal with the CPU.,2475...

or a GTS250 with no combo deal ($85 after rebate.)
May 18, 2010 6:13:05 PM

The graphics card primarily determines if a power supply will work.

A 380W PSU should handle a 240 OK, but a 250 should really have a 450W PSU.

For a 9600GSO it will be fine, but for a 9800GT will be close (400W recommended).
May 18, 2010 11:53:26 PM

How upgradeable is that mobo? Will I be able to stick a better video card in it later if I wanted to?
May 19, 2010 3:33:44 AM

Yes you will be able to upgrade a video card at a later date, provided that your power supply can support it.

It's my opinion that the 55nm GTS250 would be fine with the 380w Antec Earthwatts power supply. Check this article out by Xbit Labs about how much power a system actually uses.

The closest to the OP system uses a E8600 and a HD4850, both more power intensive. 189 watts at full load (furmark and prime'95 running)
May 19, 2010 7:45:00 PM

Power supplies loose capacity with use and as they age. If you are close to capacity when its new, it can start causing flakey problems and ultimately failing a year or two down the road. I think its foolish to recommend someone to buy a new PSU where its a possibility have such a problem.
May 31, 2010 3:29:20 AM

Thanks guys. Ordered the parts Friday, hope to have it in hand by Tuesday or so. I went with the 240 GT, it will allow me to do what I need it to now, and I can upgrade the psu and video card later. Appreciate all the help.
May 31, 2010 3:30:15 AM

Best answer selected by teancumtbh.