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Help Building Budget Gaming PC

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June 14, 2010 8:01:04 AM

Hi all, I'm new to the forums, but I've been lurking around for a bit. I finally saved up enough money to build my own system, but it's still not much. I currently have a ThinkPad t61p with the Quadro FX 570m from work, but it's not doing so well with the games I want to play (not to mention I'm not supposed to use it for games... :cry:  ). So here goes:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This summer. I'm not in a huge rush, but I would like to have it built around the time Starcraft II comes out.

BUDGET RANGE: Around $450 After Rebates (Already have a few parts which would make the total cost of the system $600)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Starcraft II, Civilization V, Elemental: War of Magic, Empire: Total War, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Case (Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case), Power Supply (OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2), DVD Drive (LITE-ON Black), Hard Drive (Seagate ST31000528AS Barracuda 7200.12 Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200 rpm)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anything Online and a Frys is also nearby

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU and ATI GPU

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I think having a good motherboard is pretty important since I plan on doing upgrades in the future if I'm able to make more $$$... so even if I don't crossfire now, I would like the ability to do so in the future.

I look forward to hearing the wisdom from the TH community. Thanks in advance!

More about : building budget gaming

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June 14, 2010 8:20:36 AM
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June 14, 2010 8:35:33 AM

Thanks for the quick reply! I read on the forums that a few people don't really like the Powercolor brand, though that probably is the only one I can afford...

Also, I saw this about the ASRock motherboard: "Memory Standard DDR3 1800(OC)/1600(OC)/1333/1066/800"

What does the (OC) mean after the 1600? Does that mean I have to do something special for 1600 RAM to work on it? Thanks again for the quick reply!
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June 14, 2010 9:03:52 AM

Set RAM settings manually in BIOS - check mobo manual for this feature in the BIOS ^^
June 14, 2010 12:54:55 PM

It means that for 1600 and 1800, you'll have to
1) use a RAM speed that Intel doesn't *officially* support (but it works fine no problems)
2) manually change the speed of the RAM to what it should be in the BIOS (it won't go to the higher speeds automatically)
June 14, 2010 1:08:15 PM

Starcraft 2 is bringing in alot of build requests, Ive seen 4 now including myself :3.
5770 will likely be the best a small budget can do. More then enuff for that resolution as well.

You could also try to apply for the free ICDiamond TIM give away in the CPU & Fans/heatsink forum. Its a great compound! And they even give enuff for multiple applications. If you're using a stock CPU heatsink the few extra degrees will help quite abit :] http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/258835-29-innovation-...

You need 50 posts to qualify, as long as you can hit that relativly fast without trolling/spamming they will likely allow you to participate in the testing :] I got in with 60 posts in a week hehe.
June 14, 2010 3:35:14 PM

ashkaji said:
Starcraft 2 is bringing in alot of build requests, Ive seen 4 now including myself :3.
5770 will likely be the best a small budget can do. More then enuff for that resolution as well.

You could also try to apply for the free ICDiamond TIM give away in the CPU & Fans/heatsink forum. Its a great compound! And they even give enuff for multiple applications. If you're using a stock CPU heatsink the few extra degrees will help quite abit :] http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/258835-29-innovation-...

You need 50 posts to qualify, as long as you can hit that relativly fast without trolling/spamming they will likely allow you to participate in the testing :] I got in with 60 posts in a week hehe.


Coool... don't know if I'll be able to get up to 50 posts that quickly, but I already have Arctic Silver Ceramique. Is that sufficient?
June 15, 2010 12:07:11 AM

I actually dont have much EXP with different TIM's. But I do know that the ICDiamond stuff gave me amazing results. Im sure though as long as its a name brand and decent quality though it will be more then fine :]
June 15, 2010 4:46:39 AM

Thanks for all your replies. I'm going to wait a bit for a good deal to show up and then grab those recommended parts.
June 15, 2010 4:46:50 AM

Best answer selected by berkeleyboi.
June 15, 2010 5:03:59 AM

Yep happy shopping/building ^^
!