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Mid Rage Gaming PC - $700 max Budget - First Build

Last response: in Systems
July 6, 2010 5:02:37 PM


BUDGET RANGE: $500-700 Before / After Rebates (cheaper the better)


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: preferred, but anything will work if I can buy from the same place.


PARTS PREFERENCES: preference to ATI Video and AMD CPU, but open to others.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (But not really needed)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (But not really needed)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 SAMSUNG 2333HD Full HD LCD Monitor; Dual Monitor, if doable, 1280x1024 19" Dell LCD

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Current PC is a Dell XPS Gen5 from 2005, and I have reached my limit for upgrading it. After upgrading my monitor I have started to notice that performance in game drop greatly, currently using a ATI 2600 HD Pro GPU.

Also, I currently have a external HD, a Western Digital Elements 1TB USB 2.0 that I am currently using as a backup HD for files.

This is a second post for a new build, the first one I missed the combo deals for June at and have spent the past few days trying to get the best deal I can for my budget. (Thank you again batuchka)

Lastly, I'm not to worried about maxing out settings in a game, since I haven't been able to do anything like that since I purchased the Dell 5 years ago. I would like to begin playing some newer games also, something like Far Cry 2, COD:MW2

I have a shopping cart ready, and this is what I have so far. Looking for any compatibility issues that I may have from my selections, and if there is any better selections for my budget I am open to them. As for the two fans in this list reason for adding them is that all the reviews I have read about the case recommended adding 1-2 more fans since it only comes with one stock.

Also, I could not find a straight answer to this, does AMD CPU or stock Heat Sink come with Thermal Paste already applied?
If not, any thought on which brand to purchase would be helpful.

As always, any help offered from this community is greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance to everyone that takes the time to respond to this.
July 6, 2010 6:02:56 PM

banthracis said:
Yes to thermal paste question.

Spend the extra $5 for this RAM kit

your current mobo can't xfire.

Thank you for your response; I know that the mobo I selected can't XFire, I'm undecided about it to be honest. Now, if I did do my research correctly, the 790 or 890 chipset only supports it. The one with the over all best reviews I found with in my budget is the GIGABYTE GA-790XTA. -Combo- If this would work, this would also help with my idea of some future proofing of the computer.
Related resources
July 6, 2010 6:11:56 PM

You don't happen to have a .edu email, do you?
July 6, 2010 6:20:25 PM

jrhii said:
You don't happen to have a .edu email, do you?

jrhii, Sorry but I do not have a .edu email.
July 6, 2010 7:08:48 PM

That's too bad. If so, I would've recommended getting a student upgrade of windows 7, which is only $30. My .edu still works, 2 years after graduation, so I was able to get one. I highly recommend it to anyone who can. If you do though, you need to install it twice when installing to a blank hdd, because it is technically and upgrade and looks for an existing version of windows.
July 6, 2010 7:21:31 PM

If you want a quad:

GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD + AMD Athlon II X4 640
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 + CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD
HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 + Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium

July 6, 2010 9:27:18 PM

The Athlon II X4 are cheaper though...

I have a 620 and i love it. You can get a 620 or 630 and OC it a little bit and save 30-40 on the cpu.

Also... $235 for an oem copy of win7 home premium is over priced.... hit up ebay. $140 max.
July 7, 2010 12:31:26 AM

itadakimasu, I think your seeing the total to the from the combo Video Card and OS combined.
July 7, 2010 12:42:05 AM

just get a windows 7 upgrade kit, install with out activateing , then reinstall a second time then activate.
July 7, 2010 1:45:54 AM

brianfulcher15 said:
just get a windows 7 upgrade kit, install with out activateing , then reinstall a second time then activate.

brianfulcher15, Where would I find information on that? I tried searching google and only came up with information reguarding Vista.

July 7, 2010 2:03:10 AM

google installing windows 7 upgrade on new hard drive, technically its illegal to do this though, my recomendation is you have a hundred dollars to spare is do it the legal way and get a full retail kit from ebay. ultimate is only like 100 bucks on there just make sure its a new retail kit, and not some of the scamers selling there pirated disk, and keygen keys (aka, get one in a retail sealed box)
July 7, 2010 3:07:08 PM

Actually, the student offer is an upgrade edition and it's completely legal to use it to install on a new PC.

July 8, 2010 6:03:13 AM

Thank you all so far for responding, this is what I have reset for my shopping cart ~

Any thoughts on this new set up?
Also, if there is a combo that I am not seeing to bring the total down a little bit more, it would be wonderful if one could point me in that direction. Only reason I ask, is that this total puts me right at the max; I could drop the fans but the case only comes with one 120mm fan, and the area that it will be in I think it might be to much to stick to that single fan.

Lastly, would I run in to any trouble if I decided to upgrade the mobo to a 890 series down the road with using the OEM version of Windows 7? From my research about it I wasn't able to find a straight answer to this question. Some places stated that I would have to call Microsoft to get it to work, some places stated that it wasn't possible at all. I just don't want to be hung out to dry on upgrades like I am with my current pc.

As always, any help offered from this community is greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance to everyone that takes the time to respond to this.
July 8, 2010 11:35:18 AM

That will work, but there is much better options for the same price. When i get to work I'll post a good build for that price.

also look for a thread near yours thats discussing building a 500$ rig has some good information for building a cheap pc in it.
July 8, 2010 12:09:09 PM

banthracis said:
Actually, the student offer is an upgrade edition and it's completely legal to use it to install on a new PC.

I'll second that, i did it on my machine, and have managed to legitimately get 2 licenses out of it, one via internet activation, one vie telephone activation! No idea how it worked tho
July 8, 2010 2:06:39 PM

The student version is a full copy of windows 7. I have been able to install mine on 3 pcs so far at the same time. Only having to call microsoft once to get a new key.

The student deal is over now it ended in january this year and from what ive read it will not be happening again so the best option is really just get it from ebay. Just make sure you buy one thats in a sealed retail box. Dont get one thats only giving you a disk with the key wrote on it.
July 8, 2010 3:24:16 PM

Actually, it is on again, it started last month I think.

Bottom right corner. Even better is if you happen to take a comp sci course in the right school. A comp sci friend of mine got it for free...I was able to rely on him to hook me up with a google phone account, too. But I don't expect a high percentage of people will be in this lucky scenario.
July 8, 2010 10:15:35 PM

brianfulcher15, thank you for your reply. I spent some time looking at all the thread's with in the 500-700 range and I wasn't able to find one that had advice for the resolution I will be running at along with the needing of an OS.
July 11, 2010 4:19:02 AM

Latest Setup~

To Explain selections,

First off, beyond the difference of only $50 between Full and the OEM versions of Windows 7, I went with the Full Version, mainly since this is a first time build and I would rather be able to use Microsoft Support if needed.

Memory Selection, The reason for the memory is do to compatibility with the Motherboard, currently right now the GA-790XTA-UD4 memory list is really short, and I have spent time on the website for most of the major brands; OCZ, G.Skill, and Corsair, each sites support all stated that the list from Gigabyte - - was it for supported memory.

My Question is, Does anyone see any issues with this setup?