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Emergency budget gaming build for ~$600

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Last response: in Systems
August 19, 2010 3:34:24 PM

Hi,

I need help completing my new budget gaming build. I already have an unlocked Phenom II 555 BE (B55) running on a Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H board with a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB drive which cost me about $270. I wanted to see whether it would unlock first before buying the rest of the parts. Here's my list, I have two days to decide as a friend will buy them for me and come with them over the weekend so please help me out. I am currently using my old parts (2gb RAM, 400W psu & stock amd hsf).

1) Spire TherMax Eclipse II Five D.T. Heatpipe Universal CPU Cooler - approx $65 (w/ shipping)
http://www.coolerguys.com/840556091646.html
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11423/cpu-spi-28/Spir...
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...
2) OCZ Fatal1ty 550W PSU - approx $70 (w/ shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
3) APEVIA 9 1/2" Cable Model CVTP8E EPS Extension cable - approx $8 (w/ shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4) Coolermaster CM 690 II Advanced mid tower case - approx $90 (w/ shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
5) OCZ Platinum DDR2 1066 RAM - approx $90 (w/ shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Will this suffice or can I find better prices for the parts or better parts for similar prices? Since I don't have enough time, I am torn whether to get an XFX 5670 instead of the 4gb RAM kit. Which option would you recommend for now? More RAM or a grfx card? Also, is there a better grfx card that you would recommend below $90?

Thanks in advance

More about : emergency budget gaming build 600

August 19, 2010 3:41:29 PM

You could have a few bucks with this case..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Still a CoolerMaster, too! I've used this case in two builds, it's a great case for the price.

If gaming is important to you... get the RAM now and save for a good card. Don't waste your money on something you're not going to be happy with.
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2010 4:06:40 PM

best GFX card you can get under $90 is probably the venerable 512MB version of the HD4850, running as low as $79.95.
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August 19, 2010 4:09:53 PM

The Greater Good said:
You could have a few bucks with this case..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Still a CoolerMaster, too! I've used this case in two builds, it's a great case for the price.

If gaming is important to you... get the RAM now and save for a good card. Don't waste your money on something you're not going to be happy with.

Which cooler do you use? Will the Spire Thermax Eclipse II fit in that case? The reason I was considering the CM 690 II was because I live in a tropical country and right now my Phenom II hits 65 deg. Celcius in X2 mode using the stock hsf so i needed very god air flow.
August 19, 2010 4:16:18 PM

Both times using that case, I've used the stock cooler. One Intel, one AMD. I would have to look up the specs and see if that HS/F will fit. I would think it should. No matter what case and HS you buy, use Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. That will help cut your temps even with the stock HS/F.

The air flow in the CoolerMaster I linked to is fine. It comes with one 120mm fan (rear) with room for two more; one in front, one on the side.
August 19, 2010 4:29:19 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
best GFX card you can get under $90 is probably the venerable 512MB version of the HD4850, running as low as $79.95.

link please?
August 19, 2010 4:36:50 PM

The Greater Good said:
Both times using that case, I've used the stock cooler. One Intel, one AMD. I would have to look up the specs and see if that HS/F will fit. I would think it should. No matter what case and HS you buy, use Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. That will help cut your temps even with the stock HS/F.

The air flow in the CoolerMaster I linked to is fine. It comes with one 120mm fan (rear) with room for two more; one in front, one on the side.

But then I would have to buy two other case fans, so then wouldn't the basic version of the CM 690 II offer the same features but with more room inside?
And as for the Silver 5, will I need to buy the remover as well? I'm not sure about this but someone recommended the mx-3 saying it offers similar if not better performance with added advantages like no need for remover and I think something like doesn't conduct electricity. I'm a newbie in this arena so please forgive my language. Check out this review I've just found: http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3383/arctic_cooling_mx...
August 19, 2010 4:47:46 PM

I would clean the the residue off your CPU and HS. Do it right the first time so you don't have to go back and do it again. The reviews seem good for mx-3, I've just never seen or had the chance to read up on it.

The case fans should be no more than 10 bucks each for 120mm, but if the price is close... get the case you want and know that will fit your CPU cooler.
August 19, 2010 5:07:13 PM

In my opinion, yes. The Seasonic is better. They're considered by many to be a "top-tier" PSU manufacturer. I have a 550 watt Seasonic and it's whisper quiet and very reliable; stays cool too!
August 19, 2010 5:25:18 PM

The Greater Good said:
I would clean the the residue off your CPU and HS. Do it right the first time so you don't have to go back and do it again. The reviews seem good for mx-3, I've just never seen or had the chance to read up on it.

The case fans should be no more than 10 bucks each for 120mm, but if the price is close... get the case you want and know that will fit your CPU cooler.

I guess I'll get the Coolermaster CM 690 II Basic for 69 bucks then because it is 1 inch wider and I need to make sure my aftermarket cooler will fit as I know it's really tall.
I'm leaning towards your suggestion of getting RAM for now but now that you've already knocked off $20 from my budget, do you think I can knock off another couple more to get the $80 4850? Or do you think any sub-90 card is not worth gaming and so I should wait longer and save more for something better?
August 19, 2010 5:30:20 PM

The Greater Good said:
In my opinion, yes. The Seasonic is better. They're considered by many to be a "top-tier" PSU manufacturer. I have a 550 watt Seasonic and it's whisper quiet and very reliable; stays cool too!

Thanks, I'll go for that instead.
August 19, 2010 5:35:07 PM

About saving for a better card, I need to ask...
-What games do you play
-What resolution are you going to be using
-How big is your monitor
-Do you want to Crossfire

I would ask about your PSU, but the OCZ (or any good 550 watt) should be enough for even a 5830 or GTX260. Not sure about 550 being enough for a GTX460, though.
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2010 5:57:19 PM

heyz4k said:
Thanks, actually saw its 2 tiers on top of the 5670 in Tom's Hardware graphics hierarchy chart http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-rad... So you think I should go for this instead of the 4gb 1066 ram?



Depending on what OS you'll be using, I'd try to squeeze the RAM in anyway. you have 2GB now, is that DDR2-1066 or DDR2-800?, Assuming its already DDR2-1066 I'd try to get another 1-2 GB of the same type. If you're still in XP, get just 1 for 3GB of RAM (windows XP can't address more than 3.25GB anyway), Win7 and other 64-bits can address more, so get to 4 for that. Even if your existing DDR2 is DDR2 800, upgrading to 3-4 GB will see a noticeable improvement in games.

If you need to save money for another RAm sick, Get the Rosewill Challenger case, its $39, and has a lot of nice combos out there to help reduce costs, runs a 140mm top exaust fan, also comes with 2 120mm, and can mount 2 more 120mm on the side
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2010 5:59:38 PM

The Greater Good said:
About saving for a better card, I need to ask...
-What games do you play
-What resolution are you going to be using
-How big is your monitor
-Do you want to Crossfire

I would ask about your PSU, but the OCZ (or any good 550 watt) should be enough for even a 5830 or GTX260. Not sure about 550 being enough for a GTX460, though.



per the Power Supply calculator, a 500W should be adequate for a GTX465, which uses more power than the 460
August 19, 2010 7:05:32 PM

The Greater Good said:
About saving for a better card, I need to ask...
-What games do you play
-What resolution are you going to be using
-How big is your monitor
-Do you want to Crossfire

I would ask about your PSU, but the OCZ (or any good 550 watt) should be enough for even a 5830 or GTX260. Not sure about 550 being enough for a GTX460, though.

Till recently, I've been an occasional gamer so I had the Geforce 7200 GS but when I started playing games such as Mass Effect 2, Crysis Warhead, Left for Dead, FarCry 2, Bioshock among others I knew I had to upgrade my card as the detail was pathetic but I decided to do a complete build rather than stick to upgrades of my old lga 775 platform. I used to play games at 1280 by 1024 resolution but now I need 1680x1050 or possibly 1920x1200 if there is a budget card that can handle that resolution comfortably. I'm yet to buy my new screen, still waiting for the main parts to arrive before I start shopping for one in my country but I'm aiming at getting at least a 19" LCD screen.
About crossfire, my board has only one pci-e slot but hybrid crossfire is an option. It has the onboard HD 4200. I don't really know if hybrid crossfire will improve a single ati card's performance or it's just for power saving.
August 19, 2010 7:05:41 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
Depending on what OS you'll be using, I'd try to squeeze the RAM in anyway. you have 2GB now, is that DDR2-1066 or DDR2-800?, Assuming its already DDR2-1066 I'd try to get another 1-2 GB of the same type. If you're still in XP, get just 1 for 3GB of RAM (windows XP can't address more than 3.25GB anyway), Win7 and other 64-bits can address more, so get to 4 for that. Even if your existing DDR2 is DDR2 800, upgrading to 3-4 GB will see a noticeable improvement in games.

If you need to save money for another RAm sick, Get the Rosewill Challenger case, its $39, and has a lot of nice combos out there to help reduce costs, runs a 140mm top exaust fan, also comes with 2 120mm, and can mount 2 more 120mm on the side

I'm using budget sticks, one DDR2-667 & another DDR2-800. Can OC them to 850 but the performance becomes worse than running them in DDR2-800 speed. So instead of getting faster RAM and running it at this lower speed I was thinking of getting a 4gig kit and remove them. I'm dual booting Windows 7 & XP. Let me check out that case..
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2010 11:44:45 PM

Quote:
I'm using budget sticks, one DDR2-667 & another DDR2-800. Can OC them to 850 but the performance becomes worse than running them in DDR2-800 speed. So instead of getting faster RAM and running it at this lower speed I was thinking of getting a 4gig kit and remove them. I'm dual booting Windows 7 & XP. Let me check out that case..


In that case, keep the 1 GB DDR2 800 and buy this: $42.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That'll give you 3 GB of DDR2-800. The performance lag between DDR2-800 and DDR3-1333 is only about 2%. You can get generic 2 GB stiks for less at One Memory and ENet, but $38 vs $42 isn't really worth the difference of generic chips.



Here's the Challenger. Rosewill is Newegg's house brand for cases, PSUs and accessories (Fans, keyboards, mice, etc). And are usually good quality stuff for a low price. Dunno about the PSUs but the other stuff is highly reliable. Its apparently gone off sale, somewhat. Now $44.99 instead of $39.99, but still that's still a lot off the $90 case.

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

Here's all the current combos with the case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N...
August 20, 2010 1:08:02 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
Quote:
I'm using budget sticks, one DDR2-667 & another DDR2-800. Can OC them to 850 but the performance becomes worse than running them in DDR2-800 speed. So instead of getting faster RAM and running it at this lower speed I was thinking of getting a 4gig kit and remove them. I'm dual booting Windows 7 & XP. Let me check out that case..


In that case, keep the 1 GB DDR2 800 and buy this: $42.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That'll give you 3 GB of DDR2-800. The performance lag between DDR2-800 and DDR3-1333 is only about 2%. You can get generic 2 GB stiks for less at One Memory and ENet, but $38 vs $42 isn't really worth the difference of generic chips.



Here's the Challenger. Rosewill is Newegg's house brand for cases, PSUs and accessories (Fans, keyboards, mice, etc). And are usually good quality stuff for a low price. Dunno about the PSUs but the other stuff is highly reliable. Its apparently gone off sale, somewhat. Now $44.99 instead of $39.99, but still that's still a lot off the $90 case.

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

Here's all the current combos with the case

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

Wow, great research!!! I guess by getting a single stick I can knock off another $45 from the budget. Okay, the reason I'm insistent on that case is because of my aftermarket cooler and also, of all the things I can send someone in the US to come with a case is the most difficult due to the weight so I'm also thinking maybe 5 years down the line I'll still use it on my next build should it be a water cooled build or have an even larger air cooler. I like the Challenger but it's not as big as this one. At least I knocked off 20 bucks from the original advanced case.

So this is what I have on my list now: (prices are inclusive of shipping)
1) Spire TherMax Eclipse II Five D.T. Heatpipe Universal CPU Cooler - approx $65
2) SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W PSU - approx $70
3) APEVIA 9 1/2" Cable Model CVTP8E EPS Extension cable - approx $8
depending on the length of the EPS connector of the psu (now that I've changed it) I might end up not needing this. Anyone having this psu know the length of the eps connector?
4) Coolermaster CM 690 II Basic mid tower case - approx $70
5) A-DATA 2GB DDR2-800 RAM - approx $46
Total = $259
Savings = $64

My budget was approx $600 and I had given myself a slight allowance of +/- 10%. So that would mean I still have about a $50-$60 headroom to work with for the gpu. What would you recommend now at this price point? I was eying a HD 5670 but it doesn't seem worth it when a 1GB 4850 which is similarly priced outperforms it. Here's the link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 20, 2010 1:18:11 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
If that is $50-60 over the $90 you mentioned before (so $140-150), then you can jump up a bit:

HD5770 for $144.99, $124.99 after rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mhhh.. great card. Now just to get it. So for this price or less nothing else beats this card?
August 20, 2010 1:19:01 PM

mosox said:
XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W + LIAN LI Lancool PC-K58W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
A-DATA 2GB 240-Pin DDR2
XFX HD-585X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$437.96

And scrap the CPU cooler.

Or get this one if you can:

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

Whoa, now that's a good deal!! I think I'm going with that combo for sure, got a similar-sized case and better power supply for slightly less. Too bad it doesn't have 3 fans (+ a bonus LED one) like the CM 690 II. I have just one question about this, is the $125 combo price inclusive of shipping or will it be $130 plus the individual shipping costs? I have never bought a combo deal before.

The difference between the Thermax Eclipse & Hyper 212+ seems big according to frostytech's amd test results that's why I added the $7 to get it. Is there any other cheaper alternative to newegg for the hyper 212+ that goes for around $30 including shipping? Now at that price it will be hard to consider the Spire Thermax Eclipse II for sure.

As for the card, it's way above my budget. I have to fit all those + a grfx card if possible into a $380 budget. With that combo, I saved an extra 10 bucks to have $249 leaving around $130 for for a card. Now I'm in a better position to get a good card than before even if it costs slightly more than the $130.
a b 4 Gaming
August 20, 2010 2:10:16 PM

heyz4k said:
Mhhh.. great card. Now just to get it. So for this price or less nothing else beats this card?



yes, nothing else beats that card at that price, Its closest competing card is a Geforce 250 1GB, which is just a die shrunk 9800, and falls behind this chip in most every benchmark. a few dollars more can get you an HD4870, which is a few FPS faster in direct x 10, but can't do Direct X 11 at all, which the 5770 can do
August 20, 2010 11:00:10 PM

Here's my list, all prices are inclusive of shipping and a discount for the psu:
- Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus - $31
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...
- XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W PSU - $79 (offer)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Coolermaster CM 690 II Basic mid tower case - $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Kingston HyperX 2GB DDR2-1066 - approx $46
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 - $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $371
Anything I can add for the remaining $9 that I've forgotten? :D 

I dropped the 8-pin EPS extension cable and added that money to get this psu instead. Hope the cables will be long enough for bottom mounting. Got a 1066 2 GB stick for the same price so after a month or two I'll get another and run the system in DDR2-1066 speeds.
a b 4 Gaming
August 20, 2010 11:37:36 PM

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

$6.99 for 4 more fans to mount in that case. 2 on the side, one on the base and one under the CPU all as intake fans.

Also, you can use teh DDR-2 800 and DDR2 1066 at the same time, it'll just step down to DDR2-800. Don't try to overclock them when they are different speeds.
August 22, 2010 7:46:02 AM

Thanks guys, you really helped me A LOT. wish I could vote multiple answers as the best, thanks for the help - now I'm going to do the same as well. Cheers!!