Back in May I asked for help building a budget gaming computer but when funds didn't quite pan out it didn't happen. (First thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/285945-31-under-budge... ) Here I am, back in the hope of having funds soon to build a new gaming and general use computer. I took the advice from before and haven't noticed any major shifts in technology and have come up with this build.
Only part I have concern about, unless I didn't notice something, is the motherboard. The whole PCIe 2.0 16x (16x single, 8x dual) or various combinations thereof confused me. Couldn't find a highly rated dual 16x board.
Hello your build looks pretty nice though it would be best to hold off buying a new build if you can wait. New Intel and AMD processors will be coming soon Q1 and thus you'll get a better deal, also HD 6XXX in November. What are your current specs? Maybe you can hold off...or not.
x16/x16 is not required for only 2 cards. Just watch out for the x16/x4 ones they can be a problem but x8/x8 is good.
Your Phenom II X2 could be a bit of a problem when you upgrade your graphics in the future, though you could have a go at OCing and unlocking it.
I would prefer not to wait. My hope is to have a Windows 7 desktop to match my Windows 7 laptop so when I get Office 2010 I can be productive at either machine. Currently running XP, I'm extremely hesitant to install SP3 which is a requirement for Office 2010 on XP.
I also have no intention to OC my computer parts. I've been fairly lucky building stable long-lasting machines but I'm pretty sure the moment I start poking at the finer workings it'll all go to pot. I'm looking at a dual-core since I don't see much reason I would need quad-core right now. I'm not a gamer that stays on top of new games. I'm a yesteryear gamer. I haven't even played the first Dragon Age yet and the only thing on the horizon I'm interested in is Portal 2.
As for current specs.
Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz
3 GBs of RAM
nVidia GeForce 7600 GS
I happen to have a video card that induces incredible load-times on Bioshock which is another reason I want to upgrade. My current computer is fine for older games and MMOs, even amazingly StarCraft II, but it's time to get something more modern that should last me a couple years.
Also, while I say my budget is $800, the more I can beat that by and still get a solid gaming computer on budget is best. I didn't know it was possible to build one for under $700 yet seems I can.
If you are not going to overclock/unlock cores then at least get a triple core.
Athlon IIx3 445 3.1GHz ($78)
ASRock 870 Extreme3 motherboard ($90)
4GB RAM ($80-100)
Samsung F3 500GB HDD ($55)
Coolermaster HAF912 case ($60)
Seasonic 520W PSU ($60)
pick your GPU to fit budget <ordered fastest to slowest>