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Budget Gaming System $650

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October 29, 2010 3:55:41 PM

Time Frame: Soon, around this week. Can't wait. So excited.

Budget Range: $650 before rebates, shipping and taxes. Though, I am looking for cheaper because...

This price is not including a monitor, windows 7, and wireless keyboard/mouse which I will also need but haven't concerned myself so much with as of yet. I will probably shop locally for a cheap monitor and keyboard. This will probably tack on an extra $300~500?

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Light gaming, watching movies, web surfing/programming.

Parts Not Required: Speakers, CD rom drive (I have old ones but I dunno if connections will work and this is not a big deal), corded mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I’ve dealt with Newegg and Amazon. Will consider others.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Quad core processor (may consider tri), Mid to high tower. Graphics card must be able to hook up to led lcd.

Overclocking: Maybe but unlikely

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe but unlikely

Monitor Resolution: Will eventually output to a 1920x1080 led lcd when watching videos.

Additional Comments:
Looking for a computer to last 4-6 years and perhaps upgrade if necessary. I am used to gaming by sacrificing graphics for smoother gameplay. I would like to watch videos using my system. I am also concerned with all the parts I order working and fitting together correctly.

Background:
I am coming from a six year old inspiron 9300 laptop. It has served me well, games I play at are with a mobility radeon 128mb 64bit? x300. Family computers use integrated graphics and vista takes 3 times as long to load compared to my laptop. Done some tinkering around and I have built one dinosaur (800mhz, 396mb ram) computer before. Surprised how fast windows xp loaded...

Questions:
1. Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit or Windows 7 Professional 64bit? Full or OEM? I may need windows xp mode but I am not quite sure. Can I play most windows xp games anyway?
2. Quad or Tri core? Would I generally get better performance from a faster clocked tri than a slower clock quad?
3. Should I get a 750w or 600w power supply? I found a cooling master one for about the same price as combo below. Would I save a lot of cash from power usage from the 600w or 750w? (roughly same efficiencies)
4. Should I bite the bullet and get the radeon 6850 for $200 as opposed to the radeon 5770 for ~$150? Worth the $50? Price/Performance.
5. Well this is a budget gaming computer. But I am out of touched with games. Starcraft II and Diablo III are probably on my list. Any good online fps with decent community around? Think of quake III, s4 league, unreal tournament; that sort of gameplay appeals to me. Single player fps not so cool unless there's a coop or "firefight" from halo (love that).
6. I heard shipping from newegg is weird. What would my shipping cost for all this be?

Here's what I've put together.

GIGABYTE GV-R577SO-1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... – 149.99

GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard &
AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX640WFGMBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...– 176.98

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case &
Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... – 134.98

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... – 54.99

Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... – 99.99

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... – 17.99

= 634.92

Hope I wasn't too long/unclear and thanks ahead of time.

Best solution

October 29, 2010 4:28:56 PM

$667
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October 29, 2010 5:19:28 PM

@batuchka - I am liking what you've posted. So much more better for a little extra cost. Could I ask for your opinion on your build between what you've posted on my thread vs what you've posted here for $562?:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/297368-31-budget-buil...
The difference is about $100, do you (or anyone else) think it is worth me paying for the build you posted on my thread? Hope that doesn't sound confusing, lol.

@Vindictive - I would consider that harddisk as well. I am not sure how promos work but roughly the same price for 1TB and 32mb cache does sound good.

Currently I am considering what batuchka put together with vindictive's recommendation for a hard drive. Hope more replies come within the next day or so... thanks so much for the quick responses.
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October 29, 2010 5:19:30 PM

Keep in mind, there is realistically no "budget" gaming PC. Game makers make sure there isn't. Your system will play today's games in medium graphics settings but that's about it. As a desktop, however, this computer will last for next few years for sure. I have observed that typically (without going too crazy about what's the best out there) a cost range of just about 900 dollars will make your system last for next 5-6 years without any troubles.

Utmost important components in a gaming desktop are graphics card and hard disk drive. Other components are simple commodities and you will buy them anyway and they usually suffice.

You may want to spend the maximum amount of money on graphics card for a longer shelf life. If you can wait, wait! I would suggest something like this -

CPU + Motherboard (your choice) - keep it under 250.

At least triple channel 6GB memory (look out for 80ish dollar deals) - it makes a difference. total 330 here max!

At least a 5870 graphics card - close your eyes and pour in 300 dollars here - total 630 max! It will go a long way.

Hard disk and DVD drive - totals 710 max!

Case and Power supply - very important as well - go with 650W because it is enough. Max total here is 820 dollars. Find a cheap and roomy case. Buy antec or corsair power supplies. Corsair has a 5 year warranty.

Add some price fluctuation or error in my calculation, and a decent gaming mouse and your total is still not going above 850 dollars FOR SURE. In fact it can very well stay below 800 including the mouse. You never mentioned a monitor so I didn't include it here.

You were going to spend 650ish... now you will put in 150 dollars more (primarily toward your graphics card) and in my opinion that will give you at least a very high settings (minimum, med, high, very high, maximum) on all games for next at least 4 years and maximum settings on all today's games at full or full minus one resolution.

Think!
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October 29, 2010 5:37:15 PM

AfterImage said:
@batuchka - I am liking what you've posted. So much more better for a little extra cost. Could I ask for your opinion on your build between what you've posted on my thread vs what you've posted here for $562?:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/297368-31-budget-buil...
The difference is about $100, do you (or anyone else) think it is worth me paying for the build you posted on my thread? Hope that doesn't sound confusing, lol.

@Vindictive - I would consider that harddisk as well. I am not sure how promos work but roughly the same price for 1TB and 32mb cache does sound good.

Currently I am considering what batuchka put together with vindictive's recommendation for a hard drive. Hope more replies come within the next day or so... thanks so much for the quick responses.


type in the code and off it goes. haha :D 

I'm not very familiar with $500 builds so I can't really give any more opinions. I'm about to build mine thats $1600 budget. (still using that spinpoint f3!)
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October 29, 2010 5:54:00 PM

+1 to batuchka and the hdd by Vindictive. As for the post above its somewhat true but you definitely dont need to run at max setting all the time. That would be dependent on what monitor you will be using. Also running games at med setting will be fine and that 6850 will run them at that and the 912 case is an awesome budget case to build upon. For instance if you wanna sell ur 6850 next year and get a 69xx series or just a 6870 which is great in its own right. The psu chosen has given you room to grow. All these parts are well chosen by batuchka. As for your mobo, ram they are both solid choices. Looks like its gonna be a great budget build.
However im going to submit a build see if you like it
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October 29, 2010 6:06:38 PM

Ok well here it is it comes out $652 with quality parts


let me know what you think
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October 29, 2010 7:00:31 PM

@pina - I see what you're getting at but I can't find the need for it at this time. I don't have any games worth utilizing that $850 system and I am currently not in the market of buying any new games. Though, I haven't spent much time looking; nothing looks appealing so far. Starcraft II and Diablo III are okay, I'm not big RTS, but those should be handled exceptionally with the 6850 radeon. I like (online) FPS where it isn't so realistic much (I like HP/armor/skills etc) more than RTS, but nothing amazing has come out.

Originally, I was in the market for $500 for a working computer alone. Dell did not impress and not enough info on what I was getting. I want a decent gaming system. I am hoping with my choices, I can upgrade to push my system up a tier if need be. I will take low quality, smaller scope over high quality,bigger scope any day for smoother game play.

I do have other things to buy along with my system like a monitor, OS and keyboard which will indeed bring up my price tag overall. If I could have reused a lot of my equipment and had more intensive games in mind, I would be asking for ~$900 build.

@syxx - Total is actually $638. Just a general glance, it doesn't quite look as good as Batuchka's. I really wanted either tri or quad core as well. I am sure dual cores are fine, especially intel but I would like to see where the future takes the quad core in the next few years and be ready for it. I do appreciate the effort though. Thought it was interesting that you chose an intel with radeon. So the 912 case is nice eh? Worked on it before or just great pricing?

@Vindictive - oh I see. Well, I figured it was something simple like that. Good luck with your $1600 build. Sounds intensive. I hope you're amazing at fps to utilize all that. :D 

Just a general question, I am looking for a cheap lcd monitor as well. It will be for gaming and general use. I don't see myself going super high quality in game options. How much should I really pay attention to lcd's capable resolution?

I am also getting a (semi) big screen this christmas (note tight budget to get both new computer and big screen) for mainly watching videos on. I will probably try out some games on it but I am unsure how effective it will be (very worried about input lag). Although, this isn't the right forum (I'll throw a question there) for these questions any input on this would be nice.
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October 29, 2010 8:22:47 PM

I understand - I was giving you both sides of the story and keeping in mind the future investment options. You don't want to touch the system again and again and your wallet as well.

Check Samsung Touch of Color series P2250. 21.5" monitor with 2 ms response, and tags at around 160. There are a couple of ones at 130 mark with 5ms response which is good enough, too! All LCDs show 1900 x 1200 these days so don't even worry about it. Your 1080 bluray or DVDs are going to show fine!

STAY AWAY FROM BRANDS THAT ARE EXCESSIVELY INEXPENSIVE. Stick to Samsung, Viewsonic, Acer, and maybe Asus.
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October 29, 2010 10:01:33 PM

@pina - Very true.

Kind of ironic I walked into walmart and took a look at what they had and found an Acer LCD $169, 5ms response time, 1080, 21.5". I just thought how similar it sounded to your post.
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October 30, 2010 3:09:20 AM

AfterImage said:
@batuchka - I am liking what you've posted. So much more better for a little extra cost. Could I ask for your opinion on your build between what you've posted on my thread vs what you've posted here for $562?:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/297368-31-budget-buil...
The difference is about $100, do you (or anyone else) think it is worth me paying for the build you posted on my thread? Hope that doesn't sound confusing, lol.


That $100 translate to the addition of CF capability and USB/SATA 3.0 but ya your call to judge the essentials :D 
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October 30, 2010 7:36:31 PM

Thanks for the help!

I will most likely go with what batuchaka (plus vindictive's hd) suggested. I think the $100 extra will let the system be more flexible. Last call if anyone else has anything to add. I will order the parts later tonight. ^^
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October 30, 2010 7:46:56 PM

AfterImage said:
Thanks for the help!

I will most likely go with what batuchaka (plus vindictive's hd) suggested. I think the $100 extra will let the system be more flexible. Last call if anyone else has anything to add. I will order the parts later tonight. ^^


Looks perfect to me!
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October 31, 2010 4:17:40 AM

You are welcomed ^^
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November 2, 2010 11:15:31 AM

Best answer selected by AfterImage.
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November 4, 2010 3:15:36 AM

Hmm hope u shopped before combos reset - cheers ^^
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November 4, 2010 11:38:35 AM

Thanks batuchka; I got all the parts with the combos you listed. Parts came in yesterday and I put it together last night ^^

Took me about 4.5 hours but it hasn't exploded yet so I think I will be good. Took me awhile to decide where to aim the bottom mounted power supply fan (I choose to suck in air from the bottom instead of sucking in inside air from the top) and plug in the front panel wires in the correct location (and apparently there is no power light for this case; not a big deal). The only thing I have to do now is spot tie some of the wires and close the case sides.

Started installing windows 7 with the "upgrade" CD... found out that I can't upgrade from a fresh system with no windows on it so I gotta start over using XP or Vista first then upgrade to windows 7 (at least, this is what I've read as a solution to my problem). I got through the installing process and got to the product key screen where it yelled at me for not having a genuine product key :( 

All I can say is those installation diagrams really helped out with installing everything. Pictures ftw.
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November 5, 2010 3:21:42 AM

Haha good to know and enjoy your rig ^^
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!