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November 7, 2010 10:02:00 PM

Hello everyone. I'm looking into building my first gaming PC this C-Mas. The problem is that my only experience is looking through parts lists trying to figure out what would work. I mainly play World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, nothing to graphically demanding.

I'm on a $500 budget, $600 after the OS. I'm pretty sure the GeForce 9800GT is the video card I will be going with, I'm not worried about the optical or hard drives, a 450 watt power supply should be enough, and I know how to choose RAM that is compatible with my motherboard. So it comes down to motherboard, CPU, and a Case.

What budget CPU won't bottleneck a 9800GT, and how can I tell if a motherboard will align properly with a case?

More about : computer building

November 7, 2010 10:21:42 PM

I went and threw together a sample PC to see how well I could do. Here is the list.

Motherboard: Asus P7H55-M LE Motherboard & Intel Core i3 530 Processor Bundle - $200

CPU: Bundle with motherboard

RAM: Centon R1333PC2048 2GB PC10600 Desktop Memory Upgrade - 1333MHz, 2x2048MB, 1.5V - $86

Graphics: XFX 9800GT - $75

Hard Drive: Western Digital WD5000AAKS Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB - $40

Case: PowerUp ATX Black Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side, Front USB and

Audio Ports and 450-Watt Power Supply - $50

Power: Built into case

Optical: Asus DRW-24B1ST 24X Internal DVD Burner - $20

Windows 7 64 Bit - $100

Total Price: $571

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a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2010 10:58:44 PM

A few things to think about:

What resolution do you game at? The 9800GT is getting dated, and if you play at anything much above 1680x1050, it won't be pretty.

Second, why the i3? Are you stuck on Intel? For 200, combos can be had that slap the i3. I'm not very up to date on AMD chipsets, but this will outperform that i3 setup by a good bit.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Someone can correct me on the mainboard choice, because I'm not sure if that's a solid chipset or not, but it's AM3, and will give you a good bit more processing power with the Athlon X4.

I'd go with this RAM instead, it's faster, cheaper, and hell, it's Corsair:

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

I get scared of included power supplies, but you're not going to be drawing it too hard anyways, so you should be ok there for the time being. I'm sure I'll think of more, but that's a good (better) start.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2010 11:13:32 PM

@Vol Wouldn't recommend that build. Terrible memory and case and PSU.



^ The 450 will give you much more gaming power than a 9800GT and the Rana is a great budget CPU for great multi-tasking performance for the price. Plus the board is futureproofed with Sata 6 and USB 3.
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November 7, 2010 11:54:44 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I was talking to some friends and revised the build to this:

Motherboard: ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - $80

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - $93

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model TW3X2G1333C9A G - $40

Graphics:

Hard Drive: Western Digital WD5000AAKS Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB - $40

Case: PowerUp ATX Black Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side, Front USB and Audio Ports - $50

Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 CMPSU-430CX 430W ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply - $45

Optical: Asus DRW-24B1ST 24X Internal DVD Burner - $20

Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition - Free

Total Price: $368

I realized I still had my XP stuff laying around so that lets me use 2 gigs of RAM. All I need now is a GPU, I'd like to keep total cost at/below $500

Edit: I run on a 1680x1050 monitor
Edit 2: Revised the parts I changed
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2010 11:58:50 PM

Please don't buy that RAM, and please get at least 4GB. With DDR3 prices where they are, there's no point in starting off at 2GB.

Callisto's are no slouches, but it might make sense in 2010 to go with at least a triple.

I'd also avoid that case+psu combo if at all possible. That will come back to bite you in the ass if you don't intend on swapping it out in the first month.

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a b B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 12:13:30 AM

I'd still vouch for 4, but to each his own. I went from 2 to 4 and the difference was substantial.

Power supplies usually fall into the "you get what you pay for" category. I've used two of these now in builds, and they seem quite solid for the price. I've yet to have a bad experience with Corsair products, and their PSU's are quite good.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 8, 2010 12:16:53 AM

jack_attack said:
I'd still vouch for 4, but to each his own. I went from 2 to 4 and the difference was substantial.

Power supplies usually fall into the "you get what you pay for" category. I've used two of these now in builds, and they seem quite solid for the price. I've yet to have a bad experience with Corsair products, and their PSU's are quite good.

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


Ok, I'll switch over to that. Now it just comes down do GPU. The motherboard uses DDR3 (I think) and the PSU is 430W. The total price w/o the GPU is $368. I'd like to be at $500 even. I'm sure there is a good card out there for $132
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 12:28:18 AM

Yep, you'll be on DDR3 there with that setup, since it's an AM3 board.

There are definitely good GPU's for 130. They'll be lower range mainstream options, but still completely capable if you're ok with turning down some eye candy here and there. 1680x1050 isn't a tremendous amount of pixels, so you've got a leg up there. That's why I'm still at that resolution :) 

Do you have preference of ATI or Nvidia?

For an ATI card, I'd look this way:

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

and nvidia:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 8, 2010 12:34:21 AM

jack_attack said:
Yep, you'll be on DDR3 there with that setup, since it's an AM3 board.

There are definitely good GPU's for 130. They'll be lower range mainstream options, but still completely capable if you're ok with turning down some eye candy here and there. 1680x1050 isn't a tremendous amount of pixels, so you've got a leg up there. That's why I'm still at that resolution :) 

Do you have preference of ATI or Nvidia?

For an ATI card, I'd look this way:

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

and nvidia:

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


I'll be going with Nvidia just because that's what I'm more familiar with. Just to put in perspective how beast this build is compared to mine, mine has 1Gig of DDR2 RAM, a 1.6 GHz Processor, and a GeForce 7600GT GPU.

A friend of mine is using Sli 9600GTs and I think he said he runs WoW on Max settings with no problems at all. Is the Nvidia card greater than or equal to Sli 9600GTs?
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November 8, 2010 12:36:14 AM

Final Product

Motherboard: ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - $80

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

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - $93

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

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory

Model TW3X2G1333C9A G - $40

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

145-252-_-Product

Graphics: EVGA 01G-P3-1452-TR GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) Superclocked 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI

Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $140 ($20 Rebate)

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

-_-Product&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-

na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=

Hard Drive: Western Digital WD5000AAKS Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB - $40

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

EdpNo=2795126&CatId=139

Case: PowerUp ATX Black Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side, Front USB and Audio Ports - $50

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

EdpNo=1901962&Sku=TC3J-4050%20P

Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 CMPSU-430CX 430W ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply

- $45

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

C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=

Optical: Asus DRW-24B1ST 24X Internal DVD Burner - $20

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition - Free

Total Price: $508

Thank you for the help. This is going to be a beast compared to mine.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 1:25:32 AM

I don't know what advice you have been given but that beast is defiantly not as good as it could be.

Terra bad mobo... Not the brand but not worth what it costs. Asrock may have a bad connotation, but it's a great brand nowadays. USB 3 and Sata 6 which will future proof.

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

That ram. IT's JUST WAY to little for anything now a days. It really is just to little to do any daily processes. I'm telling you you should spend extra for 4 gigs. Like this, has low Cas and its a faster speed. Great brand as well.

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

I'd go with the 740 Phenom X3, it's OEM but it's a much better value than the Callisto considering it's only 84$. Just get the Hyper 212+ at 27$ and it'll be 111$ for a great HSF. Plus you'll get a guaranteed third core.
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November 8, 2010 1:28:58 AM

aznshinobi said:
I don't know what advice you have been given but that beast is defiantly not as good as it could be.

Terra bad mobo... Not the brand but not worth what it costs. Asrock may have a bad connotation, but it's a great brand nowadays. USB 3 and Sata 6 which will future proof.

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

That ram. IT's JUST WAY to little for anything now a days. It really is just to little to do any daily processes. I'm telling you you should spend extra for 4 gigs. Like this, has low Cas and its a faster speed. Great brand as well.

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

Terrible idea for a cpu, that is the worst possible choice you could do for your budget build. I don't know what you guys have been discussing but even a Propus would be a better choice at 99$, you'll get a guaranteed quad core and a solid performer. The Callisto is good, but the heatsink that it comes with just will not cool an unlocked Callisto.


I'll look into the mobo. As for RAM, I have lived with 1Gig for years now and that isn't a huge deal, 2Gigs will be fine for me on XP. Since most of my gaming is WoW and CoD I can't use a Quad Core processor. WoW only uses 2 cores so any more is just wasted money for me.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 1:29:12 AM

Well then haha, just looked at your post, I really think you should go with the Phenom II X3 740, since it really is a great chip plus you'll have an extra core to multi-task. And although WoW only uses 2 cores. In the near future you can expect it to run more cores. this is from the fact that, that new Cataclysm or whatever is more graphic intense. So expect it to use more cores in the near future.
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November 8, 2010 1:35:45 AM

aznshinobi said:
Well then haha, just looked at your post, I really think you should go with the Phenom II X3 740, since it really is a great chip plus you'll have an extra core to multi-task. And although WoW only uses 2 cores. In the near future you can expect it to run more cores. this is from the fact that, that new Cataclysm or whatever is more graphic intense. So expect it to use more cores in the near future.


Alright I'll look into it. How would you rate the build overall 1-10 as it is? Keep in mind it's $508 (Before $35 in rebates, there may be more I haven't seen)
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 1:35:48 AM

I can't speak for AMD motherboards beyond basics. Not my area. I second the 4GB, but he seems stuck on 2, so I let it be. He'll want 4 after a week or two, but hey, I tried.

Agreed on the HSF being weak for an unlocked CPU, but that's corporate greed. If he intends on overclocking at all, there's no point in getting that, but it is a very capable chip, and that's undeniable. Does the lack of additional threads hamper it a bit? Obviously, but judging by the budget, I don't think he's looking to run Metro 2033 DX11 maxed out. Hopefully.

EDIT: I forgot, don't buy that case. It has a junk PSU in it, and there is no point. For 50 dollars, a much, much better case can be had.

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

Example.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 2:15:06 AM

Haha Oh well, we did try jack. Umm overall, saying that I agree with the 2gb (which I don't) but yeah I'd give it like.... 8 or 9. Somethings like the hard drive i really don't like, but that's just me. As the Samsung F3 is a better drive, but. It is more expensive soo =P
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 2:23:13 AM

In all honesty, 1-10 scores are kind of, eh when it comes to these things. If you had 4000$ USD to spend on a rig, and you spec'd it like that, I'd give it a 1. If you had 500$ USD to spend on a rig, it's a good 8 or 9. Why? Because it's as futureproof as 500 dollars gets you, it's capable, and, most importantly, azn and I spec'd it. :) 

In all seriousness, if you're coming from a 1.6GHZ single core and a 7xxx GPU, you're going to have an entirely different computing experience. Period.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 8, 2010 3:25:27 AM

Haha true dat, switched from a Pentium 4 1 core 3.1ghz and an ATI X800 Pro to my current rig, I lawled a bit at 8 fps on TF2 low settings to 300 fps on TF2 max settings.

And yep i agree with you Jack. We totally spec'd this **** up.
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