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$650 budget -- what to get for gaming PC?

Hey guys, a complete noob here. I have a Dell XPS 410 with an e6600 processor, 2GB RAM, 8800 GTS, 375w PSU. My system runs older games like TF2 in moderate settings at 1680x1050 decently and is not quite as smooth in COD Black Ops. Is it worth it to upgrade? Gaming is my primary goal with this machine; other stuff is easily handled by my work laptop.

If I should just upgrade (as opposed to buying a new rig), what should I upgrade? My memory, GPU (to a 5770 or something) and PSU (to a 650w or something)? My XPS case is fairly small, so I may need to get a new case as well.

Or should I just bite the bullet and build something new? I have around $650 to play with, up to $700 including tax. What specific parts should I get? This will be the first time I have built anything, so please let me know if I need stuff like thermal paste and other basics.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have searched around, but some posts are dated which means the Newegg combo deals are no longer available.

Thanks again!
19 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. How are you running a 8800GTS with a 375 PSU? Anyway... Dependin on your operative system, if you have XP I think those 2Gb are good enough for you, if you have Vista or 7 you should have AT LEAST 4 GB to game smoothly.

    Anyway, upgrading your PC isn't worth it, so... Just for fun I'll build something for you, I love budget builds n.n. I'll use newegg.

    CPU : AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - $153

    MOBO: MSI 790X-G45 AM3 AMD 790X - $89

    MEMORY: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $85

    STORAGE: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s -$53

    PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V - $69

    CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion - $70

    VIDEO CARD: SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 - $144

    TOTAL: $664 (sorry, you'll have to order free 1 week shipping, lol)

    You'll be able to play at your native resolution nicely. The CPU comes with a normal heatsink that will do the job, this is my first AMD build so IDk if the heatsink comes with pre applied thermal paste.
  2. LuigiVN has provided you with a GREAT build.

    You can save a little with the Antec 300: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042&cm_re=antec_300-_-11-129-042-_-Product (check other sites, You can still find these shipped to you for less than $50 sometimes).

    The AMD 955 BE does come with a decent heat sink and it has thermal paste already applied for easy install. You can upgrade the cooler down the road. Not sure how the mobo handles overclocking, but the black edition CPU can hit 3.7ghz fairly safely with proper cooling.

    With black friday / cyber monday and all the other deals online, you might be able to grab things for less. But overall, the build above is excellent.
  3. LuigiVN said:
    How are you running a 8800GTS with a 375 PSU? Anyway... Dependin on your operative system, if you have XP I think those 2Gb are good enough for you, if you have Vista or 7 you should have AT LEAST 4 GB to game smoothly.

    Anyway, upgrading your PC isn't worth it, so... Just for fun I'll build something for you, I love budget builds n.n. I'll use newegg.

    CPU : AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - $153

    MOBO: MSI 790X-G45 AM3 AMD 790X - $89

    MEMORY: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $85

    STORAGE: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s -$53

    PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V - $69

    CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion - $70

    VIDEO CARD: SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 - $144

    TOTAL: $664 (sorry, you'll have to order free 1 week shipping, lol)

    You'll be able to play at your native resolution nicely. The CPU comes with a normal heatsink that will do the job, this is my first AMD build so IDk if the heatsink comes with pre applied thermal paste.


    I'd recommend this case/HD combo for $99: Spinpoint F3 1TB and HAF 912

    Since your focus is gaming, and you're in the $600-$700 budget range, you'll get much better price-to-performance out of an AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz processor and your choice of better graphics card.

    EDIT: you can get high-quality RAM with tighter timings for the same price as the Corsair memory above: G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600 CL7 $84
    EDIT EDIT: I'd also think about getting a board that supports a faster memory standard. ASRock 870 EXTREME $99
  4. ultimabeam said:
    I'd recommend this case/HD combo for $99: Spinpoint F3 1TB and HAF 912

    Since your focus is gaming, and you're in the $600-$700 budget range, you'll get much better price-to-performance out of an AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz processor and your choice of better graphics card.

    EDIT: you can get high-quality RAM with tighter timings for the same price as the Corsair memory above: G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600 CL7 $84
    EDIT EDIT: I'd also think about getting a board that supports a faster memory standard. ASRock 870 EXTREME $99


    Crap, nice combo, haven't researched that case but looks good.. 5770 for 1650 x 1050 is perfectly fine, but if get some more money using the Athnlon ultimabeam mentioned you could get a 6850.
  5. LuigiVN said:
    Crap, nice combo, haven't researched that case but looks good.. 5770 for 1650 x 1050 is perfectly fine, but if get some more money using the Athnlon ultimabeam mentioned you could get a 6850.


    It's definitely true that a 5770 is perfectly fine for 1680x1050... I just figured that x3 450 and a GTX 460 or 6850 would give him a slightly more balanced system, especially if he upgrades his monitor in the future. a 955/5770 system would definitely be GPU-bottlenecked -- I know this because I've got a 955 and a *5870* and I'm *still* GPU- bottlenecked :)
  6. Great stuff, guys. I'll go for an upgrade and will use a combo of all of your suggestions. I think I will opt for the AMD x3 450 and GTX 460, which seems like a decent bang-for-the-buck solution.

    This is probably a loaded question, but how tough is it to do your first build? I am a pretty careful/anal guy, but then again I have never built a computer. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being a Lego set and 10 being brain surgery, how hard will this rig be to build? Any particular things worth noting?

    Thanks again!
  7. Here's the build detail. Do I need anything else?

    ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
    Item #: N82E16813157198
    $109.99

    EVGA 01G-P3-1370-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    Item #: N82E16814130570
    $199.99

    Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ...
    Item #: N82E16817371015
    $69.99

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
    Item #: N82E16820231303
    $84.99

    AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX450WFGMBOX
    $78.99

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822152185
    COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Item #: N82E16811119233
    $99 combo deal


    =>$644 before tax; $705 all in (shipping to CA)
  8. berkmtb said:
    EVGA 01G-P3-1370-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    Item #: N82E16814130570
    $199.99


    Newegg, as part of their pre-Black Friday thing, has

    GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    for 179.99 with an additional 10 rebate, just so you know. No idea when that expires.
  9. berkmtb said:
    Great stuff, guys. I'll go for an upgrade and will use a combo of all of your suggestions. I think I will opt for the AMD x3 450 and GTX 460, which seems like a decent bang-for-the-buck solution.

    This is probably a loaded question, but how tough is it to do your first build? I am a pretty careful/anal guy, but then again I have never built a computer. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being a Lego set and 10 being brain surgery, how hard will this rig be to build? Any particular things worth noting?

    Thanks again!


    Do your research first and use guides. I remember my first build, I short circuited my brand new Core 2 Duo E6750 XD! And broke a mobo. luckily it was a cheap G31. Do not get depressed if you burn or mess something, it's part of the learning =). Be careful with static, don't tight screws way too strongly, remember this isn't a piece of wood, it's a delicate item. probably you won't burn something. I suggest someone with some experience helps you a bit, besides putting the CPU in the socket and attaching the heatsink everything is a piece of cake. (Those crappy intel push pin heatsinks are HELL, i broke 2 mobos thanks to those bastards)


    Anyway. It's easier than most people think. Again, do your research and seek some videos en youtube. DO NOT FORGET TO SCREW THE MOBO STANDOFFS TO THE CASE!!!!1 My first mistake.

    It's easier to build a computer than one of those excercicing machines you see on TV. from 1 being legos and 10 being brain surgery, building a computer is 3 or 4, maybe more if it's your first time.
  10. techboyes said:
    Newegg, as part of their pre-Black Friday thing, has

    GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    for 179.99 with an additional 10 rebate, just so you know. No idea when that expires.



    Nice find! Thanks!
  11. Heres a build I did for another thread. I thought you could find some use in it too.


    Total: $669.91 --> $604.91 AR
  12. Best answer
    At this budget with nice combos u could land a Deneb + HD 6850 and crossfire capable config hehe


    $629AR and corssfire capable



    HD6K: single/CF review
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/amds-radeon-6870-6850-renewing-competition-in-the-midrange-market/8
  13. batuchka said:
    At this budget with nice combos u could land a Deneb + HD 6850 and crossfire capable config hehe


    $629AR and corssfire capable
    http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/Untitled-215.jpg


    HD6K: single/CF review
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/amds-radeon-6870-6850-renewing-competition-in-the-midrange-market/8


    batuchka crushing as usual, nice build
  14. Thanks for the detailed responses, all! I went with Karma's build to save a few bucks -- $575 with shipping and taxes without Windows 7 and the DVD burner, both of which I already have.

    Now how the heck do I build this sucker? I will paypal a six-pack of beer (up to $6...lol) for the person who points me in the direction of the best newbie guide to build this. I assume I didn't need anything else besides the items in Karma's cart, correct?

    Thanks again!
    Bruce
  15. Best answer selected by berkmtb.
  16. Decent DIY Video blog
    http://www.bikebeerbbq.com/i-built-my-own-computer-and-saved-hundreds-of-dollars/
    You are welcomed and happy shopping/building ^^
  17. batuchka said:
    Decent DIY Video blog
    http://www.bikebeerbbq.com/i-built-my-own-computer-and-saved-hundreds-of-dollars/
    You are welcomed and happy shopping/building ^^


    Thanks! I'll take a look and let you know if I can follow it easily. I'll let you know if you are the proud winner of a shiny six pack.

    Btw, do I need anything other than the components I ordered (see Karma's build)? Case fans or anything?

    Thanks again
  18. You have everything required in that build.

    You could order extra case fans but you should do that after you check out the temps on your system first.

    What I would consider ordering now though would be some thermal compound. The CM 212 does come with some but its really thick and tough to work with.

    I usually go with...
    Arctic Silver 5
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007&cm_re=thermal_paste-_-35-100-007-_-Product
    or Shin Etsu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080&cm_re=shin_etsu-_-35-150-080-_-Product
    but last week I tried this Gelid stuff (on sale at ncix) and it was also excellent
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835426020

    Good luck with your build ;)
  19. karma831 said:
    You have everything required in that build.

    You could order extra case fans but you should do that after you check out the temps on your system first.

    What I would consider ordering now though would be some thermal compound. The CM 212 does come with some but its really thick and tough to work with.

    I usually go with...
    Arctic Silver 5
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007&cm_re=thermal_paste-_-35-100-007-_-Product
    or Shin Etsu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080&cm_re=shin_etsu-_-35-150-080-_-Product
    but last week I tried this Gelid stuff (on sale at ncix) and it was also excellent
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835426020

    Good luck with your build ;)



    Thanks! Thanks also for your build details. You saved me over $100.
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