To Build or Not Build, Budget low end gaming pc...

Hey guys, I need some advice to come to a decision. My 8 year old pc has now become a master of its own will and it does random things like the blue screen once in a couple of months, plays dvds when it feels like it and so on and so forth. So I am trying to decide on what to do next. Whether to go for a full build or to get me a barebone kit...
So here goes..

Approximate Purchase Date: The sooner the better

Budget Range: $400-600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tigerdirect/Compusa, Frys or Newegg (Tigerdirect and Frys have a local store in town so would prefer that first)

Parts Preferences: Prefer AMD, Nvidia for graphics card

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Still using the old Dell crt monitor 19inch.

Additional Comments: Was thinking of getting a new monitor or getting a 32inch lcd tv (monitor or tv not included in the above budget) and use it as monitor as well, though I am not sure how playing counter-strike on that would feel like!! Have heard people say you will be looking left and right a lot cuz of the big screen! Counter-strike is about the only game I play on the pc so far and very rarely play the old novalogic f-22, mig-29, f-16 games.

My current pc has the Asus Socket 939 mobo with Athlon processor, 1gb ram, nvidia GeForce 7900 512mb, 2 NEC dvdrw, a floppy and media reader combo, 160gb hd, win xp pro on it. I also have windows ME, so have a choice of putting xp pro or windows ME on the new pc. I was wanting to do a full reinstall but have lost the drivers cd that came with the mobo and the downloaded files from asus site somehow end up being corrupted. Maybe I could just swap out the mobo, install more memory and put in a new graphics card and a new hard-drive.


I was thinking of getting one of these barebone kits from tigerdirect:

1) MSI 785GTM-E45 Phenom II X4 Barebones Kit $310 after rebates

This Bundle Includes:

MSI 785GTM-E45 Motherboard - Micro ATX, AMD 785G Chipset, Socket AM2+, 1066MHz DDR2, SATA 3.0 Gb/s, RAID, 8-Channel Audio, Gigabit LAN
AMD HDX920XCJ4DGI Phenom II X4 920 Quad Core OEM Processor - 2.80GHz, 6MB Cache, 1800MHz (3600 MT/s) FSB, Deneb, Quad-Core, OEM, Socket AM2+
Patriot PSD22G80026 2048MB PC6400 DDR2 Memory - 800MHz, 1x2048MB, Non-ECC, Unbuffered
Seagate ST31000520AS Barracuda LP Hard Drive - 1TB, 5900RPM, 32MB, SATA-3G
Zalman CNPS7000V(AL)-1-PWM CPU Cooler - Intel Socket 1155, 1156, 775, AMD Socket AM2, AM2+, AM3
Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Mid Tower Case - ATX, Micro ATX, 120mm LED Fan, 4x 5.25 Bays, 5x 3.5 Bays
DiabloTek PHD550 550-Watt Power Supply - ATX, SATA Ready, PCIe Ready, 20+4 Pin


or 2) Asus M4A79XTD EVO Phenom II X4 Barebones Kit $390 after rebates

This Bundle Includes:

Asus M4A79XTD EVO AMD 790X Socket AM3 Motherboard - ATX, PCIe 2.0, 12x USB 2.0
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition AM3 CPU HDZ965FBGMBOX - 3.40GHz, Socket AM3, 6MB Cache, 2000MHz (4000 MT/s) FSB, Retail, Processor with Fan
Corsair CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9 Vengeance 4GB DDR3 RAM - PC12800, 1600MHz, 1x4096MB, Non-ECC, Unbuffered
Seagate ST31000520AS Barracuda LP Hard Drive - 1TB, 5900RPM, 32MB, SATA-3G
Ultra X-Blaster Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with Front USB, FireWire and Audio Ports
Ultra LSP550 550-Watt Power Supply - ATX, SATA-Ready, SLI-Ready, 135mm Fan, Lifetime Warranty w/ Registration


Then get a Nvidia GTX 550 or so plus a couple of dvdrw drives for either of the above two barebones.

So which route would you advice me to take? Sorry for the long post but I am totally confused. Please help.......
3 answers Last reply
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  1. None of those barebones kits are particularly good. Better off just putting a build together yourself. The issue right now is that Bulldozer is coming soon and Phenom architecture is REALLY old now, and honestly IMO is not something you should grab at this point. The budget alternative is the cheaper intel chips, but none of those OC and the mobo's aren't the cheapest for them.

    If you really need a PC now, I'd go with something along these lines.

    Samsung $21

    Rosewill Destroyer $50

    7200.12 500gb $45

    5850 $140

    xfx 650 $89 w/ $30 MIR

    G Skill ddr3 1333 cas 9 4gb $44

    i3-2100 and asus p8h67 LX $194

    Total including shipping is $600
    $570 after rebates
  2. Please... don't purchase those barebone kits from TigerDirect. While I do use TigerDirect quite often for just individual parts, the barebone kits they offer are often full of sub-standard parts. As well, upgrading your current computer just isn't worth it. You pretty much need a complete overhaul for it to make any difference.

    If you are going to be building the computer yourself, you may as well just purchase the parts individually yourself. If you can find some bundle deals you can often save yourself a bit of money too.

    For your new build, I was going to suggest an I3 build and post you some links, but it looks like banthracis beat me to it :).
  3. Sorry guys my computer had decided to take a vacation. Thanks for your replies. So taking your advice I am going the intel route and also avoiding the barebone from tigerdirect. Was looking up a few things and came across some components so tried a different mix. How about this build?

    1) Mobo: MSI P67A-G43 B3 Intel P67 1155 Motherboard $96 after rebate

    Link :]

    2) CPU: Core i3 2100 LGA 1155 3.1GHz Boxed Processor $99

    Link :

    3) Video Card

    Option 1: EVGA GTX 550 Ti SC 1GB $99 (after $40 rebate and in-store price of $139)

    Link :


    Option 2: 2 X EVGA GT430 1GB DDR3 $29.99 each ($60 after $30 rebate and in store price of $59)

    Link :

    4) Memory: DDR3 4GB 1333MHz TWIN CORSAIR TW3X4G1333C9A $22.99 after rebates

    Brand CORSAIR
    Series XMS3
    Model TW3X4G1333C9A G
    Type 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
    Tech Spec
    Capacity 4GB (2 x 2GB)
    Speed DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
    Cas Latency 9
    Timing 9-9-9-24
    Voltage 1.5V
    Multi-channel Kit Dual Channel Kit
    Heat Spreader Yes

    Link :

    5) PSU: Thermaltake TR2 600W Power Supply ATX12V V2.2 Intel Core i5 i7 Ready $49 after rebate


    Option 2: XFX P1-650X-CAH9 650W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $69 after rebate
    Link :

    6) Hard-Drive: Seagate ST3500418AS Barracuda 7200.12 Hard Drive - 3.5", 7200 RPM, SATA 3G, 500GB, 16MB Cache (OEM) $45
    Link :

    7) DVDRW: Asus DRW-24B1ST 24X Internal DVD Burner - DVD±R 24X, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6X, DVD±R (DL) 12X, DVD-RAM 12X, CD-R 48X, CD-RW 32X, SATA, 2MB, Black, OEM $21.99
    or the Samsung one as you suggested.

    So total looks like between $450-$550 or so. What do you think guys?
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