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LAN Party Build under $350?!

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Last response: in Systems
June 11, 2011 7:32:52 PM

Hey everyone, I know this is a bit steep, but I'm going to try to put together a low-end gaming machine for LAN parties, as we have them quite often. The reason I'm not using my normal desktop is because it's a pain in the neck to cart around something so large, therefore, I want something with a small form factor (I mean like one of those desktop cubes that use Micro-ATX mobo's), and 4 gb of ram, that's pretty much what I've got in mind so far, as I'm quite inexperienced in computer building.

(Keep in mind I live in Canada!)

Here's what I do need:
A micro-ATX motherboard + appropriate CPU
4gb Ram
A micro-ATX case (Like this Although the PSU in this one only has 1 SATA power connector)
A half decent Graphics Card, nothing heavy duty, stuff like Halo 2, Civ4, WoW
and a basic DVD drive

Here's what I don't need:
Hard drive

All under $300 Canadian!

Thanks to anyone and everyone who helps! I'd really like to make this a reality, even on such a small budget.


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June 11, 2011 9:03:51 PM

Hmm, tough. It doesn't have USB3 or sata6, but I figure you don't need that for LANing. It's awesome IMO.

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor $75

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory $38

Mobo: MSI 880GM-E35 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $70

PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $50

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-R567D3-1GI Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card $70

Case: APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case $35

DVD: Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM $21

Ba bam! $360 :) 

Notice the handle on the case? designed for lugging around.
The 5670 should play most games on med/high, but it will stumble at HD res's on high settings.

However, look around for better prices. the canadian newegg charges a bundle more than it's US counterpart.
June 11, 2011 9:20:46 PM

Thanks for the extremely fast reply! Everything here looks amazing, the only problem is the size of the case, while it is smaller than my usual desktop, I was looking for something a bit smaller. I really appreciate the info you've given me and will probably end up using all of the components, except for the case.

Would this case be sufficient? I don't mind shelling out the bit of extra cash for more portability.

Thanks a bunch!
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June 11, 2011 9:48:53 PM

Yeah I was going with the Apex because it's low profile and has a handle :) 
Eh, That case is fine, but it's Apevia.
I think this one is a bit sexier, and it's a straight up munchkin case:

Here's what it looks like packed with components: I like it since you can lay it down flat. When it's flat, it's reallllyyy small. But that Apevia is just fin also....
June 11, 2011 11:03:33 PM

Do you know if there's any other cube-type cases that would be suitable? To me they seem like a more compact choice over a tower. And is Apevia a bad brand? I've not really heard of them before.

June 12, 2011 2:23:38 AM

Well for the cubish shape, the apevia is the cheapest I could find.

However, I personally don't like Apevia. They make crappy PSU's, and in my opinion cheap cases.

But that case has pretty good reviews so I think it's a wise buy.

But for a boxy type case, I think this one is more sleek and sexy: And I know Silverstone makes top notch cases, so I have no worries as to the quality. But if you like the retro design of the apevia, then don't feel bad about buying it. Both are nice cases.

EDIT: Did a little research, and it confirmed my suspicions. Read the reviews on the apevia vs the Silverstone. The apevia has some crappy reviews. The general consensus seems to be it's a cheaply built case. I would go Silverstone personally.

EDIT: Did more research, looks like the Silverstone causes parts to run a bit hot. For this, the apevia clearly wins. A bit of a catch 22, isn't it?

K, even MORE research tells me this is the best case: However, it's quite pricey.

The elite 360 (not to be confused with a 360 elite. Screw xbox gaming :p ) looking good yet?
June 12, 2011 5:55:46 PM

Thanks for all of your info, I've suggested all of this to a friend, who's planning to order around July, so I'll see if theres any deals on cases for him then.

Thanks a bunch!
Tristan McKeever
June 12, 2011 5:55:59 PM

Best answer selected by Battery9000.