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Newbie budget build $400

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April 5, 2012 7:44:29 PM

Thanks for reading. First time builder, on and off long-time reader. I have a $400 budget with a primary emphasis on playing SC2 at decent levels. Bear in mind, I'm coming from an Athlon 64 (yeah, the first one), so most anything's going to be an upgrade. I figure if I get an LG1155 processor, I can upgrade easier later, so it seems to me I should focus on a good Z68 mobo?

Also, I have Windows 7 Ultimate on an old NX9600 HP/Compaq laptop. Anyone know how I can get it from there to the new machine?

Thanks in advance everyone!

Crabuki

April 5, 2012 7:46:44 PM

Oh, and I'm in Atlanta so there's a couple of MicroCenters nearby.
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April 5, 2012 8:06:55 PM

The best way to get Windows 7 Ultimate on the new computer would be just to install it brand new with a CD. Then just delete it off the other one by formatting the drive.

I don't know if you have a lot of components you will be using from older PCs, but a Z68 motherboard may be a bit tough to pull off with a $400 budget.

Cutting to the bone to fit everything in a budget that small, which is most likely going to happen if you have nothing to transfer over, is probably going to mandate an H61 or H67 motherboard instead.

The frame rates of Starcraft 2 will probably only really be playable on the lowest settings too, just so you aren't surprised later.

Intel G840 - $85

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

Asrock 1155 Micro board - $55 (140)

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

1x 4GB GBs Crucial RAM - $21 (161)

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

Corsair CX 430w - $25 after rebate (186)

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

HAF 912 - $55 after rebate (241)

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

Asus 24x DVD - $25 (266)

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

Seagate 500 GB HD - $75 after promo code (341)

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

HD 6570 video card - $50 after rebate ($391)

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

- Edit - A micro center nearby should help you squeeze in more video card, depending on how much cheaper you can get some of the other parts there.
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April 5, 2012 8:13:05 PM

With the Microcenter near by, if he had another $15, he could get the i3-2100 for $99.99 as another option.
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April 5, 2012 8:16:54 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next 2 weeks

Budget Range: $400 (preferably before rebates, of course)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: SC2 and occasionally older games - it's good to not have kept up I guess

Parts Not Required: Um... would love to re-use old IDE hdd, as speed isn't all that relevant, but may not be possible

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Microcenter Atlanta pick-up, Newegg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel 1155 CPU

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900, it's old but it works

Additional Comments: Appreciate your help!
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April 5, 2012 8:18:35 PM

- Edit - He did say he prefers before rebates, so he will just have to stick with what I suggested.

It is pretty hard to get a good gaming PC going with $400.
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April 5, 2012 8:28:58 PM


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Item #:N82E16832116986
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
$99.99


1
G.SKILL 4GB Micro SDHC Flash Card w/ SD Adapter
Item #:N82E16820231509
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$4.99


1
Rosewill TU-155 II 500 Black Computer Case
Item #:N82E16811147117
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$89.99
$64.99


1
SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-222BB/BEBE
Item #:N82E16827151244
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$14.99


1
Recertified: Seagate DB35 Series 250GB 3.5" IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #:N82E16822148875
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$99.99
$39.99


1
ASRock H61M-VS Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813157241
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$59.99
$54.99


1
Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820148477
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$37.99


1
Intel Pentium G850 2.9GHz LGA 1155 Dual-Core Desktop Processor
Item #:N82E16819116397
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$87.99


Grand Total: $400.93
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April 5, 2012 8:32:41 PM

You must take into account spending $100 on the OS. That computer I listed was all from newegg and I just built one very similar for a friend and can confirm it runs sc2 better (at 1440x900) than a phenom 965 with a gtx580 at 1080p
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April 5, 2012 8:53:31 PM

CPU: Intel Pentium G620 $69.99
Mobo: ASRock H61M-VS $54.99
RAM: Pareema 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 $19.99
GPU: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6770 $114.99 (before 10% off with promo code APRVGA10, limited offer and $20 MIR)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM $84.99 (before $10 off w/promo code EMCNFNG57, ends 4/9)
DVD: SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner $14.99
Case: XION XON-180 $34.99 (before $10 MIR)
PSU: Antec NEO ECO 400W 80+ $44.99 (before 15% off w/ promo code APRPS15, ends 4/8 and $2.99 shipping)

gross total: $414.66 (after $28.25 w/promo codes and $2.99 shipping)
MIR: - $30
net total: $384.66

I can't get the gross total below $400 and feel comfortable recommending it as a "gaming PC". You could substitute a 6770 for something slower, or substitute the Pentium for a Celeron, but you will wish you spent the extra twenty dollars. Regardless, this is NEAR your budget and should fare well in most games.
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April 5, 2012 8:59:20 PM

dkcomputer said:
You must take into account spending $100 on the OS. That computer I listed was all from newegg and I just built one very similar for a friend and can confirm it runs sc2 better (at 1440x900) than a phenom 965 with a gtx580 at 1080p


You actually don't have to account for giving them an OS they can't even legally use.

The OP said he has a copy of Windows he would like to use already.

- Edit - I am not actually sure how you think it will have a better FPS with no video card compared to a GTX 580 too.

- Edit 2 - I agree with Hapkido that I really dislike suggesting anything short of a 6770 for gaming, but $400 doesn't even allow for a 6770. Maybe it does if you use a bad processor, bad RAM, a bad case, a bad CD drive, and stuff like that, but I am not sure its worth it.

It would be really nice if the OP could save up for a while and have another $50 laying around. 450 is just so much easier to work with than 400.
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April 5, 2012 9:03:41 PM

+1 @hapkido. Prior attempts either omitted a GPU, or risked a fecal PSU-shaped object. Hapkido's build will work, and offers upgrade potential.
Its only shortcoming is that it doesn't include Windows. You may not be able to [legally] move Windows from your old laptop; I'd guess not.
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April 5, 2012 11:43:43 PM

Quote:
You actually don't have to account for giving them an OS they can't even legally use.

The OP said he has a copy of Windows he would like to use already.

- Edit - I am not actually sure how you think it will have a better FPS with no video card compared to a GTX 580 too.


Sc2 cares mostly about processor and I have done the benchmark myself last night on a build I did for a client. It's not thinking, its a fact. And the OS he has for his 'old' laptop is a win7 upgrade disc that will only legally work on his install discs for the laptop and run on the laptop. He can very legally own an oem win7 system for a new computer that he is building, I don't know where you got the idea that someone could not legally own an oem windows for a new build.....
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April 6, 2012 12:51:05 AM

dkcomputer said:
Sc2 cares mostly about processor and I have done the benchmark myself last night on a build I did for a client. It's not thinking, its a fact. And the OS he has for his 'old' laptop is a win7 upgrade disc that will only legally work on his install discs for the laptop and run on the laptop. He can very legally own an oem win7 system for a new computer that he is building, I don't know where you got the idea that someone could not legally own an oem windows for a new build.....


Mostly or entirely only cares about the processor? I will have to see some benchmarks before I believe that Intel integrated graphics are good enough to have a high FPS in this game, higher than a 580.

Also, Windows 7 upgrade disks have all the files on them to install Windows on a blank drive. I have such a disk in real life and I have installed Windows onto a blank drive with it. Every place you look on the internet will tell you the same thing.

Additionally, it appears you haven't actually read the license agreement for OEM System Builder licenses, as has everyone else not done who ever argues with me on this point.

It is very clear in the license agreement that the license only becomes legal if the OEM System Builder copy of Windows is installed using an OEM Preinstallation Kit (which individuals don't have) AND the computer must be sold to a 3rd party AND the license cannot be transferred to anyone else afterwards AND it is a single user license which means they can't even let you use it even if they want to or the license becomes invalid again.

Using unlicensed software falls under Copyright law in the United States and it is a criminal offense.

Please learn what you are talking about before you go around saying what is and isn't legal.

Just because you think something is probably legal, that doesn't make it legal. What is actually in the license agreement is what determines what is legal or not and it clearly is on my side.
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April 6, 2012 1:21:24 AM

i thought if you own one computer and re use the hard drive from it on a new computer, you could call microsoft with the validation code and have them reinstate it and all you have to do is re install windows again on the same drive but teh new mobo/parts and with the revalidated code?
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April 6, 2012 2:25:30 AM

hapkido said:

CPU: Intel Pentium G620 $69.99
Mobo: ASRock H61M-VS $54.99
RAM: Pareema 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 $19.99
GPU: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6770 $114.99 (before 10% off with promo code APRVGA10, limited offer and $20 MIR)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM $84.99 (before $10 off w/promo code EMCNFNG57, ends 4/9)
DVD: SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner $14.99
Case: XION XON-180 $34.99 (before $10 MIR)
PSU: Antec NEO ECO 400W 80+ $44.99 (before 15% off w/ promo code APRPS15, ends 4/8 and $2.99 shipping)

gross total: $414.66 (after $28.25 w/promo codes and $2.99 shipping)
MIR: - $30
net total: $384.66

I can't get the gross total below $400 and feel comfortable recommending it as a "gaming PC". You could substitute a 6770 for something slower, or substitute the Pentium for a Celeron, but you will wish you spent the extra twenty dollars. Regardless, this is NEAR your budget and should fare well in most games.


Thanks for the suggestions! At the risk of being stoned for heresy, would I be better off dropping the discrete graphics and subbing an i3-2125 ($119 at MicroCenter)? A Lot better CPU, yes crappy graphics, but at least it would be HD3000. Let me reiterate - I've been struggling with SC2 on an Athlon 64 from 2005. Whatever I get will be a big step up.

Anyone know if I could use the old IDE hdd from the Athlon system with this mobo? Not for any extended length of time, but just to make file transfer easier.
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April 6, 2012 3:30:46 AM

Crabuki said:
Thanks for the suggestions! At the risk of being stoned for heresy, would I be better off dropping the discrete graphics and subbing an i3-2125 ($119 at MicroCenter)? A Lot better CPU, yes crappy graphics, but at least it would be HD3000. Let me reiterate - I've been struggling with SC2 on an Athlon 64 from 2005. Whatever I get will be a big step up.

Anyone know if I could use the old IDE hdd from the Athlon system with this mobo? Not for any extended length of time, but just to make file transfer easier.


I believe you can just use that key from your laptop and activate it on your desktop. As soon as it's activated, the laptop will become a trial and yeah. I think. lol.
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April 6, 2012 3:54:42 AM

The setup I listed is a nice balanced setup. I would go to micro center and get what you can off that list. If you save money by getting things cheaper there than I listed, spend more on the video card.
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April 6, 2012 1:52:57 PM

Raiddinn said:
The setup I listed is a nice balanced setup. I would go to micro center and get what you can off that list. If you save money by getting things cheaper there than I listed, spend more on the video card.


6570 ddr3 and single channel system RAM in a PC made for playing games? Nope. I had a 5670 ddr5 a couple years ago (well still do, but it's in my media PC) and it was good for playing Team Fortress 2 and Source engine games on high settings at 1680x1050, but really struggled in more demanding and newer games. I had to run Bad Company 2 and Grand Theft Auto 4 at low settings for playable framerates. I don't think I could even play Battlefield 3 or Metro 2033 with that card. 5770/6770 or 7750 is the lowest you want to to go in a gaming PC, especially considering cards that are only slightly cheaper are much, much slower.

I do agree he should check Microcenter out to see if you can snag some better deals... but he should use my build. ;) 
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April 6, 2012 2:19:07 PM

I would love for him to have $50 more so he can have a better video card, but I also don't want to have to troubleshoot his problems when he comes back in here after he gets a computer designed by us that crashes all the time.
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April 6, 2012 2:55:55 PM

What are you getting at?
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April 6, 2012 3:01:39 PM

You might not be here after he buys this stuff, but I most likely will. If he starts having problems 6 months from now, I am more likely to still be around at that time too.

Bad case, bad ram, low wattage for a top mount case. He is bound to be back in here within a year even if his RAM isn't DOA.
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April 6, 2012 3:15:23 PM

Raiddinn said:
Bad case, bad ram, low wattage for a top mount case. He is bound to be back in here within a year even if his RAM isn't DOA.


Bad according to whom? All of the parts I listed received positive reviews on newegg. 400w from an Antec 80+ PSU is plenty for a 65w CPU and 100w GPU. And what does the case have to do with the PC's reliability (assuming air can get in and out)? You don't need to buy ASUS, Corsair, and Silverstone everything to get quality. Sometimes the discount cereal tastes the same as the name-brand stuff.
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April 6, 2012 3:50:53 PM

The reviewers on Newegg don't really have the tools to properly review anything. They are asked to review something 1 day after they get the product so if it plugs in and turns on then they give it 5 stars.

You can't take that sort of review seriously unless there are many thousands of them.

According to the dozen or so reviews for your Pareema RAM, there is 1/12 or so of the time when the RAM is worth 1 star. That is 8.5% more likely that the OP is going to be in here saying his computer doesn't work for that part alone.

Top mount PSU case - these cases suck all the heat from the whole PC into the PSU before expelling it out the back of the case.

Heat has a negative effect on PSU operations. The less heat in the PSU, the better it works. The more heat in the PSU, the more likely it is to fail during usage.

That means his PC is infinitely more likely to crash during gaming with a top mount case than with a bottom mount case.

Combine that with the fact that its only a 400w PSU. Sure if the thing was bottom mounted it might be able to deliver 400w cleanly and adequately cover everything and more from that build.

Since it is top mounted, you gotta cut that number in half to account for increased heat. Can his PC run fine on 200w? Maybe, or maybe not. Maybe if it works on day 1 then it won't work on day 180, or day 365.

It is very common for PSUs in top mount cases to fail early due to all the strain they must endure. When a PSU fails, it often destroys a motherboard or video card (or anything else connected to it) in the process.

The Samsung DVD player you chose barely gets 4 stars which is 20% likely to be a bad user experience right there. Tack that onto the total.

Contrast with the Asus 24x that I suggested which is the most consistenly highest rated product on newegg.

Risks of these natures are just plainly unacceptable. The OP is coming here so they don't get a computer that fails early in its life and so they don't get a computer that is built to fail from day 1.

I would much rather give the OP a computer 30-40% less likely to fail out of the box and 95% less likely to fail within the first year and beg them to find another $50 somehow.
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April 6, 2012 3:56:32 PM

I'm sorry how many computers do you build for clients each year? I've had one rosewill power supply fail, a 950w power supply from 2007 failed 2 months ago, and it was because the client cut fan wires and let a 12v line touch the inside of his aluminium case. Thats back when I started building computers, since then I've built about 50-60? And I've used rosewill psu's on about 40 of them? I've had 3 DOA that got replaced within 2 days of me emailing them an rma ticket. I could go on, but you obviously don't have a clue. You're just another troll with almost zero experience building and selling custom order computers. Please don't try to pretend you know what in the world you're talking about, you might actuallly influence the OP
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April 6, 2012 4:21:22 PM

I have managed many thousands of computers for very many years.

So whereas you can't really see the any need to worry about a client past day 1, I definitely understand the differences in long term failure rates much better as well as to plan for them.

50-60 computers is tiny by the way. Don't try to pretend that number is super awesome, because it isn't. I have managed more than 50 of each "type" of computer times 50-60 different "types" or more in both cases.

BTW, I feel bad for your clients. Just sayin.

I guess it isn't your fault, you just build what they tell you to. It is more a problem they don't know what to ask for and you can't really do anything to change that after the fact.

However, in this environment, that sort of mentality doesn't pay off. You have all the time in the world to educate most people.

You just have to know what you are talking about so you can educate them on the long term impact of their short term choices. Before you can do that, though, you have to even care what the long term impact of their choices even is.
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April 6, 2012 5:09:19 PM

With a $400 budget, you have to make sacrifices. Either you build something that's not capable of doing what you need it to, or you sleep better at night knowing you spent $20 more than you needed to on every component because it's "better". When I build for myself, I take calculated risks (we all do, regardless of what brand/part you take). "Is this part going to do what I need? Is it good value? Is there a better brand/part for a similar price?" If I answer yes, yes, and no, respectively, I buy it. I'm sure you'll tell me the computer in my sig is terrible quality (bad PSU brand with not enough wattage, bad case brand, bad RAM brand and speed, bad SSD brand with not enough capacity, bad CPU cooler, bad GPU brands and models, bad monitor brand), but it's been going strong for over a year and I spent less than most would have. And yes, newegg reviews do matter, because there's no way for everyone to find a detailed review from a credible source for every single part before they buy it.
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April 6, 2012 5:25:10 PM

I would agree with you, to some extent, except that it isn't at all clear that my setup will perform worse than yours at its intended task (playing SC2). Indeed, it may actually perform better.
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April 6, 2012 5:36:08 PM

I don't think 200Mhz on the CPU will offset the 2-3x slower GPU. SC2 is said to like powerful CPUs (I've never played it), but I think it would take a step up to i3 or i5 to make a noticeable gain.

I do know a 2.6Ghz dual-core SB Pentium + HD6770 will be a better all-purpose gamer than a 2.8Ghz dual-core SB Pentium + HD6570. Games still depend on strong GPUs, even CPU-dependent games. If the GPU isn't fast enough to push frames to the CPU, it doesn't matter how fast the CPU is, your frames are still going to be bad. It's why a i7-2600k + built-in 3000 graphics would be worse for gaming than basically any modern CPU with any modern discrete card.
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April 6, 2012 5:53:59 PM

Well, other people have tried to convince me that the best possible performance for SC2 was just the best possible processor (3960x) and a $5 video card and not a processor $600 less than that + a GTX 680.

Not that I really believe that person, but the difference in video cards is much less than between what we are discussing.

If indeed the intent is to play SC2 for some long period of time and then think about playing something else later, it could be better just to tell the OP to buy my setup and start saving for a better video card for whenever later comes.

Either that, or as I would prefer just beg for another $50 now, or beg for the OP to wait for another $50.

Then several potentially serious problems would be largely avoided.
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April 19, 2012 12:40:10 AM

For those who care (ie me), here's what I ended up with. I think I did ok.

CPU: Intel Pentium G620 - $50 at Micro Center

Mobo: Asus P8Z68-V LX - $81 on clearance at Micro Center

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB DDR3 1333 - $42 at Newegg.com

Video Card: Sapphire AMD HD 6450 1GB DDR3 - $43 at Micro Center

HDD: Samsung 500GB Spinpoint F3 - $80 at Newegg.com

CD/DVD: Asus 24x - $18 at Newegg.com

PSU: Antec Earthwatts 430W - $40 at Newegg.com

Case: Rosewill R103A with crappy PSU - $40 at Newegg.com

Haven't had time to put it all together yet, so I may very well find I'm missing something - a wire extension here, an operating system there - but I think I'll end up ok.

Thanks to everyone who looked in, I really appreciate all the advice I got, even if I didn't end up following it. It helped me wrap my head around the problem... and besides I'll probably end up back in here asking something really technical like "how to you open this mousetrap thing on the motherboard. ;) 

Crabuki out
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April 19, 2012 5:31:05 AM

have fun playing on low with 3 fps.
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April 19, 2012 11:53:36 AM

While I am quite tempted to select you as best answer, I think I'll refrain this time.

As I mentioned earlier, my current experience is slogging through the first few levels of SC2 on an Athlon 64 machine. Not an Athlon 64 X2, an Athlon 64 from pre-2005, so what you think of as unbearable I'll consider an upgrade.

Assuming it all works, of course :) 

Crabuki
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April 19, 2012 12:46:49 PM

My original build is probably the best you are going to get.
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April 19, 2012 1:24:33 PM

I don't think you'll be happy with hd 6450. It is NOT a gaming card. It is a HTPC card. It will struggle in almost every game newer than 5 years. AMD's entry level gaming cards start at x6xx. For a gaming system, the lowest you should get is hd 6770/5770. For ~$100, there's no reason to get anything slower. I'd return the 6450 and get something faster. If you can't afford 6770 yet, save up until you can.
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April 19, 2012 1:38:04 PM

Agreed with that as it was my original stance all along.

Better to save up the difference to get all my original parts + a 6770 or wait for a special deal that will allow you to accomplish the same thing.

I would rather not see you get a weaker video card when you could save up $50 more and have a computer that runs both SC2 and everything else much better instead of having to choose one or the other.
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April 19, 2012 4:13:38 PM

Yeah dude, ditch that card, you need something more powerful, there is no way that thing will run StarCraft 2 at any decent level. Probably 10 fps at lowest.
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April 19, 2012 4:17:27 PM

A GTX 460 is recommended for Sc2, that's what I have, and I got to say this card is fricken amazing.
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April 20, 2012 1:04:16 AM

That card looks like it would kill every game in my house. With a hatchet. :) 

I think I just have vastly different expectations and necessities from you gentlemen. I'm a father of two, I spend most of my time with my family. I like to buy those game collections where they put a Game of the Year from 4-5 years ago in with some also-rans. All this stuff is new to me, so if my system can't play the most amazing kick-ass modern games, I won't even know. The ONLY reason I have Starcraft 2 is because of how ungodly wonderful the first one was. Aside from SC2, the newest games in this:

http://www.amazon.com/The-World-EA-Games-Fighters-Pc/dp/B0009W8QAK

So I'm not pushing any envelopes here. I'm just looking for something to ease my SC2 pain and do really well at these other games I've got.

Crabuki
(Not a tech trendsetter guy)
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April 20, 2012 1:13:59 AM

I'd have just bought one of the Lenovos w/ i3-2100 that were on sale for $238 w/ Windows yesterday. The drop that in a new case, then add PSU and graphics.
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April 20, 2012 3:59:10 AM

Crabuki said:
That card looks like it would kill every game in my house. With a hatchet. :) 

I think I just have vastly different expectations and necessities from you gentlemen. I'm a father of two, I spend most of my time with my family. I like to buy those game collections where they put a Game of the Year from 4-5 years ago in with some also-rans. All this stuff is new to me, so if my system can't play the most amazing kick-ass modern games, I won't even know. The ONLY reason I have Starcraft 2 is because of how ungodly wonderful the first one was. Aside from SC2, the newest games in this:

http://www.amazon.com/The-World-EA-Games-Fighters-Pc/dp/B0009W8QAK

So I'm not pushing any envelopes here. I'm just looking for something to ease my SC2 pain and do really well at these other games I've got.

Crabuki
(Not a tech trendsetter guy)


I don't think you understand, that card will barely, if at all, be able to run StarCraft 2. A GTX 460 on the other hand will do a great job. Also it's not a high end card, it's a mid range card so it's not all exciting. A GTX 580 is something exciting.
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April 20, 2012 4:24:32 AM

OP--get Steam. You'll get awesome games for a lot cheaper than $19.

So you understand how TERRIBLE the 6450 is: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

A $40 9800GT or similar will blow the pants off it. And I mean like a factor of 5. Intel's Ivy Bridge with HD 4000 graphics will have integrated graphics on the CPU on par with a Radeon HD 6450. AMD's Integrated 6620G graphics that come with an A8 CPU are equal to it.

What I'm saying is--don't buy a graphics card. Just use integrated graphics. If you decide you want better graphics than that, then buy a REAL graphics card. Because with the HD 6450, you're effectively adding a useless extra card in your machine while throwing $43 out the window.

Here, buy a GT 240 (DDR3) for $25: http://www.ebay.com/itm/nVidia-GeForce-GT240-GT-240-1G-...
Or the much more powerful 5670 GDDR5 for $50: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sapphire-Technology-ATI-Radeon-...

At least you can do something with that that you can't with your integrated graphics.
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April 21, 2012 4:07:42 AM

GOG.com is also really good for getting cheap games. If you just put everything on a wish list you can wait around till you can get everything on there for $3 each. They give you a bunch of stuff like Fallout 1 for free just for making an account.
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April 22, 2012 4:37:42 AM

Raiddinn said:
GOG.com is also really good for getting cheap games. If you just put everything on a wish list you can wait around till you can get everything on there for $3 each. They give you a bunch of stuff like Fallout 1 for free just for making an account.
I love Gog.com. I got The Witcher 1 & 2 there instead of Steam.
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April 22, 2012 4:37:57 PM

My Gog.com library includes 29 games, most of which were $3 each on sale.

Neverwinter Nights Diamond, Gothic 3, Fallout 1 & 2, and Planescape Torment are probably the most recognizable names I have on there.

It is a great alternative to other options that often use DRM. I never pirate games, but I still don't like DRM.

- Edit - Incidentally, I got both the Witcher 1 and 2 from Amazon. The Witcher 1 I got the physical CD used and the Witcher 2 I got on digital download from them.

I also have Trine, Dragon Age 2, Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect 2, and Amalur Reckoning from Amazon digital download. Most of those came 70% or more off on easter or other big sale days.

Gog, Steam, and Amazon have to compete with each other for my gaming $, and I pretty much stopped buying physical disks for games. I got too many that had CDs that were literally cracked to buy more of those. Plus, digital download is just more convenient.
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April 22, 2012 9:57:14 PM

I've got quite a bit on Amazon.com. I bit on the Dragon Age 1 & 2 complete for $6.99 (w/ Christmas Coupon before January 31st), Spore for $1.99, & NBA 2K12 (when new) for $9.99.

70% off or more sales--that's exactly why we recommend digital downloads.
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