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< $500 gaming rig

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April 10, 2012 11:03:20 PM

Hey folks,

I'm attempting to build an entry-level gaming rig for under $500, and if I can get it even lower then that's great. I've been doing some research and put together the list below. I haven't owned a desktop since 2005 and haven't built one since 2003 so I'm way out of touch with desktop components. Because of that I figured before I ordered I figured I'd post here and see if anyone has any feedback.

Thanks in advance!

Goals

* < $500
* Expandable (mobo below is micro ATX but the case is large enough to replace it later)
* Playing mostly mmorpgs (EQ1, RIFT, LOTRO, some WoW, also D3 when it comes out, no FPS). I multi-box on EQ so wanted something with 4 cores. The CPU below (dual core with hyper-threading) was a price/performance compromise
* Decent graphics with minimal lag. I don't care about running max graphics, I just don't like lagging
* Ability to stream high-def to a TV or monitor

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.asp...

More about : 500 gaming rig

April 11, 2012 12:01:42 AM

Your CPU is good. Check out a slightly better GPU recently reviewed here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

The 6770 has Blu-Ray decoding support, which you may want. You don't need 8GB of RAM, 4GB is plenty. I hate to see people skimp on power supplies... the PSU is the MOST (really... the MOST) important aspect of a computer... even more so than the GPU. It's because a bad PSU will kill your entire computer. Go to newegg, and there's a decent 550W Antec for like $60. I'll bet you could get better deals on like... 400W PSUs (although I don't know if that's enough). Your HDD is also overpriced... get this for only $5 more: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has faster transfer speeds, as well. I just realized I have no idea what multi-boxing is... if it's something like video editing or Photoshop, then get 8GB of RAM. I think that's it, though.
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April 11, 2012 12:04:21 AM

I personally think you need 8GB not 4GB. I only reason I would ever buy 4GB if it were for a upgrade.
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April 11, 2012 12:05:57 AM

You don't NEED 8GB.. especially because he's not doing anything all that intensive. He's not going to be running multiple applications or a 3D fps.
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April 11, 2012 12:13:24 AM

Thank you both for the feedback. Multi-boxing is playing more than one instance of a game at a time. It's pretty common in games like EQ that are built around grouping instead of solo play. I chose 8 GB of RAM because EQ1 easily takes up 1GB of RAM per instance on mediocre settings, and I run 3-6 instances at a time. I also forgot to mention that I run VMs pretty frequently so more RAM never hurts.

Thanks for the link to the updated GPU reviews. The only concern I have is that all the ones in my price range are ATIs. I don't have anything against ATI cards (they make an exceptional product imo) but in the past I've had nothing but problems with their Linux drivers. I swore a couple of years ago that I'd never buy another ATI card because of all the dual monitor problems I was having when running Ubuntu. If that's changed in the last couple of years then please someone let me know.

I'll look into what you said about the PSU and HD. Definitely want to find good options there.
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April 11, 2012 12:21:18 AM

If I was going to buy a Psu for your build I'd go with a Corsair 550. I dunno bout you though :D 
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April 11, 2012 12:21:42 AM

Or a 650
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April 11, 2012 12:22:21 AM

^agreed. Maybe the popular Antec 550W on newegg (just look at best rated). In that case... definitely go with 8GB of RAM. Definitely.
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April 11, 2012 12:39:13 AM

I'll do that. I think you guys are right...a few extra $ in the PSU is $ well spent.
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April 11, 2012 2:18:47 AM

Yup, don't cheap out on the psu lol
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April 11, 2012 2:27:15 AM

Here's a link to one I'm building. The total comes to $545.92, but the video card I'm using is $150 and will provide significantly better graphics quality/ability to run multiple instances of games. Thought if it needs be under $500, you could change it to the one you have selected for your build.

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...
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April 11, 2012 4:37:17 AM

Saljen said:
Here's a link to one I'm building. The total comes to $545.92, but the video card I'm using is $150 and will provide significantly better graphics quality/ability to run multiple instances of games. Thought if it needs be under $500, you could change it to the one you have selected for your build.

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...


I don't think that's a public wish list? I wasn't able to view it.
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April 11, 2012 5:32:28 PM

Thanks to all for the feedback. I went ahead and ordered that build with an ATX mobo. That'll give me more room to expand before having to replace the mobo again, but more importantly it supports 6 Gbps SATA so I could go with the larger HD that ddan49 recommended. I also went with a higher quality PSU. The reviews on my GPU say that the fan is really loud but oh well...that'll be one of the first things I replace anyway in a few months.

Total cost after shipping was $520, and that's close enough to my goal for me. Thanks again!

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

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April 11, 2012 6:44:26 PM

Your RAM was a bit overpriced. Apart from that, it looks good! Good luck! I just want to say that if you want to upgrade your GPU later on, make sure you go for something larger than 1GB (at that point, a 3GB may be necessary, or even more) because more RAM (which is what the 1GB and 2GB after the GPU name indicates... personal video RAM) is always a good thing for running multiple graphics-intensive programs. Also, if you find that multiple instances are running slowly, open up task manager with Ctrl-Alt-Del, go to the tab called "Processes", and look at the bottom right. It should say how much RAM is being used out of how much is available. If you see 1) less RAM available (1GB less is normal, I mean like 2+ GB less than expected) or 2) most/all of your RAM being used, then it's time to upgrade to more RAM.

By the way, make sure you have 64-bit Windows!
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April 11, 2012 8:07:50 PM

ddan49 said:
Your RAM was a bit overpriced. Apart from that, it looks good! Good luck! I just want to say that if you want to upgrade your GPU later on, make sure you go for something larger than 1GB (at that point, a 3GB may be necessary, or even more) because more RAM (which is what the 1GB and 2GB after the GPU name indicates... personal video RAM) is always a good thing for running multiple graphics-intensive programs. Also, if you find that multiple instances are running slowly, open up task manager with Ctrl-Alt-Del, go to the tab called "Processes", and look at the bottom right. It should say how much RAM is being used out of how much is available. If you see 1) less RAM available (1GB less is normal, I mean like 2+ GB less than expected) or 2) most/all of your RAM being used, then it's time to upgrade to more RAM.

By the way, make sure you have 64-bit Windows!


I chose the RAM because I just like Patriot memory, and it's worth a few $ more to me to get it :)  Totally a personal preference, but I've always had good luck with it. I do have 64 bit Win7, but I'll probably try running Ubuntu on this and Windows in a VM. If that setup doesn't play nice with the drivers and/or the various games I play then I'll revert to Windows.
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April 11, 2012 10:05:49 PM

Okay! Good luck with your build! Just remember... ground yourself first ;) 
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!