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Old 08-09-2009, 02:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

I'm in the process of trying to fathom a decent computer for roughly 500.00 or so. I'm hoping to be able to do video/graphic editing and play some video games when all is said and done. I've been doing research and I think I've come up with a decent build... Before I actually purchased anything, I just wanted to get some feedback and make sure everything would work together, and that it'd do so in a manner that would let me play some current games. (Sims 3, Fallout 3, WoW on a video setting other than the lowest and still getting more than 15fps...)

Processor:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

Video Card:
EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16
Newegg.com - EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

RAM:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel
Newegg.com - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Desktop Memory

Power Supply:
Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91
Newegg.com - Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies

I'm interested in overclocking the processor, but I'm not sure what is reasonable... I've read that the 8400 can go as high as 4.2Ghz without a lot of problems, but I don't know that I'm that brave... Also, I'm hoping I won't have to purchase a 3rd party cooler for it, so I'm thinking 3.6Ghz may be as far as I take it. If I do overclock it, will there be any problems with the Ram speeding up that you can see right off? I'm afraid I don't know too much about the overclocking process just yet.

In doing my research, I've heard that the Ram and the Powersupply are things you do not want to skimp on, so I tried to find reputable manufacturers... I'm not 100% on the G.Skill Ram, does anybody know if they make a decent product? I've heard pretty consistently that Antec is pretty much the standard for power supplies, and after using a few calculators online they all said my voltage would be anywhere between 430V-515... Can anyone say if that looks about right?

Other than that, does anybody have any suggestions or ideas?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

looks good but i doubt you will be able to play fallout 3 with that build unless you get something like 9800GTX+ or GTX 260 or something decent enough. The rest is just perfect.

EDIT: on low res yes but high res such as 1680 x 1050 would drop frame rates alot so probably max 19" monitor resolution would do
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CPU: Core 2 Duo E6320 @variable rates (will fix my fan problem soon and overclock high again)
HSF: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme & Antec Tricool 120mm fan
PSU: Delta Serverpower 550W
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Case: don't know what case it is but it is very crappy
Optical Drive: Lite-on 16X DVD+&- RW DL (died) using a CD-ROM drive until I get a new blu ray burner or whatever i can get


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Old 08-09-2009, 09:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagger576 View Post
I'm in the process of trying to fathom a decent computer for roughly 500.00 or so. I'm hoping to be able to do video/graphic editing and play some video games when all is said and done. I've been doing research and I think I've come up with a decent build... Before I actually purchased anything, I just wanted to get some feedback and make sure everything would work together, and that it'd do so in a manner that would let me play some current games. (Sims 3, Fallout 3, WoW on a video setting other than the lowest and still getting more than 15fps...)

Processor:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

Video Card:
EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16
Newegg.com - EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

RAM:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel
Newegg.com - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Desktop Memory

Power Supply:
Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91
Newegg.com - Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies

I'm interested in overclocking the processor, but I'm not sure what is reasonable... I've read that the 8400 can go as high as 4.2Ghz without a lot of problems, but I don't know that I'm that brave... Also, I'm hoping I won't have to purchase a 3rd party cooler for it, so I'm thinking 3.6Ghz may be as far as I take it. If I do overclock it, will there be any problems with the Ram speeding up that you can see right off? I'm afraid I don't know too much about the overclocking process just yet.

In doing my research, I've heard that the Ram and the Powersupply are things you do not want to skimp on, so I tried to find reputable manufacturers... I'm not 100% on the G.Skill Ram, does anybody know if they make a decent product? I've heard pretty consistently that Antec is pretty much the standard for power supplies, and after using a few calculators online they all said my voltage would be anywhere between 430V-515... Can anyone say if that looks about right?

Other than that, does anybody have any suggestions or ideas?

Thanks a lot!
For that kind of OC'ing you need a real solid board (which you have), that e8400 and a good cooler (which you lack).

For that price AMD's offerings are a bit better in terms of bang for the buck, actually for $500 you can build a rig that can max those games out easily.

Check out these:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 and Biostar 790GX combo (this combo can OC to around 3.3-3.5ghz easily, it might have the chance to unlock, unlikely but it could happen)
Radeon HD 4850
Xigmatek Rifle or Core Contact Freezer
Corsair 650TX
4GB DDR2 800 G-Skill RAM kit (these tend to vary in price every other week so this isn't set in stone)
Case, HD, Optical drives are entirely your pick

G-Skill is a new player in the RAM company, but its proved itself for the past two years to be up there with Corsair and the other manufacturers.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

you're still missing a case, disc drive, and hard drive. were you gonna salvage those from another computer? or just havent picked em yet?
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

His total parts come out to be $487 w/o shipping. I assume he's salvaging the Case, Optical drive and Hard drive.

$65 for a 1GB GDDR2 9500GT is extremely overpriced for the performance it gives. o_O
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

Thanks for the feedback so far!

Yeah, I'll be salvaging everything else from my current computer so I've got that stuff in hand. As far as the games go, my current monitor's highest resolution is 1280x1024. So long as it can play those games decently on that resolution, I'd be a happy camper.

Can anyone else throw their vote in as to whether it may be better to explore the AMD options available, or will this intel setup work well?
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

AMD would probably be better bang for your buck, as vernog said. You could get a higher quality AMD build if you're willing to stretch your budget by 50-100$ probably.

I'd go with a 4850, I've got one and run at 1280x1024. Plays fallout, crysis, whatever no problem on high settings, and they're only $40-50 more than that 9500 and probably have at least twice the performance.

There's a nice deal on a sapphire 4850 right now, Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards $99 + free shipping.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

quick question: When it comes to the fan/heatsink, does it have to be a particular size or anything to work with a specific CPU?
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

It has to support the layout of the CPU, but when it works like that, it just tells you what socket it does(n't) work on.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Build 500.00 Gaming Rig

Gigabyte MA790X-UD4P + Radeon 4850 512MB - $202

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition - $102.99

4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2-1066 @ 5-5-5-18 - $51

PC Power & Cooling 500W (35A on single +12V rail) - $75

Total ~= $431

Since the board has the SB750 southbridge, which means it has ACC, you might even be able to unlock the two disabled cores on the X2 550. So you'd have a quad core.

I think the X2 550's probably have a better chance of unlocking; Often it's because they have higher leakage, and therefore use more power (but also means overclocks better), so they disable two cores. Whereas the X3's would tend to be ones with a weak core.
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