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Old 03-19-2007, 08:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Budget gaming build

Alright so my budget's around $800-900 not including monitor, OS, keyboard, mouse etc. and I just want a half-decent pc for some moderate gaming. I don't need the absolute top performance I can get for the price as anything will feel the same speed coming from my 1.8 celeron. I'd rather spend a few more bucks on having a decent case and stuff then for the extra FPS or 2. I'll probably go for an AMD just cause it'll save me quite a bit as the decent C2D mobos and even the cheapest C2D cpus cost more for a performance difference that I won't even notice. Also, I won't be overclocking much, just to max out stock cooling and a little bit above stock voltage. Here's what I'm thinking so far..

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+(65W) Windsor 2.2GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADO4200CUBOX - Retail

BIOSTAR TFORCE 550 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550 MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail

Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply - Retail

LIAN LI PC-7B plus II Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-16A7S-05 - OEM

SAPPHIRE 100176L Radeon X1950PRO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail

Total comes out to about $850 after tax, shipping and before $30 rebates. Also note that I will probably be buying in a month or so once I have the funds which is also coincidentally the same time 8600 comes out .

Like I was saying before, I want to pay a little more for the case then the regular budget build so picking up the Lian-Li for $90. Main things I'm not sure about are the power supply, video card, and cpu. I chose this Antec because of the cheap price, and fully sleeved and modular cabling. The same version of this Antec but with lower wattage however has horrible reviews with just about everyones dying on them within the first year. The 500W doesn't have these reviews but still worried about that since it's the same model. Also, I know Antec's generally make pretty good PSU's but is this particular one pretty decent?

About the video card, since I am buying after the 8600s come out, I'm thinking about getting the GTS 256mb. The MSRP is supposedly $200? Think I'll be able to get it for a bit less 2-3 weeks after it is out? Also, how is it expected to compare performance-wise to the x1950PRO in DX9 games?

I know that Intel is slashing their prices on 4/22 and I heard that AMD might slash theirs again around that time? I can't find where I saw that so was it just my imagination or is it true? Price cuts aside, do you think it's worth it to up the 4200 to a 4600 for $20 more?

Thank you for taking the time to read this . Look forward to any advice about my three "dilemmas" or anything else you suggest.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget gaming build

Hrmm this is a tough one since you want a DX10 card after? The X1950PRO is pretty good card for the money ( I prefer the 7900GS overclocked) I would get the 7900GS then do the EVGA step-up program to an 8600GTS after new cards come out.

Good mobo and CPU choice. Excellent ram choice. You can get a case just as good for about 20-30 bucks cheaper if you want. The PSU only has 4 modular cables and Antec aren't what they used to be. I would get a cheaper PSU If I were you, I like the FSP 450w as that's plenty of watts. I like this 500w for the price though.

Newegg.com - XCLIO GOODPOWER 500W ATX 500W Power Supply 115/230 V UL, CUL, TUV, CB, VDE, FIMKO, DEMKO, NEMKO, SEMKO - Retail

Xclio make decent PSU's.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget gaming build

Go with a Core 2 Duo E6600 (or E4300/E6300 and overclock to save $$) and an ASUS P5N-E.
If you want a good Antec PSU, you can go for their TP3 models. They're more expensive but you can't go el cheapo on a PSU since its the basis of your system. for $10 more you can get 430W, for $40 more you can get 550W, or for $50 more you can get 650W. I have 650W and its flawless (which is why I'm recommending them, I'm sure there are cheaper reliable PSU's, the TP3's just offer more stability with 3 x 12V rails).
One option on the video card would be to wait until Nvidia releases their cheaper G80 cards and go for one of those so you'd have DX10 capability, but by the time a large amount of games come out for DX10 it would probably be time to upgrade your card, so its your call. Otherwise that video card is a good bang-for-your buck DX9 card.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget gaming build

he does not need a C2D. X2's are a VERY good price these days and are fine. Him going C2D will require him to spend at least 100 bucks even for an E4300 and a crappy Mobo. 100 bucks will hurt that system bad meaning he will have to take down 1 gig of ram....the X2 4200 is very cheap now and still a great CPU.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget gaming build

I think you guys misunderstood. I don't want to get a video card right now and later upgrade to the 8600 whether it's by eVGA step-up program (don't want to wait like a month without a card and have to deal with all that crap like shipping) or by buying a whole new card. Now that I think about it, I don't really know why I even put the X1950 up there since I'm pretty sure I'm just going to get an 8600GTS256. I was just wondering if I can save 20-30 bucks by buying a couple weeks after they come out (like the 8800GTS 320's plumetted in price so quickly) and how the performance is supposed to match up with a ~$150 DX9 card in DX9 games.

I'm not going with an E6600.... heh.. I doubt many practical budget builds have those. The E6600 forces me to pay $240 for the cpu (after price cut), and another $120 or so for a decent mobo like the DS3 which is more then $120 more then my AMD cpu/mobo combo. If I did cough up those $120, I would feel obligated to get a HSF to max out my overclocking which is another $40 and then I would be smart to get a higher end PSU and it just goes on and on until my budget build becomes a $1500 build... I don't have that much dough.

Are you sure the Xclio is good? I'd rather cough up a few more bucks then have it die out on me later. The thing I don't like about the FSP is that it has no sleeving at all and I despise main cables being non-sleeved as much as I despise sleeving cables myself. Also, like I asked before, has anyone heard about if AMD is also having any April price cuts?
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget gaming build

The 8800GTS 320 dropped fast yea but I wouldn't bet that too much. I would say a month at least. The X2's are going to HAVE to be cut in price a little more if they want people to buy them over C2D. If not then the E4300 will be the CPU to buy around that price. Xclio make fine PSU's honestly.I can see sleeved but do you NEED modular? The Antec may crap out on you too as Antec are not what they used to be.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget gaming build

Nah, I don't need modular. Just don't want a mess of yellow, and red wires stinking up the joint.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget gaming build

I like the Xclio honestly but you could go with the Antec...I think they would be same in terms of long lasting and quality.
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget gaming build

Another thing.. Any word on around what time period the 8900GS comes out? Apparently it's just the 8600 that is coming out in April or am I wrong? I would have to cough up the extra money if it comes out soon.
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