~$500 budget gaming PC

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Jordan1, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Jordan1

    Jordan1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I need to get a PC that will cost about $500 or less to play games at least at medium settings or so...depends on the game, of course. I don't need a monitor, keyboard, or speakers, just the tower of budget power. I a copy of XP home I can use if I were to build myself. I was going to build it myself as I always do, but came accross this:

    eMachines T6216 (refurb, yeah, I'd rather it not be)
    939 Athlon 64 3200+
    512MB DDR
    160GB 7200RPM HDD
    DVD±RW DL
    XP Home
    300 Watt PSU (hopefully it would handle a decent video card upgrade)
    $299.99
    +$79.99 G.SKILL Value 1GB 184-Pin DDR
    +$124.99 Apollo Radeon X800XT 256MB PCI Express x16
    =$504.97

    Doing it myself:

    $30.99 NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner
    $49.99 COOLER MASTER Centurion 5
    $59.99 SAMSUNG SpinPoint 160GB
    $41.50 FSP 400W Power Supply
    $79.99 G.SKILL Value 1GB 184-Pin DDR
    $40.99 G.SKILL Value 512MB 184-Pin DDR
    $158.99 939 Athlon 64 3200 / BIOSTAR TForce6100-939 motherboard
    $124.99 Apollo Radeon X800XT 256MB PCI Express x16
    =$587.43

    Would the eMachines do OK? Should the 300W PSU hold up fine with the X800XT? I want it to have at least 1.5GB of RAM so it can play BF2 decently. I would not plan to upgrade it at all for atleast a year maybe. The extra cost to do it myself is probably worth the price and known brands but it really should be kept under or at $500.

    I would appreciate any suggestions or alternatives. :)
     
  2. setscrew

    setscrew [H]ard|Gawd

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    Tough question. The eMachine PS will not be able to hold up over time, so plan on the FSP 400 (or greater) replacement for long-term use.

    I would opt for your list of components for the self-built machine as it will prove its worth over a longer time span than the eMachines will (better case, quality components, upgradability, personal history etc.). Do not forget that you can sell the included CM 350 PS to finance an upgrade to two one gigabyte memory modules.

    Consider browsing the FS forum for a good deal on a used video card.

    Good luck.
     
  3. aznbumbaclot

    aznbumbaclot Gawd

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    Check the Hot Deals forum for one of those Ultra X-FInity PSUs. They go for $10 AR and have solid reviews.
     
  4. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    Why not switch to socket AM2?
     
  5. Jordan1

    Jordan1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I probably should, but haven't looked into what memory and motherboard I should get. I have read of some issues with the DDR2 memory voltage and AM2 motherboards not wanting to work together. Hopefully that woudn't be a problem. I am looking at the CORSAIR XMS2 memory and an ASUS M2N motherboard.

    Thanks setscrew and aznbumbaclot for the comments. I almost forgot about those good deals on the X-FInity PSUs.
     
  6. zero_vertical

    zero_vertical Gawd

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    why do you have the ram on their twice? i think you can pull $40 out for hte extra 512 (1 gig will be good)

    -go nvidia 7600 series for ~$99
    -get an athlon 3200 for $99. $109 for the extra .2ghz in the 3500.
    -mobo - save another $10 (consider the msi 761g2) you can also get a good name brand open box from newegg and save a ton of $$ (like $30) - not sure if you're okay with that though
    -get a better brand name psu for the money. i'd go at least dual 12v rails with 17amps. the coolmax 450b on newegg is $40 and has a 140mm fan, which will also help the fact that your centurion will only have 1 case fan (it'll help move air through whole case.)

    i'd build it myself and at least be comfortable that the few extra dollars got me all new products with warrantees and a better psu (critical componant). with some work, i think you can get the prices the same for a better machine.

    zv
     
  7. Jordan1

    Jordan1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks zv. I am not sure about that power supply though. I don't think I like the idea of a open box motherboard because Newegg doesn't include any of the cables. I am really thinking AM2. These are the parts I am considering now, even though it would be about $640 after shipping, and a $40 rebate:

    $75.00 AeroCool AeroEngineII-BBP Black 0.65mm SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (I know, $15 more, but I like the cooling options)
    $30.99 NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner
    $41.50 FSP 400W Power Supply
    $119.99 Open Box: HIS Hightech Radeon X800XL IceQ II 256MB
    $198.00 before $40 MIR - CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
    $59.99 SAMSUNG SpinPoint 160GB
    $121.99 BIOSTAR TForce 6100 AM2 6100 / Sempron 64 2800+ Manila

    $680.90 shipped, before $40 MIR

    Still open to all suggestions/comments. :)
     
  8. zero_vertical

    zero_vertical Gawd

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    i think the cost/performance ratio for nvidia is much higher. i'd stick with the 7600 series and throw $20 back in your pocket for basically the same performance.

    FSP - I've heard about these, but they aren't a really established psu company (although i think they make them for other brands like mushkin) There are no real reviews with valuable data available for that model around. i've read about crappy capacitors on [h] and elsewhere, but who knows. for $40, you can do active pfc, dual 12v rails, and a nice quiet fan from better brand names than fortron.

    that's a whole lot of ram. you should be fine with just a gig (2x512) for around $80.

    the cooling increase is nice on that case, but for $5, you could put another nice 120mm fan into the centurion and still find $10 to save

    that's like $160 in total savings, with a better psu manufacturer before any mir's. i think for your needs, you're probably a bit heavy on the mobo costs as well. you should be able to get a nice product for less than $100.

    good luck! :)
     
  9. urbanlegend786

    urbanlegend786 Limp Gawd

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    you should check out the new intel line core 2 duo, i spent almost a year waiting for AM2 but now i rea th ereviews for the intel(im a AMD person) and it outperformes the AM2 on almost everylevel and if it doesnt ouperform it matches, it consumes less power therefore runs cooler and its about 200$ less then its AMD counterpart...they have one that is supposed to compete with the x23800+ that costs 180$, so if i was u i would get that....

    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1989159,00.asp?kc=ETRSS02129TX1K0000532
     
  10. kernal_panic

    kernal_panic Limp Gawd

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    at $99 for a 7600 series card you are looking at a GS and not a GT. I just got an X850 crossfire from shop.ati.com for $132.05 shipped. it absoulty rapes the crap out of a 7600 gs. my 05 3d mark was 3900 with the 7600 gs and 6100 with the x850.

    another thing to add is the cost of the os. its getting harder to pirate xp pro. that e machine comes with a legeal copy of xp home.

    frankly i'd buy the emachine, then look for ram on sale at one of the big box stores and pick it up there, grab and x850. you can probably save enough to get the ram up to 2 gigz.

    i know your situation. i just did almost the same thing. I bought a compaq with the super duper rebate deals and tossed in an x850 crossfire. plays CS source and BF2 smoothly.
     
  11. Major_A

    Major_A [H]ard|Gawd

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    I would wait a few weeks, the Pentium D/A64 X2 is supposed to drop substantially. So for roughly the same price you could get a nice dual core processor.
     
  12. zero_vertical

    zero_vertical Gawd

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    you're right. the gt is $130-$140 after rebates. not $99. i mixed up the pricing. i still think the clear choice is the 7600gt though for the same money.

    based on [H] comparo threads, the 7600gt scores higher for both'05 and '06 (6555 versus the x850xt's 5892. in '05) big difference. the real comparison should be 3Dmark 06, which scores 3044 for the 7600gt versus 2221 for the ati. that's a much better tool as 05 isn't testing any of the new technology in the nvidia.

    the x850 doesn't have the new Shader Model 3.0, which the 7600 does. all the new games are utilizing 3.0 (unreal engine?). the ati is also stil using the 110nm versus the 90nm nvidia - so the x850 is obselete out of the box. the 128/256 mb interface is really a smokescreen, as most people are gaming on lcds which have a lower max resolution 1280 or 1024, so they can't capitalize on the higher bandwidth to push higher res anyways. further, the super high end games coming out over the next 24 months will not be well served by either card. you'll be looking for an upgrade to a 7900 or x1800xtx etc.

    the newer technology in the nvidia runs cooler, uses 50% less power (doesn't require internal power connect) and takes up less space (the x850xt uses 2 slots for it's cooler, doesn't it?)

    the x850xt should really be compared to the high end 6800s - ultra for example - rather than the newer technology 7xxx series. those cards don't have transparency AA, Purevideo or Shader 3.0, and use abotu 50% more power than the 7600gt. plus, you get factory overclocking with lifetime guarantees from the nividia based boards. that alone should be a big seller for the same $$.

    sorry for the pricing mixup. :)

    zv
     
  13. quadnad

    quadnad [H]ardness Supreme

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    FSP is a very well-established brand that makes extremely good quality PSUs. I'm not sure if you're well-versed in the land of PSUs but they make supplies for a whole variety of different companies. FSPs (and all PSUs that are really just rabadged FSPs) are highly recommended on [H]forum (check the recommended PSU thread and you'll see MANY FSPs listed), both the lower end models all the way up to their 600 and 700W Epsilon series.

    I just wanted to clear that up.

    I agree, I'd wait a few weeks until prices look more like this, and see what kind of combos you'll be able to put in the system. Maybe it'll mean an upgrade, maybe it'll mean saving money. Either way, you'll be a much happier person!

    When I get a spare moment later on I'll post a build for ~$500. Otherwise I think that your custom build will leave you much better off in terms of quality and reliability.
     
  14. kanzaki

    kanzaki n00b

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    Or just buy mine... I hate to sell it, but I have to...
    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1076388

    I was pricing stuff on newegg to build it's replacement for sub $400 and the best I could do was the new AM2 Sempron 2800+ and a 7300GT on a micro-atx with 1 gb of ddr2 667. With the extra $100 you have to spend, you could switch out the 7300 for a 7600GT or x800xl tho.
     
  15. Jordan1

    Jordan1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks for all the commnets...ended up ordering what I listed above.
     
  16. kernal_panic

    kernal_panic Limp Gawd

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    I have to disagree about the x850 being obselete. true it lacks a few features that the geforce 7 and x1k series cards have but it has most of the features and higher memory bandwidth than the 7600 series cards. not everyone games on an LCD. i use a samsung 955df.

    is it dated? yes its late o4 early o5 tech but it plays BF2, cod2, hl2, and q4 very smoothly.

    obselete would be the ati 9 series or a geforce 4 or 5 series. you ain't playing anything new with that.

    not an ati lover or hater here nor an nvidia lover or hater. I had em all including 3dfx. i had diamonds original monster 3d!

    personally i was totally un impressed with the 7600 gs. i swear it was slower than the 6800 le i had on my old agp system. since most 7600 gts seem to post 5k ish score in 3dmark 05 with my cpu (athlon 64 939 bus 3500+) i was really looking for more pipes and more bandwidth for AA and AAF.

     
  17. zero_vertical

    zero_vertical Gawd

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    interesting. it seems pretty clear that no one is making 110nm chips, or using shader model 2.0 anymore. 2004 technology is now 24+ months old.

    To me, that's obselesence.

    you comment on the 7600gs, however we're comparing the gt which for the same price, has much better technology.

    the 4 pixel pipes from a practical standpoint have little to no effect, as the 7600gt has outperformed the x800xt on both 3dMark '05 and '06 consistently.

    are you just disagreeing to disagree?

    zv
     
  18. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    If it were obsolete, it wouldnt be able to play any new games, making it useless for a gaming rig. However, since the x850 could still play newer games, it is therefore not yet obsolete. In fact, it is a good card for a budget gaming rig.
     
  19. zero_vertical

    zero_vertical Gawd

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    #2 definition on www.dictionary.com

    -Outmoded in design, style, or construction:

    zv
     
  20. mrjminer

    mrjminer Limp Gawd

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    Clearly, your ability to splice out a single word to base your entire argument off of is, indeed, impressive. Also, I find this a remarkable way to ignore context in order to prove an incorrect point, rather than admitting fallacy. So, let's examine your argument through the lens with which you base your argument solely off of: splicing words and ignoring context, with which an incorrect association of terminology is created..

    Is the x850xt obselete in style?
    No, it is clearly a graphics card of the typical GPU/memory setup.

    Is the x850xt obselete in terms of construction?
    Of course not! I have yet to see a graphics card that is not made on silicon--and the x850xt is no exception.

    Yet, despite these things, isn't the x850xt obselete in terms of design?
    A common misconception would be "yes, it is obselete." However, when examining the design currently used in creating a graphics card, it is, again, clear that the x850xt follows a standard design. For example, the GPU is in the middle of the card, whilst the memory is closer to the shorter edges of the card.

    As is seen above, in utilizing your argumentative capacity, your argument has been, thus, proven incorrect.

    Now, the real question which determines whether or not a graphics card is obselete and, also, which, in addressing, would clearly indicate that you are incorrect: can the x850xt play newer games at a reasonable, particularly, on-par with lower-end, more newly released graphics cards, capacity? The answer to this question is yes, it can. Hence, the x850xt is not obselete.
     
  21. xLiquidx

    xLiquidx Limp Gawd

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    Your choice in ram confused me. 1gb and a 512mb stick? Don't do that.
     
  22. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    Applying the term "obsolete" to the card's usability means that it is so old or outdated that it is no longer in use. On the contrary, this card, as of 7/18/2006, is still very usable with newer games. However, it will soon be obsolete; but is yet to be, as of today.
     
  23. Jordan1

    Jordan1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I was just trying to compare the value of a socket 939 DIY to the 939 eMachines. I ordered 2x1GB of DDR2 for the last confinguration I listed.
     
  24. quadnad

    quadnad [H]ardness Supreme

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    were you able to take advantage of the new pricing?
     
  25. xLiquidx

    xLiquidx Limp Gawd

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    Oh ok, you had me confused I thought you wer going to buy a 1gb AND a 512mb stick of ram. :rolleyes:
     
  26. kernal_panic

    kernal_panic Limp Gawd

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    no i am disagreeing because you are wrong. i was unaware were are now in 2007. x850 tech is NOT 24 months old.

    beat it in 3dmark05 and 06. yeah in 06. not in 05.

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/326/15/

    they got just over 6k on 05with the 7600 gt. I get 6100 with the x850 crossfire (x850xt)
    AND THEIR TEST MACHINE IS A HELL OF ALOT STOUTER THAN MY CHEAP COMPAQ SR1830NX.

    beside. i don't play 3dmark o5 or o6. I play CS source, bf2, and q4. and does the x850xt rock on those games? it sure as hell does. obselete? ha.
     
  27. Jordan1

    Jordan1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you are talking about AMD's price drop, I would say yes. The AMD Sempron 64 2800+ Manila was set to drop to $51 on the 24th and I paid $48 after the $5 discount on Newegg for combining it with that Biostar motherboard.
     
  28. zero_vertical

    zero_vertical Gawd

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    i'm not in the busines of reccomending older, hotter, slower, less efficient, less capable technology to my peers. don't criticize me without facts to back it up. i posted up the data. at the very least, the cards trade blows evenly in 3dmark05. fine, they're even there - :rolleyes: - but the tests for the technology that new games are using seems like a much more valuable measure for the present, and the 7600gt scores much better.

    does it play new games? sure. so doesn't the 6600gt. do you reccomend that to anyone?

    if you want to run an ati, and defend it because you spent the money on it, fine. I own a top of the line card, so i could care less about either of them. i've no more time for F@nb0y discussion.

    zv
     
  29. AdamNesvick

    AdamNesvick 2[H]4U

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    GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS!

    Quit arguing!

    From a Technological standpoint, yes its obsolete, but the x800 high end models compare quite well to the current mainstream cards. Its a wash really, but hey I like my X800XL and will not upgrade till the DX10 cards are out. If you are buying new, look at both and get what fits your budget better. The 7600GT looks nice, but it does have a smaller memory bandwith, and less pipelines. It all depends on what games you play folks.

    Now, kiss and make up! :D:D:D
     
  30. Jordan1

    Jordan1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have got everything put together! The motherboard a RAM seem to be working fine together, along with everything else. I ran 3DMark05 and got 4948 marks. Actual gaming has yet to be done.
     
  31. zero_vertical

    zero_vertical Gawd

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