Budget gaming rig, any suggestions?

Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
610
I've been using a laptop primarily for the past 4 years or so (doing little to no PC gaming) and I'm ready to build a new desktop system but I have no clue what the current state of the cpu, chipset/motherboard, video card market is these days. I want to use this for gaming but I'd like to finish the whole system for maybe $800 or so I'm really interested in best value components, like where the performance vs. price curve peaks.

Basically I need:

cpu
motherboard
memory
video card

Integrated sound and network stuff is fine for now. AMD/Intel or ATI/nVidia doesn't matter really either.

So any suggestions?

Edit: I just found this on Google, from March: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1822641,00.asp
How relevant are all those suggestions, has much changed since then? I would probably forgo the Audigy and I don't need a keyboard or mouse but I would probably want to go for 2 GB of ram though.
 

silent-circuit

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
16,136
E6420 - $185 or so. OCs easily with aftermarket cooling to 3.2+Ghz. Add $40-50 for a Scythe Ninja Rev. B or Sunbeam Tuniq Tower.

Motherboard: if you don't plan to buy a 45nm 1333Mhz FSB CPU in the next year or so get a 650i Ultra based motherboard like this eVGA ($97-$20 MIR = $77).

2GB of DDR2-800 should run you $90-110, maybe with a rebate, maybe without. Cas 4 is preferable, but Cas 5 would be fine. Cheapest you can find. You won't be OCing the RAM with that processor (it has a high multiplier and you'll be running linked/synced so RAM speed = FSB speed, which will be 400Mhz -- 800Mhz DDR -- or less) so brand isn't that important.

A LiteOn 20X SATA DVDRW should run you around $33, $40 or less if you want LightScribe support.

Harddrive wise, a Samsung Spinpoint or Seagate 7200.10 will do you much better for not that much more. $110 or so gets you 500GB.


Do you have good a PSU? If not, set aside $80-100 for a good 500-550 watt unit. Silverstone, Xclio, Seasonic, Corsair are all good options here.

If you can swing it a Geforce 8800 GTS 320MB is the way to go, but $250 could easily be outside of budget. If so, a Radeon X1950XT at around $150 is a good option (though it has no DX10 support) or a Geforce 8600 GTS, though the 8800 is head and shoulders above both, particularly if you want to play any upcoming DX10 games. Thus far it seems the 8600 simply isn't fast enough for DX10, even if it supports it officially. ATI's newer cards aren't even worth looking at.

Even with a PSU and the 8800 GTS you're coming out at $900-ish before shipping. Should be a nice machine.
 

jimmer411

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
102
Personally for a budget gaming rig I would avoid intel with a budget that low.

CPU: AMD 3800 X2 Windsor 2.0ghz. This is a F3 revision chip and they are overclocking to 3.1-3.5ghz~ $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819103068

Motherboard
: Biostar TF560 AM2+ Motherboard. $79
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138081

Ram: Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800. These are D9 and will do DDR1000+ speeds easy. $114
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?scriteria=BA23794

Videocard: Evga 8800GTX $546 ($516 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130072

Comes to $804 + shipping. This will smoke that C2D rig in games. What PSU do you have? If yours isnt enough for the 8800GTX you could always get the 8800GTS and a PSU and still come out around the same.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
3,343
Personally for a budget gaming rig I would avoid intel with a budget that low.

CPU: AMD 3800 X2 Windsor 2.0ghz. This is a F3 revision chip and they are overclocking to 3.1-3.5ghz~ $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819103068

Motherboard
: Biostar TF560 AM2+ Motherboard. $79
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138081

Ram: Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800. These are D9 and will do DDR1000+ speeds easy. $114
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?scriteria=BA23794

Videocard: Evga 8800GTX $546 ($516 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130072

Comes to $804 + shipping. This will smoke that C2D rig in games. What PSU do you have? If yours isnt enough for the 8800GTX you could always get the 8800GTS and a PSU and still come out around the same.

I think he needs at least a power supply too, probably optical drive and HDD as well.
 

jimmer411

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
102
Basically I need:

cpu
motherboard
memory
video card

Integrated sound and network stuff is fine for now. AMD/Intel or ATI/nVidia doesn't matter really either.

So any suggestions?


I think he needs at least a power supply too, probably optical drive and HDD as well.

Im kinda only going off that. If he needs a PSU I would drop down to an 8800GTS 320 and a Corsair HX620 and a samsung DVD burner.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Ok this week Intel is releasing a few new CPUs as well as slashing prices on their quad-core CPUs. So you should wait till the 22nd to order a new CPU. You'll get more value from your purchase.

So on the 22nd, they're releasing the E6750 CPU. Early previews of that CPU shows that it's a pretty damn fast CPU for the price and it will replace the E6420 CPU in that price bracket. So I recommend getting the E6750 for $183 from newegg.com on July 22nd.

As for the motherboard, I recommend getting the Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R motherboard. It will support Intel's new Wolfdale and Yorkfield CPUs, faster and more efficient versions of Intel's current Core 2 Duo CPUs. Also, the mobo will allow to upgrade to DDR3 RAM when it becomes cheaper and significantly faster than DDR2. This means that you won't have to upgrade the motherboard for quite a while in order to support DDR3 RAM. The DS3R overclocks pretty decently if you ever want to take a crack at overclocking. Here's a review of it:
http://techgage.com/article/gigabyte_ga-p35c-ds3r/1

NOTE: Since that review has been released, the P35C-DS3R has dropped in price by $20. So that con is moot. As for the mediocore overclocking remark, it's also moot since I'm betting you're not going to be a hardcore overclocker. Oh here's the sales link for it:
GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R Intel P35 Motherboard - $155

As for RAM, I recommend getting this G.Skill set. I've used this set myself in several builds and have yet to see any problems. And don't worry, G.Skill is a reliable brand: G.SKILL F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ 2 x 1GB DDR2 800 RAM - $90

Now before we go to the video card, we have to talk about power supplies. The most important part your PC is the power supply. If a power supply is crappy, then it can and will take out your entire system. So always spend a bit more cash on a qualty power supply. I'm going to go ahead and assume that your power supply won't be enough to power your new system and recommend this power supply:

Corsair HX520 520W PSU - $100

Now lets get on with the video card choice. I recommend getting this video card because it's one of the best bang for your buck video card IMO:
eVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB PCI-E Video Card - $280

EDIT: If you want to save a bit more money, drop the motherboard down to the GA-P35-DS3R motherboard. It's pretty much the same as the board I wrote about above but with not DDR3 support. But you'll save $25 that way:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R Motherboard - $130

That should total up to $783 with the P35-DS3R motherboard.
 
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