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Building a $800 Gaming Pc


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#1
hoopsman

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i already posted this on the hardware forum, but not on the system building and upgrading forum so here goes. my friend told me that he now wants to take pc gaming semi-serioulsy, since his parents wont let him buy a console. he is willling to spend 800 bucks for a gaming pc, and i was wondering if there was some parts anyone would recommend, because i would be building him the computer.
thanks
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#2
Richiiee

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Hi there,

If it's going to be a gaming computer, I'd recommend going with a processor from the AMD Athlon 64 X2 series.

An AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ dual-core @ 2.8GHz should be great. If that's a tad to expensive for your liking, maybe a AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Black Edition dual-core @ 2.6GHz should be good. I'd recommend the first, though. The second one doesn't come with a heatsink or a fan, so you'd have to buy that seperately. Plus its L2 cache is smaller than the first one's.

For a motherboard, an Asus M3A32 MVP Deluxe is a good choice. 4x DIMM slots, Wifi, 8GB max RAM @ DDR2, PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, and it supports both of the processors I've listed. If you choose a processor other than the ones I've shown you, post it here first so I can tell you if it's compatible with this motherboard or not. It must be an AMD Athlon processor, though. This motherboard doesn't support Intel. And everything I'm going to list from here on out should be compatible with that motherboard, just for your reference.

For an optical drive, take a look at the Samsung SH-S203B DVD-RW combo drive. Reads and writes CD-R/RW, reads and writes DVD-R/RW. Great combo drive, in fact the S203B is known as one of the best combo drives ever made for desktops. Also, it's SATA.

For RAM, I'm looking to get the Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2, personally. Reviews seem good and the specifications are good. It's DDR2 @ 800, so it's not quite the most elite RAM set, but it's definitely very good. If you can find a set of RAM sticks that run DDR2 @ 1066, that should work, too. You should even be able to get 2x that product if you want and the motherboard should be able to support it.

For power supply, you can't go wrong with the SILVERSTONE ST50EF-Plus ATX 12V 2.2 500W Power Supply. Very good PSU. Solid 500W, should be a good amount for a gamer. It's black, though, so you might want to consider that when choosing a case.

For a hard drive, as long as it's a Seagate or Western Digital @ 7200 RPM, you'll probably be good. Take a look at the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS. Large 250GB hard drive, plenty of room for games and other applications. 7200 RPM. It's really almost never worth it to go to 10000 RPM. Also, 5 year warranty and it's SATA. Seagate Barracuda is a very good brand.

As for the graphics card, this is really a very flexible choice. I'd need to know what you would want out of the card first and foremost. What kind of games will it be playing? What are some of the basic system requirements some of the games that will be played are? Are they newer, top-of-the-line games that require extremely powerful cards? Choosing a graphic card is probably the hardest thing to choose when building a computer because there are so many brands with so many specialties and models and speed and other things. Explain a bit about what you'd want out of the card, and if you have any of your own suggestions in terms of brands and/or models and I'll be happy to provide you with a few recommendations. Good luck.


Richiiee
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#3
kamille316

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Since this is a gaming machine, I strongly suggest going with Intel, check out this benchmarks.

Will your friend be needing a monitor, keyboard and mouse? If not here's my suggestions:

Motherboard: Gigabyte P35-DS3L for $89.99
Video Card: XFX 9600GT for $169.99 (before a $20 rebate)
Processor: Intel E6750 for $189.99
RAM - Corsair XMS2 for $53.00 (before a $25 rebate)

I agree with the above poster's suggested power supply, dvd-drive and hard drive.
In total, it comes to $685.94 (from Newegg) before tax, shipping and no computer case, monitor, keyboard and mouse.

For the processor, there's quite a few Intel 45nm dual processors that are great for overclocking but they're mostly out of stock or costs quite a bit more than what I selected.
The Intel E8400 is around $209.99 so if there are spares, you should opt for this.
The RAM does not have a very tight timings (5-5-5-12) but I trust Corsair and Mushkin a lot more than others. You can opt for the Mushkin RAM for $50.99 for a tighter timings (4-4-4-12).
What resolution is your friend going to be playing at? If he has a big monitor (22") then I suggest opting for the http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814150253 for $209.99.
I didn't suggest anything for the case as this is subjective, ask or show your friend a few cases and he should choose one that he likes.
There are some good ones like Coolermaster CM690, Antec P182, Antec 900, etc...

Kamille

Edited by kamille316, 03 April 2008 - 10:45 AM.

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#4
hoopsman

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thanks for all the help guys, i really deeply appreciate it. the only problem is that my friends parents probably arent going to let him have a new computer, so the chances of him even getting one are really slim. one thing he definitely would want though is a new videocard. he has an aging dell with 1gb of memory, a 2.8 ghz P4, and a crappy onboard videocard. he has plenty of PCI spaces, so i was wondering if you guys knew the best possible PCI card out there, because i know they are very cheap because no one uses them anymore.
So please let me know the best PCI videocard that you can come up with.
thank you for all your work
hoopsman
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#5
Troy

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Hi there,

It would not be worth upgrading onboard video for a PCI video card. PCI is the oldest of old options available. He may as well just keep the onboard system running and save the $$$ for when he is allowed to purchase new components.

Cheers

Troy
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#6
Richiiee

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Are you sure he didn't mean PCI-E? What model of Dell does he have so I can look up its information?
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#7
stettybet0

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Believe it or not, before AGP and PCI-E, graphics cards were made for PCI slots. Even after the advent of AGP, some budget systems, such as the one the user seems to have, still only had PCI slots.

Anyways, I think the best PCI card is the HD2400Pro. It should perform decently on low resolutions and settings on most games, except for the newest ones.
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#8
happyrock

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how did this get from a $800.00 gaming rig to a PCI video card... :)
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#9
stettybet0

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how did this get from a $800.00 gaming rig to a PCI video card... :)


I believe it was the 4th post. :)
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#10
james_8970

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I really recommend you don't touch a PCI GPU. You're honestly wasting your money if you make this purchase.
James
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#11
stettybet0

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To pay $55 and be able to play most games sounds like a pretty good deal to me for a semi-serious gamer. Of course, it's not ideal, but if that is all the budget allows, then I'd go for it. It'd be a monumental increase over the integrated graphics the user currently has.
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#12
hoopsman

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i think the 70 bucks in all for a the best PCI graphics card is definitely going to be an increase compared to a 100mb built in graphics, so i am going to put it in for him probably, and he'll order it soon. thanks for all the help everybody, and i am sorry richee i dont know his model number, i forgot to ask him
hoopsman
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#13
james_8970

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Are you absolutely positive that there is no PCIe or AGP expansion cards on this computer? If you're not sure could you run a program on his computer to verify this?
I stand by what I said, the purchase of a PCI card is not something that I'd recommend. You'd be much better saving that money to put it towards something new.
James

Edited by james_8970, 09 April 2008 - 05:26 PM.

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