Computer build.. Need help finding the right parts.

By ryan29121
Mar 9, 2008
  1. Alright I'm building a computer for a guy and I need some suggestions on what to get. He has an old computer currently but wants me to build him a better one for gaming. He primarily plays Everquest but wants to be able to play some of the newer games such as Bioshock. His budget is around $400-500. Considering it is extremely hard to build a computer for that amount of money I would say that he could use some of his parts off his old computer to save on some money. I think that his case, HDD, and DVD drive are re-usable. I compiled a list of parts but I am in need of some more suggestions that would give me the best bang for the buck. Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions.

    XFX GeForce 8600GT XXX 256MB
    Rosewill RP550-2 ATX12V v2.01 550W PSU
    G.SKILL 2GB DDR800
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ 2.8GHz
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    I'd drop that PSU and run with the ELT400AWT.

    If you did that, you'd still be under the cap by about $180. If he's willing to spend the full $500, I'd either build around the Core 2 Duo or drop the 8600GT for the 8800GT.

    Core 2 Duo Replacements:

    Crucial Ballistix 2 x 1024MB / DDR2 1066MHz

    You'd still beat the cap by roughly $30.

    8800GT Replacement:

    EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR

    Still enough left over for a nice lunch on him ;) (roughly $50ish).
  3. fairytale00

    fairytale00 Banned Posts: 56

    For the 8800GT replacement, I know a deal on the MSI CA9654059 video card is $188.
  4. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 173

    Those parts together with the PSU equal roughly $725. Little too high for his budget. Also do you think that 400w PSU will be enough to power everything with enough for minor upgrades in the future?
  5. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 403

    As far as psu's go, it's better to purchase a higher rated unit. Even though a lower one will do the trick, it gives you head room down the road, let alone when the cpu is under load. I'd go with at least a 700 watt dual rail psu. Stick to the big names like Antec, XFX, OCZ, Thermaltake or Ultra.
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    The ELT400AWT has 40A on the 12v rail and is more than capable of powering the hardware you are looking at.

    Hmm, I think I added wrong initially because you've only got $100-120 to work with, not $180 as I said. Truly sorry about that, I was distracted at work when I posted.

    I wasn't suggesting to build around the Core 2 Duo and get the 8800GT. I think the Core 2 Duo based system I suggested (with the 8600GT) is around $550, not $750, unless I am still leaving stuff out haha :(. You could still build around the Core 2 Duo and be around the max budget if you went with the E6420 but based on some of the benchmarks I have looked at, the CPU that you have chosen scores better.

    That said, I would just go with the ELT400AWT, the 9600GT instead of the 8600GT along with the rest of the components you have chosen. That should put you at around $470-475 before shipping, assuming I didn't mess up this time around :).


    No, sghiznaneck he does not need a 700w PSU.
  7. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 173

    any extremely cheap CPU cooler I could get for it? He doesn't plan to overclock at all so nothing too fancy.

    Also I am building this computer for a job so its not someone I really know. Whats a customary price to charge for a computer build? $75? $100?
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    I'd spend the extra $10 and go with something like the "ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro" or "Scythe SCKTN-2000".


    Meh, based on the reviews at Newegg of the heatsink you initially chose, it should be ample for you if you're going to run the CPU at stock. Scratch what I said :).

    I don't really charge a flat rate. It varies between people and situations. Usually I just leave it up to them and they are more than generous. They'll usually give me more than I was going to ask for.

    There are times when I know I won't be getting what I want for for time and effort I've put into a situation and I will quote prices that are 10% higher than Newegg.
  9. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 173

    The CPU cooler that I originally selected mentioned in the specifications that it only supported up to AMD 5000+. Since the CPU that i am thinking of getting is a 5400+ will that cooler still work?
  10. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

  11. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 173

    great thanks again for all your help. Any other recommendations?
  12. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    Not off the top of my head, no :). No problem at all and good luck with the build :D.
  13. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 173

    Great. Thanks for all your help.
  14. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 173

    One more question that I came across. I only recently started to get involved with computer building so I am not too familiar with the older parts. The motherboard that I selected only appears to have one IDE connector. I will be re-using some of his old parts such as his DVD drive and HDD both of which are IDE. Will I be able to connect these with only one IDE connector on the motherboard? I know that multiple hard drives or multiple disc drives can share a single cable in a master / slave array but I wasn't sure about one disc drive and one HDD. Will this work?
  15. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    You can indeed use them both on the same ATA cable, just make sure your HDD is the Master.

    I generally don't recommend it because you might slow data transfers to the HDD down a bit, though, I'm not precisely sure how significant or how noticeable it would be.
  16. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 173

    Alright I figured it would work like that. I guess I can always get a SATA DVD drive. They are only about $30.
  17. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    You can get a PCI PATA controller card for less than that if you're interested ;).
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