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Building a not too expensive computer

By Lunarburn · 11 replies
Nov 25, 2006
  1. I’m trying to build a relatively inexpensive gaming rig for about $600 or so (I already have a few parts, that’s why that number is so low). I’m not including an OS in that price. I would ideally like to be able to play games along the lines of Half Life 2 and Oblivion - but not necessarily with all the bells and whistles like AA and AF, et cetera. Any suggestions regarding the parts or whether the entire system is compatible would be deeply appreciated!

    Here’s what I have for pieces so far:

    Case + PSU: Antec Sonata II (with 450 PSU).
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
    Monitor: 20’ Olevia LCD
    Have cheapo speakers. Decent keyboard and mouse. Have a card/floppy drive reader. DVD drive.

    This is what I’m thinking of buying, for about $550 (-$40 MIR):

    Motherboard: ABIT KN9 ULTRA Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP ATX www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813127008, currently for 76.99

    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2.2GHz Socket AM2
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103747, currently for $183

    Memory: CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145568, currently for $106

    Video Card:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16814143070, currently for $184.99 - $40 MIR = $149.99 (eventually)

  2. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    You actualy have the perfect budget for a AM2 gaming system


    Endprice is about $600-700 depending if you want to add or change the system specs ( I would change the videocard to a 7800-7900 from nVidia and getting a 700w PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817341002 )

    If you followed the guide and got all the stuff and only changed the PSU & videocard to the ones I listed your end price would be about $800 which isnt too far from your budget and would give you triple the performance of any Dell / Alienware ( if you compare it to those crap systems :haha: )

    Hope I helped ;)
  3. Lunarburn

    Lunarburn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the article link - that was actually incredibly helpful. Wish I'd chanced upon that before trolling through the threads. I take it with my generic currently Antec Sonata included 450 PSU, that it would be insufficient for the hardware that you're proposing? How about for the bits I'm proposing?

    Finally, what Nvidia 7800-7900 card were you thinking of? The GeForce 7800-7900 GS/GT/GTX? When looking on Newegg, ZZF, or Tiger, there is quite the number of choices - any particular cards recommended?

    Thanks again, the input is quite welcomed.
  4. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    That 450 watt PSU is powerful enough to run quite a lot. It's not just any old generic PSU that comes with a case. It's an Antec PSU and Antec is one of the best PSU makers. As for those 7800 or 7900 videocards, they go in order (from worst to best) as follows: 7800GS 7800GT 7800GTX 7900GS 7900GT 7950GT 7950GX2 7900GTX

    Of course this means that the higher you go the more expensive they get, with the exception of the 7900GTX which actually costs LESS than the 7950GX2. The GX2 is actually 2 7-series cards built into one for SLI on one card. However, a single 7900GTX can still beat it by a fair margin because the GX2 has much slower clock speeds.
  5. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    First off, i would recommend an Intel e6300 over that x2. All the 7900 series are good cards, but in your price range the 7900gs or gt would be fine.
  6. seemab123

    seemab123 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    everything should be fine but if u want to have no lag at all during games like oblivion i sugesst 2 gig memory.
  7. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 596

    Actually a 7900GS is about equal to a 7800GTX and is better than GT.
  8. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Lol I fixed the order.

    And, it's not really possible to not have any lag in oblivion. I can always tell who has it and who doesn't because the people who don't assume it can be ran perfectly with no lag at all on max settings. Of course, no current hardware can do THAT.
  9. Lunarburn

    Lunarburn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for all the advice, everyone. All parts are ordered, I'll let you know how it goes!
  10. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 596

    What about an overclocked Kentsfield and 8800GTX SLI? That should be able to conquer oblivian.
  11. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    I run oblivion with on max with no lag with an x1900xt 4gigs of pc6400 and a e6600.
  12. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Nope. Kentfield has no visible performance advantage in games over any Core 2 Duo of equal speed. 8800GTX SLI would prob be able to run 60FPS at max settings with HDR at... maybe 1024x768. 1280x1024, might get 45-50, and at 1600x1200 ... maybe 35. Those seem alright but the FPS drops QUITE alot in battle (on my system goes from about 20 normally to about 7 in battle. So maybe 40 in battle at 10x7 and 25 at 12x10 and 15 at 16x12. Thats my estimate anyway.
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