Need to build comp on 600 dollar budget

By link590o · 118 replies
Aug 24, 2007
  1. I have 600 dollars to work with almost immediately in the coming months.

    I'm wondering it is possible to build a computer around an AMD athlon 64 x2 6000 cpu, and an nvidia 8800 gts 320 mb video card and have it not exceed 600 dollars. can someone please suggest ways to create a nice super computer without going over the budget? i'd prefer not to wait long for more money because i'm getting 400 now, and 200 every following semester. it'll be 5 months before i see 600 dollars and thats already a long time to wait.

    is there anything that has parts similar to if not better than the parts i mentioned that i can make with 600 bucks?

    (P.S. I'm going to try getting some sort of a side job where i can make 50 bucks a week but i dunno if it'll work out. so i'm not counting that in my cash flow. don't want to get my hopes up.)

    the reason i'm asking about this now is that i have a good setup in mind, but now that i'm not getting the cash i thought i was getting, i'm adapting. any suggestions would be overwhelmingly appreciated.
  2. akaivan

    akaivan TS Maniac Posts: 470

    with 600$ i highly doubt you can build an x2 6000 ghz cpu with an 8800, for 600$ i just built me a pc with an amd x2 3600+ and a 8600gt....
  3. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    wow....that's not very encouraging at all... sounds like my hopes are shattered unless i settle for less or i find money.
  4. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    just how good of a computer CAN be built with 600?

    even a list of parts and rough prices will do. i don't need a mouse, monitor, keyboard, or cd drives. basically i need only the case and mobo, ram, video card, processor, psu, hard drive, and fans.

    the three most important to me on that list are processor, video card, and the psu depending on the kind i need. i want everything to work properly.

    with this in mind, i hope it becomes easier.
  5. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Here is a list I made for $800:

    DVD drive:
    CPU heatsink:

    Total: $838 ( might be abit higher, I lost track on a few numbers and probably inputed a few mistakes, you might have to recalculate ;) )

    And a list another member made along time ago for a short $400

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane - $65.00
    Biostar tForce 550 ATX AM2 Motherboard - $78.99
    Corsair ValueSelect 1GB (512MB x2) DDR2-667 RAM - $64.99
    Seagate Barracuda 160GB SATA-2 HDD - $56.99
    eVGA e-GeForce 7600 GT 256MB -$109.99

    ASUS 80mm CPU Cooler - $8.99
    Apevia Turbo-Link 500W Power Supply - $39.99

    Total Price (With shipping) - $438.22

    I tested the above and the $800 one myself, they both run very good, the PSU for the 2nd list could be upgrade to this

    But the price will be possibly over your $600 budget ( or really really close ) so you can switch around the parts, if you do repost your list and i'll check it and see if it works ;)

  6. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    i've compiled a list meanwhile.

    RAM- $100

    Case- $69.99



    Hdrive- $49.99


    PSU- $139.99

    Video- $124.99

    It's a very rough list. the total reaches 633.94 WITHOUT the shipping. I neglected it in my pursuit for a list of low cost quality parts.

    I think I overspent in terms of the PSU. 700watts for this system, and its a rather expensive PSU. Not sure if that's the kind I ought to get for this system. Yes I do want to upgrade my computer with stronger video cards or processors later, but there's no sense in getting that kind of raw power for that price right now. I think a wattage somewhere in the 600-650 range should be more than enough, and it's right where I'd want to be. But I found it rather difficult to find. A little help please? =D

    I think i found some of the same parts that were listed in that 400 dollar computer you mentioned. I know I got the same Hard drive for sure. I got a similar biostar mobo. (made sure it was AM2 socket btw). i got a two gigabyte memory deal from the same brand, and the 512 mb version of the 7600.

    I know it'll be a little more expensive, but I would like to insist on a beefier power supply. I want to be safe not sorry. Too many horror stories were traded over the camp fire about computer components frying or breaking completely because of a crappy PSU.

    If you have any propositions on how to make it cheaper than that while still maintaining a strong gaming platform capable of running Vista Premium and many modern games, then please tell me. I don't know if I want to downgrade any of the parts even more than I have already.

    I apologize if I sound a little vexed or edgy about the computer. I'm just trying to set it straight right now that I fully intend this to be a gaming computer.
  7. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    Here is a system that I am actually putting together for a friend, and they want it around the same price as you. It comes to a total of like $730 but that is with EVERYTHING. So here is just the parts that you wanted. Except with out the case and the OS. Hard drive Motherboard Graphics card PSU memory CPU

    The total of that comes to $391.94. Then just add your case and OS and you got it. You could go with the 512mb version of the 7600GT like you had in your previous post but the 256mb version saves you like $30 or so and I think they have pretty much the same specs. I dont really know what the extra memory gives you but I have the 256mb version and I can play BF2 on med. You could get a motherboard that will allow you to go SLI with the cards and just get another 7600GT 256mb later. That is what I plan on doing. :D
  8. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    well if that is the case i have a very good question.

    i keep seeing people with sli systems and i'm not quite sure if i understand the concept. i know that if you add two gpus together you have better graphics processing power. i mean...yeah most of the 7 series and 8 series cards have fantastic graphics especially compared to my sh*tty pci card.

    i guess what i'm asking is, does adding a second card of the same type mean better graphics? or just better framerate?

    i'd like better graphics, but better framerate is good too. and since either is probably true, then i just might end up doing so. and doing some more shopping. in the meantime, i'll check out that system you just posted and see what you've put in it.

    ok the only thing that i noticed was lacking in the specs you just posted was the lack of case fans both for cpu, and overall cooling. not to mention thermal paste so i can put in that cpu and not have it explode into flames on me.

    but accounting for the average costs of said pieces of equipment, i don't see why it would be much more expensive. 5 bucks for thermal paste, 30 or 40 for a fan, two of them if i feel like it, and another 40 for a CPU fan and i'm good.

    the only other thing is as i mentioned earlier, i want a psu better than 500 watts. apart from that its a solid machine. most likely i'll use those specs and mess around with it.
  9. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    I don't think you will need a different CPU fan since the CPU already comes with one. I know that on my AMD Athlon CPU if I were to get a different CPU fan other than the one that comes with it and use the one that you would buy it would void the warrenty. Its just me but I would rather keep the warrenty than get a better CPU fan. My Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.4ghz 4600+ has a temp of around 41C at idel and goes up to around 50 to 55C at load. So really it makes no sense to buy a different CPU fan. Save that money you would buy the CPU fan and get the better PSU.
  10. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    oh word?...i didn't know it came with one. i assumed it was a solo package...just the cpu. if it already comes with a fan, then screw it. i'll agree with you there. i just wasn't sure. but either way, i'll still want to buy another fan for the case. cooling is important to me since i live in a hot humid climate. just look where i live. i'm not risking having ANYTHING over heat.

    but i'll be brutally honest with you though. i'm really torn between better CPU or better PSU with the money i save there. i could have a really nice computer right now, or i could pump up the juice and just get better parts later. both sound really tempting. the only reason i'm so torn is that i'm not sure how often or how much money i'll be getting.

    it depends on whether i can get a job meantime. i heard about a really easy job where i can work 1 or 2 days a week and get 50 bucks a week. but i'm not sure if i can get it or not. my parents have pride issues and they don't really want me getting a job so soon. nor do they think i can handle my college classes with a job on the side. if i can get the job, then i'll be buying a top of the line model right now and save money from there on in to buy upgrades as technology improves.

    since i can't be sure of the money, is it better to buy a stronger part? or a part that allows stronger future parts even if there may not be any? raw power with minimal flexibility? or just a lot of flexibility?

    also, nobody really answered my question. do two graphics cards provide better graphics overall? or better framerate or both?
  11. God Of Mana

    God Of Mana TechSpot Paladin Posts: 493

    Building a computer? Parts are more expensive than a computer on its own....
  12. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    Mana, in case you didn't read the rest of this topic, there are lots of computers these nice gentlemen posted that are far cheaper and far better than some of the cheapest prebuilt desktop computers i've looked at. I even customized one that had discounted parts, and it still came out more expensive than what these guys posted. Quite frankly, I'm not sure you know what you're talking about.

    i have NEVER seen a desktop with a dual core, a nice graphics chip, plenty of memory, a decent hard drive, and a few extra bangs go for as little as 391. Go for a price that low anywhere else with a prebuilt, and you're getting screwed because you can find better parts for cheaper. and these guys already have.
  13. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    I would save your money for the better PSU then getting a CPU fan. If I were you I would get the CPU fan latter. The CPU will run cool enough I would say just with the stock cooler, and by all means I would deffintly get more case fans. I need to actually get some better ones for myself. :) To tell you the truth I really don't know what SLI really does. :D
  14. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    i really honestly have to wonder if anyone does. i'm sure there are plenty that do, but none of them seem to particularly like answering in this topic.

    all i know is that it equals better graphics processing. and i can only draw conclusions after that.

    so the only logical thing to come to after that is that it's good. that's all we need to know. and if it's good, i'm definitely going to do it. the only thing i have to watch out for is voltage and cooling. but buying plenty of fans and a good PSU should cover that. i just hope that someone finally comes in and enlightens us all. that i have at least one good opinion, i guess i'll take a look at the parts you came up with, add the better psu and stuff onto it, see the total plus shipping, and then i'll save the list and buy it when i have the money.

    at least after i do this, i have a computer that lets me upgrade. this dell 2400 was specifically designed not to be upgraded. a maximum of 1 gig of ram, a built in piece of sh*t video card, a crappy psu, and a processor that has the capability of loading microsoft outlook at 100% load....f**k that.

    i modded the CRAP out of this thing. i cleaned out the registry, added a hard drive, added a PCI ATI Radeon 9250 128mb card, removed unnecessary components, installed a RAM booster...and it still runs like crap thanks to that CPU...a celeron 2.2 ghz from 10 years ago.

    i really really really appreciate your guys' help with this. i'll finally be advancing into the world of technology.
  15. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    NO problem man. I just advanced into the world of "technology" a couple of months ago myself after owning a dell dimension E310. I gotta tell ya building one yourself is SOO much better. :D

    Good luck on your build! Oh and one more thing, you could maybe upgrade the memory to 2 x 1gig instead of just 1gig. It will cost around $80 so see what you have after you upgrade certain parts then see if you can upgrade to the two gig. :D
  16. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    oh you friggin BET i will. i'll be messing with it to see how cheap and how great i can make it with what money i'll have. i just need to watch out for the sh*t brands. what's your opinion on that? should i just follow the comments that people left along with the rating? or should i just go by the price and judge that way? obviously price reflects quality. but for all i know there's a really cheap and really great part out there that nobody knows about or hasn't tried.

    Here's what I come up with. The total without shipping is 599.93! =D

    PSU- 99.99
    HD 49.99
    Mobo 59.99
    Video 89.99
    Mem- 109.99
    CPU- 129.99
    Case- 59.99

    I'll assume the shipping will be like....30 bucks. so its well within my price range.

    I went with the better power supply, 2 gigs a RAM, a processor with at least 2.6 ghz, the 7600 you recommended, a coolermaster case, and the hard drive you suggested. the rest of the parts i need i can steal from this comp, and i'm all set. KICK A55!

    the only thing i'm worried about is i'm not sure if the mobo i picked supports sli. can anyone look at it and tell me if it is? or find one that has it for the same price?
  17. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    Ok everything looks pretty good there. I wouldn't go with that motherboard for two reasons. 1 is that it does not have the two PCI x16 slots for SLI mode and 2 is that its OEM which means it does not come with any of the cables you will need for hooking everything up. (at least I think it doesent :) ) You could get some cheaper ram so that you could get a little better motherboard.

    Memory I have the A-data brand with the 2x 512 and they work great for me. And they are just a bit cheaper then the brand you picked. There is some high performance memory from A-data (the same, 2x 1gig) for around $94, so you could consider getting those to. They are not that much cheaper than what you chose but a little.


    This one is just a tad more expensive then the one you picked but it supports SLI and is not OEM, which means you won't have to go and buy all the cables that you would need. :D

    **EDIT** The way that you tell if a motherboard is SLI is if it has two PCI x16 slots and if it says SLI in the name of the motherboard. :D
  18. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    yeah i figured it would. i found a mobo that was really cheap and had two pci x16 slots that was also from biostar or whatever. but when i clicked my saved link, it just brought me to a page telling me that the item could no longer be viewed so i had to go find it again.

    the other thing is, i'm not sure if i really need to get the extra cables. i was planning on stealing a bunch of them from my computer. for example, i already have the connecting wire for the hard drive. but i suppose having extras aint a bad thing =D. sweet deal. sam good sir, you have earned a lot of my respect.

    once again, i must thank you. nobody else put in anywhere near as much effort as you have with this. looks like i have the computer i want. and now i just wait until january or so and see what i can get. i'll keep looking for cheaper parts though, and i'll let you know if i get money, or when i get the computer.
  19. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    No problem. Post the link for the motherboard you found and I will double check for you to make sure it supports SLI. :D
    OR just look in the specs and it should say if it does. But I guess if it has two PCI x16 slots it should support it.

    **Edit** I would still go with the motherboard that I picked out though. Couple of reasons for that, If you get the OEM one then it will not come with any drivers for it which means you will have to download them. So you have to have a pretty fast internet if you don't want it to take eons. Asus is one of the best boards you can get to, from what I have heard (mine is doing good for me :D ). Also if you go with the $80 A-data memory the total of everything you have comes to almost the exact same price as you figured, the price that it came to was 599.95. So you will be getting a better motherboard, in my opinion for the same price with everything together as you had with the OEM board. Your decision in the end but I thought I would add this last bit in there. :)

    Have fun building!
  20. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    here's the new and improved list. 612 bucks or so.

    PSU- 99.99
    HD 49.99
    Mobo 89.99
    Video 89.99
    Mem 92.99
    CPU- 129.99
    Case- 59.99

    without shipping again of course, but i can compensate.

    this time i went with the A-data memory you suggested. they look pretty good and have decent reviews. i'll go with them. and the mobo, i went with a biostar and specifically searched for one with sli. 88 bucks. and it has the number of pci-e 16x slots i desired. i said. i'm gonna keep looking. see if some deals get cheaper.
  21. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

  22. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    damnit...i KNEW something would go wrong somewhere...its those small details that elude me.....oh well. that's why its better to make a computer yourself and learn it, eh?

    and hey...its like...10-20 bucks cheaper now. thanks for catching that.
  23. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    sorry for having taken so long for any sort of a reply to this thread. meanwhile i've been very busy, and i've gone through a few crises.

    BUT. i checked up on that list of parts. and i found out that it now comes out cheaper. some of the items went down in price. it is now 28 dollars cheaper. total without shipping is 584.93.

    sweetness =D
  24. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    If you shop on newegg, don't get the rebates ;)

    When I got a rebate for my videocard ( ATI x1650xtx pro ) it took 3 months for the $20+ dollars to come back, and I had to go directly though Sapphire ( the company of the card ) to get it because newegg crapped out for it ;)
  25. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    oh i know better than to pay any attention to the rebates. i go with the standard price without the rebates and go from there. i don't even plan on bothering with trying to get them at all in the first place. i'd waste more time and effort than it was worth.
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