pc for around $800

By bolton1202 ยท 22 replies
Jan 24, 2007
  1. Hey all,

    I'm thinking of building a gaming computer sometime in the near future for around $800. I was looking on newegg for parts, and there are so many different components/companies, that I figured maybe someone could help me narrow it down.

    I am personally an AMD/ATI man, but I'm asking you: if you had $800, what would you get and why?

    Heres what I came up with. Anyone have a similar setup or care to comment?

    Antec Performance One P180B Black 0.8mm
    AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 2.4GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor
    DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert Socket 939
    eVGA 256-P2-N624-AR GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit
    ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink
    CORSAIR XMS 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)

  2. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    You're still missing a power supply (PSU) and drives (HDD + Optical) on your list.

    Do you have any components from previous systems you can recycle?
  3. bolton1202

    bolton1202 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ahh, sorry, should have included that I will be recycling all the components you mentioned from a previous system. I'm waiting to see how much power I need before I think about a PSU.
  4. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 373

    400 watts

    Id say you should be able to get away with a solid 400 watt psu for that system. Just get a decent brand. For that kinda wattage it shouldnt come at a price premium. Id say $50 should hand you a pretty sturdy PSU. Although the jump to a 500 watt alternative should not hit your pocket to hard either as offerings in the sub 550 watt range are dirt cheap now a days. Just make sure it has a PCI Express power connector for the 7900
  5. bolton1202

    bolton1202 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    will do. thanks alot for mentioning the PCI power chord bit. I didnt even realize that that was necessary. Guess I'll be picking up a new one as im guessing my old one dosent have one.
  6. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

  7. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Check your intended game requirements first.Then be sure you will qualify.
    It might help to know where you are.
    But try to shop in person and have trained salespersons to help.
    MDG has great packages across Canada.

    Not sure if MDG is in the USA.
    I see your from Boston.
    Try Best Buy.My buddy in Chicago does well there.
    Did great on Boxing week.
  8. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Posts: 385

    Haha, BEST BUY? I've seen them selling a 9800PRO for 300$.

    System looks O.K. Get a solid PSU though. I suggest in the 500W range, the 7900GS is quite powerful. And make sure it's good in quality, theres no comparison between a 600W 50$ [insert made-up/crap company here] and a 400W 50$ FSP Group, for example.

    Also, why S939? If you're going with AMD then use AM2 (and thus DDR2); S939 and it's DDR1 memory are as good as dead.

    And unless you will overclock, you don't need that over-hyped 50$ zalman. If you WILL overclock, though, use your 50$ wisely and get a Scythe Ninja/Infinity.

    EDIT: Didn't realize you're getting an OEM chip. Either way though, take a look at the Scythe Infinity and Scythe Ninja before you buy that zalman.
  9. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

  10. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Posts: 385

    Ok, so I exaggerated a bit. Still, 140$ for an X1300.
  11. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Who's 800 dollars ?

    I'd just like to add this from my experience.I have never bought from newegg
    or any other online store.So heres what i see happening.
    Just a bunch of oem's in a nice plain currior box.
    It's also known as a barebones system.
    No manuals or extra's.
    And have fun getting replacements.
    I shop in my local dealers.
    Go shopping and buy whats known as Retail box components,with all extras.
    Like games,utilities and Applications.
    See each website for what these boxed items include,like Creative.ATI,etc.
    Heres my favorite dealer.I bought the parts and they installed them free.
    It takes an expert to install a motherboard and cpu,and set the bios.
    Yes it will cost more.
  12. bolton1202

    bolton1202 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did some thinking and decided that a socket AM2 does make more sense to get. Does anyone know if a dual core processor is good for gaming? I read that most games dont yet take full advantage of dual core. If this is true, will the first core at least operate at the posted frequency? Example: I get a AMD athlon 4200, will the first core operate at 2.2 ghz for the game?
  13. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    Both cores will operate at 2.2Ghz and yes games don't take full advantage of multiple cores, but hopefully they will in the future.
  14. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Bestbuy usually overprices videocards, but sometimes they are ridiculously underpriced. Once on their website I saw a 7800GTX (back when they were worth $500-600) for $189. It only took a few hours before the price was back at $600 but...
  15. foozy

    foozy TS Rookie Posts: 139

    Go Socket AM2, not 939, DDR2 alone is worth it.

    Also, do you really need a dual core for gaming? I'd scale down the case and cpu a little and go with more RAM. Also I would shell out a little bit more money and go with a GF8800, thats the only video card out there right now (I think) thats DX10 compatible. Unless you plan to overclock a fantastic mobo is probably uneccessary too.

    I'm kind of a minimalist, though :) What kind of games were you planning on playing?

    edit: dual cores are great for multitasking and multiple process environments, but are you going to WANT to dedicate your cpu to anything else while gaming? i'd use a single-core athlon 64 with a good clock speed instead - perhaps 3800+ for a budget build?

    edit #2: did I mention how awesome DDR2 is? <3
  16. bolton1202

    bolton1202 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    To be completely honest with you I really wouldn't be doing anything else while gaming unless I got a dual core. This is because in all other instances it dosen't really make sense in my opinion. I'm spending money to play games, why would I waste performance in that aspect to do things I could wait and get done once I'm finished? Most people I've talked to have said the same thing you have, seems to me like the best idea would be to get a single core processor. Some people have also said to get a nice heatsink/fan and overclock a bit.

    Does anyone have any ideas for a reliable, overclockable AM2 board with onboard sound?

    Games id be playing would be doom3, wow, and some others, none of which surpass the requirements of doom3.\

    Is a GF8800 really the only card compatible with dx10?
  17. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    Yes, it's the only one currently that supports DX10, but most games right now are developed for DX9 and unless you also get Windows Vista, you wont be able to play DX10 games anyway.
  18. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Posts: 385

    For now, yes. But in the soon[ish] future ATI's R600 DX10 cards will be coming out, with performance higher than the 8800GTX/GTS, and yet the prices will be the same and even lower.
  19. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    I'd get a dual core processor. In my opinion, though, it's up to you whether or not to go with AM2/DDR2. cuz socket 939 is still pretty good, and probably cheaper. But yeah, it's up to you. I still say dual-core though.
  20. foozy

    foozy TS Rookie Posts: 139

    AM2 and DDR2 are the same price if not cheaper than 939/ddr1. Also there are still a few 939 boards that have 240pin dimms if you REALLY want to go 939.

    If you want to overclock stay away from budget boards. I think overclocking is more of a pain than its worth, especially if you don't know what you're doing, but i know i'm in a minority there.

    As far as motherboards, MSI, Asus, and Gigabyte are the big OC brands.

    Me? I'd go with the Biostar TForce 550, but i've never overclocked a biostar board, and I hear their overclocking utilities suck.

    btw, go with a good RAM brand, nothing will mess up your system worse than cheap RAM
  21. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    Just a question: how could a socket 939 processor support DDR2? Does the motherboard have some for built-in thing to do it?
  22. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Posts: 385

    It doesn't - it uses its own expansion slot into which you plug in a card that has some DDR2 dimms and an AM2 socket.

    ...Atleast, that's how I remember the ASRock boards doing it.
  23. foozy

    foozy TS Rookie Posts: 139

    Uh, I think that they made mobos that had ddr1 OR ddr2 slots, kind of like how old boards used to accomidate slot-load and socket-load cpus? Maybe i'm making stuff up though, I don't know.
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