Very interesting and thanks for the reveiw. Its nice to know what we can get for 500 but I also think it continues to show the dual vs quad debate. Even in the low end sector this question is poping up. Unless rendering is involved on a budget it makes no real sense to go quad today and besides if your on a budget your likely to upgrade it in a couple years anyway.
I know time is limited but is it really right to compare the stock 8800gs to an oc 3870.
Anyway I think the results show that at 500 bucks you can build a nice gaming pc and thats number has come down quite a bit.
I just did a build like this a bit over a month ago. Unfortunately, I went with an Athlon x2 4000+ which, even overclocked, can't come close to the Pentium Dual Core OC'ed. The case and power supply combination presented here is an excellent value - I chose the same power supply with a different case and total cost was 33% more. I had to choose a 8600gt as well because of a lack of material on the 8800gs at the time. The 8800gt fell in price dramatically though so I picked one up and got rid of the other card. That brings me to my point - after rebates, an 8800gt can be had for 150 and a 9600gt can go for 110 - has there ever been a better time to do a budget build?
I built something similar to this for a friend. I came in at $550, but I have 4 gigs of ram, and a better power supply. I didnt OC at all. I could have reused the old HD and knocked $60 off of it but I wanted to dump all the ATA stuff in the case except the floppy. I also reused the old case, which is how I got a better powersupply. Also used a 9600 GT for a little nicer card. She had a copy of Xp to throw on it.
Quad vs Dual core in a budget machine is really shown here. The quad core just simply isnt worth the money right now. Not enough apps really take advantage of it.
Overall its a smoking little machine. The processor with nothing but a heatsink change will hit 3 ghz + as shown in this article. She games, but is on a 19" LCD, which has a native resolution of 1200X something I think so the 9600 GT is plenty of video card for her.
Overall this is a great article and $500 can easily be adapted to whatever you need give or take $50 depending on what components you salvage off the old PC.
I agree with Kaldor. This was a really good article. You could see in the benchmarks what a better video card could do for you. It would have been interesting to see the results if there had been time to OC the GPU.
I think the dual vs. quad debate is more relevant when multitasking is involved. Certainly in a budget build a dual is the right choice.
I think what this really shows is that the $110 spent on the SBM cpu was a waste of money. These results just proved that the E2160 is still much better than the Phenom quad, especially for overclocking. Using that CPU seriously handicapped your low cost SBM machine.
it is a good start to talk about low-budget pc for gamers. The majority of pc users around the world are poor (the same goes for general populace), most of us in Sudamerica we can only dream of game rigs or such. If you add the problematic off the "technology delay" (in Argentina a 780G board is unavailable, and 700 chipset is worth here a U$S 415.00)we can denied a serious problematic.
I hope to see a Spider platform in the same bugdet or on lower one, and thus, compare.
Would've been nice to have a 3870 GPU like the so called "budget" build that was built in March, but this shows that you can still have a decent gaming rig for about $500. I would've bought CAS 4 DDR2 800mHz over the CAS5 stuff they used. After MIR it would've been cheaper and faster, but the initial price would've pushed the budget over the $500 limit. I'm betting if the $50-75 more for the 3870 in the April build, would've towered over the March build. It definately would've been nice to use the same memory/GPU/HDD on all of the builds and just vary the CPU to see what "really" matters in games, which we all know is the GPU (in general).
Yes, that is nicer, but you would then need to cut $25 out of the system someplace.
When on sale, that is a really great Case/PSU combo.
But, they were not counting rebates in their cost analysis.
The counted the Full $130 for the video card, not the $100 AR price.
Prices are always dropping and you may always find an amazing deal.
Example - I bought their Case/CPU combo for $35 from New Egg a few months ago.
An 80+ Certified 380w PSU is more than enough for most sytems.
Probably NewEgg or someplace else.
Maybe even a little comparison shopping.
I can buy the CPU on line for about $20 less than they have listed right now. (Buy.Com and Google Checkout.....)
The RAM, I can get that for about $10-$15 less.
I bought the exact case for $30 less a few months ago.
If they wanted to count rebates, the GPU was really only $100 not $130.
So all in all, it's a fairly honest shot at a $500.
Of course prices change from day to day.
The best thing is that all of the parts are QUALITY.
The PSU is 80+ Certified and Top Notch.
Superbly rated Mobo for the price.
Double LifeTime Warranty on the GPU.
PMR Recording on the HDD for good performance.
Well Reviewed CPU Cooler.
RAM that was well tested in the past by them.
Good Name DVD-RW.