Help me fill in the blanks on this budget build


May 22, 2007
Well, two of the computers in my house recently died out. Have another thread on it, but I'm expecting the worst so I'm planning a parts list in case they don't come back alive. :cry:

I haven't built a computer in years so I'm out of the loop on which models to look for. I read that even prebuilts nowadays can get even cheaper than buying your own parts, so that's also something I'm considering...

I'm trying to build a budget computer (Under 550$ each hopefully? 400+ would be awesome but something tells me that ain't happening), that can at the very least play Left4Dead at medium settings. It's not for me, but for my siblings. :wahoo: I guess Diablo 3 and SC2 would be better benchmarks? I think they'd kill me if I build one that couldn't play them although I don't think system requirements are out yet.

I'm deathly afraid of parts being incompatible. Upgradeability would be nice to save some money long term.

2 systems of...

GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail 85$

No idea.

No idea.

No idea. 9600GT? Radeon HD 4670?

Probably will opt against it.

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - 65$

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail - 30$

I do have some of these lying around though, too old?:

No idea. I do have 1x Antec NEO 480W (Max) though, but I'm not 100% sure it still functions.

DVD Drive:
Sony Optiarc Black SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM - 27$

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - 50$

Also have an old Antec case, but not sure if it will fit motherboard.

Got my Windows XP CDs around here.. somewhere.

Have spare monitors lying around. :wahoo:

257$ so far excluding tax/shipping.

Thanks for reading.

Well if your going to go for a cheaper cooler master case (great brand btw) then it's hard to beat the Centurion 534 for airflow/cooling. It has a meshed front, side airduct and vent, and is set up to run 3 x 120mm case fans. It comes with two of them, but you deff. want to add that third one for better airflow/cooling. <--- better pics and reviews of that case on this link $41.82
Cooler Master Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP No PS ATX Mid Tower Case (Black)

or..... $22.99
Centurion 534 Black Mid Tower, W/O window, W/O PSU - Refurbished $4.99
MASSCOOL FD12025S1L3/4 120mm Case Fan - Retail

This is the same mobo you chose...and it's a great one btw..over clocks great, but I found it cheaper on this site down below. $74.99
GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L Core 2 Quad/ Intel P43/ DDR2/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

Nobody uses 2 gigs of RAM anymore. Even if your 32 bit OS only reads 3 gigs, 3 gigs > 2 gigs...get Vista 64 later on down the road, or better yet Windows 7 when it comes out. But ditch the 2 gig idea. $39.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

Best bargain cpu's are the E7200 (my fav btw) and the E5200. E7200 has more cache and a multiplier of 10.5. So with a decent heatsink you can easily move up your FSB to (10.5 x 333) and run it at 3.5GHz @ 1333 FSB. With the E5200 it has a multi of 12.5, so it's easy to move up your fsb to (12.5 x 266) and run it at 3.32GHz @ 1066 FSB. Combo Price: $135.59 Free Shipping
E7400 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz 1066MHz 3M LGA775 CPU, OEM
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU Fan For Intel CPU
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

or..... $119.99 Free Shipping*
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

or... $72.99 Free Shipping*
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

or... $62.00
Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor E5200 2.5GHz 800MHz 2MB LGA775 CPU, OEM

New gts 250 512mb down below. It's comparable to the 9800gtx+ but it uses less power, it's on a smaller die..runs cooler, has more goodies, and uses only 1 PCI-E. $129.99
EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Here's some quality psu's to consider. Good amperage and efficiency. $59.99
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ400FTY 400W ATX12V / EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $59.99 ($49.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $59.99 ($49.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $74.99 ($64.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

The OCZ Fatal1ty PSUs have not been reviewed yet, AFAIK. Antec (esp. Earthwatts), PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, and Seasonic would all be safe choices. An Earthwatts 430 is $55 now.
I liked the looks of that Coolermaster case, and bought one. I had to properly tap some of the standoff-holes, but that wasn't too big a deal.
If you are not going to overclock these, stay away from the E5200 as it is slow at stock.
I'm looking for an excuse to buy a 4670 myself. It uses very little power, and for the games I play (Guild Wars and Sacred 2 mostly), should be fine. My primary rig has a 4850 in it, which is overkill for those games at 1680x1050.
Oh, and I agree with xthekidx on the Seagate drives. I would not buy one. I've been getting WD drives, mostly 320MB, and they've been fine. For $80 though, I may pick up at least one or two of the one he linked.