New budget gaming build - please critique


Mar 10, 2009

I am currently using a Sony Vaio PCV-RZ24G that I purchased in 2004. Still has the stock NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 and only 1g RAM (I upgraded from 512 about a year and a half ago lol). It is very much past it's prime and I'm hoping to get a replacement as my birthday draws nearer. I still need to keep it in the budget ballpark so I've been perusing these forums picking up some much needed recommendations (I am not very computer literate when it comes to hardware). I will be using my old monitor for now and I'm assuming I can install my Windows XP from my old computer to the new one. I also have no need of a new keyboard or mouse at this time.

This is for gaming, surfing, burning some CDs/DVDs. I'm not a gaming fanatic anymore, mainly just play WoW and am sick of the lag I get with my 1g RAM and ghetto card.

Please critique what I have put together. I know there are cheaper options for some of these items, but want to spend a little more than "bare bones" and be able to upgrade other components in time.

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
[strike]CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply[/strike]
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
LITE-ON Black 22X SATA 22X DVD Burner
COOLER MASTER Elite RC-332-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case


Initially I chose to go with the following PSU but upgraded to the above due to a nice discount + MIR. Seeing as how I will need to also buy an OS (grr) I will go back to my original choice.

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

and I believe this is the OS I would choose, yes?

Microsoft Windows XP Home SP3 for System Builders

Build sits at ~700 with changes.

Opinions? Suggestions?

Thank you for your help!



Oct 12, 2007
looks like a good build. my only concern is reusing the windows license. you might run into some problems with that since it's most likley an OEM copy, which is usually permanently tied to one specific computer.


Jan 21, 2009

Well, you know what they say about assuming. ;)

You'll have to buy a new OS, unless that one is a retail copy (which is unlikely).

You may want to add a cooler to your build if you plan to OC.


Mar 10, 2009
I have edited my original post to reflect the need for an OS (and downgrade of PSU). Thoughts on the OCZ versus the Corsair?

Regarding AMD, I have looked at both and read quite a few threads here and I think I feel more comfortable going with Intel. Of course, this may be due to my lack of knowledge and experience on the subject. Is there anything particularly wrong with the mobo and cpu I chose? Shortcomings, etc?

Thanks again.


Apr 19, 2006
i don't think you don't need to buy a new copy of windows it will only work on one machine you might have to call microsoft to validate your upgrade ?
OCZ is not as high a quality as Corsair, but still good quality. The StealthStream series features fewer connectors, but from the description of your system you won't need that many. A review of the OCZ 600w

Nothing wrong with the E5200/P45, but you'd need to overclock the E5200 to get better performance from it and i didn't see a cooler as part of your build or mention of overclocking. The Phenomll x3 710 would give better performance in both gaming and burning at stock clocks.
+1 for Dirtmountain...Unless u overclock the E5200 , i really dont think the P45 and the E5200 are a gud combo...
If u are not overclocking, then may be u shuld get a cheaper Mbbo like the Gigabyte G31 EG31M-S2L ...they go very well wit the E5200 and the mobo gives so many Bios options for overclocking the CPU...
Else upgrade the CPU atleast to E7300 or E7400...

If u are nt planning to add one more GFX card, then u could settle wit the Corsair 400W saving cash for the CPU...Am sure for tis setup, the corsair 400W is suffice...
And am sure u can easily overclock the E5200 to 3GHz on tat Mobo and CPU cooler without any harm to the components...but as u r gonna try it first time, before doin it b sure to google around for proper procedures and correct options to change...sure there are many guides for overclocking but u would have to learn a bit abt the BIOS options before doin it...


Feb 2, 2009
you'd need to overclock the E5200 to get better performance
True, but how much power does the op really need? A E5200 will be more than enough for his applications.

There's a deal for 4Gb (2x2) of Corsair memory currently on The MIR seemed a bit unreliable though.

The HD 4870 is a good choice, but it seems a bit overkill considering you only play WoW. I'd suggest a 4830 for your needs.

There's an Antec 300 for roughly the same price as your chosen case. Picking a case is up to personal preference however. 300

You might want to add a retention bracket for the Xigmatek cooler, as some people find the push-pin design unreliable.

Regarding AMD, I have looked at both and read quite a few threads here and I think I feel more comfortable going with Intel.
You will be able to shave off a few more dollars going the AMD path, but I hardly can make a suggestion regarding an AMD build as I have no experience in the matter.

Good luck!


Nov 16, 2007

I have used the key from my old hp over and over on my systems. The first time it popped up with a validation number request. I called MS and told them i wanted to reuse the copy from my HP on my new build and they said ok. Then gave me a new validation number, this is different than the key/license.

When you buy a whole computer you buy everything on it. All licenses, etc. You have the right to reuse any license.

I have since put that license on my last 3 builds and never had a problem. After that first validation, i never had to do it again. I get all my updates and downloads without issue.

The old pc should have a MS windows sticker with the key on it somewhere. Use that number.

Hell, i even used a install cd from another build. I jsut put in that number.