[New System Build] $300 Gaming PC

ngaminglee

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I already have a Nvidia 9800GX2 with two gigs, but do not want to spend anymore than 300 for the other components. What would you guys recommend?

Thanks,
-n

ps. Thanks again to those who responded to my earlier thread. After seeing how much i'll be paying in taxes, my budget has gone done substantially.

pss. I got the 9800GX2 as a gift and am trying to put it to use!
 

xthekidx

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Dec 24, 2008
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hmm well that is pretty tight for components, GPU aside.
Try something like this:

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116072

Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136074&Tpk=wd3200aaks

Dvd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147095

PSU and Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.175053

Cheapest I can do comes to $375 after shipping and rebates :( Hopefully you have an OS, otherwise that will cost you another $100. Do you have any components you can scrounge from a previous system?
 

the1tarheel

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Without $100.00 more this is virtually a dead horse. Nothing that could be built for that price range would either support that video card or do it justice.

Save 100 more and then use xthekidx's answer and you will have a decent gaming machine for a little while
 

ngaminglee

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I have windows vista already and i have a dvd drive sitting around .. but that's about it :(


 
Rosewill R604-P BK case $40 with free shipping
It's a better case, less expensive (shipping included) and most important about 1.1 longer and has a removable hard drive cage, if necessary, to better fit that long 9800GX2 video card.

xthekidx's combo'ed PSU is a notch less than the 600W PSU recommended for 9800GX2. To get more power (48ams vs 38amps +12V), get a rebate and save on PSU shipping charges I'm suggesting:
OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W $70 plus $20 rebate and free shipping

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+ AMD Motherboard $75 plus $10 rebate
Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz CPU $60
WD Caviar 160GB SATA HDD $42
4GB RAM listed above.

With tax and shipping to my zip code that comes to $367 before $55 in rebates. If you live in a NewEgg no-tax state your total after rebates will be $288

 
AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103300

ASRock A780FullHD $56.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157149

Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500YD 250GB $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136010

LITE-ON IDE OEM DVD Burner $20.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106281

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371007

Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) $38.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134641

And that gives you a total of $296.94 for a system that isn't too bad. Of course you're going to have to overclock the CPU. What about the case you ask? Screw it down to a piece of plywood and call it an open air system. Hey for $300 bucks that's about the best you can do. Of course you will also need to provide an OS. If you really want a case though you're going to have to plop down at least an extra $26 plus shipping for something like this flimsy Rosewill Case

Rosewill R226-P-BK $25.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147110
 

xthekidx

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Good finds on the PSU and Case, I would swap those in instead in my build. However I disagree about the Mobo/CPU. The E5200 overclocks higher than the Kuma and gives better results in games. The limit on the Kuma tends to be about 3.4ghz or so, I have seen people get the E5200 up to 4.0ghz, and on top of that the E5200 runs more efficient cores clock for clock. If you had them both at the same clock speed the E5200 would be much better. The CPU will bottleneck that Card and if you want to run Crysis, then you should go with the E5200.

The HDD is cheap, but the one I used is only $12 more and has twice the capacity and is a faster drive, you get much more for your money with that one.
 

xthekidx

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Yeah but a CPU cooler can be bought later when he has the cash, its not imperative to the build. You can OC an E5200 to about 3.2-3.4 or so on stock cooling. The Kuma runs hotter and you probably can't go over 3.0ghz on stock cooling
 

I agree that the E5200 overclocks better - but it might not make that much difference in games.
Most games become GPU bound before they become CPU bound. Even overclocking doesn't always scale like you'd expect if you only look at CPU speeds.
Having a 9800GX2 lifts the CPU bound threshold in many games but you'd be hard pressed to find a game where either a stock E5200 or stock X2 7750 didnt deliver very good, playable framerates.

icon2.gif
The E5200 might be "better" but the X2 7750 is certainly "good enough". And it fits his budget.

occpu.jpg

 

xthekidx

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Its like $20 more for an E5200 than the X2 7750...which is well worth the price difference IMO. Neither of the builds we suggested can be fit in his $300 budget...you have to wait 6 weeks or so for those rebates to kick in and if he can only spend $300...doesn't sound like he has the money to spare.

As for megamanx00's build, The mobo is very limited, and screwing it onto a piece of plywood is just brokeass IMO lol.
 
More like $55 difference for the CPU/MB combo. And if he runs either CPU @ stock the performance is about even.



 

xthekidx

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I only chose that Mobo cuz it was offered in a combo, originally I chose the GA-EP43-UD3L to go in that build, then forgot that I had changed it lol. That mobo is $5 more, $20 for the CPU...still worth it I think.

Why would you run them at stock speeds? Overclock them as much as you can to get the performance out of them. On stock cooling, the E5200 will overclock higher due to its 45nm manufactering process and generate less heat. I have heard people going to 3.4ghz on stock cooling with manageable temps on the E5200.
 

xthekidx

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WR2 you are right that the 7750BE is more affordable now, but I'm working on the assumption that the higher potential of the E5200 will be realized later when the OP gets $40 in his pocket and can afford a CPU cooler that will unlock the E5200's engine. If he will just build this thing and not touch it after that, then the Kuma 7750 is the better option to be sure. Maybe its just my mindset but I always think of the upgrades potential when I'm building.
 
icon2.gif
The E5200 might be "better" but the X2 7750 is certainly "good enough". And it better fits his budget.

If he's comfortable expanding his budget? Then there are even more options to get a better performing, more balanced system.

 

xthekidx

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Fair enough. My point was though that its not really possible for him to do this without expanding his budget, so once he did expand his budget...yeah. And I don't think I have seen a more unballanced system with a 9800 GX2 + 7750 BE or E5200 lol.
 

ngaminglee

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Doh, what would be the real core minimum for a system that can maximize the GPU's performance? And how much more will it cost?

BTW, thanks for all the responses !!
 

xthekidx

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ngaminglee

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All all for OC. Except, I hear now that there are 12 parameters to tweak and there isn't a definitive method to doing it. Sounds like an art to me of which i have absolutely no experience in.

I have a screen at 1920x1080.