System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $500 Gaming PC

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silverblue

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I've done a price-check using www.cclonline.com for the UK people. Some of the items required substitution and I know I could've used another site, however to minimise shipping, I felt it best to stick to the one. Pricing is £1 = $1.60.

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 Quad-Core (640) 3.0GHz Processor (couldn't find the 925) £74.74/$119.58 (-$5.42)
Motherboard: ASRock M3A770DE AM3 Motherboard £49.37/$78.99 (+$18.99)
RAM: 4GB Corsair XMS3 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Memory Kit 9-9-9-24
4GB (2 x 2GB Sticks) (couldn't find the G.Skill) £35.74/$57.20 (+$17.20)
Graphics: Sapphire AMD ATi Radeon HD 6850 1024MB £142.26/$227.62 (+$57.62)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda© SATA 6Gb/s 320GB (couldn't find the Samsung) £28.72/$45.95 (+$2.95)
Case: Xigmatek Asgard ATX Mid Tower Case (first gen/UB code) £27.74/$44.38 (+$14.38)
Power: 430W Seasonic S12II Power Supply (again, no Antec) £53.82/$86.11 (+$46.11)
Optical: LiteOn IHAS124-19 24x DVDRW (almost) £12.10/$19.36 (+$0.36)
Total (free 5-day shipping): £424.48/$679.17 (+$152.17)

I'll examine these all in detail.

CPU: The nearest Phenom II was the 955 and I felt that was too much at £103.62/$165.79, however I did wonder if L3 cache would really affect things. The stock speed is higher than the 925. This is the lowest Athlon II X4 they had.
Motherboard: Same as review; can't really improve on it on this site.
RAM: Looks to be comparable, unfortunately it's rather costly. There's some Patriot RAM which would cost £31.76/$50.82 but I can't see anything about timings aside of CL9, so I'd steer well clear.
Graphics: Same, however there's an XFX model at £133.87/$214.19 which would save $13.42. Not enough to really come close to the US price, and the first of two areas where this build's cost really falls down.
Hard Drive: A Barracuda with the same basic specs, except is suitable for a SATAIII connection, though I can't help but feel that the Samsung would use a bit less power.
Case: They didn't do the ASGARD II. :(
Power: Where this all falls down the second time... I admit, the 500W OCZ ModXStream Pro Modular Power Supply looked just as good as the SeaSonic for £4.43/$7.09 cheaper though it lacked the 80 PLUS Bronze cert. I just can't find a PSU anywhere near as cheap as that Antec that you found. :(
Optical: I'm not sure of the difference besides a slight change in model number. Both (apparently) perform similarly.

I suppose if I tried a couple of other sites with a little more leeway in the specs then I might have more success, but UK prices will always be a bit OTT in comparison.
 

the real zothos

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Hey i did a $500 gaming build here check it out!!!


Direct link--> http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/2231/500gamingpc.jpg

---System Spec's---
CPU AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2Ghz Quad Core Unlocked Multiplier $140

CPU Cooler AMD boxed heatsink/fan $0

Motherboard Gigabyte GA-880GM-D2H Socket AM3 $70

RAM Crucial 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 (PC3 10600) Model C19-6156 $55

Graphics EVGA Geforce GTS 450FPB 1GB GDDR5 Pci-E 2.0 Dx 11 Fermi (Comes With a Free Performance Boost Overclock) $110///$140-$10-$20=$110! Instant Savings of $10 plus a $20 Mail-In Rebate WoOoW!!!

Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 750GB Sata 6Gbps 7200 RPM 32MB Cache $50

Case Ultra E-Torque ATX Mid Tower Clear Side $30 $99-Instant Savings $60

Power DiabloTek PSDA600 DA Series 600W Dual 12V Rails $30

Optical ASUS DRW 24x DVD Burner SATA $19

Total Price
$534+$20 Mail-In Rebate ToTal After Rebate and Instant Rebates !!$514!! WoOoW :)



 

dazed69

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A 6850 needs 450 watts ,40.00 buys a 500 GB HD and why not get a refurbished or open box heat sink for 10 bucks and OC that chip.Bottom line why waist 500 dollars on an outdated dead platform when you can build a solid performer on a new platform for 700 hundred delivered.
 

dazed69

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[citation][nom]jtt283[/nom]You miss the point, which is to see what can be built for $500 (or in this case, $530).[/citation] No my friend you miss the point.
I'm surprised the editors didn't catch it either,1 more time for the slow of mind .

Power Antec EarthWatts Green EA380D 380 W $40 "this wont power a HD6850 card " or any decent card for that matter . "wont work,good luck building it".
 

dazed69

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Power supply is too small ..........

380 watts not enough

450 watts recommended for a 6850 card

Why is nobody seeing this ? destroys integrity of the whole article,everyone knows you don't go cheapo on the power supply.
 
G

Guest

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You should really include the cost of the operating system in these builds. This isn't a $500 build, its a $600 build once you install windows 7.
 

dazed69

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What ever, i forgot not to go by the Cards requirements.I wouldn't build this for anyone i liked or lived with that's for sure.My roommate just asked me to build him a PC for 500 last month,i told him save up another 200 dollars and i will build him a real PC not an outdated dead platform made up of the cheapest parts possible with a decent graphics card.

If this contest was build the ugliest dead platform's possible you succeeded...congratulations Paul.. lol

also after the os and keyboard/mouse/speakers/monitor plus tax and shipping this will cost more like 900.00 so i don't get the point of this article at all.It appears you just google some cheap parts from new egg or TD ect then pair it with a good graphics card/cheap brand and call it a gaming PC,wow ! I'm impressed .......not





 

Onus

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You must be used to using Logisys or Diablotek PSUs that aren't good for any more than half what's on their label. Manufacturer "requirements" are unfortunately biased to account for such lousy PSU-shaped objects. Competent technical reviews have found Earthwatts PSUs to be slightly UNDERrated. Hard evidence (e.g. actual measurements) clearly indicate that the 380W model is easily enough for this build.
 

frazik

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if you put a 6870 instead of 6850 would there be enough headroom for the PowerSupply? -- cuz im thinking maybe there could be better performance by a considerable amount; though im not entirely sure (ive checked the benchmarks) . a real question so replies appreciated :)
 

frazik

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[citation][nom]Dazed69[/nom]What ever, i forgot not to go by the Cards requirements.I wouldn't build this for anyone i liked or lived with that's for sure.My roommate just asked me to build him a PC for 500 last month,i told him save up another 200 dollars and i will build him a real PC not an outdated dead platform made up of the cheapest parts possible with a decent graphics card.If this contest was build the ugliest dead platform's possible you succeeded...congratulations Paul.. lol also after the os and keyboard/mouse/speakers/monitor plus tax and shipping this will cost more like 900.00 so i don't get the point of this article at all.It appears you just google some cheap parts from new egg or TD ect then pair it with a good graphics card/cheap brand and call it a gaming PC,wow ! I'm impressed .......not[/citation]
so is the additional 200 for the os and mouse/moniter, etc? or ur building a 700 dollar computer.. then after the Os/ mouse etc it should be around $1100 no?
 

pauldh

Illustrious

You are totally wrong in all three of your rants about the power supply. Did you read the consumption page where the system's peak demands during full CPU+GPU load pulled about 250W from the PSU.

The EA380D green is easily sufficeint for this build, even overclocked and running a rediculous high Prime95 + Furmark torture load. In fact we have used it in more power-hungry builds also.

Keep in mind not all power supplies are equal and not all system's have the same load demand. A global "450W requirement for a 6850" would allow a cheaper PSU with far less +12V output than this 380W Earthwatts, paired with a higher-consuming system.
 

walterm

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You can get more watts on sale at this price point or near it. Neo ECO 520 or 620 comes to mind. Corsair CX-500.
The build parameters are parts at EVERYDAY prices anyone duplicate at any time.
On the other hand until you start using a Killawatt or similar device to measure actual power usage you are over estimatiming power requirements.

 

pauldh

Illustrious

Good points... Sales, combos, and rebates will give opportunity for a higher wattage rating while still retaining quality. Thankfully the trusty EA380D has remained steadily available for $40.

A simple cheap Killawatt meter would indeed open some eyes on actual consumption; I use a Watts-Up Pro, which logs the max peak power usage without the need to watch the meter. From there it's a simple matter of factoring in the efficiency of the PSU. FYI... the upcoming build is even more of a miser. ;)
 
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