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Snake@War

Budget Rig...

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Hey guys! Well as the thread title shows, I might be in the market for a new desktop. The only problem is, I only have a $600 budget. I might be able to find quarters for shipping and all lol. So... What kind of PC could I get for ~ $600?

My preferences:

Processor: Intel, at least Core 2 Duo...

GPU: Probably NVidia unless ATI has improved their support for Linux boxes.

Mobo: Either SLI or Crossfire support would be nice, for any later upgrades. Also, if I don't get a good sound card now, I would like to be able to get one in the future... eSata as well.

Ram: I am thinking I might need 4 GB but I don't know if that would be overkill on a rig like this.

Sound: Preferably an X Fi if I can afford one, but sound isn't at the top of the list...

PSU: Capable of supporting my rig + plans for expansion in the future such as sli or crossfire.

HDD: 500GB or more

Case: Could be butt ugly like my current rig, but I would like a nice one, not necc though.

So, what do you guys think?

Thanks...

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Head over to MaximumPC.com and see if they still have the build your own guides to 3 different costs/levels of hardware. I believe there was one around the $600 range if I remember right.

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What kind of PC could I get for ~ $600?

A good one.

Processor: Intel, at least Core 2 Duo...

Agree. An e840 or Q6600 if you can find one cheap and mildly and o/c it using stock fan.

GPU: Probably NVidia unless ATI has improved their support for Linux boxes.

Linux!!! Ok, nvidia it is. 9800GT

Mobo: Either SLI or Crossfire support would be nice, for any later upgrades. Also, if I don't get a good sound card now, I would like to be able to get one in the future... eSata as well.

Do not buy for later. If you do not need crossfure or SLI now and then do not buy a motherboard with this capability you are simply wasting money. Get the P35 chipset boards and save a heap of cash. The P45's/x48s are a waste of money for you. Just make sure thmobo. has what you need on it - decent onboard audio, eSata etc.

Ram: I am thinking I might need 4 GB but I don't know if that would be overkill on a rig like this.

It's cheap buy 4 GB of DDR2 800 to support the mild overclock - no question.

Sound: Preferably an X Fi if I can afford one, but sound isn't at the top of the list...

A waste of money. Use the on board sound from the motherboard. Most now have excellent onboard sound for gaming unless you are an audiophile.

PSU: Capable of supporting my rig + plans for expansion in the future such as sli or crossfire.

Don't sucked in to buying megawatt power supply. A good 400 W unit will run virtually any rig. short of a madass setup. So get the cheapest quality PSU you can afford. I like seasonic, but honestly, even the $20 el-cheapo's would be fine....most likely even come with the case.

HDD: 500GB or more

Case: Could be butt ugly like my current rig, but I would like a nice one, not necc though.

A money pit. But hey, if it rings your bell and impresses the chicks :blink:

Hope that helps.

The focus should be on CPU, graphics card, memory, mobo.

Dav.

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How much money WOULD it cost to build for the future? Would It be like only 100 extra? Please tell me. I'm the kind of person who continually upgrades and upgrades... Yeh I'm poor lol... I have an 7 yr old AGP mobo (Absolutely NO idea what kind...) that had a 9600 pro (1 step down from top of the line at the time) and 512 mb of ram when I first bought it. I have kept upgrading it but now the AGP has died completely and I need pci-e to survive.

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Great advice from Davros, especially about SLI and build for now not the future. Get the best GPU in there you can now and forget about building for SLI.

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Should I get PCI-E or PCI-E 2.0 on the motherboard... I've heard about PCI-E 2.0 being unneccesary... is this true?

Also, would a q6600 be better than a e8400? Same price, but different # of cores and clock speeds... What do you guys think?

Also, how do I know what is a good motherboard?

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For selecting your CPU, go here from that list of applications, select 2 or 3 that are relevant to your usage, and look at the resulting charts - look down the chart until you hit your price range, that's the CPU you want :thumbsup:

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Well, 660 shipped isn't terrible...

LOGISYS Computer Area 51 CS51WBK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450W Power Supply - Retail

Item #: N82E16811148030

$39.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Item #: N82E16822148262

$54.99

EVGA 512-P3-N879-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Item #: N82E16814130416

Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy

$184.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail

Item #: N82E16820231122

$44.99

Rosewill RCR-FD201 USB 2.0 Card Reader - Retail

Item #: N82E16820223110

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30 - OEM

Item #: N82E16827136153

Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy

$44.98

ASUS P5Q SE PLUS LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Item #: N82E16813131347

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail

Item #: N82E16819115036

Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy

$264.98

Subtotal: $634.92

Shipping: $28.01

It's $60 less to get the 9800 GT, but the GTX+ is like it's BadA brother...

Take off 45 for rebates...

Edit: Oh, the item numbers are Newegg

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Should I get PCI-E or PCI-E 2.0 on the motherboard... I've heard about PCI-E 2.0 being unneccesary... is this true?
Yes - don't bother with 2.0 - if it's on the board, fine, but don't make a mobo. chouice based on this.
Also,  would a q6600 be better than a e8400? Same price, but different # of cores and clock speeds... What do you guys think?
Diff. is in the base clock speed and also the 8400 overclocks WAY better and easier (mine runs stable as a rock @ 4Ghz - but that's with 1066 DDR and a Thermalright XP120 cooler...so may not be your cup of tea. But will reliably o/c with stock cooler and stock voltage to 3.5/3.6Ghz - an easy performace gain for no risk/cost.). Not many app's use quad. but hey, if you are feeling like playing it safe, and are not going to o/c go quad.
Also, how do I know what is a good motherboard?

No such thing as a bad mobo. with these chipsets. Just get one that has all the connectors (sata, eSata, 6 USB's etc) you want at the cheapest price. The diff. is ###### all and mainly relevant to hard core tweakers - (oh, and posers if you get one of those Fat1ity boards).

Dav.

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don't use the P5Q... it's an intel chipset meaning crossfire not SLI

if you like nvidia it's not the board for you.

Look at the P5N-D

It's SLI and nforce based... sold a few at work... good bang for the buck.

Make sure you match the ram also... go to the manufactures site and match it to the board. You don't want ram issues and most don't like messing with the voltages to make them compatible.

Here is a review on the mainboard.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct....5-AS&tool=3

Good choice in vid card btw... evga's are nice and the 9800GT is cheap.

Oh and if your doing Vista... grab a quad. It will use all cores for the O/S... apps and games may not but the O/S will fly. also with Vista get he 64bit edition if you want to actually use 4gb of ram.

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When selecting your mobo, don't get caught out like I did and assume because it's a quality board it'll have the essentials, as mine doesn't have firewire, which I needed for my digicam. Had to go buy a slot in card for it.

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All you (really) need:

$34.99 SIGMA ORCA ORCA-B Black/ Silver SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail (sturdy, light, simple, functional, cheap)

$19.99 hec HP485D 485W ATX12V Power Supply - No Power Cord - OEM (solid, more than enough power, quiet, cheap)

$64.99 GIGABYTE GA-P31-ES3G LGA 775 Intel P31 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (good quality, OK for overclocking, got everything (except FireWire), no need for PCI-E 2.0x16 - that's just marketing)

$82.99 Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E5200 - Retail (45nm, low power draw, runs very cool, overclocks to 3.2GHz on stock voltage - easy)

$99.99 MSI N9600GT 512M OC GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail (stock-OC'ed to 700MHz/1.9GHz and there is enough headroom, great performer, runs almost every game on max settings, very quiet, low power draw, Linux drivers)

$24.99 Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model KHX6400D2/2GR - Retail (enough for most apps & games, solid choice, does OC, cheap)

$49.99 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (solid, fast, plenty of space)

$20.99 LITE-ON 20X DVD+-R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DH-20A4P-04 - OEM (who needs LightScribe? if you find a cheaper one, go for it)

$398.92 Grand Total (maybe less with promo / mail-in rebates)

If you want to upgrade this rig later, just get a new (not too new - better to go for last-gen - it's cheaper and performs just as well!) SLI mobo and a second 9600GT (485W PSU will still be sufficient), throw in another 2GB of RAM, maybe a second HDD, and you're all set! :thumbsup:

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$600?

Is this for a kitchen utility or something to game on?

Sorry, if I were you I'd pocket those bills and head up north to Vegas- and the nickel slots.

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^

OK- glad that's settled. (Pick appropriate Imoticon)

Perfectly adequate if you are willing to settle for low to medium settings in current/future titles in the genre as well as being even further behind the 8-ball in trying to keep up with, if not just the Jones, then at least the starting admission of the next big game.

____

OP:

Salvage what you can from your old system, save to build around a solid base, and save yourself the headache and regret of another also ran.

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Perfectly adequate if you are willing to settle for low to medium settings in current/future titles in the genre

NoQuarter, I agree - this price point will hardly get you the cutting edge of tomorrows technology, but please remember that it is not always a question of being willing to settle for less, but being able to afford paying a premium for this privilege.

And then there might be the occasional gamer who - although sufficiently funded - still decides to set a reasonable limit on expenditures, maybe in view of another, significantly larger picture - like corporations that turn to dust after years of exorbitant runaway spending on nothing but credit, and all the jobs that may soon hang in the balance. ;)

It is easy to go out and buy the best by picking the articles with the highest price tags, but I think it deserves more respect if something "good enough" can be achieved for minimum cost.

Salvage what you can from your old system

A very good point! :thumbsup:

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Perfectly adequate if you are willing to settle for low to medium settings in current/future titles in the genre

NoQuarter, I agree - this price point will hardly get you the cutting edge of tomorrows technology, but please remember that it is not always a question of being willing to settle for less, but being able to afford paying a premium for this privilege.

And then there might be the occasional gamer who - although sufficiently funded - still decides to set a reasonable limit on expenditures, maybe in view of another, significantly larger picture - like corporations that turn to dust after years of exorbitant runaway spending on nothing but credit, and all the jobs that may soon hang in the balance. ;)

It is easy to go out and buy the best by picking the articles with the highest price tags, but I think it deserves more respect if something "good enough" can be achieved for minimum cost.

Salvage what you can from your old system

A very good point! :thumbsup:

Agreed with both points. I can't afford a hardcore, ubermega gaming rig so i can be L33T... <_< I'm just looking at what I could get if I saved up that little amount of money, and what I need to focus on if I want a good rig.

About the only thing I really CAN salvage from my late system (RIP) is the o-disk drive. The mobo is an old AGP one, the ram is ancient and extremely slow, and both HDDs failed around the same time... The PSU only has 4 pin connectors, the mobo connections, and a few FDD power supplies. I don't think SATA would work with that but I'ld be happy if it would.

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but please remember that it is not always a question of being willing to settle for less, but being able to afford paying a premium for this privilege.

Thanks for the economics lesson but while I'm aware of all of those various factors (still trying to justify the purchase of a TrackIR with some expendable income) they are besides the point and that should be about enough of this point/counterpoint -I was just throwing my 2¢ in.

So, what do you guys think?
Sorry for polluting your topic Snake@War.

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NP, NoQuarter.

Apex: Yup, looks great. I still can't go out and buy a new rig until I get more money, but looks like a nice piece of kit, man.

Edit: That Wolfdale looks to overclock great too...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductRevie...N82E16819116072

Ibanezbass says he got his running at 3.5/1333 with most people running at 3.2 or higher with the stock heatsink.... Nice deal at 82 shipped... :thumbsup:

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