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The Ultimate 'Build-A-PC' Thread. Complete With Pricings & Recommendations (06/06/10)


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#31 Droenixjpn

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 03:18 AM

http://secure.newegg...Number=10279485

580 dollar gaming pc build i made, but i probably won't need it, since my aunt and uncle may be giving me Pc Parts anyway to build a gaming pc.

So, what do you guys think about that build?

#32 ChernobylCow

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:47 PM

Hey, guys thanks for not bashing me on my "Source Gaming Pc whatever" thread and giving me some solid options. Moxio posted this originally from Coffeeedge which was in Moxio's summer building thread.

I am interested in spending right at $400 to build a PC for gaming.

Originally Posted by CoffeeEdge Posted Image
Check this out:

Total cost: $421.88 after rebates, all shipped free. And that is everything you need (see footnote two posts down, however).

Buy these parts. Assemble the computer. Be amazed that you managed to get a computer this powerful, this cheap. Enjoy. Thank me later.


I just am not knowledgeable enough to tinker with this setup.
a)But could anyone make any suggestions to safely bring this to the $400 mark or under? What sort of system impact will these changes have?
b)I am also thinking I'll need to buy winXP because my other one is a dell XP. If I am unable to get a student copy of Xp is the OS really going to cost me another $100 and bring whatever I do to $500 regardless?

#33 SOSTrooper

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 05:31 PM

I just am not knowledgeable enough to tinker with this setup.
a)But could anyone make any suggestions to safely bring this to the $400 mark or under? What sort of system impact will these changes have?
b)I am also thinking I'll need to buy winXP because my other one is a dell XP. If I am unable to get a student copy of Xp is the OS really going to cost me another $100 and bring whatever I do to $500 regardless?



For such as setup that doesn't really stress the power supply even at full load, you can easily replace both the Antec Three Hundred case and the OCZ power supply with a case+PSU combo such as this one suggested by RAMSTORIA. It's $60 + $10 shipping so you easily saved $40 right there. I don't really see any other spots where you can cut more; MAYBE you can replace the 4GB DDR2 memory with a 2GB DDR2 to save about $10. Though I'd just stick with the 4GB even though you're thinking of getting Windows XP, but for future purpose the 4GB may come in handy once Windows 7 rolls out.

And yes OS will cost you $100 extra regardless. This thread only shows you the price for the hardware part. Software is a different ball game.

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#34 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:22 PM

dont skimp on the ram. a case/psu combo will save you the most.

this case is only $32, its not the prettiest, but it will get the job done. and it brings the price down to a very very nice $345 (before shipping).

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811148044

(in face we should add that to the under $400 builds ;) )

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#35 crystalklear64

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:27 PM

@ Cow
I'm am not suggesting that you do not get a case+generic psu, it is a great way to save money if you don't plan on reusing the PSU in a more powerful build and are willing to take a slight gamble. However, you should be aware of potential risks associated with doing so.

Be prepare before hand to know exactly what you can/should do IF your PSU happens to give you problems and what the telltale signs are of a faulty or failing PSU.

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#36 SOSTrooper

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:50 PM

Yeah crystalklear brings up a good point. Cheap PSUs are often associated with cheap parts, which results in higher failure rate. PSU failures can be minor or 'fatal', as in, it can kill other computer components that are connected to the PSU directly (motherboard, hard drives, video card). It's a risk everyone should know when skimping on quality PSU for cheap one.

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#37 EricTehAwful

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:03 AM

After years of being a diehard Mac user, I'm finally breaking down and building a small gaming PC. I've built up the entertainment center in my living room to the point where I wanted to use that as my gaming area, as well. By piping video into my TV, I a) get a huge, gorgeous image, and b) can skimp a bit on the video card since I'll be running at less ludicrous resolutions.

Tom's Hardware did a timely build of a $600 small form-factor gaming PC. They keep costs down by getting a cheaper CPU and videocard and then overclocking both. I've never OC'd a system before, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable doing it just yet, but I've tried to plan ahead for it.

Using their system as a starting point, I came up with a slightly modified build that I think better suits my needs. The primary differences, and some of the reasons behind my decisions, are included below. I haven't assembled it yet, so this may not all work out for the best, but perhaps someone will get some use from it.

  • Different motherboard. I wanted optical output to my receiver so I don't have a rat's nest of half a dozen audio cables snaking out the back of the PC. I selected a slightly more expensive Gigabyte mb with toslink output that seems well suited for overclocking.
  • Different power supply. I went with a SFF case so it wouldn't stand out on my entertainment center. Having a power supply with bright red LEDs shining out the back and sides seemed unnecessary. Finding a cheap, modular power supply with good reviews is trickier than I thought it would be.
  • A low-profile CPU cooler. The TH build didn't include this, but I'm paranoid about heat, and an aftermarket cooler seemed prudent for overclocking. I'm pretty sure this will fit in the case.
I was tempted to go with a GP drive to reduce power consumption, but the machine will most likely be hibernated when I'm not using it, and while it's under load, the few watts I'd save with a green drive are going to be far overshadowed by the CPU and GPU. Green drives make a lot more sense in my file server than they do in this build.

I also checked out Thermaltake's SFF cases. They had better reviews on Newegg, but cost 50% more, and based on various forum posts I came across they don't really seem to stay any cooler or offer more room inside.

I'll be throwing in a Bluetooth adapter so I can use my PS3's bluetooth headset for voice chat. I haven't settled on wireless keyboard and mouse yet. I typically have my MacBook on the couch with me, so I'm planning to start off using Synergy to turn the laptop into a big wireless USB hub. This seems a bit decadent, but has the advantage of being free.

Anyone else built a living room gaming rig? Got any advice? Words of warning?

#38 Staind204

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:51 PM

This might be a really dumb question but what is the advantage to using a HTPC case over a regular one (besides size)? I am basically looking to build something to hook up to my TV that will play all of my video files (MP4, AVI, MKV, etc). I also thought about putting a Blu Ray drive in it as well. Playing games would be nice but not necessarily needed. Is there any reason to invest in one of the HTPC cases over a regular one (again, besides the size)?

#39 Moxio

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 02:40 PM

Here is my build. After rebates and deal hunting at various websites, it comes to about $650.

EDIT: Wait, link's not working. How do I share my NewEgg wishlist?

#40 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 02:57 PM

Here is my build. After rebates and deal hunting at various websites, it comes to about $650.

EDIT: Wait, link's not working. How do I share my NewEgg wishlist?


you have to save it and make it pubic.

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#41 SOSTrooper

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 03:15 PM

This might be a really dumb question but what is the advantage to using a HTPC case over a regular one (besides size)? I am basically looking to build something to hook up to my TV that will play all of my video files (MP4, AVI, MKV, etc). I also thought about putting a Blu Ray drive in it as well. Playing games would be nice but not necessarily needed. Is there any reason to invest in one of the HTPC cases over a regular one (again, besides the size)?


I think some people likes to integrate the look of their computer with all the other electronics around the TV, such as audio receiver, DVD player, PS3, etc. It's also probably easier to place a HTPC case in your entertainment center than a vertical mid tower computer.

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#42 Hydro2Oxide

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 04:50 PM

Just got an email from TigerDirect about a 400 dollar rig. Some people say they're bad with rebates but from what I see this is instant prices off. It also comes with a Blu-Ray player. Looks pretty good for the kind of thing you'd plug in to your TV.

http://www.tigerdire...51-_-components

#43 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 06:20 PM

Just got an email from TigerDirect about a 400 dollar rig. Some people say they're bad with rebates but from what I see this is instant prices off. It also comes with a Blu-Ray player. Looks pretty good for the kind of thing you'd plug in to your TV.

http://www.tigerdire...51-_-components


that looks like a great price. but are you looking for something just to plug into your tv or something to play games on.

heres a mini media pc i just built (at work, so other people feel free to look, critique and adjust), its $450, its a little more but you might like it more.

http://secure.newegg...tNumber=8729394

the motherboard has on board wifi for one thing. it also has on board video, geforce 9300, and has vga, dvi and hdmi out. the case is a mini atx, so it will be nice and small and could fit and just about any entertainment center (measures 12.75" x 8" x 7") it still has 500gb hdd, 4 gb ram, and blu ray.

now, it wont be running crysis anytime soon, but if you just want to have a jukebox, watch downloaded movies and blu rays then youre all set. not only that the on board graphics have plenty of power to run older games and you could even buy a couple controllers and run a MAME box among other emulators.

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#44 Hydro2Oxide

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 06:31 PM

I'm not actually looking for anything, I was posting it if anyone wanted it.

#45 sotc1988

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 06:59 PM

I hope this link works, this is 440 dollar build (Plus or minus rebates, shipping and tax) that I personally use and runs great.

https://secure.neweg...spx?ID=10289525

Source engine games run maxed out with 8xAA at 1280x1024 averaging around 80 FPS. Runs Crysis on mostly highest settings at around 30-40. Just add in a hard drive and CD-DVD burner and you're set. You may want to bump the CPU up though if you've got the cash, that's the only real bottleneck here.

Okay out of all the setups listed, this one would be the best for my needs. Just one problem. That wishlist link isn't working. Could you post it again please?
And as a current mac user (for the last eight years actually) I am pretty clueless around pc's so is your setup overclocked in any way? Is there anything you would recommend investing more money into, to make sure the computer is future-proofed? Thanks.
Edit: I mean anything besides the cpu.

#46 Hydro2Oxide

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:10 PM

http://secure.newegg...Number=10289525

That should work. If you're not in to overclocking CPU's (Which I'm still having trouble with) I'd upgrade the mobo and CPU to a Phenom II X2 dual core processor. It's still in a low price range but the CPU is the thing holding back my build.

#47 sotc1988

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:45 PM

Alright just one more dumb question from me. Now when you say upgrade mobo (motherboard?) and cpu, does that single part cover both of those areas or is there something separate that I need for the motherboard that goes specifically with the Phenom II X2?
And I'm going to start asking around in my work and friends circle to see if anyone can help me put this together but is there a resource for someone who couldn't be more clueless when it comes to assembling a pc?
EDIT: Oh yeah, one more thing...wi-fi? All the computers I use have it built in and what do I need for wi-fi when assembling?

#48 mtxbass1

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:47 PM

Anyone have any opinions on the Gigabyte ga-ep45-ud3p? I hear it's the messiah of all P45 boards, but if I'm not overclocking, then would there be another suitable option? All I need is a stable board that I can throw an E6400 on with a 9800GTX video card.



#49 Moxio

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 08:13 PM

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128358

#50 crystalklear64

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 08:26 PM

Anyone have any opinions on the Gigabyte ga-ep45-ud3p? I hear it's the messiah of all P45 boards, but if I'm not overclocking, then would there be another suitable option? All I need is a stable board that I can throw an E6400 on with a 9800GTX video card.

If you know you want a p45 board, just look at the cheaper p45 boards on newegg from a reputable company.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128372
There's a gigabyte p45 for 95$. 8/12 USB, 6 sata, 1 pata, 1 pci-e x16, 4 pci-e, 2 pci.
FSB 1600/1333MHz supported.


If you want to know what makes that other board better? Look at the specs, but don't get thrown off by things like:
FSB 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz
even though the slower speeds aren't listed on the "lesser" board, it can still support them.

Other things the extra money will get you:
firewire
an extra pci-e slot for crossfire
2 more sata ports
1 less pci-e slot

don't need that stuff? don't pay for it. but you'll have to look at the specs for each board to see what is missing what.

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#51 mtxbass1

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 08:34 PM

If you know you want a p45 board, just look at the cheaper p45 boards on newegg from a reputable company.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128372
There's a gigabyte p45 for 95$. 8/12 USB, 6 sata, 1 pata, 1 pci-e x16, 4 pci-e, 2 pci.
FSB 1600/1333MHz supported.


If you want to know what makes that other board better? Look at the specs, but don't get thrown off by things like:
FSB 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz
even though the slower speeds aren't listed on the "lesser" board, it can still support them.

Other things the extra money will get you:
firewire
an extra pci-e slot for crossfire
2 more sata ports
1 less pci-e slot

don't need that stuff? don't pay for it. but you'll have to look at the specs for each board to see what is missing what.


Hmm, I was looking at that board too. I can't decide which one to go with though. That lower end board will more than likely do just fine for me actually.



#52 Hydro2Oxide

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 09:54 PM

Alright just one more dumb question from me. Now when you say upgrade mobo (motherboard?) and cpu, does that single part cover both of those areas or is there something separate that I need for the motherboard that goes specifically with the Phenom II X2?
And I'm going to start asking around in my work and friends circle to see if anyone can help me put this together but is there a resource for someone who couldn't be more clueless when it comes to assembling a pc?
EDIT: Oh yeah, one more thing...wi-fi? All the computers I use have it built in and what do I need for wi-fi when assembling?


http://www.newegg.co...st=Combo.200020

That'll do it. The MoBo just has compatibility with the processor. The one I picked wasn't compatible with Phenom II but this combo will cover it.

#53 Staind204

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 12:12 PM

How does this build look?

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GH
BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M
http://www.newegg.co...st=Combo.200065 $279.98 (also has $10 MIR)


XFX ATI Radeon HD 4890 XT 1GB DDR5
https://www.ewiz.com...ame=XFX-4890XT#
$175 after coupon.


OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820227289
$64.99 (also has $20 MIR)


ENCORE ENLWI-N PCI 2.3 Wireless Adapter
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16833180052
$24.99


LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L - Retail
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827136133
$109.99


Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811129021
$100


OCZ OCZ600MXSP 600W SLI/CrossFire Active Power Supply Retail
http://www.zipzoomfl...ctCode=10009333
$69.99 (has $30 rebate)


Shipping - $20


Total price = $844.94 - $60 rebates (hopefully I get them) = $784.94.



I am going to hook this computer up to my 32" LCD TV as a media center. I will also use it for gaming. I already have a TV tuner I am going to put in it as well. What do you guys think? Seems pretty good for the price IMO..

#54 Hydro2Oxide

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 12:45 PM

Looks really good and should last you for quite a while.

#55 mtxbass1

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 01:45 PM

I'm going to go with the GA-EP45-UD3R I think. I don't need crossfire support and it has just as many ports/features as the UD3P. Newegg has it on special right now for about $95 after rebate. Thx for the help here guys.

Oh, for anyone interested, Gigabyte has a comparison chart on their website that compares all their motherboards for all chipsets. It's pretty handy.

http://www.gigabyte....risonSheet.aspx



#56 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:02 PM

i have the ep45-ud3r, no problems here. i like the bios and it makes overclocking a cinch (not that i do it, but could in a mater of seconds if i wanted)

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#57 mtxbass1

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:22 PM

i have the ep45-ud3r, no problems here. i like the bios and it makes overclocking a cinch (not that i do it, but could in a mater of seconds if i wanted)


It's in my cart to purchase in a few.

Anyone have any recommendations on either a USB or PCI-E Network adapter (802.11G) that works in 64bit Vista? I'm partial to linksys, but apparently they have no intentions of supporting the 64 bit OS.



#58 lolwut?

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:20 AM

Hmm, this thread seems like it would be pretty damn useful for me in the future. I'm thinking about building a PC for myself and using my HDTV as the monitor. Quick question: Should I be looking to build a gaming PC or an "HTPC"?

I'm thinking an HTPC would be the way to go, as I'd like to be able to watch Hi-Def content (not necessarily Blu's; I have a PS3) and have all my digital music in my room to play on my sound system. At the same time I really want to be able to play the top PC games again; my current computer was out of date back when I think Half-Life 2 came out. I'm not looking to run Crysis with everything maxed out and get a ridiculous frame-rate, but I'd like to at least be able to play it and future games with decent settings.

A lot of the stuff in the OP looks good, so maybe I'll have mess around on newegg a bit and see what I can find.

Oh, almost forgot! I'd like to spend no more than $1000, but $800 or less would be ideal.


#59 SOSTrooper

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 08:30 AM

Hmm, this thread seems like it would be pretty damn useful for me in the future. I'm thinking about building a PC for myself and using my HDTV as the monitor. Quick question: Should I be looking to build a gaming PC or an "HTPC"?

Oh, almost forgot! I'd like to spend no more than $1000, but $800 or less would be ideal.



You are essentially building a 'gaming PC', just that you'll be using an HTPC case such as this Silverstone case (recommended in the original post). The real purpose to get this case is just to blend the PC into your other electronics in your entertainment center. The interior is similar to that of a mid tower ATX case, with spot for a full ATX power supply, ATX motherboard, and full height for video card.

I've built a computer that may match what you will be doing with your $800 budget: Linked.

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| XFX HD 5870 | Corsair HX750W PSU | Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 | Antec P180 v1.1 |


#60 ChernobylCow

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 04:52 PM

Man, reading through this thread and then earlier opening up this POS PC I have to install a new ethernet card makes me realize how little that I know.

So when figuring the cost of these builds are things like
USB ports and ethernet cards added to it? Or is something like firewire more popular these days. I just think I'd prefer to have my desktop wired.