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$500 Build for friend - Page 2

post #11 of 12
Ok man I have spent a TON of time recently researching the "budget PC build" in terms of the best price for performance ratio. Actually my friend and I both did, but we came up with almost an identical build. I don't know why everyone is saying $500 can't get you a nice PC, because it definitely can...

I'm sorry I know you said no Newegg prices, but I am at work and I really don't have time to research this other website. I got my stuff from Newegg, but I imagine the prices are similar. You can also check http://www.pricewatch.com to find some good deals!

This here should cost you under $500 for all the necessary parts, and I'll share some information on its performance afterwards:

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L (if you can still get your hands on it, I know some sites still have stock...don't go with the EP35 if you plan on overclocking, because as of now there is a bug in its BIOS that doesn't save your FSB changes etc.)

Intel Pentium E2180 2.0GHz dual core (this is the BEST processor out there price/performance wise...mine is O/C'd @ 3.2GHz currently with a measly 1.375 vcore and it runs beautifully)

G.SKILL 240-Pin DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) 2 x 1GB (you do NOT need to go over 2GB, I have done multiple stress tests with 2GB v 4GB of my Corsair XMS2 and there is no noticeable difference in gaming performance...unfortunately Newegg typically has the best prices on memory, but I'm sure there are other deals out there...if he really wants 4 or something just tell him to hold off until you find a sweet price)

EVGA Geforce 8800GS 384MB 192-bit Superclocked Edition 650MHz/1900MHz (you can find this card most places with mail-in rebates, for about $100...definitely go with the 8800 series in some form for your video card, no more no less in my opinion...this model runs like a charm but does get a little hot under stress, so I turn up the fan speed with RivaTuner)

Antec earthwatts EA380 380W 12V v2.0 (I have so much faith in the earthwatts series, and the power supply is a LOT more important than many people realize...a bad PSU can potentially destroy all of your components...for around $300-400 this PSU absolutely cannot be beat, and the 12V rail has more than enough amps to power this build)

For a DVD drive just grab a LITEON DVD/R 16x drive, most places will have them for like $20.

HDD is really up to your friend, depending on how much space he feels like he needs. A good 80GB drive will be around $40 and is enough space for most gamers, but won't have everything a big music/movie downloader needs. Keep in mind the PC is for HIM not you; it's always a good idea to swap here and there to meet the needs of your customer. I have a WD Caviar 320GB SATA and I love it.

I think all that leaves is the case...there are some good, cheap Rosewill models, but this is really a personal preference of your friend. I would suggest getting one with only 1 top drive bay, since that is all you need and you don't want open holes. It's also nice to have some front USB slots, but isn't really necessary. You should be able to find one in the ballpark of $30.


*some additional notes*

This build is designed to be cheap and OVERCLOCKABLE! If you plan on upping the clock speeds on that processor, you should probably invest in an aftermarket heatsink. The ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro is 92mm, it is only like $30, and it WORKS! That would be my choice.

What I described is basically my build exactly. It cost me like $480 all told last week, and actually runs benchmark tests at HIGHER FPS than a $1,000 machine I built a few months ago (DFI Lanparty DK x38, E8400 3.0GHz, Gigabyte Geforce 8800GT 512MB Turbo Force, 2 x 1GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800, etc).

IF YOUR FRIEND WANTS TO EXPERIMENT WITH SLI AT SOME POINT, you must change the motherboard for something else. That Gigabyte model only has 1 PCI-E x16 slot, so no SLI unfortunately.

This computer at O/C settings got me an 11,500 3dmark06, average of 100+ FPS in WoW, 60+ in CoD4, and roughly 30-40 on default High settings in AoC. It should be able to chew through most games on the market for a few years to come, and with that price you just can't beat the performance!

Oh and keep in mind this does not include peripherals (mouse/keyboard/monitor).

Sorry for the long post but I hope you read it, I really did put a lot of time and effort into researching this build, so I hope it helps you make your decision...good luck!

*edit*

Hahaha after all that typing I just noticed the build you yourself posted. That is pretty good man, very similar to mine, nice build and it should work fine...
Edited by gandalf615 - 6/18/08 at 7:22am
Stonewall
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel C2D e8600 @ 4.25GHz, 1.3625 vcore ASUS P5Q Deluxe @ 500 FSB, 1.4v NB Sapphire HD4870X2 @ 800/900MHz G.Skill (2x2GB) DDR2 1000 @ 1002MHz, 5-5-5-15 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
W.D. Caviar 250GB Vista Ultimate x64 HP w2408h 24" 5ms 1920x1200 Corsair 750TX 
Case
Cooler Master HAF 932 
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Stonewall
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel C2D e8600 @ 4.25GHz, 1.3625 vcore ASUS P5Q Deluxe @ 500 FSB, 1.4v NB Sapphire HD4870X2 @ 800/900MHz G.Skill (2x2GB) DDR2 1000 @ 1002MHz, 5-5-5-15 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
W.D. Caviar 250GB Vista Ultimate x64 HP w2408h 24" 5ms 1920x1200 Corsair 750TX 
Case
Cooler Master HAF 932 
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post #12 of 12
@Iconoclast starcraft 1 is still a good game, just a little less resource hungry at least your friend will be ready for starcraft 2 now

and good luck building the system
newbie
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6550 Gigabyte P35-DS3 gainward 4850 A-DATA DDR2-800 2GB 
Hard DriveMonitorPowerCase
Seagate SATA 500gb 22" Proview Antec Truepower Trio 550W Antec P-182 
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newbie
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6550 Gigabyte P35-DS3 gainward 4850 A-DATA DDR2-800 2GB 
Hard DriveMonitorPowerCase
Seagate SATA 500gb 22" Proview Antec Truepower Trio 550W Antec P-182 
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