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Old March 19, 2008, 09:19 AM
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Default Good Enough Gaming Rig

I'm in the process of putting together a "Good Enough" gaming rig for a friend of mine who has a budget of less than $500.00 before taxes and shipping.

ECS A780GM-A V1.0 ATX AM2+ AMD780G SB700 DDR2 PCI-E16 SATA2 RAID HDMI Video Sound GBLAN Motherboard - $67.60
Amd Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Dual Core Processor AM2 2.2GHZ 2X512KB 65W 65NM Retail Box - $64.88
Crucial Rendition 1GB 1X1GB PC2-5300 DDR2-667 240PIN DIMM Memory - $31.98
Antec Sonata Iii Black Atx 16IN Mid Tower Quiet Case 3X5.25 2X3.5 4X3.5IN 500W 120MM Fan - $98.88
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA2 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive 5YR Mfr Warranty - $59.98
LG G-H20NS10 Black DVD+RW 20X8X16 DVD-RW 20X6X16 INT SATA OEM DVD Writer - $27.95
XFX GeForce 8600GT 540MHZ 256MB 1.4GHZ DDR3 PCI-E VGA DVI-I HDCP HDTV Out DIRECTX10 Video Card - $96.53

Total: $447.81
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Old March 19, 2008, 09:44 AM
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Still some cash to burn? Change the ram for some 6400 and 2Gb - add $20. I don't know the ECS board, but I do know that I've built my last customer rig using a Gigabyte G31 board and for the price, they're great.
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Old March 19, 2008, 09:47 AM
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Maybe trade out the Sonata for a cheaper Asus case (ex: TA- series) that will only cost you around 30-40 then get a simple silverstone or simliar psu for 30 also, could save you about 40 bucks.... which could be enough to get you a higher video card (maybe even an 8800gt/ 9600gt if you factor in the MIR). But why the ECS motherboard? As far as I've seen they're unreliable and the only redeeming factor of the one youve chosen is the 780G chipset. Again, you can get an Asus or similar motherboard for the same price that will be more stable, have great features and more overclocking capability.

My 2 Cents....

PS: Maybe grab a bundle deal from NCIX.com when they have one, its a fast and easy way to save upwards of $100 on a system.
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Old March 19, 2008, 10:09 AM
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Yeah, I would definitely switch out the case for a cheaper variant. I used to risk it with cheaper PSU's, but after losing my old XP2000+ rig to a failed Orion PSU, I've always kicked in the little extra. In this case, however, spending $100 on your case/PSU combo is a little excessive. I'd scale back to a cheaper case and get a decent 40-50$ PSU, and then drop that extra 20-30$ on a better gfx card. I've seen 8800GSs in and around that area, as well as cheaper 9600GTs (which would be preferable). An 8800GT is out of your price range.

Also, don't count on a MIR to scale you back to $500. You never can be too sure with them..
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Old March 19, 2008, 11:05 AM
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Is there a 770 MB that doesn't have onboard video that might be cheaper? You don't need 780G if you have a gfx card. I also 3rd the recommendations on swapping out the case for something much cheaper and finding a good low price PSU as well. Whatever you save definitely put it towards a 8800GS or better yet a 9600GT. I think you can get 2x1GB of PC25300 for about $50. That would sure be a plus over 1GB. New sale at NCIX starts tonight too :)

Ram
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...cture=Kingston

PSU
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...ower%20Intl%2E
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Old March 19, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thund3rball View Post
Ew .. ew ew ew.... a Sparkle psu? Seriously? Maybe im way off here but Sparkle sounds like the one of those "el cheapo" psu's that frequently exploded (or fumed black smoke) at me when I was a computer technician.

I'd much prefer this PSU: (I own one, its very silent, reliable, same efficiency as the Sparkle, BLACK, has a 6-pin PCIe connector AND 2x 12v rails.):

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...e%20Technology
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Old March 19, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Also, as a general rule of thumb, NEVER trust an OEM power supply with a cheesy name : (ex Shark, Mega, DEER)
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Old March 19, 2008, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMetaphor View Post
Ew .. ew ew ew.... a Sparkle psu? Seriously? Maybe im way off here but Sparkle sounds like the one of those "el cheapo" psu's that frequently exploded (or fumed black smoke) at me when I was a computer technician.

I'd much prefer this PSU: (I own one, its very silent, reliable, same efficiency as the Sparkle, BLACK, has a 6-pin PCIe connector AND 2x 12v rails.):

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...e%20Technology


Uhm... I AND SKYMTL beg to differ

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...u-roundup.html

Quote:
FINALLY, THE WINNER BETWEEN THE NMEDIA 400W AND THE SPARKLE 400W:

The Sparkle 400W gets my nod here but Sparkle better be looking over their shoulders really closely because with a few very minor tweaks the Nmedia 400W could take the crown from Sparkle. Hopefully Nmedia will make thee changes sooner rather than later because at this point I see no point in recommending the Nmedia over the Sparkle.


Review By SKYMTL
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Old March 19, 2008, 01:41 PM
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The Strider 350W/400W wasn't even part of that test, are you so sure?
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Old March 19, 2008, 03:56 PM
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I'm not saying the strider isn't good, I am saying the Sparkle isn't crap and is actually a highly rated low-cost PSU. ;)
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