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Author Topic: Budget Gaming PC advice  (Read 3368 times)
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Hrnac
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« on: June 12, 2009, 06:16:56 PM »

I have just started thinking about replacing my old Windows 2000 PC that is my basement gaming rig and would like to see what I can come up with for around $600. I am not planning on getting a monitor at this time and will continue to use my 17" CRT. I have briefly looked at Dell, but am not current enough with todays components to know what to get and what not to worry about.

Thanks.

-Hrnac
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DrJones
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2009, 08:01:09 PM »

Are you looking to build your own or buy a system?  Also is this for general computing or playing games, and if so which games?
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Hrnac
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2009, 09:22:16 PM »

My first choice would be to purchase a system since I have never built my own PC. As for games, I have a good size back log, but will be picking up The Sims 3 down the road, so I would want it to run that adequately. I also play Sims 2, Civ 4 BTS, WoW periodically and other less demanding games.

-Hrnac
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2009, 12:52:39 AM »

$600 is not going to get you much for a prebuilt gaming computer.  You would have to skimp a little on the video card to get in that price range.  Generally you are looking at a 9000 series Nvidia card or a 3000 series ATI.  Both of those are budget video cards.  Also computers in that price range tend to use a lower power PSU(under 500 watts) which could be an issue if you later decide to upgrade your video card.  You may have to upgrade the PSU as well.  One last item is Windows 7 is coming out in in a few months you may want to wait for that as well.
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Hrnac
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2009, 02:08:11 AM »

Thanks for the advice. I am worried about the video card and might have to bump up my price to around $700 to give myself a few options. I am definately wanting to get Windows 7, so I should have some time to try to figure out what to shoot for in terms of components.

-Hrnac
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2009, 03:22:13 AM »

Actually, you can do ok on the gpu. Check out the reviews for the radeon 4770 around the web... it is _just_ shy of being as fast as the 4850, but even cheaper, especially with the latest round of price cuts before ati release their DX11 parts. For a little more, you can get a 4850 instead (think 125$ range, plus or minus).

For instance... (note this is a weekend special, so the price will change in 48-72 hours.)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102837

That's a full 1 gig radeon 4850, for 114$ and free shipping. Not only that, it's actually a pretty good one smile

With some very careful parts selection, you'll do ok. Let us know what you're looking for, and I'm sure people can chime in with more suggestions.

Atomic
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2009, 04:13:32 AM »

When it comes to prebuilts, the key is to look for and be willing to wait for deals as well as being willing to be flexible on what you want.  Dell runs deals every few months that are well covered by the "deal" sites out there and you can definately get a solid system that way.  Just don't expect everything you want will be in that one package.  A year ago I managed to get a quad core Dell with 4GB ram and a 500 GB hard drive for about $500 and then slapped a $150 video card into it to give me a system that should be good for another year at least, and even then a video card upgrade should extend its life farther.

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Hrnac
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2009, 02:20:23 PM »

I think my main goal is to make sure that I allow myself the option of upgrading the video card down the road. That will involve making sure that I either have a good power supply to start with or a case that will allow me to upgrade the power supply down the road. I ran into problems with my current Dell Dimension when I put in a Geforce 6600 card only to find out after the fact that the stock Dell power supply was insufficient. I do not wish to make that mistake this time around.

Here are some of my preliminary thoughts for the bottom end components. Price will dictate what I actually end up with. If I can go better on some of them I will do that.

CPU: AMD - Some sort of X2 processor, Intel - Core 2 Duo E7400.

RAM: Min of 4 GB for a Win 7 machine. Not sure about DDR2 or DDR3.

HD: Min 500 GB.

GPU: ATI -  Radeon HD 4830, Nvidia - 9800 GT.

PSU: 500W. Need to make sure the PSU can handle whatever card I ultimately select.

Monitor: Not needed. Will gladly get one if it is part of a package deal. Otherwise I will skip it for now.

Are there any other components that I should be listing here?

-Hrnac
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2009, 03:06:26 PM »

Ohh..please keep us (at least me!) updated.

I'm currently running W2K too as I've homebuilt my last few rigs and never picked up a new O/S. It served my old hardware fine as the games I wanted to play (except 1 or 2) worked fine with a few tweaks and the few games that wouldn't work were above my specs anyways. Happy it got me some postapoc loving with F3 and the Stalkers, but I'll new something new to play ArmA2 and OFP2.

I plan on getting a laptop first as my current way is ancient and then I'll get a new gaming box. Not sure if I want to build one or have it prebuilt (either custom or generic with me slapping in a new video card).
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CeeKay
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2009, 06:53:55 PM »

if you do decide to go the pre-built route here's an article I posted not too long ago about building a decent one for $800.
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2009, 07:02:51 PM »

quick search on newegg brings up at least 6 PC's that would be just fine for gaming running from $730-$750.
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Hrnac
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2009, 07:45:12 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on June 13, 2009, 06:53:55 PM

if you do decide to go the pre-built route here's an article I posted not too long ago about building a decent one for $800.

Thanks CeeKay. That's a great article.

-Hrnac
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2009, 03:09:16 PM »

One thing with ATI and the 4850...I have one (bought pretty early after they were released) and it's loud.  Even in WoW the fan is spinning up to 50-60% which is noticeably louder than my older NVidia cards (up to the 8800 series).  The 4850 series runs like an oven.  It's a great card with excellent (and cheap) performance but the noise could be a factor.
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2009, 03:37:51 PM »

May I suggest two 8800 GT's ? They just as fast as a 9800 GX2, and can be had for cheap. This also means that you could pick one up now, and one later. Put more of your current monies into better CPU, mobo and PSU. Use your old case unless it doesn't fit the ATX PSU and mainboard you select.

You will be running Windows 7 in 64bit mode (which runs 32bit apps beautifully), otherwise getting >3GB is throwing money away.

As of right now you can download Windows 7 RC1 for free with a reg. key that will last a while (march 1, 2010). Go and DL the ISO and the key from here now:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/download.aspx

You have a month to do it; I'd suggest not waiting.
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rittchard
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2009, 12:06:57 AM »

As always, I recommend going to Cyberpower and playing with their configurators.  You can do very well for $600 these days.  This system I put together was roughly around $2000 a while back, and is perfectly capable of handling most any game you throw at it.  The only catch here is no OS, but as mentioned above you can grab Windows 7 RC for free right now, and then look for the special upgrades Best Buy and others are going to do down the road for Win 7.

I had to dump the keyboard and mouse to get this below $600, but it comes in at $597 total.  The one place I skimped the most was on the motherboard, which is not SLI or Crossfire capable.   


CASE: New! CoolerMaster Elite 310 Mid-Tower 420W Case with See-Thur Side Panel
Extra Case Fan Upgrade: Default case fans
POWER SUPPLY Upgrade: 500 Watts Power Supplies (**Recommended** WIN-500XSPX APEVIA 500W JAVA Power Supply-Black)
CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E7400 CPU @ 2.8GHz 1066FSB 3MB L2 Cache 64-bit
COOLING FAN : INTEL LGA775 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK
MOTHERBOARD: MSI G31M3-L Intel G31 Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
MEMORY: 3GB (1GBx3) PC6400 DDR2/800 Memory (Corsair or Major Brand)
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
Optical Drive: (Special Price) LG 20X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
SOUND: 3D WAVE ON-BOARD 5.1 SOUND CARD
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2009, 12:23:59 AM »

I noticed above you mentioned you'd be fine with AMD X2, so here's an example of what you can do.  Improve the power supply and motherboard (Xfire ready) and get an HD4850 to boot!  This comes in at exactly $600, again with no OS.

CASE: New! CoolerMaster Elite 310 Mid-Tower 420W Case with See-Thur Side Panel
POWER SUPPLY Upgrade: 635 Watts Power Supplies (Sigma Shark SP-635W PSU - SLI Ready)
CPU: AMD Athlon™ X2 7850 Black Edition Dual-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
COOLING FAN : AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK
MOTHERBOARD: MSI K9A2 CF-F AMD 790X CrossFire Chipset DDR2/1066 Dual 16X PCIE SATA RAID MB w/GbLAN, USB2.0, & 7.1Audio
MEMORY: 3GB (1GBx3) PC6400 DDR2/800 Memory (Corsair or Major Brand)
VIDEO CARD: ATI Radeon HD 4850 PCI-E 16X 1GB Video Card (Major Brand Powered by ATI)
HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
Optical Drive: (Special Price) LG 20X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
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Hrnac
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2009, 03:04:33 AM »

Wow, thanks rittchard! This is exactly the kind of info that I am looking for. Have you purchased a PC from Cyber Power? If so, how did it go? At first glance, I really like the options offered by Cyber Power. They really put Dell to shame in the options department. I am going to spend some time looking at their configurators, but your two build options look pretty solid.

I wonder if they offer any PC's that have the OS pre-packaged? Guess I will have to dig deep and see what I can find.

-Hrnac
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Hrnac
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2009, 03:22:47 AM »

I found this special for $595 which also includes the OS. Not sure about the video card.

CASE: New! CoolerMaster Elite 310 Mid-Tower 420W Case with See-Thur Side Panel
POWERSUPPLY: STANDARD CASE POWER SUPPLY
CPU: (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz 1333FSB 4MB L2 Cache 64-bit
FAN: INTEL LGA775 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK
MOTHERBOARD: MSI G31M3-L Intel G31 Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
MEMORY: 4GB (2GBx2) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair or Major Brand)
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
HDD: 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
CD: (Special Price) LG 20X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
SOUND: 3D WAVE ON-BOARD 5.1 SOUND CARD
SPEAKERS: NONE
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
KEYBOARD: PS2 MULTIMEDIA INTERNET CONTROL KEYBOARD (BLACK COLOR)
MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1 (64-bit Edition)
SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
RUSH: *SAME DAY SHIP OUT GUARANTEE*

-Hrnac
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2009, 10:33:22 AM »

Just keep in mind that the quad core is for the future...there aren't that many games that take advantage of it (right now).  Also, try to upgrade the 9500...it's not that great of a video card compared to the rest of the system and you could possibly upgrade to a much better card (9600gt, 4850) for only a few dollars more.

Also, research and check the web to see when new vista purchases are going to be eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 7.  I've seen a few articles on it but don't have an exact date for you.  Could save you some money in a few months and Windows 7 is far superior to Vista especially for gaming.
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2009, 05:33:08 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on June 16, 2009, 12:06:57 AM

This system I put together was roughly around $2000 a while back, and is perfectly capable of handling most any game you throw at it.

i would hope a $2000 system would handle 'most' any game you try to run on it..?

or am i missing something here...
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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2009, 11:33:59 PM »

Quote from: hitbyambulance on June 16, 2009, 05:33:08 PM

Quote from: rittchard on June 16, 2009, 12:06:57 AM

This system I put together was roughly around $2000 a while back, and is perfectly capable of handling most any game you throw at it.

i would hope a $2000 system would handle 'most' any game you try to run on it..?

or am i missing something here...

Crysis  icon_lol
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« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2009, 12:00:44 AM »

Hehe, yeah Crysis was (and I suppose) remains the toughest benchmark.  The systems I config'd should be perfectly fine for Crysis at high detail I believe, depending on the resolution.  You'll likely want the 8800/9800 series at a minimum if Crysis is your goal.  Not sure on the ATI side what the equivalent would be, maybe the HD 4850?

Hrnac, I've purchased from Cyberpower multiple times and have had no issues with them.  I have recommended them to a couple friends who also have had no issues, aside from one problem with a power supply (IIRC) that was promptly replaced. 

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Hrnac
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« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2009, 02:53:21 AM »

Now is the part where I start asking more specific questions.

1. I remain interested in some of the nice deals that Dell offers, but am afraid the video card choices will be an issue. All I see offered in the price range I am looking at is the ATI Radeon HD 3450 card. I assume that this card will work with the 300W PS that Dell uses, but upgrading would be pretty much out the door if I went this route. I also wonder how old the HD 3450 is. Are there any other cards that would work with a 300W PS?

2. Vista or wait for Win 7? My window of opportunity to purchase a new PC might be shrinking so a decision of some sort might be needed within the next couple of weeks. I guess I could also look at getting XP again since I really like that OS. How good/bad is Vista these days for a gamer?

3. If I go with Vista, 32 bit or 64 bit? I know that a 32 bit OS will only need 3 GB RAM and that the 64 bit OS can make use of any amount in the system. Is there a compelling reason to pick one over the other?

4. CPU's. Quad Core or Duo Core? Again, any reason to do one over the other? I don't play Shooter type games like Crysis, but do like RPG's like Morrowind, Oblivion and hopefully Fallout 3, so I will want a PC that can power these games at the upper end of things.

5. Case cooling and fans. My current XP PC is almost 5 years old and is near death due to what I suspect are heat issues. It runs but often just freezes up when playing Civ 4, WoW and the Sims 2. The GPU temp is around 54 C according to the Nvidia monitoring tool, so I suspect that the cause could be the CPU over heating. What are decent solutions for making sure a PC will run quiet and cool when one is on a tight budget?

6. Motherboards. I have virtually zero interest in SLI or Crossfire. Do I just bite the bullet and get the low end MB on sites like Cyber PC and I Buy Power or is there a reason to buy an SLI/Crossfire ready MB if you wont end up using dual video cards?

7. Last but not least video cards. I am totally clueless and have no feel for what might be adequate for my gaming needs but also allow me to not have to upgrade within a year or so. In the past I have always went with Nvidia, but after having possible problems with my GeForce 6600 and Civ4, WoW and the Sims 2, I have soured a bit on Nvidia. ATI on the otherhand scares me a bit because I have no first hand experience with their video cards. I am definitely looking for some solid advice here.

Thanks.

-Hrnac
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 09:03:50 PM by Hrnac » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2009, 05:44:28 AM »

One compelling reason for using 64bit over 32bit... if you upgrade the ram later, you don't have to reinstall the OS to make use of it.

Atomic
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« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2009, 12:46:01 PM »

Quote from: Hrnac on June 17, 2009, 02:53:21 AM

Now is the part where I start asking more specific questions.

1. I remain interested in some of the nice deals that Dell offers, but am afraid the video card choices will be an issue. All I see offered in the price range I am looking at is the ATI Radeon HD 3450 card. I assume that this card will work with the 300W PS that Dell uses, but upgrading would be pretty much out the door if I went this route. I also wonder how old the HD 3450 is. Are there any other cards that would work with a 300W PS?

2. Vista or wait for Win 7? My window of opportunity to purchase a new PC might be shrinking so a decision of some sort might be needed within the next couple of weeks. I guess I could also look at getting XP again since I really like that OS. How good/bad is Vista these days for a gamer?

3. If I go with Vista, 32 bit or 64 bit? I know that a 32 bit OS will only need 3 GB RAM and that the 64 bit OS can make use of any amount in the system. Is there a compelling reason to pick one over the other?

4. CPU's. Quad Core or Duo Core? Again, any reason to do one over the other? I don't play Shooter type games like Crysis, but do like RPG's like Morrowind, oblivion and hopefully Fallout 3, so I will want a PC that can power these games at the upper end of things.

5. Case cooling and fans. My current XP PC is almost 5 years old and is near death due to what i suspect are heat issues. It runs but often just freezes up when playing Civ 4, WoW and the Sims 2. The GPU temp is around 54 C according to the Nvidia monitoring tool, so I suspect that the cause could be the CPU over heating. What are decent solutions for making sure a PC will run quiet and cool when one is on a tight budget?

6. Motherboards. I have virtually zero interest in SLI or Crossfire. Do I just bit e the bullet and get the low end MB on sites like Cyber PC and I Buy Power or is there a reason to buy an SLI/Crossfire ready MB if you wont end up using dual video cards?

7. Last but not least video cards. I am totally clueless and have no feel for what might be adequate for my gaming needs but also allow me to not have to upgrade within a year or so. In the past I have always went with Nvidia, but after having possible problems with my GeForce 6600 and Civ4, WoW and the Sims 2, I have soured a bit on Nvidia. ATI on the otherhand scares me a bit because I have no first hand experience with their video cards. I am definitely looking for some solid advice here.

Thanks.

-Hrnac

1. The Dell computer is going to really limit your upgrade choices unless you go with the much more expensive "gamer" line.  A lot of Dells only have two memory slots, poor cooling and no room for real upgrades.  The newer machines are better but you will spend more in the long run and the case may not take standard upgrades (like a better power supply).
2. Windows 7 isn't going to be released until late this fall.  It's possible that a purchase of Vista now from a system builder may let you be eligible for a free upgrade when it comes out.
3. 32 bit XP will read approx 3.25GB and 32 bit Vista/32 bit Windows 7 show all 4 GB but I've read the internals still only use around 3.5GB.  Try to avoid 64 bit XP.  I've had very little trouble with 64 bit Vista or Windows 7 in games though and my key problem was the lack of a Cisco VPN client for 64 bit machines.
4. Quad core is the future.  Dual core is much more mainstream and supported right now though and the CPU speed it typically much faster.  The quad core I'm putting in my wife's computer is running around 2.4 Ghz while my dual core in my computer is running at 3.6 Ghz.  Compared to what you have now either choice is going to be a massive upgrade.
5. 54C is not hot for a graphics card.  My 4850 runs 53C idle and close to 70C gaming.  This is after a massive cleaning...it was running 74C idle and over 100C gaming. 
6. No reason to go SLI or Crossfire right now.  In fact the current trend seems to be moving to a dual core graphics card instead of running 2 cards in SLI.  Often performance is worse in SLI especially in the games you mention are your focus.
7. NVidia and ATI are both great cards.  I've used both for years and have no real preference except for which model has the best performance for the price.  The current generation ATI (4xxx series) was the better purchase over the NVidia cards because the performance was the same or better for much cheaper.  Prices have dropped a great deal online with 9800GT and the 4850 both going for under $100.  Either would be a massive upgrade over your 6600 which was a crippled version of the 6800.

The $600 special you listed a couple posts back was actually a nice computer except for the graphics card.  If that could be upgraded to a better model it would have been a solid pick.  Try to avoid the x500 and x600 Nvidia cards if possible because they are "limited" versions of the x800 series cards.  Keep in mind that none of the current cards fully support Directx 11 but do run it with no issues.  Full scale usage is probably still 6 months-year off though so don't use that as a consideration.
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« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2009, 05:41:19 PM »

What about quad core vs. i7?
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Hrnac
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« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2009, 07:22:32 PM »

Boy this Dell special really has me thinking about things. It's part of their current promotion.

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Quad processor Q8200 (4MB L2, 2.33GHz, 1333FSB) 
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit 
OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Works 9 
WARRANTY & SERVICE 1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis 
MONITOR 20.0" Dell ST2010 HD Widescreen Monitor 
MEMORY 6GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 4DIMMs 
HARD DRIVE 640GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ 
OPTICAL DRIVE 16X DVD+/-RW Drive 
VIDEO CARD ATI Radeon HD 4350 512MB 
SOUND CARD Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio 
KEYBOARD & MOUSE Dell Wireless Desktop Keyboard & Mouse 
MEDIA READER Integrated 16-in-1 Media Card Reader

It also comes with a 20" monitor.

The base cost is $699. For $90 more I could move to the HD 4670 of the GeForce 9088 GT. How good or bad is the included Hd 4350? Would it run my older games ok as well as the Sims 3? If so, I might stick with the base package.

-Hrnac
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 09:51:51 PM by Hrnac » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2009, 08:37:26 PM »

Where is that deal?

As much as I want to pull the trigger on the Dell, I think we are very close to the W7 upgrade coupons. From what I read vendors cannot publish the date until MS releases the information first. The rumor date i heard is 6/26.
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Hrnac
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« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2009, 09:51:03 PM »

Quote from: Jag on June 17, 2009, 08:37:26 PM

Where is that deal?

As much as I want to pull the trigger on the Dell, I think we are very close to the W7 upgrade coupons. From what I read vendors cannot publish the date until MS releases the information first. The rumor date i heard is 6/26.

That deal is on the front page of the Dell site. It's part of the Day 3 deals. Unfortunately it is only good for 3 days. I am torn about the Windows 7 upgrade stuff as well. I would very much like to skip over Vista and go straight to Windows 7.

-Hrnac
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 02:41:44 AM by Hrnac » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2009, 02:36:29 AM »

Microcenter has this:

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0306616

Just picked up one for the house.  You can't beat that for the price-it's an i7, for God's sake!
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Hrnac
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« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2009, 02:54:27 AM »

Quote from: Darkstar One on June 18, 2009, 02:36:29 AM

Microcenter has this:

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0306616

Just picked up one for the house.  You can't beat that for the price-it's an i7, for God's sake!

That's a bit over my budget, but it looks like a great system for the price. Are you not concerned about not being able to upgrade to Windows 7?

-Hrnac
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Hrnac
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« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2009, 03:01:34 AM »

Quote from: ericb on June 17, 2009, 12:46:01 PM

7. NVidia and ATI are both great cards.  I've used both for years and have no real preference except for which model has the best performance for the price.  The current generation ATI (4xxx series) was the better purchase over the NVidia cards because the performance was the same or better for much cheaper.  Prices have dropped a great deal online with 9800GT and the 4850 both going for under $100.  Either would be a massive upgrade over your 6600 which was a crippled version of the 6800.

The $600 special you listed a couple posts back was actually a nice computer except for the graphics card.  If that could be upgraded to a better model it would have been a solid pick.  Try to avoid the x500 and x600 Nvidia cards if possible because they are "limited" versions of the x800 series cards.  Keep in mind that none of the current cards fully support Directx 11 but do run it with no issues.  Full scale usage is probably still 6 months-year off though so don't use that as a consideration.

I am really having a hard time deciding what video card to shoot for. Right now I have seen systems in my price range that offer the following cards.

HD 4350, HD 4670, HD 4830, HD 4850, GF 9600GT, GF 9800GT, GF GTS 250. 

I need to figure out what type of PSU these card need so I don't get caught with too little power. Of the above cards, I am leaning the most towards the HD 4830 and the GF 9600GT due to price. I might be able to bump up to the HD 4850 or the GF 9800GT.

Have you any thoughts on these cards?

-Hrnac
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ericb
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« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2009, 03:26:22 AM »

Check the 6 pin power connectors needed for each card as well.  I know some of the Nvidia cards take two while I know the 4850 only requires one.  Something else to look at besides just the raw wattage.  Anyway, shouldn't be that big of a deal...I'm running a 9600 GT and a 4850 on a 450-500W power supply.  No need for the massive 650-1200W supplies.  The 4850 will run hotter than the 9600 but it will beat the 9600 (and the lower 4xxx models) in performance. 
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rittchard
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« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2009, 05:40:43 PM »

Quote from: Hrnac on June 18, 2009, 03:01:34 AM

I am really having a hard time deciding what video card to shoot for. Right now I have seen systems in my price range that offer the following cards.

HD 4350, HD 4670, HD 4830, HD 4850, GF 9600GT, GF 9800GT, GF GTS 250. 

I need to figure out what type of PSU these card need so I don't get caught with too little power. Of the above cards, I am leaning the most towards the HD 4830 and the GF 9600GT due to price. I might be able to bump up to the HD 4850 or the GF 9800GT.

Have you any thoughts on these cards?

-Hrnac

My favorite place to look is Tom's Hardware, they usually do a "best bang for the buck" roundup every month - looks like HD4850 is the way to go right now.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-price,2323-2.html
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« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2009, 04:23:44 AM »

I think I am going to shoot for either the HD 4830 or the HD 4850. I saw an add for Extreme Gear (www.buyxg.com) in the May PC Gamer. Anyone have any experience with them? Their site looks interesting.

-Hrnac
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Jag
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« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2009, 12:41:35 PM »

Because you are not agonizing enough:

Quote
Although Windows 7 doesn't officially hit the market until October 22, the program--set to kick off on June 26-- is to stimulate potential customers into purchasing a new PC before the Windows 7 launch. The upgrade coupons will supposedly expire after January 31, 2010, more than three months after Best Buy's unannounced plan. Many businesses fear that PC sales will drop over the summer due to potential customers waiting for the release of Windows 7, hence the creation of special upgrade offers.
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Windows-7-Upgrade-Coupons,8074.html
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« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2009, 01:28:11 PM »

Quote from: Hrnac on June 20, 2009, 04:23:44 AM

I think I am going to shoot for either the HD 4830 or the HD 4850. I saw an add for Extreme Gear (www.buyxg.com) in the May PC Gamer. Anyone have any experience with them? Their site looks interesting.

-Hrnac

Avoid the 4830.  It's designed for lite gaming and it's main claim (for most of them) is passive cooling for use in home theater boxes and basic computer use.  It's too bad there are like 6 different 4xxx models right now as it gets very confusing.
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Hrnac
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« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2009, 03:35:56 PM »

Quote from: ericb on June 20, 2009, 01:28:11 PM

Quote from: Hrnac on June 20, 2009, 04:23:44 AM

I think I am going to shoot for either the HD 4830 or the HD 4850. I saw an add for Extreme Gear (www.buyxg.com) in the May PC Gamer. Anyone have any experience with them? Their site looks interesting.

-Hrnac

Avoid the 4830.  It's designed for lite gaming and it's main claim (for most of them) is passive cooling for use in home theater boxes and basic computer use.  It's too bad there are like 6 different 4xxx models right now as it gets very confusing.

If I go ATI, then I should go for the 4850 at the very least? What would the minimum Nvidia card be? 9800GT?

-Hrnac
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« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2009, 07:23:52 PM »

If you go Nvidia-- 9800gt are about $90 , next up is GTS 250 which are around $130, next up in performance is a GTX 260 for $160-200 range, next is GTX 275 for $250.  I would recommend at least the GTS 250 if you go Nvidia.

For ATI you have 4850<4870<4890 for performance.  You want at least a 4850 if you choose ATI.
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Hrnac
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« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2009, 09:12:03 PM »

Quote from: DrJones on June 20, 2009, 07:23:52 PM

If you go Nvidia-- 9800gt are about $90 , next up is GTS 250 which are around $130, next up in performance is a GTX 260 for $160-200 range, next is GTX 275 for $250.  I would recommend at least the GTS 250 if you go Nvidia.

For ATI you have 4850<4870<4890 for performance.  You want at least a 4850 if you choose ATI.

I would prefer to get a video card that wont heat my house and sound like a jet taking off. I am going to up my budget by $100 so my new goal is to stay under this amount. The powers that be have approved my funding request so it is time to roll up the sleeves and get to work. I do want to be able to snag a Windows 7 upgrade coupon so I will need to wait until that info is out.

How is the Radeon HD 4770 card?

-Hrnac
« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 04:28:44 AM by Hrnac » Logged

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