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View Full Version : How nice of a PC can I get for $500



Dark Aspect
August 10th, 2011, 09:37 PM
Hello all,

I am looking at buying a PC for gaming cause obviously mine are grossly outdated for such activities (See Sig). However, I have a limited budget and probably always will the way the economy is and am looking for the best hardware for my money. I've personally had good luck with Nvidia and Asus and while I would like to play PC intense games, I don't have to play it in the highest resolution to be happy. I am planing on overclocking out of box and something for around $500. I want USB 3.0, any recommendations?

I don't need a Monitor or Hard drive, I have these things. I was thinking this (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=814355&CatId=332) and trading the power supply out with a better 500 Watt thats in my Asus A8N-E. I like Tigerdirect's bare bone kits but they always have poor power supplies. I would prefer to buy from Newegg or tigerdirect but am completely open to recommendations.

KUU
August 10th, 2011, 09:52 PM
http://www.amazon.com/lm/R2DR876NCR3ZQQ?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full#

Dark Aspect
August 10th, 2011, 10:09 PM
http://www.amazon.com/lm/R2DR876NCR3ZQQ?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full#

I am not a hardware expert but I know little. Is a Intel i3 weaker or stronger than an i7? I am a little confused on why they are counting down on what appears to be newer models?

Just curious.

mips
August 10th, 2011, 10:30 PM
Is a Intel i3 weaker or stronger than an i7?

Weaker.

i7->i5->i3

i5 2500K + P series MB chipset seems to hit the sweet spot.

papibe
August 10th, 2011, 10:37 PM
Maximum PC Magazine (http://www.maximumpc.com/) is always publishing interesting articles on how to build your own PCs. There are several examples on their website from budget PC to expensive HTPCs.

After a quick search I found this (http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/how_build_kick-***_gaming_rig_under_700) example of a gaming PC for $667. If you remove the Windows license, it gets down to $568. I would replace the GPU for an Nvidia though (just me).

Just some thoughts,
Regards.

3Miro
August 11th, 2011, 02:36 AM
If you are on a budget consider using AMD CPU and GPU, they are much cheaper than Intel and Nvidia. Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4 should be enough for pretty much all games, spend the rest of the money on Radeon 55xx or 65xx (68xx is much better, but maybe too expensive). With that you can go with cheaper PSU.

You can sometimes get a better used machine on craigslist. It is a bit of a gamble, but may be worth it.

Building a machine yourself is the best way to get cheap hardware, however, getting a legal windows license in that situation is pricey.

mrspacklecrisp
August 11th, 2011, 05:37 AM
Pretty nice, especially if it's a desktop. The only people who need to concern themselves with comparative performance anymore are artists, gamers, game developers, possibly scientists, maybe a few others. Just about any computer you find nowadays has enough power to do what regular people do with computers.

fcomstoc
August 13th, 2011, 04:58 AM
I went to Fry's toady and purchased the parts for a new computer for under $500. They included:

Intel i5 2500k (overclock potential) ~ $220
Asus motherboard ~$99
8gb DDR3 ram ~$60
Zalman CPU cooler ~$30

I already had a mini atx case from an old media center pc from hp and a ATI HD 6770, so I put it all together. It was probably just over $500 but it is worth it. The i5 2500K is excellent.

I had Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on the HD I put in it, I can't wait to see what it will do on Ubuntu. I am planning on trying it this weekend

:D:D

Dark Aspect
August 18th, 2011, 06:30 PM
Sorry to resurrect a slightly older thread but I decided to go a little over budget and get this:

ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131651)
GeForce GTX 550 1GB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130625)
AMD Phenom II X4 970 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103894)
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021)
Patriot Viper II Sector 7 Edition 12GB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220498)
Blu-ray/DVD/CD burner/reader (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136226)

Probably not the absolute best but like I said I don't have to max everything out to be happy.

linuxforartists
August 18th, 2011, 10:03 PM
CyberpowerPC and iBuypower are two companies that make custom gaming machines. They also sell pre-built machines on New Egg, sometimes you can find good deals. You lose the ability to choose the parts, but I like that they've already matched up parts that are compatible.

KUU
August 18th, 2011, 10:10 PM
CyberpowerPC and iBuypower are two companies that make custom gaming machines. They also sell pre-built machines on New Egg, sometimes you can find good deals. You lose the ability to choose the parts, but I like that they've already matched up parts that are compatible.


Nice though I like the enjoyment of a self build, great experience.

forrestcupp
August 18th, 2011, 11:50 PM
For good, reliable gaming, you should have just saved your money and bought an Xbox 360 or a PS3. :)

Quadunit404
August 19th, 2011, 06:28 AM
For good, reliable gaming, you should have just saved your money and bought an Xbox 360 or a PS3. :)

It's possible to game on a PC, you just need to be sure your PC meets at least the minimum requirements for each game. Most reliably good gaming PCs that work with all the current and retro games are in excess of $900.

OP: You can get a low-end gaming machine for about $500, but don't expect it to last you in the long run. I used to have one and games on medium or low settings usually reached about 20 - 30FPS. Not very good, but hey, I got what I paid for.

JDShu
August 19th, 2011, 06:42 AM
Get something with a good processor - those aren't really improving anymore. The graphics card can be upgraded periodically as needed to keep up with current games and other software.

rjbl
August 19th, 2011, 08:43 AM
Eighteen months ago I knocked together a GeForce 6100PM-M2 (with AMD 64 3800) + 4gig of 667Mz memory + a 15 - 00 PSU + a 500Gig SATA drive + a HannsG HZ194 wide monitor. Stuck Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on it (easiest install / configuration I have ever seen or done). Not bleeding edge but really cheap - like about 150. Does it work? Yep, absolutely flawlessly. Does everything I need, or want (Except Flight Sim X).

Answer to your exam question : There probably aint a magic hardware prescription, think of the functionality you need and want and go for the cheapest hardware that will support it.

Hope this helps
rjbl

mips
August 19th, 2011, 08:48 AM
Sorry to resurrect a slightly older thread but I decided to go a little over budget...

What is your current budget then?