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System Builder Marathon: $500 Gaming PC

System Builder Marathon: $500 Gaming PC
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System Builder Marathon, October 2008: The Articles

Here are links to each each of the four articles in this month’s System Builder Marathon (we’ll update them as each story is published).

How little money can you spend and still build a machine able to serve up decent performance in a wide range of applications and games? In this System Builder Marathon, we aim to see if it can be done for less than $500.

With such a limited budget for the entry-level system, it seemed obvious that the components would need to take overclocking into consideration in order to truly put up impressive performance results.

Our choice of hardware may not satisfy everyone, nor will they necessarily offer the best performance out of the box, but we are confident that once overclocked, this system will squeeze a serious amount of performance and value out of each and every dollar spent. Let’s take a look at the pieces we picked for this month’s entry-level system.

$500 Entry-Level System Components
Component Model Price (U.S.D.)
CPU Intel Pentium E2180 70
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper TX2 30
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L 85
RAM Wintec AMPO PC2-6400 2x1GB 35
Graphics PNY VCG88512GXEB-FLB GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 110
Hard Drives Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3400620AS 400GB 65
Sound Integrated 8-Channel HD Audio 0
Network Integrated Gigabit Networking 0
Case Antec NSK4480B 80
Power Earthwatts 380W Included w/Case 0
Optical LITE-ON 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-04 24
Total Price $499

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 30 October 2008 16:01
    Looking at the three systems that TH has put together for these reviews:
    All the CPU's are of INTEL, does this mean that AMD is not an economical option in any of these price/performance brackets?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 30 October 2008 16:41
    obviously not, this test is for price/power. if economy was a big factor in these reviews then im sure an amd proc would of gone in this computer.most likely not the super pc tho :p 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 30 October 2008 16:44
    It means that AMD simply isn't giving a decent power:p rice ratio. As good as some of the chips AMD has released they just don't quite get there in terms of what you're paying for in comparison
  • 0 Hide
    kyzarvs , 30 October 2008 17:22
    Surely (as suggested in the article as an alternative) an X2 6000 which is already a 3ghz CPU would be a better long-term bet than a heavily overclocked Intel?

    I woud have thought that for those with only $500 to spend, they would also be looking for years of stability rather than ultimate raw speed /shrug
  • 0 Hide
    waxdart , 30 October 2008 19:20
    Kyzarvs> well said. The conclusion I got, was there is nothing out there for $500 and you'll have to overclock.

    What if you don't want to overclock?

    Would anyone here play games at 800x600 to get a good frame rate with high detail. For some parts of crysis I did. guess what - it was still a great game.
  • 0 Hide
    goozaymunanos , 30 October 2008 22:58
    well said, waxdart.

    cheers,
    bill

    p.s. stuff and nonsense: http://www.eupeople.net/forum
  • 0 Hide
    bobwya , 31 October 2008 02:46
    Well AMD can't compete with Intel at the low because of:


    However the choice of a E2180 is a bit stupid IMHO.

    Bob
  • 0 Hide
    GMoss , 19 November 2008 16:59
    waxdartKyzarvs> well said. The conclusion I got, was there is nothing out there for $500 and you'll have to overclock.What if you don't want to overclock?Would anyone here play games at 800x600 to get a good frame rate with high detail. For some parts of crysis I did. guess what - it was still a great game.



    Well put it this way, Would you Spend £250/$500 to run Games @ 800x600 And then be outrun by something even cheaper in the next couple of months?

    You have to look at it this way;
    Spend Money on a good PC that will Outrun for months/year.
    Or Spend a little amount on a PC; which you can overclock to the max and then buy another pc for a little amount once it has been outrun?

    Great review guys,

    Gareth.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 25 February 2009 17:49
    How much are motherboard's?:)