Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bargain Gaming Rig

Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition - $110
Motherboard: ASUS M4A78 Plus - $70 (after $10 rebate)
RAM: OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 - $30 (after $20 rebate)
Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB - $100 (after $15 rebate)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB - $60
Case: Rosewill TU-155 Black Steel ATX Black - $60
Optical Drive: SAMSUNG Black 22X SATA DVD+-RW - $27

Discount: $55 (CPU/MB, VC/RAM, and Case/HD combo deals)
Shipping: $22 (to my area, anyway)
Total: $424

Wow! This is one killer machine for only $424!

The video card may not be the latest, but it's better than what I have at home. It should be able to play most of the newest 3D games smoothly at high settings. It even comes with an integrated HDMI port. I'll talk more about video cards later, but let me just say that you won't find anything better for anywhere near this price!

The hard drive is built for performance, having 32MB cache and dual processors.

The DVD drive is pretty straightforward. When shopping for these, make sure you get one with a SATA interface instead of IDE. It's much easier to manage SATA cabling inside the case. By the way, this optical drive as well as the hard drive do not come with their own SATA cables. Thankfully, the motherboard comes with two.

Cases are mostly about personal preference, but a family member of mine owns this one and loves it. It's definitely a bargain.

The power supply that comes with the case should have enough power to support this hardware, but if you plan on using more devices you might want to consider something just a little more beefy. As it is, you will need to use the power adapter that comes with the video card. You will also need to use the Molex-SATA adapter that comes with the motherboard in order to power one of your SATA devices (hard drive or DVD drive) because the PSU only has one SATA cable. If you'd rather have a power supply that takes care of all these issues, try this:

Power Supply: SIGMA Power Engine SP-535 535W - $25 (after $15 rebate) + $3 shipping
New Total: $452

Obviously, you'll need a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and speakers. If you're upgrading from an old machine, you'll already have these. I'm only dealing with the stuff inside the box for now, but feel free to ask any questions if you want an opinion on something else.

Again, this machine is simply awesome for the price. Good luck finding a better deal anywhere else. If you want one, contact me about building it for you. Enjoy!

Note: At least one of the discounts ends on June 20th.

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