Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
PC Games (Games) The Almighty Buck Hardware

How to Build a $500 Gaming Machine 305

Posted by Zonk
from the cutting-edge-just-isn't-necessary dept.
bacterial_pus writes "Tom's Hardware has a very interesting article on how to build a $500 gaming rig. 'Instead of the newest killer rig from Alienware, Falcon Northwest, Voodoo, etc... how about a system for the rest of us with a realistic budget starting from scratch? We set out to build a reasonable gaming system that will get you through today's game titles without breaking the bank for around $500.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How to Build a $500 Gaming Machine

Comments Filter:
  • Pirates! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <`jmorris' `at' `beau.org'> on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:43PM (#13905451)
    Uh huh. A gaming machine that doesn't run Windows? Or are they just yo ho ho pirates at Tom's and expecting everyone to be loading it up from the bootleg .iso of Windows XP Corporate Edition that 'everybody' has in their shoebox of warez?

    Add that line item in and to stay on budget will require some drastic downsizing in everything else.

    Oh, and I know they only cost $20 sans P/S but they also forgot a case. Idiots.
    • Re:Pirates! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rkcallaghan (858110) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:53PM (#13905512)
      Uh huh. A gaming machine that doesn't run Windows? Or are they just yo ho ho pirates at Tom's and expecting everyone to be loading it up from the bootleg .iso of Windows XP Corporate Edition that 'everybody' has in their shoebox of warez?

      Oh, and I know they only cost $20 sans P/S but they also forgot a case. Idiots.

      While I realize it was bad form not to mention it directly; neither of those items is exactly rare in the typical Tom's reader's closet. I've got a few legit Windows licenses and extra chassis. They're aren't hard to come by.

      ~Rebecca
      • Re:Pirates! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xSauronx (608805)
        The thing is, honestly, that they left those things out so that they could tout a $500 gaming machine as something worth reading so they could attract traffic to their website. A number of hardware sites have been doing rigs for years at multiple levels, especially budget machines, but i dont recall any of them leaving out necessary parts or accessories so they could use the "sub-$500 gaming rig" headline in an attempt to attract traffic to their site.

        Toms did, and now slashdot has directed traffic to the

        • Well it's hard for me to see this as cheating when I haven't bought a new system all at once for over 10 years. Why would I buy a new case when it wouldn't make my system run any better? And since I'm not upgrading everything, I won't have a working PC left over, so why would I need a new copy of Windows? I see this as a $500 performance upgrade, what does that have to do with buying a new mouse?
      • While I realize it was bad form not to mention it directly; neither of those items is exactly rare in the typical Tom's reader's closet. I've got a few legit Windows licenses and extra chassis. They're aren't hard to come by.

        Windows XP Pro x64 OEM edition is $145 at Newegg... this isn't exactly something everyone has extra copies of sitting in their closet unless they've pirated it. It also adds around 30% to the cost of their "$500" system.

    • Re:Pirates! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Praxx (918463) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:58PM (#13905537)
      Students at my university (who are also more likely to appreciate a $500 gaming rig) can get a Windows XP license for $6.
    • Re:Pirates! (Score:5, Funny)

      by stud9920 (236753) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @03:10PM (#13905592)
      We're not in 1995 anymore. Everyone owns a PC. Now if you build a modern PC, you won't need the old anymore, and good luck selling the old one.

      Only in Microsoft's wettest dreams is it not allowed to reeuse a copy of windows on a newer PC.
      • Only in Microsoft's wettest dreams is it not allowed to reeuse a copy of windows on a newer PC.

        Ever tried to install a Dell/HP/E-Machines/etc OEM copy of XP on anything else? It won't boot up, it throws you an error that your system isn't the same brand as what the XP disc was sold for use with.
        • Ever tried to install a Dell/HP/E-Machines/etc OEM copy of XP on anything else?
          Ok, find someone who has a more than a 'restore disk', use that. How is this not pirating? Use the license key from the old machine.
      • Only in Microsoft's wettest dreams is it not allowed to reeuse a copy of windows on a newer PC.

        That's wrong on two levels. If you have "upgrade" media (which is what most people buy) from MS and try to install it on a PC without an installed MS OS, it will abort. Secondly, if you have the full version of XP, you will have to have to activate Windows again, and you aren't allowed to install it on two machines. Microsoft's wet dream has been realized. Microsoft no longer has customers, it has consumers

        • Re:Pirates! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Decker-Mage (782424)
          I beg to differ on your second point. I've moved my Windows Server 2003 Enterprise from one system to another with no problem and it hasn't required anything except that I do one of two things: completely fill out the registration information before I click on Activate or give Microsoft a call. the same is true with Windows XP Pro here as well and yes I have called them when I've been at one of my remote machines or at a clients and are moving things over and it bounced for some strange reason. Actually
    • Re:Pirates! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ChrisGilliard (913445)
      Oh, and I know they only cost $20 sans P/S but they also forgot a case. Idiots.

      Who needs a case? See? [comcast.net]
    • Re:Pirates! (Score:5, Funny)

      by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @03:43PM (#13905714) Homepage Journal
      Meh, ,who needs a case when you can just use a pumpkin! [pcworld.com]
    • They're talking about the machine, not the software. Might as well say "A gaming machine that doesn't run games? ...".
    • Looking at the system specs, you could dump the 64 bit processor for an AMD Socket A processer, and probably save atleast $100 on the processor and motherboard, and possibly even get away with slighly cheaper type of memory. Sure, it won't be as fast, but a socket A system can still run new games. From there you would have enough leftover cash to afford a Windows XP home lincense and a cheap case.
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:48PM (#13905479) Homepage Journal
    Did you forget something? Are you sure? Uh, the case?
    • You must have missed the line that said "Since we're on a tight budget, we'll forgo the use of a case and just lay our components on a piece of cardboard."

      Okay, so they didnt' really say that, but I think it's implied!
    • The case, monitor, keyboard, mouse etc don't have to be upgraded. I'm assuming this $500 gaming machine is in response to console players saying PC gaming is too expensive.

      Adding the monitor etc to the price is like adding the TV and stereo to the price of the console. In 5 years when the newest stuff is out, you don't need to upgrade your case or mouse or keyboard to play the latest games.
  • They left out the case! Cases are like 60$ for a good one. What are they going to do, leave all the parts scattered over the floor, or pinned up on the wall? (of course pinning up on the wall also requires parts).

    The final cost of this machine is more like around $570, and then when you include the shipping on the parts you bought online... Well... I'd say it comes to more like $600. (Possibly more?)

    Still... A good guide for the newbies to budget PC design. This article really makes me feel outdated wi

    • Use AdBlock [mozdev.org], and block everything from intellitext.com.
    • Yeah, i've got an FX5700, and it's starting to show it's ages in more recent games - mostly the demo for the new Age Of Empires game...which is one of the few that I actually still play. That's the only reason I read this article, i wanted to see what video card they put in it.
      • And if you want to play todays games, you ignore the article.

        6600 (non-GT) is a piece of crap.

        You just can't get a gaming videocard for 100-120$. If you want to buy something that doesn't go obsolete for gaming immediately again, you need to spend about 200-250$ (that would be something like X800GTO, X800XL or 6800/6800GT - depends a bit if your mobo is AGP or PCIE)

        Yes, it's twice the price - and about three times the expected useful life as a gaming videocard. 6600 is already obsolete for gaming - its just
        • WTF? I game on a GF4 TI4600 or a GF FX 5200 depending on the game and which side of my desktop I want it on. Both are completely up to the task of running any game out there at 40+FPS (except BF2 won't run on the GF4, but thats another gripe for another day).
    • Couple Adblock+ [sitesled.com] with Filterset.G [pierceive.com] and you'll have yourself a clean browsing experience. I personally maintain my own filters, but by "maintain" I mean "edit every once in a while".
  • the punchline (Score:5, Informative)

    by randyest (589159) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:50PM (#13905488) Homepage
    Couldn't find a printable link, so to save you from 8 clicks on "next->" and more ads than I could count (they went over budget by $16.49):

    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3000+ $146
    Motherboard: ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 $69
    Memory: Corsair Value Select 512 MB (2x 256 MB) $52
    VGA: eVGA 256-A8-N340-TX Geforce 6600 256 MB $113
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80 GB $57.50
    Optical Drive LITE-ON Black 16X DVD-ROM $19.99
    Power Supply: SeaSonic S12-330 ATX12V 330W $59.00
    Total: $516.49

    • they went over budget by $16.49

      Not only did they go $16.49 over budget, as a few people have already pointed out, they have missed out the OS, case, speakers, mouse, keyboard and monitor. They seem to have failed miserably.
      • (all quotes via NewEgg unless cited otherwise)

        Foxconn NF4K8AB-RS Socket 754 NVIDIA nForce4-4X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
        Model #: NF4K8AB-RS $63.00
        Albatron PC6600Q Geforce 6600 256MB DDR PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
        Model #: PC6600Q $109.00
        AMD Sempron 64 2600+ Palermo 800MHz FSB Socket 754 Processor Model SDA2600BXBOX - Retail
        Model #: SDA2600BXBOX $64.00
        CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model VS1GB400C3 - Retail Model #: VS1GB400C3 $95.16
        Seagate Barr
      • the OS, case, speakers, mouse, keyboard and monitor

        All things that I already have, and that have not improved significantly since I bought them 2 years ago. I have been using the same (high quality home stereo) speakers for almost a decade now. My favorite mouse is the Logitech iFeel MouseMan, of which I own 3, one still in the box, and I do not plan to buy anything else for at least another 5 years.

        The things listed in this article are the things needed by someone with a good gaming computer from 1-2 yea
    • And... they expect to run the game under Linux? Where's the OS cost?
    • Couldn't find a printable link, so to save you from 8 clicks on "next->" and more ads than I could count (they went over budget by $16.49)

      That's okay! All those ads the site is infested with will pay for that. ;)
    • Many people have mentioned missing hardware/software components, I will chime in here with a sound card (if there's an onboard one it wasn't mentioned) and a network interface (same here). These parts can often be pulled from old machines if they weren't onboard on the old machines, but a sound card with no acceleration can put more load on the CPU. A cheap NIC runs $10-15, and if I recall correctly tends to offload more work to the CPU than a better one (not that I think many people plunk down the money
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:51PM (#13905490)
    1 Pay 498$ for XP licience
    2 Pay 1$ bus fare to nearest alienware retailer
    3 Throw brick through retailers window (If you buy a brick it breaks the budget so steal one)
    4 Grab demo model and run (you can call this pc liberation if makes you feel better)
    5 Pay 1$ bus fare home
    6 Happy gaming
  • A Few Omissions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chasuk (62477) <chasuk@gmail.com> on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:52PM (#13905501)
    Most of us find a keyboard and a mouse useful on our gaming rigs, and a pair of speakers, and oh, I don't know, an OS, a case, and possibly even a monitor.

    A $500 gaming rig? Not quite!
    • My current videocard is below the minimum system requirements of most games.
      My keyboard, mouse, monitor, case, headphones, speakers, OS, router, cable modem, internet connection, UPS, electricity, TV to watch while I wait for a friend to join, and cat that sleeps on my monitor are all perfectly capable of new games.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:52PM (#13905503)
    And then there's how to acquire a gaming machine for less than $500.

    PS2
    XBox
    Nintendo GC

    And coming soon:

    PS3
    XBox 360

    Remember that they were building a machine only for gaming too in that article.

    • Which of those can I run Civilization 3 on?
      • Shh! You're not supposed to ask questions like this. Console proponents hate when you point out that an RTS or FPS completely sucks ass on these "gaming systems".

        The moment you bring it up, the moment they go into a tizzy about how those game types suck anyway and you should just be happy with other types of games, 'cos, hey, they are, and they don't feel like they're missing out on anything.

        What works for them has to work for you. Or else!
        • FPS doesn't suck on consoles. I'm sure you hate Halo 2, but there is a reason it's sold over 5 million copies. RTS... well, fair enough. If you're into RTS, you're definitely going to need a PC. However, chances are it's gonna cost you more than $500.
        • I fully agree that playing a First person shooter on a console just isn't the same : Then again, keep in mind that nowadays most console FPS are purely designed around their limits ;

          For example, as vertical movement/aiming is much more complex with a controller, most of the leveldesign is based around having the action on a horizontal angle : when Halo got ported to the PC, its version (the single player part) sucked tremendously, because most of the action was too simple without much vertical fighting in

        • this may well change soon. remeber that when the next nintendo comes out it will have a motion sensitive pointer like device as main controller. from what i understand those that have been able to test a modified version of metroid prime liked how it worked for aiming. and i would guess you could allso use it as a pointer control in a rts. hotkeys may be a problem tho.

          allso, didnt the PS2 sport usb ports? and support normal keyboard and mouse thru that? and now atleast the PS3 and the revolution (that new n
        • Uhmm...IMHO it's the issue of misunderstanding the roots of the dillema - on BOTH sides.
          It's not that it's impossible to attach keyboard or mouse to console (PS2 accepts normal USB ones... and PS1 had it's own mouse) or that it's impossible to do good FPS or RTS on a console (I think one of the most enjoyable FPS experiences for me was Quake2 on PS1 - mouse in right hand, dual shock (force feedback, ANALOGUE movement, 3 keys accesible without movinf fingers + 5 more) in the left; also there was fun RTS, War
    • You forgot the Dreamcast, you insensitive clod!
    • I cant remember, which one of those lets me play World of Warcraft?
    • PS2, XBox, Nintendo GC, PS3, XBox 360

      That's like buying a DVD player that can only play MPAA movies, not Creative Commons licensed movies and other independent movies that have been saved as MPEG-2. How do I lawfully run independent video games on any of the video game consoles that you mentioned? Heck, how do I even run Half-Life mods (other than Counter-Strike) on a console?

  • As others said - no monitor and no peripherals (and I'd say that since it's a gaming machine then it would be reasonable to include a joystick and a wheel. But then I play lots of sims, others may skip it).

    Also - 512MB of RAM is too low for gaming these days (especially when compared against selected CPU+Video).

    Add all of the above and we are at $1000. As expected.

    Oh, and software costs are not included! This means we _need_ to upgrade DVD-ROM to a burner, right?
  • Dell Coupons (Score:3, Informative)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:54PM (#13905516) Homepage Journal
    Check out Dell coupons, do a google search, dell has some good deals as long as you dont buy upgrades from them. Monarch or Newegg are my favorite low cost, and top pricewatch listings for lowest price.

    I wanted a Dell 24inch LCD, Dell had a dual core 2.8ghz system with 24 LCD for 1199. So, basically I got the computer for a 2-3 hundred above a 24 inch on sale. Or free on normal prices. (160 HD, Dual DVD/DVR, ATI 300, system)

    I picked up a 7800 GT/OC for 350, almost 7000 3dmark, every game can run 1900x1200 or 1600x1200 with AA/AF on. And it included Call of Duty 2.

    Figured I can always build an AMD X2 system later and put the GFX card in it, and bump upto 8500-9000 3dmark, next year when the prices drop.

    I missed running dual core, since my dual P3-800, so nice.

  • by davidwr (791652) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:54PM (#13905522) Homepage Journal
    If you want a "great" inexpensive gaming system just pretend it's 3 years ago but pay today's prices.

    The best games of 2002 aren't all that bad.

    Want cheaper? Keep dialing back the clock.
    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @04:31PM (#13905917)
      Want cheaper? Keep dialing back the clock.

      2330 PRINT "WEATHER REPORT: A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM"
      2340 PRINT "HIT LEMONSVILLE EARLIER TODAY, JUST AS"
      2350 PRINT "THE LEMONADE STANDS WERE BEING SET UP."
      2360 PRINT "UNFORTUNATELY, EVERYTHING WAS RUINED!!"
    • Bingo!

      The games and systems are both cheaper, because the cutting-edge gamers have moved on to bigger and better things.

      You don't have to suffer through sub-par games, because time has already separated the wheat from the chaff.

      There is lots of accumulated knowledge about the game on the Internet, in case you get stuck and would rather have a hint than spend hours of trial-and-error finding what you missed.
  • by slackmaster2000 (820067) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @02:55PM (#13905526)
    You can always scale back graphics to bump up fps, but some of these new games are so memory intensive that 512MB just isn't cutting it anymore. I certainly regret making the decision to do 256x2 in my machine...especially since upgrading to gig and maintaining dual channel means I have to buy 2 sticks of 512. Bummer. Swapping is something I've had to deal with in a number of games, from HL2 to BF2. It's not terrible, but enough that I do have to go and shut down a lot of stuff I run at startup before playing to minimize it. I would spend the extra dough on a gig right off if I had to do it over.

    This article assumes (hopefully intentionally) that you're reusing a bit of stuff from your last machine...I mean, a *case*, mouse/keyboard, monitor, speakers, etc. Money might be found for more memory then by recycling a hard drive and CDROM/DVD drive.
  • I usually check out www.sharkyextreme.com [sharkyextreme.com] for some information on systems built to a certain price. It has a few different options like low-end, gaming, high end. (Don't exactly remember.) Helps a bit even if they aren't one of the top hardware sites. I've always found their guides to be very useful.
  • by Achra (846023) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @03:10PM (#13905600) Journal
    Well, this story is just junk.. But here's my 2 cents. Buy enough cheap ram to upgrade to 512mb. Make sure that you have a machine that runs in the neighborhood of 2ghz (P4/Athlon XP). Purchase an ATI Radeon 9500Pro ($40ish on ebay). This should be enough to be able to play Doom 3 and the other modern titles. No, they won't look great, but they will certainly be playable. I'm on a rig like that right now, and it runs Doom 3 at 1024x768 with specular lighting at around 30fps.
    As a general rule of thumb when purchasing a video card on a budget, always buy yesterday's performance model rather than today's budget model.
  • Ars Technica (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kesh (65890) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @03:15PM (#13905618)
    I'd rather use the Ars Technica System Guides [arstechnica.com]. They tend to be a bit more realistic and don't hype up a specific price point. Plus, they get all the components in. ;)

    Their Budget Box [arstechnica.com] is comparable to the one Tom's built, and actually includes all the necessary parts in the price.

    • Yea, I don't think I like those arstechnica links

      They don't have nearly enough advertising on their website.
      They only have two banners and one adbox.
      and their site design is such a mess

      Toms Hardware is sooooo much cooler with their green text links & massive link boxes.
      And the layout is much much cleaner

      /sarcasm
      Why do I hate TomsHardware?
      Is it because it doesn't have much Tom in it anymore?

  • AMD Athlon 64 3000+ $146
    SRock 939Dual-SATA2 $69
    orsair Value Select 512 MB (2x 256 MB) $52
    Geforce 6600 256 MB $113
    Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80 GB $57.50
    LITE-ON Black 16X DVD-ROM $19.99
    SeaSonic S12-330 ATX12V 330W $59.00
    Total $516.49

    There's the article, without a bunch of bullshit.

    Dunno wtf they expect you to do without a case though.
    • All the geforce 6600 cost over $200. I just purchased one 2 weeks ago and got a 6600GT but they they only come with 128 megs of ram but they are generally faster than the original 6600's.

      still doom3 shutters when I go above 800x600. This was $275 later. What gives?
  • by g_adams27 (581237) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @03:26PM (#13905654)
    Sharky Extreme does this kind of thing on a regular basis, usually every month.

    Value Gaming System Buyer's Guide ($1000 budget) [sharkyextreme.com]

    High-end System Buyer's Guide ($2,500 budget) [sharkyextreme.com]

    Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide ($4,000 budget) [sharkyextreme.com]

  • Of Course No Case (Score:4, Insightful)

    by matthewcraig (68187) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @03:28PM (#13905660)
    Many comments have mentioned the case and keyboard and mouse and monitor and speakers were not included. Of course, they were not included because PC gamers building a new system already have another computer. These peripherals are assumed to be present in computer gamers' enviornments. The article did not include prices on a chair for sitting upon, but I will assume a gamer probably already has this peripheral. They don't need help purchasing one because if they didn't have a chair or a case or a keyboard, then they surely know it and can go buy it without the help of a computer purchasing walkthrough. These peripherals have not changed in decades, and Tom's Hardware does not include it in their gaming-rig loadouts.
  • ASRock motherboard (AMD Socket 939, PCI Express/AGP, SATA2) - $69
    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Processor (1.8GHz, boxed CPU kit with cooler) - $146
    eVGA's nVidia GeForce 6600 (256MB, AGP) - $113
    512MB Corsair Value Select (PC3200, dual-channel DDR400 RAM) - $52
    80GB Western Digital Caviar SE hard drive (WD800JD, SATA 150, 8MB cache, 7200rpm) - $57.50
    DVD-ROM from LiteOn (SOHD-16P9SBLK, 16x read) - $20
    330W PSU from Seasonic (S12-330, ATX 12V) - $59
  • Since your building this machine yourself you will need a copy of XP to actually play the games on. Also is this thing just going to float in the air or something? I guess the "$500 budget game machine" sounds better than the "$700 budget game machine" which is what this really would cost to build. But why let facts get in the way of a good ad generator, I mean story.

    btw that entire article could fit onto 2 pages if they could keep the ads down a bit. Has ad revenue really dropped that badly that even a sit
  • Not going to get very far without a keyboard and mouse, speakers, or a monitor, either. I'm all for putting together inexpensive rigs, but it's just not doable at $500. Not yet. I know they're "focusing simply on the box itself," but that's a cop-out. Especially when they didn't choose a "box" at all. I think it's safe to say that a "Gaming Machine" includes input and display (and a case and operating system), so the title of the article is misleading. It's more like "How much of a gaming-oriented computer
  • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @04:00PM (#13905801) Homepage Journal
    Okay, folks. Let's look through what we have so far in this thread - a number of people complaining about no monitor, keyboard, mouse, or case.

    Did it ever occur to any of you that all of those items are what WE CURRENTLY HAVE? Look at the parts list that he's building up in the review. It's evident that he's talking about UPGRADING a current system on a shoestring budget!

    Keyboards, mice, monitors, and cases can remain consistent through any upgrade. They neither improve nore degrade performance. HOWEVER...

    A new processor is obvious.

    Depending on how old your current system is, a new motherboard is probably required for the new CPU.

    New memory is also often required in order to take advantage of faster buses. (No smart-ass comments about public transportation, please.) Although I personally would not recommend anything less than 1 GB for gaming or 2 GB if you plan on playing Battlefield 2.

    A new video card is obviously needed for a lot of newer games, and the 6600 has a very good price/performance ratio right now.

    A new hard drive is always a good idea for several reasons. (A) Price/GB is always dropping. (B) More storage is always good. (C) A new drive allows the ability to transfer data from the old hard drive more efficiently than making a backup to DVD. (D) New hard drives are just about guaranteed to be faster than older hard drives, especially if there is a multi-year difference between the two.

    Everything that he mentioned in the article are what are needed to get yourself a "new" gaming system. A new case, keyboard, mouse, and monitor are not needed. The main internals that matter are clearly what he's talking about. So, it should have been evident that the article is about UPGRADING a current system, not buying a whole new gaming system from scratch!
  • Yea, I spent 500 bucks for a "gaming rig" (plus 60 bucks for 1 gig of ram).

    Specs: Gateway 507GR
    300 watt PS
    3.0 HT p4
    512 meg ram
    200 gig HDD
    DVD/CD burner
    Intel GMA 900 integrated graphics
    Ex Pee home
    Cost so far: 350+tax (was on clearance at Orfice Depot over the summer)

    Added:
    ATI Radeon x700 pro 256 PCIE @$150

    Total: 500 bucks. For even more kicks, I added 1 gig of ram and a tv tuner card.
  • Yes mode me down I am an ass on that issue, and while 2 years ago I did not even want to hear of a console system, after I got a PS2 I got an xbox in 3 months and enjoying the benefits of it......

    While I sometimes install a demo on my PC and see the quality difference in GFX power and marvel the 1024, most of the time the framerate or the needed res/detail adjustments leave me with a game that I can barely enjoy unless I go and buy an other video card or latest processor for several hundreds.

    I know that my
  • News? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ma3oxuct (900711)
    What the hell is wrong with Slashdot today. This article is dated the 14th of October. This is not news; the prices have changed if you browse the 'net a bit now. On top of that the article was rather stupid as so many have pointed out.
  • AMD Semperon 3000/ECS NFORCE3 A combo: Fry's %80
    Western Digital ATA133 80 GB HDD: Fry's $50
    1 GB OCZ DDR400 RAM [2X512]: Fry's $100
    Sony 16x DVDRW Dual Drive: Walmart $70
    Samsung DVDROM 16X OEM: Micro-Center $20
    Diamond/Stealth ATI Radeon 9550 256MB DDR: Micro-Center $65 [easy to overclock]
    Turtle Beach Catalina 7.1 Soundcard: Fry's $35
    MGE M1 Gamer Case with 450W Power Supply: Micro-Center $50
    2X CoolerMaster Case Fans: Micro-Center $10
    Antec Slot Fan/Blower: Micro-Center $5
    Windows XP Home Upgrade: Wal-Mart $89 [A
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @04:57PM (#13906050)
    Is it just me, or is it getting harder and harder to buy a decent card for less then $200? I gotta say, I miss the days of $99 Voodoo Banshees. Heck, if you ask me cards in the $100 range should at least play last years games at 800x600x60fps, and a lot don't. Nvidia's and ATI's naming schemes don't exactly help here either (I especially like how ATI 8500s are faster than many 9200s and the ever increasing alphabet soup trailing off Nvidia card names).
  • Frys 200 DOllar AMD box
    Memory upgrade 89 dollars
    Video card 89 dollars.

  • by Oz0ne (13272)
    Any entry level budget PC which can be had a Frys, Compusa, Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc etc for about $200, with an upgraded video card and MAYBE upgraded ram will run today's games.

    No it won't run them at top resolution at 120fps... but who cares. Anything above 30fps is very playable. Anything above 60fps is just pure gravy.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray

Working...