NewEgg Budget RIG of the Month

A budget high end PC selected and built from NewEgg parts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Feb -2008 NewEgg Serious Gamer Rig for people on a budget.

This was updated Feb 14, 2008

Power Supply: $24.99

LOGISYS Computer PS575XBK ATX12V 575W
2 x PCI-E ^ pin connectors25A on the 12V rail

The customer tip discussing the power 12v rail requirements on the NewEgg page was mine.
This supply will easily handle the power requirements of this setup.


Processor at a common sense price point: $64

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Brisbane 2.2GHz Socket AM2 65W Processor Model ADO4200DDBOX - Retail


Motherboard with built in video: $74.99

This is where it gets tough. Price and quality are a 1 to 1 ratio. The problem is knowing what to look for and when they are asking too much for to little.

GIGABYTE GA-MA69GM-S2H AM2 AMD 690G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

If your not a gamer the onboard video is great for a multi-media setup with a good large HDTV. For school, office, and even video editing the onboard video is rock solid. For a multimedia PC the HDMI is worth the 10 extra dollars.

From a gaming perspective the best your going to get from the onboard video is Half Life 2 or Counter Strike. Since this card has a PCIe Video slot you can throw in the HIS 1950 Pro video card to go from a budget media center to a High End Gamer.

see options at the end of this post:

Memory: $35 with rebate - WOW

Check out a new memory brand with good reviews for much less at this link: ( - $44)


Hard Drives X2: $48

HITACHI Deskstar 7K160 HDS721616PLA380 (0A32728) 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

You need 2 of these to have a RAID0. The RAID0 is essential for speed in gaming and video encoding. Its not such a big deal for just about everything else. These are a good buy for a rock solid manufacturer. If you need more space pay a bit more but stick with SATA 3.0 and I try to
stay away from Western Digital. My track record has been a nightmare with WD and the word on the street from many other technical experts I'm hearing the same story. Western Digital will need to give a life time guarantee to get me to buy another one and I would be real careful what I store on it.

Operating System: $94 (optional) - Stay away from windows XP media center.

Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Home Basic for System Builders Single Pack CD - OEM

I'm still a fan of Windows XP but Vista is the future and if your buying new it is the way to go. If you feel confident go with 64bit. If your not a gamer and you really might want to think about Linux. Linspire is most like windows. Ubuntu is great for the novice but can require some power users skills to deviate from the norm.

If you have a retail XP CD and your tossing your old PC you can load Linux on the old system and reinstall XP on the new.

Case: $50 - try to keep it under 50 here if you have to buy new.

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-SKN2-GP Black / Silver Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

If you use your own case toss the old power supply. The case is more a personal choice. Size can be important if you plan to buy a huge video card like a 8800 Nvidia for example. The koolance are fantastic but pricey. The Antec are always well made. I've seen Alien Ware cases on
WOOT.COM for a great price. Another great place to look for a case is You can save on shipping that way. NewEgg has great deals on cases but try to keep it close to $50 for the budget PC.

Lets add it up.

NewEgg Serious Non - Gamer Rig for people on a budget.
Power Supply: $25
Processor: $65- See the upgrade option at the bottom of this post
Motherboard: $75
Memory: $35 with rebate - WOW

Hard Drives X2: $48 each - $96 for striped RAID - RAID is a must for performance. The hard drive is a huge performance bottleneck. The Raid will noticeably speed this up for video capture, editing, and gaming. Even for something as simple as surfing the web if you follow my Operating system configuration guide.

Case: $50
Operating System: $94 (optional)

$296 ($440 with OS and case)

Add IN:

Picking a video card as nearly impossible this month. I have most of the latest games. Stranglehold, Crisis, Unreal 2007, Lost Planet, Gears of War, World in Conflict, and many more. Directx 10 isn't needed and really doesn't do more then slow things down.

With that said, if the stock of Directx 9.0 cards are running out its time to upgrade.
Video Card: $230 (optional for the non-gamer with this rig.)

More HorsePower:
GECUBE GC-XHD3870XTG4-E3 Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail - $250

Video Card: + $230 (optional for the non-gamer with this rig.)

$670 - Serious Gamer on a budget (DirectX 10 and Vista)

More Upgrade Options:

High End Processor at a common sence price point: $119.99
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Windsor 2.6GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor - Retail You go with the retail for the free cooling fan and heat sink.

Certainly this upgrade isn't needed but remember this is a budget rig so we are already behind the technology curve even though this machine easily holds its own with the top 25%

Final Notes:

I didn't include a DVD Drive and monitor. Your best bet is to use your old case minus the power supply. Your DVD drive and even hold onto that old hard drive as a backup storage area for a drive image or incremental backups. Likely your new drives will outlast your old drive but at that point you can move on to a more appropriate backup strategy.