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Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

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  • Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

    OK, so a coworker wants to be able to play PC games. I haven't even looked at hardware in a couple of years (I'm going to be looking to upgrade myself when SC2 is released...), so I have no idea where the sweet spot is. Usually it lies in hardware that is about a year old. So, is the Core 2 Duo still it? Asus still leading the pack with mainboards? Any specific suggestions?

    I'll also have to help pick out a video card, but I figure if I actually read through a few recent threads that I'll get a handle on that situation. Actually, I'll refuse to help unless it's nVidia, so that makes it easy. HDD, PSU and RAM are pretty straightforward.

    Any big releases coming up soon that might make me suggest waiting for price drops?
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  • #2
    Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

    Well your friend is luck, right now is a good time to buy parts for cheap.

    I would suggest getting a P35 based mother board. Gigabyte has several that are good and only in the $100-$150 range. Asus would also be good choice.

    Next I would suggest the Core 2 duo 8200 or 8400

    2x2GB of Ram regardless of operating system. Stick with companies like OCZ, Corsair, basically no budget crap.

    The video card is a bit more complicated. By the end of the month there will be new cards out from both ATI and nVidia. They are supposed to be a big deal but their prices will be up there as well, though ATI, if the rumours are correct, will be bringing out some competitive cards for much less money then nVidias new cards. If you can wait a month or more then you would be wise to see how things look. If not then I would suggest getting a 8800GT (GTS if he/she has a 24" monitor) or a 9600GT and then upgrade the card in a year.

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    • #3
      Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

      Best Bang for the buck right now peroid.

      Right Here
      doYouEvenLuftwaffe

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      • #4
        Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

        if your coworker has enough dough, tell him to buy the gx2 series v.cards from nvidia

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        • #5
          Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

          Originally posted by Long Bow View Post
          I would suggest getting a P35 based mother board. Gigabyte has several that are good and only in the $100-$150 range. Asus would also be good choice.
          Whoa... No, I'm looking for a mobo closer to the $50-100 range. I don't want cutting edge, I want good cheap stuff...

          Originally posted by Portable.Cougar View Post
          Best Bang for the buck right now peroid.

          Right Here
          LOL! TigerDirect? Look, they don't even know what "barebones" is, as you can see... No way in hell I'll ever buy anything from those crooks. And I don't need all that crap, just the guts.

          Originally posted by Steamers View Post
          if your coworker has enough dough, tell him to buy the gx2 series v.cards from nvidia
          I'm thinking around the $100 price point for graphics. Maybe an 8800?
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          • #6
            Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

            hey Cing..? Fry's has a 5600+ with ECS board for $99, and 2-gig memory for $30 (after rebate onthe memory)..


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            • #7
              Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

              8800GT's are $149..is worth the extra $50 to have it..the 8600's are absolute trash..


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              • #8
                Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

                IMO this is the best video card bang for the buck.
                It is a 512 8800 GT OC2 G92 card. It plows through all the games and will stand alone for some time to come.

                With the rebate through the end of this month it is $169

                Detailed Specs


                Tom's Hardware Chart You need to click "view all cards" at the bottom of the list to see this card.

                Zoomfly for purchase

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                • #9
                  Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

                  Considering that description for the use of this computer is to play games(what games? who knows, all of them I guess?) This is what I would buy, assuming your friend is not into over clocking components himself which is one of the easiest ways to save money.

                  CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103212

                  Video http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130333

                  RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227139

                  PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371006

                  Mobo ... no clue, sorry. Lots of decent looking boards around `$75 though. Not sure which is the best. Really going to depend on what the user wants/needs. How about this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...TAR-_-13138106


                  Rebates galore, saves you money if you can deal with them.


                  Of course if overclocking the CPU is an option then Intel clobbers AMD.
                  Last edited by Namebot; 06-10-2008, 08:13 PM.
                  |TG-12th| Namebot

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                  • #10
                    Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

                    Main issue here is budget. I have chosen out a mobo, CPU and graphics card I think are in the price range you are looking for (Best performance, cheap):

                    8800 GT 512 MB 128$ after rebate
                    C2D E7200 130$
                    Gigabyte P35 based board75$

                    I know you mentioned spending 100$ on the video card but to be honest it's a huge performance increase for a small monetary increase. Read this article for an approximate "ranking" of current video cards, note the prices have changed. Give us an exact budget and I'm sure someone will come up with something more specific.

                    EDIT: I just looked back at your topic title; looks like you're looking specifically at the CPU/Mobo. Once again this depends on budget. I listed the E7200 (132$). Steps up would be the E8200 (180$), E8400(190$), E8500 (270$) or Q6600 (210$, slower, more cores). As for mobo, what kinds of bells/whistles does it need to have? What size case are you working with? Any additional cards being put in (might only need a micro atx board which is cheaper)?
                    Last edited by ChopStick; 06-10-2008, 10:02 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

                      Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                      OK, so a coworker wants to be able to play PC games. I haven't even looked at hardware in a couple of years (I'm going to be looking to upgrade myself when SC2 is released...), so I have no idea where the sweet spot is. Usually it lies in hardware that is about a year old. So, is the Core 2 Duo still it? Asus still leading the pack with mainboards? Any specific suggestions?

                      I'll also have to help pick out a video card, but I figure if I actually read through a few recent threads that I'll get a handle on that situation. Actually, I'll refuse to help unless it's nVidia, so that makes it easy. HDD, PSU and RAM are pretty straightforward.

                      Any big releases coming up soon that might make me suggest waiting for price drops?

                      Uhm I'm a little confused. You state you are out of the loop, that the one year old equipment is the "sweet spot" and that you need to build an affordable gaming rig. You then proceed to tear down all the suggestions and state you only want to spend very little money. A gaming rig does require that you step up and buy slightly more expensive parts usually. I'm not trying to be rude but you need to clarify your budget next time.

                      I would not suggest getting a $50 motherboard unless it is a tried and tested product on sale. You may shoot yourself in the foot and cutting edge is more in the $300 range right now. The 8800GT is a very good choice but I don't think you will find it for $100 right now? You may be able to find a 9600GT around $100 with rebates? Past that I wouldn't bother with the 8800GS or 8600 cards. The video card is giong to make or break this system IMO.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

                        100$ For a graphics card? hmm... That could only get you 8600 gt so far... and it's a mid range card so >.>
                        try to buy an 8800Gt at least.. and a few buck more

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                        • #13
                          Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

                          Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post

                          I'm thinking around the $100 price point for graphics. Maybe an 8800?
                          Too bad you're not considering ATI. This is the best GPU you're going to find in the $100 range:

                          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814103051
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

                            This Nvidia card looks pretty good and comes with a copy of COD4...

                            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150295
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Re: Easy, specific, but opinionated question: bang for buck on Mobo/CPU combo?

                              No idea why I hadn't put this one earlier.

                              If you don't like COD4 its cheaper http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121251

                              NOTE: 9600GSO and 8800GS are the EXACT same card. The clocks may vary from model to model but they use the same GPU and same number of shaders/ROPs/memory interface, amount of memory, etc...
                              Nvidia thought it would work out to rename the card as a "9" series to boost sales.
                              |TG-12th| Namebot

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