I'm trying to build a new box, and I have a 400$ budget. I currently
have a SATA hard drive, a SATA DVD-RW drive, and a Windows OS. I also
happen to have a new-in-box Foxconn Mars mobo.
I'm trying to decide whether or not I'm better off buying a Shuttle
barebones setup and equipping that, or building a new machine around
If you have a new-in-box Foxconn MARS, you'd be crazy not to use that. It's an older board, but you can build a decent (budget) gaming system around it.
Or heck, go into left field and just do something
different, or even buy a refurb.
(Or do I need to wait a couple of months; are we close to new
What would y'all recommend, best bang for the buck? It's my home box,
and I'm looking forward to playing Arkham Asylum, Dragon Age, Mass
Effect 2, Brutal Legend, etc.
If your budget is a firm $400, you'll have to make a couple of minor compromises. First, you'll need a cheap case. Second, you'll have to start with 2GB of RAM. But with the MARS, you can add another 2GB or 4GB of RAM later, so no big deal. I'd suggest the following from newegg:
COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310-BWN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
XFX HD-477A-YDFC Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
BFG Tech GS-550 550W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.8 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-2GBPK
Intel Core 2 Duo E7600 Wolfdale 3.06GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E7600
There ya go. HD 4770 is said to outperform more expensive cards on some games, and use less power, so it's the obvious choice for a budget build. 550W is about right for your hardware and you don't want to skimp on the power supply. BFG is making really high quality power supplies now. G.Skill is a great brand of RAM that will be around a while, so you can buy another pair later quite easily. That core 2 duo is cheap, dual-core and (most importantly) high clock speed. The case? Well, ya gotta have someplace to put it all. Not much to say, it's cheap...and that's what ya need. -Dave