View Full Version : Building a PC around a 6800...

12-30-04, 01:28 AM
A friend of mine got a 6800 as an X-Mas gift... lucky bas--... but anyway, the comp he's using right now is about 10 years old (still running Win95 with a sub Ghz processor and 16MB of RAM). So obviously that ain't gonna work.

Being a college student, cash is kinda tight, so do you guys think it'd be possible to have a comp built around his new card (AGP 6800 vanilla) for around $500 without bottlenecking it? What kind of Processor/RAM should we look for? He mainly wants to use it for HL2 and WoW. Any advice?

12-30-04, 01:50 AM
Anything in that price range is gonna bottleneck a 6800 for sure. Still, he can make good use of it with an Athlon XP 2500+ (the best budget processor right now). I built a Athlon XP 2500+ machine w/ Windows XP for a little under $600 and ordered everything from newegg.

12-30-04, 04:11 AM
Hmm, I figured as much...

I was thinking that since his funds are so stressed, he could just resell the new 6800nu, get a 6600 and use the extra $100 or so for other upgrades like a better processor or more RAM. Would that be better than going with the 6800 in a sub par system?

12-30-04, 04:27 AM
Hmm, I figured as much...

I was thinking that since his funds are so stressed, he could just resell the new 6800nu, get a 6600 and use the extra $100 or so for other upgrades like a better processor or more RAM. Would that be better than going with the 6800 in a sub par system?

It wouldn't be worth selling it just to gain an extra $100, which still won't be enough to upgrade.
Basically you're going to have to get a complete new system, minus the 6800 of course.
If your friends comp. is ten years old, that means new motherboard, cpu, RAM, PSU and probably a new case.

12-30-04, 07:35 AM
$500, eh? ...

(CPU) AMD XP2400Mobile === $79

(MOBO) Asus A7N8x Deluxe + built in sound, ethernet === $74

(RAM) Mushkin 1x512MB pc3200 2.5 === $67.50

(HEATSINK/FAN) CoolerMaster Aero 7+ === $25

(POWERSUPPLY) Fortron Source 350w 12cm fan === $42.49

(CASE) Enlight EN-7250 === $47.50

(HARD DRIVE) WesternDigital JB 7200 80GB 8MB Cache === $60

After adding up the newegg items into the shopping cart and doing Fedex-supersaver to CA, the total for those items was: $370.49 + $35.89 shipping, 406.38.

Next, add in the $25 for HS/F (make it $35 just in case for shipping, ive never ordered from them online, but ive gone to their retail store in San Jose about 20 times, excellent shop!): $35

Throw in $30 for some case fans..

Subtotal: $406.38 (newegg) + $35.00 (pixelusa) + $30 (case fan allowance): $471.38.

-- Why the amd xp2400mobile?
It does 11x200 (2.2ghz, xp3200 speeds) *easy*, runs cooler than an xp3200, and I have personally have 2 of these xp mobile procs (including a 2400mobile) doing 11x200 @ 1.65v running in the low/mid 30C's with that heatsink/fan @ 70F room temps.

--Why include a power supply if the case already comes with one?
Cuz that PSU it comes with blows. The Fortron Source here is tried & true, an excellent PSU with a nice 120mm adjustable fan that will help as an exhaust for his case. Of course, you could take the extra $29 and upgrade to a Lian Li that newegg has for about $88 which doesn't include a PSU, but that's a matter of choice & whether he has a keyboard/mouse to buy... Also, he's going to be overclocking that mobile (that's why you buy a mobile, by the way...) so he needs a reliable and quality PSU.

--Why no monitor, keyboard or mouse?
His current monitor is reusable, and if his keyboard/mouse are the old, old kind of connector, he can use the extra $29 to buy new ones.

--What if he lives in California and has to pay sales tax?
Well, add another $38.88 (approx) to the total.. still, if you dont have to buy keyboard/mouse/monitor, you're really close to the $500 budget requirement ($510.27).

You can build a decent system to use that 6800 in for under $500 as long as you don't have to include a monitor in the budget :]

Happy gaming!

12-30-04, 07:56 AM
Happy gaming!
indeed. Thanks Smth for taking the time to help a fellow forumite :D (snowcool)

12-30-04, 03:58 PM
Awesome smthmlk... just awesome! Thanks!

12-30-04, 04:49 PM
Don't forget at least a plain cd-rom...it would be a little hard to load games without one...but those are fairly cheap :) And smthmlk...that is one impressive buget gaming pc you put together there...nice research and nice work.

12-30-04, 05:25 PM
-- Why the amd xp2400mobile?
It does 11x200 (2.2ghz, xp3200 speeds) *easy*, runs cooler than an xp3200, and I have personally have 2 of these xp mobile procs (including a 2400mobile) doing 11x200 @ 1.65v running in the low/mid 30C's with that heatsink/fan @ 70F room temps.

I agree, the xp2400mobile is a nice proc and does overclock very well, but for someone with a 10 year old machine, it doesn't sound like he's an overclocking, computer enthueist (sp?). So if they're uncomfortable about overclocking, I'd recommend the AMD XP2700+ for $84

Otherwise, I'd say search for a case at Newegg.com that has no powersupply. You can save about $20 on the case then and then buy your own. Something around 400W will be necessary with that 6800. You'll need a dedicated power line to that card that's not being used by any other devices (other then case fans).

I recommend: COOLMAX 400W CX-400B, BLACK ($38)

Then I'd get a cheaper case without a PS like the RaidMAX (vanilla, or black with window) $20-30


Otherwise, I agree with Smthmlk about the Memory, Mobo, HDD. And yeah, you'll want a faster CD/DVD-Rom.

I like the LiteOn 52x32x52x16 CD-RW/DVD-Rom combo for $38

Database Freak
12-30-04, 05:52 PM
MX/MX400 ; an XP2500 is considered as the budget overclocker. But it indeed lack bandwith, which in games could be a bottleneck. If you go for this platform choose a motherboard that can take 230~250 fsb plus pc4000 and a soundcard that can take an overclocked PCI bus (nVidia's card can take that on the AGP bus usually well).

An often overseen budget overclocker is the Sempron 3100+ this is unlike all other Sempron's not a Athlon Xp but a 1.8ghz Athlon 64. In Google you can find links to reviews where the took this processor on an appropiate motherboard to 2.7Gz; the memory bandwith is than about 4 times as high then on a Athlon XP. This is the horspower you want for your 6800GT. Cost would approximatly be:
Cheap case +400W PWS $50
Memory 512mb PC4000 $60
Sempon 3100+ $130
Cooler $ 25
Motherboard A64 $125
Harddisk $60
CD/DVD $38
Keyboard + mouse $20
----- +

Probably forgot something so you will end up at $550~$600 but get a very high end system back for this; you can clock your GT beyond Ultra speed and no retail processor available yet can match a overclocked 2.7Ghz Athlon64.

Database Freak
12-30-04, 05:56 PM
Well look at eBay here (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=52475&item=5150875603&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW). You just got to check the overclocking posibilities on the Gigaboard though. If I were you I would read all the forums about the best overclocking board for the Athlon64.

12-30-04, 08:23 PM
A bit more formidable computer for $500.

CASE: RAIDMAX Black Aluminum Gaming Case with 420W Power Supply.

Very nice case for the money. Acrylic window, tons of fans for great cooling, and good construction as far as I have read (personally I own a CM Centurion, which is a great option too btw). It's got a 420 watt PS, which is not bad, but it's probably not the best brand ever. It should last him awhile. The fans that come with it probably aren't the best either, but they will get the job done. You might want to look at replacing them in the future.


CPU: Intel LGA 775 Pentium 4 520 2.8 GHz, 800MHz FSB, 1MB L2 Cache, Hyper Threading Technology.

Socket LGA775. A More than powerful enough processor to handle the card. Yes it is only 2.8 ghz (HT too!), but that will get you by for quite sometime, not to mention the fact that you could buy a nice HSF and overclock the hell out of it :).


Your standard mobo. Comes with 4 Dual Channel DDR 400/333 ram slots, onboard realtek 8-channel audio, and Marvell Gigabit LAN. 1 AGP 8x/4x, 5 PCI. Socket LGA775, of course.


RAM: Mushkin 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3200.

Standard ol' 512 MB stick o' ram from a trusted and quality brand. Can't go wrong with Mushkin :).

HDD: Western Digital 80GB 7200RPM Hard Drive.

Your simple 80 gig harddrive, again, from a trusted brand, 8MB buffer too! :). Unless he stores and ungodly amount of movies and music, this will do him just fine. (I actually find rather impractical to have more space than that otherwise).

CDD: Samsung Black 52X32X52X16 DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive.

Fast read and write speed, and it can read DVD's aswell, which is a good thing since alot of things are now coming on DVD-ROM's. It's black and matches the case too! :)


All that ordered from newegg and it will run you $510 flat (A bit over, I know, but it was that, or no DVD combo drive). Price may fluctuate a bit, as Newegg tends to change the prices by minescule amounts frequently, but won't change it by more than a few bucks. You will have yourself a pretty kickass system for the money.

I would however recommend that you buy yourself another 512 MB stick of RAM in the future when you could afford it. You will see a significant improvement with it.

Also, if you are into overclocking it, slap this puppy on it:
Put on a 90mm fan or two and OC that thing to hell and back :)

12-30-04, 08:37 PM
Wow! Thanks test, data and wru and everybody else who replied. Honestly I wasn't too sure it could be done but, damn.... kinda makes me wish I had thrown together a budget-high-end system myself! I'd still be enjoying my HL2/D3/Far Cry goodness for 1000 bucks less! Ah well :p

I'll pass the info along. Thx again, you guys rock!