As promised, here’s the risky way of building a gaming system. For this part, I’ll be building gaming systems using parts available from PC Express and PC Hub.

PC Express Build

PC Express

As I’ve mentioned in my computer store rundown, there are two price lists in the PC Express website. This list is based on the “Promo” price list i.e. the one where the pay-by-cash discount is already applied.

Video Card: Inno3d GTX 260 Gold 896mb/448bit ddr3 (Overclocked) – PhP 9,250

This nVidia based video card is slightly more powerful than the HD 4870 I mentioned in the previous post. Unlike the HD 4870 in the VillMan list, the price price increase from HD 4850 for this one is more reasonable.

Processor: Phenom II X4 940 (3.0G) Black ed. Box – PhP 10,600

We go with an AMD processor instead of the previous post’s Intel one. The Phenom II X4 940 is slightly better than its competitor in the price list, the Core 2 Quad Q9400, with only a slight increase in price.

Motherboard: MSI K9A2CF-F – PhP 4,900

I’ll have to admit that I feel that the AMD 790X chipset of this motherboard may be too “upper end” for a system building budget. That said, this is one of the places where you can readily reduce the total cost of the system. Just choose an AMD 780G based motherboard in PCX’s list and you’ll save around 1K.

RAM: Corsair 4GB XMS2 800 (2gb x 2) – PhP 2,700

Nothing special about this choice.

Hard Drive: Seagate 500gb SATA 7200RPM Hard Disk Drive x 2 in RAID 0 configuration – PhP 5,600

Getting a 1TB hard drive would be cheaper, but the performance benefit of having a RAID 0 setup might be worth the 1K premium.

Power Supply Unit: Silverstone ST50F 500w – PhP 3,500

SilverStone is one of the better PSU makers. Paying 3.5K for their PSU is worth it.

Case: Antec Three Hundred – PhP 3,300
+ 2 x 120mm fans from CD-R King or any store – PhP 160

It’s the only case that supports 120mm fans. It looks good too. Just take note of the weird PSU layout.

Keyboard: A4tech KBS-720 A-Shape Natural Keyboard – PhP 350
Mouse: A4tech X710 – PhP 800

Just some generic keyboard and a mouse with side buttons.

Monitor: 22” Samsung 2233SW – PhP 9,500

Unfortunately, PCX doesn’t carry the 23″ version of Samsung’s cheap widescreen LCD monitors. Fortunately, their 22″ version is 1K cheaper than VillMan’s.

Total Price: PhP 50,660

We’re PhP 660 over budget, but I think it’s worth it. If you feel otherwise, you could always follow my motherboard comment (get a cheaper mobo) or go with a single 1TB hard drive.

PC Hub Build

PC Hub

Video Card: Inno3d GTX 260 Gold 896mb/448bit ddr3 (OC Ed’) 216sp PhP 8,630

Same as the PCX video card. PC Hub just sells them at a lower price.

Processor: Intel Xeon X3220 (4 cores, 2.4GHz) PhP 8,500

IMHO, this is the most reasonable quad core in the Intel list. It’s weaker than the Phenom II one, but the combination of price, performance, and features (it has virtualization technology) is difficult to beat.

Motherboard: ECS P35T-APhP 3,995

This is, for lack of better word, cheating. :P

If you click that link (and assuming the promo’s still on) you’ll see that there’s a promo for the motherboard. By buying that motherboard, we can get a 50% discount on any other item that costs less than or equal to 3.6K. It’s a decent board, but this promo just seals the deal.

RAM: Kingston dual 4g ddr2 800PhP 2,800

Nothing to see here, move along.

Hard Drive: Seagate 500gb SATA 7200RPM Hard Disk Drive x 2 in RAID 0 configuration – PhP 5,700

Same as PCX, except for the fact their HDDs are PhP 50 more expensive. Not a deal breaker, though

Power Supply Unit: Corsair 450watts (HX450)PhP 3,750

Corsair is also one of the best PSU brands around. The wattage might not be impressive, but it not like the machine will ever reach that level of usage.

Case: Cooler Master (RC-330) Elite 330PhP 2,000
+ 120mm fans from CD-R King or any store – PhP 80

Cheap, with 120mm fan support, and the GTX 260 fits in it. Not bad for a 2K case.

Keyboard: A4tech KBS-720 A-Shape Natural KeyboardPhP 325

Generic keybord. Booooriiiiing.

Mouse: Razer DeathAdder Gaming MousePhP 1,475*

It’s the cheapest Razer gaming mouse in the list with side buttons. Since it’s the most expensive item in our list under 3.6K, we use the 50% off from the mobo promo here.

Monitor: Chimei 21.6″ (CMV-22QD) wide black (glossy) DVIPhP 8,190

You can look at this as going from 23″ to 22″ to 21.6″ or you can look at it as going from 11,988 to 9,500 to 8,190. Barely noticable difference in size, same resolution, radically different price. Don’t let the no-name sounding Chimei brand fool you–they’re (IIRC) the second largest LCD monitor producer in Taiwan, next to Samsung.

Total Price: PhP 45,440

I intentionally left the price hovering around 45.5K to provide you with more options for customization than the previous two builds.

I would recommend, however, that you invest in a good 5.1 or 7.1 sound system to improve your gameplay experience (I forgot this in the previous post :P ). Based on experience, however, most people are happy with generic headphones or speakers. But if you feel that you need a good audio experience to go with your high-res video experience, go an buy a good sound system.

As you can see, going for PCX or PC Hub gives you much more value at least on paper. I’ve never had to deal with RMA or other customer service issues with these stores so I can’t vouch for their quality in that aspect of buying.

Simply put, if you value customer service over price and product quality, you’ll have to look elsewhere for buying advice.

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3 Responses to Gaming PC Builder Challenge, pt 2

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