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Budget Gaming PC Build Help


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#1 Robosham

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:18 AM

I'm looking to build a gaming pc for the first time and could use the advice of some people who have experience. I'm looking to spend around $500-600.

I have been using this page as a reference of parts around that price but I'm sure based on what I'm looking for someone can improve this a bit.

http://newbcomputerb...ming-pc-builds/

The two biggest things to factor in are that I am definitely looking to get a quad-core processor and as far as the graphics card goes, here's what I'm looking for:

I won't be playing anything too demanding. Some of the games I'll be playing are Shadowrun, Left 4 Dead 2, Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, Primal Carage, The Old Republic, Phantasy Star Online 2, and I would be happy if I could run that "dolphin" game full speed at 720p. You know the one where they "brawl". I don't know if specifying what game I'm talking about is against the rules so I won't. I'm already expecting sarcastic "ecco the dolphin" answers.

Help me out! :)

#2 mutantchipmunk

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:31 AM

I got a kit from tigerdirect for a great price. I prefer AMD over intel mainly because intels chips are over priced and for the same price as a dual core i5k or whatever you can get a quad or an 8 core amd chip. Its better to have more physical cores than less cores with hyperthreading like intel. Make sure the psu is 500w or more if your going to put in a big graphics card. I got the gtx 550ti and i dont regret it, plays almost all games on max except for battlefield 3 but i can get it close. The gt650 is better than the 550ti and only $170.
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Try newegg too.
http://www.newegg.co...e=DIY-PC-Combos
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#3 JBaz

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:02 AM

I got a kit from tigerdirect for a great price. I prefer AMD over intel mainly because intels chips are over priced and for the same price as a dual core i5k or whatever you can get a quad or an 8 core amd chip. Its better to have more physical cores than less cores with hyperthreading like intel. Make sure the psu is 500w or more if your going to put in a big graphics card. I got the gtx 550ti and i dont regret it, plays almost all games on max except for battlefield 3 but i can get it close. The gt650 is better than the 550ti and only $170.
http://www.tigerdire...uters-_-Spot 05
Try newegg too.
http://www.newegg.co...e=DIY-PC-Combos

1. Stay away from barebone kits. 90% of the time, you can source the parts separately for cheaper and more than likely they stick some crappy generic tower case, power supply and bland hard drive. Only a few times have I seen good deals on barebone kits from either tigerdirect or newegg, but they always include 1 or 2 crappy parts that will properly fail within 6 months.

2. There's a number of Intel chips that offer way better value than anything AMD makes right now. This is why the i5 and i7 k series chips have been extremely popular even though we are talking about $200-350 chips for consumers who need that kind of processing power. AMD FX chips can't touch Intel or even AMD's older X4/X6 chips for price, performance or value. AMD's lower end and older X4/X6 chips still offer one of the best bang for buck value cpu's on the market compared to Intel's entry level pentium or i3 chips. I would just skip FX unless you find an insanely good deal.

3. "Its better to have more physical cores than less cores with hyperthreading like intel" Uhhhh what? Stop making hugely wild and generic sayings here man. It all depends on the application and what you requirements are. Even the fast dual core i3 ivy bridge chips with HT is faster in many games than similarly priced AMD quad cores, but you do take a hit on content creation software or newer games that do take advantage of 4 real cores instead of 2 physical and 2 logical.

4. You don't NEED a 500w or better power supply. This is all marketing crap and hype. A good quality 400w power supply is more than enough to handle an i7 3750k with a gtx 680 at stock speeds and still have room to spare.

5. GTX 550 ti is NOT a big graphics card. That is an entry level $100 gaming card.

6. No such thing as a "GT 650". There are only a GTX 650 ($70-100) and a GTX 650 ti ($110-140). The normal 650 is slower than the 550 ti, but the 650 ti is faster, but not by much. You'd have to be smoking crack if you think you'd pay $170 for the 650.



As for the build, the build guide isn't too bad, but this is what I'd base your next build idea on instead:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $592.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-11 22:32 EST-0500)

You will be hard pressed to find a better configured set of quality parts for this price with Windows.

It sports the tried and true, AMD x4 quad core black edition processor; its about 3 years old now compared to the more recent FX or Intel cpu's, but for $90, it still kicks ass. Even has overclocking potential if you wanted to explore this route. For this build, I didn't. Paired with cpu is a cheap $50 motherboard that will handle itself fairly well, but I'd do like to point out that you can find similar name brand motherboards on sale for $30 or so. Shop around.

The center piece of this build is the graphics card and its hard to mistake it since its the beefy and great value AMD HD 7850 2GB card. It's about as powerful as a GTX 570 for not a lot of money. Granted, you could probably be fine with a $100 HD 7770 or a $130 GTX 650 ti, but this is the next graphics tier over those and will hold its own for years to come. The only way it could get better is if you could find the same gpu for $150 like it was during thanksgiving sales.

Next, I picked the nice and cheap NZXT source 210 case since its on sale for a fantastic price of $30 shipped. Its usually around $40-50 + shipping so this is a decent amount of savings for your build. It's also a much higher quality product than one would usually get at this price point, so buy with confidence. Paired with the case is the nice Corsair 430w V2 that's more than enough to power your 125w AMD cpu and 130w AMD gpu at stock speeds; all in all, your system would barely hit above 300w on full load. You really don't need much more power than this, specially since its $26 for a quality unit (although you can find them on sale for less than 20, but its MSRP is $40-50; at that price, I'd look at the XFX 550w pro or CX500).

Throw in a set of decent 8GB ram modules, a simple and a great value 2TB 7200 hard drive, a cheapo dvd burner and a copy of windows; your set to go.



Now, you could drop the GPU down a tier to save a few bucks and upgrade the motherboard to a better one that supports overclocking, pair that with a higher wattage power supply in the 500-600 (XFX 550w is $46 @ newegg right now) range to support OC as well as the cheap $20 Cooler Master 212+ cpu cooler to give your system the bones to be faster at the expensive slower graphics for a better PC. But its up to you and OC isn't really for everyone. For the average user for a budget gaming box, above list is more than enough power to choke a dolphin...
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#4 Megazell

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:54 AM

I would take the OS off of that price and look at your local library for a free or discounted copy. This would put you well under your 500.

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#5 Matsumoto11756

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

I would take the OS off of that price and look at your local library for a free or discounted copy. This would put you well under your 500.


Public libraries have free/discount OS software?
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#6 jkam

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

Forget the DVD drive no one needs that anymore (unless you have an old computer and can swap that one).

If you only want to play those games you could get away with a $100 card like JBaz said (if you are really looking to keep costs down). You can always upgrade it later, but a little future proofing can't hurt when it comes to the GPU.

I'm not sure you need a 2TB hard drive, I made a build similar to this about two years ago x4, 5770 and the one thing I want to upgrade right now is the HD to an SSD. You might spend a little more and consider this which is part SSD and part HDD:

http://www.amazon.co...rds=momentus xt

#7 Megazell

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:33 PM

Public libraries have free/discount OS software?


Yep. NYC, NJ, PA and LA has free data centers with free copies of Linux (various versions), Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 7 on CD/DVD for a few years now.

Some places ask for a donation of no smaller than $0.50.

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#8 JBaz

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:50 PM

Granted, DVD drive is barely needed anymore these days, but when shit hits the fan, its better to have an optical drive handy to run recovery software or even a full fledged OS for troubleshooting. Sometimes it is just more robust than getting a usb drive to boot properly in some cases. $15 shipped is not a big part of the budget to have to worry about. If OP has a donor optical drive he can pull from another computer, then it's a good idea to save a few bucks.

As far as the 2TB, it may seem excessively large, but in today's world of 8MP cameras and 1080p 30fps video capture abilities on common phones, just personal data can easily bloat and take up space faster than you might expect. Not to mention so many PC games these days are hitting 20-30GB each. You could get away with a 1TB or small capacity hard drive, but price per GB, its hard to say no to 2TB, specially when you can find them on sale for $80 or less. 1TB tends to only save like 10-20 here and a number of 500's are the same price as 1TB.

As far as the Seagate Momentus drives, they are pretty nice for being a hybrid 8GB SSD paired with a normal drive, but at this price point, it's hard to suggest it for such a limited performance increase. It's really meant as a laptop 2.5" drive when you only have space for one drive. For $130ish, its better to grab a 1TB drive for $60-70 and the remaining on a 40-64GB SSD for $40-50.

If you want better drive performance, then just downgrade the GPU to save the $70-80 and then throw in a modern 120GB SATA III SSD like the Samsung 830/840, OCZ Vertex/Agility 3/4 series, or so many other SSD's in the same price range to pair it with the 2TB 7200 drive.

#9 MCalvert1

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:03 PM

Yep. NYC, NJ, PA and LA has free data centers with free copies of Linux (various versions), Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 7 on CD/DVD for a few years now.

Some places ask for a donation of no smaller than $0.50.


I am intrigued! Is there any information about this on the internet? I live in PA, but I'm sure the local library doesn't know anything about that.

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#10 Matsumoto11756

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:21 AM

I am intrigued! Is there any information about this on the internet? I live in PA, but I'm sure the local library doesn't know anything about that.

MjC


Yeah, I live in Long Island NY and the only free things out here are the library cards themselves and borrowing books.
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#11 Megazell

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:43 AM

I am intrigued! Is there any information about this on the internet? I live in PA, but I'm sure the local library doesn't know anything about that.

MjC


When the NYC library has a large donation of free software it's usually posted here - http://www.nypl.org/events under giveaways.

Yeah, I live in Long Island NY and the only free things out here are the library cards themselves and borrowing books.


Long Island sounds like it sucks hard then because in every library in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island there is a section near the desk that has a ton of free stuff from Village Voice, AM NY, Penny Press and other free newspapers and magazines, there is also a bulletin board of free events in the local area and then there is a grey box full of free books to keep (I get a lot of graphic novels TPB this way) with either another bin or in the same bin with discarded CDs/DVDs of software like OS, Office Suites, Jumpstart stuff for kids and sometimes games and/or Music CDs.

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#12 evilw0n

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:53 AM

Robo - I concur with almost everything JBaz stated. The only possible thing that may be better is if you live near a MicroCenter and can get in on one of their MB / CPU combo deals that they seem to run every month now. You can get the same motherboard for free with the FX4100 for $99.99 or the FX6100 for $110 + tax. Maybe an additional $10 MIR that is needed for that as I do not quire follow what they are saying with that. Works out to free with the combo.

That and get the 7850. I am still hanging onto my 6870....a bit different but still runs great 2 years later.

#13 combatFlexo

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:56 PM

tl:dr

If you have a MicroCenter store close by you can usually get a discount on motherboards and processors typically $40-50 off depending on the processors deals they have. I usually get all my mobo/cpu/dvd drive and order everything else from other sites.

http://steamcommunity.com/id/TRAGINIS

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#14 jkam

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:24 PM

Granted, DVD drive is barely needed anymore these days, but when shit hits the fan, its better to have an optical drive handy to run recovery software or even a full fledged OS for troubleshooting. Sometimes it is just more robust than getting a usb drive to boot properly in some cases. $15 shipped is not a big part of the budget to have to worry about. If OP has a donor optical drive he can pull from another computer, then it's a good idea to save a few bucks.


I would think any modern motherboard he would get would support a usb boot at this point. I have a 1GB usb drive that would have been useless if it wasn't perfect for a boot drive. Sometimes these older and smaller usb disks are better for that. I have recovery tools and a full version of Ubuntu on it in case disaster strikes. I currently have a DVD drive, but it was from my old machine, then again $15 isn't exactly breaking the bank :)

#15 JBaz

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

For people who never built a PC before, I wouldn't hold much faith they know what BIOS is and how to enable usb boot or even format a usb flash drive properly to put recovery tools or an OS on it. Or in any matter, know how to put windows 7/8 install on a usb disk in the first place. Simple to us is rocket science for others.

I'm thinking ahead of issues to where my great aunt wouldn't be able to do. At least she could pop open the "cup holder" and put a "coaster" in, but then again, she would probably call me over for cake... then tell me the problem. I call this caketrapment, but I fall for it every time since its really good cake.... nom nom nom.


Also, NZXT Source 210 case is on sale on newegg right now for $22 shipped after 20% off and $10 MIR.

#16 Calipso

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:45 PM

For people who never built a PC before, I wouldn't hold much faith they know what BIOS is and how to enable usb boot or even format a usb flash drive properly to put recovery tools or an OS on it. Or in any matter, know how to put windows 7/8 install on a usb disk in the first place. Simple to us is rocket science for others.


Exactly. I could say the same thing about the people that frequent this forum.

How many people know how to put a Win7 ISO for install on a flash drive and boot it to install?

It's a cake walk for some us, for the rest it would be like brain surgery.
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#17 Waughoo

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:34 AM

Not exactly on topic but sorta related and funny... In college I had a friend in Computer Science with more money than brains. He spent a crap-ton of money on a new system, over $3000 if I remember correctly (WITHOUT his Fiancee's knowing, as he was supposed to be saving for their wedding). I think it was one of the first 64-bit processors that came out. He got his mobo and CPU in before his case and decided "Hey! I wanna make sure it works!". He could use his old PC's power supply, but there was the issue of the case. He didnt wanna take the whole old motherboard out to put the new one in just for a test, so he just left his new motherboard on the carpet and plugged it in!

Oddly, it didnt go so well! After shorting it out, he sent them back as "DOA" parts and got new ones shipped. You would think at this point he'd be a little more careful with his equipment, but sadly, no. I came back to my dorm one day and my roommate is sitting there with this grin on his face. I'm like "What?". He's like "Soooo, Kevin got his parts in for his PC. But he apparently ordered the wrong size case or something. When I left his room he had just given up trying to HAMMER the case till the motherboard fit, and was looking for his saw!" I wish I could make this shit up.

A few months later I'm at a LAN. He shows up with his PC that is finally together and running. We are all playing some game and he goes to install it and join us. Problem is he spent all this money on his system, but NO COOLING. Just a heatsink on the CPU. His system gets REALLY hot really fast, so he only runs it long enought to install the game, then shuts it down. He'd only run it like 20-30 min at a time so it didnt overheat. There was a CompUSA like 5 minutes away, and he wouldnt go drop $20 on a few fans.

Just thought I'd share that :)
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#18 Headhumper

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:04 PM

words


That sounds like something my friend would do...

On topic:
For graphics card you should get AMD. They're way cheaper than Nvidia but Nvidia beats them in performance. But they're still good cards.
I would suggest a 7870 or a 6870 graphics card. They're pretty cheap (around $200). A 6870 is what I'm using and I can play almost every game I own on max settings. Though, if you're willing to spend a little more money you should go for an Nvidia card, like a GTX 670 ($300 - $400) or a GTX 680 ($400 - $500).
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#19 JBaz

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:38 PM

For graphics card you should get AMD. They're way cheaper than Nvidia but Nvidia beats them in performance. But they're still good cards.
I would suggest a 7870 or a 6870 graphics card. They're pretty cheap (around $200). A 6870 is what I'm using and I can play almost every game I own on max settings. Though, if you're willing to spend a little more money you should go for an Nvidia card, like a GTX 670 ($300 - $400) or a GTX 680 ($400 - $500).

6870 ($140) and 7870 ($215) are not in the same graphical tier/class due to the different price points and performance abilities.

I also wouldn't suggest the 7870 ($215) since its barely 5% faster than the cheaper 7850 ($162) in most games at 1080p on high; although the 7870 does perform better at above 1080p resolutions so unless you plan on playing games on multiple monitors, a high res 1440/1600p monitor, or want the idea of a 'faster' video card (value be damned), then go ahead and spend the premium for the higher end video cards.

Again, if anyone is considering the GTX 670 ($330), one should look at the 7950 ($275) as they are similar in performance.
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#20 Matsumoto11756

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:34 AM

Long Island sounds like it sucks hard then because in every library in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island there is a section near the desk that has a ton of free stuff from Village Voice, AM NY, Penny Press and other free newspapers and magazines, there is also a bulletin board of free events in the local area and then there is a grey box full of free books to keep (I get a lot of graphic novels TPB this way) with either another bin or in the same bin with discarded CDs/DVDs of software like OS, Office Suites, Jumpstart stuff for kids and sometimes games and/or Music CDs.[/QUOTE]

Yes my friend, long island does suck hard. Taxes (sales and property) are crazy and you still get nothing for free. Went to the library today and when I asked front desk, librarian asked "why would we give away free software?" yes they have a bin of outdated/ratty books but they sell for various prices from .50 up. Like I said before, nothing out here is 'free'.
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#21 Robosham

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:17 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice, JBaz was especially helpful. I do already have the OS taken care of. My friend who is experienced building PC's has a copy of windows I can use. Ideally I would like to spend as close to $500 as possible. I really don't know much about PC hardware though. I can tell you what everything does, but I have no idea what's compatible or anything about graphics cards.

All I really need to know though is if I were to order all my parts tomorrow, what would be the most efficient PC I could build for $500 based on the requirements I listed in the first post. I'd imagine there are some sales going on right now post-christmas. I don't know what to look for really because I don't quite understand part compatibility. Can someone help me out?

#22 JBaz

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:12 AM

Depends on if you have a microcenter nearby. If you do, this is what I'd say to get.

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor OEM ($139.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 650 1GB Video Card ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $461.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-27 20:40 EST-0500)


Even if you didn't have a microcenter, I'd still pick most of the parts above, maybe change out the older i5 2500k for the newer i5 3570k for $220; total of $541.92. This gives you a much more powerful and well rounded budget box, but if you insist on staying towards the $500 or below price point, just cheap out and go with the 3 year old AMD X4 955/965 Black editions over any FX series cpu's.

AMD build:

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 650 1GB Video Card ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $411.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-27 20:55 EST-0500)

You do save over $100 going with the AMD X4 965 BE over the Intel i5 3570k, but remember, this is a 3 year old quad core that soaks up almost twice the wattage as the 3570k; it's also quite a bit slower across the board in everything (as you might imagine). For games, it really shouldn't make too much difference, you might see a drop of maybe 5-10% (if that) in most games (older games won't make any difference) but the old X4's will suffer a lot in modern games that are heavily cpu dependent (some MMO's are). In reality, you could easily just put that $100 savings towards a much much better GPU to make up this fact if you plan on playing more modern/intensive games down the line.

With your low gaming requirements, the GTX 650 OC is more than fast enough, could save a few bones and grab the MSI HD 6670 1GB for $50, saving you another 35. It won't win any awards for being ultra fast, but for older games, its more than powerful. Shit, even the $10 6450 will play L4D2 just fine, but lets not sacrifice that much.

If you go with the AMD X4 option, this could up your GPU budget from 50-85 to close to $180 and really be closer to the mid range gaming cards. Personally, I'd say round out the system a bit more with upgrading that 1TB to the 2TB 7200 seagate drive for only $40 more; you double your storage and you net an even faster drive that can sustain 160MB/sec. For a mechanical 7200 drive, that's fast. You could also upgrade the case to something better instead of just barebones basic with no personality. NZXT makes some nice cases in the $40 range, so does Cooler Master with its HAF 912 case that's always around the $50 price point; not to mention 20 other options I could name.

I also purposely left out an optical drive for this since you mentioned your friend would provide the OS. Easy enough to ask to borrow one from him or setup a USB boot drive for the install with your friend's help. I've rarely used an optical disk now day's so if you don't plan to need one, its an easy $15-25 savings right there. If you do, I'd suggest looking for the Blu-ray readers that are now around the $25 price points or the Blu-ray burners hitting close to $50. They make great additions to new PC's now if you are invested in Blu-ray material and want to turn this into a cheap HTPC box.
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#23 Robosham

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:40 AM

Thanks again for being really helpful. So I would be completely fine mixing parts from the 2 builds you just listed? I might try to order most of everything tomorrow and then wait until I get paid next thursday so I can get myself a better processor and graphics card. I think I'm going to go with the intel processor and 6670 card. Will I need to change anything else to accomodate that? Power supply?


Edit: I'm also going to check out those cases and consider the better hard drive. I have an external 500gb that I keep music, movies, etc on that I've had for about 2 years. I'd like to move all that onto a fast hard drive since this pc will be connected to my TV anyway.

Ideally I want to make this as close to $500 as possible as I only have $560 saved at the moment. If I can get everything ordered tomorrow that would be great but If not I can definitely wait a week.

Edited by Robosham, 28 December 2012 - 02:54 AM.


#24 JBaz

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:04 AM

The 430w Power Supply is more than enough to power a stock GTX 680 and a modern i7 processor also at stock speeds. Mix and match, that's what pc partpicker is for!

You did miss out on the EVGA GTX 650 1GB for $80 on both amazon and newegg a few days ago. As well as the MSI GTX 650 1GB version for $74. Both were around $70 during Black Friday, although there was one 650 with 2GB that was for $70 as well, but it didn't last at all.

Just make sure you get a cpu with a compatible motherboard. A number of the newer, cheaper AM3+ boards for AMD will only support 95w or 125w cpu's instead of the older 125w or 140w X4's. Similar issue if you go with older intel chipsets like the z68, some board may support ivy bridge, others won't without BIOS update or in rare cases, they just don't at all.

#25 Robosham

Robosham

Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:19 AM

Damn, I saw that 650 card on sale too but didn't know anything about it. I don't understand the names of graphics cards at all. The number means absolutely nothing to me.

Anyway so in the builds you listed above, anything can be mixed and matched as long as the CPU/Motherboard of each respective build are kept together? I'm probably going to go with the intel processor so I should also get the MSI motherboard?

#26 JBaz

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:23 AM

The MSI is the cheapeast z77 board right now that I would buy myself if I was in your shoes. You could try to wait and see if more options hit the $70 or less price point, but in relative terms, you might save 5-10 bucks here, if you try to wait, but not really likely or necessary. The main down side with this MSI board is that it doesn't have SLI, but it does support crossfire. Moot point in a $500 box. Post Christmas sales are pretty much gone this week and up next would be New Years Sales.

For an unlocked processor, like the K series cpu's, its just more cost effective to get a good quality, name brand motherboard over some entry level Intel H61 chipset for $40 or less that will limit your capabilities and abilities. You could always spend a bit more and find a better motherboard in the 70-100 price range, but the MSI will prove to be more than enough for a budget gaming box. Value boards really do give you a lot these days compared to 5 or 10 years ago for the same cost.

As for GPU's, the AMD 7750 is on par with the GTX 650. It's also around the $80-90 price point. Below this is the $70 AMD 6770 that has no current direct nvidia comparison. Below that is the $50 AMD 6670 and the more expensive $60-70 GT 640 (6670 is slightly faster, better value). Below that and you get into the sub $40 "display" cards that would barely run any modern games at 1080p, let alone on medium or low settings.

Just do note, many "cheap" entry cards will either use the older and much slower DDR3 over the newer and faster DDR5. A lot of them will tote 2GB DDR3 over 1GB DDR5; when in doubt, just go with the faster DDR5 over VRAM storage any day of the week. Even if a card has the capacity to hold huge HD textures, its slow GPU performance won't have any way to push them onto polygons fast enough, or rather, lack of polygons.

#27 MrshllJcb

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

Exactly. I could say the same thing about the people that frequent this forum.

How many people know how to put a Win7 ISO for install on a flash drive and boot it to install?

It's a cake walk for some us, for the rest it would be like brain surgery.




I actually have no idea how to do this, but would like to do it for a friend who is finishing his build. Right now his options are to get an optical drive and buy the copy of Windows 8 that I had previously bought but am dreading putting on my computer from me for cheap or skip the optical drive all together and try get him windows 7, but it would need to be on a flash drive.

I know very little bit about the bios menu's, but I've had to mess around with the startup order or whatever its called to run orphcrack (sp?) to get a computer to read the DVD drive before booting to OS, but I'm not sure how much more complicated this process is. Any help would be appreciated.