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$800 or less budget PC advice

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April 10, 2013 11:33:52 AM

I am considering trying to build a PC for the first time. The machine would be used mostly for gaming, but also for light normal home computing tasks. I mainly play SC2: Heart of the Swarm, but it would be nice if the computer could play other new games too. I need a monitor and OS. I live on the East Coast of the US. I don't care about overclocking and don't want a fancy liquid cooling system.

I would appreciate it if someone could suggest a budget build that maximizes price/performance while incorporating the following components:

GPU: AMD 7790
CPU: Intel i5 3570

More about : 800 budget advice

April 10, 2013 11:45:06 AM

So are you planning on purchasing an OEM copy of an operating system? If so, which? What kind of monitor are you looking for? 1080p? 720p?

Also, do you have a case already? Or will you be needing to purchase one?
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April 10, 2013 11:46:32 AM

I can tell you that an i5 and a 7790 isn't going to make a balanced system .Much too weak a GPU for too much CPU. The money could be better spent.
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April 10, 2013 11:47:26 AM

A 22 inch LCD or LED monitor at 1080p for the monitor, and Widows 7 home for the OS.
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April 10, 2013 11:50:37 AM

Tiny voices, I guess I could try upping the GPU to something like a 7870. Would that be more balanced and fit within the budget? Otherwise, I guess I could use an AMD CPU to go with the 7790?
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April 10, 2013 11:52:48 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($132.49 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 880GM-LE FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($51.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($187.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Acer G215HVBbd 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $802.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-10 14:52 EDT-0400)

About as good as you are going to do.
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April 10, 2013 12:02:41 PM

Well right off the bat we can put aside $100 for Win7 Home, ~$150 for a 22" 1080p monitor, and $150 for an AMD HD 7790. So that's $400 gone, with $400 left for:
- Motherboard
- CPU
- RAM = ~$60 (2x 4GB Dual Channel kit)
- HDD
- CD/DVD drive = $20
- PSU = $45 (450W)
- Case = $60 (HAF 912)
- Case fans = ~$15 (For 2-3x 120mm)

So that leaves $200 for a motherboard, CPU, and HDD. The budget constraint you have is pretty tight given that you need to purchase a monitor as well.

EDIT: Posted this before I saw tiny voices' post. I think a build like the one he suggested is as good as you're going to get with shipping included. It's quite a restrictive budget due to the monitor and expensive shipping.
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April 10, 2013 12:09:29 PM

tiny voices said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($132.49 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 880GM-LE FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($51.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($187.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Acer G215HVBbd 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $802.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-10 14:52 EDT-0400)

About as good as you are going to do.


Thanks a million, tiny voices! Do you think this build is a good buy, or would it be much better from a price/performance perspective to wait and save a little more to get a $1,000 PC?
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April 10, 2013 12:09:51 PM

Alternatively, I would have you check out the System Builder Marathon articles here on Tomshardware. They put together the best rig they can with tight budget constraints. Check out this article from Q1 2013 about a $600 Gaming PC:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pc-gaming-overclock...
This might be something you want to look into, because $600 is about what you have to work with after you factor in shipping and the monitor.
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Best solution

April 10, 2013 12:12:13 PM

jryder said:
tiny voices said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($132.49 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 880GM-LE FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($51.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($187.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Acer G215HVBbd 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $802.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-10 14:52 EDT-0400)

About as good as you are going to do.


Thanks a million, tiny voices! Do you think this build is a good buy, or would it be much better from a price/performance perspective to wait and save a little more to get a $1,000 PC?


This is a great system which will play all modern games at high to max settings. It has room to upgrade in the future. If you can throw about $50 more bucks at it now to keep the GPU the same but get an i5 + h77 motherboard I would do that.
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April 10, 2013 12:51:08 PM
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