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New Budget Gaming Build ~$500

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April 22, 2013 10:51:11 AM

I'm going to be building a new budget gaming system with a budget roughly around $500. It's been a few years since my last full build, so I'm behind on new hardware and will need some advice.

I think I have most of my parts picked out, although I'm unsure whether to go with an Intel dual core build or with a cheaper AMD quad core (which would allow me some room to upgrade the GPU a bit as well).

Intel dual core build:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($113.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($57.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($89.00 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ TigerDirect)
Total: $515.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-22 13:34 EDT-0400)

AMD quad core:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7790 1GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Microcenter)
All other parts: Same as above
Total: $507.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-22 13:34 EDT-0400)

Any thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated.
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2013 10:57:44 AM

I would go i3. The fx4100 isn't a good CPU really. If you went AMD, the way to do it would be with an fx-6300. I have an i3 with a 7870 and I have no bottlenecks at all.

If you try to shave off a few bucks everywhere (case, motherboard, RAM) you might be able to get a 650ti which will be slightly better than the 7770.
April 22, 2013 10:58:26 AM

If your going for just gaming then the most important piece would be your GPU, so going by that the AMD build would be better since you'd be using the 7790 instead of the 7770.
Related resources
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2013 11:01:43 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($113.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-GL Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($66.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($122.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.28 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ TigerDirect)
Total: $511.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-22 14:01 EDT-0400)


Do this.
a b 4 Gaming
April 22, 2013 11:03:38 AM

dont underestimate AMD's APU integrated GPU.

For $500, you could fit an A10-5800K with some 1866 speed Ram that would game quite well. Pobably shouldn't try and run Crysis 3 on ultra settings, but WOW, SWTOR, LOL...no problem


something liike this:
AMD A10-5800K Trinity 3.8GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Quad-Core w/ Integrated AMD Radeon HD 7660D DirectX 11 Graphics
ASRock Pro4 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI USB 3.0
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB DDR3 1866
CORSAIR 430W PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular
500GB Hard Drive 7200 RPM 16MB Cache
DVD Burner
COOLER MASTER Elite 430 case

this is about $500
a b 4 Gaming
April 22, 2013 11:05:30 AM

go amd if your on a budget. either get a fx 4300 or fx 6300. DO NOT get a 4100 or 6100 because the architecture they run isnt nearly as good as the 300 series. GPU looks good, but i would really suggest you spend a little more and get either a 7850 or nvidea 650 ti.
a b 4 Gaming
April 22, 2013 11:07:15 AM

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

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($113.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-GL Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($66.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($122.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.28 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ TigerDirect)
Total: $511.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-22 14:01 EDT-0400)


Do this.


this is a solid build but spend a little extra and get the 2 gig version of the 650 for a little future proofing
April 23, 2013 12:40:32 PM

guitargod213 said:
tiny voices said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($113.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-GL Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($66.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($122.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.28 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ TigerDirect)
Total: $511.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-22 14:01 EDT-0400)


Do this.


this is a solid build but spend a little extra and get the 2 gig version of the 650 for a little future proofing


What if you went with the 650 Ti boost 2gb? or a Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1gb? And is a AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor better or worse than the i-3 listed?
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2013 3:01:48 PM

The 6300 and i3 are better in different areas. For gaming, grab the 6300. Either of those GPU's are good. The 650ti boost is better.
April 23, 2013 5:40:23 PM

tiny voices said:
The 6300 and i3 are better in different areas. For gaming, grab the 6300. Either of those GPU's are good. The 650ti boost is better.


How is the intel i5 compared to the amd 6300 in gaming ability?
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2013 5:46:09 PM

The i5 is decently better. Do not get it, however, if it means lowering the GPU.
April 23, 2013 5:47:23 PM

tiny voices said:
The i5 is decently better. Do not get it, however, if it means lowering the GPU.


Why do you have to get a lower gpu?
April 23, 2013 5:47:40 PM

If you are near a Microcenter you can save on CPU MOBO
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2013 5:54:15 PM

Nicholas Liedorff said:
tiny voices said:
The i5 is decently better. Do not get it, however, if it means lowering the GPU.


Why do you have to get a lower gpu?


If your budget is tight. the i5 is better than the 6300. But, an i5+hd7850 will lose to a 6300+7870 everyday.
April 23, 2013 5:57:11 PM

tiny voices said:
Nicholas Liedorff said:
tiny voices said:
The i5 is decently better. Do not get it, however, if it means lowering the GPU.


Why do you have to get a lower gpu?


If your budget is tight. the i5 is better than the 6300. But, an i5+hd7850 will lose to a 6300+7870 everyday.


What about an i5 with a HD 750 2gb? and I'm building with the intention of upgrading.
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2013 5:58:09 PM

750? Do you mean 7850? I would personally get the 6300 and a 7870.
April 23, 2013 6:00:07 PM

tiny voices said:
750? Do you mean 7850? I would personally get the 6300 and a 7870.


Im sorry, I meant the Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 2gb pair that with the i5.
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2013 6:03:39 PM

No. That is a VERY weak GPU. Low or medium settings at best. Drop the CPU WAY down to an i3 or phenom 2 x4 965BE and get a better GPU.
April 23, 2013 6:18:56 PM

tiny voices said:
No. That is a VERY weak GPU. Low or medium settings at best. Drop the CPU WAY down to an i3 or phenom 2 x4 965BE and get a better GPU.


Well is there GPU you can recommend for use with the i5? Note, this build is budgeted around $600-$700.
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2013 6:22:05 PM

i wouldn't do anything less than an hd7870 with an i5. Get a lesser CPU and a better GPU. For your budget, I would go with an fx6300 and a 7850 or better.
April 23, 2013 6:30:36 PM

First off, sorry for being so reluctant to the AMD processor. The reason for it is that I have been told that an i5 is a better CPU for gaming.
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2013 6:34:06 PM

It is a better CPU. That said most games these days are 80% GPU and 20% CPU on usage. I have an i3 with a 7870 for example. This will be better always than an i5 with a 7770. The GPU is considerably more important.

You can get the i5 and the 7750, but your friend with a 5 year old phenom 2 x4 965BE and a better GPU will laugh at you when he can max games and you are stuck at a mix of low and medium settings.
April 23, 2013 6:37:45 PM

Nicholas Liedorff said:
First off, sorry for being so reluctant to the AMD processor. The reason for it is that I have been told that an i5 is a better CPU for gaming.

Yes. But your budget won't allow for an i5 (with a decent GPU). The i5 3570k is just about the best gaming CPU there is. But, getting a better GPU will give you WAY more performance than getting a better CPU.

For example:
i7 3770k + GTX 650< i3 3220 + HD 7870

The i3 build in the example gives alot more performance in games than the i7 build. I hope i helped you understand.
April 23, 2013 6:39:14 PM

Wow, I had no idea. Could you give me a build list in the $600 to $700 USD range? I have a monitor, keyboard and mouse. However, I do need an OS. This PC will be use 100% for gaming. Keep in mind I will be playing games such as BF3 and BF4 when it is released.
a c 302 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2013 6:47:40 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.28 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($93.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $679.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-23 21:47 EDT-0400)
April 23, 2013 6:48:07 PM

blake1243 said:
Nicholas Liedorff said:
First off, sorry for being so reluctant to the AMD processor. The reason for it is that I have been told that an i5 is a better CPU for gaming.

Yes. But your budget won't allow for an i5 (with a decent GPU). The i5 3570k is just about the best gaming CPU there is. But, getting a better GPU will give you WAY more performance than getting a better CPU.

For example:
i7 3770k + GTX 650< i3 3220 + HD 7870

That was very helpful! Would an i3 3220 CPU be better than an AMD 6300?

The i3 build in the example gives alot more performance in games than the i7 build. I hope i helped you understand.


April 23, 2013 6:58:26 PM

Nicholas Liedorff said:
blake1243 said:
Nicholas Liedorff said:
First off, sorry for being so reluctant to the AMD processor. The reason for it is that I have been told that an i5 is a better CPU for gaming.

Yes. But your budget won't allow for an i5 (with a decent GPU). The i5 3570k is just about the best gaming CPU there is. But, getting a better GPU will give you WAY more performance than getting a better CPU.

For example:
i7 3770k + GTX 650< i3 3220 + HD 7870

That was very helpful! Would an i3 3220 CPU be better than an AMD 6300?

The i3 build in the example gives alot more performance in games than the i7 build. I hope i helped you understand.



It depends. Overall it depends on the games. Both will perform similar. The AMD will perform better multi-threaded applications, while the i3 will probably exceed in single-threaded applications. It seems like games are heading towards being more multi-threaded, so i would say get the FX-6300. And if you throw on a decent CPU cooler you could overclock the FX-6300 to have similar single threaded performance as the i3.

I would also suggest atleast a HD 7850 (AMD) or GTX 660 (nVidia) in terms of GPUs. The later is usually $20 more, but it really comes down to if you prefer AMD or nVidia.
a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2013 12:39:35 PM

im with you all, and just to put it out there for the poster of this thread the fx 6300 is a very good cpu. Especially in newer games that actually utilize all six cores.
!