Basic Gaming System for ~$500 with Intel CPU?

Oh boy. I haven't been gaming or even paying attention to hardware since Pentium 4's and 256mb graphics cards were a thing. Last few years have been spent with a netbook which is showing it's age and slowly breaking. Looking to come back to the promised land with a decent desktop that I can upgrade as need be instead of replacing. Don't game much now but with a decent system that will change. I have a copy of Skyrim laying around so lets use that as a benchmark for what this system needs to handle. I've read the System Build marathons and priced out the recent $600 one with the i5-3350P and it came out to around $720 with everything I looked at (http://pcpartpicker.com/user/rymill/saved/1B41). Not familiar enough with current technology to know where to trim costs.

Sorry for the lengthy intro. Without further ado, my summary:

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: This week or next, depending on price and awesome deals available

Budget Range: $500-550 after rebates, hopefully with low shipping costs. Somewhat flexible but don't want to stray over $600 for sure.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Watching movies, internet and some gaming. Likely to be more gaming in six months after I realize I have the power to do so.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, but I am not factoring that in to build budget. Will likely pick up whatever is on sale locally. Lots of options, always on sale, no risk of shipping damage or returns for DOA monitor.


Parts to Upgrade: I have nothing right now. Will need case, PSU, even thermal compound. Oh I have a mouse... somewhere. Will likely pick up keyboard & mouse set locally with monitor.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes. Windows 7 Premium, please.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg would be preferable. Prices usually seem decent. I would like to not have to order from 5 different sites and am willing to pay a little more to consolidate order to one to two sites. Amazing deals may convince me otherwise.

Location: Oregon, USA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU but I suppose AMD would be okay. Everyone seems to be saying the AMD's are getting a little dated though. I don't want to get an a-series APU since I feel more comfortable with the older separate CPU/GPU system.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not.

Your Monitor Resolution: Whatever the standard seems to be these days. Won't be skimping on monitor so I'll get whatever need be to work with system.

Additional Comments: I like cleaner cases that don't look like transformers. But whatever works. I mostly need help figuring out my hardware and budget woes.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I've been living off my netbook for three years since my old laptop crashed. Anything will be amazing compared to this. Looking to re-enter the desktop world with something decent enough to do a little gaming and certainly something to upgrade later on to stay current.
5 answers Last reply
More about basic gaming system 500 intel cpu
  1. PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XoOM
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XoOM/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XoOM/benchmarks/

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($120.98 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($60.55 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.49 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $480.97
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-15 05:00 EDT-0400)

    Hard to add OS to that list , with budget like this/
  2. butremor said:
    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XoOM
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XoOM/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XoOM/benchmarks/

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($120.98 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($60.55 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.49 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $480.97
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-15 05:00 EDT-0400)

    Hard to add OS to that list , with budget like this/


    Thanks for the input! I looked over the list and after spending a good few hours reading thought that maybe I could go AMD, specifically an Athlon II X3 455. I used your parts list and tweaked as need be for the new processor plus added a wireless adapter. I forgot that there is no way to run cable to the computers location. Oh and a copy of Windows 7 64bit.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Xu4s

    Does everything in this setup look alright?
  3. How about this build
    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XwcI
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XwcI/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XwcI/benchmarks/

    CPU: Intel Pentium G2120 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($77.00 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($60.55 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.49 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($85.00 @ Newegg)
    Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN881ND 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($19.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $531.93
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-15 18:36 EDT-0400)

    G2xx is basically simplified i3, without turbo boost and some other features.
  4. What are the advantages to going with the Pentium? I suppose the biggest one is that with a LGA1155 mobo I could upgrade to an i5 later, correct? And the Pentium should run a bit cooler than the Athlon so I can cut the upgraded heat sink and fan...?
  5. PointFivePast said:
    butremor said:
    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XoOM
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XoOM/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XoOM/benchmarks/

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($120.98 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($60.55 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.49 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $480.97
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-15 05:00 EDT-0400)

    Hard to add OS to that list , with budget like this/


    Thanks for the input! I looked over the list and after spending a good few hours reading thought that maybe I could go AMD, specifically an Athlon II X3 455. I used your parts list and tweaked as need be for the new processor plus added a wireless adapter. I forgot that there is no way to run cable to the computers location. Oh and a copy of Windows 7 64bit.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Xu4s

    Does everything in this setup look alright?


    On your budget, you probably ought to drop the cooler and go with the stock one to try to eke out more performance elsewhere. Given your willingness to go with an AMD build, you can do better than a now-underpowered Athlon II - Phenom II x4 965 Black and stock cooler is preferable than an Athlon II with a new one.
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