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First time building a $600 budget gaming PC. Feedback is appreciated

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July 27, 2013 7:43:31 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: either this week or Aug 2013

Budget Range: $600 After Rebates/shipping (can go up to $650 if necessary)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, schoolwork

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: N/A

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ncix.com, memoryexpress.com

Location: BC, Vancouver, Canada

Parts Preferences: prefer intel cpu, but amd is more affordable

Overclocking: Maybe (in future)

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments:
-would like a reliable computer that can last me for at least 2 to 3 years.
-Doesn't have to play the latest games at the highest setting but I want decent framerates at least.
-want to be able to upgrade certain parts if possible in the future (swap out for new ones)
-i want to be able to play games like dota2, sc2, battlefield4, borderlands2, metrolastlight, crysis3, bioshock infinite and upcoming titles on reasonable settings
-I have an old disc drive that I should be able to use in the new build.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Want to build an affordable gaming desktop to replace my old laptop.

Include a list of any parts you have already selected with descriptively labeled links for parts. Please do not post only links.

Here are some parts that I found on the weekly specials on ncix.com. I was wondering if they are reliable and will last me for a while. Comes to ~$600 after rebates,etc.

Please let me know if I can improve this build in any way or if any parts aren't compatible,etc so I have an idea of what to look for when I finally buy it.

NCIX Bundle Deal ASRock 970 EXTREME3 Motherboard & AMD FX-6300 Six Core Processor

Powercolor Radeon HD 7870 PCs 2GB 4.8GBPS GDDR5 DL DVI-I Sl DVI-D HDMI 2xMini DP Video Card

Bitfenix Merc Alpha Steel Black ATX Mid Tower Case 3X5.25 7X3.25 1X2.5 *No PS* Top 2XUSB3.0 Audio

Corsair XMS3 CMX8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 240PIN Core i5 i7 AMD Memory Kit

Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB SATA 6GB/S 7200RPM 64MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM

Cooler Master Extreme 2 Power Plus 525W ATX 12V Energy Star Power Supply 20/24PIN 120mm Fan

Thanks for your time!

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a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 8:07:12 PM
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a c 246 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 8:11:00 PM

Better quality psu: http://ncix.ca/products/?sku=59615&vpn=P1550SXXB9&manuf...

Better quality case:

CM Storm Enforcer - http://www.ncix.ca/products/?affiliateid=7474144&sku=60...

Corsair 300R - http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX37031

Antec One - http://www.ncix.ca/products/?affiliateid=7474144&sku=67...

@Chulex: I fail to see how that is a better build.

1. You're not even using Canadian prices.
2. You have a weaker cpu and gpu, the most important parts in a gaming rig.
3. You have less memory.
4. You do have a better quality case.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 8:16:28 PM

realchaos said:
@Chulex: I fail to see how that is a better build.

1. You're not even using Canadian prices.
2. You have a weaker cpu and gpu, the most important parts in a gaming rig.
3. You have less memory.
4. You do have a better quality case.

Actually it says CAD at each part. But I agree about the rest. And the Core i3-3225 is a particularly weird choice, since it costs more because of beefier integrated graphics... which you won't be using with a dedicated graphics card.
If you're going Intel, pick the Core i3-3240 which is $15 cheaper yet a little faster (also faster than the FX-6300).
a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 9:06:20 PM

Sakkura said:
realchaos said:
@Chulex: I fail to see how that is a better build.

1. You're not even using Canadian prices.
2. You have a weaker cpu and gpu, the most important parts in a gaming rig.
3. You have less memory.
4. You do have a better quality case.

Actually it says CAD at each part. But I agree about the rest. And the Core i3-3225 is a particularly weird choice, since it costs more because of beefier integrated graphics... which you won't be using with a dedicated graphics card.
If you're going Intel, pick the Core i3-3240 which is $15 cheaper yet a little faster (also faster than the FX-6300).


well first of all the intel i3 its on sale, being the cheapest i3 cpu on the website after rebates, 4gb ram its enough for this kind of build no need to go for 8gb, the psu, the evga its just 29 after rebates. And theres no need to spend more money on the case, the user wants performance not swag.
a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 9:13:49 PM

chulex67 said:
well first of all the intel i3 its on sale, being the cheapest i3 cpu on the website after rebates, 4gb ram its enough for this kind of build no need to go for 8gb, the psu, the evga its just 29 after rebates. And theres no need to spend more money on the case, the user wants performance not swag.

The Core i3-3225 is 135 CAD after the rebate. The Core i3-3240 is 120 CAD after rebate.

The EVGA PSU isn't quality. I'd recommend the XFX unit.
a c 246 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 9:17:13 PM

i3 bottlenecks in games since most games use more than 2 cores now. I would definitely grab a FX-6300 over the i3.

8gb of ram isn't much more expensive over 4gb and it fits the budget.

EVGA is just a decent psu brand. XFX is better.

As I stated, your build has a weaker processor, gpu, less ram, and lesser quality psu so I do not see how it offers better performance.
a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 9:23:24 PM

Sakkura said:
chulex67 said:
well first of all the intel i3 its on sale, being the cheapest i3 cpu on the website after rebates, 4gb ram its enough for this kind of build no need to go for 8gb, the psu, the evga its just 29 after rebates. And theres no need to spend more money on the case, the user wants performance not swag.

The Core i3-3225 is 135 CAD after the rebate. The Core i3-3240 is 120 CAD after rebate.

The EVGA PSU isn't quality. I'd recommend the XFX unit.


Well I can see what you mean this is weird Look at this links, i was looking for the i3 3240 and it took me a while to find the correct link to the one you found at 120.

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=75431&vpn=BX80637I332... 149 CAD
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=75431&vpn=BX80637I332... 120 CAD

really... quite a good marketing they have in there... and about the XFX psu... Yeah didnt know seasonic made all the XFX core models, its better quality indeed i would too sugest to go with the XFX
a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 9:29:26 PM

realchaos said:
i3 bottlenecks in games since most games use more than 2 cores now. I would definitely grab a FX-6300 over the i3.

8gb of ram isn't much more expensive over 4gb and it fits the budget.

EVGA is just a decent psu brand. XFX is better.

As I stated, your build has a weaker processor, gpu, less ram, and lesser quality psu so I do not see how it offers better performance.


Any i3 of intel wipes the floor with any FX 6000, on the games the OP wants to play, you want to buy a 70 CAD case and get a better Gpu with only 600CAD?.......... And I already said that your choice on the psu was the correct one the XFX Core Edition its made by Seasonic i didnt know that. I wont start An Arguing between amd vs intel, its clear like the sky, Intel Wins Period. And the only game he could Bottleneck in all the ones he wants to play would be Battlefield 4, and even then he would get good 40fps, and he could upgrade later to an I5 and that would be enough to get him 60fps.
a c 246 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 9:53:08 PM

An FX-6300 can trade blows with the i3, but the FX has the option to overclock above i3 level.
Honestly, duo cores aren't cutting it now.
Also, there's the fact that Haswell is out so they will stop the production of Ivy Bridge processors soon, which will leave no upgrade path for the OP.

I am seriously against getting the i3 + 7850 over FX-6300 + 7870 XT as the 7870 XT will make up for the fps lost and more.
a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 9:56:15 PM

realchaos said:
An FX-6300 can trade blows with the i3, but the FX has the option to overclock above i3 level.
Honestly, duo cores aren't cutting it now.
Also, there's the fact that Haswell is out so they will stop the production of Ivy Bridge processors soon, which will leave no upgrade path for the OP.

I am seriously against getting the i3 + 7850 over FX-6300 + 7870 XT as the 7870 XT will make up for the fps lost and more.


Wow then by all Means, Post a build with an FX6300 with a 7870 XT in CAD, that cost 650 CAD. And btw, the only multiplayer games he wants to play are SC2, Dota 2 and Battlefield 4, and in those 3 tittles, even a G850 Pentium Wipes the Floor with the FX6000. Please post your build.
a c 246 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 10:20:31 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Other: fx-6300 + asrock 970 extreme3 ($179.99)
Other: xfx 550w ($47.99)
Other: 7870 xt ($229.99)
Other: Corsair 300r ($65.00)
Other: Patriot Intel 2x4gb RAM ($64.99)
Other: Seagate 1tb HDD ($64.99)
Total: $652.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-28 01:17 EDT-0400)

Put everything in custom links.
Kept the retail shops to NCIX.CA and memoryexpress.com.
The FX-6300 and 7870 XT will wipe the floor with any i3/pentium and 7850.

The OP wants the ability to upgrade certain parts in the future. If he grabs an i3 and wants to upgrade, there's a good chance that Intel would have already discontinued Ivy Bridge so he'll have to get a new motherboard to upgrade the processor.
a b 4 Gaming
July 27, 2013 11:05:47 PM

realchaos said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Other: fx-6300 + asrock 970 extreme3 ($179.99)
Other: xfx 550w ($47.99)
Other: 7870 xt ($229.99)
Other: Corsair 300r ($65.00)
Other: Patriot Intel 2x4gb RAM ($64.99)
Other: Seagate 1tb HDD ($64.99)
Total: $652.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-28 01:17 EDT-0400)

Put everything in custom links.
Kept the retail shops to NCIX.CA and memoryexpress.com.
The FX-6300 and 7870 XT will wipe the floor with any i3/pentium and 7850.

The OP wants the ability to upgrade certain parts in the future. If he grabs an i3 and wants to upgrade, there's a good chance that Intel would have already discontinued Ivy Bridge so he'll have to get a new motherboard to upgrade the processor.


its actually 647 CAD after rebates and 705 CAD without rebates. And Any I3/Pentium with a 7870XT will wipe the floor with that setup. But well Done on finding a build at that price, I know it was challenging. Anyway, Lets hope the OP read the benchmarks and realize that its no brainer between AMD and Intel, and btw, you can still get I5 2500k, and its 2 generations behind. And i never suggested to get an unlocked I5 any I5 can handle multiplayer at good fps in all games. Just please remember that more cores, its not always the solution, why would you want more cores if they dont perform well?
July 27, 2013 11:45:33 PM

realchaos said:
An FX-6300 can trade blows with the i3, but the FX has the option to overclock above i3 level.
Honestly, duo cores aren't cutting it now.
Also, there's the fact that Haswell is out so they will stop the production of Ivy Bridge processors soon, which will leave no upgrade path for the OP.

I am seriously against getting the i3 + 7850 over FX-6300 + 7870 XT as the 7870 XT will make up for the fps lost and more.


chulex67 said:
realchaos said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Other: fx-6300 + asrock 970 extreme3 ($179.99)
Other: xfx 550w ($47.99)
Other: 7870 xt ($229.99)
Other: Corsair 300r ($65.00)
Other: Patriot Intel 2x4gb RAM ($64.99)
Other: Seagate 1tb HDD ($64.99)
Total: $652.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-28 01:17 EDT-0400)

Put everything in custom links.
Kept the retail shops to NCIX.CA and memoryexpress.com.
The FX-6300 and 7870 XT will wipe the floor with any i3/pentium and 7850.

The OP wants the ability to upgrade certain parts in the future. If he grabs an i3 and wants to upgrade, there's a good chance that Intel would have already discontinued Ivy Bridge so he'll have to get a new motherboard to upgrade the processor.


its actually 647 CAD after rebates and 705 CAD without rebates. And Any I3/Pentium with a 7870XT will wipe the floor with that setup. But well Done on finding a build at that price, I know it was challenging. Anyway, Lets hope the OP read the benchmarks and realize that its no brainer between AMD and Intel, and btw, you can still get I5 2500k, and its 2 generations behind. And i never suggested to get an unlocked I5 any I5 can handle multiplayer at good fps in all games. Just please remember that more cores, its not always the solution, why would you want more cores if they dont perform well?


Thank you for all your replies!

So would it be better to get an i3 or amd6300? I only picked the amd6300 because of the bundle and it seemed like the better choice having more cores and overclockable so somewhat future proof. For the i3 I know it will perform better in single threaded applications but you can't overclock and its only a dual core so it might get dated really soon...I'd probably have to buy an entirely new CPU just to improve my build if I wanted to upgrade and that seems more costly than just overclocking. Also, would it be possible to maybe use a locked i5 instead of either of these and still fit my budget?

For that video card that you chose 7870xt is $50 more expensive ($230 vs $180) than the one i picked in my op:

Powercolor Radeon HD 7870 PCs 2GB 4.8GBPS GDDR5 DL DVI-I Sl DVI-D HDMI 2xMini DP Video Card

V.S.

Powercolor Radeon HD 7870 PCS+ MYST.(TAHITI LE) 2GB 6Gbps GDDR5 DVI HDMI 2XMINIDP PCI-E Video Card

I want to know if its gonna give a huge performance boost before I even think about buying it. Because from this site it seems like they're pretty close.

Radeon HD 7870 XT vs 7870

If its not a huge performance boost i'd rather not spend the extra $50 here just to get a few more fps and maybe spend it in the future for a new heatsink for overclocking or towards a new cpu or something. Also, is there any other NVIDIA alternatives I can pick at this pricepoint?


The rest of the parts seem pretty interchangeable so I guess i'll just pick the ones I like the best. Sorry for the questions and long post im new to this stuff.. :( 
a c 246 4 Gaming
July 28, 2013 12:12:25 AM

Benchmarks can go back and forth: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6396/the-vishera-review-a...

I would go with the FX-6300 since its cheaper and you can overclock it to above i3 levels.

Grab the regular 7870 instead. Didn't know the price difference was $50 (All ncix links are broken for me for some reason, so I was relying on the link name).
a b 4 Gaming
July 28, 2013 6:06:45 AM

realchaos said:
i3 bottlenecks in games since most games use more than 2 cores now. I would definitely grab a FX-6300 over the i3.

2 extremely fast cores or 3/6 slow cores. They end up close to each other, with the Core i3 taking a bigger lead in games that aren't optimized for more than 2 cores. The FX-6300 overclocks, but that would entail a better motherboard IMO (The Asrock 970 Extreme3 only has 4+1 power phases). The Core i3, well, it uses less power. Not that it matters much in an ATX desktop.
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