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mATX Gaming Build for Longevity and Good Performance at a Good Price

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August 11, 2013 12:44:43 PM

I'm new to system building and PC gaming has been looking better and better as we learn more about next gen consoles. I've been researching PC gaming and building for almost a year and I feel I have a fair grasp on how the whole process works, but I would greatly appreciate help in building a solid gaming system that will last me several years. I apologize in advance for the length of this post and the array of questions, but I want to make sure I cover everything. I plan on using my 32 in. 720p tv for gaming. It would be awesome to max out settings at 720p, but I'd like the system to handle mid to high settings at 1080p in anticipation of a monitor upgrade to 1080p. As for frame rates, if I could do 60 fps while recording with fraps on most games that would be fantastic. My budget ceiling is sitting at $700 right now. It depends on the price of the CPU.

I have:
A case, keyboard, monitor(the tv mentioned above), mouse, hard drive, OS

I need:
CPU, mobo, RAM, Graphics Card, Power Supply

These are the parts I have found:
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've read all over that SeaSonic is makes some of the best, most reliable PSU's out there and this one seems solid. I know it may be overkill for the system I have in mind, but I'd like it to last a for years to come and have the option for things like extra hard drives, overclocking, and SLI in future builds/upgrades

CPU: Haswell i3 or non-overclockable i5
This is the major place I need help with. This PC will replace my 360 for gaming. I play Skyrim, BF3, CoD, NFS, Minecraft, TF2, Counter Strike, basically I'm all across the board with gaming. If a Haswell i3 will be enough to last a few years with my prereqs I'll be more than happy. I'm not too interested in overclocking (something for a later build with a better budget) so if you think I should look at an i5 I'll need help choosing the best one of the non-overclockers.

Motherboard: MSI B85M-G43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This board fits my needs well. It seems to be of good quality. I like that it has 4 RAM slots. Just need verification. Seems a lot like the MSI B75MA-P45 Austin Evans (YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLADA5B91FFC11D251) recommends for a some of his lower cost builds.

Graphics Card: MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC GTX 760 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
No matter where I looked, time and time again everyone says the graphics card is where you should put most of your budget into. From the reviews I read, this card performs very well and it comes in at a solid price and it looks pretty damn cool.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2x4GB) 1333 MHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM prices are friggin ridiculous these days compared to when I first started shopping around. This brand seems to be liked by a lot of people, good reviews and good CAS timings. 8GB is the butter zone for gaming rigs it seems. I chose 1333 MHz because I read it performs just as good as faster RAM. I've read that you'll only notice the difference in benchmarks and that for gaming 1333 is plenty fast as long as you're not using an APU. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If I can find this RAM clocked for 1600 MHz for close to the same price as this, I'll buy that instead.

So how do my choices look? I considered AMD FX, but their mATX options seem dated, I wanted one with a 970 chipset, but that ain't happening from the looks of things. I'm quite happy with the parts I've picked out, but I'm open to suggestions, criticisms, etc. I came to this page to learn and any and all feedback is very much appreciated!

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
August 11, 2013 6:18:32 PM

You didn't need a HDD or OS license so i haven't included those:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($183.97 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 350D MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $656.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-11 21:17 EDT-0400)

the 7950 vs the gtx760 (they are about the same):
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/855?vs=854
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