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Ditch the Console and build a Gaming PC (plus HTPC)? I want to but - how do I get this build price down please!

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October 1, 2013 3:43:33 PM

OK, as the title indicates I want to stop gaming on consoles - however money IS a large factor & concern. However if I am going to spend the money I want to spend it on a rig that is going to be semi-stable without needing upgrades in the next 2-3 years.

Here are the Background information pieces & Expected uses of the new rig
(For my wife to sign onto this money spending extravaganza (her words) there had to be more capabilities than JUST gaming)

We do not have cable TV anymore ALL of our video/movie/TV watching is done on a Mac Mini currently - we want to move the Mac into the bedroom and then this "Gaming" Rig would act as the main entertainment center for the living room.

The "monitor" for this PC would be a 60" 1080p lcd 3d TV
Its main functions other than gaming would be:

    - streaming and downloading video;
    - acting as file server for personal cloud / NAS; and
    - transferring hard disk media (DVD&BR) movies into files for storage on the network/personal
    cloud

The games I am hoping to play:

    - BF4
    - COD
    - Need for speed (?insert latest title?)
    - Civilization 5
    - Demon Souls 2

Here are my questions/plea for suggestions: (considering the build & my intended uses)

    Is there a way to shave between $300-$400 off the current $1500.00 price without sacrificing too much performance? -
    I realize one person's "too much" is subjective - So, i will try to give you a frame of reference:
    I really don't want to spend over $1000 to only barely notice a difference between games on the PC and games on the new consoles - especially because right now the PC is triple the price of the new Xbox.


      Would this build stand a good chance of not needing a major upgrade (aka mobo / CPU / or GPU) for at least 2-3 years (hopefully longer)?

        From what I have described - is a sub $1100 feasible? And/Or should I just stick with a console for $500-$600?


      The PCPartpicker link to this build is: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1JJLm.


      Thank you all in advance for any help / suggestions you are willing to give!

a b 4 Gaming
October 1, 2013 3:59:39 PM

Yeah, you're wasting a lot of money on that CPU and motherboard. You can also get a cheaper and better power supply, and save quite a bit of money with a Radeon HD 7970.

You might consider going mATX instead of ATX, since it's going to be a HTPC too. But that's up to you. You'll want to add a good CPU cooler either way.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($269.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Raidmax ATX-249B (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.98 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Rosewill Hyperborea 57.5 CFM 120mm Fan ($8.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG UH12NS30 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($49.21 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($69.00)
Keyboard: Logitech Call of Duty: MW3 Edition Wired Gaming Keyboard ($80.40 @ Adorama)
Mouse: Logitech G700s Wireless Laser Mouse ($81.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1332.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-01 18:59 EDT-0400)
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October 1, 2013 4:00:29 PM

The only way to shave that much off of the price is to either:

1. Step back on the CPU to an I5 system

or

2. Look into an AMD setup instead, they tend to be considerably cheaper, for instance you can get an FX-8350 for about $150, a decent mobo for around $100.

Other than that the only thing you can do is get a cheaper video card, maybe a AMD 7850. With those changes the AMD setup and 7850 vid card you can shave approx $300-400 depending on what you pick.

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October 1, 2013 5:13:48 PM

Wow - fast replies!
paladin442 - I pulled up that link and will be reading it over shortly(thanks - missed that series of articles in my searching)

Sakkura & boogalooelectric - Thank you both for the money saving options!!! (those are what I need to turn this into a reality)
Both of you have noted stepping back to the i5 - this was my original CPU, but the more and more I read about it vs the i7 - what i consistently was reading in forum posts and "articles" was this -
if you are ONLY going to game then the i5 by far the better option over the i7 because the integrated graphics and other features of the i7 simply are not useful for a gaming rig... BUT if you are going to do "more" than just gaming - go with the i7"

I am a layman when it comes to this stuff (well I'm learning by reading) - but when I see "only gaming" vs. doing "more" - I automatically assumed that meant I was not going to be well served by the i5
From both of your responses I am getting the idea that the i5 will not be terribly taxed or perform poorly given the "extra" stuff I am doing.
Is that correct?

Also - on the AMD vs. Intel idea:
All of the reading I did before configuring the build said unanimously - that AMD is simply not up to par with Intel in CPU performance right now - and that (essentially) I would be foolish not to build an intel based setup. Basically, the vibe I got from my resaerch was "if you build the AMD system it will suck compared to the Intel system."
Was this the wrong impression?


Thanks so much for the advice and dicussion I really appreciate it!
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a b 4 Gaming
October 1, 2013 5:28:21 PM

It's true that AMD cpu's aren't quite as good as Intel's right now, but it's not by a huge amount, AMD's current CPU's are perfect for someone trying to build a decent machine on a budget. You'll see little or no drawbacks in your gaming (BF4 and some new titles will actually be optimized for AMD CPU's, or at least more than 4 threads). With a file server and other always-on services running in the background you may actually find it advantageous to have so many more available threads. If you're set on Intel, i'd definitely go i5, if you're not doing renders, you probably don't need an i7
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Best solution

October 1, 2013 6:27:08 PM

Hirschp1 said:
Wow - fast replies!
paladin442 - I pulled up that link and will be reading it over shortly(thanks - missed that series of articles in my searching)

Sakkura & boogalooelectric - Thank you both for the money saving options!!! (those are what I need to turn this into a reality)
Both of you have noted stepping back to the i5 - this was my original CPU, but the more and more I read about it vs the i7 - what i consistently was reading in forum posts and "articles" was this -
if you are ONLY going to game then the i5 by far the better option over the i7 because the integrated graphics and other features of the i7 simply are not useful for a gaming rig... BUT if you are going to do "more" than just gaming - go with the i7"

I am a layman when it comes to this stuff (well I'm learning by reading) - but when I see "only gaming" vs. doing "more" - I automatically assumed that meant I was not going to be well served by the i5
From both of your responses I am getting the idea that the i5 will not be terribly taxed or perform poorly given the "extra" stuff I am doing.
Is that correct?

Also - on the AMD vs. Intel idea:
All of the reading I did before configuring the build said unanimously - that AMD is simply not up to par with Intel in CPU performance right now - and that (essentially) I would be foolish not to build an intel based setup. Basically, the vibe I got from my resaerch was "if you build the AMD system it will suck compared to the Intel system."
Was this the wrong impression?


Thanks so much for the advice and dicussion I really appreciate it!



An I5 or the AMD CPU I referenced are more than enough for what you are going to do.

AMD systems do not suck, they are slower than their counterparts in the Intel portfolio, but by no means bad.

Not to disparage what you are going to use it for but its just a few games and some video steaming. None of that is too taxing on the current cpu's in the market.

As Jaxem said, if your not doing renders, which it sounds like your not, than a I5 or an FX-8350 will work great for you.

Look at it this way, everyone who gets into homebuilt systems wants all the best of everything. But sometimes you have to go for 'bang for the buck'.

Me personally, I want a dual Xeon E5 system with 128 gigs of ram a tb in ssd's and dual Quadro 4000's, but reality is i have an AMD FX 6350, 16 gigs of ram and a 256 ssd. /sigh it will take time to save up enough to get the dream machine.
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a c 209 4 Gaming
October 1, 2013 6:37:21 PM

+1 for the 8350/4670k. Also I would get a different case.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 1, 2013 11:59:25 PM

This is a modified build my friend and I are thinking about (with your storage, mouse and keyboard). Note that it has a locked CPU and cannot be over clocked. I'll do an AMD variant in a minute.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($204.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($97.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.46 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($299.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Thermaltake Chaser A31 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDC-207DBK Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($45.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($90.87 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Logitech Call of Duty: MW3 Edition Wired Gaming Keyboard ($38.00 @ Amazon)
Mouse: Logitech G700s Wireless Laser Mouse ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1281.23
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-02 03:12 EDT-0400)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($174.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3P ATX AM3+/AM3 Motherboard ($75.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.46 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($299.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Thermaltake Chaser A31 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDC-207DBK Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($45.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($90.87 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Logitech Call of Duty: MW3 Edition Wired Gaming Keyboard ($38.00 @ Amazon)
Mouse: Logitech G700s Wireless Laser Mouse ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1259.22
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-02 03:42 EDT-0400)

Here is a Sub $1100. From what I've heard about the bf4 beta, people are getting 60-80 with the 7970 on Ultra, I believe a 7950 would get around 50-60 based on battlefield 3 benchmarks. Worst case scenario you have to drop a few settings to high or go with 2xaa or no aa. If BF4 high vs Ultra is anything like BF3, the difference would barely be noticeable if at all.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($144.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3P ATX AM3+/AM3 Motherboard ($75.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.46 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($219.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDC-207DBK Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($45.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($90.87 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Logitech Call of Duty: MW3 Edition Wired Gaming Keyboard ($38.00 @ Amazon)
Mouse: Logitech G700s Wireless Laser Mouse ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1079.23
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-02 04:29 EDT-0400)
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October 2, 2013 3:46:47 AM

I wouldnt do AMD. For the 8350/8320 it puts you just chump change from a Intel i5 4670k or 3670k or less if you dont want the K version. Can just look at the post above mine, see the price difference? Not much at all.... Unless you wanted to step it back alot and get a 6300 or something.
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October 6, 2013 7:10:50 AM

You all were/are wonderful - thank you so much for the polite and helpful advice! I have not built a computer since 1999-2000 (back when I was in high school in Oregon that partnered with Intel to train high school kids in the basics of IT).

I am stepping the build back to an i5 which is really going to help get the price down to the point where my wife and I are comfortable spending the money and confident that it is well spent.

The information, suggestions, and direction you all have given me is exactly what I needed, I cannot thank you enough, now time to go parts/price shopping!!!
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