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Quiet budget gaming rig (~$700)

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  • Gaming
  • Computers
  • QuietPC
  • Systems
  • Build
Last response: in Systems
February 7, 2014 5:31:35 PM

I have a computer that's about to die and needs replacing. The most power I need would be to play things like Skyrim, but I'm not a huge gamer and don't need to max out settings. Have a monitor (1024x768), keyboard, mouse. Would need OS. I see a lot of builds for stuff like this but I'd like the case as quiet and unobtrusive as possible. I don't build PC's for fun so would prefer to get a prebuilt, but I'm also cheap and have put together a few machines in my time so suspect I'll be heading down the build-it-myself path.

I'd like to stick close to $700 but have some flexibility. I have a Microcenter within striking distance if necessary.

Any thoughts or even good case/fan/psu hints?

Much appreciated,
Chris

More about : quiet budget gaming rig 700

February 7, 2014 5:42:12 PM

I shop at Microcenter all the time since they beat everyone on CPU/MOBO deals and then match New Egg on the other things.
The only thing most complain about is paying Tax which does not bother me because I value having the part now and if there is a problem over the counter exchanges are priceless compared to shipping to and from.
Do you favor Intel or AMD? I can give some suggestions
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2014 5:42:23 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.29 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($76.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($42.98 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $613.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-07 20:41 EST-0500)

For now sadly, you will have to use intel graphics but later on you can get a gtx 660 or a 760. I accidently forgot to get the os but that is 80 bucks and will still make your build under the budget. Make sure you get the cpu from microcenter so you can get it cheaper
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Related resources
February 7, 2014 5:46:04 PM

giltyler said:
I shop at Microcenter all the time since they beat everyone on CPU/MOBO deals and then match New Egg on the other things.
The only thing most complain about is paying Tax which does not bother me because I value having the part now and if there is a problem over the counter exchanges are priceless compared to shipping to and from.
Do you favor Intel or AMD? I can give some suggestions


I've had good experiences with both. I lean slightly towards Intel, but couldn't really give a good reason why. Appreciate the response!
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February 7, 2014 5:47:23 PM

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

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.29 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($76.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($42.98 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $613.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-07 20:41 EST-0500)

For now sadly, you will have to use intel graphics but later on you can get a gtx 660 or a 760. I accidently forgot to get the os but that is 80 bucks and will still make your build under the budget. Make sure you get the cpu from microcenter so you can get it cheaper


Ah, excellent thanks for this. Have you used that case/PSU and know it to be quiet? That's the part I'm having trouble judging! :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2014 5:52:44 PM

I havent used the case personally but I know its a good one because it is used in a lot budget rigs and is highly rated. The psu is highest quality because of the simple fact that it is seasonic
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February 7, 2014 6:14:12 PM

It would not let me add the OS for some reason and if any of the items are cheaper at NEWEGG they will price match.
The CPU I picked is Toms Hardware budget gamers pick and allows for an easy upgrade path.
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2PcTg
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2PcTg/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2PcTg/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Pro3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($94.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($57.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($54.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $659.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-07 21:09 EST-0500)

This has a good GPU for the money and should play most games very well on your monitor resolution.
Corsair is a very solid rated power supply and case and after a while you can always get Noctua or other quiet fans if you need to
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February 7, 2014 6:14:34 PM

Thanks, TM, that's very helpful. I may poke around a bit and see if I can find a smaller case although I imagine that takes me into smaller motherboard territory. This thing will probably end up on my desk so I'd like it to be as small and quiet as possible. Which directly conflicts with easy to work on/upgrade/cheap/power. All part of the fun!
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2014 6:15:36 PM

So you are going with my build but still trying to find a smaller case. The 200r is a nice case and is the same money.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2014 6:28:10 PM

[PCPartPicker part list](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2PdtN) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2PdtN/by_merchant/) / [Benchmarks](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2PdtN/benchmarks/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80646i54670k) | $179.99 @ Microcenter
**CPU Cooler** | [Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-r...) | $29.99 @ Microcenter
**Motherboard** | [ASRock Z87 Extreme3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z87extr...) | $109.99 @ Microcenter
**Memory** | [Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-memory-bls2kit4g3d...) | $74.99 @ Microcenter
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $59.99 @ Microcenter
**Case** | [Cougar Solution (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cougar-case-solution) | $29.99 @ Newegg
**Power Supply** | [SeaSonic 520W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seasonic-power-supply-m12i...) | $68.99 @ SuperBiiz
**Optical Drive** | [Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-optical-drive-drw24b1...) | $19.99 @ Microcenter
**Operating System** | [Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit)](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/microsoft-os-wn700615) | $99.99 @ Newegg
| | **Total**
| Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. | $673.91
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-07 21:27 EST-0500 |

sorry, forgot the graphics, but that's right around the same price give or take as your suggested build, if you include the pny GTX 660, but really doesn't need upgraded anytime soon other than mebe choose the m12 ii 620 both psu's being absolutely outstanding in their wattage class. I'd also shop around for some good quiet case fans to add
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February 7, 2014 6:31:22 PM

Ah, speaking of the 200r! Interesting to see those two builds. Will the lower CPU but added GPU end up helping for games? I don't do any rendering and only very rare ripping of CD if I pick one up at a show so maybe that combo makes sense. Thoughts?

giltyler - is the addition of the CPU cooler needed for heat reasons with the i3 or because that model is quieter than stock?

Both those CPUs use the same socket/motherboards, correct? My apologies it's been a few (re:many) years since I built a PC - I'm totally not up on modern tech.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2014 6:35:43 PM

First of all those links are just so ugly. ALso seagate in a recent survey shows that seagate had the most failure hdd's. And the case sucks, the source 210 elite is WAY better.

EDIT 1 I meant to KARA in the first place
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2014 6:37:41 PM

No because if you lower this cpu, you are screwed basically. You could get a fx 6300 and get a 660 if you want to though.
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February 7, 2014 6:50:27 PM

NOT screwed in any way for what you are doing and what your budget is.
Toms Hardware tested the I3-4130 and it beats the FX 6300 for games and has hyperthreading for multi tasking and the GTX 660 is a strong mid gaming card. The Hyper 212 is to get the noisy stock cooler out of the system
My Seagate barracuda has been flawless but for the same money you can get the WD blue
READ THIS ARTICLE
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2014 6:50:59 PM

TheMohammadmo said:
First of all those links are just so ugly. ALso seagate in a recent survey shows that seagate had the most failure hdd's. And the case sucks, the source 210 elite is WAY better.

EDIT 1 I meant to KARA in the first place


I totally agree on the links, and I apologize for their ugliness, I haven't done the pcpartpicker much so I guess I could spend a lil more time editing. I always had decent luck with Seagate, and missed the survey.. so my bad if that's true. I have a friend who has that Cougar case, and he loves it.. but then again there is no accounting for taste, hah! but I was just trying to get cheapish, with USB3.0 ports to match the mobo... so again, my bad
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2014 7:55:15 PM

Its ok karma
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2014 8:33:17 PM

So the cougar case really is junk? I didn't build my buds, so I could prolly use an education.
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February 8, 2014 4:59:02 AM

Ok, what about something like this? It's a mixture of the above but crammed into a smaller case.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87MX-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($122.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Case: Silverstone SST-GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($98.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($54.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $736.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-08 07:58 EST-0500)
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a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2014 5:10:10 AM

Why htpc case. got rid of htpc case and get better psu

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.97 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87MX-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($122.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Case: Thermaltake Commander MS/I Snow Edition (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $715.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-08 08:10 EST-0500)
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February 8, 2014 5:25:15 AM

The Corsair power supply is fine for a budget rig and doing a build without a GPU defeats the purpose of the build.
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February 8, 2014 5:56:36 AM

I would like to stick with smaller form factor if possible which is why I'd like something like an HTPC case. It is expensive, though.

The HIVE-650 is actually a hair cheaper than the Corsair, is there a reason to go for the Corsair PSU? Both talk about being quiet in their specs, but that's not giving me much to go on.

I am wondering about the lack of GPU, though. Will just having the better CPU not compensate enough for lacking a GPU?
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February 8, 2014 6:04:02 AM

If I swap out for lower CPU but having GPU I'm back over $800 by a bit. That's higher than I want to go. Note I did swap out the memory for one "approved" by the motherboard vendor, basically same price and seemed to be rated well but let me know if it's a red flag. This has the Hive-650 in it, but still too pricy.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87MX-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($122.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($77.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Silverstone SST-GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($98.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $824.51
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-08 09:00 EST-0500)
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a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2014 6:04:15 AM

Yeah because if you have a titan and a fx 6300 its pointless
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February 8, 2014 6:42:19 AM

ARDEN did you like the CM case I linked you to above?
The mother board vendors test very few ram sets so do not let that fool you a 1.5 volt DDR3 1600 will be fine
generally the Corsair is considered better than most however the Rosewills do get good reviews
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February 8, 2014 7:08:20 AM

Giltyler - Were you trying to link to http://www.microcenter.com/product/399001/Elite_120_Adv... ? I didn't look down far enough when I first tried your link but that would actually work. I don't need the HTPC shape, this one is more of a cube then rectangle but would be fine.

Ok, I'll play around with that. Appreciate all the help, folks!
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February 8, 2014 7:19:35 AM

The Cubes are very popular and offer better working room than the receiver style cased
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February 8, 2014 7:25:59 AM

Yeah, that case made a big difference and would suit my needs while looking to be a lot less of a PITA to work with. We're a lot closer to target budget! This has the lower CPU but with GPU.

TheMohammadmo - were you saying I should look at AMD architecture and the FX6300 would mean a GPU is less necessary?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($94.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($76.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($34.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit) ($99.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $733.54
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-08 10:23 EST-0500)
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February 8, 2014 7:37:25 AM

The GPU is a must have with the FX6300 it has no internal video support
The I3-4130 has HD4400 video support but a GPU will make the system
Quick review on the 4130 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXPK9doyMLg
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Best solution

February 8, 2014 8:09:00 AM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2PtBC
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2PtBC/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2PtBC/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($94.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($34.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($54.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $636.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-08 11:05 EST-0500)

You can always get microcenter to price match Newegg if they have the better price at the time of the build.
I will always have a list of exactly what I want and then a list of alternate parts that perform same/similar just in case there is a great price break here and there
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February 8, 2014 8:18:20 AM

Thanks everyone! Appreciate all the input; I think gilttyler's case was the big "breakthrough" for me so I've marked that as the solution. Thanks especially to TheMohammadmo for all the great thoughts, and willingness to post a lot of builds. That was very helpful for me.
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February 8, 2014 8:45:05 AM

No the i3 is terrible. The i5 4670k is better then and it has really good graphics. LIke i said before, you could have a titan and a 6300 and you would still get the same fps as a 4670k and intel graphics. GPU is important but the processor is the key though.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2014 8:45:55 AM

So you are getting his case and but my parts though. Is that correct.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2014 9:04:51 AM

electronics prices being the way they are... it basically comes to a choice on his budget, get the best cpu (match it with a Z87 board, not H) and use onboard graphics temporarily, or go with the downgraded cpu (I'd still match it with a Z87 mobo) and the gtx660. Personally I'd go with the better cpu now, and save up some cash for a gpu later, prices are bound to drop with new stock, and maybe even get a 660ti or 670 for what the 660 costs now. Incentives are a wonderful motivation to save cash, and a gpu is way easier to add than swap out a cpu
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February 8, 2014 2:21:35 PM

TheMohammadmo said:
No the i3 is terrible. The i5 4670k is better then and it has really good graphics. LIke i said before, you could have a titan and a 6300 and you would still get the same fps as a 4670k and intel graphics. GPU is important but the processor is the key though.


That statement is wrong The I3-4130 is a fine entry to mid gamming CPU with an easy path to a better one if needed.
Reviews show it holds its own until you get to a 780 level GPU.
I also PM the OP a ling to a ATX MSI Z-87/ I5-4670K combo for $219 after rebate should he decide to go that route and use a ATX size case http://www.microcenter.com/site/brands/intel-processor-...
And the GTX 660 is $169 after rebate
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a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2014 2:29:38 PM

Yeah thats a nice combo glit.
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