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Upgrade Help Requested - Gaming PC (CPU, GPU, mobo, PSU)

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April 25, 2014 10:20:18 AM

Until recently, I was pretty happy with this system... until it died one night while playing Diablo 3.
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c03...

I replaced the motherboard and power supply, but no luck. Then the CPU (after returning the mobo/PSU), again nothing. (I can turn the power on, but no POST, and holding the power button doesn't turn it off.)

Not sure what happened, but it seems like a good time to put together a new system while reusing some parts (8GB DDR3-1600 RAM, 1TB HDD, optical drive). Any help is appreciated!

I've been looking at various combinations and wanted to get your take on what would be a good budget build, maxing out around $400 (PS4 price for hopefully better performance).

Here are two builds that I was considering:

AMD: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3y47B
Intel: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3y4xV

Any suggestions are very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!! :) 

PS: The HP case is a mini-tower that houses a micro-ATX mobo, and has one fan in the back. I'm assuming that I'd need a new case, but can I re-use the HP case? Would it provide sufficient ventilation?


Parts needed: CPU, motherboard, video card, PSU
Parts MAYBE needed: case, CPU cooler
Parts NOT needed: monitor, OS, RAM, hard drive, optical drive

Budget Range: $400 or under (after rebates is fine)
Approx Purchase Date: by the end of April
System Usage: gaming, general computing
Location: US
Overclocking: no

Games I play: Diablo 3, XCOM, StarCraft II (yeah, I'm hardcore :) )
Games I want to play: BF4, Crysis 3, games above at higher resolution/FPS, games coming out in the next year or two at reasonably good detail/FPS

Thanks again!
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April 25, 2014 10:27:16 AM

If you want to play games well then, you would want to increase your budget a bit more. It would benefit to have an intel cpu for starcraft though. But i3 dual core will begin to struggle, quad core intel will be better
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April 25, 2014 2:02:03 PM

Hoenstly I think you better buy into a Console. Simply put, gaming at the 'norm' of 1080P, expecting to be at least 45FPS, and have settings in a game of 'HIGH" these systems won't cut it at all, especially 2013 games forward. Normal price is STARTING at $700 for a Med-High level gaming PC that can do over 45FPS at 1080P . With OPEN systems like PCs, the demands will be pushed way quickly to keep up with, while a CLOSED system like a console they HAVE to program ONLY what the hardware was made to do. So you can get (as in the PS3/XboX360) 10 years and still going strong, but every 5 years your entire PC in order to be able to 'use' what is out there (hardware software change) much less that in 3 years after this purchase you are looking at a replacement video card because yours is struggling too hard.
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April 25, 2014 10:32:09 AM

I would probably lean towards the i3 build, the micro ATX AMD motherboards are not all that great. Also since you aren't overclocking, you don't need an aftermarket CPU cooler, the stock cooler will work fine.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.97 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($79.79 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R7 260X 2GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $388.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-25 13:31 EDT-0400)
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April 25, 2014 6:25:47 PM

Interesting insight, Tom, and much appreciated! I do have other computing needs, and some upgrades in a few years seems OK, but I definitely see your point. I'll probably still go with a computer now, but if it dies in a couple of years -- after the latest gen consoles are more mature -- maybe I'll make the switch. (Or, ideally, I'll be able to afford both! :) )

Trans, thanks for the info on the case. I'll pick up a new one. Worth it instead of increasing the probability that the components burn out.
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April 25, 2014 11:14:03 AM

Suztera said:
If you want to play games well then, you would want to increase your budget a bit more. It would benefit to have an intel cpu for starcraft though. But i3 dual core will begin to struggle, quad core intel will be better

Thanks for the info! If I were to go to quad-core, which would you recommend? i5, I'm sure, but I don't know which one is the best value.

I'm also not super into StarCraft, so it's not a huge factor for me. Would other games (FPS, Diablo-type games, maybe LOL/DOTA) play better on the AMD FX-6300 or an i3/i5?
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April 26, 2014 6:54:43 AM

About to pull the trigger on Transmaniacon's build (and pick as the solution), but wanted to see if there were any other recommendations. Thanks!
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April 25, 2014 11:16:17 AM

Transmaniacon said:
I would probably lean towards the i3 build, the micro ATX AMD motherboards are not all that great. Also since you aren't overclocking, you don't need an aftermarket CPU cooler, the stock cooler will work fine.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.97 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($79.79 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R7 260X 2GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $388.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-25 13:31 EDT-0400)

Awesome! Thanks for the info on the cooler in particular. :) 

That case isn't too expensive, but it does look like it would have better ventilation than the HP case. It'd be nice to re-use that HP case, but not if it's going to cook my components.
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April 25, 2014 11:53:04 AM

I would stick with a new case, keeping your components cooler will extend their lifetime and there are a lot of good design features in a new case like cable management, tool-less assembly, and better airflow.
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