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New Build - $500-700 - General Gaming

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  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
May 13, 2014 11:59:42 AM

Budget : $500-700 is ideal.

SLI or Crossfire: Would be nice for futureproof, but most likely won't ever get used

Purpose: This is a gaming system for my parents. My mom plays Sim City, my dad plays Real Time Strategy (Starcraft 2), and they may play Minecraft and such with their grandchildren, or even World of Warcraft type games. No FPS.

I have OS (Windows 7). DVD Drive, Monitor, etc I am taking care of separately.

I based the following computer on my own gaming computer. I have a nVidia 650 Ti Boost. I can't seem to find that any more. Wanted something comparable. Given the uses I said, and that the computer is currently a little over budget, what can I downgrade without any real performance loss for what the system will be used for?

Super high graphics are not vitally important, as long as it looks good and runs fast, that is what matters. I don't want a computer that will be slow in a few years and unable to play Starcraft 3 at an enjoyable level. The current setup can achieve that, but what can I downgrade and still achieve that?

Problems: The case, I have no idea what type of case to get. It is fine if it is large, that just makes it easier to build.

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($224.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($65.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Superclocked Video Card ($148.98 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($47.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $734.91


Thank you for any help you can provide! To recap, what I am looking for is advice on if anything can be downgraded or a better price found, and what to do about the case.

More about : build 500 700 general gaming

May 13, 2014 12:03:55 PM

mikecxt said:
Budget : $500-700 is ideal.

SLI or Crossfire: Would be nice for futureproof, but most likely won't ever get used

Purpose: This is a gaming system for my parents. My mom plays Sim City, my dad plays Real Time Strategy (Starcraft 2), and they may play Minecraft and such with their grandchildren, or even World of Warcraft type games. No FPS.

I have OS (Windows 7). DVD Drive, Monitor, etc I am taking care of separately.

I based the following computer on my own gaming computer. I have a nVidia 650 Ti Boost. I can't seem to find that any more. Wanted something comparable. Given the uses I said, and that the computer is currently a little over budget, what can I downgrade without any real performance loss for what the system will be used for?

Super high graphics are not vitally important, as long as it looks good and runs fast, that is what matters. I don't want a computer that will be slow in a few years and unable to play Starcraft 3 at an enjoyable level. The current setup can achieve that, but what can I downgrade and still achieve that?

Problems: The case, I have no idea what type of case to get. It is fine if it is large, that just makes it easier to build.

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($224.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($65.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Superclocked Video Card ($148.98 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($47.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $734.91


Thank you for any help you can provide! To recap, what I am looking for is advice on if anything can be downgraded or a better price found, and what to do about the case.


You can get a cheaper motherboard. There are good ASUS ones out there for $100 thereabout.
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May 13, 2014 12:06:13 PM

Given that it seems unlikely your parents will ever want to overclock, you could get a locked i5 on a H87 motherboard and get in under your $700 budget. Although it looks like you've found a good deal, you might save a little more getting a 400W-450W PSU. If possible, I'd get a 2x4GB RAM kit so you'll run in dual-channel mode.
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Related resources
May 13, 2014 12:25:06 PM

if you want and a suggestion for an amd build, here is mine

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($144.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.94 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital RE3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.50 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 270 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($47.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $662.37
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-13 15:24 EDT-0400)
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May 14, 2014 9:42:47 AM

Onus said:
Given that it seems unlikely your parents will ever want to overclock, you could get a locked i5 on a H87 motherboard and get in under your $700 budget. Although it looks like you've found a good deal, you might save a little more getting a 400W-450W PSU. If possible, I'd get a 2x4GB RAM kit so you'll run in dual-channel mode.


Indeed. Dual channel memory on a dual channel processor is good, and will work slightly faster. You could also ditch the unlocked processor, like Onus said. The "K" processors are unlocked, all others are not.
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May 15, 2014 7:39:19 AM

Starcraft 2 apparently so favors Intel, that AMD may not be a good choice for this system.
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May 15, 2014 11:22:05 AM

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($208.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($120.66 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($71.10 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Superclocked Video Card ($149.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($57.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $742.68

Okay some minor changes made. Dropped the K version of processor. Swamped case for Corsair 200R. Changed motherboard for slightly cheaper but appears roughly equivalent. Changed memory to 2x4GB instead of 1x8GB.

Anything else I can really change without degrading performance? Wasn't really sure what RAM to get, but it was within a few dollars of the 1600 speed version. This is cheaper, but I added optical drive in (Think I have one, but in case I don't, wanted it here).

$725 now if you ignore optical drive.

Video Card: Is this good enough for the type of games I mentioned? Not looking for amazing, just decent quality that will hold up for a few years.
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May 15, 2014 11:41:45 AM

if you want to save around 20$ take the i5 3470 http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53470
you will lose like 2-3% performance, you will not even notice it.

Your GPU is fine for medium performance, the games that you posted dont demand and so much so you will be pretty fine for a few years.
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May 15, 2014 11:56:59 AM

With a locked processor, you can cut the price down further with a H87 board, and not give up any SATA 6Gb/s or USB3.0 ports (unlike H81, which gives few of them).
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May 16, 2014 10:27:58 AM

Appreciated all! I've taken your last few comments into consideration (and did in fact drop to the 3470). Just a few last things to think about them I'll be set to order it. I looked at the H87 board, which seems fine for slightly less money, but the processors that it allows were much more limiting (perhaps not limiting, but not in the same area I'm used to). It had what I suppose are faster processors, i5 4000s, but they cost more too.

Was there a particular processor you had in mind if I were to go with the H87 board?
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May 16, 2014 10:42:14 AM

mikecxt said:
Appreciated all! I've taken your last few comments into consideration (and did in fact drop to the 3470). Just a few last things to think about them I'll be set to order it. I looked at the H87 board, which seems fine for slightly less money, but the processors that it allows were much more limiting (perhaps not limiting, but not in the same area I'm used to). It had what I suppose are faster processors, i5 4000s, but they cost more too.

Was there a particular processor you had in mind if I were to go with the H87 board?


What I would do is get a better board, a slower processor. If you do that, you will have a batter upgrade path.
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May 16, 2014 10:42:39 AM

The i5-4460 is actually a little faster, but the i5-4440 has a 10%-off promo code right now at Newegg.
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May 16, 2014 10:35:59 AM

i think he had in mind i5 4440 or i5 4570. i think they are in same price range with the 3470.
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May 16, 2014 11:28:00 AM

Is better board generally the higher number? So is H87 better than the Z77? They both have a good number of SATA and have usb 3.0 front headers I believe.
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May 16, 2014 11:31:17 AM

mikecxt said:
Is better board generally the higher number? So is H87 better than the Z77? They both have a good number of SATA and have usb 3.0 front headers I believe.


the H87 is for different socket than the z77. The Z means that you can overclock the cpu, but you dont have a CPU which you can overclock, so you dont need a Z mobo.
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