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First Build - Gaming PC <$600

I'm going to take a stab at my first build and in doing so, would like to go cheap (prefer $500, but will go up to $600 if it makes that big of a difference). I play pretty much CS:GO exclusively, but I'd like to have something that can run some modern MMOs (e.g. Wildstar) as well. My current setup (which is pure crap) gets me 50fps in CS:GO on absolute bare minimum specs. I pretty much can't play anything newer, so I haven't even tried.

I have all peripherals, monitor, and Windows 7 pro 32-bit. I also have an optical drive and a stick of 4GB DDR3 RAM. I can get the exact kind of RAM if needed.

I'm in the US and plan to buy everything within the next couple of weeks. I'd like to have something with an "easy" upgrade path, but not if it would cost me considerably more now.

Thanks for any help.
32 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build gaming 600
  1. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: MSI Z97-G55 SLI ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($118.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99)
    Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 760 2GB AMP! Edition Video Card ($239.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($48.91 @ Amazon)
    Total: $605.84
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-18 16:02 EDT-0400
    Add your RAM, OC it and you're good to go!
  2. Thanks for the quick reply. I hadn't planned on OCing, with that build, would it be entirely necessary? Also, seems like a pretty heavy hitter for the GPU, does the savings on the other parts bottleneck me anywhere?
  3. FYI with the 32-bit windows, you would only be able to use 4gb of ram even if you install more. To use more than 4gb you would need to get 64 bit windows.
  4. net30 said:
    Thanks for the quick reply. I hadn't planned on OCing, with that build, would it be entirely necessary? Also, seems like a pretty heavy hitter for the GPU, does the savings on the other parts bottleneck me anywhere?

    If you don't OC, then get a better but locked CPu and drop the cooler.
  5. numanator said:
    FYI with the 32-bit windows, you would only be able to use 4gb of ram even if you install more. To use more than 4gb you would need to get 64 bit windows.


    Ahh, thanks for that. From my brief googling, it sounds like I can use my current license with a 64bit install? I'd probably want to go to 8GB if that is the case (obviously).
  6. net30 said:
    numanator said:
    FYI with the 32-bit windows, you would only be able to use 4gb of ram even if you install more. To use more than 4gb you would need to get 64 bit windows.


    Ahh, thanks for that. From my brief googling, it sounds like I can use my current license with a 64bit install? I'd probably want to go to 8GB if that is the case (obviously).

    Sorry, bro, but 32 bit is 32 bit and 64 bit is 64 bit. You can't switch product keys:(
  7. Yeah, have never heard of switching it over but it may be possible if microsoft is feeling nice that day.
  8. Best answer
    how about this build?

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus H81M-K Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($52.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($51.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R7 265 2GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Rosewill RANGER-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Cougar 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($47.99 @ Mwave)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($15.63 @ OutletPC)
    Total: $603.56
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-19 11:43 EDT-0400
  9. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($111.29 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($74.23 @ OutletPC)
    Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($47.94 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Micro Center)
    Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $558.42
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-19 12:19 EDT-0400

    When you get some more money I would recommend you add a SSD, upgrade the CPU to a I5 and in a few years the GPU.
    Keep in mind your motherboard does not support overclocking so when you upgrade select a non K processor.
  10. Thanks everyone. I was about to say I'm leaning towards doubled's build, but now I'm reconsidering screwysqrls. So from what I can tell, the i5 is going to be better, but value-wise the i3 is right up there. And for the GPU, the GTX 750 is better than the R7, but pretty equal value wise? It's a toss up for me, anyone want to chime in to break the tie? :)

    And basically, if I can use my license key for Win7 on a 64-bit install (which the more I read, the more it seems likely), I should grab the 2 sticks of RAM, but if I'm stuck on 32-bit, I might as well keep my 4GB stick of DDR-1333?
  11. the GTX 750 Ti is comparable to an R7 260X, but more expensive because it sips power, the 265 in my build is better than either
  12. Ahh, well that might change things. I could only select the 260X, naively thought they were comparable. I think I'm leaning towards that build now, will hopefully make a decision tonight or tomorrow :) Thanks again.
  13. Or you could grab the r9 270 for about the same price:

    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 270 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg) (After Rebate)
  14. Looks like I'm going to go with the R9 270 with Screwy's build (thanks for that numanator).

    Another newbie question: do all of these parts come with all the cables I need, or are there other things I need to buy along with the suggested parts to complete the build?
  15. You should have all the parts you need unless you go with multiple Hard drives. Most motherboards only come with 2 or 3 SATA cables. should be enough for this build though
  16. I really appreciate all the help. My last question would be is it worthwhile to buy any protection/extended warranty plans along with all of the parts? Or are manufacturer warranty's typically good enough?
  17. net30 said:
    I really appreciate all the help. My last question would be is it worthwhile to buy any protection/extended warranty plans along with all of the parts? Or are manufacturer warranty's typically good enough?

    Don't buy them, it's a ripoff.
  18. Thanks zeyuanfu, I'll skip those.
    Yet another question :) In looking at the Rosewill RANGER-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case, I'm a little concerned on space based on reviews. Would it be better for me to look at a Mid Tower? I'm worried that since it's my first build, I won't know what I'm doing in terms of cable management and whatnot, so I was thinking a little more room might be beneficial. If so, can anyone recommend a Mid Tower?
  19. net30 said:
    Thanks zeyuanfu, I'll skip those.
    Yet another question :) In looking at the Rosewill RANGER-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case, I'm a little concerned on space based on reviews. Would it be better for me to look at a Mid Tower? I'm worried that since it's my first build, I won't know what I'm doing in terms of cable management and whatnot, so I was thinking a little more room might be beneficial. If so, can anyone recommend a Mid Tower?

    I WOULD indeed recommend a mid tower. A nice one would be the NZXT Source 210 for budget users or the Cooler Master HAF 912 for people who are comfortable stretching their budgets.
  20. I have the predecessor to the Ranger M, but I like small towers and don't mind the slight cramped workspace. Cases are, to put it bluntly, subjective. Keep the price low and pick whichever one you like best.
  21. Ah man, sorry guys, but I have another question :) Just as I was about to check out, I got a slickdeals alert for the i5-4690k for $199.99 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?sdtid=7147884&EdpNo=9085223&sku=GNT-102501226&SRCCODE=LINKSHARE&cm_mmc_o=-ddCjC1bELltzywCjC-d2CjCdwwp). Should I go ahead and pony up the extra $10? The i5-4460 is $189.99.
  22. sure.
  23. The i5-4690K is the BEST Core i5 CPU, and at 200$ it's even better.
  24. I'd consider swapping to the Asus H81M-K overclock-capable motherboard though, if you get the 4960K

    a littel cheaper than the H97, and ou only have one gpu slot, but you should be able to overclock the 4960K on it as far as it will go, just watch the voltage.
  25. ScrewySqrl said:
    I'd consider swapping to the Asus H81M-K overclock-capable motherboard though, if you get the 4960K

    a littel cheaper than the H97, and ou only have one gpu slot, but you should be able to overclock the 4960K on it as far as it will go, just watch the voltage.

    1, 8-series boards will need a BIOS update to support Haswell Refresh CPUs.
    2, Don't only Z87 boards in the 8-series of boards support OCing?
  26. the H81M-K wss specifically designed by Asus to be a cheap overclocker for the Pentium 3258, but will overclock any K-series
  27. ScrewySqrl said:
    the H81M-K wss specifically designed by Asus to be a cheap overclocker for the Pentium 3258, but will overclock any K-series

    Read #1?
  28. zeyuanfu said:
    ScrewySqrl said:
    the H81M-K wss specifically designed by Asus to be a cheap overclocker for the Pentium 3258, but will overclock any K-series

    Read #1?


    Yes, the 8-series does require a bios upgrade. From what I understand, the H81M-K already has the basic Bios upgrade for Haswell refresh. And then you d/l another BIOS upgrade to allow full overclocking.
  29. Hmm.... So I didn't swap the motherboard out, presumably that just means I won't be able to OC the 4960k at all? All my parts should get in by tomorrow, worth it to return the MB for another?
  30. basically

    check with your mobo manufacturer.

    if they have created a new bios to allow overclock, it'll be available to download
  31. Welp, I put everything together last night and I believe it was a complete success! I was very nervous on that first boot, but had virtually no issue. My ethernet port wasn't working (the indicator lights looked ok), but I didn't have a chance to check after installed newer drivers (wifi worked fine with a USB thing I have). I also haven't ran any benchmarks, as I let some windows updates run overnight.

    I did have two struggles during the build. First was with the freaking IO plate for the mobo. Those little prongs are a pain in the ass to lineup properly. Once I said screw it and bent a couple back a bit, it fit a little more snug.

    The second struggle was with regards to the PSU to GPU connection. The R9 270 has two 6 prong slots. My PSU has 3 6 prongs (2 on one side for mobo and a case fan, 1 that was labeled PCI-E) and an 8 prong that's labeled CPU 4+4. The cables that came with the GPU were single 6 prongs that split into 2 molex(?). Instead of using those, I just used a cable that came with my PSU that had an 8 prong and 2 6(+2) prongs that I ran into both slots of the GPU. I'm guessing that is ok, since it works? :)

    Anyway, thanks everyone for all of the help. I was nervous taking the plunge, but it was well worth it.
  32. yeah, that should be fine. the cables that came with the GPU were for using to connect with molex power plugs if the PSU's PCI-e 6(+2) ports were already in use (in a Crossfire arrangement, for instance)
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