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Best CPU/Motherboard/RAM for Gaming with my $300 budget?

Hey guys,
I I'm looking to spend $300, MAYBE a little more on these three parts! Gaming purposes! All three are a bottleneck in my rig. I'm hoping to score a core i5 or something. What would you guys suggest?

My Rig:
Windows 10 64-Bit
Apevia X‑CRUISER Mid-Tower
ASUS M2N SLI-Deluxe Motherboard
AMD Phenom I Black Edition 2.4
Asus Geforce GTX 750 TI 2GB OC Edition
6GB DDR2 Ram
Corsiar CX600 PSU?
Standard 500 GB HD
39 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cpu motherboard ram gaming 300 budget
  1. best 300 bucks upgrade i could think of:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: MSI H81M-E34 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($50.88 @ OutletPC)
    Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Storage: A-Data Premier Pro SP900 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($47.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $298.85
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-15 13:03 EDT-0400
  2. filippi said:
    best 300 bucks upgrade i could think of:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: MSI H81M-E34 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($50.88 @ OutletPC)
    Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Storage: Transcend SSD370 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($48.49 @ B&H)
    Total: $299.35
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-15 12:42 EDT-0400


    Hmm, that looks good. If I were to skip the SSD, would that be a big deal? Also, where would that extra $50 be best put? DDR4? or more CPU ghz? Thanks!
  3. Well, 300 is cutting it close. But here's what I came up with:

    MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157636
    ASRock Z170 Pro4s - $110
    I picked that as you can add an NVMe SSD later for a really nice speed increase over your platter drive you have now. The only downside is no SLI but that might be stretching the budget too tight.

    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117561
    Intel Core i5 6600k- $220
    I picked that because it's not worth saving the 40 dollars and not getting the "K" model in my opinion.

    So you're at $330 USD before tax and shipping. Honestly that's not bad but you're still going to need RAM. 16 gigs of DDR4 is about 50 dollars on Newegg right now. If you want to save some cash, you can get a worse MB and a non "K' i5 but it's not worth saving the 50-80 dollars on a junk MB and having a CPU that can't overclock. If I were in your position, I'd save a little more money to have a computer you can really enjoy. an extra 100 dollars can go a long way towards a build with more features and some future-proofing. My 2 cents from building my own computers for the last 21 years. :-)
  4. The Greater Good said:
    Well, 300 is cutting it close. But here's what I came up with:

    MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157636
    ASRock Z170 Pro4s - $110
    I picked that as you can add an NVMe SSD later for a really nice speed increase over your platter drive you have now. The only downside is no SLI but that might be stretching the budget too tight.

    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117561
    Intel Core i5 6600k- $220
    I picked that because it's not worth saving the 40 dollars and not getting the "K" model in my opinion.

    So you're at $330 USD before tax and shipping. Honestly that's not bad but you're still going to need RAM. 16 gigs of DDR4 is about 50 dollars on Newegg right now. If you want to save some cash, you can get a worse MB and a non "K' i5 but it's not worth saving the 50-80 dollars on a junk MB and having a CPU that can't overclock. If I were in your position, I'd save a little more money to have a computer you can really enjoy. an extra 100 dollars can go a long way towards a build with more features and some future-proofing. My 2 cents from building my own computers for the last 21 years. :-)


    Hey thanks for your input! Question whats NVMe? and whats the difference between the MB filippi suggested and the one you aresuggesting? They both support SSD for the future don't they?
  5. Goten13 said:
    filippi said:
    best 300 bucks upgrade i could think of:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: MSI H81M-E34 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($50.88 @ OutletPC)
    Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Storage: Transcend SSD370 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($48.49 @ B&H)
    Total: $299.35
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-15 12:42 EDT-0400


    Hmm, that looks good. If I were to skip the SSD, would that be a big deal? Also, where would that extra $50 be best put? DDR4? or more CPU ghz? Thanks!


    You will do a major upgrade (cpu/mobo) so this is the perfect time to build a OS-SSD + Data-HD storage setup.
    You will love it.
    And the haswell 4460 is already too much cpu for the tiny 750ti anyway,
  6. NVMe is the latest and greatest in solid state drives. Right now up to 2500 MB/s transfer as opposed to 550 MB/s for a standard SSD. Both will work just fine with that MB I picked but I would go with the NVMe drive given the choice.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147467

    The differences are between the MBs I picked and what filippi picked:
    -Mine can overclock
    -Full ATX vs micro ATX
    -can handle twice the RAM
    -More ports (USB, SATA etc)
    -NVMe support
    - the 4xxx series CPU is a dead socket so no upgrades in the future to something brand new

    The biggest differences right there. If you can spend another 20 bucks on a MB, you can get one that supports SLI and Crossfire.
  7. The Greater Good has suggested you a great upgrade.
    It is more like a 450 bucks upgrade though: you will need a good cpu cooler because i5-6600k has no cooler and you will need some cash for RAM.
    It make sense if you want overclock and you want a high-end gpu so you pay more to enjoy stronger gaming performance. You wont see any improvement in a 750ti gaming setup.
  8. Thanks for reminding me about the CPU cooler, filippi and the comment about the build! So at $330 +$30 (HS/FAN) plus $50 ( RAM). So maybe around $430-450 after everything is said and done. But that's a really nice upgrade.
  9. Best answer
    This is what I would do:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($204.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H170-GAMING 3 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($77.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($26.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $299.96
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-15 13:37 EDT-0400

    Slightly better chip than the i5 4460, faster RAM for gaming, M.2, PCIe x4 slot for upgrades (USB 3.1, NVMe SSD, etc.), ALC 1150 codec for upgraded audio, and unlike the 6600K it comes with a stock cooler.
  10. The Greater Good said:
    Thanks for reminding me about the CPU cooler, filippi and the comment about the build! So at $330 +$30 (HS/FAN) plus $50 ( RAM). So maybe around $430-450 after everything is said and done. But that's a really nice upgrade.


    Absolutely. The best price/performance gaming setup imho.
    Good enough for any high-end gpu Goten13 will choose in 2016-2018 next upgrade.
  11. ^ That's not bad for the price but no overclocking in the future and 8 GB RAM and not 16. I think it's worth the 40 extra dollars for a MB that can overclock, but if not, then that's pretty darn nice for only 300 bucks.
  12. The Greater Good said:
    ^ That's not bad for the price but no overclocking in the future and 8 GB RAM and not 16. I think it's worth the 40 extra dollars for a MB that can overclock, but if not, then that's pretty darn nice for only 300 bucks.


    To be honest, I dont really care for overclocking. Not a fan of it (mostly becuase I have no clue how, or how to manage it carefully). also ram is pretty cheap so going from 8 to 16 wont be a big deal down the road. SO, that being said, is @bears suggestion the best bang? Thanks guys!
  13. Ya, if overclocking isn't important, that's a nice upgrade for the price.
  14. The Greater Good said:
    ^ That's not bad for the price but no overclocking in the future and 8 GB RAM and not 16. I think it's worth the 40 extra dollars for a MB that can overclock, but if not, then that's pretty darn nice for only 300 bucks.


    Well, for 5 more dollars you can go with thisZ170 MSI MB and get some faster RAM to go with it:

    http://pcpartpicker.com/product/qkX2FT/msi-motherboard-z170apro

    I sort of prefer the Gig for the upgraded sound, but either would be a reasonable choice.
  15. Bearmann said:
    The Greater Good said:
    ^ That's not bad for the price but no overclocking in the future and 8 GB RAM and not 16. I think it's worth the 40 extra dollars for a MB that can overclock, but if not, then that's pretty darn nice for only 300 bucks.


    Well, for 5 more dollars you can go with thisZ170 MSI MB and get some faster RAM to go with it:

    http://pcpartpicker.com/product/qkX2FT/msi-motherboard-z170apro

    I sort of prefer the Gig for the upgraded sound, but either would be a reasonable choice.



    I saw that @fillipi mentioned my GPU being "tiny"? Is my GPU a problem area also? I purchased it not too long ago thinking it would be a great addition. I'm not running witcher or crysis or anythng that hardcore lol. Just like: League of legends, Civ V, possibly Blade and Soul. That kind of stuff.
  16. Well, it's not the strongest GPU, but you can turn down the settings if necessary and see how you do with it. Later in the year maybe upgrade to the AMD RX 480 which will run about $200+.
  17. Bearmann said:
    Well, it's not the strongest GPU, but you can turn down the settings if necessary and see how you do with it. Later in the year maybe upgrade to the AMD RX 480 which will run about $200+.


    Hmm, alright. I was hoping to not have to worry about turning down graphics after this upgrade. I got a bad suggestion on that GPU then I guess. Bought it like 3 months ago for like $150 : / What kind of upgrade tree can I look forward to regarding the GPU with the suggestions you gave me?
  18. Goten13 said:
    Bearmann said:
    The Greater Good said:
    ^ That's not bad for the price but no overclocking in the future and 8 GB RAM and not 16. I think it's worth the 40 extra dollars for a MB that can overclock, but if not, then that's pretty darn nice for only 300 bucks.


    Well, for 5 more dollars you can go with thisZ170 MSI MB and get some faster RAM to go with it:

    http://pcpartpicker.com/product/qkX2FT/msi-motherboard-z170apro

    I sort of prefer the Gig for the upgraded sound, but either would be a reasonable choice.



    I saw that @fillipi mentioned my GPU being "tiny"? Is my GPU a problem area also? I purchased it not too long ago thinking it would be a great addition. I'm not running witcher or crysis or anythng that hardcore lol. Just like: League of legends, Civ V, possibly Blade and Soul. That kind of stuff.


    the 750ti is a entry-level gaming gpu that even a todays i3-6100 can easily handle.
    Buying a 750ti is like buying a 3 people elevator and i3 could handle 500kg, i5-4460 1000kg and a highly oced i5-6600k could handle 1500kg. No matter what motor you chose it is still a 3 people elevator. Cant deal with more people than that.
  19. Well, the RX 280 will be released in about 2 weeks. Nvidia has already released the GTX 1070 and 1080, and is rumored to release a 1060 and 1060ti this year. You can see the EVGA prices here: http://www.evga.com/Products/ProductList.aspx?type=0&family=GeForce+10+Series+Family&chipset=GTX+1070

    With the i5 6500, you could benefit all the way up to the GTX 1080 with only some limitation from the CPU.
  20. Bearmann said:
    Well, the RX 280 will be released in about 2 weeks...



    You mean Polaris right? AMD Radeon R9 480.
  21. filippi said:
    Bearmann said:
    Well, the RX 280 will be released in about 2 weeks...



    You mean Polaris right? AMD Radeon R9 480.


    Yes, RX 480.
  22. Bearmann said:
    filippi said:
    Bearmann said:
    Well, the RX 280 will be released in about 2 weeks...



    You mean Polaris right? AMD Radeon R9 480.


    Yes, RX 480.



    Hey bear thanks a bunch for your input! I decided to go with your suggestions for the most part. I'm wndering, If I went with the i5 6600K instead, would I need a different MB? I only wonder because as worried as I am with overclocking, my GPU came with OC software so maybe the CPU will also? So its safer maybe?
  23. Yes, if you went with the i5 6600K you would want a Z170 MB. You would also need a cooler for it, the Cooler Master 212 EVO at a minimum (the Cryorig H7 would be preferred). You could get the MSI board previously mentioned, or something better.
  24. This Gigabyte UD3 went on sale today and would be an excellent Z170MB for $92:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128840&ignorebbr=1&cm_re=PPSSAJTVMVOVNU-_-13-128-840-_-Product

    Use promo code EMCEKFL23 at checkout for 15% off. It also has the ALC 1150 codec.
  25. Bearmann said:
    Yes, if you went with the i5 6600K you would want a Z170 MB. You would also need a cooler for it, the Cooler Master 212 EVO at a minimum (the Cryorig H7 would be preferred). You could get the MSI board previously mentioned, or something better.


    That sounds great. My only concern is the space for the MB. Here is the page with my case specs. What do you think?
    http://www.apevia.com/productsInfo.asp?KEY=X-CRUISER-BK
  26. Goten13 said:
    Bearmann said:
    Yes, if you went with the i5 6600K you would want a Z170 MB. You would also need a cooler for it, the Cooler Master 212 EVO at a minimum (the Cryorig H7 would be preferred). You could get the MSI board previously mentioned, or something better.


    That sounds great. My only concern is the space for the MB. Here is the page with my case specs. What do you think?
    http://www.apevia.com/productsInfo.asp?KEY=X-CRUISER-BK


    It will fit fine. The case states: Standard ATX / Baby AT / Micro ATX

    The UD3 is a standard ATX size MB.

    I don't see the maximum heatsink size listed however. The H7 is not as tall as the Hyper 212 EVO and will likely fit, but not guaranteed. Maybe you can measure the space (motherboard to side of case) yourself using your current motherboard.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4UF2DZ6565&cm_re=cryorig_h7-_-9SIA4UF2DZ6565-_-Product
  27. I've measured the inside and legit it has room for max 11" wide. 12 would be too much.
  28. Goten13 said:
    I've measured the inside and legit it has room for max 11" wide. 12 would be too much.


    It's not the width, it's straight up from the motherboard. On your case measure the distance in mm (or convert) from the window straight to the CPU socket. It will probably be in the 150-225 mm range.
  29. You've picked the "wrong" best solution...

    The 4460 (or 4590 for extra $10) with SSD can outmaneuver the 6500 build in real life gaming situation.

    But if you are ready to spend another $90 on a Samsung Evo 850 SSD and $200 for the new RX 480 graphic card in the upcoming Cyber Monday then go with the 6500.
  30. Professur said:
    You've picked the "wrong" best solution...

    The 4460 (or 4590 for extra $10) with SSD can outmaneuver the 6500 build in real life gaming situation.

    But if you are ready to spend another $90 on a Samsung Evo 850 SSD and $200 for the new RX 480 graphic card in the upcoming Cyber Monday then go with the 6500.


    The SSD only affects the loading of the game, not game play itself.
  31. Ok so I measured from the bottom of the MB to the top and it looks like the space accommodates a little over 12".
  32. Goten13 said:
    Ok so I measured from the bottom of the MB to the top and it looks like the space accommodates a little over 12".


    You mean 12 centimeters?
  33. Bearmann said:
    Goten13 said:
    Ok so I measured from the bottom of the MB to the top and it looks like the space accommodates a little over 12".


    You mean 12 centimeters?


    No I measured in inches, so with my tower standing upright, my MB ITSELF is (in centimeters): approximately
    Left to Right: 25.4 (back of tower to front)
    Top to Bottom: 30.48 (top of tower to bottom)
  34. You need to measure the other direction- from the MB to the side panel. That is what determines the maximum cooler height.
  35. That is approximately 7 inches or 17. 78 centimeters.
    The height of my current cooler is just under 3 inches or just under 7.62 centimeters
  36. Bearmann said:
    You need to measure the other direction- from the MB to the side panel. That is what determines the maximum cooler height.


    So, after all of your advice and some thinking, Ive orderd these parts: Gigabyte LGA 1151 GA-H170 ATX MB, CORE i5 6600( because I do not feel I will care for OC), Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4 2133 RAM. All From amazon for a totatl of $389 after tax and shipping. Almost $100 over my orignal budget but I'm hoping I made some solid choices here. If not, I can return what wasnt good. Thoughts?
  37. That's a good set-up. I think you will be quite pleased with it.
  38. Bearmann said:
    That's a good set-up. I think you will be quite pleased with it.


    Hey Bear! So I've been reading up on some forums and it seems that my PSU isn't a good option for any gaming setup. Unfortunate because I bought it just a few months ago. Here is my complete setup with all the new parts:

    My Rig:
    Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
    Apevia X‑CRUISER Mid-Tower
    Gigabyte LGA 1151 GA-H170 ATX MB
    CORE i5 6600 3.2Ghz
    Asus Geforce GTX 750 TI 2GB OC Edition ( I will eventually want an RX 480 or something)
    Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4 2133 RAM
    Corsiar CX600 PSU
    Standard 500 GB HD

    Am I right to worry? Should I replace it ASAP?
  39. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but I think it will be satisfactory. You won't be overclocking the CPU. The GTX 750 TI is quite mellow. I would consider replacing it when you replace the GPU. I think you are fine for now.
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