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Best gaming computer for a $700 or less budget

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July 27, 2010 10:26:48 PM

Hi, i'm a college student, and I wanted to build a computer (or have one for me built) sometime around my birthday (in october), so i was wondering what would be the best processor (intel/amd) for gaming that could keep the overall computer under $700 preferably (or around $700) a nearby computer store recommended an i3 or i5 (if affordable) over an AMD phenom II x4 940 black edition at 3.0 GHz (costs 135.99)

I have a feeling that they may have an intel bias, so i figured the best place to come to get a variety of opinions would be here, where even if they are biases the sheer number of opinions should essentially make my decision easier.

Thank you all for your help in advance.
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July 27, 2010 11:02:26 PM

The Phenom II X4 940 is a bad way to go because its an old CPU that's why they told you that. Since the 940 runs AM2+ not AM3 so there is no DDR3 compatibility, if your nearby computer store has the 945 or the 955 i'd go with those two since they offer the DDR3 compatibility. Also the platform of K10 is probably going to last a while for AMD. However at that budget I wouldn't go local, i'd actually go to Newegg as Newegg actually has combo deals and that would make your build a lot cheaper. Also at that budget, you'd be better off getting the Athlon X3 440 Rana, or the Athlon X4 635 Propus. As for GPU concerns you could go with the 5770 at a 150$ gaming solution its pretty good. Or chuck 50$ more and go with the GTX 460, as the 460 actually scales very nicely (if you ever go SLI) IF you do go with AMD then get the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which is the Asrock 870 Extreme3, It's a great budget board, and in case you actually think that 8x/8x is bad or slow. It really is a small difference from 16x/16x hardly noticeable. Since 16/16 is 100% 8x/8x is actually 97%-99% http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_5870_PCI-Expr...

For memory i personally like Patriot since they are pretty good for the budget at Fry's (local store) but other good budget companies for memory is G.Skill and Kingston as well as Mushkin. and that's all the suggestions i have since your going local XD Local would actually be a better way to go in case you get a DOA thing you don't have to go through the hassle of shipping at a local store.
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July 28, 2010 1:42:11 AM

Yup thats the perfect setup for a budget build. Like enzo said the Phenom II 945 would be an improvement, but in gaming the L3 cache is actually not even that much of an improvement though, so if the only thing the 945 has over the 635 is probably multitasking.
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July 28, 2010 2:15:07 AM

thank you guy soo much for the info...i know i would need more parts than just that, but that's the main part (other than hard drive which i'm sure i could fine decent ones...) now I could ask the local store to get the parts (these main three) and whatever else works with them for under 700 (they only charge 100 for building the computer for you)...eventually i want to build my own computer, but if somethign goes wrong i don't really have the time to go through the hassle of calling up the individual companies and finding replacements and such. (i'm in college after all lol)

once again thank you all, and if you have any other advice i'd gladly take it.

EDIT: i also wanted to ask another question...does the processor i have linked http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (the amd 945 now) do better than comparable i3s and i5s (around the same price point)?
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July 28, 2010 2:47:55 AM

The i5 750 is one of the top gaming CPUs available. If you're shopping from newegg, check out the combos available. There are lots of them. You can get a better gaming CPU without spending a ton of $$.
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July 28, 2010 2:54:50 AM

aford10 said:
The i5 750 is one of the top gaming CPUs available. If you're shopping from newegg, check out the combos available. There are lots of them. You can get a better gaming CPU without spending a ton of $$.


well i'm trying to stay under $700 (the more under the better) essentially the games i'll be running aren't that cpu intensive (need for speed: world) maybe a game like modern warefare 2... I'd rather go for more speed though than great graphics but a slower system. (if it can run those games from mid to high settings) then that's all i'll need...

the i5 appears to be almost $200 alone...and the combo that newegg suggests with it goes well over 1000 (far out of my range)...

but is an i3 more powerful than the amd phenom II x4 945? if so then i'll go that route instead.
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July 28, 2010 2:57:01 AM

Yes, the 945 imo is better than all the i3 and i5 options except the 750 and 760. But the 750 and 760 are more towards 965 and 1055T. Anywho, the reason being is the 945 can run multithreaded apps better than the i3s and i5s that are dual-cores. And as the market of gaming continues to progress i think games will start swaying to run more than 2 cores :p  The i3 and i5 are although comparable to the 945 in gaming, but still the 945 is much better for money.

This review says so. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-processor-co...

Your HDD solution since you are going for budget the best bang for the buck HDD is the Samsung F3 1tb for 75$ it uses 500gb platters instead of the WD Black 334gb and it is faster than most of the Black series. Also at 75$ it is one of the cheaper 1tb HDDs that are quite fast.
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July 28, 2010 2:58:09 AM

There are lots of combos that include the i5 750. You can browse through them if you click to view all combos.

What do you already have? What do you need?
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July 28, 2010 3:03:06 AM

aznshinobi said:
Yes, the 945 imo is better than all the i3 and i5 options except the 750 and 760. But the 750 and 760 are more towards 965 and 1055T. Anywho, the reason being is the 945 can run multithreaded apps better than the i3s and i5s that are dual-cores. And as the market of gaming continues to progress i think games will start swaying to run more than 2 cores :p  The i3 and i5 are although comparable to the 945 in gaming, but still the 945 is much better for money.

This review says so. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-processor-co...

Your HDD solution since you are going for budget the best bang for the buck HDD is the Samsung F3 1tb for 75$ it uses 500gb platters instead of the WD Black 334gb and it is faster than most of the Black series. Also at 75$ it is one of the cheaper 1tb HDDs that are quite fast.


That review doesn't even include i5 CPUs. You can find some combo deals that make the i5 as affordable overall as the AMD 945. Don't get me wrong, AMD has some very good priced CPUs. However, they don't compare to Intel in performance. You get what you pay for.

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July 28, 2010 3:06:38 AM

I know i edited my post afterwards with another post XD but umm You do get what you pay for and that's why the i5 series is ALL at the 180$+ price point lol basically the i5s price aims for the 965 and 955 as well as the 1055T
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July 28, 2010 3:21:23 AM

It really depends on what the OP is going to use the PC for. Though, what I was trying to convey, is that the i5 750 has some great combos that can make it as affordable as the AMDs mentioned.
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July 28, 2010 4:12:17 AM

i want a decent gaming computer but one that can run relatively fast (most important is that the overall price for the entire computer (all components except keyboard and monitor) is UNDER $700. If I can get that with the i5 for almost $200 then i'll go for that, but as long as the overall price is under $700 then i'll go for it.

Edit: i personally have no preference for amd OR intel, so i'm just going for most bang for $700 bucks or less lol. (with the aforementioned qualities wanted) if an intel i5 does that..or a amd 955 or anything like that, i'll go for it. I just want to make sure before i have to go to the local store (in october) and either ask for them to build it for me...(while i already have the parts, or let them order the parts themselves)
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July 28, 2010 5:13:19 AM

Well since you are going local, it's best to go with AMD since there price is straight up cheaper. Also, as mentioned before, the Asrock 870 Extreme3 is a great budget board.
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July 28, 2010 5:30:39 AM

Best answer selected by jomyron.
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July 28, 2010 5:32:29 AM

alright cool thank you all for your help, I am eternally grateful (until i get another computer in the far future...)..i have a tendency to make my computers last a long time (still have an 04 computer (old t3092 emachines with only 2 gigs of ram) but it runs after than my current laptop (dell inspiron 1525) (though i did put a radeon x1650 graphics card in it)
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July 28, 2010 6:11:47 AM

Alright no problem, thank you for selecting me as your best answer :D  Hope your build goes fantastic. I'm sure this build will last at least 3-4 years without needing to upgrade
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August 12, 2012 12:06:52 AM

jomyron said:
Hi, i'm a college student, and I wanted to build a computer (or have one for me built) sometime around my birthday (in october), so i was wondering what would be the best processor (intel/amd) for gaming that could keep the overall computer under $700 preferably (or around $700) a nearby computer store recommended an i3 or i5 (if affordable) over an AMD phenom II x4 940 black edition at 3.0 GHz (costs 135.99)

I have a feeling that they may have an intel bias, so i figured the best place to come to get a variety of opinions would be here, where even if they are biases the sheer number of opinions should essentially make my decision easier.

Thank you all for your help in advance.


CASE: Cooler Master Elite 311 Blue (Mid Tower)
CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz (Quad Core)
CPU COOLING: Standard Heatsink Liquid Cooling
MOTHER BOARD: ASUS M5A78L-M LX Plus [VGA] {2 DDR3 Slots}
RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz
HARDDRIVE: 1TB 7200 RPM
GRAPHICS CARD: AMD Radeon 6670 1GB (Min. 450 Watt Power Supply)
POWER SUPPLY: Standard 450 Watt
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
SOUND CARD: Integrated HD Audio PC Games

$675.90
(this is what I plan on buying)
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August 13, 2012 3:02:14 PM

I would imagine that now (two years later) You could get a better deal for that price (graphic card wise, and power supply wise.

There should be some school starting sales going on, that have reduced prices for the items you want, and even better items. I got most of my stuff during the black friday, and cyber monday sales when i went to build my computer. How much were you planning to pay for the 6670?
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