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[Advice Please]Budget Gaming Rig

Last response: in Systems
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September 6, 2010 12:02:04 PM

Heyy there (I know that there is a budget build thread where people post all there builds for under 1000, which is what I was looking for but most of those prices are in American and on an American site, and it's difficult for me to find all those components and still get it under $1000 Canadian dollars after tax and shipping from NEWEGG.)

The following build I have is from a local computer franchise so I can buy it from a store and pay in cash to avoid tax.

I sold my computer recently in order to pay off some past debt in order to qualify for a new student loan. I'm getting more money than I expected and am going to build a new computer.

Of course, I'm a student and I am trying to keep it as cheap as possible while still being better than my last computer.

This is what I have so far. (I chose parts on a website and took a screen shot)



In case the image is too small to see...

Intel Core i5 760
NZXT Computer Case
Corsair HX650Watt PSU
500GB Western Digital Caviar Green HD
Corsair XMS3 Dominator 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
Asus P7H55-M Pro Motherboard
PowerColor ATI HD5850 Videocard
Samsung DVD Drive
Thermaltake SpinQ CPU Cooler

The total before tax in Canadian dollars is $1050

I would appreciate any feedback on the items I've chosen. Perhaps you know something I don't like whether something got really bad reviews... or a way to make my system CHEAPER but still able to game fairly well.

I'm kinda on the edge on my motherboard since they all look the same to me. Also, I've never heard of the company of my video card but I chose it because they were the cheapest by like 20-30 dollars. (Which is a big deal for me. I am trying to save as much as possible)

Also.... I'm not sure why the Core i5 660 is more expensive than the 750. The 750 has more cores, doesn't that help more?

Obviously, I'm a bit lost and need help.

Thanks a lot guys!!

*Also, I do not overclock so I don't really need that. Also, I don't play to do Crossfire or SLI
a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2010 1:02:43 PM

For a cheaper system and still very good go Phenom II X4 955, a mobo like, say, GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3, a good 500-550W PSU (Antec are cheaper), Samsung Spinpont F3 500Gb.

A link to that site would help a lot.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2010 3:27:30 PM

jthoov said:
*Also, I do not overclock so I don't really need that. Also, I don't play to do Crossfire or SLI
The rigs in those threads are high performance "Gaming" rigs. Totally OTT for non gaming regular purposes.

If you "don't play", you don't need such an expensive GPU. In fact you don't need any at all as long as you stick to the Mobo you've linked or go with any H55 / H57 / Q57 chipset Mobo.

Also if you don't intend to overclock, you wont need an aftermarket CPU cooler. In fact you can even do minor OC'ing without buying any.

The PSU can easily in that case come down to a 450 - 550 watt one, thereby saving you a further 50 bucks.

CPU : i5 760

Mobo : $115 Gigabyte H55M-USB3

Without USB 3.0 - $86 Gigabyte H55M-S2

Much faster RAM : $105 Corsair XMS3 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 7

Stick to your RAM if you go with the 2nd board. It doesn't support 1600 Mhz w/o OC anyways.

HDD : Go with Cavier Blue ideally. Not of paramount importance though.

ODD : Keep your Samsung.

PSU : $60 OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W

Case : Any Mid-Tower ATX spec case you want - just an option - $46 Coolermaster Elite 310 - looks much better in real life - Link

This is just as strong a build as any. Just a lot cheaper, 'coz I took the Gaming element out of it. You can add a 4650 - 4870 (Anything in between , depending on your budget) to this build to give it more graphics credentials.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2010 3:48:38 PM

calguyhunk said:
The rigs in those threads are high performance "Gaming" rigs. Totally OTT for non gaming regular purposes.

If you "don't play", you don't need such an expensive GPU. In fact you don't need any at all as long as you stick to the Mobo you've linked or go with any H55 / H57 / Q57 chipset Mobo.

Also if you don't intend to overclock, you wont need an aftermarket CPU cooler. In fact you can even do minor OC'ing without buying any.

The PSU can easily in that case come down to a 450 - 550 watt one, thereby saving you a further 50 bucks.

CPU : i5 760

Mobo : $115 Gigabyte H55M-USB3

Without USB 3.0 - $86 Gigabyte H55M-S2

Much faster RAM : $105 Corsair XMS3 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 7

Stick to your RAM if you go with the 2nd board. It doesn't support 1600 Mhz w/o OC anyways.

HDD : Go with Cavier Blue ideally. Not of paramount importance though.

ODD : Keep your Samsung.

PSU : $60 OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W

Case : Any Mid-Tower ATX spec case you want - just an option - $46 Coolermaster Elite 310 - looks much better in real life - Link

This is just as strong a build as any. Just a lot cheaper, 'coz I took the Gaming element out of it. You can add a 4650 - 4870 (Anything in between , depending on your budget) to this build to give it more graphics credentials.

He probably meant "plan", so add that GPU back in.

Though I would really suggest a GTX460 for you,decent performance, saves you quite abit of money. Of course, a cheap HD5830 will do also.


Nickle and diming a bit, but if you can find a 750 for $20 less, get that, its some money saved.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2010 8:00:18 PM

I second the AMD budget build. The Phenom II X4 series holds up very well. You can usually get good combo deals on a mobo and CPU on Newegg. Try and see if you can build a comparable CPU+Mobo base that's a bit cheaper. Also, MicroATX boards are much cheaper than full ATX boards.

Also, you may be able to save a buck or two with G.Skill RAM, and it's pretty good from what I hear.

Go with a standard Caviar Blue hard drive; the green isn't fast enough (essentially a laptop HDD).

The GTX 460 will also be a better buy as a GPU. I have one powering my 3D setup and it does very well. The MSI afterburner program will let you OC it really easily (you literally move a slider and you're done) if you need to do it (I also have an EVGA card, so it works cross-brand).

I would recommend against the Coolermaster 310 case. I have one that I built a spare computer with and it only has 2 fans and the PSU is mounted on top as opposed to the bottom. My build resides in an Antec 300, which IMO is the best budget case; I've got 5 case fans and a bottom-mounted PSU, and it'll hold several 5.25" and 3.5" drives.
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September 6, 2010 10:45:23 PM

hey guys
thanks for the replies so far
how is my new set up???
i managed to scrape off $210!!!!!!!


*click to enlarge image to view the specs*

also guys

i'm still looking for feedback and ideas. if theres a way to make my computer still good at gaming but even cheaper then i am willing to listen!!

i should also repeat that i do NOT OVERCLOCK but i love to game. things like starcraft2, call of duty and world of warcraft.

thanks guys!

*the reason why i chose the amd 955 over the 965 was because this website was selling the 955 for $30 cheaper. and the difference between the two was only 200mhz. it didnt seem worth it to me.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2010 10:56:25 PM

If you don't overclock, get rid of the CPU cooler and upgrade your video card to the GTX 460 1GB model instead of the 768MB model. The performance is much better. It's only $15 more, has a lifetime warranty, and comes with Just Cause 2 for free (scroll to the bottom; it's technically a combo deal): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 6, 2010 11:12:27 PM

boiler1990 said:
If you don't overclock, get rid of the CPU cooler and upgrade your video card to the GTX 460 1GB model instead of the 768MB model. The performance is much better. It's only $15 more, has a lifetime warranty, and comes with Just Cause 2 for free (scroll to the bottom; it's technically a combo deal): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



yup; done.
i took out the cpu cooler and the 768mb gtx460
and replaced it with a 1gb gtx 460.

by doing that, i get a better GPU and save an extra $20. (hopefully my cpu wont get too hot with a stock cooler though)

any other advice guys?

i'm trying to get it to a maximum of $800. i'm only $21 over, i'm not that cheap but i mean, since i'm already so close, im wondering if i can cut it just an extra $21 while still maintaining good gaming form.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2010 11:13:41 PM

boiler1990 said:
If you don't overclock, get rid of the CPU cooler and upgrade your video card to the GTX 460 1GB model instead of the 768MB model. The performance is much better. It's only $15 more, has a lifetime warranty, and comes with Just Cause 2 for free (scroll to the bottom; it's technically a combo deal): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Canada and taxes.
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September 6, 2010 11:17:46 PM

Timop said:
Canada and taxes.


yea;; newegg charges tax.

the place i'm looking at doesnt add the tax if you pay them in cash and in person.


hey timop. i followed everything so far. i currently have a 1440x900 res but i MIGHT upgrade.


as for the motherboard. that biostar looks really cheap... as in quality. are you sure i should get that? or add an extra 20-30 and get another one?

if i do stick with the 1440x900 monitor though, should i just get the 768mb gtx460 to save money?

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a b B Homebuilt system
September 6, 2010 11:55:14 PM

The Biostar isnt "cheap", as the quality is better than what you get with some other brands (like Foxconn/Jetway), it is just a vey essential baord that offers little bonus features (see the I/O shield, all it has are 4 USBs, a ethernet, basic audio and PS2)
The fact is since you're not OCing all you're requiring the Mobo to do is link data and provide power, in which the Biostar will happily do a fine job at it.

However, if yore still not comfortable, feel free to go with a Gigabyte like this: http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2...


On the 768MB 460, it will be enough for 1440*900 completely.
See this page, notice how the difference widens as you go up in resolution: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_46...
It really depends on which monitor you plan to upgrade to,but for single card use and a low budget Id prefer the 768MB.

Finally, do note the PSU is a bare minimum option, meaning it will power your setup now fine with room to spare, but there may not be much room left to upgrade. If you feel like reusing the PSU for your next build, go ahead and buy something better. But considering how capacitors deteriorate over time, I would suggest against that.
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September 7, 2010 12:16:46 AM

Best answer selected by jthoov.
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