$600 Gamer i3 PC (some components not required)


After many years of using a Northwood 2,8GHz PC the time has come for me to upgrade to a new platform.

My basic assumptions are:

Approximate Purchase Date: In one or two days

Budget Range: $450-$600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies and Music, The Internet

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor (Samsung SyncMaster T240HD), speakers, OS (Windows XP Professional 32-bit), Power supply (Tagan TG400-U33), Case (Thermaltake Wing 301 RS)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ( (Willing to listen to offers from any other shops)

Country of Origin: Poland

Parts Preferences: I would like to use an Intel CPU (i3-530) and a NVidia GPU (GeForce GTX 460)

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI : Yes (In 2-3 years)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Parts I've considered:

Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz

MSI GeForce GTX 460 768MB GDDR5 192-bit

I've been considering two options: one with the GTX 460 1gb card, and one with a GTX 460 768mb one and a SLI ready MB for a later addition of another 460 card.

Any recommendations, especially considering the choice of a motherboard for this setup, are greatly appreciated.

Also, do you guys think I could stick to my trusty WinXP or will it be desirable to upgrade to Win7?


9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about gamer some components required
  1. Check out the system builder marathon: $600 gamin pc article on this site. It might give you some ideas of what you should be looking for in that price range.
  2. a $600 PC will be better served as an Athlon II X3/X4 or Phenom II X4 than by an i3.

    without knowing the exact prices in poland, something like this should work:

    770, 785, 870, or 880 chipset
    Athlon II X3 445/450, X4 640, or Phenom II x4 955
    4 GB DDR3 1333 or 1600 MHz RAM
    500GB to 1 TB HDD
    a HD5770 or GTX 460 at either 768MB or 1 GB or a HD5850
    high quality PSU (look at the Xigmatek in Today's article on Toms)
    and an inexpensive case and DVD burner (Haf 912, Coomermaster elite 3xx series, NZXT, Antec 200 or 300, etc)
  3. Give us your budget in PLN, found this site:
  4. is fine, there's also a neat configurator at or you can just assume prices here are approximately 115% of US prices. (In PLN that'd be around 1700-1800).

    Also, about parts I don't need - I also have a HDD (Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB) and the PSU is actually Tagan 430-U22.
  5. That PSU is quite good but a bit weak for a modern more powerful video card. You can either take your chances with your PSU and get a HD 5850 (better and consumes less than a GTX 460) but you might still have to get a new PSU. Theoretically it will work but not much spare room left.

    MSI 770-G45
    AMD Athlon II X4 635 (you need a quad for some newer games)
    Corsair 4GB PC1333 2x2GB CL9 Value
    DVD Asus DRW-24B3ST SATA
    HIS Radeon HD5850 1GB DDR5


    If you want to play safe you can get this:

    Asrock EXTREME3 AMD 870 (crossfire mobo)
    AMD Phenom II X4 955
    MSI Radeon HD5770 (or some other 5770)

    with the other parts (DVD-RW and RAM) = 1723,85zł.

    You can wait a few weeks for the new ATI 6 series to arrive, that will drive the video cards' prices down a bit.
  6. Mosox -> I've checked, the peak load under a i3 and the 460 would be 330W, just right for a 430W quality PSU in my opinion.

    AMD-wise I was thinking of the Phenom II X4 955

    Yet, I'd like to stick to an Intel + Intel chipset + nVidia configuration if possible, given the possibility of buying a second 460 + a new PSU in about 2 years to give this build a second life.

    Intel Core i3 530 2.93GHz
    MSI GeForce GTX 460 768MB DDR5
    I'd just need a Motherboard and Ram for this.
  7. In 2 years I don't think the i3 will be able to provide a decent gaming experience compared to an X4, not only that, but in two years I doubt 768 will be enough Vram for most games.
  8. Best answer
    The problem is that more and more games are very CPU dependent and they don't work well on dual cores like the i-3. Getting that CPU would be a mistake, better get the Athlon II X3/X4 or Phenom II X4 (but your PSU can't take that 125 watt CPU).

    About the PSU, it's the 12V rail wattage that's important, you only have 28A (336 watts). A HD 5850 needs some 150 watts on full load (a GTX 460/768 even more), that Athlon II X4 CPU - 95 watts, and there's the HDD, DVD-RW and the case fans also on the 12V rail.

    If you still want Intel prepare to increase the budget by a lot, you need the i5-750, an expensive SLI mobo and a new PSU. For budget systems AMD offers more than Intel.

    That's the cheapest SLI mobo, you can use the same RAM as above:
  9. Best answer selected by Qris.
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