Need Help With NEW Budget Gaming Build!!!

Hello! I have asked for help from this community before and have always had great results. I need your help again. I am starting to put ideas together for a NEW budget gaming PC. This new PC will mainly be used for gaming (WoW, Civ4/Civ5, LOTRO, some FPS games, etc...). We'll also use it for normal everyday activities (email, music, regular video viewing, etc.). I say "I" but actually I will be putting it together for my brother whose older PC just died. I figured I'd come here for help. So, here you go...

BTW: I do have a BFG 550w power supply just sitting in my basement. Could I let him use that for this system? Please keep that in mind. I'm not sure if it will provide enough juice. I'm sure you know though. Hah! I do like the idea of a new PSU better but just figured I'd let you all know that I do have it. It was used in a previous PC for about 1.5 years. Still ran fine when I took the older PC apart.

Approximate Purchase Date: 11/1/10 (The sooner the better though)

Budget Range: ~$800 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet, email, watching movies, music/itunes

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, I do love the XFX double litetime warranty for GPU if possible

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (I say maybe because I've never tried it but consider myself and avg to above avg PC user)

Monitor Resolution: currently has a 19" HP monitor (1440x900). Would like to use this for now with possibility for upgrade in the future.

Additional Comments: Even though this is a cheap build I would love to find a case that looks "cool". My brother really enjoys the look of my new build PC that has the monster Antec 1200 as the chasis. I would also like Windows 7 (64bit) as the OS. Please include that as one of the items I need to purchase

I look forward to seeing what ideas you might have for us. Please let me know what other info you may need from me.

Thanks for your time!

- manooly
36 answers Last reply
More about need budget gaming build
  1. I guess i'll reply first. Hah! How about starting off with an i5 760 CPU? I have an i5 750 in my new build and love it! For $10 more I think upgrading to an i5 760 is probably worth it. Thoughts???
  2. I have an antec 900. When I bought a case to move my stuff into for my kids I got the Antec 300 illusion so they could have the same blue LEDs for their gaming machine.

    Is this the BFG model?
    If so it has 36 amps on the 12V rails and acceptable ratings in professional reviews. It should handle a single GPU fine.

    A 5770 will be a good, inexpensive graphics card

    ASRock 870 extreme 3 motherboard, best value with 2 PCIE slots.

    4GB DDR3-1600 cas7 1.6V or less RAM

    Then either an Athlon IIx3 445 or Phenom II x4 955/965

    Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus cpu cooler.

    You might be able to get windows 7 64bit cheaper as a student, if not home premium 64bit is $100

    To get a motherboard for an i5 760 that will let you add a second graphics card is $200 and will probably take you over budget since you need to buy the OS.
  3. dndhatcher has a decent build, and yeah, that PSU should work for another couple of years just fine.

    Here's a build for you at $750ish for a i5-760.

    i5-760 with Rosewill Destroyer case: $241.98
    I got this because the i5-750 didn't have this combo.

    1 Rosewill blue LED case fan (put in the side panel): $5.99

    Coolermaster Hyper 212+ heatsink/fan. $29.99
    use this if you want to overclock

    Sparkle GTX 460 1GB: $219.99. $20MIR
    There isn't an XFX model on Newegg right now, but this does have a lifetime warranty.

    Mushkin Enhanced DDR3-1600 4 GB RAM: $83.99. $15 MIR

    EVGA P55 microatx motherboard. $89.99. $20 MIR
    Cheapest SLI/Crossfire capable intel motherboard.

    Seagate Barraccuda 1 Tb Hard drive: $69.99
    Its $5 cheaper than samsung this month.

    LG 22x DVD Burner: $16.99
    Cheap, reliable.

    Total: $758.91
    Shipping: $9.03
    Grand total: $767.94

    Less $24.00 in Promos (End 10/11)

    Less $55 in mail in rebates
    $696.94 final total.

    after the rebates you have enough to squeak just over budget with a second 1 GB GTX 460

    A note: it jumps up to $798.90 for 2 GTS 450s in SLI, which beats out a GTX 470 in raw power, if you want to go that route.
  4. ScrewySqrl said:

    after the rebates you have enough to squeak just over budget with a second 1 GB GTX 460

    A note: it jumps up to $798.90 for 2 GTS 450s in SLI, which beats out a GTX 470 in raw power, if you want to go that route.

    The power supply wont handle 2 graphics cards. He would have to get a stronger PSU also.
  5. I think I am leaning towards a new PSU also! I really want to stick with the Intel i5 760. Which Mobo will be the best bang for the buck? I know it'll be tough to stick to the $800 with a new PSU but I'm trying!

    Thanks for the great suggestions. Keep 'em coming!!!
  6. well if your getting a new PSU+Windows in your budget AMD is your only route

    trust me i just built a new machine with similar specs...i used my old PSU and had to buy windows....AMD is a way better choice simply because for that budget you gotta get a pretty shitty intel mobo such as the one screwygirl listed (not that its bad but the pci slot on x1 is only x8....and micro atx's are a bitch to SLI/Xfire with *** gets way too hot ....

    I went with a

    AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black
    Mobo similar to davcons (just asus 890GX)
    HAF 922
    Windows 7 64bit
    Patriot G-Series 5 1600mhz 2x2gb (was on sale)

    i didnt get a GPU yet because i still had a 9800GTX+ 1gb which is good enough for now (would be too for your games on your current resolution) but I am upgrading this soon as the new ATI 6xxx series come out.

    trust me get an AMD build and a better mobo/gpu so you can xfire or sli in the future makes upgrading easier/cheaper...a 5770 is a GREAT card for a machine you need....and TBH on your resolution you wont notice a diff between a i5 or Phenom II build at all...hell you could go with an Athlon II x2 or x4 build and be fine with that resolution (but for sheer upgrade sake id get a Phenom II X4....955 or 965 just make sure its black edition)
  7. here you go. take my build, add this PSU:

    OCZ Fatal1ty 550W Modular 80+ Certified PSU. $64.99

    Which comes with a $6 off promo (Raising the instant savings to $30), and a $20 rebate. its $802.93 shipped after the promos, with $75 in mail in rebates, total $727.93 after rebates

    the only caveat is you must order by Monday to make this price hold.

    this is still single 460 build, but you can add one later, as the 550W is enough for 2 460s in SLI.
  8. i <3 screwysqrl's build except for her mobo...if you can bumb your budget to get a better mobo as SLI'ing on that thing is gonna suck hardcore and it will also semi bottlekneck your GPU by about 2-4% because its running at x8 not x16 even for 1 card
  9. How about an i3 CPU build? If I go with a 5770 GPU I think I'll want to have the option of doing Crossfire in the fututre right? Are there any reasonable mobo's that will support that CPU and 2 5770's?

    Also, if I'm going to run Xfire in the future what would be a suitable wattage for the PSU to support that and the other necessary components? 650w, 750w, 850w???

    Thanks again!

    - manooly
  10. don't go i3.

    i3's are very slow, designed for energy efficiency in laptops and home theatre pc. they are not good for gaming at all.

    as for my motherboard: Its the single cheapest SLI-capable board. and the difference between 8x and 16x is around 2% at best. at the resolutions this system will use, you won't notice, really!

    if you want something that will do SLI or Crossfire at 8x/8x with a 16x single, the next step up is the AS Rock board at $145, almost double the cost of the EVGA board:

    If you don't want to do SLI at all, just run a single x16 card, then THIS AS Rock board at $69.99 is even cheaper:
  11. you can go with a nice AMD build also if you want lemme know ill put one together
  12. Thanks for the info on the i3's! I'll steer away from that for now

    I would love to see a good AMD build!


    - manooly
  13. btw you arent quite clear do you need windows 7 64 bit or what?
  14. heres 2 diff

    CPU+MOBO combos that are nice (there are others but if you may wanna XFIRE in the future this is your best bet) or you can upgrade to the newer 890gx platform mobo for +40$

    ASUS 790GX+Phenom II X4 965 Black- $254.98

    XFX double lifetime warranty 5850- $259.98 AR

    G-skill Ripjaw Series 1600mhz DDR3 Ram 2x2gb- 84.99 and you get 10$ off if you put in the promo code

    Windows 7 64-bit- $90.99 AR

    Case-U got a lot of choices that can range from 59.99-99.99 so its upto you
    My recommendations are
    Antec 300
    Haf 912/922
    CM 690

    your bro wants something cooler looking so i know the Haf922 and Antec 300 illusion series both have LED Fans on them can PROB use youre current PSU for this AMD rig

    This puts your total at $690.99 before the case so you have some wiggle room there. If you want I can squeeze the budget more to add in a NEW PSU for around 89-139.99
  15. Sorry! Yep, I will need Windows 7 64bit.
  16. k well i put it in the build anyways so.
  17. there are some high discount combo deals for windows w/ Athlon IIs at newegg right now, saving $30!
  18. How are the i5 650 CPU's for something like a build I'm considering?
  19. junk go with AMD then
  20. dual core is dying. as the tom's articles over the last 2 days shows, the average gsme is now using 2.75 cores. stick with a quad core.
  21. That is the $600 budget rig I would make and then you can expand it how you like, here are some upgrades you could do and still be under $800.

    Athlon II x 4 3.0/Win 7 - $170
    Ripjaw 4GB - $75 w/ coupon code EMCZYYV65
    ASRock Extreme3 - $90 + 3 shipping
    Spinpoint 500GB/OCZ 600 - $105 - $85AR + 6 ship
    Destroyer - $50
    LG w/ Lightscribe - $17
    HIS 5770 - $140 - $130 after code EMCZYYV45 - $110AR

    Total: $637 + $9 shipping = $646 initial - $40 in rebates = $606 Final total

    CPU Upgrade to a Phenom II x4 955 (adds $40)

    You could dump more money into a bigger GPU or crossfire 5770s right away.

    You could also find another combo for a 1tb spinpoint and PSU as there are a few of those.
  22. btw guys dont forget he needs Win 7....but you said your budget was 800? why people making a 600$ budget....i did that only because i left the Case+PSU upto him so he had 200$ to play with in deciding those
  23. win 7 is in mine at the $600 pricepoint, without the combos it is a $700 build before rebate. I thought was a solid baseline budget build that covers a lot of combos and specials that which can expand up and upgrading what he sees as a priority. He could easily do so by increasing HDD space, or PSU/GPU/CPU power from there by just swapping a couple links in.
  24. Ok! I think we are getting serious now. My brother has told me that his old PC is officially dead and he wants to build new if possible. He would love to stay in the $1,000 budget range. Only things is he wants to upgrade his 19" monitor now. I think the next real step up would be a nice 23" one right? Is it possible to build a solid gaming rig with a new monitor for $1,000?

    Please send me suggestions on which monitor to choose! Again, I will be using my Preferred Account at I will be using Win7 64bit. I think 1TB of storage should be good for now. I'd love to fit in an i5 750 or 760 build if possible. I do not think I'll be going Xfire or SLI. I'd like a good GPU that will last a while to play all recent games. I will also need a new PSU.

    Is it easier if I start a new thread or just keep this one going?

    You have all been very helpful in making decisions for our new build!


    - manooly
  25. your budget is 1000$ but you need a new monitor in that budget right?
    do you also need win 7 in that budget?

    regardless with a 1000$ budget that includes a monitor and POSSIBLY an OS AMD is your only option
  26. Well, I say $1,000. If I went over a little that would be ok. I'd love to see a couple of attempts at a build with a decent monitor, Win7, Intel CPU, PSU, etc.

    Any info would be appreciated. Thx!

    - manooly
  27. wont happen if u need monitor+win 7 and wanna go intel....ull blow a 1000$ budget instantly, u can up it to 1200-1400 to get a decent i5 rig if not an AMD build will own any Intel build that you can make for that price
  28. Ok! How about a $1200 budget? I'll consider an AMD build too! Thanks!!!
  29. ASUS P7P55D-E Pro mobo ($200)
    I5 760 ($210)
    4GB DDR3-1600 cas7 1.5V or less RAM ($100)
    Seasonic SS-650HT PSU ($70)
    Case ($50) <rosewill destroyer or equivalent>
    Windows 7 64 ($100)
    Samsung F3 500GB ($55)
    GTX 460 (1GB) ($220)
    22inch 1920x1080 LCD ($160)

    Total $1165. find combos/MIRs to cover tax and shipping.
    System is capable of adding a second 460 as an upgrade.
  30. Is it true that an i5 750/760 CPU can only run 1033, 1333 RAM speeds? 1600 would not make sense to buy for this build then right? Any info would be appreicated!


    - manooly
  31. can always clock something to 1600.

    also save your money get an AMD its a bit more future proof as 1156 is a dead socket in a few months or less because of Sandy Bridge 1155
  32. jasonp12 said:
    get an AMD its a bit more future proof as 1156 is a dead socket in a few months or less because of Sandy Bridge 1155
    No such thing as future proof. AM3+ socket is coming out so AMD is in no better shape.

    The i5 760 is about the strongest gaming CPU available right now and will continue to be a good CPU for the reasonable lifespan if the computer (3-7 years).

    The i5/p55 has the advantage of being expandable by adding a second GTX 460. If you go AMD you have to either get an ATI graphics card or you are stuck with a single Nvida card.
  33. thing is AM3+ socket is coming out but its also backwards compatible so your AM3 cpu's will work in an AM3+

    whereas 1155 wont be backwards compatible which is why people consider it dead....

    regardless either CPU wont bottlekneck your performance unless you are running like 2x 5970s at super high resolution
  34. jasonp12 said:
    thing is AM3+ socket is coming out but its also backwards compatible so your AM3 cpu's will work in an AM3+
    Thats an irrelevant capability. Future proof is the ability to put a newer, faster CPU in your old PC. There is no benefit to putting your old, slow CPU in a new motherboard in the future.
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