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$600 Budget Gaming Build

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April 14, 2011 2:18:25 AM

Hey all,


I'm in the process of putting together a new desktop but would like some input since this is my first build.


Approximate Purchase Date: Within 2 weeks

Budget Range: $600 before rebate (willing to stretch this a little if it will really boost performance/price)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching videos, listening to music, some CAD modeling, typical college stuff

Parts Not Required: GTX460 1GB, Mid Tower Case, Keyboard, mouse, Windows 7 64bit, DVD Drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg preferred, but open to others

Country of Origin: Michigan, U.S.

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Open to anything

Overclocking: I don't think I will OC at first, but probably will down the line

SLI or Crossfire: Not likely

Monitor Resolution: Will use 22" TV as monitor at first (1366x768) but plan onbuying a 1080p monitor in the next few months

Additional Comments: I have already ordered this video card and case:
HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis Gaming Case w/ Front Blue LED 120mm Fan & Top 120mm Fan $40
Sparkle GeForce GTX 460 1GB OverClocked Video Card $170 / $130 AR

So I have already spent $210 out of the $600 budget before rebates.

Here are the other parts that I'm looking at but have not yet ordered.

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz $140
BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard $55
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W $85 before / $70 AR
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) $40
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM $65

Total with parts listed: $595 / $540 AR

How does this look to you guys and what suggestions do you have?
I'm having the most trouble deciding on the CPU and mobo. I know I picked a cheap mobo, but will that be a big bottleneck? I don't care about SLI/Crossfire or USB3.0.
Also, if I don't have a spare vid card laying around, should I get a mobo with an integrated chip in case my GTX460 goes kaput?

All comments and suggestions would be really helpful, this is my first build after all.

Thanks

More about : 600 budget gaming build

April 14, 2011 2:38:49 AM

Everything looks good. Im not too knowlagable about amd boards, but it looks decent, it has all the features you want so it should be cool. I wouldn't bother about a dedicated video chip as you'll probably never use it. If your 460 goes out just rma it.

The only other suggestion id make is that if you'r planning on overclocking your cpu make sure you grab a cooler for it as most stock coolers wont get you far at all. \

have fun

also i see you didnt include a odd. Might come in useful some day like when you put your computer together and you need to install windows =)
you should be able to grab one off of newegg for $20 or less w/ free shipping
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April 14, 2011 3:14:54 AM

Please don't waste your remaining 400 bucks on amd go with something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... i5-2400 and mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... antec 550w psu

The HDD and memory u have will be fine. Puts you a little over budget but will be well worth it.

Edit: Even dropping down to an i3-2100 would be better spent money IMO
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April 14, 2011 3:46:21 AM

well it would still make more sense to go with this combo linked above:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
than to buy the antec 550w psu separately, seeing as the overall cost would be the same.

however, i agree that if you have the money, an upgrade to i5-2400 would be well worth it.
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April 14, 2011 4:03:19 AM

That PSU+HD combo for $130 looks like a great deal, I'll go with that.

Would the upgrade to the i5-2400 really be that big of an upgrade since I won't be able to overclock it? I'm still not too familiar with all of this stuff so just looking for as much advice as possible.

Thanks for the replies so far!
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April 14, 2011 4:30:26 AM

nope, the 955be would be better since its overclockable...but then again the 2400k is only like $35 more. but you wont be able to find a p67 board for under $100.

You setup is very good for the budget, the 9xx series from amd is still an excellent budget solution. your cpu wont be the bottle neck if overclocked. If your willing to spend extra money it should go towards a better gpu...but i see you already bought it. You dont need the extra cpu power.
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April 14, 2011 4:32:09 AM

imaurer269 said:
Edit: Even dropping down to an i3-2100 would be better spent money IMO



Not at all true. Just because its newer doesnt mean anything. The amd quad core will kill that i3 anyday. especially if its overclocked.
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April 14, 2011 4:52:13 AM

bavman said:
You setup is very good for the budget, the 9xx series from amd is still an excellent budget solution.


Amd should only be looked at when the total budget is 500 or less IMO. If you can budget a phenom II x4 u can afford an i3-2100 which gives you a new platform which isn't gonna be dead in 6 months or so. The am3 socket is at its end and should only be considered on a super tight budget.
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April 14, 2011 5:07:54 AM

I just built a computer as well and went with the Phenom 955, what you may find surprising that on the stock cooler i can safely overlock to 3.6 and live through stress tests only topping out at 59 degrees celsius. I would suggest changing your motherboard though. If you plan on doing gaming you might want to SLI your 460 in the future to help improve performance. I highly suggest the ASRock extreme 3 mobo if you decide to go with AMD. has 870 SB850 chipset and has 8x/8x SLI and USB 3.0. at newegg its only $89.

But... these new sandy bridge models are pretty awesome. Do a little research on them. Benchmarks don't lie...
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April 14, 2011 7:31:11 AM

I'm now considering either the i3-2100 or i5-2400 which would give me either:

HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis Gaming Case w/ Front Blue LED 120mm Fan & Top 120mm Fan $40
Sparkle GeForce GTX 460 1GB OverClocked Video Card $170 / $130 AR
i3-2100 + ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM Combo $190
Antec EA650 + 1TB HD $130
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) $40
Total: $570 / 530 AR


HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis Gaming Case w/ Front Blue LED 120mm Fan & Top 120mm Fan $40
Sparkle GeForce GTX 460 1GB OverClocked Video Card $170 / $130 AR
i5-2400 + ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM $250
Antec EA650 + 1TB HD $130
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) $40

Total: $630/ 590 AR


Would I be able to overclock at all with either of these processors? Also, even though a lot of games don't use 4 cores yet, would the dualcore i3 perform noticeably slower in other areas?

Let me know what you guys think of these changes; your input's been really helpful so far.
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April 14, 2011 11:04:19 AM
April 14, 2011 11:34:00 AM

ignorant_toast said:
I'm now considering either the i3-2100 or i5-2400 which would give me either:


Would I be able to overclock at all with either of these processors? Also, even though a lot of games don't use 4 cores yet, would the dualcore i3 perform noticeably slower in other areas?

Let me know what you guys think of these changes; your input's been really helpful so far.


No.

The suffix-'K' series of cpus are overclockable; the others are not.

OF the two CPUs you mentioned, I'd fight hard to get the 2400 quad core, despite it's higher initial expense...
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April 14, 2011 12:03:19 PM

I don't understand why people are suggesting going with a 650w psu for a single gtx460 with no plans for sli. A couple of SBM's back they had one paired with the Antec EW380.

To the person who recommended the asrock 870, yes it is a very good board, if he had an AMD gpu. It does not support sli only crossfire.
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April 14, 2011 3:39:35 PM

imaurer269 said:
lol check any benchmarks lately???
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/186?vs=289 i-3 2100 killing the phenom ii x4 970 in almost every gaming benchmark and holding its own overall pretty decent

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor... i3-2100 beating every amd when it comes to gaming


Yes at stock speeds the i3 does win, but you also need to take into consideration that many people have reached 4.0 on the 9xx be series using a decent after market cooler. Also if you talk about sheer computing power the 9xx have 4 cores compared to the i3's 2 cores, so outside of gaming it will out perform the i3 when the 3 cores can be utilized. I'm not trying to talk bad on the new i3's theyre still excellent chips, but i think a quad core would be better to own then a dual core.
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April 14, 2011 4:04:49 PM

bavman said:
Yes at stock speeds the i3 does win, but you also need to take into consideration that many people have reached 4.0 on the 9xx be series using a decent after market cooler. Also if you talk about sheer computing power the 9xx have 4 cores compared to the i3's 2 cores, so outside of gaming it will out perform the i3 when the 3 cores can be utilized. I'm not trying to talk bad on the new i3's theyre still excellent chips, but i think a quad core would be better to own then a dual core.


I do agree outside of gaming 4 cores do come in more handy but if you add in the cost of a aftermarket cooler then your real close to the cost of a i5-2400 which is more than likely gonna put the phenom ii x4 955 to shame even when overclocked: Tom's Hardware - i5-2400 vs x4 955
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April 14, 2011 4:06:55 PM

Thanks for your help everyone, here's what I'm planning on getting now:

HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis Gaming Case w/ Front Blue LED 120mm Fan & Top 120mm Fan $40
Sparkle GeForce GTX 460 1GB OverClocked Video Card $170 / $130 AR
i5-2400 + ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM $250
Antec EA650 + 1TB HD $130
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) $40

Total: $630/ 590 AR


Anybody have any other suggestions before I pull the trigger on this build?
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April 14, 2011 4:17:38 PM

As noted by zooted 650W is overkill for the psu unless u plan on going SLI later down the road. Can save a few bucks by going with any of these PSU's: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-139-017^17-139-017-TS%2C17-371-034^17-371-034-TS%2C17-371-029^17-371-029-TS%2C17-371-023^17-371-023-S01%2C17-815-008^17-815-008-TS
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April 14, 2011 4:41:43 PM

imaurer269 said:
As noted by zooted 650W is overkill for the psu unless u plan on going SLI later down the road. Can save a few bucks by going with any of these PSU's: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-139-017^17-139-017-TS%2C17-371-034^17-371-034-TS%2C17-371-029^17-371-029-TS%2C17-371-023^17-371-023-S01%2C17-815-008^17-815-008-TS


The Corsair CX430 was given a 9/10 by jonnyguru, but 21% of the reviews on newegg gave it a 1 star? I'm not sure what to make of that.

If I were to upgrade to a better vid card in a year or two, would my power needed increase over 430w? I'm just not really sure how much power my system will draw; the psu calculators seem fuzzy.
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April 14, 2011 5:03:39 PM

Hard to say what kinda power cards will be drawing in the future. Some of the current high end cards do call for 500-600W PSU's. If you can afford the earthwatts and spinpoint 1tb combo they are both excellent products. As far as that combo goes not too bad but the cost of dropping down from a 80+ certified PSU will prolly get wasted by higher electric bills over time. Out of the five I linked I would personally only go with the Xigma or earthwatts 430. But if your worried about future upgrades the 650 earthwatts leaves a lot more headroom for only a few more bucks.
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April 14, 2011 5:10:32 PM

And when looking at PSU's look farther than the watts. The amps on the 12v rails says a lot about a psu also. Here is a link I found helpful awhile back: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/279391-28-power-requi...

The "recommended" watts is often much higher than is what is really needed due to so many crap PSU's really only putting out 50-75% of the labeled watts
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April 14, 2011 5:17:32 PM

I think I'll just go with the EA650+HD combo to leave myself some headroom, but thanks for showing me those other PSUs.

I noticed that the EA650 doesn't come with a power cord. Do you think the power cord from a prebuilt HP computers from about 4 years ago would have the same type of connector? I replaced that power supply with a different one a few years back and I think I might have the cord still.

Otherwise, where could I get a power cable for the PSU?
EDIT: Is this the kind of power cable I need? Or is there some special other kind of cable I need?
Link Depot 6 ft. Computer AC powe cable Model POW-6
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April 14, 2011 6:11:13 PM

The power cord from your old HP should be fine. And yes that is the standard power cable you would need.
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April 14, 2011 8:28:50 PM

Great, thanks for all your help guys. I think I'll be very satisfied with this build.
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April 15, 2011 12:29:05 AM

Best answer selected by Ignorant_Toast.
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April 15, 2011 12:37:16 AM

Good luck with the build!
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!