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Trying to optimize build (New 1st time build) budget gaming pc

Approximate Purchase Date: 4-24-2011

Budget Range: 6-700 "out the door
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Workstation, light graphics, light gaming (unless you ask the kids :)
Parts Not Required: RE-using W7 64-bit home premium, monitor, mousse, keyboard, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, tigerdirect, other well-respected
Country of Origin: USA
Overclocking: No / Maybe later
SLI or Crossfire: No / Maybe later
Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050+

Special Needs:

- most of the family smokes--looking to protect from tar, nicotine, dust accumulation (without locking it up until everyone quits)
- Considering price-vs-performance i5 2500 vs 2500k & i3 2100 vs 2100k
- RAM, 4 or 6 gig?

Here's what I've cobbled together from Newegg:

RAIDMAX ICEBERG ATX-012WS Silver 3mm Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156199

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $224.99
(3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
-$50.00 Instant, $10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card, Retail: $159.99 $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227550

CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233141

COMBO
KINGWIN Lazer LZ-1000 1000W Modular 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified
XFX HD-685X-ZNBC Radeon HD 6850 Black Edition 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 $304.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.627822
========
$ 849.93
$ 1.93 shipping
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about trying optimize build time build budget gaming
  1. For 64 bit Win7, I'd opt for an 8GB kit (2 x 4gb sticks) if possible...

    IMO, the 6850 is overpriced by at least $100; if willing to go to pushing the $300-$350 range, I'd be looking at the 6970 for perhaps $50-$60 more....
  2. switch the hard drive to a SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 $65 vs the $85 for the WD and with those savings use it to upgrade to the HAF 922 case which in my opinion looks much better than that Raidmax

    also you seem to have forgotten the motherboard and DVD burner- here are some suggestions

    ASRock P67 EXTREME4 Motherboard- $160
    Any dvd burner you like - $19
  3. youll want 2 sticks of ram, be it 2x2gb or 2x4gb. id do it like this (note the PSU11APRIL promo code):



    Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827118039
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    $21.99


    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Item #: N82E16811129042
    Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
    -$10.00 Instant
    $69.95
    $59.95


    SPARKLE SX560T1024D5MH GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    Item #: N82E16814187136
    Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
    -$20.00 Instant
    $25.00 Mail-in Rebate
    $249.00
    $229.00
    1

    Sparkle Gift - Red Riding Hood Movie Ticket
    Item #: N82E16800997059
    Return Policy: VGA Replacement Only Return Policy
    -$19.99 Saving
    $19.99
    $0.00


    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBRL
    Item #: N82E16820231274
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
    $44.99


    Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    Item #: N82E16817371044
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822152185
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    -$15.00 Instant
    -$15.00 Combo
    $159.98
    $129.98


    Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52400
    Item #: N82E16819115074
    Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    Item #: N82E16813131724
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$20.00 Combo
    $269.98
    $249.98
    Subtotal: $735.89
    Calculate Shipping
    Zip Code: GO
    FREE 2-Day Shipping learn more

    Shipping: $9.02


    Redeem Newegg Gift Cards
    Card Number: Security Code: Apply
    Apply Promo Codes
    Stacking is not permitted. If multiple codes are entered for the same item, only the first promo code will apply.

    Enter Promo Code: AddFind codes in our current e-mail promotion.

    Remove PSU11APRIL Discount From Promo Code -$8.00
    No Interest if paid in full in up to 12 Months. Minimum purchase required.
    Subject to credit approval. See Terms
    Grand Total: $736.91
  4. dan4patriots said:
    switch the hard drive to a SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 $65 vs the $85 for the WD and with those savings use it to upgrade to the HAF 922 case which in my opinion looks much better than that Raidmax

    also you seem to have forgotten the motherboard and DVD burner- here are some suggestions

    ASRock P67 EXTREME4 Motherboard- $160
    Any dvd burner you like - $19



    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I'll switch out the drive--thanks for the advise & add a burner (ooops!)

    I hadn't selected a MOBO yet as i'm trying to get some feedback on the price vs performance options:
    i3 2500 vs 2500k & i5 2500 vs 2500k.
    - Is there enough difference for light gaming (CoH/V is the primary the kids play)? i5 would be a longer term solution, I think, but there seems to be significant price differences between the x and x-K models.

    - What about the i3 vs i5 in general? I assume either would function nicely for standard workstation level activities?

    Then, I selected the Raidmax for ease of assembly (I'm 6'6" with cantaloupe hands and tri-focals--I need the fold out mobo tray and the simildon cases seemed cheap:-)

    The HAF has a lot of mesh in the construction--not conducive to protecting from cigarette smoke. Do any of the cases offer additional filtering? Also, the 3mm aluminum seemed more sturdy.
  5. youll want 2 sticks of ram, be it 2x2gb or 2x4gb. id do it like this (note the PSU11APRIL promo code):

    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory
    Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    =================
    Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52400
    =================

    Questions:
    Does the Antec offer some advantage other than aesthetics?
    I selected the raidmax for the 3mm construction and the foldout MB tray for ease of assembly (big hands & trifocals)

    I thought that this generation of processors did not require the installation of memory in pairs, is that not true?

    I've changed out the WD for the Samgsung drive as was suggested by several of you--thanks!

    I see you selected the i5-2400, was there a price vs performance improvement over a 2500k?
  6. Best answer
    kengeeoh said:
    I thought that this generation of processors did not require the installation of memory in pairs, is that not true?

    I see you selected the i5-2400, was there a price vs performance improvement over a 2500k?


    For the RAM it is better to install in pairs for dual channel mode but you should also take into consideration the number of slots for RAM in your mobo. If you only have 2 slots then buying one 4GB stick now and later on buying another 4GB is cost efficient and dual channel isn't that big of a deal. If you have 4 slots for RAM then just fill em up. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by workstation, that could mean anything, you might want to go up to 8gb of ram depending on the programs you are using, check their requirements and if they recommend 8gb, get it.

    It's the motherboard selection that makes the i5-2400 a good option vs the i5-2500k. The 2500k needs a P67 motherboard to fully OC and those run at least $130 while a non-k processor can run fine on a h67 or h61 board and save you $50 on the motherboard not to mention the savings on the CPU itself. Performance wise, I'd say a i5-2400 is about around 85% of a i5-2500k that is OC'd at 4.5Ghz. Yes I know you can go higher on a 2500k but I haven't used a system like that yet.
  7. ^agreed with dyers. dont forget the $30 bucks it costs for the cpu cooler to overclock the i5-2500k. now youre looking at over a hundred bucks between an i5-2400 and OC'd i5-2500k. If you have a tight budget, those $100 could be better spent on graphics. Gaming performance is like a three-legged race: if you spend most of your money on an olympic sprinter, and the rest on a fat guy, youre gonna lose. Here are the links to the combos i suggested (the samsung hdd is even cheaper today):

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.627707

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.631838
    if for some reason you feel like you need usb 3.0 and sata 6gb/s, this one is $13 more (if you dont know what these are, you dont need em).
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.635291

    buy whatever case you desire, youre gonna have to look at it every day. i simply suggested the antec 300 because its a great all-around case.
  8. you shouldnt worry about the cigarette smoke, on newegg there are fan filters you can buy for about $5 for each of the fans also so just buy a case you like

    but i would advice on an i5 instead as the i3 is a dual core w/ hyperthreading which isnt as a good as four physical cores
  9. I'd advise to look very closely at buying fan separate from filter. If a filter provides too much resistance to airflow (read too thick) you might end up burning the fan if it can't handle the static pressure.
  10. Thanks all. I appreciate the input.
    Moderator, please mark this thread solved.
  11. Best answer selected by kengeeoh.
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