Looking for a cheap mobo recommendation

Hi all!

I'm taking the plunge and putting together my very first build for gaming (not interested in playing every game at max settings - just playable). I'm almost certainly going to go with an i5-3450, possibly a i5-3570k, but I'm a complete amateur and although I'm intrigued by minor overclocking, it's not a necessity so just want to save money when I can.

I'm trying to keep the budget at a minimum (pref. around $600 total), so I'm looking for a reliable, cheap (preferably $60 or under), and preferably one that's easy to install since I'm a complete beginner.

I just need bare-bones features. No SLI/Xfire, likely no overclocking, minimal ports, only 1 PCIe 2.0 or 3.0 slot, SATA 3.0, no RAID. Not sure if I missed anything, but yeah I don't need anything special.

Can anyone make a recommendation or two? Appreciated in advance!
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  1. To be honest, they both seem kinda high priced for your budget range. I generally would not suggest anyone spent more than 25% of their budget on any one part and the 3570k is well over 1/3 of the whole budget.

    Line item expenses that high isn't going to leave room for the other things that are important.

    Even the 3450 on Newegg is still 1/3 of the whole budget.

    It isn't easy to get all the other parts including the video card to come in under $400.

    If you click on the link in my signature, you will get a good idea of what a $600 build should ideally look like.

    The video card should be the biggest line item expense, and that one is at 25% of the budget. The processor is about 20% of the budget. Ram, Motherboard, PSU, and Case about 10% each. Hard Drive about 15%, and CD Drive about $20 in total regardless of the budget.

    Anything you can make while keeping under $600 that includes a 3570k is just not going to do as well gaming as that one. It won't have the video card power necessary to get good frame rates and it won't have enough quality in the other components to ensure that the entire system is stable and performs well.

    If you want 3570k level power, you should be looking to spend an amount more like my system costs. At least 700, maybe 800. Less than that and you just have to sacrifice too much.

    My recommendation would be to re-evaluate your budget or expectations.
  2. Thanks for the post and useful link in your sig. :)

    Yeah, I'm pretty set on getting an i5. I have access to a microcenter so the 3450 is only 150 there. 600 is a ballpark, setting a maximum on 700 though overall.
  3. Where they get you isn't on the processor, it is on the motherboard that comes along with it.

    A bare minimum Z77 board is going to run you a minimum of $100. A good one is will over $200.

    Obviously, the good ones are completely out of the question. Even with buying a 3450 at Micro Center and the barest of the minimum motherboards you are taking a huge chunk out of the budget. Almost half of the preferred budget for 2 parts with at least 6 to go.

    I suppose if you just get everything else I have listed under the $600 build combined with the 3570k and the cheapest available in-deal board at Micro Center you might be able to pull it off with $700.

    Even if you stuck with the 3450 you could probably do no better since the price off on motherboards deal is on the 3570ks atm as far as I know.

    You would have to thank Micro Center for that, others trying the same build without one around would be looking at more like 800-850.
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