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$500 Budget Gaming Rig

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July 11, 2011 2:44:19 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $500 USD after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Just want the best price.

Country of Origin: Good 'ol US of A

Parts Preferences: i3 CPU

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: No better than 1680x1050

Additional Comments: First PC build for me though I will have help from my brother and cousin who both have plenty experience combined.

More about : 500 budget gaming rig

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 11, 2011 6:39:45 AM

Have a look at the System Builder Marathon $500 PC article .

The motherboard was awful but it did sort of work
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July 11, 2011 7:02:30 AM

Thanks for the reply.
I have looked at that article, is that basically the best i can get for the money? and could I just get a different motherboard?
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Related resources
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 11, 2011 7:20:09 AM

You can mix and match parts . If you dont like that case [ or any other component], or another one is discounted then by all means use it

Some shopping around on newegg and you can find combo deals that will get you good discounts too.

I think that motherboard they used was so bad it wasnt worth using .. but they were building a system to a price .

I mentioned that article because I think its a good baseline for the kind of computer you are going to build , and it gives you an idea of the kind of performance you can expect . And it is a good gamer for the price
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 11, 2011 7:22:31 AM

You could save some money.
Get this build I have in my siggy.
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
Saves you $50 and it'll run games pretty well (6550D). Plus it's a solid CPU, also in the future when the drivers are perfected, you'll be able to Crossfire the APU with a dedicated card of the lower end and that'll perform quite well. Currently only Metro 2033 takes advantage of that CF with the APU. So not a good thing to do ATM but later it'll be good.

A8-3850 review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-a8-3850-llano,2...
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 11, 2011 7:30:10 AM

Here's a Sandy Bridge Based Solution :

CPU & Motherboard: $175-i3-2100 & Biostar H61MH (Great processor & decent motherboard lacks USB 3.0 & SATA 6GB/s)

RAM: $35- Gskill NS (2X2GB)

Power Supply: $45- Corsair Builder Series CX430 (Decent 80 Plus certified power)

Graphic Card: $175- Sapphire Radeon 6870

HDD: $40- Seagate Barracuda 500GB( or Samsung Spinpoint 1TB for $55)

Case: $35- Sentey Black

Optical Drive: $19- LiteOn

Total (Excluding Rebates) : 524 USD

Rebates: 30 USD

If you need Sata 6GB/s & USB support you will have to increase your budget by another $25(cheapest motherboard Asrock H61 worth $70).

Here's a review of Radeon 6870.
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Best solution

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 11, 2011 7:58:00 AM

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock H61M-GE LGA 1155 $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Better motherboard with more connectors and 4 RAM slots

CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) $32
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI R6850 Cyclone PE Radeon HD 6850 1GB $155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$467

And you need a case .

I'd pay a little extra for a basic , but quality , case like the Antec 300 which has excellent cooling

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $59.50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total is $526.50

PS Need a DVD too so add $19
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July 11, 2011 7:16:35 PM

Ok, well i think I have it now
CPU & Motherboard: $175-i3-2100 & Biostar H61MH
RAM: $35- Gskill NS (2X2GB)
Power Supply: $45- Corsair Builder Series CX430
Case: $35- Sentey Black
GPU: $150 Sapphire HD Radeon 6850

So basically everything fron z_4's post except the GPU. I know i didn't include the optical drive but I'm sure i can scavenge one.
Total comes to $471 after rebates

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July 12, 2011 5:52:29 PM

This gpu is GREAT I have the XFX verison and love it, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Though if you want something less expensive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... will do your games just fine, best to over clock it

CASE: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


If you get one of those GPU you'll be very happy for whay you picked, and theat 430watt will run either of them fine. Also what about windows or what ever your going to use for a Operating System.
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July 12, 2011 6:27:53 PM

Ok, so for GPU I'm having trouble deciding. It's between these three:

Sapphire Radeon HD 6850
Sapphire Radeon HD 5850... If I could find one since Newegg has them out of stock
Or the Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 for $25 more than the 6850 (after the 6850 rebate)

What's everyones opinion on their pros/cons?
Do you think any of these pared with the i3 could play skryim/bf3 at least on medium settings?

Addison, I'll be running windows 7.
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July 12, 2011 9:35:28 PM

So what's good about the GTX 460? I looked up some comparison real quick and it seems as though it trades blows with the HD 6850 but if I spent $15 more I could get a 6870 which would be better than either one.
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July 12, 2011 10:15:39 PM

The 5850 is not as strong as a 460. so a 6850 wouldn't be though the 6870 might win in stockclocks the 460 would be OC much higher meaning that is wins for the most part.
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July 13, 2011 4:27:31 AM

Alright, well I found a GTX 560 Ti for $100 and picked that up since it goes for $230 normally. Major impulse buy but I knew it was better than anything else i was discussing. Since I'm getting that and saving ~$50-$75 would I need a different PSU? Should I get a better HDD? Or what.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2011 4:34:41 AM

Addison is dead wrong.

At stock the list goes.
460 768mb<460 1GB<6850 1GB<5850<6870
The 460 is a great card, no doubt. But the 6870 is a better deal with a larger overclock headroom.
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
@ The cost of the 460 FTW, just get the 6870, it performs better.

What PSU did you get or have before.
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July 13, 2011 9:26:56 AM

for a 560ti i would have at least 550w (IMO 430w isn't enough) and if you plan on SLI then at least 750w, IMO stick to brands like corsair, antec and seasonic, if you want to opt for a different brand, check it out first on sites like jonnyguru, you might get lucky and find out its a re branded seasonic PSU. if you want a nicer HDD, go for the samsubg spinpoint F3, its the best HDD in terms of value.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2011 2:59:19 PM

^+1

XFX is good too (rebranded like Corsair is) or Cooler Master Silent Pros.
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July 13, 2011 3:17:06 PM

@aznshinobi, the PSU I had before was the Corsair Builder Series CX430 but wenqi said that 430w wouldn't be enough so I guess I'll need to find another.
After a quick search on newegg I found the and the which is $5 cheaper. Any opinions? and if I save money buying this $100 dollar GPU should I get a better MOBO?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2011 6:03:02 PM

MrCasual said:
@aznshinobi, the PSU I had before was the Corsair Builder Series CX430 but wenqi said that 430w wouldn't be enough so I guess I'll need to find another.
After a quick search on newegg I found the and the which is $5 cheaper. Any opinions? and if I save money buying this $100 dollar GPU should I get a better MOBO?


Here's a PSU that you may consider :
$55- Antec Neo ECO 520C

Here's a link that will give you an idea of the power consumption of GTX 560Ti
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4135/nvidias-geforce-gtx-...
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July 13, 2011 6:40:50 PM

Ok, seems like that PSU is fine. How can I tell how much wattage a GPU needs? Is there a certain percentage?

Edit: and what about upgrading the MOBO?
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2011 2:11:37 AM

You can't really tell except by TDP. The 560 Ti should have TDP of 170w so just know that at maximum stress, the 560 Ti will use at least 170w.

Upgrade the motherboard only if you want to SLI, in your case there is no need.
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July 14, 2011 7:19:30 AM

yeah good point... i recommended the TP-750 off the top of my head without having a look, is that a re-branded PSU? can't seem to find a review for it, and it isn't modular is it? i THINK the TP-750 is semi-modular but i'm not sure... anyway, good find
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2011 7:31:06 AM

The LEPA is solid for the price, I defiantly would recommend it if money is a problem.
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July 14, 2011 8:02:15 AM

agreed, but if the OP wants modular, than what would be a good option?

Side Note: do you (OP) want modular? and can you even get a decent one for this budget
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July 14, 2011 10:28:08 AM

sorry... didn't think you could get modular for this price... so didn't bother looking, you can't even get 850w from the top brands at this price, and just to rub salt in the wound its modular with a decent rating...
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July 15, 2011 1:27:48 AM

Ok well I have everything ordered. I think I got a good deal for everything.
Got the CPU and MOBO as a combo off Newegg.

CPU: i3-2100 - Combo with MOBO, price below.

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX - Combo with CPU, price below.

Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower - $60

HD: Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" - $40

GPU: GTX 560 Ti - found new for $110 including shipping on Amazon

PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $28 new on Ebay with $15 shipping=$43

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9S-4GBRL $30 with promo code.

CPU/MOBO combo: $200

Total: ~$483
Plus I got $10 off the Newegg purchase with promo code (NEWCUSTOMER10) which basically gave me free shipping.

What do you guys think? I personally am very ecstatic about the deals I got on the PSU and GPU.

EDIT: The GPU and PSU are the only ones I didn't get off Newegg
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July 25, 2011 6:52:06 PM

Best answer selected by Mrcasual.
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!