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Help building a $500-$600 Gaming PC

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July 24, 2011 10:32:17 PM

I've been maintaining this HP Pavilion AMD Athlon 64 processor 3300+ 2.41 Ghz, 1.00 GB ram with Windows XP home and NVidia Geforce 7800 GS since 2005. I normally play Valve Games such as Portal 2 and TF2, write programs, paint on photoshop and watch youtube videos on it. As the years have gone on, getting a higher resolution monitor and the rising requirements games and the internet has pushed the machine towards its limits and now I'm at the point where doing even the most simple thing requires time and the video card's fan to spin madly.

So I need some help, looking for a $500-$600 build that could fulfill the following requirements
- allow optional dual monitor support with little problem
- play much more graphically intense games
- watch HD movies and youtube videos
- Run Photoshop without any chugging
- a QUIET machine, even when doing graphically intense operations
- a COOL machine that doesn't fill my room with warm air
- Can run multi-core applications to be run, both mainstream programs and my own written programs for school
- allow wacom tablet support
- multimedia support: video recording/editing, audio recording, graphics, photo manipulation, digital painting

I am not looking for the most spectacular machine that will last me another 20 years. I don't want to run everything 3840x2160 at the highres; maybe highrez 1920x1080 for Valve games and very decent graphics at a respectable resolution for say crysis, Bioshock or for future games that I may get in the next 5 years. I know this may be asking for much but I've seen other $500 gaming PCs shown in magazines and sites that have played crysis well! I just want a nice PC that will last me another 7-10 years.

I would really appreciate all your help and thank you very much.

More about : building 500 600 gaming

July 24, 2011 11:33:03 PM

You will need an Operating System, I have to assume that comes from the budget. About $100 for OEM Windows 7 Home Premium.
At that point start comparing Tom's $500 and $1,000 builds for the last year or so, concentrating on the $500.
We need to know where you are and where you shop.
In the USA MicroCenter and Fry's are tops for B&M (Brick and Mortar; walk in sales store) and NEWEGG and AMAZON on line$1, with some competition.
Also time frame for purchase.
At the moment a Biostar Z68 Motherboard $90, an Intel I3 2100 $125, DDR3 2x2 Ram $40, Corsair CX430 or Antec Earthwatts Green 380 or 430 psu $40, HDD Samsung F3 1TB $60, ODD $20, CASE $50 +/- $20 leaves about $100 for a video card.
The more combo deals, sale prices, e-subscriber, and rebate deals you find the more video card you can buy. Note not all rebates happen.
You need gamers to speak up, please examine Tom's July Best Gaming cards article.
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July 25, 2011 8:44:40 PM

walterm said:
You will need an Operating System, I have to assume that comes from the budget. About $100 for OEM Windows 7 Home Premium.
At that point start comparing Tom's $500 and $1,000 builds for the last year or so, concentrating on the $500.
We need to know where you are and where you shop.
In the USA MicroCenter and Fry's are tops for B&M (Brick and Mortar; walk in sales store) and NEWEGG and AMAZON on line$1, with some competition.
Also time frame for purchase.
At the moment a Biostar Z68 Motherboard $90, an Intel I3 2100 $125, DDR3 2x2 Ram $40, Corsair CX430 or Antec Earthwatts Green 380 or 430 psu $40, HDD Samsung F3 1TB $60, ODD $20, CASE $50 +/- $20 leaves about $100 for a video card.
The more combo deals, sale prices, e-subscriber, and rebate deals you find the more video card you can buy. Note not all rebates happen.
You need gamers to speak up, please examine Tom's July Best Gaming cards article.


Ok, now let's say we do not take the $100 Windows 7 into account as I already have a copy from my university. With those extra $100 and say do not need an optional drive, what upgrades can be made with your previous suggestion?

Thank you for the reply!
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July 26, 2011 10:55:11 AM

Put the extra 100 into more power for your PSU and a better Video card. $140-170 for video card $70 for PSU. The remanding $20 + can be put into any accessories, fans, wifi adapter, etc you might want.
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July 27, 2011 5:27:44 AM

Anyone else have any suggestions?
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August 2, 2011 9:27:42 PM

Can anyone else give a suggestion? I am wary to find the parts myself since there could be a better part that is cheaper and I fear that any configuration I do will bring problems
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2011 12:15:17 AM

The $550 build should fit your needs.
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore

You may look at the i3 2100 and think oh, a dual core. But PS5/Photoshop in general works well with HT (Hyper-Threading) and so usually it'll actually have 2 more virtual cores. It also performs fairly well.
If you don't think the i3 2100 is enough, pay $70 more (To total up @ 620 which I highly recommend) and you get the i5 2400.
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-i5-2400-Processor-3-10GHz-L...
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August 3, 2011 5:45:57 AM

How about this:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
This build is for me that should also fit you
You can take out the fans and fan port. Might also want to switch for a cheaper case with more built in fans, like the challenger.

I dont think you can beat the motherboard that I listed for new technology for a cheap price, that is also good in reviews.

If you want, you can switch the RAM to 4GB.
The CPU can be changed to a i3 2100, or you can choose a amd cpu(BE 955 was my first choice, but then you gotta pick a different motherboard)
You said gaming matters, but if you want to lower the price, you can change the 6870 out for something a little cheaper.

Not sure what else you can cut the price with...
I think the PSU is good for the price...
Cant get much cheaper for the hard drive unless if you want like 500GB or something...
The dvd burner is like one of the cheapest on newegg.

If you want the Asus dvd burner or HAF 912, get it from amazon, it has same price but free shipping, it will save some money

Good Luck
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June 26, 2013 11:51:30 AM



This is what i came up with and this could also be upgraded by you in any way you want

CPU- Intel core i5 3470-$180 depending on where you get it
MOBO- AsRock pro 4 lga1155-$100
Ram-Corsair 8gb vengeance-$70
GPU- PNY GeForce GT 620 Graphics card-$60
Hard drive-WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive-$60
PSU-Sea Sonic SS-550HT-$60
Case- Apevia X-Plorer case -$60
DvD Drive- Asus dvd-r/cd-r combo-$20

GRAND TOTAL-$610 without shipping or rebates I picked a low end GPU that if you like you have some wiggle room in price to upgrade to a better one in the future or now
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