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Where is the BARE MINIMUM for building a low end upgradable gaming PC?

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August 28, 2011 9:23:34 PM

So, my poor workhorse for 10 years is finally going (USB controler is dying) so I'm finally forced to move onto a new computer.

That said, I am not in a position to be spending much on a new computer. I'm wondering what sort of range I should be looking at to buy a low-end gaming computer (BF3 ready, though it can be on low settings) that would allow me to possibly upgrade down the line?
August 28, 2011 9:28:20 PM

We need a budget.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2011 9:33:11 PM

Lets see:
CPU - $70-80 AMD Athlon II x3 450/455
Mobo - $50-60 AM3
RAM - $35 for 4 gb's DDR3
GPU - $80-100 5670/6670
Case - $30 Xigmatek
PSU - $40-50 Antec 380w-430w
DVD Drive - $20
HD - $30-50

Total ~$355-425 or so. Now this doesn't include the OS (Windows 7 64bit Home Premium, preferred ~$80-100).

You can find better deals if need be, but this is generally what you'd be looking at.
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August 28, 2011 9:53:28 PM

A budget is what I'm ASKING for :)  I could pick a number out of thin air, but that's not what I want.

I suppose 800 would be the absolute ceiling, but that doesn't mean I am looking for a 799 dollar gaming PC.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2011 9:55:40 PM

Does the $800 limit include the OS too (which is what I'd assume)?

** Edit ** I forgot to ask too, do you need to include monitor/keyboard/mouse/etc.??
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August 28, 2011 10:15:34 PM

No, I can keep my mouse/ect from my old computer. AN OS is important, yes.
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August 29, 2011 1:01:16 AM

LOl if 800 is ur limit then that pretty good considering ur asking for "BARE" minimum

are you overclocking or no?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2011 2:19:08 AM

$700 then (+$100 for the OS) can build a pretty decent system. You could probably fit a Core i3 and 4GB of RAM on a Z68 board with that, with at least a HD6850. Upgrade path includes another 4GB of RAM, a Core-i5 CPU (possibly Ivy Bridge), and a faster and/or a second GPU (depending on the PSU you get)
Alternately, perhaps if you are inclined to gamble on Bulldozer being a big step up, you can build an AMD machine using a socket AM3+ mobo and a 970 or 990-series chipset. The upgrade path is similar, going from an Athlon II or Phenom II to Bulldozer, and similar other upgrades to the Intel system.
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Best solution

August 29, 2011 4:35:24 AM

Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - Dual Core - 65W - 32nm LGA1155 Sandy Bridge - $124.99
Motherboard : ASRock H67M (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 - $79.99
Graphics Card : XFX HD-695X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $209.99
RAM : Corsair 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz Dual-Channel Memory - $45.99
Storage : Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s - $59.99
Optical Drive : LG DVD R/W - $19.99
PSU : Corsair CX500 V2 500W - $59.99
Case : Your Choice - Rosewill Backbone Plastic/Steel ATX Mid Tower - $39.99

Total : $640 after rebates

The i5 2400 costs $60 more and is worth the extra cost.

This can play BF3 on med/high settings at 1920x1080.

Upgrade Path : Ivy Bridge? Don't know if that'll support H67 or not yet!
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a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2011 5:24:38 AM

nephrahim said:
So, my poor workhorse for 10 years is finally going (USB controler is dying) so I'm finally forced to move onto a new computer.

That said, I am not in a position to be spending much on a new computer. I'm wondering what sort of range I should be looking at to buy a low-end gaming computer (BF3 ready, though it can be on low settings) that would allow me to possibly upgrade down the line?


hardware goes , or it does not . There is no dying .

Assuming you have windows XP , head to device manager and scroll down the list for Universal Serial Bus
expand it
and right click and remove EVERY entry
Unplug all your usb devices
and reboot

then plug them all back in one at a time , letting windows sort out the drivers .

Cost =$0
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a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2011 6:32:07 AM

Quote:
i dont think thats true outlander, ive had usb ports that function fine sometimes, and sometimes not... whether thats me just burning them up causeing them to be unstable i dont know. but sometimes they work and some times not :) 



you could have a dodgy connector , perhaps a lead .

But the USB capabilities of the motherboard fading is probably 999 999 times out of a million going to be software
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August 29, 2011 8:20:08 AM

008Rohit said:
Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - Dual Core - 65W - 32nm LGA1155 Sandy Bridge - $124.99
Motherboard : ASRock H67M (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 - $79.99
Graphics Card : XFX HD-695X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $209.99
RAM : Corsair 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz Dual-Channel Memory - $45.99
Storage : Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s - $59.99
Optical Drive : LG DVD R/W - $19.99
PSU : Corsair CX500 V2 500W - $59.99
Case : Your Choice - Rosewill Backbone Plastic/Steel ATX Mid Tower - $39.99

Total : $640 after rebates

The i5 2400 costs $60 more and is worth the extra cost.

This can play BF3 on med/high settings at 1920x1080.

Upgrade Path : Ivy Bridge? Don't know if that'll support H67 or not yet!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
i'd personally pick this HDD, most of toms seems to love recommending this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Probably worth an extra few $$

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$10 more for 250 more watts and a much more recent and top quality product. This'll allow you to put in a second mid range card in 3-4 years time if necessary,.. 50% more potential output for $10 more isn't much, and leaves a big upgrade path open - Whilst the motherboard/cpu/gpu may change, the psu will last a good 10 years. And power requirements aren't likely to increase much in the future..Getting an H67 will block of your sli with current setup, but the psu can outlast everything else ;) .

In terms of graphics hd 6850 / 6950 1gb and gtx 560 ti are all viable options, as is the gtx 460 1gb (not "SE" version please). The 6950 is the strongest, the 460 is the weakest but theres not that much of a difference although the 6950 is probably worth it (pick the 1gb version of the 6950, it always seems to do better than the 2gb at any resolution and is cheaper :D ).


Getting combo deals will save you further $$.
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August 29, 2011 12:06:24 PM

@ vibhas

1. Hmm. Spinpoint is a good choice. Slightly faster and quiter than a Barracuda.

2. Maybe. Both Corsair and Gskill are popular RAM manufacturers. Gskill units are selling more now a days.

3. Ahh.. a great deal! I couldn't check combos and hot deals because I was on my mobile.
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August 29, 2011 12:21:03 PM

008Rohit said:
Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - Dual Core - 65W - 32nm LGA1155 Sandy Bridge - $124.99
Motherboard : ASRock H67M (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 - $79.99


Fry's actually had this processor bundled with an MSI board for $130 bucks the other day, I was very tempted to upgrade to it. However, I'm TRYING to hold out for Ivy Bridge.
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August 31, 2011 10:58:14 PM

Thank you for the advise on the USB, but half the time I've been booting up my computer it hasn't even gotten to loading windows recently. Maybe I can fix it, but it's ancient, and I need a new computer anyway. Maybe I'll try and fix it later.

And thanks for the hardware recommendations! Now I've got a decent baseline to go for.
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August 31, 2011 10:58:47 PM

Best answer selected by nephrahim.
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