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Cheap Gaming PC for Battlefield 3 ($450 budget)

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November 13, 2011 5:34:51 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Less than a month

Budget Range: $450 before rebates, shipping, tax, etc

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (BF3 as focus), some music editing, and basic things

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon.com prefered (no tax in CA ;) , free shipping with prime )

Country: CA, USA

Parts Preferences: None really. Just as long as it is good.

Overclocking: Little to none

SLI or Crossfire: None

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Longevity is a must

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Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 Processor 3.1GHz 3 MB Cache Socket LGA1155 (125$)
Thoughts? How does it compare to Phennem II x 4's? Is this dual core that powerful? Would AMD processors be better?

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Motherboard: ASRock H61M-VS Intel H61 Micro ATX DDR3 1333 Motherboard ($60)
Dont really need usb 3.0 or sata 6 gb/s. Basic motherboard.

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RAM: CORSAIR XMS 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M1A1333C9 ($25)
Will upgrade to 8gb in future if needed. should be sufficient

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PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply ($80)
Any other recommendations? I will probably get a 6950 x 1 in the future. No SLI/Crossfire needed.

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Case: GAMMA Classic Series ATX Mid Tower Interior Steel Chassis ($36)
Dont need fancy lights. Will airflow be sufficient for a 6950?

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Hard drive: Western Digital 160 GB Caviar Blue SATA 7200 RPM 8 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD1600AAJS ($90)
F*** the flood

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Graphics card: Future 6950 when i get the money

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CD drive: Some cheap $20 drive

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Total: $416

I understand that BF3 requires a crazy powerful PC to run at high settings. I am fine with running at decent settings and hopefully my CPU will not bottleneck my future 6950. Constructive criticism is welcome.

Thank you,
xJhx
November 13, 2011 6:02:00 PM

First: BF3 Needs a crazy good gfx card to play on high settings
Second: Intel i3 is better for gaming than the Phenom II, it can hyperthread so both CPUs can handle 4 threads.
Third: 700W is overkill for 1 card, it's suitable for 2, but you can probably find a cheaper ~$60 PSU that is 500W, which is more than sufficient for a 6950.
Fourth: did you include a gfx in that set, because it seems you don't have one
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November 13, 2011 6:03:37 PM

If you don't plan on CF or OCing then 700w is overkill for one 6950. A good 550w will be enough, and this PSU is one of the highest rated ones: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That CPU has Intel HD 2000 graphics, which that motherboard supports. BF3 really needs a quad-core, but the i3-2100 does have hyperthreading so this may not be an issue.

I don't know anything about that case, but it looks good enough.
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November 13, 2011 6:05:31 PM

ahh alright ill edit my build for the psu.

The reason why it doesnt include the gfx is because i only have the money for the build without it so far. Lets just pretend it has a 6950 in it ;) 

Oh, and just to reconfirm, Will an i3 2100 bottleneck a 6950 in BF3?
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November 13, 2011 6:11:52 PM

xjhx said:
ahh alright ill edit my build for the psu.

The reason why it doesnt include the gfx is because i only have the money for the build without it so far. Lets just pretend it has a 6950 in it ;) 

Oh, and just to reconfirm, Will an i3 2100 bottleneck a 6950 in BF3?

Probably not, but if you wanted to be certain it doesn't I would go with a true quad core CPU, here's the cheaptest LGA 1155 quad-core on newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 13, 2011 7:24:37 PM

r0aringdrag0n said:
First: BF3 Needs a crazy good gfx card to play on high settings
Second: Intel i3 is better for gaming than the Phenom II, it can hyperthread so both CPUs can handle 4 threads.
Third: 700W is overkill for 1 card, it's suitable for 2, but you can probably find a cheaper ~$60 PSU that is 500W, which is more than sufficient for a 6950.
Fourth: did you include a gfx in that set, because it seems you don't have one



Actually the Phenom 955 is better than the i3 2100 pretty much everywhere , except games , till you OC it . Thats spectacularly easy to do and it then out performs the 2100 .
Hyper threading is a real poor cousin to an actual core
There are also benchmarks of the BF3 beta showing Phenoms running better frame rates thatn intel quads
http://www.techspot.com/review/448-battlefield-3-beta-p...
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Best solution

November 13, 2011 7:43:44 PM
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November 13, 2011 8:03:17 PM

@Outlander_04
Honestly, i prefer not to OC. The tedious process of testing stabilty and the need for a cpu cooler makes me feel that OCing is not worth it. Besides, like the link you just provided, OCing an i7 49% only gives it a %6 boost.

@aznshinobi
Thanks for the build! The only problem i see are that hard drive prices have risen due to the flood so I think ill buy the hard drive another time. Oh and will that 430w psu really handle a 5870? Again, i think i might stick to the i3.

I'm buying all the parts except the GPU and hard drive tonight.
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November 13, 2011 8:05:31 PM

That's not a 4870. That's a 6870. The 430w will handle the 6870. As for the i3, what's wrong with the 955? I don't really understand if the game you want to play performs better on a 955 how is that not the valid choice.
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November 13, 2011 8:11:13 PM

My bad, I haven't built a PC since the LGA 755 era and I'm new to the new series haha.

Looking at the graph again, I think you're right. Will OCing to 980 speeds be easily obtainable considering in not buying extra fans or cooler.
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November 13, 2011 8:13:52 PM

Yes. The 955 is a bit overvolted from stock, I obtained 3.6ghz without upping voltages. A little tiny voltage tweaking and you'll get to 980 easy. Though with the stock cooler I wouldn't push it past 3.6ghz.

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November 13, 2011 8:17:07 PM

Alright cool. Well, Thanks for all the help! I'm ordering tonight :) 
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November 13, 2011 8:17:57 PM

Alright good luck!
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November 13, 2011 8:20:58 PM

Best answer selected by xJHx.
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November 13, 2011 9:05:20 PM

xjhx said:
@Outlander_04
Honestly, i prefer not to OC. The tedious process of testing stabilty and the need for a cpu cooler makes me feel that OCing is not worth it. Besides, like the link you just provided, OCing an i7 49% only gives it a %6 boost.




You are absolutely correct that there is little or no gain , for gamers ,when OCing the intel i5 or i7 . Most people would get a better gaming computer by spending less on the processor and more on the graphics card.

Phenom is a little different though and OCing wont be a problem.The 955 is the exact same part as a 980 . You can make a simple BIOS change and run at AT LEAST 980 speeds and have absolute stability .
All you need to change is the multiplier
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