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Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 Build for Less than 1K?

Last response: in Systems
November 14, 2011 4:36:38 PM

Hey all,

This will be my very first build, so go easy on me. I'm really not even sure whether I want an Intel or AMD build, but I'm learning more towards Intel for this one.

Here's some general info:

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next month or two.

Budget Range: 800-1000, but preferably on the lower end of that.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: graphics intensive games like D3 and SC2; surfing the internet; watching movies.

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: whatever's compatible.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: n

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments:

I have a friend that builds custom computers for a living and he heavily recommends the i7 2600K Quad Core because, "I'm just going to end up wanting an i7, anyway"...LOL. I have to wonder if that's overkill for my needs, though, and if I could do fine with an i5 2500K dual core.

Here's a rough list of what else he recommended and a few questions about it:

Motherboard: Gigabytes GA-P67A-UD3-B3 or MSI Z68A-GD55 (B3)?
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I72600K or should I just go with an i5 2500K?
RAM: G Skill Sniper Series 8GB
HD: Western Digital RE4 WD5003ABYX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
OD: Asus DVD Burner
PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850M 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular High Performance Power Supply. Overkill, maybe?
Graphics: Radeon HD 6870 or Nvidia GeForce? Which GeForce is going to give me what I want at a reasonable rate?
Case: He recommends this particular LIAN LI but I've also been looking at this Cooler Master
OS: Windows 7/Linux

What do you think? Is there anywhere I could cut some corners expense-wise while still getting what I want out of the system? Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 are virtually the only games I'll be playing, but I want to play them on high settings.

Thanks all!

More about : diablo starcraft build

November 14, 2011 4:54:57 PM

Go with a Z68 motherboard instead, an i5 2500k, 850W PSU is overkill get a 600 or 750W if you plan to OC.

The HAF 922 is good but if you want to save some more money go with a Rosewill case.

I dont know anything about Linux so I'm gonn say Windows 7

November 14, 2011 5:14:55 PM

I'm pretty sure the OP is going for a Win7/Linux (Ubuntu?) dual boot setup. Smart move IMO.

Any change of a monitor upgrade in the future?
HD 6870 is an excellent match for 1440x900 but for a possible 1920x1080 future LCD I like the HD 6950 better.
So I'd prefer a i5-2500K & HD 6950 over a i7-2600K & HD 6870.

Case and PSU are two areas you can trim costs.
Related resources
November 14, 2011 5:24:28 PM

Yep, it'll be dual boot.

There may be a possible monitor upgrade, but not right now. I'm fairly satisfied with the 1440x900 but may just go ahead with the 6950 in case I decide to go with a higher res in the near future.

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

November 14, 2011 5:29:06 PM

You could stick with the Core i5 & HD 6870 and be very happy.
When/if you upgrade the LCD there will likely be new models of GPUs out on the market anyway.
November 14, 2011 5:30:28 PM

again I know nothing about linux lol
November 14, 2011 5:32:49 PM

If you're curious... you can do a test drive straight off a CD or USB thumb drive. I suggest the USB option. Ubuntu Desktop

edit; it also makes a pretty fair Rescue CD if you ever have a problem with Windows. As long as the HDD is running you can rescue your personal file and data. That's reason enough to check it out.
November 14, 2011 5:59:47 PM
November 14, 2011 6:00:02 PM

do you really need a hdd right now? prices are triple what they should be. ssd prices are in line though. might want to consider a ssd. i know if i was dropping 120 on a system drive id look at ssd for sure, even if it costs a touch more the results are outstanding

also, 2500k > 2600k, use the saved 100 bucks on that ssd ;) 
November 14, 2011 6:05:05 PM

Where are you at on the budget right now?
November 14, 2011 6:06:15 PM

With what I just posted, it's a little over $1000.
November 14, 2011 6:09:40 PM

I'd like to see a CPU cooler in the mix. It's a whole lot easier to put one on during the initial build that to disassemble the system to add one later.
You wouldn't happen to have a spare HDD laying about - would you? It kinda sucks to pay $120 for a HDD that just weeks ago was under $60.
November 14, 2011 6:19:30 PM

Don't worry about Diablo 3. From what we know in beta, any sandybridge cpu (even celerons) can play the game decent with a G92 class (~$100 or less) gpu.


Allen84 said:
I have a friend that builds custom computers for a living and he heavily recommends the i7 2600K Quad Core because, "I'm just going to end up wanting an i7, anyway"...LOL. I have to wonder if that's overkill for my needs, though, and if I could do fine with an i5 2500K dual core.

Oh and since noone mention it, 2500K is a QUAD core (2600K is a quad core with Hyper Threading)

November 14, 2011 6:22:16 PM

That's certainly an excellent CPU cooler, no doubt about it. A bit pricey at $74
But this option at 1/3 the price will also do an excellent job and keep the CPU cool enough for some overclocking a bit over 4Ghz. CM Hyper 212+

Hopefully, by the time you're ready to pull the trigger HDD prices will be back to normal.
And that the price drops, rebates and bargains on the other parts stay about the same.

With just a few price more drops you might even be able to squeeze a SSD boot drive into the budget. A luxury, not a necessity.
With a Z68 board another option is to use a small (20GB-40GB) SSD Cache
November 14, 2011 9:29:22 PM

Cool! The cooler looks just fine and the price is even more attractive. I appreciate you showing me every way that I can cut costs in this build; that's exactly the kind of advice I've been looking for.

There's not much I can do about the HDD except see either what Cyber Monday brings or just go ahead and bite the bullet on one now. I've been contemplating an SSD but need to do more research. I'm just going to shop around for a decent deal on an HDD right now.

Thanks again, and if there's anything else that you think would benefit this build, please let me know!
November 14, 2011 9:39:04 PM

Camelegg (free price tracker) will let you monitor your parts and let you know when prices drop.
November 14, 2011 9:46:45 PM

might as well just wait for Ivy Bridge
November 15, 2011 3:37:49 AM

madchemist83 said:
might as well just wait for Ivy Bridge

I'll burn that bridge when I get there, or maybe not :) 

As for the other responses, is that pretty much it? No other changes you'd make? If so, I've got my wishlist! Thanks a ton for all your help.
November 22, 2011 4:52:19 PM

Hey guys, this is a great post. Thanks for all the great information!

I've been planning a very similar system, so I went ahead and took your advice and built this box on just to see how the prices stack up. It's $995 before shipping.

iBuyPower link (


Case 1 x Xion Echo Gaming Case-Black
Processor 1 x Intel® Core™ i5-2500K Processor (4x 3.30GHz/6MB L3 Cache)-
Processor Cooling 1 x Liquid CPU Cooling System [SOCKET-1155]-[Free Upgrade] Standard 120mm Fan
Memory 1 x 8 GB [2 GB X4] DDR3-1600 Memory Module-Corsair or Major Brand
Video Card 1 x AMD Radeon HD 6950 - 2GB-Single Card
Motherboard 1 x ASUS P8Z68-V LX -- Lucid Virtu Technology-
Power Supply 1 x 700 Watt -- Standard-
Primary Hard Drive 1 x 64 GB ADATA S596 Turbo SSD-Single Drive
Optical Drive 1 x 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive-Black
Network Card 1 x Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)-

A few questions:
- I've never used a site like this. I've generally built my own systems, but if the price is right I would love for someone else to build it and send it to me...why not, right?
- Obviously the specs are 100% identical, but I believe they're about the same. Is there anything that I'm missing that makes this system not as good as the OP's?

The price doesn't include Windows 7, but I don't think the OPs did either. I could be wrong. Let me know if I am! I opted to go for the SSD, and I'll wait for HDD prices to drop and get a 500Gb.