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Let's build a 500$ Gaming Desktop!

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December 6, 2011 11:03:30 AM

Let's go! My friend needs one built for the release of SW:TOR. He may or may not need an OS. Will update when i know. His resolution is 1400x900 (I believe). He wants most upgrade room possible, but wants to play on atleast medium.
December 6, 2011 11:14:23 AM

need a little more info:
where do you live? assuming the us but gotta check.
will he OC?
is CF/SLI a viable upgrade path?
what do you mean by upgrade space? room for more/larger graphics cards? bigger cpu cooler? good upgrade path for cpu?

what items does he not need? you mentioned monitor resolution so i guess he already has a monitor and you said may need an OS. Thats $100 minimum so it will a huge impact on what youre able to build with $500. Also, are a keyboard and mouse needed? theyre cheap but it adds up.
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December 6, 2011 11:19:12 AM

ewood said:
need a little more info:
where do you live? assuming the us but gotta check.
will he OC?
is CF/SLI a viable upgrade path?
what do you mean by upgrade space? room for more/larger graphics cards? bigger cpu cooler? good upgrade path for cpu?

what items does he not need? you mentioned monitor resolution so i guess he already has a monitor and you said may need an OS. Thats $100 minimum so it will a huge impact on what youre able to build with $500. Also, are a keyboard and mouse needed? theyre cheap but it adds up.


Oh yes sorry. U.S., Overclock is a maybe, but if it's possible to get a better GPU by getting a non-Overclockable CPU then that's fine. SLI/Crossfire will most likely be a future thing, so two x16 slots on the MoBo would be nice (But again, not needed) Upgrade room as in the above haha.

He does not need : Monitor, mouse, Keyboard, and OS is a maybe. Ill get back to this on that. But for now, 500 on parts.
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December 6, 2011 11:51:11 AM

cool thanks for the info.

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
promo code for psu EMCJHKD43 $10 off

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

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

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

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

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

cpu cooler promo code: EMCJHKD57 and if he follows through with MIR its only 2.99

cd/dvd burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

what kinda screws you on this build is HD prices now days. theyre about 3x what they were a month or two ago.

total without HD but with promocodes ($16 total): $450
with mail in rebates: $395

of course you still have to choose a HD which will be $80-$120 depending what you choose.
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December 6, 2011 12:30:41 PM

+1 for ewood. It's a good build. He forgot to add the RAM though.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ - $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'll recommend this as you are on a budget & still a hard drive is left to be included.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
December 6, 2011 12:48:38 PM

Current hard drive prices are going to make this difficult.
First of all, I don't really like this build, as I think it makes too many compromises. I'd also think I'd rather do Intel for overall better performance, but the compromises I think would be worse. If you can get the budget increased to $600-$650, a much better system could be built. Anyway, here is a build that can play SW:TOR:

AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX
Model #:ADX455WFGMBOX
Item #:N82E16819103911
$79.99 $79.99
I'd rather use an Intel i3, but the sacrifices in mobo quality would make the whole build a waste.

HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:HDS721050CLA362
Item #:N82E16822145299
$89.99 $89.99
There's no great choice in drives now. There are some 160GB drives available for only $5 less, but I suspect that's a bit too low for the entire system.

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
Model #:F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
Item #:N82E16820231394
$20.99 $20.99
8GB is pretty common, but for a budget build, this will do. I have had only good results from G.Skill.

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
Model #:EA-430D Green
Item #:N82E16817371034
Mail in Rebate
$59.99 -$10.00 Instant $49.99
The 380W version is $5 less, but if you play the rebate game and win, this one works out to be cheaper. It also has free shipping. The Antec Earthwatts PSUs (especially the "D" models) are all solid and quiet.

PowerColor AX6770 1GBD5-H Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Model #:AX6770 1GBD5-H
Item #:N82E16814131434
Mail in Rebate
$114.99 -$5.00 Instant $109.99
The MIR, again if you play that game and win, brings this one down to the price of a HD6670. It would be nice to have a stronger card here, but on the stated budget, I think this is probably about the best you'll do without making something else too much worse.

Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:Blackbone
Item #:N82E16811147023
$49.99 -$5.00 Instant $44.99
I have built in this case. Like all the low-mid range Rosewill cases I've used, it has plenty of room, minimal sharp edges, and the fans are quiet but effective. In my experience, it also won't have the trivial but always present quality issues you'll likely find in Coolermaster's cheap cases. It has free shipping, which can add $10-$15 to the price of many cases.

ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
Model #:M3A770DE
Item #:N82E16813157176
$59.99 $59.99
Best described as an old standby, this mobo is getting a little dated, but it is cheap and solid. It has performed well in some of the cheap SBM builds, and I've used it a couple times myself. Bulldozer was such a fail that not being socket AM3+ really doesn't matter.

Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
Model #:AD-7261S-0B
Item #:N82E16827118040
$19.99 $19.99
One optical drive is much like another, although this one has Lightscribe.

Subtotal: $475.92
By the time you add shipping, you may push on your budget a little, but then hopefully you'll get at least one of the MIRs back.
It isn't a great build, but I think it would be hard to do better on your budget.
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December 6, 2011 1:34:15 PM

ujaansona said:
+1 for ewood. It's a good build. He forgot to add the RAM though.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ - $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'll recommend this as you are on a budget & still a hard drive is left to be included.


Oops thanks for pointing it out! ujaansona's ram selection looks good.
If you are on a very strict budget jtt283's build looks great. If you can manage it i would try and fit in an am3+ mobo if you think you would like upgrade the cpu to something newer at some point (assuming piledriver is better than bulldozer and supports AM3+), or cram in the 6870 is possible.
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December 6, 2011 1:37:15 PM

realistically upping the budget to 600 will give you a much better build. I agree with jtt283 about bulldozer, its a waste to upgrade to, but you might get lucky with the next cpu from AMD, then again you might not so that gamble is up to you.
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December 6, 2011 1:59:51 PM

Ok I managed to do this for 533.93$ before 30$ worth of Mail In rebates (503.93 Total after that) and I think it's a awesome build for what comes with it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (109.99 Processor) This is an AMD Phenom II 960T and has a 37% chance of being able to unlock to a 6 core for 109.99, and it also overclocks better then the X4 955 because it's based off the new thuban die.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (79.99 Motherboard) I recommend this because it has 2 PCI-E 2.0 Slots and in Crossfire/SLI mode the 2.0 slots will run at x8.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (39.99 Case) I chose this case due to good cable management support, and it also is pretty big for a Mid Tower case, and should last for awhile and NZXT makes great cases for the price.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Ram 19.99) This is corsair DDR 3-1333 Dual Channel Ram I chose this due to a gaming machine doesn't need more then 4GB of ram, and for 19.99 on ram with heatsinks it's a deal you just cant past.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (49.99 HDD) I chose this hard drive because it's the cheapest one I could find for the specs and mechanical hard drives dont benefit from Sata 6GB/s only SSD's do, it also is still 7200 RPM so it should be fine.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (159.99 Videocard) I chose this videocard over the 6850 due to the extra stream processors and available benchmarks this card shows about a 10 FPS difference in games compared to a 2GB 6950 (Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Crysis) and is 100$ less and is the highest ranked videocard for price/performance according to benchmarks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (16.99 DVD Burner) Not really to much to a dvd burner it either works or it doesn't

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (49.99 PSU) I chose this Power Supply due to the excellent ratings and at max draws a 6870 will use 250-300 Watts and this PSU should be fine for the power you'll be using
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
December 6, 2011 2:05:10 PM

hewre's my $500 suggestion for SWTOR.

i3-2120 3.3 GHz: $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AS Rock H61M/U3S3: $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill 4 GB DDR3-1333: $21
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Neo Eco 400W PSU: $35 w/ $10 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hitachi 500 GB HDD: $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG 22X DVD burner: $17
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte HD6770 w/ Free DiRT3 $110 w/ $10 rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill R102 case: $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total $508, $488 with rebates
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December 6, 2011 2:08:27 PM

I forgot the DVD Burner One second
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December 6, 2011 5:33:20 PM

looks great. Id recommend a z68 mobo if you can swing it. you will be happy in the long run since you can upgrade to a quad core unlocked chip and see the full benefit. It will also let you CF your 6770. Over all an extra $50-$70 on the mobo now will open up a solid upgrade path and save you a bunch of money in the long run while also letting you use quicksync if you transcode video at all

decent MSI z68 board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
December 6, 2011 10:05:05 PM

ScrewySqrl illustrated my point very well; his build will initially outperform any similarly priced AMD system, but as much as I like ASRock, I don't like that mobo, with two RAM slots and very limited expansion options. It isn't a clear call, but I place a higher value on a better mobo, especially if you have any interest in overclocking. The i3 can't anyway, but that board won't be able to push an unlocked "K" CPU either should you ever want the upgrade. Once again, another $100 in the budget goes a long way, letting you get a Z68 mobo.
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