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Help with budget gaming PC

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December 7, 2011 10:45:58 AM

Hey guys, im looking for advice with my gaming pc. Im looking to upgrade my processor, graphics card, motherboard. RAM and possibly case/psu for $900. Im looking to play BF3, Skyrim etc with this rig. I havnt built a PC in a while and not exactly aware of the newest technology, please suggest tweaks for my PC.

CPU - i5 2500k

Motherboard - Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard

GPU - Gigabyte Radeon HD6970

Case - Antec 900

PSU - Antec hcg 900w

RAM - G.Skill 8G Kit 1600

What I currently have is this -

CPU- e8400 @ 3.0ghz
GPU - nVidia 8600gt
Motherboard - EP45-DS3L
Case/PSU - Antec Sonata iii 550w
Ram - 8GB Kingston DDR2

Any advice?

More about : budget gaming

a b V Motherboard
December 7, 2011 11:50:11 AM

Are you planning on running X-Fire, or SLi? if not a 550-650W PSU will suffice. The Antec 900 is a bit dated though still perfectly serviceable.

CPU: the i5 2500k is a good buy
MB: another good buy
GFX: good card, an nVidia 560Ti would be another good choice (not as large/power hungry either)
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 Corsair Carbide Series 400R (is a bit better, and has USB 3.0 on the front)
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$95 CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ($20 off with case)(If you aren't planning X-Fire/SLi)
RAM: good choice
ODD: you can re-use your DVD burner, or grab a Blu-Ray drive for $60 or less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50 LITE-ON Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Internal (free cyberlink DVD software)

I suggest an SSD (60GB for OS, and a few games)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
and a standard HDD for storage (if you can cannabalize from your old build, you'll save some cash)
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a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
December 7, 2011 11:54:46 AM

the 900W is overkill. a single 6970 is fine with a 600W PSU
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December 7, 2011 12:48:31 PM

IH8U said:
Are you planning on running X-Fire, or SLi? if not a 550-650W PSU will suffice. The Antec 900 is a bit dated though still perfectly serviceable.

CPU: the i5 2500k is a good buy
MB: another good buy
GFX: good card, an nVidia 560Ti would be another good choice (not as large/power hungry either)
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 Corsair Carbide Series 400R (is a bit better, and has USB 3.0 on the front)
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$95 CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ($20 off with case)(If you aren't planning X-Fire/SLi)
RAM: good choice
ODD: you can re-use your DVD burner, or grab a Blu-Ray drive for $60 or less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50 LITE-ON Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Internal (free cyberlink DVD software)

I suggest an SSD (60GB for OS, and a few games)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
and a standard HDD for storage (if you can cannabalize from your old build, you'll save some cash)


Wow thanks for the reply. Yes I may change the case to an Antec 902 v3 for the USB 3.0 and downgrade my power supply. I wasnt exactly sure how much watts I needed so I just had a rough guess lol. No real need for an SSD or a DVD burner ATM, in the future theyll definitely be part of my plans though.
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December 7, 2011 12:49:32 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
the 900W is overkill. a single 6970 is fine with a 600W PSU

Thanks for the reply, I'll definitely be downgrading it
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December 7, 2011 1:12:17 PM

Let's see what I can build for you under $900.

Processor : Intel Core i5 2500K - $220
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HeatSink : COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R1 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - $34
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard : ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 - $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $47
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU : MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti - $245
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU : OCZ Fatal1ty 750W Modular Gaming 80Plus Bronze - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case : COOLER MASTER HAF 912 - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total : $831 before rebates

* Rock Solid ASRock MoBo with PCIe 3.0 slots to pair up with a POWERFUL i5 2500K!
* New CM Hyper 212 Evo for helping the i5 2500K hit past 4Ghz.
* MSI Dual Fan GTX 560 Ti. Highly overclockable. 750W OCZ PSU (Won HardwareSecrets Golden Award) that can hold two of those cards.

Edit : I didn't add a HDD as your first post didn't mention that you need one.
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December 7, 2011 1:15:23 PM

IH8U said:
Are you planning on running X-Fire, or SLi? if not a 550-650W PSU will suffice. The Antec 900 is a bit dated though still perfectly serviceable.

CPU: the i5 2500k is a good buy
MB: another good buy
GFX: good card, an nVidia 560Ti would be another good choice (not as large/power hungry either)
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 Corsair Carbide Series 400R (is a bit better, and has USB 3.0 on the front)
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$95 CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ($20 off with case)(If you aren't planning X-Fire/SLi)
RAM: good choice
ODD: you can re-use your DVD burner, or grab a Blu-Ray drive for $60 or less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50 LITE-ON Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Internal (free cyberlink DVD software)

I suggest an SSD (60GB for OS, and a few games)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
and a standard HDD for storage (if you can cannabalize from your old build, you'll save some cash)


That motherboard (ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3) doesn't have a USB 3.0 front header. Then what is the point of getting a case with front USB 3.0.
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December 7, 2011 1:40:53 PM

Rather than upgrade everything, have you put any thought into only upgrading your GPU? I had a very similar setup to you (same processor, but OC'd to 4.2GHz) and all I did was go out and get a GTX570 for about $350. That upgrade alone has me running both BF3 and Skyrim on max (1680x1050) without any issues.

It is ultimately your call to overhaul your whole system, but I do not think it is necessary just yet. It is always a 'pay me now or pay me later' type situation with upgrades; I know I will need a new mobo and processor within the next year or so.

EDIT: the 6970 is very close to the GTX570, so either would be a worthy upgrade. With more memory in the 6970, it is most likely more 'future proof' than its nVidia counterpart.
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December 7, 2011 2:05:58 PM

notagiant said:
Rather than upgrade everything, have you put any thought into only upgrading your GPU? I had a very similar setup to you (same processor, but OC'd to 4.2GHz) and all I did was go out and get a GTX570 for about $350. That upgrade alone has me running both BF3 and Skyrim on max (1680x1050) without any issues.

It is ultimately your call to overhaul your whole system, but I do not think it is necessary just yet. It is always a 'pay me now or pay me later' type situation with upgrades; I know I will need a new mobo and processor within the next year or so.

EDIT: the 6970 is very close to the GTX570, so either would be a worthy upgrade. With more memory in the 6970, it is most likely more 'future proof' than its nVidia counterpart.


That setup will serve the OP fine in lightly threaded games such as BF3. However, the E8400 is a major bottleneck to the HD 6970.
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December 7, 2011 2:21:10 PM

008Rohit said:
That setup will serve the OP fine in lightly threaded games such as BF3. However, the E8400 is a major bottleneck to the HD 6970.


Understood, but the OP specifically stated BF3 and Skyrim in his post; the exact two games that I am playing right now with a GTX570 @ 1680x1050 on Very High and Ultra. I maintain above 30 FPS at all times, save some really crazy points in multiplayer. I am simply trying to offer the OP a cost effective way to improve and defer expenses over a longer period of time. $350 now plus another $550 later (which may go down for the same components or get you better components in a few months) can be an easier pill to swallow for some folks. My E8400@4.2 seems to be able to handle gaming just fine still.

Again, just my 2 cents; the OP can do as he/she wishes.
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December 7, 2011 2:37:35 PM

I would sell your old computer and build a new one from scratch. You are going to swap too many things and you will end up paying the same thing anyway.
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!