Budget Gaming PC First Timer

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 2-4 weeks or next April

Budget Range:
$500(can be after rebates) before Operating System / $600 after Operating System

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Gaming, Coding (Visual Studio + various SDKs like Unity, etc ), HD movies, internet browsing

Parts Not Required:
Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Graphics card must be Nvidia. Would prefer an Intel Processor

Overclocking: Maybe?

SLI: Maybe down the road?

Monitor Resolution: Not sure about this one...?

Additional Comments:
Longevity and performance are most important to me. It doesn't need to be top of the line right out of the gate, I'm willing to upgrade parts here and there in the future when the cash becomes available. I'd like to be able to play games with at least medium settings.
I'm asking for advice, because I'm concerned in an effort to cut costs, I might pick some components that I'd end up regretting down the road. So I appreciate any and all advice.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Any particular reason you are trying to fit in premium brands (nvidia, intel) in a micro budget ($500)?

    AMD/ATI rules the micro budget hardware segment.

    I think you will drastically restrict how good your entire system can be by preferring the premium brands.
  2. With a budget of $500 and a requirement of Intel chip and nvidia graphics, Expect a core2 solo and GT 210 video card.

    Build an AMD Llano system, later you can throw in a better video card if you want, but it will fit in your budget and give you plenty of performance. Unless you are working on something that requires CUDA there is no reason to stick with NVIDIA, and at the price range you have you really can't afford to be picky.
  3. best sollution may be as the others have stated but consider this





    These totalabou $333 add $40 for a budget case like the great deal of antec 300 on sale @newegg today brings you to $377, add $50 for 550w psu, Doesn't have to be the golden 3 with your budget brings total to $427 and purchase descent 250g hdd for temporary for around $60 bucks. right now tiger direct has sale on seagate 1.5 tb 5900rpm 32mb cache hdd for 69.99

    This brings total to close to $500. I hope you can find an o.s. without having to make more purchases.but can find win7 on ebay to. Got mine for $71

    If you can find a way to get these things your up and gaming. You cant overclock that processor but you will have a board that is ready for a better one later and all of the rest can be upgraded as well. Keep ebay in mind for parts , just make sure the seller has a 100% feedback rating.
    Your purchase is guaranteed through paypal and you have a week after delivery to change your mind no matter what the seller says.
  4. This build is more or less modeled after my build ($550 budget). While trying to be under $500, I doubt you would be able to SLI or overclock on an intel CPU.

    I'm not too familiar with GPUs, so if someone has a second opinion about it, that would be helpful.
    I also don't know how this would be with coding.

    CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: Biostar H61MGC Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($56.97 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Kingston Value 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Seagate SV35.5 500GB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive ($48.67 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1GB Video Card ($154.99 @ Microcenter)
    Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.82 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Antec 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($57.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $478.41
  5. Because of the video coding and movie watching etc. makes me wonder why you haven't decided to wait for a larger budget to go ahead and go with i5-2500k and good graphics,

    The i3 2100 is just dual core and while able to accomplish your goals would dimminish your speed considerably
    This is why I suggested going with the Ebay version and putting more to an z68 mobo, so that later you can get a better cpu and be able to make better use of it, not having wasted full price on the i3 processor
  6. AMD 960T + PNY Optima 8GB DDR3 1333 $144 (Possible unlock to 6-core)
    Asrock 970 Extreme4 $110
    MSI Cyclone 550 Ti $130 ($30 MIR)
    Corsair CX430 $45 ($20 MIR)
    NZXT Gamma $39
    Lenovo 250GB $60
    Total: $528 before rebates

    Just to tell you, Nvidia makes terrible cards below $180. The 6790 beats the 550 Ti for the same price, the 460 1GB performs at the level (or below) the 6850/6870 for more and anything below the GTS 450 is no contest for any AMD cards of the same tier.

    If you were more open you could easily cut off a few more bucks. (20s-30s)
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