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Seeking advice for $750-800 budget easy build for Skyrim, Diablo III

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December 11, 2011 5:22:15 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Soon. In theory, this is a Christmas gift for my wife, although if it would make sense to slip it until the end of January, it can be a birthday present.

Budget Range: $750-800, budget is somewhat flexible would like to minimize rebates, but will certainly play that game if necessary.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, specifically Skyrim, Diablo III, Football Manager 2012. Will also be used for some streaming video (Netflix, Hulu, etc) and light productivity applications.

Parts Not Required: Monitor/keyboard/mouse/OS/etc not needed.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg and Amazon

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Historically, I have preferred Intel CPUs and nVidia graphics, but will consider anything that is stable.

Overclocking: Easy and stable OC, yes.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Undetermined, like 1920x1080

Additional Comments: This is for my wife, so I really want it to be stable so I don't have to mess with it all the time. It really just needs to work and I'm willing to sacrifice some performance for stability in this case. I'm looking for an easy, solid build with decent components. My wife doesn't need to run everything on max graphics to enjoy the games, but I'd like to be able to avoid having to upgrade for a bit.

I would prefer something on the quiet side. No need for complete silence, but I'd prefer that it doesn't sound like a jet engine when idle. Ability to use S3 (STR) without issue is a big bonus.

Thanks for any advice!

PS. If there is an off-the-shelf PC I can slap a better video card in and acheive the same results, I'm open to options. Thanks!
December 12, 2011 5:04:24 PM

Aerohitman said:
http://www.compusa.com/applications/searchtools/item-de...

Im not too sure about the psu (looks like it sucks from the reviews on newegg) but everything else seems okay.


Diablotek power supplies - no. They are absolutely terrible. Like one of the worst PSU makers on the market. And the video card isn't an NVIDIA-based card either.

I generally don't tend to recommend pre-made kits just for that reason alone - they generally tend to skimp in a lot of areas like this.

Try this build:

Case: Antec 300 - $49.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKIII 600W - $89.99
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $124.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 - $25.99
RAM: 8GB (2 x 4GB) Kingston Hyper X Grey 1.5V - $39.99
HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM - $99.99
Optical: Lite On 24X DVD Burner - $21.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 560TI - $249.99

Total: $912.91

If you can reuse the HD from your old build that will come in handy and it will drop the cost to $812.91. I included a far far better PSU than the Diablotek one in that other build.
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December 12, 2011 7:32:01 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Aerohitman, that's an interesting kit, if nothing but to get an idea of some of the combinations being put together.

g-unit1111, that looks like a pretty good set up. I wish I could reuse an existing HD (especially with the crazy prices these days), but I don't have anything that would suffice available.

Does anyone have any suggested changes? Otherwise, I might just go with that build as it seems pretty solid on paper.

Also, I realized I should probably slap a WiFi card in this. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for the replies!
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December 12, 2011 7:48:32 PM

Quote:
g-unit1111, that looks like a pretty good set up. I wish I could reuse an existing HD (especially with the crazy prices these days), but I don't have anything that would suffice available.


What HD are you using now? If I knew I could tell you what to do to be able to reuse it.

Quote:
Also, I realized I should probably slap a WiFi card in this. Any suggestions?


My rule for builds is get the build first, get the accessories later. Wifi adapters are like next to nothing anymore - you don't necessarily need an internal wifi card, you can get by with a USB one just fine - it's all I've ever used. Those can be had - even the high end ones - for like less than $20.

Quote:
Does anyone have any suggested changes? Otherwise, I might just go with that build as it seems pretty solid on paper.


The one thing is I'd research the motherboard a bit more to make sure it suits your needs. I generally recommend that Asrock board because it's one of the best price / performance boards on the market for less than $150. A good higher end Gigabyte or Asus board will run you somewhere in the $140 - $200 range. If you want to pay a bit more that's fine, I'd actually recommend it. Otherwise a lot of those components I tend to recommend anyways as I tend to use all the same brands in my builds.
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December 12, 2011 8:00:26 PM

I would stay away from that Asrock mobo
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December 12, 2011 9:01:10 PM

madchemist83 said:
I would stay away from that Asrock mobo


I can understand the pros and cons of using that board - I've generally either heard really good or really bad about Asrock. Like I said if the OP wants to pay a little bit more for a Gigabyte or Asus board I'd actually recommend that more.

I was this close to buying Asrock's 990FX board because I really wanted a system with UEFI but decided to go with Gigabyte instead because of brand reliability.
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December 13, 2011 12:36:37 AM

Check if you have micro center close by
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December 13, 2011 1:05:49 AM

AMD 960T + PNY 8GB DDR3 1333 $129 (Better performance than 955 and possibility to unlock 6 core)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asrock 970 Extreme4 $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PowerColor 6950 2GB $255
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ ZS 750w $100 ($20 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HAF 912 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seagate 500GB $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus DVD Burner $19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total: $758 before rebates

Allows you to future CF but also overclock and unlock an extra core. The 6950 2GB will play Skyrim with ease a review done by THG showed that CPU had little to do with Skyrim, and that mostly GPU was used.
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December 13, 2011 2:30:02 AM

hey mang get you a nice antec 300 case, a good am3+ mobo, an fx-4100 and a 6950 and game on
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December 13, 2011 2:47:12 AM

^ The Extreme4 is AM3+ and the FX-4100 is worse than the 960T. In most cases the 4100 falls below the 955. The 960T has the option of unlocking cores which the 4100 doesn't.
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December 13, 2011 2:50:30 AM

True but it gets the job done and can be overclocked quite high
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December 13, 2011 3:11:17 AM

If it gets the job done, the 960T can as well. I do give the 4100 props for overclocks but it's just such a disappointment, with the 960T being cheaper and performing better. The 960T is a better option specially with 2 cores unlockable and still 4GHZ as a possible overclock.
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December 13, 2011 3:14:32 AM

yea was kind of a flop but at the same time its incorporating new technology. hopefully the piledriver or whatever they release next will be awesome. Intel needs competition to keep prices down and not have a monopoly and to cause further technological advances
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December 13, 2011 4:42:46 AM

amd is dead ..
Hail intel
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December 13, 2011 1:38:28 PM

wont be saying hail intel when their prices sky rocket and it cost 600 bucks just for an i3
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December 13, 2011 2:02:53 PM

madchemist83 said:
amd is dead ..
Hail intel


this made me lmao for a good while
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December 13, 2011 4:24:48 PM

that's why u buy intel now
2500k was sold for $150 before tax on black friday :) 
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December 13, 2011 6:54:02 PM

Thanks for the replies...

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
g-unit1111, that looks like a pretty good set up. I wish I could reuse an existing HD (especially with the crazy prices these days), but I don't have anything that would suffice available.


What HD are you using now? If I knew I could tell you what to do to be able to reuse it.

Quote:
Also, I realized I should probably slap a WiFi card in this. Any suggestions?


My rule for builds is get the build first, get the accessories later. Wifi adapters are like next to nothing anymore - you don't necessarily need an internal wifi card, you can get by with a USB one just fine - it's all I've ever used. Those can be had - even the high end ones - for like less than $20.

Quote:
Does anyone have any suggested changes? Otherwise, I might just go with that build as it seems pretty solid on paper.


The one thing is I'd research the motherboard a bit more to make sure it suits your needs. I generally recommend that Asrock board because it's one of the best price / performance boards on the market for less than $150. A good higher end Gigabyte or Asus board will run you somewhere in the $140 - $200 range. If you want to pay a bit more that's fine, I'd actually recommend it. Otherwise a lot of those components I tend to recommend anyways as I tend to use all the same brands in my builds.

The only unused drives I have are old 250 sata drives. I would just as soon get a new one.


madchemist83 said:
I would stay away from that Asrock mobo

What specifically would you recommend instead?

madchemist83 said:
Check if you have micro center close by

Nope, the closest one is 500 miles away.
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December 13, 2011 9:44:35 PM

Asrock is a valid brand, Mad is just bias and so he recommends just Gigabyte or Asus. Asrock makes great boards for the money and there is no reason to stay away from them.
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December 13, 2011 9:51:26 PM

Asrock, from my exprience, uses really cheap PCBs. And when I am building systems, the whole board just feels cheap (but they are price wise lol). But back to the serious, I think Asrock does not need to be hyped as much as they are. And if any one goes, oh yea just flash a 6950 to a 6970, just say no to that, if it works great, but it probably will not, then your out some money.
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December 13, 2011 10:18:35 PM

KA50 said:
Thanks for the replies...


The only unused drives I have are old 250 sata drives. I would just as soon get a new one.


I reuse drives all the time, it never hurts to have extra storage. I actually revived a decade-old 30GB hard drive by buying an enclosure for it and I use it to back up the "My Documents" and "User data" folder on my workstation and laptop.
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December 14, 2011 12:29:27 AM

whiteout agreed .. all i want to point is that it seems alot of suggestions on the forum for Asrock boards .. from certain people :)  .. basically for nothing .. might as well start suggesting Biostar
and to you shinobi .. at least I'm not biased to one brand and actually read reviews from reputable sites not from newegg
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December 14, 2011 12:43:58 AM

Lol OK, So have I, Asrock has earned my respect, specially which started with their P67 Extreme4 board. They've made pretty decent/good boards ever since. Though it's up to you on your opinion. I give up trying to convince you.
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December 14, 2011 1:02:59 AM

it's cool .. don't worry
when I can get Asus P8z68-v pro/gen 3 and 2500k for extra $5 (from microcenter) rather then Asrock extreme 3 gen 3 and 2500k from newegg .. I think the choice is obvious :) 
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December 14, 2011 1:03:49 AM

Biostars 990fxa board has gotten alot of good reviews and has recieved several awards
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December 15, 2011 2:07:40 AM

yeah that combo is pretty solid .. don't forget about cpu cooler if u plan on ocing
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December 15, 2011 2:09:21 AM

If you're willing to spend the extra it'll end up about $100 more than the AMD build depending on the card you'll be using. If it's the 6950 2GB you'd end up at about... $900 bucks. But without the wattage to get CF 6950 if you ever wanted to.
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