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Advice on $500 gaming system

My son has a budget of $700 for a new PC. He currently plays minecraft, starcraft II and League of Legends. We would like to get a PC which can handle his current and future gaming needs. Taking out ~$100 for tax and shipping and another $100 for Windows 7, we only have ~$500 left for parts.

Microcenter is within driving distance and they currently have the following on promotion:

CPU/motherboard bundle
Intel Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor ($180)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354589

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard ($150 - $50 = $100)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0364085

Memory
Corsair XMS3 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules) ($40)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0347306

Video Card
Gigabyte ATi Radeon HD 6850 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.1 x16 Video Card GV-R685OC-1GD ($150)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354216#tabs

Case
Linkworld LC323 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($18)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0312887

Power Supply
Thermaltake TR2 Series 500 Watt ATX Power Supply ($35)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0365237

We have an old hard drive and DVD drive we can use.

Any comment on the above and recommendations?
21 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. If you can wait on the rebate, this power supply might work better: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0361422.
    Since you can return it to microcenter (don't know their return policy time limit), I would wait a few days before applying for the rebate, which requires you to remove a barcode, preventing you from returning it. Assemble the pc as soon as possible to test everything out.
  2. Looks great to me, even though the gpu is very important for a gaming pc, the i5 price is so amazing it would be a crime to exchange it for the inferior i3 2100 and get a better gpu... Try to fit a radeon hd 6870 in there. If he/you won't overclock it i5 2400 is an amazing cpu, it's super fast and you could get the hd 6870.
  3. 4eyed said:
    Looks great to me, even though the gpu is very important for a gaming pc, the i5 price is so amazing it would be a crime to exchange it for the inferior i3 2100 and get a better gpu... Try to fit a radeon hd 6870 in there. If he/you won't overclock it i5 2400 is an amazing cpu, it's super fast and you could get the hd 6870.


    I don't think we are going to overclock it but it seems that microcenter does not have the i5 2400 in stock and that won't qualify for the $50 motherboard bundle discount. We probably will stick with the i5 2400k.

    Since there is only like a $20 difference between the HD6850 and the HD6870, we will get the HD 6870 instead. There are multiple brand available at microcenter and newegg: gigabyte, diamond, XFX, sapphire, powercooler, etc. Can you advise which brand to avoid and which brand is preferred?
  4. The memory should be 1.5v for i5
    -Bruce
  5. dish_moose said:
    The memory should be 1.5v for i5
    -Bruce


    How about this memory?

    Corsair XMS 8GB DDR3-1333 (PC3-10666) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules) ($35 after rebate)
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0347304

    or shall I get

    Corsair Vengeance Series 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules) ($55 after rebate)
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0359910

    $20 difference though....
  6. If you aren't overclocking, you can go with the 1333 ram. Newegg may have some 1600 for a similar price, but then you've got to wait for shipping.
  7. newegg does have a 6870 competitively priced with the 6850 you were looking at:

    PowerColor HD6870, $159.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131378
  8. I was in your position for a build I did for myself 2 weeks ago. I am also one of the fortunate ones that live near a Micro Center, consider yourself lucky ;)
    I took advantage of the 2500k + Motherboard combo and was attempting to complete the build around your $ budget. Mine consisted of the following (all from Micro Center unless noted otherwise)

    Case: Antec 300 ($34.99 after rebate)
    MoBo: Asus p8z68-v LX
    CPU: Intel i5 2500k ($250 bundled with board)
    PSU: OCZ ZX Series 650w ($80)
    HDD: WD Caviar Black 500gig. (*please read comment below about HDD $)
    GPU: SAPPHIRE AMD Radeon HD 6870 ($144.99 after rebate AMAZON PURCHASE)
    RAM: Corsair XMS (2x4gig) 1600 (make sure yours is compatible with XMS profile)
    DVD: Lite-On OEM SATA ($18)

    * Due to the mass floods in Taiwan, HDD prices are triple what they should be. I would HIGHLY recommend looking into a 60gig SSD Drive (enough space for OS and 2-3 games and most commonly used programs) and wait until prices drop back down on HDD's. The SSD's are FAST!!!!
  9. buckshot420 said:

    RAM: Corsair XMS (2x4gig) 1600 (make sure yours is compatible with XMS profile)


    Can someone explain what is meant by "make sure yours is compatible with XMS profile"? I thought I only need to make sure the memory is 1.5v and DDR3. What should be compatible with the XMS profile and how do I make sure?

    or should I choose another kind of memory which does not has XMS on it?
  10. mrwhy said:
    I don't think we are going to overclock it but it seems that microcenter does not have the i5 2400 in stock and that won't qualify for the $50 motherboard bundle discount. We probably will stick with the i5 2400k.

    Since there is only like a $20 difference between the HD6850 and the HD6870, we will get the HD 6870 instead. There are multiple brand available at microcenter and newegg: gigabyte, diamond, XFX, sapphire, powercooler, etc. Can you advise which brand to avoid and which brand is preferred?



    personally i prefer the diamond brand my self .. every one of those i have gotten tend to be good over clockers .. and pretty stable ..
  11. Sorry, i forgot about the topic. I have a sapphire one. Pretty silent, great performance.
  12. sapphire is a good choice too.. :)
  13. mrwhy said:
    Can someone explain what is meant by "make sure yours is compatible with XMS profile"?



    Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-computers/intel-extreme-memory-profile-xmp.html

    Specs Sheet
    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/extreme-memory-profile-ddr3-technology-paper.html

    The memory I listed in my built, and my build as a whole, is what i consider the "Best bang for your buck" as I was on a mission to build a new budget PC. It has just enough outputs with a few for growth and I was able to use the onboard graphics until I found a good deal on a GPU. I was playing Skyrim on medium settings with the IGPU just to give an example.

    More XMP compatible RAM
  14. for PSU = Corsair 500/600watts is good too, for the HD go for Sapphire, and go for the Sapphire HD 6870 instead of the 6850, and the Corsair Vengeance 8gb 2 stick,
  15. I think I am set on the following:


    Intel Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor ($180)
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354589

    SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102948
    $164.99 - $20 rebate = $144.99


    Motherboard

    Shall I get this
    Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard ($160 - $10 rebate - $50 bundle discount = $100)
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0364085

    or
    ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard ($120 - $50 bundle discount = $70)
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0371775


    Memory

    Which one shall I get?

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL ($39.99)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231311

    or

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL ($43.99)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314

    or

    Corsair XMS 8GB DDR3-1333 (PC3-10666) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules) ($44.99 - $20 rebate = $24.99 (currently out of stock))
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0347304

    Power Supply

    Corsair Builder Series 500 Watt ATX 12V Power Supply ($62.99 - $8 rebate = $54.99)
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0361422

    or

    Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($64.99 - $8 rebate = $56.99)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371035&Tpk=EA-500D

    or

    OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom ($64.99 - $20 rebate = $44.99)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341016

    Recommendation please.
  16. Best answer
    This will be faster than you think it will be. I went with ASUS for the easy BIOS, and I mean EASY!!

    Intel Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor ($180)
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_ [...] id=0354589

    SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102948
    $164.99 - $20 rebate = $144.99


    ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard ($120 - $50 bundle discount = $70)
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_ [...] id=0371775

    I recommend this RAM
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0347306


    Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($64.99 - $8 rebate = $56.99)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] pk=EA-500D


    Is your old HDD SATA? There are no IDE connectors on these boards.
  17. Quote:
    The memory you recommended is 1.65v. I thought I need 1.5v memory?

    It's just a recommendation. 1.65v runs great, it's stable and fast. Myself and many others use it and I think for the value it is unmatchable.
  18. I guess I can just get any ATX case. Right?
  19. mrwhy said:
    I guess I can just get any ATX case. Right?

    yes. I recommend an Antec 300 for your first build. Quality for the $ and doesn't look like an alien is going to crawl out. Read the reviews. The case you picked looks like it might be a little tight fit for the GPU and the quality looks a little flimsy.
  20. buckshot420 said:
    It's just a recommendation. 1.65v runs great, it's stable and fast. Myself and many others use it and I think for the value it is unmatchable.


    I assume this is the same one you used for your build with the ASUS motherboard. If it is good enough for you, it should be good enough for me. Thank you.
  21. Best answer selected by mrwhy.
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