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$500-$800 gaming computer build?

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January 7, 2012 7:44:09 PM

My birthday is coming up, and my parents offers to help me get a new computer within the range of 500-800 dollars. I have never completely built a computer, but I have upgraded graphics cards and had a look around the inside of the box before.

I plan on using the computer for regular gaming by any average 16 yer old, I suppose. I want to run Starcraft 2, skyrim, and other games of the sort. I know I don't want a terrible graphics card, and that I want 4=< gigs of ram, but after that I've no idea what to do or where to start. Any help will be very appreciated. I also do not need more than 500 gigs of HDD space, but I would prefer to have atleast 300. I will be having a lot of music and games, but not huge amounts of movies or anything.

Thanks in advance! This is my first time on Tomshardware, so if this is in the wrong place please let me know and I will move it.
January 8, 2012 3:30:40 AM

Can you fill out the template here please?

When you say 500-800, all anyone sees is 800 :p  We're going to run out every last nickel of that budget, but we need a better idea of the specifics. If you're buying in the next couple of days, we can look for specific deals; in a month, we need to look at parts that are inexpensive generally. 800 before or after rebates? Are you in one of Newegg's taxed states (CA, NJ, TN)? Do you have any parts you can reuse from your current machine, particularly a hard drive, operating system, or monitor? Are you willing to overclock? Etc.
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January 8, 2012 7:42:20 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next week or two

Budget Range: $500-700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Monitor, speakers, mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Preferably NewEgg, but anywhere that will ship to Oregon is fine.

Country: United States.

Parts Preferences: I know nothing about even the basic differences from Intel processor vs AMD or what have you. Computer-Build noobie!

Overclocking: Preferably not...

SLI or Crossfire: Not sure what this is.

Monitor Resolution: Haven't used the monitor in so long, I can't remember what the resolution for it would be.

Additional Comments: Something easy to assemble. I have some people who are much more experienced that will be helping me, but I personally have little to no experience. Also I cannot reuse any parts that I currently have, because my current machine is a Sager Laptop. I would like for my computer to be able to run Starcraft 2, Skyrim, and newer games of the sort on high-er settings. "ultra" isn't really necessary, but I want a high fps and something that doesn't look terrible. Thank you! :)  I also live in Oregon, if that helps with the tax issue.

Quick side note/edit: I don't need a large HDD (500 is fine, but if the difference between 1tb and 500 gigs isn't much, it doesn't really matter either way), and I would like to be able to watch movies through an HDMI cable to a 55inch TV, if that matters. Also, the Operating system isn't necessary to buy either. I have one in hand.
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Related resources
January 8, 2012 9:11:07 AM

Case: Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower ($40)

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core ($190)

MB: BIOSTAR TH67+ LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX ($60)

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ($40)

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W ($34)

GPU: Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 ($193)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache ($109)

ODD: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer - Black SATA LightScribe ($19)

Total: $685, after $70 in mail-in rebates and a $15 gift card that can only be used at Newegg.

Anyone else who comes into this thread is going to tell you to upgrade the processor to an i5-2500k for $30 more. There's a reason the 2500k has ten times as many reviews as the 2400; that processor is overclockable and will easily be 40% faster. However, the 2500k will also require a more expensive motherboard and an aftermarket cooler, bringing the total cost up $110, to around $795.
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January 8, 2012 9:33:12 AM

Though you could fit the 2500k in your $700 budget by cutting the memory down to 4 GB and going with a cheaper case, hard drive, optical drive, and motherboard, and signing up for a free ShopRunner trial to get free shipping.
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January 8, 2012 8:12:42 PM

erikalikesfire said:
Case: Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower ($40)

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core ($190)

MB: BIOSTAR TH67+ LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX ($60)

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ($40)

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W ($34)

GPU: Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 ($193)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache ($109)

ODD: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer - Black SATA LightScribe ($19)

Total: $685, after $70 in mail-in rebates and a $15 gift card that can only be used at Newegg.

Anyone else who comes into this thread is going to tell you to upgrade the processor to an i5-2500k for $30 more. There's a reason the 2500k has ten times as many reviews as the 2400; that processor is overclockable and will easily be 40% faster. However, the 2500k will also require a more expensive motherboard and an aftermarket cooler, bringing the total cost up $110, to around $795.



This build is perfect for what I was looking for! Thank you. And do you, or does anyone else have any wireless cards or adapters that they've heard of that aren't too terribly expensive but can get the job done? I will probably be using my computer in my room which is an attic, and getting an Ethernet cable all the way across the house is out of the question.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 8, 2012 8:13:46 PM

You could try those USB Wireless N Adapters.
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January 9, 2012 12:40:28 AM

Aerodet said:
This build is perfect for what I was looking for! Thank you. And do you, or does anyone else have any wireless cards or adapters that they've heard of that aren't too terribly expensive but can get the job done? I will probably be using my computer in my room which is an attic, and getting an Ethernet cable all the way across the house is out of the question.


The graphics card will cover the PCI Express slot on that motherboard, and if you shuffle the GPU down to the second slot, it'll only run at 4x instead of 16x. Therefore it is my suggestion that you get a PCI or USB network card. I don't have much experience here, so I'll refer you to Newegg. My suggestion is to sort by reviews and work your way down from the top; that's what I do when I'm lost :D 
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January 12, 2012 1:36:27 AM

So after a couple days of just getting everything in line, I've put all of this into my cart and it seems that the motherboard suggested has jumped in price, and now the ending cost is $788 after all mail in rebates and after shipping and what not. The mother board suggested costs the same as the one that was suggested to upgrade to, and I was wondering if that new mother board (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) is compatible with all of the same parts?
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January 12, 2012 3:32:27 AM

Aerodet said:
So after a couple days of just getting everything in line, I've put all of this into my cart and it seems that the motherboard suggested has jumped in price, and now the ending cost is $788 after all mail in rebates and after shipping and what not. The mother board suggested costs the same as the one that was suggested to upgrade to, and I was wondering if that new mother board (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) is compatible with all of the same parts?


Yes.
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