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Build for ~$570

Living in the US, estimating purchase time will be around the beginning of February, but I can buy up to $350 in parts whenever. Budget is before rebates, can go slightly over but would prefer to stay as close to $570 as possible. Intel build is preferable but I'm not entirely opposed to AMD. Not planning to overclock, simply because I never have, and don't currently have the budget for aftermarket cooling. Not planning on SLI/Crossfire, but like overclocking, this is mostly because I don't have any experience with it. It may be an option further down the line, but probably not on this budget system.

I'm planning to play Skyrim, GW2, and BF3 later. Maybe even Witcher 2. Just general purpose gaming. Oh, and I have a tendency to have upwards of 60 tabs open (not while running games though of course), but that's not really a big factor. My current terrible Amd Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core at 2.6GHz handles that just fine. Ish. It does get pretty slow, actually.

Parts I'm reusing:

1440x900 res monitor.
1 TB Spinpoint F3 HDD + 160gb hdd
cd/dvd drive
Windows 7 64 bit

Those are all the things I'm sure to reuse. I also have a GTS 450, but it's not very reliable. Was a recert that I bought about a week after my 9800 GT randomly stopped functioning, and now this card has a tendency to artifact if left running for 24 hours or more without a restart. Though the problem may be PSU or even CPU related, not GPU. As long as I shut down the thing every night, I never see the artifacting.

These are the parts I've been looking at, personally, but would like to get some advice for improvement. Feel free to ignore the existing list as I'm not very experienced with this to begin with:

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Case ($70):
Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard ($122):
Antec Neo Eco 620w PSU ($65):
Gskill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 RAM ($47):
i3-2100 3.1GHz CPU ($115):
Geforce GTX 460 GPU ($140):

I imagine that I'm being inefficient here, either in a small or big way. I know the motherboard's overclocking capability is wasted if I'm not going for the 2500k, but I don't see an optimal way to put in a 2500k really. I went with that mobo because it has USB 3.0, and I could reuse it later (and its what I was looking at for a 2500k build previously), but is it worth it for reuse? It's still a pretty low end z68, and I plan to do another full upgrade within 1-2 years at the most.

My budget is flexible up to $600, maybe just barely over, but I would prefer to keep it lower. What would you guys suggest?
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  1. I'd suggest an I5 2400, or I5 2300 because they are quad-core. Skyrim will like that. GTX 460's are good cards but I'd suggest at least a 560TI. It's about $100 more but will get you more eye candy in newer games.
    Or wait 'till the AMD video fanboys get here, I'm sure they'll tell you Radeons are the best thing since the dollar menu at McDonalds.
  2. Best answer
    DelroyMonjo said:
    I'd suggest an I5 2400, or I5 2300 because they are quad-core. Skyrim will like that. GTX 460's are good cards but I'd suggest at least a 560TI. It's about $100 more but will get you more eye candy in newer games.
    Or wait 'till the AMD video fanboys get here, I'm sure they'll tell you Radeons are the best thing since the dollar menu at McDonalds.

    Actually when Toms did a review of hardware performance in Skyrim they noted that more than 2 cores gave you no performance advantage .
    And a 560 ti or even a Radeon 6870 are definitely not needed at that resolution .

    A radeon 6850 will run any game at that resolution and save money .
    The power supply is a nice unit but this computer can run really well on a 450 - 500 watt unit to save even more money
    The Antec Illusion is a 300 with additional fans added at the front . If you dont like the LED's or want a different color just buy a regular 300 and add a pair of 1200 rpm Scythe slipstream fans yourself.

    Those changes might mean you can fit an i5 2400 into the budget . You would get a more responsive multitasking computer , and slightly better FPS in most games .

    The Z68 board is much more versatile . Id stay with that
  3. Well, I looked at the 6870, and 6850s. Most of the ones priced below a 560 seem to frequently (according to reviews) run hot. I'll keep looking around for a good one though. Another thing is that I wanted to avoid an AMD card due to all the drivers issues I see, and I figured a GTX 460 was probably adequate at 1440x900. Could be wrong there. Either way, the cheapest 6850 is $149.99, ten dollars more than the 460 I'm looking at there. Is the performance increase significant at this res for the price?

    As to the i5-2400, that's definitely preferable. There's actually a sale on newegg now for an i5-2500 at only $195 (which I think ends today). That said, I don't see a good way to fit it in. I could downgrade the case from the illusion to the normal 300. However that's only a savings of $10, and those case fans you mentioned are $13+. There are some cheaper ones, but I haven't looked into case fans before now, so I'm not sure if those cheaper ones are actually good. Even so, a lot of those appear to cost about $10, so the savings is lost just getting 1 additional fan. Perhaps there's a site where the 300 isn't priced at $60 though?

    Lastly...the power supply. Pretty much every power supply I saw under a certain price point seems to report tons of DoAs. Do you have a recommendation by chance? 650w is a bit overkill right now I suppose, but it seems to be priced about the same as any reliable power supply with 500w+.

    Edit: This isn't something I had previously considered, but re-using my current case MIGHT be an option. Here it is:

    I don't see much potential for adding more fans though, and the air duct on the side is a bit large. I only have the default fans it came with right now, which are a bit small and weak really. Don't even think I have intake fans actually.
  4. Quote:
    Hey just u can get a HD6870 WITH BETTER PERFORMANCE WITH SAME PRICE DUDE.otherwise nice build ok.

    You can go for a Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 - $119.99
    A HIS Radeon HD 6870 - $159.99 ($139.99 after rebate)

    If you not going to use Nvidia oriented features (Cuda, Physx, 3D Vision), would be a good idea to get the HD 6870.
  5. yea keep the case, if it ends up being really hot inside, buy a cheap fan and a dremel tool or something and you can put a fan say, in teh lower front end of the side panel, to act as an intake, if you dont do it nicely, it might not be the prettiest thing ever, but if you make nice cuts it should look fine, also it will save you the 60$ from the new case you were going to get, 60$ that you could use to get better GPU or CPU or someting along those lines.
  6. I should have checked current prices before I posted but was heading for work and didnt have time .

    There are no issues with radeon drivers Im aware of . I think nVidia is better in multi card rigs but thats about all .
    The 6850 is a little weaker than the GTX 460 and the 6870 a little better . Any of the three is sufficient for your monitor . The cheapest 6850 is $130 after rebate , the cheapest 6870 is $140 after rebate

    I think the idea of keeping your case and modding it is a good one . cut a big hole or two in the top and mount some 120 mm fans . That lets you get the 2500k
  7. he also should cut a hole somehwre near the lower front area as well for intake, maybe even the very botton of the case, given it has tall enough feet underneath, if not, plastic chair/furniture feet come in sets of 4 or 8 usually and give at least an extra 1/4 inch, you could even stick those to the bottom to add ait intake space if you put a fan in the bottom under or in a hard drive bay, that case has lots of possibilities. you should see the one i am going to reuse when i get my new computer, it had a pentium II in it originally, and the fron intake fan was pretty much sucking in air from a flat surface, not very useful, and there was no outborn air fans in the back, just some holes for air to pass though on its own i guess, PSU mounted on the top, that nasty biege color old computers often had, it will be my special progect wen i start my build in a year or so :P you are lucky you have that one, so many posibilities.
  8. vitornob said:
    You can go for a Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 - $119.99
    A HIS Radeon HD 6870 - $159.99 ($139.99 after rebate)

    If you not going to use Nvidia oriented features (Cuda, Physx, 3D Vision), would be a good idea to get the HD 6870.

    That's a great deal on the GTX 460. I was writing a post earlier that got lost, just as I was going to buy it. That's when it went out of stock again, so I'm back to looking at $140+ cards again for the moment. 2500k went out of stock again on newegg as well. Seems a lot of people are upgrading right now >_>. Anyway, I do use Physx when allowed, and I tend to play Mirror's Edge on and off throughout the year for fun (there's no other game quite like it unfortunately). If that card doesn't come up again, I'm more than likely going with AMD anyway. Researching shows that quite a lot of people recommend the 6850/6870 over anything Nvidia in this price range.

    Based on feedback here, I'll likely go ahead and stick to my current case, though I don't have any experience with case modding. I did see a site not too long ago that apparently provided tutorials on how to mod your case though, so I'll see how that goes. Air flow needs shouldn't be that bad, since I don't plan to do any overclocking for the time being. I also found this deal on the i5-2500k:

    At only $200, seems like a deal I shouldn't pass up. It's technically out of stock right now, but I'm hoping it'll be back in stock before I have the money to get the other necessary components anyway (next month). For the GPU, I'll just wait for a sale for now, instead of throwing out money to get the next best thing. Thanks all for the advice. Build seems a lot better than it was when I started looking now.

    Current, probably near final parts list:

    Antec Neo Eco 620w (price dropped to $59.99):
    Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ($122):
    8GB Corsair DDR3 1600 ($39.99):
    i5-2500k ($200):
    Graphics card unknown. pricing somewhere between $120 and $164.

    Only $422 so far. Leaves $148 for a card, possibly better than a card at that price if I go a little over. If my PSU still seems a bit on the high end, I'd be glad to try a reliable one at a lower price. Just trying to avoid the ones where the entire first page of reviews say "Doa, I'm done with this manufacturer forever".
  9. dont forget to include shipping and tax costs. you might not actually have 150$ left over, after shipping if you buy them all at the same time (which usually saves some money instead of each shipping individually) you might only have between 90 and 130$ left, not entirely sure though, just a guestimate, just thought you might need to be reminded so when you go to order all your parts that you dont run out of money on the last purchase and have to buy something cheaper you will just replace in a few months.
  10. Best answer selected by Xialoh.
  11. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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