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Gaming PC for BF3 and MMOs $500-$600

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January 20, 2012 2:05:26 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: By this summer

Budget Range: 500-600 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: BF3, MMOs(GW2), youtube, basic internet browsing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No Preference as long as it's a reliable source

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I need something that can be upgraded later. I don't want anything that will limit my ability to improve this computer to keep up with increasing game minimum requirements.

Overclocking: Maybe ( Don't know how to)

SLI or Crossfire: No, I don't even know what it is.

Monitor Resolution: 20inch HDTV

Additional Comments: I would like a nice looking tower, but I understand that my budget might not allow that option. A flashy tower is definitely not a requirement. I just need something I can keep upgrading as I accumulate savings for it.
January 20, 2012 3:24:24 AM

Crossfire is a dual-GPU set-up with AMD Graphics Cards and SLI is a dual-GPU set-up with NVIDIA Graphics Cards. Having two greatly increases performance.

OCing is pretty simple. Just change a few voltages and FSB settings in BIOS.
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January 20, 2012 3:31:54 AM

I would suggest getting a good Mobo (motherboard) CPU (processor) and PSU (power supply). You can always add a good GPU (graphics card) later but buying quality parts for the 3 mentioned items is really important. Do you live near a microcenter by chance?
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January 20, 2012 3:32:35 AM

ok here goes, we can go with amd or intel but first i'll try with an amd setup for a cheaper budget

AMD Phenom II X4

Processor: 124.99$
AMD Phenom II x4 960T
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Mother Board: 64.99$
ASUS M5A78L AMD3+
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Video Card: 144.99$
Sapphire HD 6850 1GB GDDR5
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Hard Disk: 79.99$
Samsung 500GB
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Memory: 34.99$
Corsair 1333Mhz 2x2GB (4GB)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

PSU: 44.99$
Corsair CX500W
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Chassis: 59.99$
Cooler Master Had 912
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

if calculated right, it should cost you 553,93$ + maybe some extra charges so it should be below 600$
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January 20, 2012 3:34:50 AM

AMD FX-4100, Gigabyte GA 78LMT-S2P, 4 Gigs of DDR3 1333 RAM, AMD 6770 GPU, 500 or 250 GB Hard Drive, Thermaltake V3 Black Edition. You can find all of these on NewEgg. They are my suggestions.
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January 20, 2012 3:41:17 AM

When are you really trying to buy? If you are just trying to get a new rig before summer, I would come back at the end of April and figure out parts. A lot of new stuff will be coming out and prices will be changing and such.
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January 20, 2012 3:48:17 AM

you can actually get the FX-4100 it's much cheaper at 119.99$ at tigerdirect
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January 20, 2012 3:51:26 AM

heres an intel version, with more head room and a bit over your budget but if you can spare some cash, this will really do you good with your gaming.

Intel i5 2300

Processor: 179.99$
Intel i5 2300
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Mother Board: 119.99$
Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Video Card: 144.99$
Sapphire HD 6850 1GB GDDR5
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Hard Disk: 79.99$
Samsung 500GB
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Memory: 34.99$
Corsair 1333Mhz 2x2GB (4GB)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

PSU: 44.99$
Corsair CX500W
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Chassis: 59.99$
Cooler Master Had 912
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


at 669.93$ + some of those extra charges, IMHO this is a better build up as you can easily add more rams to your liking for a total of 8gb by adding another dual channel 2x2GB ram, and you can easily upgrade with this mobo, since it's a Z68 mobo
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January 20, 2012 3:59:58 AM

thats why i recommended him the phenom IIx4 if he wanted an amd one and some intel version but overall both would be nice but imo the intel version i wrote up there would serve him better and has more headroom for upgrades, he just need to buy a new cpu cooler, like the hyper 212 or something if he ever plans to overclock his cpu
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January 20, 2012 4:04:56 AM

Cam_Durack said:
AMD FX-4100, Gigabyte GA 78LMT-S2P, 4 Gigs of DDR3 1333 RAM, AMD 6770 GPU, 500 or 250 GB Hard Drive, Thermaltake V3 Black Edition. You can find all of these on NewEgg. They are my suggestions.

PHENOM II 965 BE>AMD FX-4100
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January 20, 2012 4:05:57 AM

Tavo_Nova said:
thats why i recommended him the phenom IIx4 if he wanted an amd one and some intel version but overall both would be nice but imo the intel version i wrote up there would serve him better and has more headroom for upgrades, he just need to buy a new cpu cooler, like the hyper 212 or something if he ever plans to overclock his cpu

+1
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January 20, 2012 4:07:38 AM

subrata4web said:
PHENOM II 965 BE>AMD FX-4100

+1 :na: 

actually the Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition something is plenty to wipe the floor with the FX-4100
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January 20, 2012 4:12:47 AM

Wait until summer and get an AMD Trinity APU with an FM2 socket motherboard.
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January 20, 2012 4:17:24 AM

If your going to buy it this summer, forget all of these and get a Ivy Bridge (coming in April) and either a Keplar or a 7000. Keplar is suppose to blow AMD's cards right off the charts performance wise (A 560 equivalent in Keplar is suppose to have the 580's performance). There will be a Z77 chipset mobo that is dedicated to IB but current mobos should work with IB with a BIOS update. As for the case, Corsair's new 550D is going to come in February and it will have sound dampening material to compete with the P280.

Come back a few weeks before you buy your rig and we'll help you out.
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January 20, 2012 4:36:43 AM

Tavo_Nova said:
+1 :na: 

actually the Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition something is plenty to wipe the floor with the FX-4100
:pt1cable:  :pt1cable: 
In $500 Budget if you familiar with Over Clock then go for AMD Phenom II X4 any Black Edition Processor.
If you won't familiar with Over Clock then go for i5 2400 in my opinion.
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January 20, 2012 4:39:21 AM

kinggraves said:
Wait until summer and get an AMD Trinity APU with an FM2 socket motherboard.

+2
You can also get IVY BRIDGE CPU with IVY BRIDGE motherboard.
Both are[AMD+INTEL] familiar with PCIe 3.0. :o 
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January 20, 2012 4:56:21 AM

subrata4web said:
Just grab this


Intel Core i5-2400 $190 newegg price
ASRock H61M/U3S3 Mobo $70 newegg price
Radeon HD 5670 DDR5 $85 newegg price
CORSAIR 500W PSU $60 newegg price
RAM 1333Mhz[4GB=4GB*1] $20 newegg price
HDD7200RPM Western Digital[160GB] $70 newegg price[**Hard Drive Prices Won't Recede Until 2013.So later upgrade to 1TB]
DVD WRITER SAMSUNG $15 newegg price


Total $510



This would beat it by alot in gaming.

Change icore 5 to icore 3 2100 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 125$

icore 3 2100 review - http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2011/07/01/intel-...

Which gives u 65$ extra for graphics

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 165$

It does come out at 15$ more, but it will be alot better.
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January 20, 2012 5:12:43 AM

Heres an amd build. I know you intel fanatics are going to start attacking me, but for $140 the Phenom X4 955 Is much better than i3. It allows room for overclocking and easy multiplying in the chip. Very worthit.

Amd Phenom II X4 955 3.2 gHz(can be overclocked to around 4.0 GHZ fairly easily). $140
Gigabyte GA 970A-UD3 Am3 Mobo, takes as much as 32GB ram $110
Corsair 500W psu $60
8GB Corsair vengeance $50 1600Mhz
Rosewill challenger Gaming ATX mid tower case $50
Seagate 500GB $80
Asus dvd writer $20
Geforce 6870 $140
Its $50 over but it is twice as good as the other ones they are talking about. This will easily play BF3 or MW3.
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January 20, 2012 5:17:16 AM

noahfarris said:
Heres an amd build. I know you intel fanatics are going to start attacking me, but for $140 the Phenom X4 955 Is much better than i3. It allows room for overclocking and easy multiplying in the chip. Very worthit.

Amd Phenom II X4 955 3.2 gHz(can be overclocked to around 4.0 GHZ fairly easily). $140
Gigabyte GA 970A-UD3 Am3 Mobo, takes as much as 32GB ram $110
Corsair 500W psu $60
8GB Corsair vengeance $50 1600Mhz
Rosewill challenger Gaming ATX mid tower case $50
Seagate 500GB $80
Asus dvd writer $20
Geforce 6870 $140
Its $50 over but it is twice as good as the other ones they are talking about. This will easily play BF3 or MW3.



http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/312913-10-intel-210...

+ it will be alot mroe than 50$ over, as in my build 6870 i found cost 165 not 140 etc.

+ the fact that u have no real upgrade path going amd, while on a socket 1155 mb with icore 3 2100 u can later upgrade to a better sandybridge or ivy bridge processor making it a clear winner
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January 20, 2012 11:55:31 AM

Tavo_Nova said:
heres an intel version, with more head room and a bit over your budget but if you can spare some cash, this will really do you good with your gaming.

Intel i5 2300

Processor: 179.99$
Intel i5 2300
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Mother Board: 119.99$
Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Video Card: 144.99$
Sapphire HD 6850 1GB GDDR5
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Hard Disk: 79.99$
Samsung 500GB
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Memory: 34.99$
Corsair 1333Mhz 2x2GB (4GB)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

PSU: 44.99$
Corsair CX500W
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Chassis: 59.99$
Cooler Master Had 912
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


at 669.93$ + some of those extra charges, IMHO this is a better build up as you can easily add more rams to your liking for a total of 8gb by adding another dual channel 2x2GB ram, and you can easily upgrade with this mobo, since it's a Z68 mobo



just get this one, it has open for upgrades specially using a z68 mobo, you can just change some minor stuff so it will get cheaper,
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January 20, 2012 4:41:26 PM

Thanks for explaining that to me azeem40.

I don't live near any good computer parts stores.

I can wait until April, but then I will not have much time to play with it because I will be going away for an internship. I need it before summer because I can get a OS from my school, and I graduate this summer.

So what parts should I get now?

Will I be missing out on any vital parts that I can not easily upgrade later if I don't wait?

Should I wait for lower prices?

What items fluctuate in price significantly?
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Best solution

January 20, 2012 5:31:09 PM

Here's a build for you:

SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Model #:100328L
Item #:N82E16814102940
Mail in Rebate Card
$119.99 $119.99

ASRock H61ICAFE LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:H61ICAFE
Item #:N82E16813157246
$69.99 $69.99

LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24LS70 LightScribe Support
Model #:GH24LS70
Item #:N82E16827136228
$20.99 $20.99

Rosewill CHALLENGER-U3 Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top ...
Model #:CHALLENGER-U3
Item #:N82E16811147060
$69.99 -$20.00 Instant $49.99

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
Model #:BX80623I32120
Item #:N82E16819115077
$129.99 $129.99

SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:S12II 520 Bronze
Item #:N82E16817151094
$84.99 -$25.00 Instant $59.99

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
Model #:F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
Item #:N82E16820231424
$36.99 $36.99

HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:HDS721050CLA362
Item #:N82E16822145299
$79.99 -$10.00 Instant $69.99

Subtotal: $557.92

This has some room for growth (e.g. the PSU will support a GTX560Ti or HD6950 later). The mobo has USB3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s.
It is hard to predict price changes in the face of the coming global economic meltdown. The parasites have been printing money like there's no tomorrow, which will sooner rather than later fuel [hyper]inflation. The euro is knocking at Death's door, with Greece, Italy, and Spain in the worst shape, but France not much better; Germany is getting tired of bailing out the rest of Europe (which only prolongs the suffering; there is no true "bailout"). How soon the poo hits the fan elsewhere is even harder to guess, but hopefully won't be for at least another few months. In the mean time, new GPUs coming out may lower prices on existing GPUs. Hard drive prices appear to be settling a little for some models, but may not come down before other factors have taken hold.
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January 20, 2012 11:54:23 PM

Onus said:
Here's a build for you:

SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Model #:100328L
Item #:N82E16814102940
Mail in Rebate Card
$119.99 $119.99

ASRock H61ICAFE LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:H61ICAFE
Item #:N82E16813157246
$69.99 $69.99

LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24LS70 LightScribe Support
Model #:GH24LS70
Item #:N82E16827136228
$20.99 $20.99

Rosewill CHALLENGER-U3 Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top ...
Model #:CHALLENGER-U3
Item #:N82E16811147060
$69.99 -$20.00 Instant $49.99

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
Model #:BX80623I32120
Item #:N82E16819115077
$129.99 $129.99

SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:S12II 520 Bronze
Item #:N82E16817151094
$84.99 -$25.00 Instant $59.99

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
Model #:F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
Item #:N82E16820231424
$36.99 $36.99

HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:HDS721050CLA362
Item #:N82E16822145299
$79.99 -$10.00 Instant $69.99

Subtotal: $557.92

This has some room for growth (e.g. the PSU will support a GTX560Ti or HD6950 later). The mobo has USB3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s.
It is hard to predict price changes in the face of the coming global economic meltdown. The parasites have been printing money like there's no tomorrow, which will sooner rather than later fuel [hyper]inflation. The euro is knocking at Death's door, with Greece, Italy, and Spain in the worst shape, but France not much better; Germany is getting tired of bailing out the rest of Europe (which only prolongs the suffering; there is no true "bailout"). How soon the poo hits the fan elsewhere is even harder to guess, but hopefully won't be for at least another few months. In the mean time, new GPUs coming out may lower prices on existing GPUs. Hard drive prices appear to be settling a little for some models, but may not come down before other factors have taken hold.


If I had 50-100 more dollars to spend what would you suggest?
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January 21, 2012 12:45:43 AM

My first thought was to upgrade the GPU to a HD6870, except that MMOs tend to like more CPU power, I'm not expecting GW2 to be particularly GPU-intense, and games ARE becoming better threaded. Also, it looks like your resolution may not be all that high. If your 20" HDTV is 1368x768 or similar (a 720p model), then I'd get a stronger CPU; an i5-2500K if you can swing it, but a locked i5-2400 is still no slouch. If you are anticipating getting a 1920x1080 monitor, I might favor the better GPU in part because of BF3 and other non-MMOs you may play. You might consider your resolution and check benchmarks; you'll find some here, on Anandtech, Guru3D, and other sites. GW will run maxed (including some AA) at 1920x1080 even with a HD6670. GW2 will need more, but how much more I couldn't say, plus you could turn down the AA. For the other things you'll be doing, a faster CPU may be a more noticeable improvement. It's also easier to upgrade a GPU later.
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January 21, 2012 1:24:06 AM

what are locked or unlocked CPUs?
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January 21, 2012 2:00:44 AM

Most Intel CPUs are "locked;" you cannot raise their multipliers, which means you can only adjust the base clock to overclock them. Since the whole system is tied to the base clock, and gets unstable very quickly, you can typically barely overclock them at all.
An "unlocked" CPU (denoted by a "K" designation, e.g. i5-2500K) can have its multiplier raised, sometimes considerably, so they can be easily overclocked.
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January 22, 2012 12:07:42 AM

How long do you think this set up would last me before I "need" an upgrade?
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January 22, 2012 3:06:50 AM

"Need?" Years, assuming that you won't mind reducing settings some as new, more demanding games come out. If you buy a game, and play it over an extended period (like I do; I'm never in a rush to "beat" the game, but then I play mostly RPGs and enjoy staying in the roles), you may never "need" an upgrade over the life of the components. If, otoh, you like to buy the latest games and play through them quickly, it will depend on how quickly the state of the art advances. Some companies release products that have high requirements, but most companies have more reasonable minimum/recommended requirements in order to attract a large user base.
I really can't guess at your specific case, but I'd think at LEAST two years before you'd encounter something that made you really want to upgrade something, probably the GPU. By that time, something equivalent to a GTX560Ti will probably cost <$100.

Of course, all bets are off if hyperinflation due to the parasites' money printing has taken hold by then, or WWIII has broken out in the Middle East...
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January 22, 2012 3:15:38 AM

Tavo_Nova said:
just get this one, it has open for upgrades specially using a z68 mobo, you can just change some minor stuff so it will get cheaper,


What minor things can I change to save money on this build?

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January 22, 2012 3:22:58 AM

shermansb said:
What minor things can I change to save money on this build?

You could lower the GPU in his build to a HD6770 or HD6790, and get a cheap Rosewill case. They have quiet and effective 120mm fans, and are pretty solid as cheap ($30) cases go.
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January 22, 2012 4:00:42 AM

Onus said:
You could lower the GPU in his build to a HD6770 or HD6790, and get a cheap Rosewill case. They have quiet and effective 120mm fans, and are pretty solid as cheap ($30) cases go.

Ok check out this build. I guess it's a hybrid of the 2 suggested builds. I am really upset about not being able to get the HD6850. Am I rightfully upset? Would I be missing a lot by not stretching my budget that extra $30? I was also torn about the mobo. Should I go with the cheaper mobo and the higher gpu? or vis versa? How about taking out both and going with a full penny pinching build? I mean by going with the options you gave me. Then I could upgrade my mouse and keyboard.



LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24LS70 LightScribe Support
Item #: N82E16827136228 $20.99

HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822145299
-$10.00 Instant $69.99

SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814102940
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card $119.99

SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817151094
-$25.00 Instant $59.99

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
Item #: N82E16820231424 $36.99


GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128495 $124.99

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
Item #: N82E16819115077 $129.99

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January 22, 2012 4:09:38 AM

well if you are OK with low/mid settings then it should last you around 2-3 years, if you play casual then longer but you will be staying at the low/mid settings in the next 3-5 years
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January 22, 2012 4:59:59 AM

Tavo_Nova said:
well if you are OK with low/mid settings then it should last you around 2-3 years, if you play casual then longer but you will be staying at the low/mid settings in the next 3-5 years


I would like to stay with mid settings. Should I get a better cpu or gpu? Should i save money by buying a cheaper mobo? What will push this build to the consistently mid settings?
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January 22, 2012 1:45:51 PM

Tavo_Nova said:
well if you are OK with low/mid settings then it should last you around 2-3 years, if you play casual then longer but you will be staying at the low/mid settings in the next 3-5 years

Nonsense. Like I said, it will depend on the playing style of the OP. A favorite game won't slow down just because more demanding games came out. I would anticipate generally High (or better) settings, possibly without AA. The OP hasn't clarified his resolution yet, but mentioned a 20" HDTV; that's not 1080p, more likely 1368x768. A mere HD6670 can play today's games at or near max at that resolution, and we're looking at a minimum of a HD6770 for the new build.
When looking at the mobo, consider the options you're likely to want. Multiple graphics cards is probably not one of them, so you don't have to have a pair of x8,x8 slots. I think you'll want SATA 6Gb/s for when you decide to upgrade to a SSD, and you'll probably want USB 3.0, although a $30 expansion card will add it.
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January 22, 2012 2:29:06 PM

Something else to consider...ten years ago, people were often playing at 800x600 or 1024x768 (some still are). Resolutions steadily increased, driving the need for more powerful GPUs. Is that going to continue? We seem to be at a plateau, with 1920x1080 becoming common. Sure, some people are setting up 5760x1080 Eyefinity rigs, but I'd be surprised if that's more than 1%-2% of the market.
If I were still playing at 800x600, likely an AMD IGP could max my games.
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January 22, 2012 2:50:29 PM

Onus said:
Something else to consider...ten years ago, people were often playing at 800x600 or 1024x768 (some still are). Resolutions steadily increased, driving the need for more powerful GPUs. Is that going to continue? We seem to be at a plateau, with 1920x1080 becoming common. Sure, some people are setting up 5760x1080 Eyefinity rigs, but I'd be surprised if that's more than 1%-2% of the market.
If I were still playing at 800x600, likely an AMD IGP could max my games.


So should I sacrifice any of my current components to upgrade the other? or am I doing the right thing with all average components. I can swing a few extra dollars for something new, but not much. What would be my first upgrade?
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January 22, 2012 3:05:21 PM

Please confirm your screen resolution (not just the size). If it is as modest as I believe it to be, the first thing I'd upgrade for general longevity is the CPU, to a true quad core i5.
If, otoh, your monitor is 1600x900 (I think that's the largest I've seen for 20"), OR you are planning on buying a 1920x1080 monitor, then you might see more near-term benefit from getting a HD6850 or HD6870 GPU.
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January 22, 2012 3:41:00 PM

Onus said:
Please confirm your screen resolution (not just the size). If it is as modest as I believe it to be, the first thing I'd upgrade for general longevity is the CPU, to a true quad core i5.
If, otoh, your monitor is 1600x900 (I think that's the largest I've seen for 20"), OR you are planning on buying a 1920x1080 monitor, then you might see more near-term benefit from getting a HD6850 or HD6870 GPU.

My tv is 1366 x 768. Sorry for the delay. Forgot to post that last time.
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January 22, 2012 3:49:27 PM

Well then. For that resolution, a HD6770 should do well for years. By today's standards, that's a fairly low resolution, at which the workload in most games is shifted more toward the CPU. Particularly if the types of games you play have begun to take advantage of multiple cores, if you upgrade anything, make it the CPU, a an i5.
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January 22, 2012 4:21:29 PM

You know what, if you are looking for some OC, get a Z68. For future upgrades, your probably looking at GPUs with 3.0x16 slots. So, get this.

i3 2100 $100 Microcenter
asrock extreme3 gen3 $122
Sapphire 6850 $150 Newegg
Hitachi 500GB 7200RPM $70 Newegg
Your Choice of case ~$50
LG 22x $18 Newegg
Kingston HyperX 8gb 1333 (2x4gb) $40 Newegg
Antec ECO 620w $60

Total: $610
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January 22, 2012 5:33:55 PM

He doesn't live near a Microcenter. Considering his resolution, it is easy to lower the GPU in order to afford that, or a better CPU.
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January 22, 2012 6:21:22 PM

Onus said:
He doesn't live near a Microcenter. Considering his resolution, it is easy to lower the GPU in order to afford that, or a better CPU.

So is my build good with a i5? That comes out to about $650 with rebates. Should I downgrade anything for the sake of extra cash for a keyboard & mouse? maybe the mobo?
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January 22, 2012 7:39:28 PM

Hmmm, am I missing something? I get $563 with the last build you posted, which will hopefully just make your budget with shipping. Add $50 if you get the i5; where do you get $650 after rebates?
Anyway, your combined build using an i5 would be solid.
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January 22, 2012 7:43:08 PM

I think I forgot to put the case in it. It's the only thing that doesn't have free shipping so it's listed separately. So add $50 for the case.
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January 22, 2012 10:22:02 PM

Onus said:
Hmmm, am I missing something? I get $563 with the last build you posted, which will hopefully just make your budget with shipping. Add $50 if you get the i5; where do you get $650 after rebates?
Anyway, your combined build using an i5 would be solid.

so with the $50 case included its about 650 after rebates. So should I downgrade the mobo?
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January 22, 2012 10:35:12 PM

Z68 adds some features you may someday want to have, and regret not having (e.g. SRT). If your wallet is screaming, you aren't going to lose gaming performance by cutting back, but if the stretch isn't too uncomfortable, I'd keep the Z68.
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