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Muffin's $600 Dollar Gaming Build

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a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 6:33:42 AM

Hello! :hello:  From answering many forum questions I have seen many people want to game, but are on a budget! This is what I suggest as a baseline 600 dollar gaming build with many upgrade paths!

CPU
Many people would say a cpu such as an i5-2500k would be an optimal cpu to get for a gaming rig, but since we are on a budget a intel core i3-2100 would suffice for many.
i3-2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $100-125
Motherboard
Because we are looking for a good upgrade path over to ivybridge, a good motherboard is needed. The asrock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 motherboard is a solid choice.
asrock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $110-125
GPU
Many consider the radeon 6870 to be the minimal graphics card you want to put in a system, so that is what we will be going with.
Sapphire 6870 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $150-170
RAM
Since ddr3 modules are fairly cheap now days, a 4gb ddr3 memory kit will be a good choice.
Adata XPG Gaming Memory http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $28
PSU
Because our system isn't a complete power hog, we will be using a corsair cx 500W v2, the cx 500w v2 offers 34amps on its 12v rail and is more than enough to power the radeon 6870. (It also has an 80 plus label!)
Corsair CX430w V2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $35-45
HDD
Since hard drives are much more expensive because of the flood over in Thailand, a 500gb hard drive is a good choice.
Hitachi 500gb Hdd http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $60-80
Cooler
We won't be overclocking because the i3-2100 has a locked multiplier, so the stock intel cooler is good enough.
Stock Intel Cooler $0
Case
We have roughly $60 dollars left to spend, here are a few options for cases. It all depends on what you like and what looks aesthetically pleasing to you.
Rosewill Challenger http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Haf 912 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec 300 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Drive
A cheap $13 dollar drive will be good enough to install windows.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i3-2100 $125
asrock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 $121
Corsair CX430W V2 $45 ($10 rebate) $35!
Sapphire Radeon 6870 $165 ($20 rebate) $145!
Hitachi 500GB $70 ($10 rebate) $60!
Adata XPG $28
HAF 912 $60 ($10 rebate)
Dvd Drive $13
Total: (Before rebates) $614 (After Rebates) $574.93

Have fun! If you have any suggestions or changes you would like please post!
a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 6:50:07 AM

Beitzel15 said:
With the rebate, this mobo is $18 more than the one you picked....

If it were my build and I HAD to be on a tight budget like this, I'd scrape up $18 more and go with this:

MSI P67A-GD65

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

Generally if we are upgrading to ivybridge, a z68 motherboard would be a better choice :) 
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Related resources
January 22, 2012 6:54:22 AM

amuffin said:
Generally if we are upgrading to ivybridge, a z68 motherboard would be a better choice :) 



Will the new processors run on the z68? If so, then you're correct and I didnt know that, but it is awesome!!

Will there be new mobo's also with the new ivy bridge release or still z68?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 6:55:37 AM

Beitzel15 said:
Will the new processors run on the z68? If so, then you're correct and I didnt know that, but it is awesome!!

Will there be new mobo's also with the new ivy bridge release or still z68?

Yes ivybridge will still use socket 1155 and is supported by many 1155 chipsets, however z68 would be the best option than p67. The new chipset will be z77 which has pcie 3.0 on it.
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January 22, 2012 6:58:49 AM

you still need a dvd drive

for $600 people generally aren't looking to be able to upgrade to ivy so I think a cheaper board is enough. the cx430 or even the earthwatt 380d will also be enough to save about $10-15.

with the money you save you can get the i3 2120 which would be faster.
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January 22, 2012 6:59:15 AM

do video cards pick up 3.0 yet?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 7:05:28 AM

esrever said:
you still need a dvd drive

for $600 people generally aren't looking to be able to upgrade to ivy so I think a cheaper board is enough. the cx430 or even the earthwatt 380d will also be enough to save about $10-15.

with the money you save you can get the i3 2120 which would be faster.

i added it! ;) 
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a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 8:20:25 AM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 9:01:09 PM

esrever said:
you still need a dvd drive

for $600 people generally aren't looking to be able to upgrade to ivy so I think a cheaper board is enough. the cx430 or even the earthwatt 380d will also be enough to save about $10-15.

with the money you save you can get the i3 2120 which would be faster.

Are you sure a cx 430w would be enough :ouch: 
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January 22, 2012 9:20:48 PM

That's still 63 dollars over the specified allowed budget. And there are these things called taxes. And not to mention shipping involved. This listing is more like a 750~800 build.

amuffin said:
Hello! :hello:  From answering many forum questions I have seen many people want to game, but are on a budget! This is what I suggest as a baseline 600 dollar gaming build with many upgrade paths!

CPU
Many people would say a cpu such as an i5-2500k would be an optimal cpu to get for a gaming rig, but since we are on a budget a intel core i3-2100 would suffice for many.
i3-2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $100-125
Motherboard
Because we are looking for a good upgrade path over to ivybridge, a good motherboard is needed. The asrock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 motherboard is a solid choice.
asrock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $110-125
GPU
Many consider the radeon 6870 to be the minimal graphics card you want to put in a system, so that is what we will be going with.
Sapphire 6870 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $150-170
RAM
Since ddr3 modules are fairly cheap now days, a 8gb corsair vengeance kit will be a good choice.
Corsair vengeance 8gb (red or blue) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $50-60
PSU
Because our system isn't a complete power hog, we will be using a corsair cx 500W v2, the cx 500w v2 offers 34amps on its 12v rail and is more than enough to power the radeon 6870. (It also has an 80 plus label!)
Corsair CX500w V2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $50-60
HDD
Since hard drives are much more expensive because of the flood over in Thailand, a 500gb hard drive is a good choice.
Hitachi 500gb Hdd http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $60-80
Cooler
We won't be overclocking because the i3-2100 has a locked multiplier, so the stock intel cooler is good enough.
Stock Intel Cooler $0
Case
We have roughly $60 dollars left to spend, here are a few options for cases. It all depends on what you like and what looks aesthetically pleasing to you.
Rosewill Challenger http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Haf 912 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec 300 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Drive
A cheap $13 dollar drive will be good enough to install windows.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i3-2100 $125
asrock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 $121
Corsair CX500W V2 $60 ($10 rebate) $50!
Sapphire Radeon 6870 $165 ($20 rebate) $145!
Hitachi 500GB $70 ($10 rebate) $60!
Corsair Vengeance $50
HAF 912 $60 ($10 rebate)
Dvd Drive $13
Total: (Before rebates) $663 (After Rebates) $623

Have fun! If you have any suggestions or changes you would like please post!

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a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 9:38:29 PM

6Overclockster9 said:
That's still 63 dollars over the specified allowed budget. And there are these things called taxes. And not to mention shipping involved. This listing is more like a 750~800 build.

I still haven't adjusted certain things yet.
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January 22, 2012 9:39:59 PM

My i3-2100 system cost around $350 counting shipping, without OS and no rebates.

I wouldn't recommend Hitachi, especially when you can go Seagate for just a little bit more.
My build is missing certain features that some would consider a requirement to be considered future proof.
Here is a rough estimate on the prices of my build.

i3-2100 $115 on sale and brought down to $103 with 10% coupon. = $103
BioStar H61MGC Motherboard $50 and used 10% off coupon, so it covered shipping = $50
Corsair Vengeance Ram 1600MHZ 2 x 4GB on sale $40, used 10% off coupon + $15 Promo Gift card = $20.99
CX430 V2 Corsair Power Supply $40 on sale + Free $15 Promotional Gift Card (was used on ram) = $40
NZXT Gamma Case with 120MM rear fan included $40, and on sale with 10% off coupon = $40, coupon covered shipping
Seagate 500GB 6.0 Sata Hard Drive $85 and 10% off coupon = $ 78
No Video Card, using Integrated graphics

Total: $332 not counting things like burn discs for Ubuntu and Windows 8, DVI Cable, and so on.

I think that $600+ is a little too much to spend on an i3 build unless sporting SSD drives.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 9:46:58 PM

SingingThroughTheStorm said:
My i3-2100 system cost around $350 counting shipping, without OS and no rebates.

I wouldn't recommend Hitachi, especially when you can go Seagate for just a little bit more.
My build is missing certain features that some would consider a requirement to be considered future proof.
Here is a rough estimate on the prices of my build.

i3-2100 $115 on sale and brought down to $103 with 10% coupon. = $103
BioStar H61MGC Motherboard $50 and used 10% off coupon, so it covered shipping = $50
Corsair Vengeance Ram 1600MHZ 2 x 4GB on sale $40, used 10% off coupon + $15 Promo Gift card = $20.99
CX430 V2 Corsair Power Supply $40 on sale + Free $15 Promotional Gift Card (was used on ram) = $40
NZXT Gamma Case with 120MM rear fan included $40, and on sale with 10% off coupon = $40, coupon covered shipping
Seagate 500GB 6.0 Sata Hard Drive $85 and 10% off coupon = $ 78
No Video Card, using Integrated graphics

Total: $332 not counting things like burn discs for Ubuntu and Windows 8, DVI Cable, and so on.

I think that $600+ is a little too much to spend on an i3 build unless sporting SSD drives.

Yes, however your system doesn't have a gpu and a z68 board.
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January 22, 2012 10:05:32 PM

amuffin said:
Yes, however your system doesn't have a gpu and a z68 board.


I understand that. But my build came in almost $300 cheaper than what you posted without using mail in rebates.
If I went to the same video card and mobo you are using the price would still be a little too high.

H61MGC $50
Z68 Board you posted $120
------------------------------------
$70 Difference

Intergated Graphics included in CPU price
Raedon 6870 $145
--------------------------
$145 Difference
--------------------------
Total price difference is $215

I forgot to add my build is using an $18 ASUS DVD Burner

So total price in my build using your Video Card and Mobo would be $565



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a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 10:11:27 PM

SingingThroughTheStorm said:
I understand that. But my build came in almost $300 cheaper than what you posted without using mail in rebates.
If I went to the same video card and mobo you are using the price would still be a little too high.

H61MGC $50
Z68 Board you posted $120
------------------------------------
$70 Difference

Intergated Graphics included in CPU price
Raedon 6870 $145
--------------------------
$145 Difference
--------------------------
Total price difference is $215

I forgot to add my build is using an $18 ASUS DVD Burner

So total price in my build using your Video Card and Mobo would be $565

Yep, well now they don't have those sales on your components, so it would still be almost the same price.
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January 22, 2012 10:34:34 PM

I noticed your going for 8 gb of ram. I was curious, since it would seem that 4 would be enough if you are going for cheap, why go 8 gb of ram then?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 22, 2012 10:40:30 PM

Aeradom said:
I noticed your going for 8 gb of ram. I was curious, since it would seem that 4 would be enough if you are going for cheap, why go 8 gb of ram then?

Let me change that...
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a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2012 12:36:08 AM

Ok Updated the rig!
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a b 4 Gaming
March 21, 2012 12:38:50 AM

I say keep your HDD, DVD drive, and monitor, and you'll have ~$100 left over which can get you an i5 2500K.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 29, 2012 6:43:46 AM

hey muffin have you thought of changing the i3-2100 to i3-2120? its $3 more and 200mhz higher
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a b 4 Gaming
March 29, 2012 7:14:22 AM

Prices change all the time, so I haven't really spent the time updating the rig :lol: 
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April 25, 2012 12:49:55 PM

hi....don't know too much about HDDs myself but have heard that they are the worst out there and have an extremely high fail rate? :S
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a b 4 Gaming
April 25, 2012 6:51:52 PM

Hard drives? No, they actually don't fail as much as SSD. Also have much more writes/space.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 26, 2012 4:33:38 AM

There was a samsung one that was better than the hitachi one.
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!