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Gaming PC ~500

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January 27, 2012 5:58:09 PM

Hi! I am trying to build a new PC for my husband (without him really knowing). I was going to do this last year but never got around to it! :(  He likes to play old games mostly, but I'm sure he would play new stuff if the PC could handle it. Right now, he is super stoked about Diablo 3, but our home PC won't run it. I apologize in advance for not knowing what some of the terms mean.

Approximate Purchase Date: sooner the better

Budget Range: closer to 500 the better (tax refund $$s)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games, internet, maybe movies?

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, case, power supply is only a year old not sure W though, Windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg if online, I live near a Microcenter... can mix and match for best pricing

Country: US

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: no real idea what that means

SLI or Crossfire: or that...

Monitor Resolution: I think its a 20 inch?

Additional Comments: Really just looking for something that will play the games out there right now on just a regular setting and the PC will have some use for 2-3 years with minor upgrades

Parts I've found so far:

CPU: Core i52500K http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354589 $179.99
MotherBoard: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0364085 comes up as $99 after rebates in the card with the CPU
Video Card: GTX 550 or 560?
RAM: No idea how much it needs... 8 or 16?
HDD: Assuming I need around 500GB?

Thank you!

More about : gaming 500

January 27, 2012 6:35:35 PM

You are pretty awsome...

I dont see how you could have done better with that budget. The i5 2500k at 180 is a great price.
Any z68 based board should work well for you.
8gb of 1600 ddr 3 should be plenty but it is cheap right now so get 4x 4gb sticks if you can. Generic ram should be fine, but again its cheep so look at brand name ram like kingston, or crucial.
The GTX 560 is a nice card.
For a HD on a budget any thing over 300gb is enough, and you can add another one later. I like the western digital black drives.

Check the spec of your PSU. Those new parts will need at least a 350 watt psu but should probablly have a 500w PSU. There should be a sticker on the side of it.
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January 27, 2012 7:09:37 PM

Thank you.

Do you think it would be better to just get the i5 2400 instead? I don't think we'll be doing the overclocking thing at all. The $ difference is only $30, though. Or even just go to the i3 at $99? Worth the investment?

I figure I will just go with the gigabyte motherboard.

The video card is really throwing me off. I feel like that's something that's important to spend the $$ on, but I'm really unsure what gives me the best bang for the $. I've read good things about the GTX cards, but it seems like the Radeon cards do more for less $?
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January 27, 2012 7:12:58 PM

just go with the i3, since the i5 has no HT anyway. Nice work on build, with i3 u can spend on the mobo
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January 27, 2012 7:17:51 PM

I think the best bang for your buck graphics card at this budget would be the HD 6870. It's a tiny little bit better than the GTX 560 for about the same price. With the CPU, an i3-2100 is certainly enough to drive a HD 6870 and $99 is a fantastic price for it.

Don't be fooled by the fact it's a dual core, it's really great in games:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

Getting a non 'K' CPU means you can't overclock so you can probably do without Z68 and go for a cheap H61 motherboard too.

With the RAM I would get 4GB at this budget. 8GB won't even make a difference for games and it's cheap enough to upgrade in future.

With the hard drive, 500GB sounds like plenty. I would be sure to get a 7200rpm drive because it's faster but other than that you can hardly go wrong there.

For the PSU you're going to need around 450-500W with 2 PCI-e connectors. The XFX Core 450W or Corsair CX-500 are good choices.
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January 27, 2012 7:19:05 PM

Get an h61 mobo, i3-2100, and spend on a 6870, 6950, or 560Ti
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January 27, 2012 7:34:45 PM

This is why I love this site! So many friendly and knowledgeable folks willing to help!! :love: 

Ok, so far this is what I've got...

CPU: Intel Core i3 2100 LGA 1155 3.1GHz Boxed Processor --$99
MoBo: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard -- $49 after rebates
Ram: Patriot 2x4 DDR 1333 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0353874 $24.99 after rebate... no idea on that brand? has good reviews though
Video card: Diamond 6870PE51GB AMD Radeon HD 6870 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.1 x16 Video Card http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0378704 $164.99 after rebates
HDD: 500GB Hitachi? http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0349595 seem cheaper on Newegg... $79 with a $10 redeem code free shipping...

Out the door price at Microcenter (with tax) = $519.35 then rebates of $60 = $459.35 ?
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January 27, 2012 7:41:40 PM

Patriot is well known and is a good RAM brand. Buy an H61 motherboard, that will be slightly cheaper, and if you can, upgrade to a 6950.
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January 27, 2012 7:42:49 PM

I'd suggest the i5-2400 over the i3 and a good H61 motherboard (MSI, AS Rock, and Gigabyte all make USB3.0/SATA3 H61 motherboards, which are the best option of those.)

The 2400's 4 real cores are just better than the i3 where multiple threads are a bonus. There are several games qlready out that work better in 4 cores over two, including GTA 4, Final Fantasy XIV, SWTOR, the upcoming Mechwarrior Online, Starcraft 2, etc.

the 2400 is still a great price at Microcenter. Worth looking at.
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January 27, 2012 8:04:59 PM

k, how about...

Microcenter:
CPU: i5 2400 $149.99
Mobo: MSI H61M-P23 (B3) LGA 1155 H61 mATX Intel Motherboard $64.99 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0359807
RAM: Patriot 2x4G $24.99

Newegg:
Video Card: 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
HDD: HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive 79.99

Total: 478.48 after rebates


NOOB ALERT...How do I know if the video card will work with the motherboard?
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January 27, 2012 8:26:12 PM

All vid cards will work with a mobo as long as it has at least one PCI-E connector, that is where the vid card goes.

Also, try and get a 6950, there is an XFX one on newegg for just $209, it makes a big difference over the 6870.
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January 27, 2012 8:43:26 PM

That looks good. Something else you need to remember about a graphics card though is that they consume a fair bit of power and so the PSU needs PCI-e connectors. (2 in this instance)

I think it's always a good idea to replace the PSU when doing any kind of major upgrade anyway. Like I said earlier, I would recommend that you get something like the Corsair CX-500.

With the CPU personally I would get the i3 and save a bit of cash but the i5 is good too, whatever is good for you.

Good luck with the build :) 
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February 4, 2012 3:14:57 AM

Best answer selected by kiltbunny.
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February 4, 2012 7:48:58 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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