$600 gaming PC

Hello Everyone!

First of all please excuse me for any mistakes in my english, it"s much easier to understand than to write.

Approximate Purchase Date: First half of the year.
Budget Range: $600-$700
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies(720p)
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, HDD. DVD-RW
Country: Hungary
Parts Preferences: I'm not really into a specific brand.
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1440x900
Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC

The selection of parts to choose from - in my city - is frankly quite sad... so please bear with me.

I was thinking of the following parts:
Motherboard:
a) GA-880GM-USB3 if AMD/Ati
b) H55M-E33 if Intel
c) M4N98TD EVO if AMD/nVidia ( I know this is a little more expensive )

VGA:
a) SAPPHIRE Ultimate HD 6670 1GB GDDR5 if Ati
b) ENGT440 DC SL/DI/1GD3 if Nvidia

Processor:
a) AMD Athlon-II X3 AM3 (460) if AMD
b) Intel® Core™ i3-540 Processor if Intel

RAM:
2x Kingston 2GB/1333MHz DDR-3 for Intel ( Site currently down, at least for me )

House/Casing:
Codegen Q-6246-A7 450W Don't know if 450W will be enough or not. ( Site currently down, at least for me )

What I'd like this computer to be able to do is:
1) Watch 720p movies without trouble.
2) Play new games on low- or medium settings in 1440x900 resolution.

I hope you can help me out, because frankly I don't know which one is better for me.
I would like to thank everyone in advance their help. It's greatly appreciated.

Artoria
13 answers Last reply
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  1. My computer is nearly identical specs and plays most games at medium to high settings at same resolution.

    Core i3-2100 CPU.
    ASUS or Gigabyte H61 motherboard.
    8gb(2x4gb) DDR3 1333 ram(for Windows 7 64bit),(4gb(2x2gb) for 32 bit Windows)
    Sapphire 6670 1gb DDR5 card
    80 plus certified 450 watt or higher power supply. Avoid if not certified.
    Case - Just about any uATX or mid tower will do. I have a Coolermaster Elite 430 which is very good and fairly inexpensive. If the case fans you get are not quiet enough, get Coolermaster or Antec Tri-cool 120mm.
  2. Will you order PC parts from a website or will you buy them from a PC store?

    I am not sure about Hungary, but in Serbia PC part prices are pretty much the same as on amazon.de, so, for 450 euros...

    CPU: i3 2100 http://www.amazon.de/Intel-Processor-i3-2100-Prozessor-L3-Cache/dp/B004FA8NPK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327786937&sr=8-1 - 110e

    GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 http://www.amazon.de/SAPPHIRE-Radeon-DL-DVI-I-SL-DVI-D-DisplayPort/dp/B004R7MTPQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327786971&sr=8-1 - 155e

    Mobo: MSI PH61A-P35 http://www.amazon.de/MSI-PH61A-P35-Mainboard-Intel-Speichyer/dp/B00553WP0K/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1327787022&sr=1-1 - 75e

    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 1333MHz http://www.amazon.de/G-Skill-PC1333-Arbeitsspeicher-240-polig-DDR3-RAM/dp/B002X578GE/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1327787108&sr=1-1 - 42e

    PSU: Corsair CX500 http://www.amazon.de/Corsair-Serie-Netzteil-500-Watt/dp/B0054PGE74/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1327787206&sr=1-1 - 58e

    Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 http://www.amazon.de/CoolerMaster-Window-Midi-Tower-PC-Geh%C3%A4use-schwarz/dp/B003OEDJTI/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1327787253&sr=1-1 - 45e

    PC - 485e which is a bit over your budget, but is very much worth it. You could save some money by gettin 1x4gb RAM and upgrading later.
  3. Hi!

    I plan to buy my new pc from a store.
    In Hungary prices are little off.. for example:
    1) CPU: i3 2100 = 140e
    2) GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 => I only found this: Sapphire HD/6850/1G/GDDR5/PCI-E/DL-DVI-I+SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP/Lite/ AMD GDDR5 1GB 256bit = 180e
    3) Mobo: MSI PH61A-P35 => I only found this: MSI H61MU-E35 Intel H61 B3 LGA1155 mATX alaplap = 90e
    4) RAM: Kingston 4GB/1333MHz DDR-3 PC3-10600 (KVR1333D3N9/4G) memory = 2 pcs 50e
    5) PSU: Chieftec -iARENA GPA-500S 500W PFC 12 cm =40e
    6) Case: Each of them costs around 40-50e

    Don't know how much the chosen parts differ from what you offered, but these are the closest I could find on the store's website.
    PC - 540e ( 515e with 4GB RAM )

    Which is way over the budget... it's not that I can't afford it... the question is: is this config worth the extra cost?
    I thought about spending more money on the pc... you could say if I spent 450e on a computer and I used it for like 3 years, then if I spent 550e on a pc, then would it be a decent pc for like 4 years? If so then by all means I'll wait for a little longer to buy the stronger pc...
    The main reason for buying a new pc is that the current one won't survive for another year... not in gaming and not in general... ( frequent BSODs, possible corrupt memory modul, dying motherboard, etc. )

    Artoria

    4eyed said:
    Will you order PC parts from a website or will you buy them from a PC store?

    I am not sure about Hungary, but in Serbia PC part prices are pretty much the same as on amazon.de, so, for 450 euros...

    CPU: i3 2100 http://www.amazon.de/Intel-Processor-i3-2100-Prozessor-L3-Cache/dp/B004FA8NPK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327786937&sr=8-1 - 110e

    GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 http://www.amazon.de/SAPPHIRE-Radeon-DL-DVI-I-SL-DVI-D-DisplayPort/dp/B004R7MTPQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327786971&sr=8-1 - 155e

    Mobo: MSI PH61A-P35 http://www.amazon.de/MSI-PH61A-P35-Mainboard-Intel-Speichyer/dp/B00553WP0K/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1327787022&sr=1-1 - 75e

    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 1333MHz http://www.amazon.de/G-Skill-PC1333-Arbeitsspeicher-240-polig-DDR3-RAM/dp/B002X578GE/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1327787108&sr=1-1 - 42e

    PSU: Corsair CX500 http://www.amazon.de/Corsair-Serie-Netzteil-500-Watt/dp/B0054PGE74/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1327787206&sr=1-1 - 58e

    Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 http://www.amazon.de/CoolerMaster-Window-Midi-Tower-PC-Geh%C3%A4use-schwarz/dp/B003OEDJTI/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1327787253&sr=1-1 - 45e

    PC - 485e which is a bit over your budget, but is very much worth it. You could save some money by gettin 1x4gb RAM and upgrading later.
  4. With that Chieftec power supply, I would really not go above the 6670 card. I know Chieftec is sold a lot over there, but the quality is not so great. They claim 80 plus efficiency, yet are not officially certified.

    While the 6870 card would be nice, it is overkill for your needs and would require a much better power supply. Even a 6850 card would be pushing it. you might get away with a 6770 card which would be a slight improvement over the 6670.

    MSI is also not the best quality of motherboards, but since there will be no overclocking you should be OK. It also seems a bit high priced for MSI. Their video cards are quite good though.

    The ram also seems excessively priced. It would be a good price for 8gb(2x4gb).
  5. I was asking around - not on this forum - and they said Chieftec is a good choice...
    Here's a list of available power supplies... it's not and english site, but maybe you could help me choose one... 40e = 12000 Ft

    150e => Sapphire HD/6770/1G/VAPOR-X/GDDR5/PCI-E/HDMI/Dual/DVI/DP/OC/Lite/ AMD GDDR5 1GB 128bit PCIe VGA
    180e => Sapphire HD/6850/1G/GDDR5/PCI-E/DL-DVI-I+SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP/Lite/ AMD GDDR5 1GB 256bit PCIe VGA
    Don't know what the difference is between the two, but in price it's relatively small difference.

    Here's the list of available motherboards... right now I have Gigabyte, before this I had Asus... never had an MSI...
    I'm not into overclocking so the motherboard should be stable above everything else.
    Having 4 slots for RAM ( in case of upgrade ) is also nice.

    Artoria

    tlmck said:
    With that Chieftec power supply, I would really not go above the 6670 card. I know Chieftec is sold a lot over there, but the quality is not so great. They claim 80 plus efficiency, yet are not officially certified.

    While the 6870 card would be nice, it is overkill for your needs and would require a much better power supply. Even a 6850 card would be pushing it. you might get away with a 6770 card which would be a slight improvement over the 6670.

    MSI is also not the best quality of motherboards, but since there will be no overclocking you should be OK. It also seems a bit high priced for MSI. Their video cards are quite good though.

    The ram also seems excessively priced. It would be a good price for 8gb(2x4gb).
  6. Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4aix
    Part price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4aix/by_merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z68M/USB3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($92.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Kingston SSDNow S100 16GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($57.74 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
    Power Supply: Rosewill 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($39.98 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $606.20

    SSD for SRT
  7. artoria said:
    I was asking around - not on this forum - and they said Chieftec is a good choice...
    Here's a list of available power supplies... it's not and english site, but maybe you could help me choose one... 40e = 12000 Ft

    150e => Sapphire HD/6770/1G/VAPOR-X/GDDR5/PCI-E/HDMI/Dual/DVI/DP/OC/Lite/ AMD GDDR5 1GB 128bit PCIe VGA
    180e => Sapphire HD/6850/1G/GDDR5/PCI-E/DL-DVI-I+SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP/Lite/ AMD GDDR5 1GB 256bit PCIe VGA
    Don't know what the difference is between the two, but in price it's relatively small difference.

    Here's the list of available motherboards... right now I have Gigabyte, before this I had Asus... never had an MSI...
    I'm not into overclocking so the motherboard should be stable above everything else.
    Having 4 slots for RAM ( in case of upgrade ) is also nice.

    Artoria



    On the PSU list the Coolermaster 550GX would be first choice(but is a bit overpriced), and the Hipro 520w second. Neither are top choices, but sometimes you have to go with what is available. Hipro is usually decent enough so I would go that way and save some money. It should run at least a 6850 card, but no more.

    I have a Coolermaster 450GX and It struggled to run my lowly i3-2100 system with a 6670 card even though it should have been more than enough. However, I put the GX into my HTPC which is just integrated graphics with an undervolted AMD x4 CPU and it does fine. Very smooth and quiet. Coolermaster is another company with a "questionable" PSU certification.

    If you browse the Chieftec web site, you'll see they are mostly sold in minor markets where better quality choices do not exist. They do list some larger markets, but only for their cases, not power supplies. If they were honest in their advertising, they would probably be out of the power supply business. I will say that they do make a decent PC case.

    On the motherboard list, I would go with the lowest cost Gigabyte or ASUS board. Since you are not overclocking, Asrock or MSI might work for you. Gigabyte and ASUS are just much less problematic. I have run Gigabyte boards since their inception, and have yet to have a system fail to boot on the first try. A Gigabyte currently runs my HTPC. Cannot make the boot claim about any other brand, even ASUS. Even my current ASUS gaming machine board had an issue with the video card not seating properly. Took three tries, but it has run flawlessly ever since.
  8. So to summarize everything so far...
    Fairly straightforward things:
    1) I should go with 4GB RAM, and later on buy another one... //25e, 99 years of warranty
    2) Processor should be intel, so go with Intel Core i3 3,10GHz //140e, 3 years of warranty
    3) Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68AP-D3-B3 Intel Z68 LGA1155 ATX //110e, 3 years of warranty

    Have to decide:
    1) PSU: COOLER MASTER GX-550 550W PFC 12 cm //90e, 5 years of warranty
    2) Casing: COOLER MASTER Elite 335 U black ATX casing //45e, 3 years of warranty
    3a) MSI N550GTX-TI-M2D1GD5/OC //150e, 3 years of warranty
    3b) Sapphire HD/6770/1G/VAPOR-X //150e, 2 years of warranty

    According to an article on this site the two VGAs are pretty close in speed... maybe the Ati card is better at higher resolutions... which is not important to me...I was thinking about Ati 6670 Silent, but according to some benchmarks, the above two cards are much faster - for an extra 30e.

    So all in all, the PC costs 560e... which is way over what I originally planned... but I did say that I plan to buy the new pc in the first half of the year... so maybe in a few months the prices will go down - hopefully - or I could put a little more money aside.
    But then again with this config I may be able to keep playing for a little longer than with my original choices.

    Ps: I find it strange that a PSU costs almost as much as a decent VGA... but maybe 5 years of warranty isn't that bad.

    Artoria

    tlmck said:
    On the PSU list the Coolermaster 550GX would be first choice(but is a bit overpriced), and the Hipro 520w second. Neither are top choices, but sometimes you have to go with what is available. Hipro is usually decent enough so I would go that way and save some money. It should run at least a 6850 card, but no more.

    I have a Coolermaster 450GX and It struggled to run my lowly i3-2100 system with a 6670 card even though it should have been more than enough. However, I put the GX into my HTPC which is just integrated graphics with an undervolted AMD x4 CPU and it does fine. Very smooth and quiet. Coolermaster is another company with a "questionable" PSU certification.

    If you browse the Chieftec web site, you'll see they are mostly sold in minor markets where better quality choices do not exist. They do list some larger markets, but only for their cases, not power supplies. If they were honest in their advertising, they would probably be out of the power supply business. I will say that they do make a decent PC case.

    On the motherboard list, I would go with the lowest cost Gigabyte or ASUS board. Since you are not overclocking, Asrock or MSI might work for you. Gigabyte and ASUS are just much less problematic. I have run Gigabyte boards since their inception, and have yet to have a system fail to boot on the first try. A Gigabyte currently runs my HTPC. Cannot make the boot claim about any other brand, even ASUS. Even my current ASUS gaming machine board had an issue with the video card not seating properly. Took three tries, but it has run flawlessly ever since.
  9. Considering the PSU is more important than the rest of the components, the price is not so unreasonable. Without it, the rest of your components are just a bag of parts. Choose a poor one, and that will become a bag of damaged parts.

    However in this case, it does seem curious that the Coolermaster is a bit pricey. Here in the US it is generally less expensive than other brands due to the lower level of quality. I guess they would be a premium brand over there considering the lower level choices. I still think you would be fine with the HIPRO. They have a decent enough reputation, and they do not pretend to be anything they are not. You get what you pay for.

    The only real difference between the Nvidia and AMD cards is the AMD uses less power. Nvidia uses an older manufacturing process for their chips. Supposedly by the end of this year, Nvidia will be back to using current manufacturing tech.

    The Intel motherboard will be fine as well since you are just running a stock system. However, they tend to be more expensive at the same level, and can be very picky about ram. I would double check the ram brand against the motherboards approved list just to be safe. Generally with Intel boards, you cannot go wrong with Kingston value ram.

    Gigabyte is a bit more liberal with ram brands such as Kingston, Corsair, Gskill, Mushkin, and even Patriot on the approved list along with a few others.

    Coolermaster makes very good cases. I think you will be pleased.
  10. So I can save about 30e with HIPRO 520W... not bad. 3 years of warranty isn't that bad either.
    Do you think this PSU can handle my config under load?

    According to this comparison the nVidia uses more power under load - 117 vs 102 - but uses less power when idle - 10 vs 22 - so it depends how much someone plays games or does other things.
    The sound level is almost the same idle or during load. So I think I stick with the nVidia card.

    I did a little check on the motherboard's website - checking the RAM - and I found out that the MB supports KVR1066D3N7/4G but I chose KVR1333D3N9/4G. Don't know if N7 vs N9 is important or not.
    I looked on the store's website but this is the closest I could find that at least matches memories listed on the MB's compatibility list.

    Considering the casing what's important for me is that it should be easy to replace- or place in new parts.

    All in all things are starting to look promising.

    Ps: Right now I have and IDE DVD-RW... and since the MB has 2 PCI slots I heard I can use a PCI card to connect the IDE drive to the pc. This DVD-RW served ne trough at least 2 pcs and it still works like a charm. I know DVD-RWs are not that expensive, but I don't want to replace if not necessary.

    Artoria

    tlmck said:
    Considering the PSU is more important than the rest of the components, the price is not so unreasonable. Without it, the rest of your components are just a bag of parts. Choose a poor one, and that will become a bag of damaged parts.

    However in this case, it does seem curious that the Coolermaster is a bit pricey. Here in the US it is generally less expensive than other brands due to the lower level of quality. I guess they would be a premium brand over there considering the lower level choices. I still think you would be fine with the HIPRO. They have a decent enough reputation, and they do not pretend to be anything they are not. You get what you pay for.

    The only real difference between the Nvidia and AMD cards is the AMD uses less power. Nvidia uses an older manufacturing process for their chips. Supposedly by the end of this year, Nvidia will be back to using current manufacturing tech.

    The Intel motherboard will be fine as well since you are just running a stock system. However, they tend to be more expensive at the same level, and can be very picky about ram. I would double check the ram brand against the motherboards approved list just to be safe. Generally with Intel boards, you cannot go wrong with Kingston value ram.

    Gigabyte is a bit more liberal with ram brands such as Kingston, Corsair, Gskill, Mushkin, and even Patriot on the approved list along with a few others.

    Coolermaster makes very good cases. I think you will be pleased.
  11. The HIPRO PSU should be able to handle up to a 6850 video card on the AMD side, or the 550 Ti on the Nvidia side. The 550 Ti is a perfectly fine card. The 6850 is a higher performance card at about the same power levels as the 550 Ti.

    Another advantage you will have with the z68 mobo is the LucidLogix Virtu software which will allow even more power savings. I will leave you to research it to see if it is something you might be interested in.

    On the ram side of things, the 1066 is a lower speed, you'll want to stick with 1333 as it is the default on such motherboards. I run 1600 speed but only because I got an exceptional deal on it. It is also handy should I ever decide to upgrade the CPU and overclock. I was confused by the Intel thing earlier. You were talking about the Gigabyte board. Just about any Kingston, Corsair, and Gskill ram will run on Gigabyte so I would not worry. It is Intel branded boards that are very picky.

    Just get the PCi controller for the DVD, assuming it is less costly than a new DVD drive. I know here in the US, good DVD drives are $15-$20, and controllers can cost as much. You might look into a IDE to SATA adapter instead. These are usually a lower cost option. You just plug it into the back if the drive, and plug the SATA cables into it. I favor Samsung WriteMaster DVD drives myself. Very smooth and quiet.
  12. I probably should stick to the HIPRO then. The 6850 card costs around $220 compared to the 550Ti which costs $200.
    According to this article the 6850 is about 30% more powerful... so maybe the extra $20 is worth it. ( Only in Crysis 2, but other games shouldn't be that different )

    The LucidLogix Virtu software seems interesting. I should see it in action to form an opinion but it certainly looks promising, considering that gaming is - usually - just a small part of my time with the PC.

    Considering the RAM while the 1333 MHz variant costs around $8/GB, the 1666 MHz costs $12/GB. So I think I'll stick with the 1333 one.

    Around here the cheapest DVD-RW costs $24, while the PCI controller can be bought for $10, so I'll probably buy the controller.

    We'll see what the coming months bring... I hope to buy the above parts for $600 or a little more. Right now they cost about $715.

    Artoria

    tlmck said:
    The HIPRO PSU should be able to handle up to a 6850 video card on the AMD side, or the 550 Ti on the Nvidia side. The 550 Ti is a perfectly fine card. The 6850 is a higher performance card at about the same power levels as the 550 Ti.

    Another advantage you will have with the z68 mobo is the LucidLogix Virtu software which will allow even more power savings. I will leave you to research it to see if it is something you might be interested in.

    On the ram side of things, the 1066 is a lower speed, you'll want to stick with 1333 as it is the default on such motherboards. I run 1600 speed but only because I got an exceptional deal on it. It is also handy should I ever decide to upgrade the CPU and overclock. I was confused by the Intel thing earlier. You were talking about the Gigabyte board. Just about any Kingston, Corsair, and Gskill ram will run on Gigabyte so I would not worry. It is Intel branded boards that are very picky.

    Just get the PCi controller for the DVD, assuming it is less costly than a new DVD drive. I know here in the US, good DVD drives are $15-$20, and controllers can cost as much. You might look into a IDE to SATA adapter instead. These are usually a lower cost option. You just plug it into the back if the drive, and plug the SATA cables into it. I favor Samsung WriteMaster DVD drives myself. Very smooth and quiet.
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