$500 Budget Gaming Build

Approximate Purchase Date: Anytime from February to June, though sooner is better

Budget Range: $500-550 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, web browsing, word processing

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Microcenter, or anywhere else that's good

Country: CA, US

Parts Preferences: Intel cpu and AMD video card

Overclocking: Maybe the graphics

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I will be playing TF2, Minecraft, and Skyrim. I also want to be able to play most games for the next couple years. I don't need to max out every game. If it's playable on medium settings, it's fine for me.

Here's what i have so far: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4cyg
Feel free to make suggestions.

The reason for the SSD is that hard drive prices are a bit high right now and i don't need more than 60 gigabytes, really. I'm going to use the SSD for OS + programs and get a hdd later in the future for storage.

I might wait for the 7850 to come out.

Some questions: The radeon 6870 says it needs 2 x 6 pin power connectors, but i've heard of people using the Antec Earthwatts 430D, which only has one 6 pin connector, with a 6870. Is that possible or am I just missing something?

Is it more worth it to pick up a 7850 for $200 instead of a 6870 for $150?

Also, is ivy bridge worth waiting for? From what I've seen, it's not much of an improvement cpu-wise.
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  1. Your parts look fine. If you are lucky enough to live near one of the CA Microcenters, you can save a few bucks on the CPU. Note the location drop down at the top of the page. http://www.microcenter.com/

    Also, save a few more bucks and get this better quality motherboard. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128527

    They are likely using an adapter like this with the Antec PSU. Note you will also have to buy a power cord for the PSU as Antec does not include them in the green series.
    Adapter - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200106
    Power cable - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812270406

    Or you could opt for this power supply for only $5 more after rebate and no extras needed. It is very good quality. I have the 600w version. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341016

    Withe the 7850 you would really want a motherboard with a PCIe 3.0 slot to get your money's worth out of the card, and it really would not be that much faster if at all. Such motherboards are much more expensive as well. Might be something good to upgrade to next year when the prices come down. Same is true with Ivy Bridge. The i3-2100 is faster than you think and will last a good while.
  2. CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106001 144.99 (Quad Core+On die GPU,including a free game, Easy OC to 3.5~3.8Ghz 800/900MHz GPU)
    Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157261 68.99 (ASRock MicroATX, USB3, Sata 6GB, UEFI Bios)
    Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220562 59.99 (8GB 1866mhz ram, Ideal for Llano)
    Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811144143 89.99 (Neat MicroATX desktop including a 500W PSU)
    GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150576 64.99 (XFX 6670, ideal to crossfire with your Llano for optimal performance)
    Blu-R: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135252 59.99 (Blu Ray Burner, because every build needs one!)
    SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227737 84.99 (Blazing speed and enough for OS and quite a few games, Can add mechanical HDD when prices chill out)


    Total : $573.92

    You can save $30 by getting a DVD Burner instead of a blu-ray drive.

    Here are some benches with big games to see what you can expect performance wise. Keep in mind those games are all at max settings (if you tone down some you can improve your FPS)

    http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1365/pg5/amd-fusion-a8-3870k-overclocking-and-dual-graphics-performance-review-starcraft-2.html
    http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1365/pg6/amd-fusion-a8-3870k-overclocking-and-dual-graphics-performance-review-skyrim.html
    http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1365/pg7/amd-fusion-a8-3870k-overclocking-and-dual-graphics-performance-review-star-wars-the-old-republic.html

    Keep in mind you can always replace the discreet GPU for something much more powerful later if you want to and your CPU will keep up. In the meantime it will serve you well.
  3. tlmck said:
    Your parts look fine. If you are lucky enough to live near one of the CA Microcenters, you can save a few bucks on the CPU. Note the location drop down at the top of the page. http://www.microcenter.com/

    Also, save a few more bucks and get this better quality motherboard. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128527

    They are likely using an adapter like this with the Antec PSU. Note you will also have to buy a power cord for the PSU as Antec does not include them in the green series.
    Adapter - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200106
    Power cable - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812270406

    Or you could opt for this power supply for only $5 more after rebate and no extras needed. It is very good quality. I have the 600w version. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341016


    Thanks for your help. I'm going to get the OCZ 500w. As an extra bonus, it being modular would probably help with air flow. Getting a mobo without sata3 would kinda be wasting the performance of the ssd imo.

    And yes, I live near a Microcenter and will be buying the i3 2100 from them.

    xAlex79 said:
    SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227737 84.99 (Blazing speed and enough for OS and quite a few games, Can add mechanical HDD when prices chill out)

    Anonymous said:

    I'm going to stick with the 90gb Corsair SSD because you never know when the extra 30gb will be needed. It's also a lot faster.
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