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Building gaming desktop for ~$600-700

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January 30, 2012 3:39:35 AM

Hello, this is my first shot on tomshardware, so I apologize if this is not the right place to put this. I am looking to build a new gaming desktop for about 600-700, mostly for games though also for surfing and for occasional movies. I built a desktop roughly about 7-8 years ago back when the ati radeon 9800 series was really high end :p . My knowledge of computer building and computer mechanics in general has been mostly forgotten though, but I've been trying my best to get back in the groove. I am open to any suggestions from you guys, I am really just trying to get the best performance from my computer as possible. I don't care about whether its Intel or AMD, ASUS or Gigabyte, but I do care about future upgradeability to an extent. So here is what I've come up with so far.

CPU:
Intel I5 2400 : 189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel I5 2500 209.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Note: Is the I5 2500K better? Is it worth spending more on than the 2500?

AMD Phenom II X4 955 124.99 (out of stock)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 960T 124.99 ($15 rebate not included)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The specs for them all are someone similar, though prices are not and I've read opinions that say they are not as well. Can someone explain this please and help me out?

Note: The only hardware websites I am aware of are newegg.com , tigerdirect.com, ncix.com, and frys.com which I can't find CPUs on for some reason. Are there any cheaper websites or local stores for parts?

GPU
Just as a kind of reference point, the two games I am looking to really meet head on with somewhat high settings (if possible) is Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3. With that being said, let me know if I need a better GPU.

Geforce GTX 560ti 189.99 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Radeon 6950 209.99 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am not so sure about what I need for GPU, which is why I gave less options!

MOBO

This obviously is dependent on which CPU, but I have been researching a bit and have found a few options for starter points.

GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 (AM3+) 104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't like this one that much because it only has 1 PCIe 2.0x16 slot and a pci 2.0x4. This means I can't dual GPU right?

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 (1155) 121.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This also has 2 PCIe 3.0 slots I think.

After thoughts
I found this prebuilt computer on Newegg that has great reviews and looks like it has nice hardware for the price which is someone near my range. Also in one of the reviews someone says their son played the newest "Battlefield" on highest settings, which if true would be great. Though I'm guessing might be BS eh?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=83-227-...

Also, most of the guidance for buying a new rig has come from this guy's building chart: http://i1002.photobucket.com/albums/af150/The_FalconO6/...
I think it looks like a pretty good chart, let me know what you guys think!

I have a decent wireless mouse and keyboard that I can use right now, the desktop itself is more of a priority. Thanks in advance for any helpful pieces of advice you can give me!

More about : building gaming desktop 600 700

January 30, 2012 3:58:06 AM

Hi Hedshotx,
Grab this beast ;) 


Intel Core i5-2500K $229.99 newegg price
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 (1155) $121.99 newegg price
XFX Radeon HD 6950 $209.99 newegg price
Antec 620W PSU $65 newegg price
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $46.99 newegg price
HDD7200RPM Western Digital[160GB] $70 newegg price[**Hard Drive Prices Won't Recede Until 2013.So later upgrade to 1TB]
NZXT Cabinet $40newegg price
DVD WRITER SAMSUNG $15 newegg price


Later get some knowledge about oc & grab a good CPU cooler.

Total $798.96[Approx]
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Related resources
January 30, 2012 4:01:12 AM

Don't even bother with AMD CPUs now. They're out of the CPU market :(  Even the i3 2100 can outperform some of the higher end AMD CPUs. Ivy Bridge, the successor to Sandy Bridge is coming out in April. The new CPUs won't make a huge performance difference on games but they are more power friendly (which is an absolute huge plus for me) :) 
If you can't wait, get a i3 2100 right now and upgrade to Ivy Bridge in the future, get the ASRock mobo since it has native PCI-e 3 support when Ivy Bridge comes out. But you can also go for the i5 2500K or the non-K 2500, 2400, 2300 if you want the best performance right now.

For the GPU, again new GPUs are about to come out, Keplar (NVidia 600 or 700 series) and the rest of the AMD 7000 series. But if you can't wait, the 560 Ti would be personal preference. Both cards perform about the same so get which ever one is cheaper.

Mobo = ASRock, note PCI-e 3.0 isn't supported until you get an Ivy Bridge CPU which is going to come out in April. This mobo supports Ivy Bridge with a BIOS update.

Don't go for that pre-built. It has a non-Ti 560 and an absolute rubbish CPU, 6100.

Did you already decide on the case? I'm a huge case fanatic and could help you :) 
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January 30, 2012 4:05:38 AM

e56imfg said:
Don't even bother with AMD CPUs now. They're out of the CPU market :(  Even the i3 2100 can outperform some of the higher end AMD CPUs. Ivy Bridge, the successor to Sandy Bridge is coming out in April. The new CPUs won't make a huge performance difference on games but they are more power friendly (which is an absolute huge plus for me) :) 
If you can't wait, get a i3 2100 right now and upgrade to Ivy Bridge in the future, get the ASRock mobo since it has native PCI-e 3 support when Ivy Bridge comes out. But you can also go for the i5 2500K or the non-K 2500, 2400, 2300 if you want the best performance right now.

Don't go for that pre-built. It has a non-Ti 560 and an absolute rubbish CPU, 6100.

Did you already decide on the case? I'm a huge case fanatic and could help you if :) 


+1 :pt1cable: 
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a b 4 Gaming
January 30, 2012 4:08:53 AM

e56imfg said:
Don't even bother with AMD CPUs now. They're out of the CPU market :(  Even the i3 2100 can outperform some of the higher end AMD CPUs. Ivy Bridge, the successor to Sandy Bridge is coming out in April. The new CPUs won't make a huge performance difference on games but they are more power friendly (which is an absolute huge plus for me) :) 
If you can't wait, get a i3 2100 right now and upgrade to Ivy Bridge in the future, get the ASRock mobo since it has native PCI-e 3 support when Ivy Bridge comes out. But you can also go for the i5 2500K or the non-K 2500, 2400, 2300 if you want the best performance right now.

For the GPU, again new GPUs are about to come out, Keplar (NVidia 600 or 700 series) and the rest of the AMD 7000 series. But if you can't wait, the 560 Ti would be personal preference. Both cards perform about the same so get which ever one is cheaper.

Mobo = ASRock, note PCI-e 3.0 isn't supported until you get an Ivy Bridge CPU which is going to come out in April. This mobo supports Ivy Bridge with a BIOS update.

Don't go for that pre-built. It has a non-Ti 560 and an absolute rubbish CPU, 6100.

Did you already decide on the case? I'm a huge case fanatic and could help you if :) 

I agree with everything here except the PCI-e 3.0 part. ASRock may have the 3.0, but to fully make use of it, you would need a x79 chipset (from what I have heard).
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January 30, 2012 4:20:29 AM

azeem40 said:
I agree with everything here except the PCI-e 3.0 part. ASRock may have the 3.0, but to fully make use of it, you would need a x79 chipset (from what I have heard).

Seriously? There has been so much debate if it's supported or not so it gets a little confusing. But benchmarks reveal that there are no differences between 2.0 and 3.0 right now and I thought that was because it's not fully supported yet so it's running on 2.0 currently.
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January 30, 2012 4:39:39 AM

Same Config with some change & Using Another site

CPU -> Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ NCIX US)

Motherboard -> ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)

Memory -> Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)

Hard Drive -> Hitachi 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card -> Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($152.55 @ Newegg)

Case -> NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($33.99 @ Amazon)

Power Supply -> Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($41.98 @ Newegg)

DVD WRITER -> SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner ($17 @ Newegg)

Total: $670.35

(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-01-29 10:42 EST-0500)


50 dollars over budget but i think worth it- if you ever want to crossfire your going to need a more powerful powersupply though. Like 650 to 700 watts-possible this one ? OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply like 20 dollars more after rebate then the 500 watt power supply
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January 30, 2012 5:06:53 AM

You guys are amazing! I was expecting to have maybe one or two comments in the morning, instead I have about 10 before bed!

Anyways, for starters, subrata4web, you are awesome, and thanks for the build advice. I noticed you altered just about every part of your build in the second post. The 150 dollar save is great since I was really hoping to stay around 600-700. You chose a different MOBO, RAM, and GPU, which were among the parts that really stood out ( I understand why the lesser PSU). Why did you change those 3 parts though? What is different about them? I don't mind paying a bit more for higher performance. I don't totally understand the differences in MOBOs or in different brand RAM. I'm assuming that GPU in the second build is a little weaker too. I can definitely spend 20 bucks more for a 200 watt stronger PSU also.

@azeem: I'm not planning on OC'ing. I understand that OC'ing is a bit safer nowadays, but I had some scares with heatsinks years ago and the speeds that cpu's ship with seem great anyways. I may OC in the future once I feel like I understand it a bit more and know how to ensure that I don't mess anything up! Everyone seems to favour the 2500k regardless of overclocking though (from what I'm taking in at least), so I guess I'll go with that one. And it's the only part of subrata's builds that he kept :p . I'll check those links in the morning.

@e56imfg: Good to know about those Ivy Bridge CPU's. Will those be compatible with that ASRock Mobo that subrata is recommending? I guess it doesn't totally matter though, I am assuming that the price of the new cpus will be a bit out of my range! I haven't decided on Case though, I do love visual asthetics such as internal LED's and such, but as I said, I have other college related fees unfortunately, and am trying to stay underbudget. This desktop will actually most likely be used for alot of comp sci studies! I'll most likely end up going with the cheap ones that subrata has suggested, plz feel free to show me what you got tho!

@canyoudigit489: OS and Monitor are not included in the budget. Hopefully I can find that old Windows 7 disc around here, if not I'll have to buy one :/ . As for Monitor, I'll end up buying one eventually actually. For the moment I'm probably just going to use my TV as make shift. Suggestions for where to buy both of these would be appreciated if you have any.

@hafronix: I read something about Microcenters on another thread in this forum. I have never heard of that store in my area, but tomorrow I'll give them a look and see if there are any nearby.

Thank you all again!

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January 30, 2012 5:20:03 AM

Microcenters stores are famous for good product with descent & cheapest price.

If budget is not issue then just go for:-

XFX Radeon HD 6950 $209.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $46.99 [You can overclock this]
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January 30, 2012 5:26:47 AM

If you aren't going to OC (which you really should since the 2500K is "idiot-proof" for beginners) go with a non-K 2500 or even a cheaper 2400 that performs very similar. The non-K 2500 performs EXACTLY the same as the 2500K only the 2500K can OC.
The Ivy Bridge equivalent 2500K (3570K) is (hopefully) going to be the same price as the original 2500K (unless they go monopoly since AMD is out of the main CPU market).

The ASRock mobo should be compatible with Ivy Bridge with a BIOS update.

I guess the NZXT case will do if you want to go cheap. I like paying a lot for cases because not many people know the importance of a case. Just install some dust filters in the front somewhere along the way.

Invest in a good CPU cooler, too. The last thing you want is when you're doing an essay and the CPU explodes from overheating (not really).
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January 30, 2012 2:29:05 PM

Alright, sounds like I think I'm ready to buy! A couple more quick questions for you guys. First of all, how has computer building progressed? I remember when I built years ago, you had to be extra wary because one mistake and you fry your whole system. This scared me, and still scares me to death thinking about building a new rig. I still remember screwing in the mobo to the tower and wondering how in the world conductive metal wasn't going to fry my mobo. I guess what I'm saying, is building somewhat 'idiotproof'? I really just don't want to end up blowing $650.

Secondly, can someone give me about an estimate of how well this build will deal with Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3? I understand D3 isn't out yet, but can someone give me an idea of about what settings I'll be able to play Battlefield 3? If the cpu is really that easy to OC, perhaps I will buy an aftermarket heatsink in the near future and give that a try if it'll help my gaming. Same goes for the RAM if the alternative that subrata suggested is overclockable.


Note:

I was just looking at some of the parts in the build that subrata put together for me, and I was wondering about switching out a the mobo and gpu for something else. Look at these and let me know what you think please!

For the mobo, I'm not sure if you meant to do this subrata, but in the first build the mobo actually links to this cheaper $70 mobo. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It lacks PCIe 3.0 as well as lacking a few more usb ports, but other than that, from a noobs eye it looks somewhat similar? And since there are few 3.0 GPUs on the market right now, would this mobo be something to consider to save a little money? The Z68 is about $120, so I would be saving $50.

As for the GPU, I did a little looking around ( I was curious ), and found a few alternatives. I don't know if any of them are much better or not, please give a look and just let me know.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've heard Gigabyte is an excellent GPU manufacturer, and on top of that the card has 3 fans as compared to 1 by XFX. I've read reviews that the card can get hot, and since I'm using stock fans for just about everything, I wasn't sure if this would be worth the extra $20 for quality/more fans.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is a 2GB version of the XFX 6950 for only 30 dollars more. I've heard people say that memory size for GPU's both matter and don't matter, I don't know which is true. Will double the memory make a big difference?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is a 2GB version of the XFX 6950 as well, but a 50Mhz higher memory and core clock for 40 dollars more.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is a 2GB version for 40 dollars more but has two fans instead of one. Reviews for these 2GB cards in particular say that they can get fairly hot.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Lastly, a slightly cheaper alternative. This is a 6870 but with 2GB of memory. The memory clock is a bit slower however.

Alot of the reviews for the 2gb models come from people who have i5 quad core processors, and they claim that they play BF3 at or near ultra settings. Do you think that is BS or truth? Sorry for all the links and long posts guys, I really appreciate your help though.
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January 30, 2012 3:05:59 PM

subrata4web build should max Diablo 3 at all.
BF 3 would be very playable at high setting (not ultra.. but you really not losing that much..)

Yes, the CPU OC is truly easy. In Asus mobos btw you just click OC in asus software, and wait. The software auto OC, and does a small stability test, it can't beat the manual, try and try method, but comes pretty close.
If manufacturer software not that easy friendly, just go into bios, and raise a bit the multiplier... very easy.

In sandy-bridge platform, due to cpu architecture, you won't have any gains if you OC the memory. You won't have gains even if you go beyond DDR3 1333mhz. Just look for some gaming benchmarks (synthetic doesn't count at all).
Only AMD Llano platform have real gains going from DDR3 1333 to 1866 due to the iGPU architecture.
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January 30, 2012 3:35:44 PM

Check my last post again! I made some edits and am wondering about a few replacement parts whether they would be good or not.
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January 30, 2012 9:13:42 PM

Bump... Can someone answer those questions for me please? In a bit of a rush because a lot of those parts have sales that end tonight!

1. Would it be beneficial to spend an extra 40 or so dollars on a 6950 with 2GB of memory? If so, which of the ones that I linked a couple posts ago is the best?

2. With this current rig or with one of those new GPUs, on what settings do you think I will be able to play Battlefield 3?

3. How hard is it to build computers now adays? Is it easy to completely fry and destroy your system, or have things become a bit more "idiot-proof".

And lastly, all of these parts will fit and work together right?
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January 30, 2012 10:19:43 PM

Dude, if you're getting a H61 mobo, don't even bother with K series CPUs. Get a i5 2400 or i3 2100. You can not OC with H61 mobos.

Don't pay for extra core clocks or higher memory unless you're using a res higher than 1920x1080. 1GB is enough for full HD. Just get the Gigabyte 6950 because you can OC GFX yourself and it's much easier than OCing a CPU.

You could play BF3 on Ultra with full HD with 40 to 60 FPS.

Building PCs now is easier than ever. Just don't spill your lemon tea and don't apply force AT ALL on CPUs. Standoffs on the bottom.

Yes, everything will fit fine.
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January 30, 2012 10:59:20 PM

Sorry about the bumping! I did not know you couldn't! At least I had depth to my message though :) .

Also, are you sure the extra GB of memory will not be put to use? The difference in cost is really fractional, like 30-40 dollars, so I guess my question is, should I pay the extra 30-40 dollars to get the extra GB, or will it not help my computer run games any better than 1GB.

And as far as OCing the Gigabyte card, why can I OC that one, is it the only one? Also, I am not planning on getting any aftermarket cooling or fans, so should I be OCing the GPU at all?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 30, 2012 11:09:37 PM

hedshotx said:
Sorry about the bumping! I did not know you couldn't! At least I had depth to my message though :) .

That's the only reason I didn't lock the thread but for your own sake don't do it again.
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January 31, 2012 1:18:16 AM

Yes you can OC any GPU above 100mhz easily with pretty much any fan. There has been reports that BF3 uses more VRAM so if you can afford it, just get it.
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January 31, 2012 1:20:56 AM

In your opinion, which of those 2GB cards are the best? Also, will they fit in the mobo/case? Thanks!
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a b 4 Gaming
January 31, 2012 1:21:50 AM

8 GB of memory is enough for gaming.
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January 31, 2012 1:38:39 AM

The 6870 is a better deal. It'll run BF3 on Ultra 30 - 50
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January 31, 2012 3:31:47 AM

If you will be using multiple monitors, you will want the extra GPU RAM. But 1GB should be fine for a single display.
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January 31, 2012 4:34:33 AM

Well guess why I chose the 6870, it's the only one that can fit in that cheap NZXT case. I told you investing in a good case would be important. The NZXT case fits only 10" cards, the 6950 is 10.2" The 6870 is only 8.66"
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January 31, 2012 4:52:53 AM

e56imfg said:
Well guess why I chose the 6870, it's the only one that can fit in that cheap NZXT case. I told you investing in a good case would be important. The NZXT case fits only 10" cards, the 6950 is 10.2" The 6870 is only 8.66"
:non:  :non: 

Please describe it.

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January 31, 2012 4:56:09 AM

subrata4web said:
:non:  :non: 

Please describe it.

Describe what?
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January 31, 2012 5:24:37 AM

So will that 2gb 6950 fit in the case recommended or not? I'm hoping to order parts this week, I don't want to make a mistake! If I have to pay a little more for a bigger case I guess I can deal with that. Maybe I will get the non-OCable RAM or something. It would be great if it would fit though :( . The only dimensions for the case I could find were external, not internal. Will that card fit???

Also, what are the benefits of getting the Z68 as compared to the cheaper one I posted, H61 I think it was? $120 vs $70
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January 31, 2012 5:47:44 AM

hedshotx said:
So will that 2gb 6950 fit in the case recommended or not? I'm hoping to order parts this week, I don't want to make a mistake! If I have to pay a little more for a bigger case I guess I can deal with that. Maybe I will get the non-OCable RAM or something. It would be great if it would fit though :( . The only dimensions for the case I could find were external, not internal. Will that card fit???

Also, what are the benefits of getting the Z68 as compared to the cheaper one I posted, H61 I think it was? $120 vs $70



This case is Perfect for this GPU.

Z68 xtra features (Z68=H67+P67):-
SSD cashing
SLI/CROSSFIRE
OC
USB 3
PCIE 3

H61 doesn't have this.

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January 31, 2012 2:11:40 PM

Was e56imfg simply misinformed? Why did he think the card would be too long for the case? Also, I don't know if it matters now, but that case's price went up to 50$ on newegg and amazon :/ . Any alternatives?

Also, here is my current planned build:

Z68 Mobo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I5 2500k http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=57962&vpn=BX80623I5250...

6950 2gb most likely http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

not sure whether I should go for 2 fans and slightly less memory clocking or vice verse. I may also end up going 6870 and cutting $100 from my budget

gskill ripjaws 8gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

same dvdr that you posted subrata, same HDD as well probably.

Not so sure about the PSU. I looked up some reviews for the 700w PSU and a lot of people claimed it was unstable and fried their system! Scares me though. Is there an alternate I could get for the PSU?

Also the case is not on there right now because the price went up to 45-50. If there is a cheaper one it would be great, if not I'll just pay the difference. And lastly, GPU! Still am not sure about this. I hear horror stories about some XFX cards, customer support, and rebates going through, and on top of that, I didn't notice that the 6870 was 100$ cheaper than the 6950 2gb. Thoughts please! Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure I make the best decision for what to buy.

No one ever commented on this prebuilt I put in original thread, what do you guys think? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=83-227-...
Squaretrade offers warranties on prebuilts, which I guess is why I'm scared to build without a rig without a long warranty :/ 

On a side note, what is recommended for warranties? I know squaretrade doesn't offer, what options are there?
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January 31, 2012 9:19:05 PM

Go on the Newegg page of the NZXT case and the 6950 page. The NZXT case can only fit graphics cards up to 10" (it's in the feature section). The 6950 is 10.2".
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January 31, 2012 10:14:18 PM

I don't understand how it can't hold a 10" card though. It can hold a mobo that is bigger than 10" but it can't hold a gpu that is bigger?

What are some alternative cases if so?
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January 31, 2012 10:51:36 PM

The Z68 mobo is 12" x 8.6" (Length x Width) which means its 12" vertically and is 8.6" horizontally. The 2 fan 6950 is 10.08" x 4.38" x 1.5" (Length x Width x Depth). The graphics card is rectangular so the longer side is 10.08" which means that when you plug it into the mobo inside the case, it will take up 10" horizontally.

I got the info right off the newegg page (copied and pasted).

This Rosewill CHALLENGER U3 will do the job for $50. I've seen people fit a graphics card up to 11.4" in length.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 31, 2012 11:26:25 PM

Power supply on the bottom? Is that safe? I would think that as heat rises that it would also warm the rest of the components in the case. Are there any cheaper ones that you know of? I'm not so worried about getting an aesthetically pleasing one :p .

Also, are there any options for getting extended warranties for the individual parts or even the built pc as a whole? Prebuilt computers are easy to get extensive warranties for, which is why I still wish I could buy one. Are there any options that are just as good for homebuilt that anyone knows of? Need to know some of this soon! Some parts deals end tonight.
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January 31, 2012 11:44:23 PM

The PSU's fan is suppose to be facing downward because most cases have PSU dust filters on the bottom. Your components will be fine. I wouldn't really care for warranties because if you build your rig in less that a day or 2, you'll still have a warranty that comes free with the parts. I thought you said you have already built a PC before in the past. You would know all this stuff if you built one already...

Please don't buy that pre-built. It has a 6100 which is totally crap and a lower end GPU than a 6950. If you're really that scared to build a PC, get a better pre-built PC. No AMD CPUs.
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February 1, 2012 12:37:24 AM

Do you know of any prebuilt comps that kind of have the general same components? the i5, 6950, z68 etc? I have built one before, but that doesn't make it any less frightening to piece things together and have to worry about a PSU shorting and destroying your whole setup etc. That's why I would feel "safer" with a prebuilt and a warranty standing between me and a broken computer.

That's why I was wondering if there was some purchasable warranty or something, for those "just in case" happenings that unfortunately ruin days and ruin rigs :/ 

Also, about the PSU, i meant more that the PSU is on the bottom of the case, not that it points down. I don't know, just seems like a strange concept to me :?
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February 1, 2012 1:07:17 AM

I'll have a look out for decent pre-built PCs. I heard Cyber Power makes some really nice PCs.

First, the PSU was placed on the top. Then after extensive research, PSUs were bottom mounted with closed bottoms (or tops in this case) so that not as much heat can go up to your components. But keep in mind there is always a constant flow of air inside a case so it eliminates that problem. Top mounted PSUs overheat since heat does rise. Bottom mounted PSUs are way more efficient.
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February 1, 2012 1:34:30 AM

Gotcha, do you know anything about warranty options for pieces or as a whole?
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February 1, 2012 1:39:09 AM

hedshotx said:
Gotcha, do you know anything about warranty options for pieces or as a whole?

You can only get extended warranty for a few items. But usually if you test it and build it with proper pre-cautions, you really should be fine. You can also hire someone at your local Best Buy or another tech store to build it for you if you're that paranoid.
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February 1, 2012 3:34:31 AM

Was more paranoid about the chance of a PSU shorting or something and frying everything haha. Are there any other Cases / PSU's that you can recommend?
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February 1, 2012 3:44:27 AM

Ya, the Corsair 500w is a great PSU but the Seasonic down below is better.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Rosewill U3 will do fine for you. There is also the HAF 912 but I prefer the Rosewill case.

Make sure you don't spill or drop anything into your PSU while building.
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February 1, 2012 4:08:53 AM

Mmmk. Noted, about the precaution. I'm usually extremely sorted and clean while building, so I'm hoping that won't happen haha. Also, the 6950 2GB has a minimum of 500W power supply, which if I end up unlocking to 6970 I will need more Wattage correct? Even if so, I would like to have excess wattage incase I want to expand or incase the system just needs more power for some reason. Do you think a 650-700w would be better?
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February 1, 2012 8:55:40 AM

Buying individual components often means a longer warranty than a pre-built system.

HDD's and PSU's can come with 3years+ manufacturer warranty.

You'll always get better value for money building your own system than buying a pre-built (unless its second hand or something). There's plenty of helpful people and guides/videos showing step by step how to piece a system together if you get stuck.

The $670 build posted by subrata4web way back up top was pretty much bang on. Just switch the GPU for a 6950 if you feel its within budget.
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February 1, 2012 7:37:51 PM

I was reading about ridiculous sales that Dell has occasionally? Like 750$ off coupons or something? Maybe that's a thing of the past or that never actually happened :) .

Anyways, I've spent most of my afternoon nailing down some decisions in regards to parts, and this is what I've come up with. I love subratas build, especially the price for it, but some of the offers are gone, and I think I'd like a stronger GPU than that. So here it is:

MOBO : Z68 - $122 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: i5 2500k - $200 http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=57962&vpn=BX80623I5250...

RAM : Gskill 8gb 1600 - $47http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Desktop%20Memory)-_-G.SKILL-_-20231314&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

Is there a cheaper alternative to this RAM? Subrata said it was overclockable, is that going to make a big difference if I overclock the RAM?

Optical: Samsung or Sony ( let me know which one ) - $17-19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(RW%20Drives)-_-Sony%20Optiarc%20America%20Inc-_-27118067&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

Case: Rosewill Challenger USB 3.0 or Antec 300 Illusion - $40-60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Will the USB 3.0 work with my mobo or should I just get the 2.0 Rosewill Challenger?

HDD: Could use some help finding a good cheap one. Best I can find are these two for 85-90.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

GPU: My aim for this computer is to tackle Battlefield 3 on Ultra. The card Subrata suggested is nice and cheap for my budget, but if I'm right, it will not run as strongly as some other cards. So unless you guys know that the 6870 will run new games strongly, and isn't too far behind these two cards, I think I'm pretty dead set.

1. Gigabyte 6950 1GB. $240 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

2. XFX 6970 2GB with lifetime warranty $300 after rebate, with free goodies :p  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-150-...

Also, as far as the 6970 goes, the 2gb 6950 is marginally less expensive, and since I am afraid to unlock / over clock it, I think the 6970 would be a better choice if I go for a higher priced card. Will the 6970 fit in those cases though?

PSU: I really have no idea what I'm looking for here. Here are a bunch of PSUs that I found that look nice and have decent - favourable reviews, but I don't know how much wattage I need if I get either of those cards, or really just what I'm looking for. Here are a bunch of ones I found.

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

Unfortunately, this all runs for a system that is more in the 800-850 range than the 600-700 :/ . The way I see it though, I would rather spend 150-200 extra and get a rig that I really am proud of and enjoy, than one that I would be thinking, " I wish I had gotten the better gpu". On that thought though, if there are better recommendations that could save me some money, please advise me, and if there are any warranties you guys can direct me to, that would be great as well.
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February 1, 2012 9:43:56 PM

Very nice build. All RAM modules can OC but you shouldn't be going over 1.5v or 1333 because that voids the warranty and they have minimal gains. You could go $10 cheaper on 1333 RAM with lower timings (which is a good thing).

Optical drives don't really matter so I would with the cheaper option.

Rosewill Challenger.

WD HDDs are a lot more stable and well built. I've had a Hitachi drive die on me when I was studying for my SAT a few years ago (I'm in college now). That's why I'm against Hitachi.

That 6950 is a bit long so I might just go for a 2 or 1 fan that's cheaper. You're just throwing us different made 6950s, honestly is really doesn't matter who built them or how they look because they all perform the same. Don't get the 6970. It has the default fan which is embarrassingly loud and you can unlock the 6950 to the 6970.

Chose your PSU from this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/322966-28-list-recomm...
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February 2, 2012 12:42:43 AM

Unlocking is straining to the video card and doesn't it void the warranty? That's two reasons I wanted to get the 6970 instead of getting a 6950 and messing with it. I'm worried that either I'll over strain it, or it'll break and I won't be able to return it because I'll have voided the warranty. Or does unlocking not do either of those?

Also, my main question with PSU is how big of one do I really need? I guess I need to know the minimum wattage the system can run, and then add some extra for possible upgrades / additions and maybe overclocking if I ever got comfortable enough.

What memory downgrade would you suggest? The G. Skill ones are already 1600 aren't they? They would be over clocked to 1833 or w/e it is after that wouldn't they?

Lastly, do you know if my motherboard would work with those front side ports that are in the case? Lots of people say that they are not compatible with their mobo's, but I don't know how to check.

And speaking of my mobo, just been looking around trying to find ways to save a few more bucks. Would any of the other cheaper z68 mobo's be viable? For example this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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