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First time gaming build, help wanted.

I'm planning on building a semi-budget ($600 a good roof?) gaming rig capable of easily handling Battlefield 3 on High settings at 720p resolution. I question if my components are up to the task. My planned build is as follows:

Intel i3 550
ATI Radeon HD 6770
Corsair 650 TX
Asus P8H61 - M LX
8gb of RAM

If necessary, the i3 can change to an i5 or an AMD Athlon II X3 460 (provided that gives improved or similar performance for a lower price).
I understand that the AMD processor, should I decide to switch to it, will require a different mobo, probably an Asus M5A78L-M LX.
I haven't figured out a case just yet, but I'm thinking of a Cooler Master Elite 371 or similar.

Any advice on this build would be amazing!

Also, apologies if this goes up in the wrong category. . .
36 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. First... The i3 550 (socket 1156) will not work with the Asus p8H61 mobo (socket 1155)
    You should get the i3 2100 (Socket 1155) or better. The i3 2100 is a better processor...

    Check out the Toms System builder Marathon for December 2011.
    They made a $600 PC with an i5 2400.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-overclock-performance-gaming,3097.html

    You can use this as a jumping off point.

    They only used 4 gb of RAM which is technically sufficient but RAM is cheap and for just a few dollars more you can double your RAM and never be concerned with having too little RAM. As far as RAM get an 8 GB kit with 2x4Gb of DDR3 1600 Mhz with a 1.5voltage or lower. Choose between reputable brands like G.Skill, Corsair, Kingston...

    I've been looking to get this case for a new build for my wife, the XCLIO Godspeed. It has been getting very good reviews.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811103035&Tpk=xclio%20godspeed
    Cases have a lot to do with personal preference. My rig has a huge ugly case that has excellent cooling capacity. My wife wants something more discreet so next week I am going to get her the XCLIO. Get what you like! you are ther one that has to look at it for a couple of years.

    Also if you went with the Tom's H SBM Machine you would get a 6870 in your budget.
  2. How does the AMD processor I mentioned fare against the i3 2100?
  3. For AMD you'd want a phenom II 960t for budget arround $600, it will be comparible to the i3 in different tests.

    The i3 will generally be faster in games since games can't use all the cores of the phenom II well, this could change in the future.
  4. you also should list the price you are paying for each part because as of right now it looks to me like you are under shooting a bit for performance.
  5. The i3 runs for about $125. The Athlon X3 for $80, and the Phenom II 960t you mentioned for about $115
  6. Squeeky said:
    How does the AMD processor I mentioned fare against the i3 2100?


    They are comparable. The difference is that the top AMD chip performs about as well as the bottom tier i3 chip. So in the future you could upgrade to a faster chip while if you get the AMD you are stuck because that is the best they have to offer at the moment. I have no bias against AMD and most of the systems I have built have been AMD processor based. Its just that at the moment Intel beats AMD in both price and performance. If you have overclocking experience a AMD Phenom II 955 can be made to perform a little better than an i3 2100. If you don't have overclocking experience you'd have to be looking at chips less than $100 before AMD can top intel for best bang for the buck.
    However in your budget you can get an i5 2400 like in the System Builder Marathon. This is a beast and bests even overclocked AMD Phenom II chips.
  7. Squeeky said:
    The i3 runs for about $125. The Athlon X3 for $80, and the Phenom II 960t you mentioned for about $115


    If you have a microcenter nearby you can get the i3 2125 chip for $119, this is an upgrade from the i3 2100
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0376494

    Also the i5 2400 can be had for $149
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354590
  8. Thanks all. I think I'll go with the i5, the mobo is cheap enough to compensate for the extra CPU cost. That case looks amazing to me for the price, and the 6870 sounds like it will be a drastic upgrade from my previous choice. Pacioli, you're a Godsend.
  9. Squeeky said:
    Thanks all. I think I'll go with the i5, the mobo is cheap enough to compensate for the extra CPU cost. That case looks amazing to me for the price, and the 6870 sounds like it will be a drastic upgrade from my previous choice. Pacioli, you're a Godsend.


    My pleasure!
  10. Unfortunate Update:
    Upon further investigation, using the components listed with replacements listed by the AWESOME pacioli, the build went over budget. I have no Microcenters close by, so the i5 went up to $190, forcing me to take my choice to the i3 2125, still an upgrade from the first option. The 6870 also pushed up the price, causing me to choose the 6770. It should still perform admirably for what I want/need. Again, thanks for all the help, you guys. I never expected such quick and/or helpful advice on my first post!
  11. get a g850 and a 6870 instead. Much better combo than the i3 and the 6770.
  12. Emphasizing my lack of experience here, will the g850 (the pentium, right?) perform at the same level as the i3? Better? Bearably worse?
  13. I reckon you should go with the i5 2500k, great processor and very affordable
  14. Unfortunately, I can't upgrade to the i5. I'd love to, but I'm pushing the budget as is. . .
  15. the g850 is just slightly slower than the i3 but you'd want the most gaming performance you should put as much power into the gpu

    The g850 is slightly lower clocked than the i3 and does not have hyperthreading. hyperthreading isn't useful in games and actually hurts performance and the 850 is plenty powerful for most games especially since you will be limited by your gpu.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/404?vs=289

    check the gaming section. the g850 is actually slightly faster in some games even though its clocked lower.
  16. Pity, the 2500k is a great proccessor
  17. Considering that the g850 and 6870 package is roughly $10 less than the i3 and 6770, it looks like I have my system figured out. Later on, I might upgrade the CPU to the newer chip, but for now, value is king! For the umpteenth time, I want to thank you guys for the help.
  18. i5 2500k - £120

    Asus P8H61 - M LX - £60

    Corsair 650 TX - £80

    ATI Radeon HD 6770 - £80

    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - £25

    Total : £365
    Total in $ : $573

    Within your budget :)
  19. where is he going to put it and where is the ram, dvd drive or hdd?

    the 2500k is such a waste with a 6770.. The g850 with a 6870 will outperform t in just about any game...
  20. esrever said:
    where is he going to put it and where is the ram, dvd drive or hdd?

    the 2500k is such a waste with a 6770.. The g850 with a 6870 will outperform t in just about any game...


    Crap i knew i forgot something(ram) and i assumed he had dvd drive and hdd,
    just me personal opinion, in no way am i claiming to be right
  21. i5 2500k - $229.99

    Asus P8H61 - $69.99

    Corsair 650 TX - $89.99 (with $10 mail-in rebate)

    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is a fan, not a case.
    I'm using a Cooler Master Elite 311 - $39.99

    ATI Radeon HD 6770 - $109.99

    Patriot Gamer 2 series 8gb - $34.99

    Western Digital Caviar blue 500gb - $89.99

    Total: $644.93 or 409.94 pound sterlings (I couldn't find the symbol in my fonts)

    My current shopping cart total: $572.93 or 364.17 pound sterlings
  22. I can buy a separate drive (blu-ray AND dvd!) for about $30, but I'll see what I can do there.
  23. Also, any help/effort is still greatly appreciated.
  24. That set of specs sounds good to me :)
  25. IT HAS BEEN DECIDED


    Intel Pentium II g850

    ATI Radeon HD 6870

    Western Digital Caviar Blue 500gb

    Corsair TX650

    Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8gb (2 x 4gb)

    Asus P8H61-M LX Plus

    Cooler Master Elite 311

    All for a grand total of:
    -AWESOME computer
    -Battlefield 3 on High settings
    -only about $570
  26. Wouldnt go for that processor imo, an i3 would proberaly be better
  27. I thought we went over this. . .
    Look at esreaver's posts. He explains the benefits of the g850
  28. Although an i3 would have been nice. Perhaps another day/build.
  29. Yh i saw his post although i personally disagree
  30. Your opinion is valued, but unfortunately cannot be acted upon due to cost. Sorry to disappoint.
  31. Oh no dissapointment :L Your choice and the g850 will still be good :)
  32. when you have the money, you can always upgrade to the i5 2500k.
  33. Best answer
    Check out this article. Starcraft is a good game to bench because it uses the CPU heavily. That way you can really tell which CPU is better.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-apu-benchmark,3120-6.html

    The G860 and the i3 2100 are a very close match here.
    Battlefield 3 is highly bottlenecked by your choice of graphics cards so all the CPUs play it just fine. It also means it would be better to sink more $ in the GPU than in the CPU.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-apu-benchmark,3120-4.html

    The i3 will be a bit better as an overall CPU but in most games the g850 will do in a pinch.
    In the future as games use more than two threads efficiently the i3 will give you better use as it has 4 threads compared to the g850 and its two threads.
  34. This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
  35. Best answer selected by Squeeky.
  36. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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