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Building my first gaming rig and on a budget

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January 31, 2012 12:28:06 AM

Hello everyone, I heard good things about the community here so i figured I would come for advice. I am building my very first gaming rig and very green to this. I've pc gamed for a while now but I really find the need to do more than just a graphics card and ram update.

I am looking for a budget gaming pc build for around $600-$650 give or take.

I don't want to put too much restrictions on what I need because like I said I am fairly green to this. But I am looking for a rig that surpasses recommended settings for new games like SWTOR, Skyrim, bf3.

Quad core proc (preferably 3.6 ghz) (I hear amd is the better way to go on a budget but open)
4gb-8gb ddr 3 RAM
An adequate but affordable graphics card? pref nvidia/gforce
1tb hard drive
And as for the Motherboard, optical Drive, Case, and Power supply, not really sure?(and if their is something else?).

Willing to Buy online somewhere But I hear it's cheaper to find your parts at local stores so perhaps a list? or If I can order it from somewhere and stay within my budget.




a b U Graphics card
January 31, 2012 12:49:13 AM

Check out the conclusion from this very recent article on Tom's- bottom line is currently it seems that Intel really offers a superior product at every price point (gasp)! Something to think about. I would recommend stretching your budget if you can to go with a i5-2500k (for max overclock) and get a graphics card that will just do (perhaps a GTX 560 or 560 ti).

Make sure to get a power supply from a good brand (OCZ, corsair, and xfx are great to name a few).

The motherboard should be determined by the processor you choose. Just find the right platform and get a value oriented offering (more expensive motherboards typically just offer more features that most folks won't appreciate fully).

Case is a matter of preference. Check out the Cooler Master HAF 912- it looks beefy, performs pretty well, and is a good value.

It's almost always substantially less expensive to order from sites like Newegg. Shipping is minimal or free.
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January 31, 2012 12:56:23 AM

Fill out the template please: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

A lot of the information is pretty important, like when you're buying, $650 before or after rebates, do you have any parts you can use from your current computer (case, monitor, speakers, OS, optical drive).

What I can say so far is you should go for the i3-2100 or i3-2120 because either will outperform almost anything from AMD, even after overclocking: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

Also, Nvidia doesn't really have a good card under about $200, which may put it out of your budget (again, need more information). The HD6850/HD6870 are I think the sweet spot for budget builds.
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Related resources
January 31, 2012 12:58:07 AM

You said you heard that AMD is better way to go on a budget... but unfortunately, that's not very accurate. If you don't mind paying a small premium for an Intel CPU... you'll get a WHOLE lot more bang for your buck. As Beltzy said... an i5 2500K is great if you want to overclock, if you don't, a i5 2400 will do just fine if you want to save a couple of bucks.

As for graphics, given the fact that ATI has some of the best midrange cards for the price, I would consider lookin in that direction. The 6950 might be a bit too rich for your blood, so I'd recommend the 6870 for your needs (it's about 30 dollars cheaper than the 560 TI, but also about 10% weaker, so pick your poison)
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January 31, 2012 1:47:26 AM

erikalikesfire said:
Fill out the template please: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

A lot of the information is pretty important, like when you're buying, $650 before or after rebates, do you have any parts you can use from your current computer (case, monitor, speakers, OS, optical drive).

What I can say so far is you should go for the i3-2100 or i3-2120 because either will outperform almost anything from AMD, even after overclocking: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

Also, Nvidia doesn't really have a good card under about $200, which may put it out of your budget (again, need more information). The HD6850/HD6870 are I think the sweet spot for budget builds.



Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: $600-$650 give or take

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, web surfing, movies

Parts Not Required: mouse, keyboard, speakers, and monitor not required, or OS as i already have a copy of windows 7 home premium 64 bit

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: microcenter and avadirect i hear are good?

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type ( quality and affordable?)

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: no (prefer single card)

Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024,

Additional Comments: (A rig that can meets or exceeds recommended specs for new games like swtor, skyrim, bf3.


I think a good way to start my build would be on the intel i5 2400
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
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January 31, 2012 10:08:34 PM

How about something like this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4fMn

I like the i3-2100 because it gives fantastic performance for the dollar. The jump up to i5 is a relatively large jump in price (50%+) for an okay jump in performance. But once you start looking around $175+, the i5-2500k is in reach, and that one just blows everything else out of the water. Therefore, unless you're deathly afraid of overclocking, I usually suggest either settling for the (still very good) performance of the i3-2100, or stretching for the i5-2500k. If you have a local Microcenter, you can get the 2500k for $180, but they won't deliver at that price—you need to pick it up from the store.

If you want to stretch for the 2500k and need to shave some of the cost off, you can go down to 4 GB of RAM and cut the GPU down to a HD6850 or HD6870.
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