The wife's gaming rig

I am currently attempting to put together a primarily gaming rig for my significant other. and have a few questions for the tech savvy out there.

first of all I'm on a budget, we'll just say the parts I've chosen are the maximum I'm willing to spend. That being said I would like some advice on perhaps reducing the cost further in areas I may have overindulged unintentionally. Or maybe shifting money from one area to another. Or reducing the price altogether (that would be ok by me). Or if i chose a lousy part let me know.

I'm also curious as to whether the ram I chose is compatible with the mobo and cpu, and how I would go about finding that information for myself.

Everything came from newegg

Rig specs:

MOBO- GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+...$99.99
GPU-HIS H687FN1GD Radeon HD 6870..$169.99
RAM-G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB........$39.99
PSU-OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W..........$74.99
HDD-HITACHI Deskstar 5K3000 2TB.....$129.99
ODD-ASUS DRW-24B1ST.....................$20.99
Cooler-COOLER MASTER Hyper 212.......$29.99
Case-NZXT Apollo..............................$59.99

Leaving me with a total cost of...........$735.91

I chose name brand parts for many reasons but most importantly because i want this rig to last. I know they can still fail, but they seem to have higher reviews than the "other" brands.

I don't think she is going to run anything too intensive. She loves playing the sims3, mincraft and a few mmos. I will probably play eve online, skyrim, dragon age and mass effect 2 and 3, among others. She has stated she would like to play them on max settings, our screen is small so that shouldn't be a problem. Also she wants a decent hard drive space, hence the 2tb model, however I might be able to talk her down a bit but wouldn't count on it.

So there it is, questions, comments, suggestions are all welcome. And thanks for your time.

Oh and she picked the case so that is non negotiable lol.
12 answers Last reply
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  1. Hi Magrim- welcome to the forums. Here are a few thoughts I had looking over this build for your wife:

    1) AMD has long been thought of as the value-oriented cpu maker. However, Tom's Hardware recently did a write-up showing that Intel had a pretty significant performance edge at every price point! Here's the link to the conclusion. Take a look:,3120-10.html

    2) Often times it's more helpful to look at your resolution (max resolution of your monitor), then see what card you need to play games at that resolution. The 6870 is a good card, but there are other options both more and less powerful. TH does a monthly article called "best graphics for the money" where they show what models are winners at various price points. Also, I personally look for the best deal on a particular model (find the least expensive 6870 after MIR available vs shopping for a more expensive version of the 6870). Keep that in mind.

    3) If you don't have a copy of windows, make sure you factor that into your price.

    Overall it looks good and would be just fine as is- take the above with a grain of salt. Cheers!
  2. For that much $$$ one can build an I5 2500K GAMING rig.
    That Hitachi HDD seems to have a hight failure rate and 2TB is a lot of storage unless you are keeping video or photos. But....your call.
  3. I would have to agree with the above two replies. With your budget you could purchase an intel processor that would do much better in "gaming" scenarios. It is widely accepted that the early FX chips 4100/6100 do not hold up well to intel's offerings especially in unthreaded software or programs that do not utilize more than 4 cores.

    My recommendation would be to go for an i3-2100 or 2120 and save some money by eliminating the need for a cooler (plus you can easily upgrade this in a year or two if you want more power). You could also possibly save some money on the motherboard since you would not be overclocking or running a xfire/sli configuration.

    Another alternative would be to spend a little more on the cpu and go with an i5-2400 or 2500k if you would like to OC.

    Other than your processor choice the parts look solid and will work well with each other. Your ram is compatible and this can be checked by looking at the mobo info (primarily the speeds it is compatible with).
  4. Swap the CPU & Motherboard for an i5-2400 ($190), and an AS Rock H61M/U3S3 ($70).

    Change the PSU to a Corsair CX 500W ($55), drop the hyper 212 cooler entirely, and change the case to a Rosewill Challenger U3 ($50), which should net you the $60 difference. the same price as the not-as-reliable Hitachi drive nets you a 1 TB Seagate drive, ($125), which is more reliable and faster.
  5. You can get a i3-2120/H61/8GB ram for about $200 and it would be waaay faster. Your paying $209 just for cpu/mobo.

    Oh and Newegg has a lot better psu's for less money. WAY better, 5yr warranty. $55 AR
  6. well we can say it's other peoples review so lets just look into the buyers taste, well i don't believe amd sucks that bad and i can tell i got both systems, although i can also tell my intel systems are way above my amd,

    amd phenom ii x6 1090t/bulldozer 8150 compared to my i5 2500k/i7 3930k

    but for the price/performance on most cases besides gaming my amd side wins besides the bulldozer it's the only thing that lost compared to my 3930k, but still won in many other cases to my i5 2500k. so moving on

    the his 6870 is good but if you can get sapphire one it would be nice, i've only bought xfx and sapphire brands for amd gpu and msi/gigabyte/zotac/palit for nvidia. so only i can say that besides xfx sapphire has been doing well with my graphics cards in hand, while for nvidia msi/zotac has been good for me.

    hd 6870 = very powerful card, you don't need any 500$-1000$ card to play things on max setting, maybe putting down a few specs like shadow and aa and other stuff but all is good.

    about the hitachi hdd, i can't say much about it besides the review we see on the net since i've only used western digital and seagate for internals and western digital and maxtor for externals,

    i may not have an fx 4100 but if it's just gaming it performs well, i have some friends who buys and test out pc components and amazingly it's not as bad as people say it is, comparing it to an i5 2500k which is more than double it's price is hardly reasonable but if you compare it to an i3 2100, the i3 2100 wins by not a large margin but it does in a way, but overall the fx4100 by it's cheap price should perform well on your wifes gaming experience,

    for ram i think these ones are good
    its 1333mhz and 8gb (2x4gb)

    or go with this

    1600mhz and 2x4gb= 8gb

    it should give your wife some nice visual experience as not seeing your memory usage go at max of 4gb which should help in many cases as sometimes when gaming i go over 6gb and since i doubt your wife would be gaming while doing cad/3d rendering/movie or music editing and stuff like those then the 8gb should be more than enough for her gaming experience

    the gigabyte board you posted is good you can just get that.

    for power supply i suggest this
    seasonic 600w 80plus bronze it's also 15% off

    for the HDD i do suggest a seagate barracuda 500gb

    gaming wise/price even if you put some photos and other stuff it won't really fill it up that fast

    btw the seasonic 520w is the same price with the 600w seasonic both are 80plus bronze, due to 600w 15% off promo so take that into account, but you can also go with a corsair 500w too also good.

    and the case is also good, keep up with that, ok this would be the total

    quantity price after rebate
    gigabyte mobo 1 99.99$ 99.99$
    fx 4100 1 109.99$ 109.99$
    his 6870 1 154.99$ >144.99$
    patriot 8gb 1333 ram 1 39.99$ 39.99$
    seasonic 620w 80plus bronze 1 69.99$ 69.99$
    seagate barracuda 500gb 1 84.99$ 84.99$
    asus 24xdvd burner 1 23.99$ 23.99$
    cm hyper 212 plus 1 29.99$ 29.99$
    nzxt apollo black 1 59.99$ 59.99$

    Total= 673.91$ 663.91$
  7. ok going to edit this post just in case you want to go for intel give me a few min
  8. sorry instead of editing i'll just post it here, i get this message

    You are not allowed to edit this message!

    Back to previous page

    ok heres the i3


    Processor: 119.99$
    Intel i3 2120 3.30Ghz SB

    Mother Board: 99.99$
    MSI H67MA-E45 (B3)


    MSI H61M-P21 (B3)

    Video Card: 154.99$
    HIS 6870 1GB GDDR5

    Memory: 39.99$
    Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8gb (2x4GB)

    PSU: 69.99$
    Seasonic 620W 80plus Bronze

    HDD: 84.99$
    Seagate Barracuda 600GB 7200RPM

    ODD: 23.99$
    ASUS x24 dvd burner

    CPU Cooler: 29.99$
    CM hyper 212 PLUS

    Chassis: 59.99$
    NZXT Apollo Black

    with the h61 mobo
    total price is 633.91$

    with the h67 mobo
    total price is 673.91$

    this is after the discount and rebate

    so everything else is your call, either go with the fx-4100 or the i3 2120 if you want to go with the i5 2400k you would be spending another 100$

    as base on review on the net and what people say that the i3 2120 beats the fx-4100 in gaming

    but what i can tell you having used both and tested them on gaming, you can hardly see much difference between the 2, specially if you are playing games like bf3 since your concentrated of fragging the people around or rts games like sc2 build units, expanding, micro, macro, etc. etc.
  9. well like what the others say you can also build an i5 2400 or something (Non K) for gaming as your budget is aroudn 750$ and the oen i put with the i3 is 673$/633$ although i would say the 673$ is much better, then add another 100$ foro an i5 = 773$/733$ depending on which mobo,

    those mobo i put up there for recommendation are good i have them in stock with me right now and used them too and they work nicely
  10. First of all thank you all for the help and warm welcome.

    Ive made some changes due to the recommendations:

    CPU-Core I3-2100
    GPU-SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850
    HDD-Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB
    PSU-CORSAIR Builder Series CX500
    No more cpu cooler

    I'm a little unsure as to the psu and gpu. Is this psu a good one? above all else I would like her rig to have a top of the line psu.

    She has a 17" screen with a resolution of 1280x1024, Im sure the gpu is adequate however we will probably get a larger one down the road. Will it be good enough for a 27"?

    Also what is the differences and advantages to having a I3 2120 vs 2100

    One of my goals is for her rig to have good upgradability. There is also the distinct probability of it being overclocked as well however not any time soon hence the I3.
  11. well corsair does sell good cpu but they don't make them, although i would prefer a seasonic 520w 80plus bronze compared to a 80plus certified, but correct me if i'm wrong, seasonic creates psu for corsair and corsair sells them, but you did a good decision on not buying an aftermarket cooler as you don't need it,
    that gpu 6850 from sapphire is good, i own one too and so does some people i know and can also play bf3 and skyrim at a nice level at high, no problem everything else is good, and all set, you should have no problems with compatibility and at that resolution the gpu is more tha nadequate even if you get a 1080p display,

    the i3 2100 and 2120 is pretty much the same except with a few options

    -embedded option available = 2120

    2100 = 3.1 ghz and 31 bus
    2120 = 3.3ghz and 33 bus

    just that and besides that there is the price difference
  12. well after double checking everything it's all set, your mobo is compatible with an i5 2500k and most likely those new ivy bridge if they come out, but after 5-10 years we won't be using an ivy bridge anymore well since there will be new stuff out there so, you should also consider the option of buying a whole new pc again after 5-10 years, also depending on how technology runs fast, if it was like the past then there is a possible for upgrade but if you compare it as an upgrade for like 5-10 years then it won't be much an upgrade
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