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Gaming PC on 40' LCD Intel vs AMD- $600 or less

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February 7, 2012 4:19:22 PM

Hey guys, I just joined as a member as I have been bouncing off the walls to come up with the best PC build for my needs. A little info on me. I used to tinker with PC's back in the MS-DOS era of computing, but never really got into PC gaming once I got drawn in to the Xbox craze. Anyways, I'm done with consoles, and don't really see a significant reason to keep using tired tech when I can just throw five or six hundred bucks at a gaming PC.

Anyways, the build I'm going for needs to be a somewhat future-ready rig, as I don't want to have to upgrade for two years or so, and staying in that 500-600 ballpark would be nice. Everytime I look at CPU's I am drawn to AMD's Phenom line, and recently have been looking at their 6 core products, but when I come down to the real gaming benchmarks I always find my way back to Intel's side of the fence.

A concern I have with the build is that in my mind, going from a PC to a larger LCD TV will push the GPU harder than if connected to a monitor. Is this a correct assumption? I don't need 1080p gaming, in fact, coming from a console I am totally cool with getting 1366 x 768 or 1600 x 900 resolutions with AA and AF in crysis and BF3. So, I guess with that in mind I'll give you all the specs of my current planned build(No mouse, keyboard or monitor required), which are:


i5 2500k- $225
BIOSTAR H61MGC LGA 1155 MOBO- $55
8 GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Series SDRAM DDR3 1333- $42
HIS Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5- $153
Raidmax Blade ATX-298WBP 500W ATX Mid Tower Case- $67
WD 250GB 7200 RPM SATA III HD- $80
DVD Burner- $15

Total Build price: $637


As a college student(again), this build price is really stretching my budget for a decent gaming rig, so if anybody has suggestions or tips that would be great. Also, if anybody out there has experience with both CPU lines(AMD and Intel) I'd like to get your opinions regarding Price vs Performance.

Thanks again everybody :hello: 
February 7, 2012 4:47:46 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - $127.99
Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $54.99
ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $21.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-4GBRL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $59.99 - $20MIR
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $84.99
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $39.99
NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $209.99
GIGABYTE GV-N560UD-1G GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Total: $599.93 - $20MIR
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2012 4:55:05 PM

Screen size is not important . Resolution is .
More pixels require more graphics power to calculate .

Your first mix is a little off. A 2500k is unlocked for overclocking , but you cant do that on an H61 motherboard . The psu is junk

Tomshardware system builder marathon $600 computer back in December is a good guideline .
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-overclock-p...

Related resources
February 7, 2012 4:56:02 PM

Thanks for the reply Ducki. I have been looking at the i3 as well, but thought that gaming may be a little easier down the road with the 2500k. I suppose the GPU may be the bottleneck in my system build? I honestly don't know, but by recommending the i3 are you suggesting that I wait on getting something quad core or greater? I'm just a little worried about the longetivity of the i3 in comparison.

Thank you for your input
February 7, 2012 5:26:43 PM

drunkducki said:
http://www.techspot.com/review/458-battlefield-3-perfor...

gpu is still the bottleneck in that build.

http://www.techspot.com/review/458-battlefield-3-perfor...

but 560ti should get you 50fps average on high settings at 1920x1200/1080

an i3 SB should be fine for another 3 years at least in gaming. you can probably get a quad core for your next pc. (personal opinion)







Thanks again ducki. If, in fact the i3 can get me through a few years of gaming I can settle for that. And yeah, for the money, the 560 ti looks pretty tempting. I was inittialy wary of Nvidia cards due to past experience with them being rather loud and quite a bit larger than their ATI counterparts, but when looking at dimensions and raw GPU power, there's really not a doubt in my mind which card to go with.

Is the Mobo you linked me to SLi capable? I'm aware that I may need to adjust the power supply, but I can deal with that in the future. Thanks again for all the help :) 
February 7, 2012 6:10:41 PM

the mobo is not sli capable.

for your budget i would stick with single gpu setup. if you have 1k cash in hand that's a different story.

however you can consider another mobo for other features such as memory slots, sataIII, usb3.0, etc.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2012 7:09:19 PM


AMD Phenom II X4 970 Deneb 3.5GHz: $130

Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 AM3+: $130 before $10 rebate

CM Hyper TX3: $20

There is a 10%-off coupon floating around on the CPU. If you do not want CF/SLI, something like the GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ will save you $20-$30.

With either AMD or Intel the issues you are most likely to run into in 1 or 2 years is lack of BIOS upgrades and support from 'other' OEMs --- sticking with the Beeg Boys (Asus, GB, MSI) is good planning for future support.


edit: Yup. Big difference between those 2 cards. Squeezing a HD69501GB would be the way to go if you can keep your CPU/Mobo costs down.

Remember in gaming ... it's the video card


a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2012 7:21:53 PM

drunkducki said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - $127.99
Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $54.99
ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $21.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-4GBRL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $59.99 - $20MIR
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $84.99
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $39.99
NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $209.99
GIGABYTE GV-N560UD-1G GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Total: $599.93 - $20MIR

+1 good build.

i3 and a strong GPU will provide the best gaming experience for your buck.
February 7, 2012 7:27:03 PM

Thanks all. I'm going to monitor these prices, but I'm pretty much decided on the i-3 2120 build with the gtx560 ti, which seems to generally perform better in dx11 circumstances vs the 6950. Seems that the i3 paired with a 1155 mobo should keep me held over til I'm done with school, and the Intel architecture just seems to perform a lot better, generally. I'd love to support AMD, but gotta with Intel on this one.

I'll keep everybody updated on the build
!