Budget Gaming Re-Build

I am looking to build/re-build a budget gaming computer. I have an AMD build from 2008 and I am looking to build an intel i5 while salvaging what I can. My goal is to run BF3, Skyrim, and other upcoming releases (gw2, diablo 3, etc.) on at least medium but preferably high or ultra settings.

Original comp is an AMD Phenom II x3 720, Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P, 4gb (2gx2) DDR3 1333 and ATI radeon 4770 512mb.

Salvageable parts (i think):


680w (not sure of brand)

Hard Drive:
320 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Ca
- Not sure if newer hard drives are much faster. Also I am debating if I should replace this HDD anyways. I have never ran out of storage space but I have had to reformat and reinstall windows twice as well as several system restores and other errors. If there is a potential virus or any permanent damage that may not be removed by reformatting and could effect my new build I would rather replace then risk it.

Optical Drive:
LG 22X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive Black

New Parts (at least 2 options for each part, please provide advice):

CPU and Mobo package:
i5 2500k - $295
i5 2400 - $280

GTX 460 - $135
HD 6850 - $140
GTX 550 ti -$120 (I think this is a lesser GPU though, so probably out of the running)

Kingston HyperX 8gb 1600mhz - $45
Patriot G2 8gb 1600mhz - $35

320gb 7200 rpm - $80
120g SSD - $105

Total (assuming I salvage my HDD)
High end $480, Low end $435

I look forward to hearing your reviews on this build. Specifically can you analyze the parts to make sure they are compatible and capable of meeting my expected performance. I am leaning towards the 6850 and the 550 is almost out of the running. With the RAM I am leaning towards the patriot unless their is a significant reason it is cheaper. I am at a toss up on the CPUs. With the Hard Drive the 320g is only if I should replace my old one and the SSD is a questionable buy. Do SSD's improve gaming performance, I hear they don't? I may even use the SSD to replace my HDD and then buy a second HDD when I fill the 120gb capacity.

Sorry for the lengthy post and a big preemptive thank you for your reviews!
5 answers Last reply
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  1. for the cpu, definately go straight for the i5 2500k, it has better perfomance than the 2400, and can easily be O.Ced to around 4-4.5 Ghz, while the 2400 cant,
    for the GPU the 550 ti is the best performance to price, but for the sake the sake of a few dollars more i'd go for the 6850,
    the RAM is fine either or'll do but like u said the Patriot is cheaper,
    SSD's are expensive but they don't really improve game performance that much, they improve more stuff like your boot times, so i'd go for the HDD, a good one like the Seagate baracuda 500Gb, its the same price for an extra 120GB
    and maybe get a SSD down the line when your boot times start to slow.
  2. Dont forget the 6870, I think its the best bang for you buck right now.

  3. Thanks for the input . Right now I am planning on the i5 2500k, the patriot ram and the 6850. That 6870 looks like a great card but it is another $40 and I think the 6850 will be able to tackle BF3 and skyrim on High but please let me know if I am wrong . Good point on the SSD and I think I will reuse the HDD from my old build. After doing some research it seems like there is no risk in reusing it and if it does cause problems I will replace then. Can anyone else provide some solid feedback before I commit to this purchase? Thank you.
  4. Well I decided to bite the bullet and order today so I can put this computer together while I have some time off. I went with the i5 2500k, the Patriot G2 8gb and the 6850 I picked out was on back order so I went with the MSI Radeon HD 6850 Overclocked. Thanks for the help.
  5. good luck with the build mate
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