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$500 PC Gaming Build

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February 15, 2012 4:02:07 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible

Budget Range: $500. Not looking to go much over $550 after tax and shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: PC Games, emulating my PS2 and Gamecube games, multimedia use. It would be great to be able to run stuff like Skyrim and Battlefield 3 and not have to worry about upgrading for a while, but I don't think I'm going to be buying those games any time soon anyway. I'll be working on my Steam collection such as GTA4, Borderlands, MW2, etc.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hard drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, doesn't matter

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Best bang for my buck. I kind of want to go intel i5 but I feel like that might be pushing it on a small budget like this. I'm leaning intel but to be honest I don't know much of anything about which is better.

Overclocking: Maybe (still a noob but may delve into overclocking in the future)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (no current plans but maybe down the road)

Monitor Resolution: Unsure, have multiple monitors I may end up using

Additional Comments:
- Looking for just a generic type case, maybe in the $20-40 range. Nothing too fancy. Would rather have a plain case and save that money toward better parts.
- 4GB of ram for now but I'd like to be able to upgrade when I get a little more cash down the road. Maybe 1x4GB now and I'll get a second stick once my bank account recovers from this purchase.
- This is my first time building a PC, and my first time using a desktop for more than just web browsing and what not. I'd like to be able to upgrade this 3 or 4 years from now. I'd hate to end up with something that's obsolete in a couple years.
- As I said before, I'm new to all this. I've tried to piggyback on other similar requests, but it got a little overwhelming. It was a lot of "Do I really need this?" "AMD or Intel?" "How can I take this build and make it better suit my needs?" I figured I'd just be better off just posting my specific wants and needs and having someone help me out. Hopefully you guys don't bite :) 

Thanks in advance!

:edit from a below post: The graphics card is not the focus of the build right now. I'd just like something to hold me over for now, I'll make due with the games I currently have, then when I get the money in a couple months I'll pick up a new graphics card. I think I would be better served with an i5, a good mobo for future upgrades, then the rest of the money can go toward a graphics card to be able to smoothly run some recent games, but not max out brand new ones.

More about : 500 gaming build

February 15, 2012 5:43:33 AM

CPU - Intel Core i3-2100($124.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115078

RAM - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333($29.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231180

Motherboard - ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM (REV 3.0) ($69.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131724

HDD - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB($89.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136769

ODD - SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner($15.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827151244

Video Card - SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB($134.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102908

Chassis - Thermaltake V3 Black Edition($44.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811133094

PSU - CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W($44.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139026

Subtotal - $555.92 ($510.92 after MIR)

This is a very balanced system, but not many room for upgrade. If you can up your budget a little more, you can get a better psu which is the Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371048

But, this is still a very balanced pc that can run about most current games at 1080p with mid to high settings. Skyrim and battlefield 3 can run high
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February 15, 2012 5:55:53 AM

CPU - Core i3-2100 - $124.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard - Gigabyte z68 - $109.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram - Crucial 4gb - $21.99 -http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Vid card - Sapphire 6870 - $149.99 after rebate - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - Coolermaster - $39.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - XFX 550w - $54.99 after rebate - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total - $501.94

If you happen to live near a Microcenter you could shave about $80 off this total by getting the CPU and motherboard there. The CPU is $99 and A similar motherboard is $50 off with a CPU combo deal. Note the location box at the top of the page and look for advertized specials. http://www.microcenter.com/

The Core i3-2100 is plenty fast enough for now. The motherboard is pricey, but will allow for future CPU upgrades. You could bump up to 8gb ram for $15 more dollars. The PSU is also pricey but very good quality and will last quite a while. The graphics card will run most current games at high settings at 19x10 resolution.

I did not include a DVD RW drive, but those can be had for less than $20. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 15, 2012 12:10:55 PM

tlmck said:
If you happen to live near a Microcenter you could shave about $80 off this total by getting the CPU and motherboard there. The CPU is $99 and A similar motherboard is $50 off with a CPU combo deal. Note the location box at the top of the page and look for advertized specials. http://www.microcenter.com/

Partially true. The i3-2100 is only $99 at Microcenter, but the motherboard combo only applies to the unlocked "K" series processors.
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February 15, 2012 3:55:04 PM

No microcenters within like 5 hours of me but thanks for the suggestion.

I think I'm going to tweak this build a little bit. To be honest Battlefield 3 and Skyrim on high are not my main priorities. I've never paid more then $5 for a PC game (thanks to steam sales) and I don't think that trend is going to change any time soon. By the time I get around to something like BF3 it would make more sense just to buy a new graphics card.

I'm basically just looking to play games I mentioned in the OP. The newest game I have is something like GTA4. While it would be nice to play BF3 and not need to upgrade, it's really not a priority. I actually have it for 360 anyway. I'm also not looking to max everything. The only important thing is that it's playable. I'm actually only rocking an old 17 inch emachines monitor (not sure of the resolution).

So basically the graphics card is not the focus of the build right now. I'd just like something to hold me over for now, I'll make due with the games I currently have, then when I get the money in a couple months I'll pick up a new graphics card. I think I would be better served with an i5, a good mobo for future upgrades, then the rest of the money can go toward a graphics card to be able to smoothly run some recent games, but not max out brand new ones.
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February 15, 2012 4:12:50 PM

You gotta watch out on here Millertime they will advise you on the highest end parts. If youre into mild gaming you should consider amds apu series processors its a cpu/gpu hybrid chip the A4 for a quick reference runs world of warcraft on medium settings at 40-60fps and tor on low settings at about 20-50fps. I have the processor in my laptop and i can definitely run games the a6 or a8 which are a little bit pricier can run bf3 and skyrim on med-low settings a4 runs about 109.99 for a processor but the mobo will cost you a but more than the ones they advertised. somewhere around 80-100 if you want I can put a list together for you. Just message me personally exactly what you intend to use this pc for starting from most important to least.
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February 16, 2012 12:16:29 AM

Memnarchon said:
Both builds are great, but why not placing a Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, 200Mhz more to for cpu that cannot be o/c for just $3? :p 
Intel Core i3-2120 $127.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That's because when I last saw the price of the 2120, it was a tad higher than that. Sure 3.3GHz is better with just an additional of $3
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