Gaming $500

Approximate Purchase Date: within a couple weeks

Budget Range: $500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, programming, general

Parts Not Required: mouse, keyboard, monitor, case, maybe psu

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: intel

Overclocking: Doubt it

SLI or Crossfire: Doubt it

Monitor Resolution: not sure yet, I'm also in the market for a newer monitor but that is separate budget
So what I have so far is:

CPU: This is one of my debates. I think I'm going to go i3, but should i get 2100 or 2120? Noticeable difference? Worth the money? Heatsink and fan are included with i3, do I need to upgrade or will stock cooling unit be fine?

Mobo: Not sure, please help here. Do I want h67 or z68? Brand? Please suggest one. I do not plan on overclocking or anything but I want to have the option of upgrading my build in the future, what mobo is best for that?

RAM: I was going to go with G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333. Some friends have recommended going with 1600. Is this a noticeable difference or worth the money? Also, I read threads that suggest all I need is 4GB, but 8GB doesn't cost that much more. Go with 4 or 8?

GSU: I have been going through the threads and found that most people recommend SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB. Will this work well? I haven't played with computers in a while and I feel like back in the day it was all about Nvidia and GeForce. Should I stick with the HD6870 or look for a nvidia product?

PSU: I inherited a coolermax cu-700b. Will this work for me? I have read some nasty reviews about coolermaxs blowing up and such. What are you thoughts. Worth it to buy new one? If so what is a good one for a low price?

Case: Inherited a RAIDMAX Smilodon case. Seems like it should do the job.

Might as well ask while I'm posting. Whats your favorite brand for monitor. I'm looking at spending less $150 or less on a 23'' LCD. Not sure what brand to go with.

Again, I'd like to stay around or below $500 and have a system that is upgradable. Oh and I guess I should say that I want to be able to play games like BF3, SC2, LoL, Skyrim, D3, and Minecraft.

Thanks for your help, I appreciate your comments
11 answers Last reply
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  1. here is a nice build

    i3 2120 1284, only 3$ difference, can live with it.

    asrock z68 gen 3 122$
    great upgradability and awesome price

    gskill 8gb ram 47$

    keep the case

    dont keep that psu, get vetter one like this

    antec 430w psu, enough for one 6870 40$

    get the sapphire 6870-, great card. 170$

    total: 506$

    hey, do you need hdd, can you reuse form your previous pc.

    and for monitor, here is a nice one

    23 inch monitor with resolution 1920x1080 140$
  2. +1 manu 11. Thats a great motherboard it has a PCI Express 3.0 so you can upgrade to ivy bridge later on down the road.
  3. Thanks for the input manu11.

    I have an older IDE hdd but it doesn't look like its going to be useful with any of the newer mobo. I don't see an IDE connection on the one you suggested but thats fine because I was planning on getting a newer one sometime in the near future anyways.

    Can I ask you how you go about choosing a mobo? Thats the toughest part for me. How do you decide if it is a good mobo? I trust your judgement, but I'm trying to learn also.

    As for the power supply, newegg's suggested PSU wattage is 393W for this build. Is 430W enough wiggle room?

    Thanks again
  4. have you seen the last system builder toms marathon 600$ build, they used a i5 2400 and the same 6870 with the same antec psu, so i3 suck litlle power and should be enough for the build.

    yup, seems to be an older hdd, i suggest you get a new one.
    please tell me if you can bump 80$ for an hdd, or you have to go with an h61/7 mobo

    as for the mobo, the first i see is the brand, second its features, third its price weather it is a good value for money or not.
    And all in all, i see the reviews from reputed sites. Then decide.
    The mobo I suggested is the most value for money board currently out there.
  5. Great, thanks again. Yeah, I can spend $80 on hdd shouln't be a problem. How do solid states compare to the regulars? Is it worth saving up a little more cash and getting a smaller ssd or just spend 80 to get a decent 500gb?
  6. for gaming there isn't any difference between ssd and regular hdd :non: , but yeah the ssd reduces load times of windows and level loading times of games. :??:

    i can live with loading windows at 40sec rather than 15 sec, i make coffee in that time...:D :sleep:

    so its a win win situation for me at least :sol: , i am a patience
  7. haha, I am as well. Thanks again for all the great input, I appreciate it. I don't think I'll be buying everything I once, but rather I'll be looking at sales and hoping some prices get knocked down on parts that I want within the next couple weeks. I'll let you know how things turn out though for sure.
    Thanks again
  8. ^^anytime
  9. So I've been watching prices and the Sapphire Radeon 6870 is sitting at 169.99 right now. I found the XFX 6870 on newegg for 139.99 after mail ins (
    This is my first GPU in a long time so I don't have a brand preference but the XFX has limited lifetime warranty. Should I go for the XFX or hold out for the Sapphire? Do they perform equally? Equally reliable? Any input would be appreciated
  10. There isn't a big difference between the i3-2100 and Pentium G620 in games, the G620 still performs similarly to an FX-4100. I'd go for one of those then get an Ivy Bridge i5 or something if you feel the need to upgrade in 6 months or so.

    This would be great for games and costs pretty much exactly $500 on Newegg.

    Intel Pentium G620
    ASRock H61M/U3S3
    Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB)
    Sapphire HD 6850 1GB
    Seagate Barracuda 500GB
    Corsair CX-430 430W
    Fractal Design Core 1000
    Samsung DVD Burner

    EDIT: Just to let you know as well, the Antec EA-430 PSU doesn't have enough connectors for the HD 6870
  11. Thanks for your help everyone. After reading a lot of other threads and doing a bunch of research I finally came up with the following build:

    ASRock z68 Extreme3 Gen 3 Z68 - $130
    Intel i3-2120 + LG DVD Burner - $136
    Corsair 8GB 1600 - $23
    XFX HD-6870 - $140
    Antec NEO ECO 620C - $45
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache Sata 6 Gb/s - $100
    Acer G235HAbd 23'' LCD monitor - $110
    Raidmax Smilidon case- $20

    After shipping and handling (and after rebates) it comes to about $715

    Originally I didn't think I would need a hdd, dvd drive, or psu, and the monitor wasn't included in my $500 budget, so I feel like I did pretty well for a little more

    I put everything together last night, hoping nothing would go wrong on my first build, and everything went perfectly. Did a test boot with mobo, cpu, memory, gpu, and psu and it POSTed perfectly first try. I especially liked how the Ext3 Gen 3 has a power button on the board so that I didn't even have to jump pins with a screwdriver or anything to test boot it.
    I finished the rest of the build, slapped on a free copy of Win 7 Pro from my school, loaded up some drivers and updates and now I'm good to go.

    I have been using a fairly small laptop for all my uses previous to this build, and I feel like I just moved into a mansion, 23'' monitor is more than enough real estate and everything runs really smooth.

    On my laptop I played LoL on the lowest setting possible and was getting sub60 fps, usually around 50 but it would drop down to 10 or 15 if things were getting intense. Last night I put LoL on the new build, maxed all settings and am getting a solid 60fps consistently. I'm excited to see what else this new build can handle.

    Regrets/Buyers Remorse? Not yet, I do wish I was a little more patient and waited for a solid sale on the i3 or the mobo, but everything else I got at a pretty decent cost. I upgraded PSU from 430W because it was a great deal and I'm hoping to continue working on and upgrading the build. Memory was dirt cheap. Decent deal on the HDD. Overall I'm really satisfied with newegg and their frequent sales/promos.

    Thanks guys for your suggestions and help, I really appreciate it. I learned a lot of the last few weeks and hope to keep on learning.

    Thanks again!
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