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Moderate Gaming ($500-$600?)

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: Hopefully under $500, $600 at the most. I could spend more, the budget is there, but for what I'll be using it for, it seems harder to justify.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Not always the latest and greatest maxed out), Some dev work

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: TigerDirect, NewEgg, Amazon

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: Can be Intel or AMD, as long as I'm getting good stuff at a reasonable price

Overclocking: Not 100% opposed, but it is doubtful, doesn't it lower the life of the chip?

SLI or Crossfire: Ideally, but not required if I'm saving tons

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: I probably won't care much about playing the latest and greatest games maxed out, but I will want the computer to be built so it can be upgraded. So a Sandy Bridge would be preferable to one of the older chipsets that may perform better now but could not be upgraded down the road.


I'm not sure yet if the barebones bundles on TigerDirect are a good fit for me, the issue is I always want to change one or two things in them and if I'm spending the money, why not get what I want?

So far I'm leaning towards...

ASUS Z68 board (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1124769&sku=A455-3505)

Intel i3 2020 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7295299&sku=I69-0212)

WD 500GB HDD (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7281716&sku=TSD-500AAKX)

Radeon 6770 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1168852&sku=H231-6774)

Corsair 8GB Vengeance RAM (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=40739&sku=C13-5720)

Aspire 600W PSU (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1899442&sku=A107-1068)

Cooler Master Tower (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6430030&sku=C283-3122)

Is there anywhere I can save money? Anywhere where money may be better spent? Currently this would be a shade over $600 before rebates.

It doesn't need to do a ton since my MacBook Pro handles my daily workload, just want something for gaming and PC dev without running a VM.

Thanks!
31 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about moderate gaming
  1. Change the psu to either Corsair, Seasonic or Antec. 500W is also enough for that build if it's from the manufacturers that i just gave. You dont need a z68 board if you can't overclock, have no need for intel SRT and sata 6Gb/s, an h61 or h67 is the better choice. Change the graphics card to the radeon 6850, they're around $140-150 right now.
  2. Thanks for the tips so far. I've been searching a bit more and I think I've made the decision that I need to stay under a max of $700. And that is if I can bump up to a 2500K and future proof myself a bit more with a nicer board.

    Either that or I'll go extreme budget so I can just slowly build it out and then eventually get a new CPU/Mobo.

    What would your thoughts be on this?
  3. this kind of depends on you're mac's specs but, if you're not really in to playing games with to much of a demand you should look into a dual boot on you"re mac. it would be a lot cheaper than building another computer, and if the need to have a powerful system comes up down the road you've lost nothing by waiting, hardware depreciates faster than currency.
  4. Is this a proper PSU? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371031

    It is 620W and I can get 15% off with a promo code right now, so after rebates it comes in around $45.
  5. kodysch said:
    this kind of depends on you're mac's specs but, if you're not really in to playing games with to much of a demand you should look into a dual boot on you"re mac. it would be a lot cheaper than building another computer, and if the need to have a powerful system comes up down the road you've lost nothing by waiting, hardware depreciates faster than currency.

    Sometimes it would be nice to have two separate computers. I'm currently using both dual booting and VM and neither option gives me everything I want.

    I appreciate the thought, but I'd really prefer to have both available at times. :)
  6. Since you already have a mac, it's fine to cheap out a few parts of this build but not the psu. You'll be fine with an h61 or h67 board. 4GB is enough for games so i would cheap out on ram a bit. Get the 6850 as i mention before, and if you're budget is $700, you can get the i5-2400 which is better for games these days
  7. Are you saying the i5-2400 is better than the 2500 for games? I'm certainly not opposed to saving money here and there. Is the PSU still too cheap? Could you show me an example of what would be good?
  8. EJBusch said:
    Is this a proper PSU? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371031

    It is 620W and I can get 15% off with a promo code right now, so after rebates it comes in around $45.



    yeah for $45 that is a good deal, plus the extra wattage will be a nice buffer if you want to OC or set up in crossfire.

    It's a little short notice and i'm sure you've seen it but for 20 more bucks you can get 2TB


    http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx?cm_sp=ShellShocker-_-22-136-936-_-02232012_4
  9. kodysch said:
    yeah for $45 that is a good deal, plus the extra wattage will be a nice buffer if you want to OC or set up in crossfire.

    It's a little short notice and i'm sure you've seen it but for 20 more bucks you can get 2TB


    http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx?cm_sp=ShellShocker-_-22-136-936-_-02232012_4

    I'm not really sure what I'd do with that extra space, and that HDD is only SATA 3, so it is also a bit slower, correct?
  10. puts you at about 549.94 if you want you can go over a little on the cpu and get yourself a i5 2400
  11. you wouldn't notice the difference, especially if you had your OS on an ssd.

    It is an on the spot deal, but if you are interested in scaling the hard drive is important too, and things take up more space as time goes on, it does have a 64MB cache which helps.
  12. EJBusch said:
    Are you saying the i5-2400 is better than the 2500 for games? I'm certainly not opposed to saving money here and there. Is the PSU still too cheap? Could you show me an example of what would be good?


    the 2400 is as good as the 2500 if you're not planning on overclock. that psu you pick is good. get an aftermarket cooler. the cm hyper 212 plus is good
  13. an i3 with 6850 is defintely better, no bottlenecks there at 1680x1050 and above
  14. Good to know. I may do that then, with the thought that if I really need it, I can dump an i7 if need be into it later without having to do much of anything else.

    Here is my current list. It is starting to look pretty finalized. Please nitpick where necessary :)

    Cooler Master Elite case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119227

    Seagate Barracuda 500GB HDD 7200RPM 6.0Gb/s http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148767

    Radeon HD 6850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908

    Antec 620W Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371031

    ASRock H61M-GE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157256

    Intel Core i3 2120 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.822341

    Lite-On DVD Burner http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.822341

    Kingston Hyper X 4GB RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104238

    I could spend a bit more on RAM, or the MOBO, thoughts there?

    $543.42 shipped to my door, currently.
  15. get a cpu cooler, the stock cooler is just terrible
  16. EzioAs said:
    get a cpu cooler, the stock cooler is just terrible

    Is there one you could recommend? Also I just read an article comparing the i3 to an FX. The side observation I took away from it was that the 6770 and 6850 performed very similarly with an i3. Is that a fair observation? If so, I'll probably save the money there.
  17. EJBusch said:
    Approximate Purchase Date: This week

    Budget Range: Hopefully under $500, $600 at the most. I could spend more, the budget is there, but for what I'll be using it for, it seems harder to justify.

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Not always the latest and greatest maxed out), Some dev work

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

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: TigerDirect, NewEgg, Amazon

    Country: United States

    Parts Preferences: Can be Intel or AMD, as long as I'm getting good stuff at a reasonable price

    Overclocking: Not 100% opposed, but it is doubtful, doesn't it lower the life of the chip?

    SLI or Crossfire: Ideally, but not required if I'm saving tons

    Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

    Additional Comments: I probably won't care much about playing the latest and greatest games maxed out, but I will want the computer to be built so it can be upgraded. So a Sandy Bridge would be preferable to one of the older chipsets that may perform better now but could not be upgraded down the road.


    I'm not sure yet if the barebones bundles on TigerDirect are a good fit for me, the issue is I always want to change one or two things in them and if I'm spending the money, why not get what I want?

    So far I'm leaning towards...

    ASUS Z68 board (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1124769&sku=A455-3505)

    Intel i3 2020 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7295299&sku=I69-0212)

    WD 500GB HDD (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7281716&sku=TSD-500AAKX)

    Radeon 6770 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1168852&sku=H231-6774)

    Corsair 8GB Vengeance RAM (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=40739&sku=C13-5720)

    Aspire 600W PSU (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1899442&sku=A107-1068)

    Cooler Master Tower (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6430030&sku=C283-3122)

    Is there anywhere I can save money? Anywhere where money may be better spent? Currently this would be a shade over $600 before rebates.

    It doesn't need to do a ton since my MacBook Pro handles my daily workload, just want something for gaming and PC dev without running a VM.

    Thanks!



    i5 2500K is cheaper in Micro Center:http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354589 $179.99
  18. I just realized the Skyrim fps were the same... But that the 6850 was running on a higher setting.
  19. The cooler master hyper 212 plus. The best price to performance cooler and it's only $30
  20. aqe040466 said:

    I'm not near a Microcenter, unfortunately.
  21. Best Buy has the same quality ram for only $22. Here is a link.
  22. EJBusch said:


    There are a couple issues with these barebones that while promising, need to be looked out for. All of them come with pretty stripped down motherboards. The first kit with the ASUS MB and the kits that have the Gigabyte MB's have better motherboards than the Biostar kit, but still very toned down. All of them are pretty good deals for the parts, but all of them include a Power Supply that is of questionable quality, especially any of them with the Diablotek barebones. Diablotek PSU's are known to basically be time bombs and put out way less than they are rated for.

    Out of all those kits, I would suggest the last one as it is probably the better of the ones you have listed, with the least questionable power supply and a good basic motherboard. Just keep in mind that you might have to replace a power supply sooner than you were hoping for.
  23. adgjlsfhk said:
    Best Buy has the same quality ram for only $22. Here is a link.

    I am not seeing a link, but I'm sure I could find my way to it if need be.
  24. Pezcore27 said:
    There are a couple issues with these barebones that while promising, need to be looked out for. All of them come with pretty stripped down motherboards. The first kit with the ASUS MB and the kits that have the Gigabyte MB's have better motherboards than the Biostar kit, but still very toned down. All of them are pretty good deals for the parts, but all of them include a Power Supply that is of questionable quality, especially any of them with the Diablotek barebones. Diablotek PSU's are known to basically be time bombs and put out way less than they are rated for.

    Out of all those kits, I would suggest the last one as it is probably the better of the ones you have listed, with the least questionable power supply and a good basic motherboard. Just keep in mind that you might have to replace a power supply sooner than you were hoping for.

    What if I bought the barebones kit, a PSU, and a GPU? In many cases it would STILL be cheaper.

    Here is the link to what I have now:

    https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.aspx?ID=18655325

    It's just under $600 then there are about $40 in promo codes and another $40 in Mail In Rebates.
  25. I think I may have it...

    If anyone think there is a red flag, let me know!

    HDD:
    Seagate Barracuda ES ST3750640NS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148782

    GPU:
    SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908

    RAM:
    2 x G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Desktop Memory Model F3-8500CL7S-4GBRL
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231307

    Mobo:
    ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157241

    CPU:
    Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.822344

    DVD-Burner:
    LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24NS70 - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.822344

    Tower:
    COOLER MASTER Elite 430 RC-430-KWN1 Black Steel / Plastic Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.829080

    PSU:
    COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-550-PCAR-E3 550W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.829080


    Currently $525.18. I'll probably spend the rest of my budget on a Razer mouse and a CPU cooler to get up to about $600.00
  26. Best answer
    Don't get that cooler master psu, it can't provide the full wattage stated and has some serious ripple issues above 50% load. Get a corsair cx or antec earthwatt if you can. Other than that, everything seems okay. BTW, you don't need to spend more than $30 for cpu coolers, the cm hyper 212+ is the best cooler for that cpu and it's below $30
  27. Best answer selected by EJBusch.
  28. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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