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Moderate Gaming ($500-$600?)

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February 23, 2012 11:18:27 PM

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/ite...)

Intel i3 2020 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

WD 500GB HDD (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

Radeon 6770 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

Corsair 8GB Vengeance RAM (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

Aspire 600W PSU (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

Cooler Master Tower (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

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!
a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2012 11:38:28 PM

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.
February 23, 2012 11:46:17 PM

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?
Related resources
February 23, 2012 11:50:20 PM

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.
February 23, 2012 11:52:42 PM

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. :) 
a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2012 11:58:04 PM

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
February 24, 2012 12:00:03 AM

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?
February 24, 2012 12:00:19 AM

EJBusch said:
Is this a proper PSU? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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=S...
February 24, 2012 12:11:09 AM

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=S...

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?
February 24, 2012 12:17:28 AM
February 24, 2012 12:18:04 AM

puts you at about 549.94 if you want you can go over a little on the cpu and get yourself a i5 2400
February 24, 2012 12:19:32 AM

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.
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2012 12:26:48 AM

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
February 24, 2012 1:02:04 AM

If I'm trying to save a bit of money.. what would make be better for gaming...

An i3 2120 and the 6850?
Or
An i5 2400 and a $75-$90 GPU?

My current cart...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$587.43 and then $40 off after mail in rebates. So I'm looking pretty good with this setup if everything is good.
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2012 1:59:16 AM

an i3 with 6850 is defintely better, no bottlenecks there at 1680x1050 and above
February 24, 2012 2:10:00 AM

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=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 500GB HDD 7200RPM 6.0Gb/s http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Radeon HD 6850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 620W Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock H61M-GE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i3 2120 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Lite-On DVD Burner http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Kingston Hyper X 4GB RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

$543.42 shipped to my door, currently.
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2012 2:32:25 AM

get a cpu cooler, the stock cooler is just terrible
February 24, 2012 2:38:14 AM

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.
February 24, 2012 2:50:47 AM

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/ite...)

Intel i3 2020 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

WD 500GB HDD (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

Radeon 6770 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

Corsair 8GB Vengeance RAM (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

Aspire 600W PSU (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

Cooler Master Tower (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

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... $179.99
February 24, 2012 2:53:00 AM

I just realized the Skyrim fps were the same... But that the 6850 was running on a higher setting.
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2012 2:54:12 AM

The cooler master hyper 212 plus. The best price to performance cooler and it's only $30
February 24, 2012 9:48:57 AM

Best Buy has the same quality ram for only $22. Here is a link.
February 24, 2012 12:38:15 PM



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.
February 24, 2012 1:58:58 PM

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.
February 24, 2012 2:04:09 PM

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.as...

It's just under $600 then there are about $40 in promo codes and another $40 in Mail In Rebates.
February 25, 2012 4:20:18 AM

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=N82E168...

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=N82E168...

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=N82E168...

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

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

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

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

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?Ite...


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

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
February 25, 2012 7:51:07 AM
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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
February 25, 2012 12:28:06 PM

Best answer selected by EJBusch.
a b 4 Gaming
February 25, 2012 2:12:10 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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