Vote: Two Builds, $700-725

The purpose of this post is NOT to see who can build the best system at this price point. The idea here is to look at these two different approaches to decide which one is the best path. In order to do this we need a little more info on our supposed builder.

Usage: Gaming and school work.

Budget: No more than $725

Overclocking: No

CF/SLI: No

Parts: No KB, mouse or monitor. Just the box and OS.

Resolution: 1920x1080

i3-2120 build:

Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
TOTAL: $716.91


G850 Build:

Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
GIGABYTE GV-N560UD-1G GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
ASRock H61ICAFE LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623G850
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
TOTAL: $708.91

Feel free to say why you think your choice is best below.
10 answers Last reply
More about vote builds
  1. I chose the 2nd one mainly due to the 560Ti and the z68 kind of goes to waste given you're only writing papers and playing video games.
  2. Most people will never upgrade CPU on same MB. Most people will upgrade video. Thus I'd go for i3 over g850. Photoshop will run faster, transcoding, Openoffice, etc all faster on the i3.

    Swapping the z68 based MB for an H61 based MB would save the i3 build some more money for an i5 or for a better video card... The cost diff between hd6850 and gtx560ti ($60) is greater than the the $35 diff in the processors.

    I'd guess day 1 most games will run better on the g850 build, but that's not what I'd build.
  3. tsnor said:
    Most people will never upgrade CPU on same MB. Most people will upgrade video. Thus I'd go for i3 over g850. Photoshop will run faster, transcoding, Openoffice, etc all faster on the i3.

    Swapping the z68 based MB for an H61 based MB would save the i3 build some more money for an i5 or for a better video card... The cost diff between hd6850 and gtx560ti ($60) is greater than the the $35 diff in the processors.

    I'd guess day 1 most games will run better on the g850 build, but that's not what I'd build.


    I agree. Since you are not going with a K series CPU, drop to a H6 series chipset, save some money and up the GPU in the i3 build and go for the i3. Its a better overall CPU than the Pentiums are and will have less of a chance bottlenecking the GPU than the Pentium will.
  4. I would also go with the i3 build. The processor is faster and ALSO supports hyperthreading for some additional cores. Depending on the game and/or the school work this could be a bonus. But I would switch to the ASRock H61ICAFE board. There are only small differences in them and you can save the $35 or spend it on the Fermi.
  5. I don't oppose the choice of the Pentium processor, mostly just H61 as it doesn't have native Intel Sata 6Gb/s support.

    Also a 6870 over a 560ti at this price point would be ideal.

    Ultimately I voted Z68 just for its versatility and ability to support modern SSDs at their full potential.
  6. a4mula said:
    I don't oppose the choice of the Pentium processor, mostly just H61 as it doesn't have native Intel Sata 6Gb/s support.

    Also a 6870 over a 560ti at this price point would be ideal.

    Ultimately I voted Z68 just for its versatility and ability to support modern SSDs at their full potential.


    The OP isn't going for a SSD though. I agree having the option is nice but unless he really plans to upgrade in the future, his HDD wont benefit from it at all.

    Also Z68 would be a waste if he doesn't plan on going to a 2500/2600K or the IB equivalent in the near future.
  7. It seems like the choice is fairly clear at this price point then. Perhaps this is why the Pentiums still don't get recommended much... the value of the i3 is just too compelling. Given the small price difference.
  8. Go for the i3 build
  9. as with most others I voted for the i3. this chip just rocks fort the price point. I also agree with dropping the Z68 MB on this build in favor of a H6 series and save $40... which would drop it under $700 mark.
  10. voted for i3 build.. As others said you can drop z68 and buy a H67( you said no OC and you have a non k processor ) , save some money and go for a better GPU.
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Systems Product