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Vote: Two Builds, $700-725

Last response: in Systems
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Which system is the smartest buy?

Total: 17 votes

  • i3-2120 6850 Z68
  • 83 %
  • G850 GTX 560ti H61
  • 18 %
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 4, 2012 7:44:34 PM

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.
  • More about : vote builds 700 725

    March 4, 2012 8:11:06 PM

    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.
    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 4, 2012 8:13:58 PM

    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.
    Related resources
    March 5, 2012 12:21:36 AM

    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.
    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 5, 2012 2:05:42 AM

    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.
    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 5, 2012 2:13:41 AM

    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.
    March 5, 2012 2:53:18 AM

    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.
    a c 113 B Homebuilt system
    March 5, 2012 4:45:54 AM

    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.
    March 5, 2012 5:14:46 AM

    Go for the i3 build
    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 5, 2012 10:36:16 AM

    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.
    March 5, 2012 11:28:02 AM

    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.
    !