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My Budget Gaming Build

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March 9, 2012 2:31:16 AM

Hey guys, I've been doing some pretty extensive research over the past two weeks or so, trying to come up with the best budget gaming build I can. I really need to keep everything as close to 800$ (not including OS and Monitor) as I can. I've had a couple of threads in the past, but here is my updated list of parts. I've compiled all my research and tips and this is what I've come up with. I hope this is the final build. Thanks in advance!

Aside: This is mainly going to be for gaming. Nothing too demanding however and I am not one who has to play on Ultra or am not satisfied.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52500

MOBO: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

OPTICAL DRIVE: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

CASE: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Total: $798.92 (Not including shipping and rebates)

More about : budget gaming build

March 9, 2012 3:10:27 AM

z68 vs p67

z68 is obviously newer. The only real difference between the two is that with a p67 board there is no on board monitor hookup. So if you would not be able to use the integrated graphics on Sandy Bridge. z68 boards tend to come with more sata ports/usb 3.0 but its very marginal and really shouldn't get the thumbs up here. Since you are buying a dedicated gpu it does not matter.

Both should support pci 3.0 at this stage.

Your build looks solid though. What I would do now is begin to deal watch. Watch the deal forums here and other sites.

Slickdeals.net is a great site to watch for getting cheap parts. You can find good ram here sometimes and/or combo's.
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March 9, 2012 9:27:45 PM

Hey man thanks a lot, I never really would've thought much about looking for deals. That's a really good idea.
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March 9, 2012 9:30:53 PM

thebear23 said:
Hey man thanks a lot, I never really would've thought much about looking for deals. That's a really good idea.


I'm not sure how credible that site is - I'll have to look into it.

That build looks great but if it's going to be a gaming build I'd pay the $50 difference for your CPU and go with an i5-2400 as it's a dedicated quad core CPU vs. the dual core i3-2120.

The HD is good but you could probably scale that back a bit and invest more in upgrading your GPU to a 560TI, - to me storage is one of the least important parts of a build as you can always add or remove drives easily depending on your storage needs.
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March 9, 2012 9:41:43 PM

Thanks for the tops g-unit. I have a couple of questions in response to your post. Firstly, what other HD would you suggest? Very few hard drives actually got great reviews, so I was kind of unsure which one to pick.

Second, I'm not sure I have the dollars to upgrade to a 560ti, nor the need to. I don't play games like BF3 or anything like that on PC. I am usually a more RPG type man and honestly I can live if I'm not on incredibly high settings. I would consider a 6870 if that could be worked into my budget, but I don't think I have a need for much higher than that at this point in time.

Third, in past threads that I had made some guys on this board had suggested the i3-2120 to me for a budget gaming build, and it was my understanding that games did not really need 4 cores. Would I be hurting if I didn't have a quad core cpu? Thanks again for the help.
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March 10, 2012 1:40:26 AM

thebear23 said:
Thanks for the tops g-unit. I have a couple of questions in response to your post. Firstly, what other HD would you suggest? Very few hard drives actually got great reviews, so I was kind of unsure which one to pick.

Second, I'm not sure I have the dollars to upgrade to a 560ti, nor the need to. I don't play games like BF3 or anything like that on PC. I am usually a more RPG type man and honestly I can live if I'm not on incredibly high settings. I would consider a 6870 if that could be worked into my budget, but I don't think I have a need for much higher than that at this point in time.

Third, in past threads that I had made some guys on this board had suggested the i3-2120 to me for a budget gaming build, and it was my understanding that games did not really need 4 cores. Would I be hurting if I didn't have a quad core cpu? Thanks again for the help.


You may be able to scale the HDD to a 500GB Caviar Blue.

Secondly, games are just now getting support for quad-core. If we were considering 6 cores, per-say, then you would not need it. The quad-core will be more "future-proof" and it may pay off in the long run.

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March 11, 2012 1:05:22 AM

Hey guys I have an update on my build. I believe I have had a decent amount of money free up because I think I can get Windows 7 at a very discounted rate through my sister's school. Therefore, I was able to upgrade a few parts, but I am still open to suggestions on how I can save money and get the total closer to $800.

One question I had was do I need a i5-2500, or would I be okay to go with the 2400. I don't want to get the 2500 if it wasn't necessary.

On the hard drive, I think the caviar blue suggested only has a 16 mb cache, whereas the blacks have 32 mb or 64 mb cache. Is that a big deal? I am not very familiar with what the cache actually means.
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March 11, 2012 1:45:22 AM

i5-2400 is fine. It means most accessed data will be loaded quicker.
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March 11, 2012 6:15:09 AM

thebear23 said:
Thanks for the tops g-unit. I have a couple of questions in response to your post. Firstly, what other HD would you suggest? Very few hard drives actually got great reviews, so I was kind of unsure which one to pick.

Second, I'm not sure I have the dollars to upgrade to a 560ti, nor the need to. I don't play games like BF3 or anything like that on PC. I am usually a more RPG type man and honestly I can live if I'm not on incredibly high settings. I would consider a 6870 if that could be worked into my budget, but I don't think I have a need for much higher than that at this point in time.

Third, in past threads that I had made some guys on this board had suggested the i3-2120 to me for a budget gaming build, and it was my understanding that games did not really need 4 cores. Would I be hurting if I didn't have a quad core cpu? Thanks again for the help.


1. The Caviar Blue is a good choice - I like the Black drives but they're quite expensive right now due to the HD shortages, I'd expect that to change sometime in the near future once WD and Seagate get their plants back online.

2. Check out this build that I posted in another thread today that used a 560TI and came in at under $850:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99 ($10.00 MIR)
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 - $89.99 ($10.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $129.99
CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-2400 - $189.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 1333Mhz 8GB (2 x 4GB) - $42.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $84.99
Optical: Lite On Bulk DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 560TI - $249.99 ($15.00 MIR)

Total: $870.92 - $35.00 MIR = $835.92

3. Doesn't really matter - the i3-2120 is one of the best low budget CPUs in the price range, it would certainly be a better choice than say the AMD FX-8150 would right now.n
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March 11, 2012 3:13:05 PM

That is a pretty good looking build. I actually had updated my original build with a few better parts because I had some funds open up. Take a look at my new build and let me know what you think of that one.

I chose the 2500 and not the 2500k because I do not plan on overclocking. I never have before and I don't really have any plans to start anytime soon.
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