A budget $700-800 gaming computer build

Hi everyone! I thought i would share a list of parts for a budget gaming build I put together. I tried to base this around affordable parts that had good customer ratings and were reliable. Feel free to give me any feedback or any recomendations you have :). Also, I will probably change the CPU and motherboard when Ivy Bridge comes out.

CPU: I saw that quite a bit of the feedback recommended an Intel i3 or i5. I was able to work in the i5 2400 into the budget. It kinda too bad that it cant be overclocked, but it should still give enough performance. Price: $189.99 Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115074

CPU heatsink/fan: Because the i5 2400 can't be overclocked, the stock fan should be fine. (No cost)

Motherboard: For the i5 2400, ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 seemed to be a good motherboard pick, with decent ratings and a very good price. It also has USB 3.0, 2 SATA 6Gb/s, and 2 DDR3 memory slots, so it should be just fine for our build. Price: $69.99 Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157236

RAM: DDR3 RAM is very affordable and 4GB should be enough for a budget build like this while keeping within the budget. However, our motherboard supports DDR3 1333 not DDR3 1600. So I changed the RAM to a still highly rated G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3. Price: $29.99 Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422

Video Card: Many people seemed to reccomend getting a Radeon HD 6870, so I went with the SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870. It had the best reviews for the HD 6870 cards. Price: $169.99 Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102948

Hard Drive: Because this is on a budget, I desided a basic HDD with about 500GB should be fine. For the price, the Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 has the highest reviews and seems to be the most reliable. Price: $84.99 Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181

Power Suply: One of the highest rated power suplies for the price was the Antec BP550 Plus 550W. It is also modular and should give us enough power for our parts. Price: $54.99 Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016

Case: I desided on the Rosewill CHALLENGER-U3 Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case. It has a good price and good reviews. It also has 2 USB 3.0 ports, so we can take advantage of our motherboard's 2 USB 3.0 ports. Price: $59.99 Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147060


Operating System: Besides sales, this is the main reason that I put $700-800 build. You can, if you want, get a distribution of Linux, such as Ubuntu, which will save you money. However, I would recomend just getting Windows 7. Price: 99.99 Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168321169

Overall, this build (with Windows) costs $759.93 without tax, or $860 with about the US's adverage sales tax (9.25). There may also be discounts on these items, depending on when you buy them. Please give me any feedback or segestions in the comments. Thanks and have a good day! :)
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  1. Looks OK but I think you could get a better CPU and GPU at this budget. The Phenom II x4 965 performs similarly to the Pentium G840 in games and the Pentium is way cheaper. I would go with the i3-2120 though. Also, the GTX 550Ti is OK but I would aim for something like an HD 6870 or GTX 560 at this budget. The HD 6850 is another good choice.
  2. Use an AM3+ motherboard with a 970 or 990 series chipset if you are building with AMD . Also consider the FX 4100 as a processor

    But for $800 I expect you will be able to get an i5 2400 processor , Z68 chip set motherboard , and a Radeon 6870 graphics card .
    Performance will be better than your phenom build
  3. ^+1

    Check out my $650 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
    Gives you way more performance and you get the i5 2400 and a board that is much better. The sacrifice is you can't overclock however even after overclocking, the 955 can't match the i5 2400 in performance.
  4. Hey scott, (you didn't have to post on toms, could have just asked me) Even when overclocked, the phenom 965 does not perform as well as an i3-2120 or 2100. With intel and the z68 chipset, you are able to upgrade to a sandybridge i5 or i7, and later on you will be able to upgrade to an ivybridge i5 or i7.

    This is what I suggest:
    i3-2100
    asrock z68 extreme 3 gen3
    radeon 6870


    600 Dollar gaming build:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/333749-31-muffin-dollar-gaming-build
    Add windows and it is 700, then add a few more for a 6950 and it is $750.
  5. amuffin said:
    Hey scott, (you didn't have to post on toms, could have just asked me) Even when overclocked, the phenom 965 does not perform as well as an i3-2120 or 2100. With intel and the z68 chipset, you are able to upgrade to a sandybridge i5 or i7, and later on you will be able to upgrade to an ivybridge i5 or i7.

    This is what I suggest:
    i3-2100
    asrock z68 extreme 3 gen3
    radeon 6870


    600 Dollar gaming build:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/333749-31-muffin-dollar-gaming-build
    Add windows and it is 700, then add a few more for a 6950 and it is $750.


    If Scott had asked you , and you had given this answer you'd have been wrong .

    The SMB $500 builds last year were basically an i3 2100 with a 6870 and a 955 with a 6870 .

    The phenom beat the i3 everywhere except gaming and usually by a decent margin . In gaming it also beat the i3 once it had been OC'ed to 3.6 Ghz .

    A dual core cpu would be a major step back in terms of day to day responsiveness too
  6. Outlander_04 said:
    If Scott had asked you , and you had given this answer you'd have been wrong .

    The SMB $500 builds last year were basically an i3 2100 with a 6870 and a 955 with a 6870 .

    The phenom beat the i3 everywhere except gaming and usually by a decent margin . In gaming it also beat the i3 once it had been OC'ed to 3.6 Ghz .

    A dual core cpu would be a major step back in terms of day to day responsiveness too

    I know him, he isn't going to overclock :??: So that is why an i3 would be a better choice. Am3 is also a deadsocket.
  7. ^+1

    AM3 is indeed a dead socket, I myself am moving to Intel in a week. Leaving my 955 now :/

    The i3 2100 will give him 1155 which gives him the wide range of i5/i7 chips to upgrade to which give him much more of an upgrade than what Bulldozer offers. The FX-4100 then to what? The FX-8120 fails in comparison to the i5 2400 in almost everything except a few multi-thread benchmarks but the FX-8120 cost more.

    Though I do disagree amuffin, why go with the 6950 when the 7850 is about to replace it?
  8. I was not recommending a Phenom 955 .

    But I would not trade down to an i3 when you can fit the i5 2400 at this price point
  9. Oh yes then I agree. Which is why I suggested my $650 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
    Gives him an i5 2400 and a 6870.
  10. aznshinobi said:
    ^+1

    AM3 is indeed a dead socket, I myself am moving to Intel in a week. Leaving my 955 now :/

    The i3 2100 will give him 1155 which gives him the wide range of i5/i7 chips to upgrade to which give him much more of an upgrade than what Bulldozer offers. The FX-4100 then to what? The FX-8120 fails in comparison to the i5 2400 in almost everything except a few multi-thread benchmarks but the FX-8120 cost more.

    Though I do disagree amuffin, why go with the 6950 when the 7850 is about to replace it?

    Doh I forgot! About 7850 coming out!
  11. Sorry I wasn't replying to comments yesterday, I went out for dinner and I was tired afterwards so i went to bed. Thanks for all the feedback :). Before I change it, I was just wondering, which Intel CPU's are overclockable?
  12. Haha it's fine, yes but only the chips with the K annotation are.
  13. The K series overclock the best, but aren't the only ones that OC.
  14. There are more versions that overclock?

    Only the K version have the unlocked multiplier hence overclocking. Turbo is not considered overclocking.
  15. I have overclocked my Pentium 4 CPU. The non k can be overclocked, but not to those limits.
  16. Pentium 4 isn't Sandy Bridge though.. Obviously there has been chips before Sandy Bridge that could be overclocked and didn't have the K annotation but currently with chips he's going to actually look at, only the K's have unlocked multiplier.
  17. Ok, I edited the build! Now its a little more expensive when you include windows, but it has better parts that you guys recommended :)
  18. No problem Good luck!
  19. I would get a z68 board over a micro atx h61 board.
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