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Add $100 to the $650 Gaming PC

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March 26, 2012 10:19:26 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: late April

Budget Range: $750

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, web surfing

Parts Not Required: monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: Intel processor, Antec cases

Overclocking: Maybe (but likely not)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (but likely not)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200

Additional Comments:

System MUST run quiet. Suggestions for monitors would be great but I'm not including the monitor in the $750 build.

Here's my basic idea. I see a LOT of comments on the $650 Gaming PC article indicating dissatisfaction with some of the choices made there. I also know that the previous edition at $600 had some very different parts. I have a feeling that taking the $650, adding $100, and reallocating the budget a bit might result in something much, much stronger overall than either the $600 or the $650 builds in the article.

Oh, and I would also appreciate advice as to timing. I was planning on buying this system in late April so I can build it and be ready for the release of Diablo III. If there's a big upcoming bump to processor or graphics cards and I'd be well served to wait until May, I can do that.

Thanks! I did this once before on Tom's Hardware for a build that was for my son Max and he's really really really gotten a lot of mileage out of that machine... I know how to build and tweak computers, but components change so fast, it's hard to keep on top of things.

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March 26, 2012 10:26:57 PM

Quote:
Here's my basic idea. I see a LOT of comments on the $650 Gaming PC article indicating dissatisfaction with some of the choices made there. I also know that the previous edition at $600 had some very different parts. I have a feeling that taking the $650, adding $100, and reallocating the budget a bit might result in something much, much stronger overall than either the $600 or the $650 builds in the article.


Yeah you'll hear hugely varying opinions every time those articles are posted because people always have differing opinions on what hardware they think should be included or not.

Quote:
Oh, and I would also appreciate advice as to timing. I was planning on buying this system in late April so I can build it and be ready for the release of Diablo III. If there's a big upcoming bump to processor or graphics cards and I'd be well served to wait until May, I can do that.


Most of the new graphics cards are out - we'll see the remainder of the Keppler series out before May, but I don't know of any CPUs that will replace the i5-2400 down the pike for price / performance. Right now nothing beats that.

Here's a build I recommend:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99 ($10.00 MIR)
PSU: Corsair CX600 V2 - $69.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $121.99
CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-2400 - $189.99
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X 8GB 1600MHz 1.5V - $46.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 - $149.99 ($15.00 MIR)

Total: $741.92 - $45.00 MIR = $696.92

Use the difference for a Windows license or peripherals if you want.
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March 26, 2012 10:50:29 PM

I don't mean to push you out of your budget or say that you should wait, but I personally was considering trying to build a budget PC just like yourself but ended up determining that for me, the expenditure of a little bit more money was hugely rewarding in terms of the abilities you can get out of your computer. Here is why:

With a little bit more money, you can get the i5-2500k, and the k sku lets you overclock, which means that you'll be able to stretch the utility you get out of your processor.

With more money, you will see a huge change in graphics performance. In my case, it was from looking at a build with that 6850 to just putting in an order for a GTX 570, which is an absolute beast of a graphics card.

The reason that I think it's so compelling to spend 250-300 more is that you are getting what seems to me to be far more than a 30-50% increase in the power and longevity of your system - the difference between an i5-2500k/GTX 570 combo and an i5-2400/HD 6850 combo can be pretty staggering, and definitely warrants the price if you can pull it together or wait a little bit on the order.

Also, in your case, I'd highly recommend going with an EVGA graphics card with the -AR sku so that you can do the 90-day step-up program once the full Kepler line is revealed.

Also, if you plan on playing primarily a lot of Blizzard games (SC2, Diablo III, WoW, etc) then you would benefit from going for an nVidia graphics card since Blizzard games are typically and traditionally performing substantially better with nVidia boards.

As far as monitor suggestions go, you should go into a local store and see what looks good. I loved how clear and deep and vibrant and almost "wet" the ASUS monitors looked and they are typically exceptionally well-reviewed, so I went with ASUS. However, LG makes some pretty nice screens too, and a lot of people find that Acer and Samsung are good choices.

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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 26, 2012 11:19:16 PM

rramstad said:
Oh, and for those who don't know what I'm talking about, I'm suggesting tweaking the components from this article

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-gaming-pc-ove...

adding $100 to the budget should allow for some interesting decisions, I'd think.

since the suggested GPU is no longer available:
GIGABYTE GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 1GB $249.99 (same GPU same price just gigabyte instead of xfx)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
replace Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V $69.99
with this:
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

lose he $30 mini tower case and get:
GIGABYTE GZ-F3HEB Black SECC Steel $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ok shame on me for NO front USB3 :p 

EDIT: even $750 is a tight budget. focus on ONE thing you can get the best of and build/upgrade with that and seeing the 630W PSU that would be fine short of a beefy multi GPU configuration, i chose the motherboard as the next important component.
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March 26, 2012 11:25:16 PM

Thanks for the replies so far. I'd love to see a few more opinions. I will definitely research the suggestions I've been given!
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April 3, 2012 2:46:46 AM

Best answer selected by rramstad.
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