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Help with a $500-650 build

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March 27, 2012 12:57:52 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: a week or two
Budget Range: 500-650 After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: mid range gaming, nothing too crazy
Parts Not Required:keyboard, mouse, monitor OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts:newegg.com
Country: USA
Overclocking:No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: not sure

This is my first build so I don't have a whole lot of experience. Here's what I have so far, not sure if I'm overkilling in some spots and skimping in others based on my price range. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'm thinking I'd like to stay with the current CPU, open to changes on pretty much everything else.

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($115.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.95 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Video Card ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Gladiator 600 ATX Mid Tower Case ($55.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: Antec 650W ATX12V Power Supply ($67.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $622.88
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-03-26 20:49 EDT-0400)

More about : 500 650 build

March 27, 2012 1:03:20 AM

Also, get the i3 from Microcenter . com for $100. Overall, you'll shave $20 off.
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March 27, 2012 1:43:16 AM

I'm wondering if I should just get a 500 GB HDD.

The i3's are only available in store and none of them are within a reasonable distance.

Could I get away with a cheaper MOBO? Or should I stay where I'm currently at?
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March 27, 2012 2:09:11 AM

Went through and changed some stuff, any feed back would be great.

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($115.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H61ICAFE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1GB Video Card ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Gladiator 600 ATX Mid Tower Case ($55.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: Antec 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.09 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $551.58
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-03-26 22:08 EDT-0400)
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March 27, 2012 2:47:05 AM

FYI I think you could shave off a few bucks (maybe 10) by getting 2x2GB DDR3-1600 RAM sticks. You've got space in the mobo for four sticks! I would agree with GhosT94, but since you have a little higher budget, I would go for the Radeon 6870. It's the standard for budget builds. Well... that, or the GTX 560ti. It's a little bit more, though. ($200ish... Zotac is a bad idea from what I heard, so for my build I'll probably get the MSI Twin Frozr II OC). Other than that, everything seems fine. That's a really nice motherboard, by the way, but it won't allow overclocking (neither will your CPU). It's just that your original board did allow overclocking, and that's why it was more expensive.
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March 27, 2012 2:52:00 AM

Thanks. I've currently switched to an ASUS 6850 and I'm not too worried about saving a couple dollars with the ram sticks.

Yeah, the reason I dropped down on the MOBO is because i wasn't planning on overclocking.

Any suggestions on a decent monitor that won't break the bank. I really have no idea what the various prices for a monitor would be...
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March 27, 2012 3:21:42 AM

obsama1 said:
Ooops. Didn't notice that. The mobo is a bit overkill. Here;s a better 1:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Thanks for all your help. Could you take a look at this now?

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($115.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H61ICAFE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Gladiator 600 ATX Mid Tower Case ($55.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: Antec 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.09 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $586.58
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-03-26 23:21 EDT-0400)

I'm either doing the 6870 or the 6850 from ASUS.

Do you have any decent monitors that you would recommend to complement this build?
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March 27, 2012 3:34:18 AM

Get the 8 gb of ram. It's literally 10 or 15 more, as cheap as ram is, its a no brainer. Also 500gb is enough to start with, you can always add another drive. I would not waste too much on more expensive ram, the i3 can't really oc much anyway I don't believe. You are paying 25 I think for 4 gb, for 30-35 you should be able to get 8 gb of ddr3 1333. Not a bad choice on the gladiator, I've built in one, nice case. If you want something to save money, look at the Thermaltake v3 black, they should run 30 to 45 and are also easy to build in and five some nice features for the money.
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March 27, 2012 4:08:51 AM

ajc99 said:
Went through and changed some stuff, any feed back would be great.

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($115.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H61ICAFE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1GB Video Card ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Gladiator 600 ATX Mid Tower Case ($55.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: Antec 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.09 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $551.58
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-03-26 22:08 EDT-0400)


With this you can fit a i5 2550k or a i5 2500k for a $85 more. Right now till the 29 i5 2550k cost only $215 at newegg with a promo code that listed. Your getting a much better deal than a i3. If you have an old computer you can reuse its dvd drive and hard drive to save quite a bit of money to put into a better gpu. But you have to make sure that the those drives have sata connections to be compatable with motherboard. If you can save money though this I would suggest a AMD 6870. It is about 50% faster than the 550 ti and costs only about $50 more. Here is one listed from newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 27, 2012 4:27:27 AM

Build looks good. Only thing I don't see mentioned is the possibility of going with an SSD instead of the HDD. Especially if you have an older computer you can salvage an old hard drive from for storage until the prices start to normalize on hard drive's. Something to think about anyway....


Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $120 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Plenty of room for Win7 and a couple three games.
I've got a fair amount of software on a 500gb HDD and only use 130gb so far, granted i have a home server for photos, music etc

SSD would add a very significant performance increase for another $40 if you can do without the extra storage space or have access to another HDD.

Good luck!
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March 27, 2012 5:29:30 AM

Hmmm... haha. Now your CPU is a little below everything else. For the GPU, I would definitely suggest 6870. Phyrexiancure is suggesting overclockable CPUs, which would also add to the price of the motherboard (then you would upgrade to Extreme3 Gen3 or something like that). I WOULD suggest an i5-2400 (non-overclockable), but I don't know if there are any bottlenecks. Doesn't seem like it. I'm not expirienced enough with bottlenecks and CPUs to tell you for sure, but I would spring for the i5-2400, if only for the four cores. More and more games will utilize four cores, and dual-core CPUs are becoming obsolete. Apart from that, everything looks good. (Oh, and 8GB of RAM will insure you for future years. It's not necessary NOW, but since it's so cheap atm, you might consider getting it for the future)

In case you wanted to know, here's the build I'm considering. Keep in mind it doesn't include Hard Drive, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 650W ATX12V Power Supply ($52.46 @ NCIX US)
Total: $697.27
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-03-27 01:30 EDT-0400)
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