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Help reducing the cost of my budget gaming build.

Last response: in Systems
April 8, 2012 2:30:28 AM

Hi all. I am looking to do my first complete build and would like to put together a budget gaming rig for myself and my son. I have wishlisted several of the components that appear to be decent based upon recommendations I have read. they are also near my price range - but at $730 (after rebates/shipping) I am about $130 over what I have to spend. Any advice on the build and on the best ways / places to reduce the cost would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Form info:

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-3 weeks.

Budget Range: $600 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, web.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Wishlisted on, open to suggestions.

Country: US - Las Vegas

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Maybe - future. (low priority)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe - future. (low priority)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Budget is priority. Quiet is nice. Aesthetics / lighting are not important. Will be used mostly for SWTOR, Diablo 3, WoW

Wishlisted components:

LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04; Item #:N82E16827106289

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case; Item #:N82E16811129066

XFX Double D HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready; Model #:HD-687A-ZDFC; Item #:N82E16814150521
$179.99 -$10.00 Instant $169.99 (-$30 rebate) $139.99

OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom; Item #:N82E16817341017
$99.99 -$25.00 Instant $74.99 (-$20 rebate) $54.99

Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00; Item #:N82E16820148544

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard; Item #:N82E16813157271
$129.99 -$8.00 Instant $121.99


Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
Item #:N82E16819115072

Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR60GB 2.5" 60GB SATA III Asynchronous MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #:N82E16820226247
$99.00 -$25.00 Instant $74.00

Thanks for any friendly advice / help. I really am quite the tech novice so I appreciate keeping that in mind. :]
April 8, 2012 2:50:13 AM

Would highly suggest keeping the SSD. As long as he has another HD already and doesnt need to buy one for this build. Hard to knock much money off elsewhere with what you are trying to make.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 8, 2012 3:06:05 AM

Does s/he have a HDD? If s/he does, then get the SSD. If s/he doesn't, then forgot the SSD.
April 8, 2012 3:15:42 AM

There's way too many sacrifices in keeping an SSD in a $600 gaming build.
Change motherboard to this one for $105. No SLI/CrossfireX support though you'll probably be better off just selling your current card and buying a new one when it comes time.
I'm not sure what obsama1 and my changes bring your build down too but if you still need to cut from your budget, I'd suggest an I5-2400/Matx combo. You lose expansion slots for RAM, though you probably won't be needing 16 gigs for a cheap gaming build. Other things will get long in the tooth long before the RAM. As for the CPU the 2500k is awesome overclocked but the video card is going to be your bottleneck anyways. You'll save another $50 bucks with these.
April 8, 2012 3:46:44 AM

First off, I would recommend checking out to help you find the lowest prices when you are looking for parts. They aren't always accurate and don't check every location, but I stumbled onto them through reading these forums and it is definitely a helpful site.

I would echo what a lot of people say here: SSD is the most expensive storage format, so you would be better off with a normal hard drive to save money (unless you already have a spare one you are going to use). Also, 60GB won't be enough for your main hard drive. After you install Windows and a game or two, you will immediately be out of space and have to buy another drive anyway.

I cut your 2500k down to an i5 2400, since unless you are going to overclock the 2500k you can save $40 and get similar performance. The 2400 won't be overclockable, but you could buy an Ivy Bridge CPU later on to upgrade.

You can save $10 on that PSU by getting it at NCIX instead of Newegg.

Here's the build: . Total price 690.80

Took some of the suggestions from other commenters and added them to the build, and cut back even more:

Knocked you down to a dual core processor, the Intel i3 2120.
Changed to the Asrock PRO3 motherboard.
Replaced SSD with WD 500GB 7200rpm hard drive (500GB was the sweet spot for price).
Changed the Antec 300 Illusion to the regular Antec 300 (you lose two fans, and leds).

Build: . Total price: 589.92

You could mix and match if you want to spend more, e.g. add $73 to go back up to the quad-core i5.

Also keep in mind that these prices include rebates that will end within a few days or weeks.

April 8, 2012 5:12:43 AM

egilbe said:
Can save $150 by going with an AMD processor and mobo instead of intel.

The main savings will come from the motherboard. It has limited pci slots and no 6gbps sata though. And it is micro atx, if he went with micro atx with the Intel board he could save more money as well.

The Intel i3 would be a better CPU choice at that price, though.