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First Build! Be gentle...

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Last response: in Systems
April 24, 2012 8:30:53 PM

Hey all, first time builder, long-time reader. I am looking to build my first budget gaming PC for the anticipated release of Diablo 3. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: Before May 15 (Diablo 3)

Budget Range: 500-700 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, amazon.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: No Pref

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024 (current monitor)

Additional Comments: building on a budget, first time build (so the easier the better), i really just want to be able to run Diablo 3 and other newer games at a decent fps

More about : build gentle

April 24, 2012 8:48:24 PM

Don't use an AMD CPU. Just trust me on this. Really, really trust me on this. Also, are you including the monitor? Your parts preferences confused me with the parts not required. I'm not going to factor in the monitor. Also, why do you want a full tower case? They're more expensive, really huge, and mid-tower is much more common. No performance sacrifices, either. Also, why a Biostar motherboard? I can't find any decent, ATX, non-Z68/P67, inexpensive ones. I'm also not including the OS. Anyway, here's what I would suggest:

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($116.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H61ICAFE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($72.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($192.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
This can be exchanged for a HAF 912, if you wish.
Power Supply: Antec 550W ATX12V Power Supply ($63.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($25.97 @ Newegg)
Total: $690.33
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-04-24 16:48 EDT-0400)

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April 24, 2012 8:53:46 PM

Hey ddan, thanks for the hasty reply. forgot to update the parts pref section. Thanks for the catch. I already have a monitor, and would definitely prefer a mid-tower case. I appreciate the build advice, and would welcome anyone else's as well!
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April 24, 2012 8:57:09 PM

The few things that are debatable are the PSU (because better deals might crop up. By the way, 463W is recommended by eXtreme PSU calculator, so I went 100W over to allow for extreme capacitor aging (463W factored in 30% capacitor aging)) and the mobo... especially the mobo. I don't really know a lot about non-Z68 or P67 chipsets, but I tried to find a relatively cheap mobo that was ATX... I didn't want to make you use a micro. It's too difficult. I also don't know much about cable management in the case, although people say it's good in both the HAF and the Antec. If you had extra money, I'd get a Corsair case (400R is preferable) for great cable management, but it's like $30 more.
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April 24, 2012 8:59:27 PM

I would use AMD Phenom II x4 processor...cheeper and motherboards are cheeper and you get a quad core (for future gaming needs) not a dual core i3 for about the same price. I would also look into AMD's FX processor line. Honestly, if you arent a high tech geek who want an extreme PC AMD is the best way to go.
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April 24, 2012 9:02:55 PM

ddan49 said:
Don't use an AMD CPU. Just trust me on this. Really, really trust me on this. Also, are you including the monitor? Your parts preferences confused me with the parts not required. I'm not going to factor in the monitor. Also, why do you want a full tower case? They're more expensive, really huge, and mid-tower is much more common. No performance sacrifices, either. Also, why a Biostar motherboard? I can't find any decent, ATX, non-Z68/P67, inexpensive ones. I'm also not including the OS. Anyway, here's what I would suggest:

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($116.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H61ICAFE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($72.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($192.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
This can be exchanged for a HAF 912, if you wish.
Power Supply: Antec 550W ATX12V Power Supply ($63.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($25.97 @ Newegg)
Total: $690.33
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-04-24 16:48 EDT-0400)


I would not use H61 either - you forfeit so many expansion opportunities with that motherboard it isn't funny. Not just on the GPU - but RAM, SATA ports, and everything else.

Quote:
I would use AMD Phenom II x4 processor...cheeper and motherboards are cheeper and you get a quad core (for future gaming needs) not a dual core i3 for about the same price. I would also look into AMD's FX processor line. Honestly, if you arent a high tech geek who want an extreme PC AMD is the best way to go.


No it isn't - not by a long shot. I'd suggest reading these benchmarks: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

Here's how I would do a $700 build:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99 ($10.00 MIR)
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX600 - $69.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $121.99
CPU: 3,1GHz Intel Core i5-2400 - $189.99
RAM: 8GB Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 1333MHz 1.5V - $42.99
HD: Seagate Barracuda ST 500GB - $79.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 560 - $189.99 ($30.00 MIR)

Total: $771.91 - $60.00 MIR = $711.91

Initially it's a little bit more than the aforementioned build but you do not compromise on anything or hinder your long term expansion options to save a few bucks. You also get a real quad core CPU and an excellent video card on top of that. You also get some really good rebates with this build - you save about $60.
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April 24, 2012 9:06:42 PM

Yes, but he said $700 before rebates. That's what threw me off. Also, I would DEFINITELY go with Intel. Look at some benchmarks... Intel i3 beats the top AMD in gaming. Although I'd have to say that I'd change the mobo on g-unit's build to a Z68 Pro3 Gen3 (he doesn't need to overclock, so why Extreme?). Other than that it seems fine.

Oh, and I'd try for a 6870.
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April 24, 2012 9:10:30 PM

he can save almost $60 off the build by switching to the i3-2120, but isnt taking into account that the OP never listed he has an OS or is a college student to get one at a discount, so the builds need to include one in his budget.
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April 24, 2012 9:19:30 PM

Pezcore27 said:
he can save almost $60 off the build by switching to the i3-2120, but isnt taking into account that the OP never listed he has an OS or is a college student to get one at a discount, so the builds need to include one in his budget.


Yeah if that is the case I wouldn't get the i5-2400 and get the i3-2120 and with the money saved plus rebates you'll have more than enough room for a Windows license if need be.
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April 24, 2012 9:31:43 PM

MacPCiOSAndroidGuy said:
I would use AMD Phenom II x4 processor...cheeper and motherboards are cheeper and you get a quad core (for future gaming needs) not a dual core i3 for about the same price. I would also look into AMD's FX processor line. Honestly, if you arent a high tech geek who want an extreme PC AMD is the best way to go.


No. wrong in all claims. the phenoms were good for their time, but now, even a intel pentium g860 can outGAME a phenom II x4 in many situations, and the FX are even WORSE! if you arent a high tech geek then get what the people who ARE suggest..
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April 24, 2012 9:42:43 PM

ddan49 said:
The few things that are debatable are the PSU (because better deals might crop up. By the way, 463W is recommended by eXtreme PSU calculator, so I went 100W over to allow for extreme capacitor aging (463W factored in 30% capacitor aging)) and the mobo... especially the mobo. I don't really know a lot about non-Z68 or P67 chipsets, but I tried to find a relatively cheap mobo that was ATX... I didn't want to make you use a micro. It's too difficult. I also don't know much about cable management in the case, although people say it's good in both the HAF and the Antec. If you had extra money, I'd get a Corsair case (400R is preferable) for great cable management, but it's like $30 more.

Benchmarks are what really matter for knowing what wattage a certain card will need.
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April 24, 2012 10:41:42 PM

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Best I could do. MIR brings it into the 700 range.
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April 24, 2012 11:00:48 PM

There is no price listed for the i5-2500k (it should be $220) and it says the OCZ PSU is $291.98; the PSU you recommended is actually $90. For $4 more, he can get a much better PSU, which is the XFX Core Edition 650W ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ). The MOBO recommend is $105, not $139.98. The total should be $747, and with my PSU change, it is $751. I honestly would not use MIR in a budget.

EDIT: For around the same price, he can get a GTX 560ti, which consumes much less power and isn't too far behind in performance.
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April 25, 2012 4:32:02 AM

azeem40 said:
There is no price listed for the i5-2500k (it should be $220) and it says the OCZ PSU is $291.98; the PSU you recommended is actually $90. For $4 more, he can get a much better PSU, which is the XFX Core Edition 650W ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ). The MOBO recommend is $105, not $139.98. The total should be $747, and with my PSU change, it is $751. I honestly would not use MIR in a budget.

EDIT: For around the same price, he can get a GTX 560ti, which consumes much less power and isn't too far behind in performance.



i5k/PSU combo

480 as a single card is fine...better than 560 ti in game...The mobo is not an sli type so I went as big as I could...it is about a gtx 570 with a 2500k z68 set up...at just over limit.
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April 25, 2012 6:12:43 AM

Yeah, I checked Anandtech benchmarks and the only game and res the 560ti is better in is BFBC2 @ 1680x1050.
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April 25, 2012 12:18:08 PM

From what I know, a 560 Ti preforms slightly better in lower-resolution settings at lower settings, but for the future, the 7850 and others like it are more valuable, since the "high" settings will BECOME the "low" settings on other games.
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April 25, 2012 5:13:59 PM

The 560 ti is a good card. The 480 has more gpu ram and is better at high settings. If the 560ti were less, I'd go with that. But at both about 10 bucks apart...the 480 is better. Amazon has a 560 ti at 174 w/ MIR...I'd get that card if the before MIR request was not part of his asking. Before MIR tho 560 ti and 480s are about the same price.
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April 25, 2012 6:45:46 PM

What 480?
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April 25, 2012 7:45:30 PM

If you can reuse your PSU, HDD and case you'll save a ton of money and can put that into other hardware, which might make you a bit happier overall.
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April 25, 2012 8:08:46 PM

Reuse the HDD if possible. PSU is iffy. Also, the 480 is worse than the 560 Ti... like... a lot worse. Onboard RAM doesn't matter all that much unless you're on multiple monitors. Just look at the clock... it's like 200Mhz lower. Although clocks aren't the only things that matter, either.
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April 25, 2012 8:19:59 PM

ddan49 said:
Reuse the HDD if possible. PSU is iffy. Also, the 480 is worse than the 560 Ti... like... a lot worse. Onboard RAM doesn't matter all that much unless you're on multiple monitors. Just look at the clock... it's like 200Mhz lower. Although clocks aren't the only things that matter, either.

Actually, that is incorrect. Take a look at this.
The only game where the 560ti is marginally better in is CIV 5 and Bf3 at 1680x1050.
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April 25, 2012 8:28:49 PM

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-review...

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-review...

As for gpu ram....ultra maxed out AA in games like BF3 you need more than 1.5

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

(A 480 still hanging in there with AA)

It is fair to say a 480 is more like a gtx 570.

A gtx 570 is better than a 560 ti (you can OC a 560 ti to close the gap tho)

google 480 vs 560 ti...OP can make the call. But a 480 is not worse. Its a functional card that runs, and can run, hotter.
http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/how-to-build-a-k...
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April 25, 2012 8:29:36 PM

Exactly what I said. :p 
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April 25, 2012 8:37:21 PM

azeem40 said:
Exactly what I said. :p 


You posted while I was linking stuff...it should read "ditto" :) 
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April 25, 2012 8:41:16 PM

:p 
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April 25, 2012 11:17:23 PM

Oh geez, bleh. I have no idea what I was thinking... the 480 is like two generations back from 680, right? I'm actually surprised they're still available. It seems to be fine. Although power usage is probably pretty substantial.

Also, any reason why the GTX 560 Ti is twice as good at SmallLux GPU? I'm assuming it has to do with measuring the clock speeds themselves.
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May 7, 2012 2:39:43 PM

Best answer selected by hisscoc2.
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May 7, 2012 8:07:28 PM

I'd go with 8GB of RAM.
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