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Need critique/help on gaming build $600-750

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Last response: in Systems
May 20, 2012 6:06:09 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: 2 weeks

Budget Range: $600-$750 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet Browsing, School Work

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, optical drive, operating system

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country: US

Parts Preferences: I want to stick with GTX series & an Intel CPU

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024

Additional Comments:
I'm making a new computer because my laptop can not handle D3. I want to be able to run the game maxed out if possible. I'm limited to the amount of money I can spend and I would prefer to keep it under $750.

I'm choosing the i3 only because of money constraints. I also chose the mobo so I can upgrade to IvyB later on if I want to. I am open to dropping down to a 500gb HD, just haven't found a price that was low enough to justify it. Didn't know if the CPU fan would be needed since I'm not OC'ing and the case already comes with 2 fans, but I also heard that the fan that comes with the processor is pretty loud so this could be a replacement.

So I need to make sure that my build is compatible and I would also like to know if there are any modifications I can make to lower costs and adjust money to where it needs to be. My main concern is that one of my cases fans has a 3-pin connector, but from what I'm able to understand about the z77 it only has 4-pins for fans?


Current Build

Seagate ST310005N1A1AS-RK 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5

CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS
($70 + $10 rebate)

Antec Three Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower (with free webcam)

ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 & Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (Bundle)
Separate: Mobo $150, RAM $47.
($172) Bundle price

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz & COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
Separate: Sandy $125, CPU Fan $30
($143) Bundle price

Thanks in advance!

More about : critique gaming build 600 750

May 20, 2012 6:35:35 AM

For playing at 1280X1024 you don't need that powerful system.A Radeon 6850 with i3 will be more than enough. Here's a build under $700. Save some money for now and get a better monitor in a few months.
Remember this is a complete overkill for the current resolution that you will be gaming in.

CPU & HDD: $272- i5 2400 & WD Cavier Blue 1TB

Motherboard & RAM: $94- Gigabyte H61 & Corsair 8GB

PSU & Case: $78- CM GX450 & CM Elite 311

GPU: $240- XFX 7850

Total (Excluding Rebates): 684 USD

Rebates: $10

IF you want a monitor within this budget now Do the following:
Get this ,Monitor: $140- Acer 23" LED FullHD
Drop the GPU to Sapphire Radeon 6950 2GB worth $200
Drop the HDD capacity to 500GB by getting this CPU & HDD combo worth $247 (i5 2400 & WD Cavier Blue 500GB)
The total should be around $760.
May 20, 2012 8:02:04 AM

A lot of people are having issues using Radeon GPU's with Blizzard games and especially D3. That is why I want to stick with GeForce GPU's. If I got the monitor would I be able to justify getting a GPU like the 560 ti?

I also can understand the drop to a cheaper case (even though that case has pretty limited airflow), but is 450w enough to power this build?

I get the change to a h61, but why the upgrade in CPU? Is it worth the money or would I be able to keep an i3 and possibly put the extra money towards getting the monitor?

I can drop the HDD to the Cavier Blue 500GB as well.

Thanks for the quick reply.
Related resources
May 20, 2012 8:31:23 AM

The new generation GPU form Nvidia & AMD are based on 28nm manufacturing process. They are much more efficient in power consumption, Have a look at this link

Can't say much about issues of radeon GPUs with Blizzard games. But there are always some bugs , which get sorted out with driver updates from AMD & Nvidia.

CPU upgrade from i3 to i5 is because i5 is quad core, i3 is dual core. It provides better performanace . Have a look:

Regarding new monitor it's your choice. I suggested it because the monitor resolution you had was low, you could enjoy gaming on a higher resolution with a new monitor. Since you had a max budget of $750. I recommended that Acer monitor. I didn't know which size monitor you would prefer.

Getting a GPU like GTX 560Ti is not recommended now because of performance difference with 7850 at the same price .
Here's a relative performance between GTX 560Ti & Radeon 7850:

However when we compare 6950 with 7850. They are almost the same :
So in case you brought a monitor, getting 6950 would be a better bang for buck.
May 20, 2012 3:50:45 PM

updated list:

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz & Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB
(Only $14 more than 2400 with the same HD. Can then OC in the future if I want to)

(Going to agree with your mobo for the sake of costs)

SAPPHIRE 11188-22-20G Radeon HD 6950 2GB
(Willing to switch to Radeon after more researching into the glitches with D3 and the solution)

COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-550-PCAR-E3 550W
(Not sure if I feel comfortable with a 450w PSU for my system. Also since I'm getting the 2500k I figured with this PSU I can OC a little without having to replace it)

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
(Downgraded to an Antec 300 from the 302)

Acer S231HLbid Black 23" HD
(Cheapest one I could find and a must)

Total: $800
($805 with the wrist strap)
More than I wanted to pay but I also didn't factor in the need of a new monitor.

Noticed this mobo only has 1 fan header excluding the CPU fan, will I be able to hook up the other case fan via the PSU or am I missing something?

So again is this build compatible and do all of the components chosen make sense? Anything that can be improved?

Thanks again!

May 20, 2012 5:41:10 PM

You will not be able to overclock your i5 2500K with the Gigabyte motherboard. The H61 based chipset motherboard does not support overclcoking of CPU even the i5 2500K.For you to do so look for Z68, P67 chipsets based motherboard,for which you will have to push up your budget.
May 20, 2012 8:32:30 PM

ButtonLife said:
What about this mobo?

ASUS P8P67-PRO-BO-R LGA 1155 Intel P67

It's refurbished, but it's only $85 so it could be justified in pay the extra $35.

Make sure it has warranty and it's working. You never know with refurbished products.

May 20, 2012 9:12:06 PM

You could look at the gtx 480 it performs as well as the gtx 570 which is $300+. The only drawbacks of the 480 is it is power hungry and runs a bit hotter than other cards, which also means slightly more fan noise. But, at the same price as the 560ti. The 480 wins hands down as far as performance.

Goodluck with your build.