500-700 Budget gaming PC. Need advice between two machines

Approximate Purchase Date: June 1st

Budget Range: $500-700 USD

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers, Monitor, Operating System

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com Microcenter.com

Country: (e.g.: India) Made in the USA

Parts Preferences: None really. I prefer Intel over AMD for obvious reasons but price is king on a budget builds.

Overclocking: Yes, but not in the near future

SLI or Crossfire: No.

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900/1600x1200

Additional Comments: I just need a quiet, quick, cheap Gaming PC replacement. I was a big into PC gaming about 5-6 years ago (8800 GTX Ultra style) but I'm basically looking to build a new machine for around the cost of my old video card from five/six years ago :)

Here are a couple spec'd out machines. One is "over budget" the other is "under budget".

I'm trying to find a happy place in the middle, but would like to hear feedback on these two machines, or something someone can come up with at $650 (less is better :)) that would be a better value. I'll post the 2nd machine in a seperate post to keep things clear


CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k


GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti:


Case: Cooler Master 912:


HDD/Disk Drive:




RAM:G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB:


MOBO: ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68:


Total Cost = $707 without rebates
7 answers Last reply
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  1. I have always had bad luck with APEVIA parts so I would recommend getting an ANTEC, Corsair, Cooler Master or Seasonic PSU in the same price/spec range. You are not doing yourself any favors by cutting corners on the PSU, it could bit you on the butt later. If you cannot afford a better one now, then postpone the build and save more money until you can get a better brand.
  2. Here is a solid build:


    gives you 3rd gen cpu with pci-e 3.0 usb 3.0 and a better graphics card 707 before rebates
  3. Your first build is definitely better. It is also in your price once you go to microcenter. Here are deals they have that will put you at $600.
    I5-5570k $189

    ASUS P8Z77-V LX $89.99 if purchased with the i5 3570K processor

    Also, you should get a different psu.
  4. Sorry, forgot to tell you to get the AMD 6850.
  5. Thanks for the tips guys.

    I know that the PSU/MOBO are things people skimp on. I'm not usually one. I had no idea that brand wasn't reputable, I'll look into another. This isn't a problem.

    For the 2nd build would a FX-4100 be better? I hear mixed things about it, compared to the Phenom's but also know it OC's like a champion and isn't much more expensive.

    Video card wise I'm really torn. I've heard great things about the AMD 6850 and know that the AMD 7770 just came down a lot in price to the point it is cheaper in comparsion.

    How do both of these cards stack up to the GeForce GTX 550 Ti?

    Appreciate all the help folks!
  6. The 6850 is the best of the 3 cards. Look at this for a more detailed view
    Forget the 2nd build. It is not nearly as good and the 1st is now in your price range.
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