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

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Last response: in Systems
May 25, 2012 8:53:41 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: June 1st

Budget Range: $500-700 USD

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

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

More about : 500 700 budget gaming advice machines

May 25, 2012 8:55:00 PM
May 25, 2012 9:16:19 PM

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.
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May 25, 2012 10:00:33 PM

Sorry, forgot to tell you to get the AMD 6850.
May 25, 2012 10:31:13 PM

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!