Memorial Day Gaming Build ($600)

Approximate Purchase Date: this weekend, preferably want to take advantage of any Memorial Day weekend sales

Budget Range: 600 after rebates, will stretch to 650 MAX if necessary.

System Usage: Gaming and FRAPSing/Streaming during gaming. My main games are WoW, SC2, D3, but I want it to be able to handle FPS like BF3/MW3. I'd like to max out WoW/SC2/D3, but I'm fine on playing the other games on reduced settings.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard/mouse/Monitor/OS (getting student discount)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have a Microcenter and Fry's very close to me. Online I'll buy from Newegg/Tigerdirect/NCIX/Amazon.

Country: US

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, preferably an i5.

Overclocking: No.

SLI or Crossfire: Definitely no.

Monitor Resolution: 1600 x 900

Additional Comments: If you know of any good Memorial Day specials, please link! Here's what I have so far in mind. This is my first build and I'm a rather amateur computer user so I really appreciate all your input!

I know I skimped out on some parts (MoBo, PSU possibly). But as for the Motherboard, I'm not after a feature rich Motherboard. I want one that's easy to setup, has minimal ports, compatible with an Ivy Bridge. Absolutely no need for overclocking or SLI/Xfire.

CPU - $150: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor

GPU - $140: Gigabyte GV-R685OC-1GD AMD Radeon HD 6850 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.1 x16 Video Card

Mobo - $55: Biostar H61MLB LGA 1155 H61 mATX Intel Motherboard

RAM - $40: Kingston HyperX blu 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules)

PSU - $40: Corsair CMPSU-430CXV2 Builder Series™ CX430 Power Supply - 430W, 80 Plus, 120mm Fan, Single +12V Rail, Active PFC

HDD - $75: Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ST3500641AS-RK

Case - $30: PowerSpec TX-381 Micro ATX Computer Case

Optical Drive - $16: Samsung 22X DVD±RW Burner with Dual Layer Support - OEM

Total: $546
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More about memorial gaming build
  1. I know of a few specials already posted, though if you're subscribed to Newegg's coupon codes, you may find more.

    Consider this 6850 instead for $119.99 after rebate

    I always visit to find stuff first.

    This Corsair 430 PSU at Newegg is slightly cheaper thanks to a Coupon code and rebate.

    For an additional $50 you could get the I5 3570K and Gigabyte Z77M - D3H mobo combo savings from Microcenter.
  2. Thanks for the links! That techbargains site is really sweet :)

    Any changes you would make to the build aside from the CPU/Motherboard?
  3. Simplexity88 said:
    Thanks for the links! That techbargains site is really sweet :)

    Any changes you would make to the build aside from the CPU/Motherboard?

    Not in particular. I don't know anything about the Case or that particular brand of RAM.

    AMD's site recommends a 500 Watt PSU for that particular video card. It's not 100% necessary to change, but I'd recommend going up just to be safe. If you do switch PSUs, get something with 80+ certification.
  4. If you want full potential of IB CPU, get a Pro3 Gen3 Z77 board for $110.
  5. If gaming is your highest priority, I'd suggest dropping the processor down a notch or two, going with 4gb RAM, and beefing up the video card a bit.

    The 6850 will run most games right now on fairly high settings at 1600x900, but it definitely won't be able to max more demanding games, and will start struggling with future titles almost immediately.

    If you live near a microcenter, you can grab an i3-2100 for $90, but that's in-store only.

    Also, that biostar looks like it has a 3 phase voltage regulator, among other shortcomings. Really nice motherboards have up to 6. More phases keep temps down, increasing the lifespan of the mobo; and makes voltages to the CPU more stable - giving you better overclocking potential.

    Here's a better board for the same price (4 phase, solid capacitor regulator)

    have fun!
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