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Need advice/suggestion on Budget Gaming

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May 28, 2012 4:10:07 AM

I'm building a PC for my sister as her computer has yet again stopped working, so I decided Id make her one. As you will read below she mostly just does stuff online on websites and IM clients, but will occasionally game here and there. Even though its not my money I would very much like to keep the cost down as much as possible, but I do want this computer to last for a while as I don't want to have to build another one next year for her.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP (my sister is lost without her computer, I know she needs help)

Budget Range: For right now all set it at $500, but the cheaper the better obviously, I don't want to sacrifice life span though.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Straight from her) Internet Surfing/Socializing/Email/Chat etc, Gaming (Team Fortress 2, WoW, Diablo 3 (eventually?), Drawing (Bambo Tablet), Photoshop, Music.

Parts Not Required: We are reusing the speakers, monitors, mouse and keyboard, possible the harddrive if it is still functioning.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I usually use newegg, but if there's a better deal I not going to complain.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: None really what ever is reliable and cost effective.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire:No

Monitor Resolution: Not sure I will need to double check.

Additional Comments: None


I've done a little research, but its hard for me to find the right parts because my mind is all on high end parts that she doesn't need (just built my own recently) I'm not exactly what is to much and whats not enough so if anyone could help me out that would be great.

So far:

CPU:

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32100

or

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120

TBH I don't even know whats the difference between these two sans the .2 GHz difference.
May 28, 2012 10:03:32 AM

basically only 200mhz difference between the two, worth the spend if its >20$ difference i guess. 2120 is a nice processor.

ASRock H61M-DGS
4GB Ram
Radeon 5570
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
FSP 400watt PSU
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May 28, 2012 8:31:47 PM

I did this for mine, so I'll do it for hers as well would you mind explaining your choices? Just so I have an understanding myself (learning). Also any case recommendations? I could just get the same as mine, but not sure if the size/cooling is necessary. This is the one I got:

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Edit: Also whats are recommended brands for memory and manufacturesr for graphics cards? Sapphire,XFX? Speaking of which ATI Radeon 5570 has a weird price range I'm seeing from 60 all the way to 180 I'm really confused.
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May 29, 2012 7:49:28 PM

Here is what I have so far,

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=19485052

it's over budget and hasn't even included the video card yet so I'm still trying to figure out what to do. If her hard drive is still working I can cut the OS+HD cost out leaving some money for the video card, the only radeon 5570 I found was this one on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-PCI-Express-Video-HD55...

Opinions? Comments? Anyone? Really need to order this soon I'm being pestered constantly.
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May 29, 2012 7:50:43 PM

The GPU isn't very good, but it should play on med settings at moderate fps.
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May 29, 2012 8:05:15 PM

azeem40 said:
The GPU isn't very good, but it should play on med settings at moderate fps.


Is it good for its price though? It seems like a low card for such a high price.
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May 29, 2012 8:26:27 PM

The comparable card is the 6570, and it should be cheaper, but both are not so good for gaming.
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May 30, 2012 2:11:30 AM

Any better recommendations? It doesn't need to be max everything, but it should run the games listed in the main post well.
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May 30, 2012 2:13:04 AM

A 6670 should run Diablo 3 on high settings (not max).
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May 30, 2012 2:39:04 AM

Alright So now I'm way over budget, if her harddrive is still working I can just use that and the OS already on it, the question is would it be worth upgrading to Wins 7? The computer has XP Media Center on it right now. I did a quick Google search and it said XP can handle 4GB of ram, but most said XP Pro so Idk if it will work with this setup. If I drop the new HD I'll pretty much meet my budget sans shipping. If I just get the OS I could either A.Backup her old drive stuff wipe it and install Win 7, or B.Upgrade her XP to Win 7 (Can you do that with a regular Windows 7 Disc or does it have to be the "upgrade" one?)
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May 30, 2012 2:48:09 AM

if i was you i'd switch the PSU for this one if you are sticking with the mid-range GPU options (upto 100watt max power draw) : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (saves ~ $20) i know its not as pretty but it is a great stable PSU with active PFC and an 80 plus bronze rating).

if you are going to get a monster GPU (6850 or higher) then you will likely need a 600watt PSU upgrade. i would recommend this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i don't really see too much point in getting the 'flashy' PSU's and components for your build as essentially you are trying to build one on quite a tight budget and once you start putting top tier components in, you will likely need to move away from the h61 platform, and maybe up to an i5.
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May 30, 2012 2:49:32 AM

You MUST reformat before transferring an HDD to another computer.
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May 30, 2012 2:58:17 AM

most likely the bigger issue there is that your old pc is likely 32bit and the i3 2120 is 64bit - you won't be getting the most out of the new architecture by keeping the 32bit OS installed.

imho windows is a rip off - i've even heard on the grapevine that 50% of windows users choose to download rather than purchase their copy - not that i would condone that kind of behavior though lulz
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May 30, 2012 3:00:48 AM

I think you mean that RAM above 4GB won't be recognized by 32-bit OS.
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May 30, 2012 4:42:05 PM

azeem : i mean that if he transfers the hdd which has a 32 bit OS over to the new system built on 64 bit and boots up without a reinstall it will only function as 32bit.

you CAN change system components and keep an OS - i've done it a number of times. obviously you'll have driver issues, and its not exactly ideal, but it certainly is doable.

xlerator : terrible advice. the FSP i linked to is way better, that rosewill is a low end psu dressed up with black paint and mesh wrapping. not worth risking it on shitty PSU's.
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May 30, 2012 4:53:25 PM

azeem40 said:
You MUST reformat before transferring an HDD to another computer.


May I ask why? Although sinsa brought up a good point with the 32bit OS with a 64bit processor.

Although I agree Windows is a rip off especially when they think they can come up with a slightly changed version each year and sell it again, but since it is not my computer and I don't feel like showing her how to keep a work around version up to date I'd rather spend her money to get it XD

Quote:

if you are going to get a monster GPU (6850 or higher) then you will likely need a 600watt PSU upgrade. i would recommend this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817104136


Are there better graphics cards then the Radeon 6670 for a decent price?

I update what I currently have right now, I removed the 1TB harddrive so long as her hard drive still works I can use that, if not I will probably get a 500GB one anyway

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
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May 30, 2012 7:54:08 PM

Cuz the chipset will not recognize any of the drivers if it is on another chipset and the OS can become corrupt.
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May 31, 2012 11:06:18 PM

Is there a better graphics card than the ATI Radon 6670 for a similar or close price? Like I said I'm not looking for a monster gaming machine, but it should run TF2/WoW flawlessly (I mean what decent graphics card can't at this point?) and run Diablo 3 fair well (mid+)
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June 1, 2012 12:01:38 AM

oh just a heads up, but right now im running a i5 3570k with onboard HD 4000 graphics and it runs TF2 perfect at 1680x1050 (my lcd's native res) - all settings are high. obviously the i3 2120 has a lower onboard GPU, but it shows that you don't need much in the way of a descrete card, even a 4550 would run it perfectly.

unless shes playing bf3 or other super demanding games, i wouldnt bother spending over ~$100 on the graphics card. hence the 6670.

check out the latest roundup here http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
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June 1, 2012 12:31:17 AM

Bakuryu42 said:
Is there a better graphics card than the ATI Radon 6670 for a similar or close price? Like I said I'm not looking for a monster gaming machine, but it should run TF2/WoW flawlessly (I mean what decent graphics card can't at this point?) and run Diablo 3 fair well (mid+)

At 1600x900, it runs Diablo 3 (Max Settings) at 46 fps:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/diablo-iii-performa...

Imo the 6670 is probably the best budget bang for buck graphics card atm.
And like Sinsa said, my old 6450 still easily played TF2 and Wow at 50+ fps, and the 6670 is a significant improvement. It should max both games out easily.
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June 1, 2012 4:10:00 AM

Last few questions, using this as a reference http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

What are the differences besides brand? Memory clocks seems to be lower for the higher priced ones (1000Mhz vs 1600MHz) Core clocks are mostly the same.

Also memory I know its pretty cheap, but what should I look for brand/speed/price wise?

Edit: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... found this one based on the info from the motherboards page http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... this should be good right?

Other than that I think I got my build!
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June 2, 2012 4:36:07 AM

Last questions I swear guys just need some last bits of advice.

Edit: Ok maybe a few more questions. I'm looking for a IDE/SATA to USB device and all the ones on newegg seems to have mixed reviews and no sure sign of it working with Win7 64 bit. Anyone got any ideas? I also want a power supply checker any recommendations on that would be good to. And last I am in search for a new surge protector as I don't trust the one I currently have I just read an old post I made about why, where someone when on a whole rant about why they are useless, well maybe, but I would rather have something between the outlet and my computer and if I can find one with a lifetime warranty that actually replaces/pays for any damage equipment then I'd be satisfied.
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June 4, 2012 7:13:21 PM

I didn't want to bump this but my last two post really need to be answered before I can order and I really need to order this stuff.
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June 4, 2012 9:19:33 PM

moornix said:
XFX 6770 $80 after MIR

NCIX.us has Win7 Home Premium 64bit on sale for $80 until Wed.

Dunno anything about that PSU, here's another option: Corsair Builder Series CX430 V2


Are those trust worthy sites (aka have you ordered from them before?) those are good deals though

Edit: Just realized only one is really a different site, so if the one for Windows 7 safe? Good shipping as well?
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June 4, 2012 9:37:08 PM

It's a Canadian company that happens to sell in the U.S. and fairly reliable.
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June 4, 2012 9:47:32 PM

Download the OS from the internet and you sabe $99.
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June 4, 2012 9:55:04 PM

moornix said:
It's a Canadian company that happens to sell in the U.S. and fairly reliable.


Canada... wonder how long that would take to ship, I would have to get all the parts only to have the OS arrive late >< lucky its not for me, but the person who it is for would probably complain.

Quote:
Download the OS from the internet and you sabe $99.


Yes and gain the headache of having to find ways to keep it updated and secure through other means FOR someone else.
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June 4, 2012 10:04:06 PM

Quote:
Download the OS from the internet and you sabe $99.


Yes and gain the headache of having to find ways to keep it updated and secure through other means FOR someone else.[/quotemsg]

Thats not a problem, i downloaded my OS, its updated and no issues so far.
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Best solution

June 4, 2012 10:24:59 PM

jcec92 said:
Quote:
Download the OS from the internet and you sabe $99.


Yes and gain the headache of having to find ways to keep it updated and secure through other means FOR someone else.

Thats not a problem, i downloaded my OS, its updated and no issues so far.


Do NOT illegally download your operating system from the internet. It's a terrible idea and supporting it is against forum rules.
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June 4, 2012 10:58:14 PM

This topic has been closed by Area51reopened
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June 4, 2012 10:58:50 PM

Best answer selected by Area51reopened.
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June 4, 2012 11:28:14 PM

This topic has been reopen by Area51reopened
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June 5, 2012 12:02:05 AM

Alright guys I think I'm ready to order:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

A little over budget, but the rebates bring it back down pretty close, any suggestions before I order? I'm pretty sure the memory is right, but no one answered my last two questions from my previous posts
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June 5, 2012 2:31:03 AM

Bakuryu42 said:
Alright guys I think I'm ready to order:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

A little over budget, but the rebates bring it back down pretty close, any suggestions before I order? I'm pretty sure the memory is right, but no one answered my last two questions from my previous posts


looks good
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