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Budget Gaming System - First Attempt - Sub $700USD

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May 28, 2012 6:41:37 PM

Well, I used to build PCs quite a while ago and things have changed a lot. This is what I have so far:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/907O
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/907O/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/907O/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Biostar TZ77B ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($72.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1GB Video Card ($159.98 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($48.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH22NS90B DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $634.91
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-28 14:16 EDT-0400)

Approximate Purchase Date: Over the summer, as deals become available. I want to do this *now* but I will be traveling a good part of June and July so I decided to just buy parts piecemeal as the are good deals.

Budget Range: Under $700 USD After rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Image and audio manipulation, simple matlab, rendering

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any reputable business

Country: US

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel processor.. I might overclock. See comments below

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Pretty Fancy to Extra Fancy. I currently have an ASUS VS228 that will be used with this system

Additional Comments: Buying this system mostly because I am curious about Diablo 3 and several other games that cannot be played on my aging laptop. I am ready to purchase parts at any time but since I will be traveling a lot this summer I am not in any huge hurry to build the system (and have it sit at home while prices drop over summer) but if I see a deal I am ready to jump on it.

I have not selected RAM as I am a bit confused as to what and how much I might need. I expect to get a minimum of 8 GB, but think 16 might be better. Of course if RAM prices are expected to drop I can just buy 8 now and 8 later.

I would like to have a decent upgrade path even though I know I typically just buy a new computer several years down the road. This is why I selected the motherboard included in the build.

As far as overclocking goes I certainly have no problem with it. I understand that if I did overclock this system I would need to get a (water cooled?) CPU cooler and several additional fans.

Anyway, I decided to start researching parts and stuff now so I can make wise purchases in the next several weeks, but actually have this build here that I might start buying parts for it..

I am a total novice at this these days.. feel free to criticize and offer suggestions (and your reasoning behind the changes)
May 29, 2012 12:46:47 AM

Hmmm... here's what I would do:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($122.66 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H61ICAFE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($72.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 550W ATX12V Power Supply ($63.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $677.15
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-28 20:45 EDT-0400)

No point in getting an i5-2500k with that GPU. Also, with the $20ish you'll save here, I'd get a better mobo... preferably Z68 Pro3 Gen3 from ASRock so you won't have any problems. I'm wary of H61 chipsets... try H67
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May 29, 2012 12:57:02 AM

You might be able to get a Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor for less than the price you are paying for the 2500K from MicroCenter if there is one near your location, assuming you are using a compatible motherboard with the Ivy Bridge processor.
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May 29, 2012 1:10:59 AM

For that matter, you could save even more by using an I5-2500k with a z68 mobo at microcenter
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May 29, 2012 1:13:09 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($66.79 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $708.72
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-28 21:12 EDT-0400)
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May 29, 2012 1:23:57 AM

bigcyco1 said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($66.79 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $708.72
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-28 21:12 EDT-0400)



Problem is if he lives by a MicroCenter
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May 29, 2012 2:13:43 AM

Thanks for all the replies.. Unfortunately, there is not a MicroCenter anywhere nearby.
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May 29, 2012 2:16:13 AM

In that case, the build I suggested would probably be close to the best possible at that budget since mine doesn't use Microcenter for pricing. Otherwise, bigcyco1's build would be amazing. I'd still try for a Pro3 Gen3 on my build, and pushing the GPU up as much as possible.
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