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$550 Microcenter Budget Gaming PC [Updated]

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June 20, 2012 8:09:31 PM

Thanks for looking!

Approximate Purchase Date: Hopefully finish piecing it together by end of July.

Budget Range: $550 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming Computer (Guild Wars 2 mainly)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: IN STORE MICROCENTER and reputable online dealers.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: No, not now, this is my first build. [Updated: Yes, but maybe not right away]

SLI or Crossfire: No [Updated: Maybe, future]

Monitor Resolution: Below 1920x1080 for now, 1920x1080 in the future though.

Additional Comments:

This is my first build and live near a microcenter. I'm stingy with my money so it hurts me to spend too much. Lol. Any help is appreciated.

Ideas:

i5-2500k - $169
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Biostar TZ77 motherboard - $39 (rebate/bundle)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
HD6870 - $139.99 (this might be first purchase at this price point)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.Skill Ripjaws X 8gb - $46.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seagate Barracuda 500gb - $64 (promotional code)
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=63468&vpn=ST500DM002&m...
OCZ ZT650W Modular - $59.99 (rebate)
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=64381&vpn=OCZ-ZT650W&m...
Antec 300 - $39 (rebate)
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=29812&vpn=THREE%20HUND...

Total: $560ish


Thoughts? Changes?

Thanks


-----------------------------

Updated:


Alright guys, I have some things and need some others. Ha.

Have:
CPU: i5-2500k
Mobo: ASRock Z77
Case: Zalman Z9
GPU: Radeon HD 6870

Need: I have about $150 to spend.
Hard Drive:
PSU:
Memory:
CPU Cooler: ( This can maybe wait)

More about : 550 microcenter budget gaming updated

June 20, 2012 8:23:21 PM

Nice budget build. Don't get a Biostar motherboard. They aren't any good. I've used 4 of them. All 4 stopped working in less than a year. I RMA'd the first 3 and 2/3 I got back were defective. The 4th one I set on fire, lol, don't buy from Biostar.
June 20, 2012 8:24:23 PM

i am pretty sure that the biostar z77 at microcenter is not on sale

the $50 off on a motherboard is only if you purchase an i5 3570k and the $50 off is only limited to certain motherboards
June 20, 2012 8:54:58 PM

Are you sure you can get that Biostar board for $39? I don't have any experience with Biostar but I'd say go for it cause that's are bargain. Otherwise I'd say get this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: MSI H67A-G43 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $549.93
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

June 20, 2012 8:55:25 PM

stickg1 said:
Nice budget build. Don't get a Biostar motherboard. They aren't any good. I've used 4 of them. All 4 stopped working in less than a year. I RMA'd the first 3 and 2/3 I got back were defective. The 4th one I set on fire, lol, don't buy from Biostar.


That is something I was concerned about, I've heard sketchy things about Biostar. Anyone else agree/disagree?


boulbox said:
i am pretty sure that the biostar z77 at microcenter is not on sale

the $50 off on a motherboard is only if you purchase an i5 3570k and the $50 off is only limited to certain motherboards


I'm pretty sure the i5-2500k is also eligible for the $50 off. I'll have to look more into this.

geofelt said:
Looks good.
I think you can do better on the psu.
A 6870 needs only a 500w psu:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/amd-rad...

I like Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, XFX, and PC P&C better as brands.
You will be using most leads anyway, no need to pay extra for modular.

Here is a Corsair 600w unit for $50 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Every $10 makes me feel better. Not to mention the reputable brand. Haha.
June 20, 2012 9:06:30 PM

well for BIOSTAR it is well known company for MOBOs

to fail anyways....

going for a ASrock z77 board
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
for $89.99 with the discount(which i know for sure it is on this board because i go to microcenter a lot)
it will last longer perform better and you will have no problems at all with this board

and the best part about it, is that if you can save up enough dough for this board and for a better PSU, you can add a second card to perform up-to-par with newer/upcoming games that you may/may not want to buy
June 20, 2012 9:17:31 PM

Thomas_89 said:
Are you sure you can get that Biostar board for $39? I don't have any experience with Biostar but I'd say go for it cause that's are bargain. Otherwise I'd say get this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: MSI H67A-G43 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $549.93
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)


Pretty sure about the Biostar being on sale: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/0c732362#/0c732362/... (middle of the page)

How does the i5-3450 stack up to the i5-2500k? (no plans to OC now, but like the future option) I assume the future option would make the i5-2500k the superior choice?


boulbox said:
well for BIOSTAR it is well known company for MOBOs

to fail anyways....

going for a ASrock z77 board
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
for $89.99 with the discount(which i know for sure it is on this board because i go to microcenter a lot)
it will last longer perform better and you will have no problems at all with this board

and the best part about it, is that if you can save up enough dough for this board and for a better PSU, you can add a second card to perform up-to-par with newer/upcoming games that you may/may not want to buy


I am cheap, but y'all are pretty good at convincing me to bail on Biostar. Haha.

Definitely something to consider.
June 20, 2012 9:27:12 PM

kkeithd said:
Pretty sure about the Biostar being on sale: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/0c732362#/0c732362/... (middle of the page)

How does the i5-3450 stack up to the i5-2500k? (no plans to OC now, but like the future option) I assume the future option would make the i5-2500k the superior choice?


The 3450 is on par with the 2500K in gaming. If you want to be able to OC i recommend the AsRock Z77 extreme 4 boulbox suggested. Bear in mind that the K processors and OCable mobo's are more expensive and dont yield much extra performance in terms of FPS. Also without an aftermarket cooler you won't be able to OC much anyway, be ready to spend another $30 on that.

At your budget, I advice against getting OC parts unless you can get some awesome deal. Instead get a better graphics card.
After all, you want a gaming pc and an i5 3450 @ stock speed with an HD 7850 is much better than an i5 2500K @ 4.5Ghz with an HD 6870 in terms of FPS.
June 20, 2012 9:47:17 PM

great now i got something for you

get the i3 2100 for $89.99(don't worry you will like this)
then the ASrock z77 $89.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
$59.99
(btw this brand kinda sucks but this model of theirs is pretty much the only one that is decent)
RAM: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
$44.99

at this point it will be around $285 for most the main parts

you can stick with a 6850 nothing wrong with that choice if you choose to save money

all you need now is an HDD drive and a case which goes for pretty cheap and you can pretty much save about $100 going with a 500GB HDD and a $50 case
June 20, 2012 9:49:50 PM

also for a CPU cooler(i always try to recommend one but it is optional) is a hyper 212+

about $20 and if you want to OC then it will help somewhat and if you don't it will keep the case more silent than the stock fan

forgot to mention why i chose an i3 out of the rest

1)it will not give you better performance but it will give you more money to use

2)with that extra money you should be able to beat an i5+6850 with an i3+7850

3)how? because most of the works will happen with the cards instead of the CPU

not to mention that some games don't even use 4 cores so 2 cores is good enough

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

pretty nice GPU
June 20, 2012 10:03:33 PM

I agree, gaming is much more GPU than CPU. An i3 is an excellent processor. I put one in one of my computers and was very impressed. My son games on it all the time matched with a HD7770. If I were on a $550 budget for a gaming rig, I would definitely get an i3 and spend a little less than half of my budget on the GPU. HD7850 is nice, if they still carry a HD6950 and it's $40 or more cheaper then get that, the performance is similar.

Does he really need that OCZ 700w though? I thought someone found him a decent 450-500w for cheaper, I might be mistaken though.
June 20, 2012 10:30:58 PM

I did see a i3-2120 build somewhere that sparked my interest with the price. But, I do plan to play more MMOs than other genres and have heard they are a little more CPU intensive (especially in populated areas?) which is why I was choosing the 4 cores. Rumors or truth? I'm guessing that's more false than I assumed?

I like that you are looking out for my wallet! =D
June 20, 2012 10:39:34 PM

Okay, try an i5-2400 with a 6950.
June 20, 2012 10:42:13 PM

kkeithd said:
I did see a i3-2120 build somewhere that sparked my interest with the price. But, I do plan to play more MMOs than other genres and have heard they are a little more CPU intensive (especially in populated areas?) which is why I was choosing the 4 cores. Rumors or truth? I'm guessing that's more false than I assumed?

I like that you are looking out for my wallet! =D


That is true, but I think the extra power of a good GPU outweighs the benefit of a better CPU in almost all games. Not to mention the i3 is a powerful little CPU. In my opinion if you want a pure gaming rig, get the parts I listed below. It's $25 above budget but well worth it. If you want a more balanced build, consider the i5 & 6870 build I listed before although I don't think the one below is very unbalanced actually.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: MSI H67A-G43 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($224.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $574.93
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
June 20, 2012 10:50:07 PM

stickg1 said:
Okay, try an i5-2400 with a 6950.


That combo will be well above his budget. Partly because the 2400 is not on sale at microcenter. Also the cheapest HD 6950 is $190, not worth it compared the the $225 HD 7850 which is a little faster, cooler, quieter, uses less power and overclocks like a champ.
June 20, 2012 11:09:26 PM

Thomas_89 said:
That combo will be well above his budget. Partly because the 2400 is not on sale at microcenter. Also the cheapest HD 6950 is $190, not worth it compared the the $225 HD 7850 which is a little faster, cooler, quieter, uses less power and overclocks like a champ.


I'd buy that i3 build Thomas posted 2 lines up in a heartbeat if I was in the market for one. Remember the i3 has hyper-threading so it has characteristics of a quad core when it needs the extra power (2 cores with 2 threads per core).

You're right about the i5-2400 and 6950 not fitting in his budget, and also about the 7850 being cooler, quieter, and consuming less power. But I have to interject and say, like the 7850, 7870, 7950, and the 7970, the HD6950 also overclocks like a champ! However AMD sets the powertune limits very low on them and they must be bypassed with a registry edit or editing the config on MSI Afterburner (if that's you program of choice, it's mine anyway) to reach their full potential. They limit it to 840/1300 (stock is 800/1250). I have both of mine stable at 975/1400. Not trying to start an argument I just love Radeon's overclockability and I feel like the HD6950 should be included amongst the great overclockers! I had dual 6870's before too. They didn't get as high in overclock but still a really good card. Not as good as that 7850 though which can get to 7870 speeds on a minimal voltage increase. Plus it runs so cool anyway the voltage can be increased with little to worry about.
June 21, 2012 2:56:41 AM

I appreciate all of the replies. Definitely going to have to think on this one a little bit. Going to have to decide before the 6870 sales over. Ha. I'll let y'all know what I decide or ask you some more questions if any pop up. Haha.

Thanks again.
June 26, 2012 11:39:12 PM

geofelt said:
Here is a Corsair 600w unit for $50 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thinking about this? If I ever get another GPU....how much more will I need?

Any help on finishing this is appreciated. Thanks.

Have:
CPU: i5-2500k
Mobo: ASRock Z77
Case: Zalman Z9
GPU: Radeon HD 6870

Need: I have about $150 to spend.
Hard Drive:
PSU:
Memory:
CPU Cooler: ( This can maybe wait)
June 27, 2012 2:32:06 AM

if you want another gpu you will need around +250 more than the requirements that is listed on the GPU for the second GPU

if you are going to use the newer ones such as the 7000 series or the 600 series you only need about +200 more since it is more efficient

if only $150 left i would say take the $50 PSU find cheap ram(highest you should go for ram is $50 for 1600 speeds and 8GB worth) if not go for 4GB ram

and try to spend the rest to get at least 500GB HDD for enough space for at least a year
June 27, 2012 7:27:36 PM

boulbox said:
if you want another gpu you will need around +250 more than the requirements that is listed on the GPU for the second GPU

if you are going to use the newer ones such as the 7000 series or the 600 series you only need about +200 more since it is more efficient

if only $150 left i would say take the $50 PSU find cheap ram(highest you should go for ram is $50 for 1600 speeds and 8GB worth) if not go for 4GB ram

and try to spend the rest to get at least 500GB HDD for enough space for at least a year


Alrighty, thanks for the info. I may scrap the GPU idea, it's not like it's happening soon anyway. Haha.

500GB should be plenty as well, I don't fill up too much space. Ha.

Thanks for the reply.
!