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$~500 gaming rig

After doing some research, it seems like a gaming pc on a budget under $700 is a joke. But I'm interested in detailed, expert opinions about the performance.


Approximate Purchase Date: 1-3 weeks

Budget Range: ~500 USD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies, surfing, other

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Doesn't really matter but: newegg.com

Country: U.S.A.

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: huh?

Monitor Resolution: n/a

Additional Comments: Need a gaming rig that can reliably and satisfactorily play 7th generation(~2005—now) PC games. Doesn't have to be played on maxed out settings, but better than consoles is preferable.
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  1. here's my build: $502

    i3-2100 w/ gigabyte H61 motherboard: $176.98
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.989365

    G.skill 4gb DDR3-1333: $23.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231396

    Corsair CX 430W PSU: $44.99 plus $10 rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

    Western Digital 500 GB drive: $64.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

    Asus 24x dvd: $16.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

    HIS 7770: $129.99 w/ free DiRT game
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161402
    Xion X-180 case, comes with 1 red 120mm fan: $34.99 plus $10 rebate w/ free shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811208042

    Rosewill 4pack 120mm fans: $9.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200061

    total $502.91
  2. ScrewySqrl said:
    here's my build: $502

    total $502.91

    Thanks.

    Questions:
    What kind of performance do you get on games? Do you play on high settings?
  3. his can play most games at medium/high settings

    check mine out

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bunG

    its 10 dollars more but it can get you high/ultra settings. in order to do so, i had to reduce CPU performance and increase graphical performance
  4. TheBigTroll said:
    his can play most games at medium/high settings

    check mine out

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bunG

    its 10 dollars more but it can get you high/ultra settings. in order to do so, i had to reduce CPU performance and increase graphical performance

    Does most games include BF3? The latest Command & Conquer / Starcraft?

    That's interesting though, if $500 gets ultra, I wonder what's being sacrificed when you don't spend upwards of $1000.
  5. Best answer
    yes that includes bf3. you can run bf3 on ultra but you will have to turn down some details a little with a 6870. starcraft isnt very demanding compared to bf3. this is only for single player

    if you spend a 1000 dollars, you can get yourself possibly a SSD for storage, a quad core CPU which helps in BF3 multiplayer, and a 7850 which is about 1.5x as good as the 6870. you can also get a better case too
  6. Alright, I see the difference,

    One more thing, are both of your recommended setups great for upgrading?
  7. either one cannot be really upgraded since all of our mother boards dont support more than one video card
  8. That's unfortunate.

    Is that the best I can hope for at only ~$500?
  9. I don't suppose you live near a Micro Center, do you? If you do, I'd recommend considering one of their AMD Motherboard + CPU bundle deals. You can get a processor (Phenom II 965, or FX4100) and Crossfire/SLI compatible motherboard for right around $150. Others might hate a little because they aren't Intel, which, admittedly, is the undisputed champion right now, but the difference is largely academic; Both will provide playable frame rates provided a decent card is installed.
  10. Xenturion said:
    I don't suppose you live near a Micro Center, do you? If you do, I'd recommend considering one of their AMD Motherboard + CPU bundle deals. You can get a processor (Phenom II 965, or FX4100) and Crossfire/SLI compatible motherboard for right around $150. Others might hate a little because they aren't Intel, which, admittedly, is the undisputed champion right now, but the difference is largely academic; Both will provide playable frame rates provided a decent card is installed.

    Nope. The stores I have available are Fry's Electronics, Radioshack, and Best Buy.
  11. the $502 build I have could be changed to a straight dual-core PentiumG processor, and the GPU bumped, which is what Troll basicaly did.

    careful combo hunting could improve the system as well.

    As for upgrading, you can't Crossfire, but the H61 motherboard will handle any sandy/ivy bridge builds, and you can always go with a bigger drive or video card. you could save about $15 off my buold by changing the case to a rosewill R101 or R218 and dropping the 4-pack of fans, this coudl get you to the 6850 easily, and possibly stretch to a 6870
  12. ScrewySqrl said:
    the $502 build I have could be changed to a straight dual-core PentiumG processor, and the GPU bumped, which is what Troll basicaly did.

    careful combo hunting could improve the system as well.

    As for upgrading, you can't Crossfire, but the H61 motherboard will handle any sandy/ivy bridge builds, and you can always go with a bigger drive or video card. you could save about $15 off my buold by changing the case to a rosewill R101 or R218 and dropping the 4-pack of fans, this coudl get you to the 6850 easily, and possibly stretch to a 6870

    Hmm. I guess upgrade-ability is also part of what is sacrificed with only a $500 budget, besides HDD and video card and things such as the monitor.

    I don't know anything about overclocking, or any other hardware tweaking methods. So whatever I go with will be used as-is.

    The money is not mine and the build is not for me, so unless the investor wants to hold out for $700+, I'll be consider you guys' setups.
  13. Thanks again guys. Computer is fully built and is up and running. :)

    Both of you guys had good answers, so I'll just be arbitrary.
  14. Best answer selected by Aquanet.
  15. this the build I am about to order tommarow, but just get a 30 dollar case
    http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/partlist/
    use the microcenter $50 off motherboard cpu combo
    it should equal about 510
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