$500 budget gaming PC build

Hello, I almost feel bad for asking because I know these questions are asked all the time...but I am looking to build my first PC and I would like some advice on parts selection. I am on a pretty tight budget(college student) $500. I would like it to run games like BF3 and COD on at least med to high settings with a good 30 fps. This will be my first PC build, but I have done my research so I am confident I will have no problem with that. I will link the parts I have selected at the bottom.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the month

Budget Range: $500-550 After rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, mostly shooters. BF3, COD.

Parts Not Required: N/A

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NCIX.com (seem to have great prices!)

Country: US.

Parts Preferences: No prefference.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Not at the moment/probably not.

Monitor Resolution: My 32in Lcd tv if possible, 1366 x 768

CPU- Intel Core i3 2120 Dual Core Hyperthreading Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 3MB
I have heard good things about this CPU and think a dual core will work fine for my purposes.

Motherboard- Gigabyte mATX LGA1155 DDR3 1PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Motherboard

GPU- MSI Radeon HD 6850 Cyclone PE/OC 860MHZ 1GB 4.2GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI DisplayPort HDMI PCI-E Video Card
This is the part im a little confused about. I have searched around but I have not found how to tell if a graphics card will support 1366x768 resolution. I hope to hook up via hdmi to my TV.

RAM- Also need advice. 4 or 8gb? And 1600 or 1333MHz?

Hard Disk- Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 3.5IN 16MB Cache SATA3 Internal Hard Disk Drive HDD
Fry's has them for 50 bucks. I believe that should be enough memory.

PSU- Coolmax 600W 140mm Smart Fan ATX Power Supply with single PCI-E - V-600
Not sure about PSU, 600W should be enough I think.

Case- I don't really care too much about looks...this one is cheap and should work fine.

This comes out at $470 if I pick up a few things at Fry's. I don't have Windows 7 so that will be an extra $100 but I am not including that in the $500 budget.
I hope I didn't leave anything out. I would really appreciate thoughts and suggestions on this build. Thank you!
15 answers Last reply
More about budget gaming build
  1. All decent gpu's will handle the low resolution you put. So dont worry about that :) the gpu you put is a little weak though the 560 would be a good fit.

    I like your profile pic are you getting this for assassins creed 3?
  2. Crucial question: do you live near a microcenter? :)

    locations at the top.
  3. Where are you getting Windows 7 for $10?!
  4. @2fast, do you mean the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560? It cost a little more but I can definitely work it in.

    And yes, I love Assassins Creed! I will definitely be playing it on this PC!! :D

    @quilciri, Yes, I live nearish the Dallas one. Wow, they have very low prices! If I get everything from there(except the hard disk) that will get the price down to about $400. Which gives me some more options. They dont have the Intel i3 2120, only the 2100. Thoughts on the 2100?

    @xbunx, I said $100...

    Any other thoughts? Especially on the main parts, the CPU, motherboard, and GPU.

    And any idea how much wattage I need in a PSU? 600 sound good?
  5. I did mean the 560 but if you want to get it for ac3 then I would get a 7850 that is what I am getting because it should play it maxed out but with a decent cpu only if you can get the 2120 here is one


    here is a 7850

  6. xBUNx said:
    Where are you getting Windows 7 for $10?!

    He put 100 dollars :o
  7. If you're playing BF3 multiplayer, you'll be better off with a 4 core processor. MP BF3 suffers with the i3-2k series. Since we can't really fit a 3570k into the budget, I recommend a 965 black. Also there is no bundle deal with the i3's.

    case: Rosewill Challenger ($50@newegg)

    PSU: Corsair TX650 ($63@NCIX)

    CPU+motherboard: 965 black + Asrock 970 DE3 ($130 microcenter bundle)

    RAM: Crucial Ballistix 4gb ($20@tigerdirect)

    HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500gb ($65@tigerdirect)

    Optical: ASUS 24x DVD-RW ($15@NCIX)

    Video Card: EVGA GTX 480 ($200@tigerdirect)

    $543 total.

    Keep in mind this rig is complete and utter overkill for a target resolution of 1366x768. Your framerates will be ludicrous. It can nearly max BF3 @ 1920x1080 while averaging 50+ fps.

    have fun! :)
  8. i would put a monitor into mind to upgrade asap because it will be a really cool change I went from a 17 inch 720p monitor to a asus 23 inch 1080p and it is worth it. if you do then it will be nice to have a 7850 ;)
  9. 2fast4thetown_down said:
    He put 100 dollars :o

    lol I had 2 tabs up and wrote on the wrong one, my bad ;P
  10. @quil, that sounds awesome but if it gets those frame rates at that resolution then it is a little over kill for me, as awesome as it sounds! I am willing to step up to a quad core if y'all have a good suggestion.

    @2fast, I will be getting a monitor down the road but my TV should suffice for now. :) That card is a little much...money money money :/
  11. The 965 black is a quad core, and with the microcenter bundle, the best deal for that price.
  12. Then atleast get a 6870
  13. @quil, sorry duh, brain fart lol. Where are you seeing the bundle deals? The link you gave me didn't work.

    @2fast, yeah I am now looking at that or the Geforce GTX 560.

    Have yall seen this site before? They list GPU's and other hardware by performance and benchmarks, and also if the item meets minimum/recommended game requirements. According to them, the 6870 can't quite meet the recommended BF3 requirements...I guess it just gives you an idea of what it can do but it's a great site!

  14. use this site


    go to bench gpu 2012
  15. semperfi1133 said:
    @quil, sorry duh, brain fart lol. Where are you seeing the bundle deals? The link you gave me didn't work.

    If the link doens't work, just go to microcenter's site and click on the right side where it says "shop our advertised specials", click on july specials and scroll down the the AMD processor/mobo page (p.28)
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