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Gaming PC build for BF3 and MMOs $500-$650

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July 6, 2012 8:15:05 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible

Budget Range: $500-$650

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Battlefield 3

Parts Not Required in parts list: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers(however if you have any suggestions for nice gear id like to hear them)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No Preference as long as it's a reliable source

Parts Preferences: I need something that can be upgraded later. I don't want anything that will limit my ability to improve this computer to keep up with increasing game minimum requirements.

Country: USA

Overclocking: Maybe ( Don't know how to)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe ( Don't know what it is)

Additional Comments: I want a computer with THE BEST performance possible for this price range. It can go up to 650 and a little over if it will improve performance significantly, id prefer it stay lower if possible.
July 6, 2012 8:36:02 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $682.90
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

I went a little bit over, but that's because I added a Z77 motherboard which will allow you to upgrade to a better processor later on so that your build can remain futureproof. If you don't want to spend that much on a motherboard with so many features, you can back down to this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 6, 2012 9:05:16 PM

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

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $682.90
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

I went a little bit over, but that's because I added a Z77 motherboard which will allow you to upgrade to a better processor later on so that your build can remain futureproof. If you don't want to spend that much on a motherboard with so many features, you can back down to this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


that asrock mobo wouldnt compromise the processors upgrade ability would it? if so, do you kno a cheaper one that has the same abilities as the z77?
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July 6, 2012 9:23:55 PM

You will be able to use any sandy bridge or ivy bridge, meaning, you will be able to upgrade plenty, but only within that family of CPUs. If somewhere down the line you feel like upgrading, just swap in a 2500k or better. You will be fine for about 5 years or more probably.

GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

it's 83 bucks. will work perfectly fine
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July 6, 2012 9:36:06 PM

Keep in mind that it will run BF3 but may need to turn down some eye candy, depending on your resolution. Still, it's a great starter system!
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July 6, 2012 9:47:33 PM

J_E_D_70 said:
Keep in mind that it will run BF3 but may need to turn down some eye candy, depending on your resolution. Still, it's a great starter system!


if i had $700 and i wanted to have the best graphics possble (or atleast better) what would you suggest?
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July 6, 2012 9:58:07 PM

Don't know if there's anything of value between the 560 and the 7850, and that would run about $100 more taking you to $780 on Jon's build. Or, a straight swap on roadkills link will still be about $650.

Keep in mind you get what you pay for :) 
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July 6, 2012 10:03:01 PM

Crucial question: do you live near a microcenter?

Locations at the top
http://www.microcenter.com/index.html

Also, if you're playing BF3 multiplayer, you'll need 4 cores. MP BF3 suffers with the i3-2k series. Even if you live near a microcenter, I doubt we can fit a 3570k into the budget, so I recommend a 965 black. The i3-2k series will outperform the 965 black in single player and most other games if the video solution is fast enough. What most builds don't take into account however, is that with the video cards you put into i3 or 965 black builds (including the ones in this thread) the video cards will run out of juice long before either processor does. The 965 black will give better day to day performance, esp. for multitasking.

BF3 slightly favors Nvidia cards (though if power consumption is a concern for you, the 7850 uses 100w less under load than the 480 in this build. They perform roughly the same, and the 480 is $40 cheaper to buy.)

If you don't live near a microcenter, here's a build. We can top this if you're within driving distance of one.

case: Zalman Z9 Plus ($50@NCIX)

PSU: Corsair TX650 ($63@NCIX)

motherboard: ASRock 970DE3 ($60@newegg)

CPU: Phenom II 965 Black ($110@NCIX)

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 8gb (2x4) 1333 ($42@newegg)

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

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

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

$605 total

Have fun!
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July 6, 2012 10:12:43 PM

J_E_D_70 said:
Don't know if there's anything of value between the 560 and the 7850, and that would run about $100 more taking you to $780 on Jon's build. Or, a straight swap on roadkills link will still be about $650.

Keep in mind you get what you pay for :) 

It is a 560 not a 560 Ti listed, isnt a 6870 and 560Ti better for just a little bit more?

Ironslice said:

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)

Thats a solid start and so is the System Builder $650. I would suggest a much cheaper motherboard like... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and then I would bump down to a cheaper case/tower. Any ATX Mid Tower thats like $30... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and then get a batter GPU like... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You can also go down to like 4Gb(2x2GB) RAM if you need to fit in a higher GPU. For my LISTED motherboards and cases, any are fine and will give about the same performance, but the more you spend on the GPUs that I listed the better the gaming.

I know the i3 is only 2 cores but personally I would still go with an i3 over a Phenom II.
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July 6, 2012 10:19:37 PM

quilciri said:
Crucial question: do you live near a microcenter?

Locations at the top
http://www.microcenter.com/index.html

Also, if you're playing BF3 multiplayer, you'll need 4 cores. MP BF3 suffers with the i3-2k series. Even if you live near a microcenter, I doubt we can fit a 3570k into the budget, so I recommend a 965 black. The i3-2k series will outperform the 965 black in single player and most other games if the video solution is fast enough. What most builds don't take into account however, is that with the video cards you put into i3 or 965 black builds (including the ones in this thread) the video cards will run out of juice long before either processor does. The 965 black will give better day to day performance, esp. for multitasking.

BF3 slightly favors Nvidia cards (though if power consumption is a concern for you, the 7850 uses 100w less under load than the 480 in this build. They perform roughly the same, and the 480 is $40 cheaper to buy.)

If you don't live near a microcenter, here's a build. We can top this if you're within driving distance of one.

case: Zalman Z9 Plus ($50@NCIX)

PSU: Corsair TX650 ($63@NCIX)

motherboard: ASRock 970DE3 ($60@newegg)

CPU: Phenom II 965 Black ($110@NCIX)

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 8gb (2x4) 1333 ($42@newegg)

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

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

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

$605 total

Have fun!


im about 15 minutes from a microcenter so yes. and say i had 700-750 to put out what would you recommend? what components are absolutely crucial to run bf3 on high(no ultra just high)
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July 6, 2012 10:34:25 PM

quilciri said:
Crucial question: do you live near a microcenter?

Locations at the top
http://www.microcenter.com/index.html

Also, if you're playing BF3 multiplayer, you'll need 4 cores. MP BF3 suffers with the i3-2k series. Even if you live near a microcenter, I doubt we can fit a 3570k into the budget, so I recommend a 965 black. The i3-2k series will outperform the 965 black in single player and most other games if the video solution is fast enough. What most builds don't take into account however, is that with the video cards you put into i3 or 965 black builds (including the ones in this thread) the video cards will run out of juice long before either processor does. The 965 black will give better day to day performance, esp. for multitasking.

BF3 slightly favors Nvidia cards (though if power consumption is a concern for you, the 7850 uses 100w less under load than the 480 in this build. They perform roughly the same, and the 480 is $40 cheaper to buy.)

If you don't live near a microcenter, here's a build. We can top this if you're within driving distance of one.

case: Zalman Z9 Plus ($50@NCIX)

PSU: Corsair TX650 ($63@NCIX)

motherboard: ASRock 970DE3 ($60@newegg)

CPU: Phenom II 965 Black ($110@NCIX)

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 8gb (2x4) 1333 ($42@newegg)

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

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

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

$605 total

Have fun!


im about 15 minutes from a microcenter so yes. and say i had 700-750 to put out what would you recommend? what components are absolutely crucial to run bf3 on high(no ultra just high)
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Best solution

July 6, 2012 11:01:15 PM

That's easy. Microcenter CPU + motherboard bundles will let you get an I5-3570k and a Asrock Z77 Pro3 ATX for $240 total.

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/11af08e2#/11af08e2/...

swap out the video card for this

MSI Radeon HD 7870 OC Twin Frozr III 1050MHZ 2GB 4.8GHZ GDDR5 $275 from NCIX after rebate.

After MIR, that should put you right at $750.

If you want to overclock the CPU, you should replace the stock cooler with at least a CM hyper 212 ($25-$30), but you definitely won't need to do that for quite some time.

If you'd rather go the other way on the budget, you can get the 965 black bundled with the 970 DE3 at microcenter for $130 total, which would bring the cost of the original build down to $565. You could just as easily pair the other video card with the first with that build as well for $640 total (965 black + HD 7870). That would leave room for an aftermarket cooler to overclock the 965 with.
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July 6, 2012 11:07:24 PM

A strong video card is absolutely essential for high settings on BF3. a 4-core processor is necessary for a smooth multiplayer experience. You *could* drop down to 4gb of RAM if you really wanted to save $20. that's about it.
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July 6, 2012 11:25:53 PM

Best answer selected by jonjohnson95.
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July 6, 2012 11:26:38 PM

quilciri said:
That's easy. Microcenter CPU + motherboard bundles will let you get an I5-3570k and a Asrock Z77 Pro3 ATX for $240 total.

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/11af08e2#/11af08e2/...

swap out the video card for this

MSI Radeon HD 7870 OC Twin Frozr III 1050MHZ 2GB 4.8GHZ GDDR5 $275 from NCIX after rebate.

After MIR, that should put you right at $750.

If you want to overclock the CPU, you should replace the stock cooler with at least a CM hyper 212 ($25-$30), but you definitely won't need to do that for quite some time.

If you'd rather go the other way on the budget, you can get the 965 black bundled with the 970 DE3 at microcenter for $130 total, which would bring the cost of the original build down to $565. You could just as easily pair the other video card with the first with that build as well for $640 total (965 black + HD 7870). That would leave room for an aftermarket cooler to overclock the 965 with.


cool. thanks man i appreciate it!
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July 6, 2012 11:28:00 PM

quilciri said:
That's easy. Microcenter CPU + motherboard bundles will let you get an I5-3570k and a Asrock Z77 Pro3 ATX for $240 total.

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/11af08e2#/11af08e2/...

swap out the video card for this

MSI Radeon HD 7870 OC Twin Frozr III 1050MHZ 2GB 4.8GHZ GDDR5 $275 from NCIX after rebate.

After MIR, that should put you right at $750.

If you want to overclock the CPU, you should replace the stock cooler with at least a CM hyper 212 ($25-$30), but you definitely won't need to do that for quite some time.

If you'd rather go the other way on the budget, you can get the 965 black bundled with the 970 DE3 at microcenter for $130 total, which would bring the cost of the original build down to $565. You could just as easily pair the other video card with the first with that build as well for $640 total (965 black + HD 7870). That would leave room for an aftermarket cooler to overclock the 965 with.


If only there I myself had a Microcenter close to me. I could have probably afforded all the things i wanted on my build. I hope they spread a little further south and keep the prices the same. They have some great deals from what i have read but they are in store only deals
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July 7, 2012 12:15:42 AM

carlwinslo said:
If only there I myself had a Microcenter close to me. I could have probably afforded all the things i wanted on my build. I hope they spread a little further south and keep the prices the same. They have some great deals from what i have read but they are in store only deals


/hug. I don't know why they have two in chicago. I'd give you one If I could.
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July 7, 2012 12:24:13 AM

quilciri said:
That's easy. Microcenter CPU + motherboard bundles will let you get an I5-3570k and a Asrock Z77 Pro3 ATX for $240 total.

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/11af08e2#/11af08e2/...

swap out the video card for this

MSI Radeon HD 7870 OC Twin Frozr III 1050MHZ 2GB 4.8GHZ GDDR5 $275 from NCIX after rebate.

After MIR, that should put you right at $750.

If you want to overclock the CPU, you should replace the stock cooler with at least a CM hyper 212 ($25-$30), but you definitely won't need to do that for quite some time.

If you'd rather go the other way on the budget, you can get the 965 black bundled with the 970 DE3 at microcenter for $130 total, which would bring the cost of the original build down to $565. You could just as easily pair the other video card with the first with that build as well for $640 total (965 black + HD 7870). That would leave room for an aftermarket cooler to overclock the 965 with.


oh yea. one last thng, i dont fully understand the purpose of you includng that microcenter link
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July 7, 2012 12:52:49 AM

It's the page of the July deals with the CPU+mobo bundle on it.

At the Top it says a z68, z77, or x79 mobo purchased with a 3570k, 2700k, or 38020 gets $50 off the total. The page also has he prices for the 3570k and the asrock z77 pro 3.
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