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First build - budget gaming

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July 19, 2012 3:00:08 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the month (ASAP preferred)

Budget Range: $500-600 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies, photo editing

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Already have Windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None. I have been using Newegg and have a Microcenter nearby

Parts Preferences: Compatibility to dual-boot in Hackintosh

Overclocking: Not in the immediate future

SLI or Crossfire: Not in the immediate future

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 X 1080

Additional Comments:

Hey all, I'm looking for some advice on a first-time budget build. My uses with the comp will not be that intensive; for ex., with games I'm looking to run SC2, DIII, and maybe BF3, but do not need them to be running at ultra-high settings. I am also looking to use this comp for media, perhaps to drive a connected HDTV. I would like the hardware to be Hackintosh compatible for the future (although Ivy Bridge is not supported ATM).

Here is what I have planned so far:



I have a small SSD to get things started while I wait for a good deal on an internal hard drive. I'd greatly appreciate any video card recommendations in the $100 range and also any feedback on the listed parts! Thanks!

More about : build budget gaming

July 19, 2012 3:04:35 PM

HD7770 though it'll only enable mid range settings in newest games.

The parts you picked are good but I would downgrade the CPU and mobo to get a better GPU.
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July 19, 2012 4:13:49 PM

A HAF 912 will give you better air flow than that Elite 430 will, and 400W will be vastly underpowered if you plan to use any sort of GPU.
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Related resources
July 19, 2012 5:49:42 PM

bigcyco1 said:
EVGA 01G-P3-1282-RX GeForce GTX 280 SuperClocked Video Card - 1GB, DDR3, PCI Express 2.0 (x16), 2x Dual-Link DVI, 1x S-Video, DirectX 10, Dual-Slot, SLI Ready, Overclocked (Refurbished) - $100 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


*NEVER* - repeat - *NEVER* - purchase anything refurbished, after market, open box, returned item, etc. Those are far more likely to fail on you than anything else - and there's no warranty.
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July 19, 2012 6:27:00 PM

Yeah and a GPU three generations old? Really? No DX11?
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July 19, 2012 6:29:19 PM

FinneousPJ said:
Yeah and a GPU three generations old? Really? No DX11?


Actually the 280 is more like four or five generations old now.
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July 19, 2012 6:30:54 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Actually the 280 is more like four or five generations old now.

I used to have a 295 back in whenever, four years ago?
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July 19, 2012 6:42:49 PM

Some items like the 27" Catleap monitors are more likely to be in great condition than not.
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Anonymous
July 19, 2012 7:01:26 PM

You need to cut back on the CPU because any GPU in your current price range is going to seriously bottleneck it anyway.

For budget gaming, I would recommend this:

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...

This is just what I was able to throw together in a few minutes (leaving work shortly). I would definitely spend more time browsing motherboards to find a nicer fit.

For reference, I'm currently running a X4 955 OC to 3.8 and a 7850 at 1920x1080 and I'm getting wonderful performance on all my games (max Civ5 60 fps, almost max Crysis 1 at 40 fps, max Arkham City, etc). I think this is more of a suitable fit for you. An I5 for budget gaming is kind of overkill, IMO.
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July 19, 2012 8:14:52 PM

Anonymous said:
You need to cut back on the CPU because any GPU in your current price range is going to seriously bottleneck it anyway.

For budget gaming, I would recommend this:

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...

This is just what I was able to throw together in a few minutes (leaving work shortly). I would definitely spend more time browsing motherboards to find a nicer fit.

For reference, I'm currently running a X4 955 OC to 3.8 and a 7850 at 1920x1080 and I'm getting wonderful performance on all my games (max Civ5 60 fps, almost max Crysis 1 at 40 fps, max Arkham City, etc). I think this is more of a suitable fit for you. An I5 for budget gaming is kind of overkill, IMO.


I'll definitely veto this suggestion - there's no way any 965 build with a 4 year old outdated chipset can compete in the same league as Sandy / Ivy Bridge.

For that budget here's what I would suggest:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£89.80 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£83.99 @ Dabs)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£45.98 @ Dabs)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card (£117.98 @ Dabs)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case (£38.38 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply (£53.52 @ Scan.co.uk)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer (£13.98 @ Novatech)
Total: £509.62
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-19 21:14 BST+0100)

The CPU isn't as good, but the motherboard, case, GPU, everything else are way better.

FinneousPJ said:
I used to have a 295 back in whenever, four years ago?


I had a 280 for my first build (mid 2009) and I sent it into EVGA last year for a broken DVI connector and they replaced it with a 470 because there were none available.
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July 19, 2012 8:18:55 PM

Check out my $650 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
With Microcenter, the money you save will put you well in your budget.

I would be weary of using any motherboard brand other than Gigabyte for a Hackintosh however. I don't follow up on Hackintosh's but I hear that Gigabyte works best. Though just want I hear.
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July 20, 2012 5:46:42 PM

Thanks for the tips everyone. I am leaning towards sticking with the i5-3570K to take advantage of Micro Center's $50 off bundle.

Great point about the Hackintosh Mobos. Am looking into Gigabytes as well now.
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July 20, 2012 9:47:02 PM

Yep you should do that!
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July 20, 2012 9:54:36 PM

marsbars said:
Thanks for the tips everyone. I am leaning towards sticking with the i5-3570K to take advantage of Micro Center's $50 off bundle.

Great point about the Hackintosh Mobos. Am looking into Gigabytes as well now.


Why do I keep thinking this is a UK build? :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

Here's a build with the correct links:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII S524 77.7 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($23.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($115.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint M8 500GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($164.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($48.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $712.90
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-20 17:54 EDT-0400)
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July 21, 2012 8:30:11 AM

g-unit1111 said:
*NEVER* - repeat - *NEVER* - purchase anything refurbished, after market, open box, returned item, etc. Those are far more likely to fail on you than anything else - and there's no warranty.
lol he asked for any video card recommendations in the $100 range that was the best one i found for so cheap i have bought things refurbished and they were fine
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Anonymous
July 21, 2012 10:19:46 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I'll definitely veto this suggestion - there's no way any 965 build with a 4 year old outdated chipset can compete in the same league as Sandy / Ivy Bridge.


He's looking for a first budget gaming build. A Phenom II X4 even a little OC is going to kick ass at most gaming at 1920x1080. I can vouch for it personally as I run a 955. An i5 is, IMO, not at all practical because it's way overkill for gaming and will bottleneck most budget GPUs.

Honestly, even any mid-range CPU you pick up today is going to meet 99% of your needs.
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July 21, 2012 10:51:36 PM

bigcyco1 said:
lol he asked for any video card recommendations in the $100 range that was the best one i found for so cheap i have bought things refurbished and they were fine


I hate refurbished anything - manufacturers won't support these products and you're SOL if you try to RMA them. I keep saying that when I build my builds, longevity is a major factor and anything that doesn't provide long term usability isn't worth buying.
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July 21, 2012 10:56:10 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I hate refurbished anything - manufacturers won't support these products and you're SOL if you try to RMA them. I keep saying that when I build my builds, longevity is a major factor and anything that doesn't provide long term usability isn't worth buying.
I agree with you about that but when your only willing to spend a 100 on a gaming card you can't expect to much :lol:  also i wasn't aware they wouldn't support it so thanks for the heads up
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July 21, 2012 11:04:58 PM

bigcyco1 said:
I agree with you about that but when your only willing to spend a 100 on a gaming card you can't expect to much :lol:  also i wasn't aware they wouldn't support it so thanks for the heads up


I can't really argue with that. :lol: 
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