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Need Advice Building an $800 Budget Gaming PC

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August 1, 2012 4:06:04 PM

Hey everyone, I just joined Tom's Hardware. I've been browsing this site, and a thousand others, in the past few days trying to come out with a budget pc for around $800. What I need help with is making sure everything adds up, works together, and is actually a good pc. This is my first ever pc build, so i can use all the help I can get.

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible, I suppose
Budget Range: $800 Before Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, some encoding(my core2duo I have now is enough to handle this, but I'd like something a bit faster), and watching anime~
Parts Not Required: OS(my uni hands them out for free), mouse, monitor, keyboard, wireless card(I'm going wired)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg (But I'm definitely open to using other sites.)
Country: New Jersey, United States (I'm close to a micro center, about 25 minutes away, but I'd prefer not to if I don't have to...)
Parts Preferences:
Overclocking: I've never done this before, but it couldn't hurt to have the option
SLI or Crossfire: I'm not sure what this is, even after reading articles concerning them. so, maybe.
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080p
Additional Comments: Also, please let me know if I need any additional cables to complete the setup. For instance, will an ethernet wire work with these parts somehow or do I need something to connect the ethernet to?

-------------The Parts I have picked out so far:

GPU: SAPPHIRE 11188-22-20G Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (OC Edition)
$199.99


CPU: AMD FX-6200 Zambezi 3.8GHz (4.1GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor
$159.99


PSU: CORSAIR Gaming Series GS600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
$89.99


MEMORY: G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
$23.99


HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
$69.99


MOBO: BIOSTAR TA870U3+ AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard BIOSTAR TA870U3+ AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$89.99


DVD DRIVE:
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
$19.99


COOLING: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
$19.99


CASE: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan
$49.99

~~~~~~~~~~~~

In total, this build comes out to $723.91, and around $795 after tax and shipping, so I'm right on budget. Could you let me know if it's an alright build? How good it is? If my parts work together? Any help is much appreciated!

Best solution

August 1, 2012 4:19:42 PM

this is what i would get. the i5 3450 is 40 dollars cheaper instore at microcenter

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dAeW
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August 1, 2012 4:26:53 PM

I would swap out the H77 with the ASRock z77 Extreme4 board (if its cheaper)
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August 1, 2012 4:30:48 PM

its about the same. the h77-v has more features (identical to z77-v other than the chipset and overclocking power phases)
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August 1, 2012 4:31:57 PM

thought the H series boards didnt have the OC features the regular z77 boards did
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August 1, 2012 4:35:06 PM

I would definatally go with an Intel CPU, and since you mentioned transcoding a 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge on would be perfect for you, with support for Lucid Virtue MVP. A 3540 is a good option but if you have the money I would grab a 3570K, so you can overclock it. In terms of Motherboard I would grab a Gigabyte Z77X-D3H, but any at this price point would be a good buy.

I would also grab a better case, for USB 3.0 support, more room to expand and better airflow. Something like the Corsair 300R is a really good case and is great value.

Please feel free to ask any questions.

Dathtom

Links -

3570K - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Z77X-D3H - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

300R - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 1, 2012 4:53:46 PM

H77 = no overclocking for you
Z77 = overclock your heart out
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August 1, 2012 4:54:40 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
H77 = no overclocking for you
Z77 = overclock your heart out



thats what i thought, Before i got my P8Z77 - v board i had a P8H77 board... i took the board back like 2 days after i bought it.
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August 1, 2012 5:03:02 PM

What cooler is recommended if someone gets i5-3570K and wants to overclock it?
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August 1, 2012 5:07:59 PM

Depends Water Cooling i would get either Corsair`s H80 or Antecs Kuhler 920 if air get Noctua DH-14 or whatever the hell that big bulky thing is or CM 212 Evo
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August 1, 2012 5:17:32 PM

Definitely an Intel CPU. The AMD FX CPUs suck badly. If you're still insistent on an AMD CPU, Phenom II 965s are much better than FX. But I would change the motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 6950 is a good video card at a great price, everything else is decent. No real reason to pay the extra $10 for the 212 Evo, it only manages to run about 2-3c cooler, not a serious difference for the extra money.

I'd consider at least 8GB of RAM. If you swap to Intel make sure the RAM you get is 1.5V DDR 3. this is important.
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August 1, 2012 5:18:38 PM

Alex07024 said:
What cooler is recommended if someone gets i5-3570K and wants to overclock it?
CPU Cooler:COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler:COOLER MASTER V6 GT RR-V6GT-22PK-R1 120mm DynaLoop CPU Cooler w/ Universal bracket & Dual Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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August 1, 2012 5:30:34 PM

Thanks guys,
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO was my uneducated choice, but it is good to know what the options are.
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August 1, 2012 5:32:29 PM

Alex07024 said:
Thanks guys,
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO was my uneducated choice, but it is good to know what the options are.

Well, I'd say you had it right on your original post with the CoolerMaster 212 Hyper Plus, its 10 bucks cheaper than the Evo on newegg, and in terms of practical performance, just as good.
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August 1, 2012 6:03:07 PM

the thing about the plus is the base. the evo has a much flatter base which is beter for thermals

they are about the same. just that the evo requires much less thermal paste to fill gaps
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August 1, 2012 6:07:57 PM

Not to mention the EVO is quieter.
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August 1, 2012 6:11:15 PM

not really. the evo is actually rated higher since the fan spins faster and has more airflow. in general use, it is true
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August 1, 2012 6:13:08 PM

Yeah, my bad. It is only quieter at low fan speeds.
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August 1, 2012 6:18:33 PM

I could be wrong but if my memory serves me right the evo actually cools better something like 2C or 3C LOL!I read that some where i can't remember where though.
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August 1, 2012 6:20:36 PM

Some will say get EVO some will say get PLUS. I got the EVO cuz it has better airflow.
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August 1, 2012 6:31:49 PM

It was worth the $5 when the PLUS was $30 and the EVO was $35 back in April. xD
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August 1, 2012 6:34:16 PM

azeem40 said:
It was worth the $5 when the PLUS was $30 and the EVO was $35 back in April. xD
:lol:  agreed
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August 1, 2012 6:35:50 PM

Yea, I just noticed the price difference on em now the other day. Have to keep up with this stuff, it changes so much. If I were buying a CPU cooler today.. well, this statement isn't totally accurate since I already have a Hyper N520 and I'd need something major like a Noctua D14 to justify the upgrade, but between the 212+ and Evo, I'd get the Plus.
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August 1, 2012 6:38:28 PM

Now that I think of it, I would too.
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August 1, 2012 7:22:36 PM

Wow! Thanks for the quick replies everyone! As soon as I get a second to stop and sit down (like an hour or two) I'll read through everything carefully and then report back with my findings.

One thing I see, though, is that it is recommended I go with an ivy bridge cpu... But Can I fit that into my $800 budget? It's not like I'm set on AMD, I only picked it because it was cheaper.
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August 1, 2012 7:32:12 PM

Quote:
One thing I see, though, is that it is recommended I go with an ivy bridge cpu... But Can I fit that into my $800 budget? It's not like I'm set on AMD, I only picked it because it was cheaper.

You're welcome of course.
For most games, the video card is going to be where you want to go the heaviest. The i5 would absolutely be the best choice for gaming. But its only certain games where you're really going to notice a difference. Although for AMD I will say that Phenom II 965 overclocked would be my personal preference over the i3-2120. The Phenom II takes a slight hit in CPU intensive games, by slight I mean 1-5FPS based on Tom's benchmarks of CPU intensive games against the i3 (the *disclaimer* here is that 1-5 FPS really isn't a noticeable difference and most games are not CPU intensive anyway).

The reason the i3 can get a slightly better FPS rate is most games only use 2 cores. And the i3 has stronger individual cores than the Phenom II, however the Phenom II has 4 cores, and in programs that can use more than 2 cores, its going to be the better performer. So really its a trade off. If you multi-task a lot or do video editing and such, the Phenom II is going to be a better rounded CPU. Now to add to this, I know the FX-6100 technically has 6 cores, the problem is, they're pathetically weak in comparison.

Also, you should know that with an i3 you can't overclock, as such, you won't need a CPU cooler at all. The one that comes with it is good enough.

If it helps you might want to forget about the CPU cooler and look at some non-overclockable Intel i5s like the i5-2400 or i5-3450. Both of them are going to perform better than a Phenom II overclocked. You could even get a Sandy Bridge 2500K if its cheaper for you. Theres no real advantage to Ivy Bridge over Sandy Bridge.
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August 1, 2012 7:40:37 PM

Shockattackr said:
Here is your List

Pretty good pick there.

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August 1, 2012 7:41:30 PM

LOL, I'm getting my threads mixed up.. How bout you?
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August 1, 2012 7:55:31 PM

Shockattackr said:
this is what i would get. the i5 3450 is 40 dollars cheaper instore at microcenter

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dAeW

Here is your List



Yeah, I was just looking through this. This actually looks pretty good. And you even threw in a more powerful video card, too. Scratch that. I may just get the 6950. benchmark: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+HD...
I think the 6950 should be enough to play most modern games at at least mid graphics, right? As long as a game plays, I'm happy lol. This way I can save $50 buck to put towards shipping costs.

I'll definitely check over all these prices and my options. Getting to microcenter may be a hassle for me, because I don't drive. But if I find a way to get there, this is probably the build I'll go with. Thanks!~
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August 1, 2012 7:55:35 PM

Dont give me the Credit, I just Quoted the first Message
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August 1, 2012 7:58:57 PM

Best answer selected by oniony.
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August 1, 2012 8:00:38 PM

Shockattackr said:
Here is your List



I like that build as well. If you can not pull that off (multiple sites/rebates/shipping/taxes...meaning that you go over 800 then I'd have you take a look at a build like this. Given that you are adding the tax to your build, you are really gunning for a 750.00 rig. At that price a i5 + 480 is hard to beat:

newegg (note one combo)

1

LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24NS90 - OEM
Item #: N82E16827136247
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy


$16.99
1

Rosewill REDBONE U3 Black SECC Steel USB 3.0, eSATA, 3x 120mm Fans Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811147160
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$15.00 Instant


$59.99
$44.99
1

Seagate Barracuda ST3750525AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148702
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$40.00 Instant


$99.99
$59.99
1

Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC "Compatible with Core ...
Item #: N82E16817182200
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$30.00 Instant


$89.99
$59.99
1


EVGA 015-P3-1480-KR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814130759
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10
Item #: N82E16820233246
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
-$85.00 Instant
-$11.00 Combo


$404.98
$308.98
1


Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53450
Item #: N82E16819116506
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
ASRock B75 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813157314
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$12.00 Combo


$279.98
$267.98
Subtotal: $758.92 (52.00 Tax) so just a tad over...
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August 1, 2012 8:00:46 PM

Oops, my bad! Thanks TheBigTroll for the list!~
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August 1, 2012 8:07:58 PM

loops said:
I like that build as well. If you can not pull that off (multiple sites/rebates/shipping/taxes...meaning that you go over 800 then I'd have you take a look at a build like this. Given that you are adding the tax to your build, you are really gunning for a 750.00 rig. At that price a i5 + 480 is hard to beat:

newegg (note one combo)

1

LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24NS90 - OEM
Item #: N82E16827136247
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy


$16.99
1

Rosewill REDBONE U3 Black SECC Steel USB 3.0, eSATA, 3x 120mm Fans Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811147160
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$15.00 Instant


$59.99
$44.99
1

Seagate Barracuda ST3750525AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148702
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$40.00 Instant


$99.99
$59.99
1

Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC "Compatible with Core ...
Item #: N82E16817182200
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$30.00 Instant


$89.99
$59.99
1


EVGA 015-P3-1480-KR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814130759
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10
Item #: N82E16820233246
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
-$85.00 Instant
-$11.00 Combo


$404.98
$308.98
1


Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53450
Item #: N82E16819116506
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
ASRock B75 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813157314
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$12.00 Combo


$279.98
$267.98
Subtotal: $758.92 (52.00 Tax) so just a tad over...


I was in awe at your build but then I realized you're missing a motherboard T__T
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August 1, 2012 11:01:38 PM

no thanks on the 480. its a power hog and it can run pretty hot. a 7850 probably runs at the same performance level but using 1/3 of the power

one more thing to note is that you can pay 20 extra dollars and get a 7850 top edition. you get a binned chip and a extra 130mhz overclock
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August 1, 2012 11:06:11 PM

TheBigTroll said:
no thanks on the 480. its a power hog and it can run pretty hot. a 7850 probably runs at the same performance level but using 1/3 of the power

one more thing to note is that you can pay 20 extra dollars and get a 7850 top edition. you get a binned chip and a extra 130mhz overclock
:lol:  all true except the 480 eats a 7850 for breakfast i would personally get a 7870 or wait for 660 7850 just don't impress me lol.
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August 1, 2012 11:14:23 PM

a 7850 performs close to a 570 or the same as a 560ti 448core. a 480 performs close to a 570. therefore i would assume that a 7850 would perform the same as a 480

or as you say, get a 660 when it comes out
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August 1, 2012 11:15:42 PM

Shh lol, thats a sore spot with bigcyco and me about an overclocked 7850 up against a GTX 570.

In all honestly, I've bounced back and forth on the GTX 480 issue. I've come to the conclusion (at least today) whoever wants those gas hogs, can have em all!
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August 1, 2012 11:17:44 PM

nekulturny said:
Shh lol, thats a sore spot with bigcyco and me about an overclocked 7850 up against a GTX 570.

In all honestly, I've bounced back and forth on the GTX 480 issue. I've come to the conclusion (at least today) whoever wants those gas hogs, can have em all!
:lol:  :kaola: 
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August 1, 2012 11:35:12 PM

Yeah, I read that the 480 runs hot and consumes power like crazy.
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August 1, 2012 11:43:08 PM

oniony said:
Yeah, I read that the 480 runs hot and consumes power like crazy.

Yea, but I'm going to be fair, the things are like an old Chevy Pickup with a 351 V8 Windsor, it sucks gas, but damn does it haul ass. I don't particularly care how much electricity my computers use since I have utilities covered by my lease, but not everyone does.
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August 1, 2012 11:48:09 PM

use less energy=saving our earth by a little bit at a time
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August 2, 2012 12:01:29 AM

TheBigTroll said:
use less energy=saving our earth by a little bit at a time
awe that's sweet. :lol: 
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August 2, 2012 12:02:27 AM

TheBigTroll said:
use less energy=saving our earth by a little bit at a time

Eh, compared to the environmental impact of actually building the products in the first place, its small potatoes. Precious metal mining in a lot of cases is horribly destructive to the environment.

Don't get me started on cars lol. Federal laws require Catayltic converters on all new cars to "Reduce pollution", but all that rhodium and palladium and crap they're made from, mining it out of the ground does more destruction to the environment than a cat-less car could ever do.

You want to talk about a cesspool of polluted wastelands:

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,...
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August 2, 2012 12:10:31 AM

yes i know that but the small difference is still something.

yeah its kinda stupid with the catalytic converters if it pollutes the environment in the first place. if only the manufacturers came out with rare-earth free cars earlier

i wouldnt be driving in the first place though anyways since i have this vision problem making driving out of the question (although if i go to some states in the US which allow people like me to drive with certain vision devices, i can then drive)
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