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New build with ~$500 budget for gaming

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August 3, 2012 11:22:38 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Not quite sure yet

Budget Range: highest maybe $560 looking for around 500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (battlefield 3, TF2, MW3, SWTOR ect) intensive 3D work (3D modeling, Source Filmmaker, Unity3D), everything else.

Are you buying a monitor: No



Parts to Upgrade: All

Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or MicroCenter

Location: Herndon Virginia

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel Proccessor, ATi Card

Overclocking: Maybe when I figure out how/why to do it

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not anytime soon

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: Looking to be able to run the latest games not at highest graphics, but acceptable. I am not that big of a fullscreen gamer, so many games will be run windowed at 1024 × 768 or so.



I have done some research and I have come up with this:

CPU: Core i3 2125 LGA 1155 Boxed Processor

GPU: HIS iCooler H777F1G2M Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB


HHD: Deskstar 7K1000.D 500GB


PSU: TR2 Series 500 Watt ATX

Mobo: ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel

RAM: Crucial Ballistix sport 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

Case: Antec 900 (refurbished $45)


All of that leads me to ~$500, but I want to know if there are any better alternatives for the same or similar price. And these will all work together fine, right?

Thanks guys.
August 4, 2012 1:21:15 AM

Anyone?
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Anonymous
August 4, 2012 1:41:19 AM

FYI
Microcenter will usually price match Newegg. So, check the Egg before shopping because you can save alot of cash.
That cpu is out of stock. the i3 2100 for $90 is an option.
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August 4, 2012 1:44:20 AM

Hm... I don't want to compromise any performance. How much of a difference will that make? And aside from that, how is this build? Does it look as good as I can get it for the price?
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Anonymous
August 4, 2012 1:47:22 AM

Is there a specific MC you`re be shopping at or going to have it shipped? Some things are in store only prices
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August 4, 2012 1:52:41 AM

Yes, I have it set to my local MC and they are all in stock there.
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Anonymous
August 4, 2012 2:10:31 AM

cool. the egg has that HIS 7770 cheaper and MC will still give you the $20 MIR, Total $109. The i3 2125 offers HD3000 graphics and .2 Ghz faster. I don`t think it justifies $30 more over the i3 2100.
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Anonymous
August 4, 2012 2:17:21 AM

I just looked up your MC and they only have one i3 2125. They are out of stock for the 2100 option anyway. I`ll link some parts to check out...
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August 4, 2012 2:23:18 AM

Great thanks. So I take it this build would work? And what kind of performance could I expect on let's say battlefeild 3? Because in the end RAM CPU and GPU only effect performance right?
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Anonymous
August 4, 2012 2:49:36 AM

Ok, you might want to check out AMD on this one. The Phenom II 965 BE is $89.99 and buy it with a motherboard get $40 off instantly.
Ph2 965
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
add this little guy in the cart and look at total
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Now, let`s see if we can get you into a better gfx card. First, better check reviews on mobo. For the money, $99 cpu&mobo worth looking into. I know you can overclock this cpu, but just how well the mobo is going to cooperate is the question. I tried some different boards, but they were not discounted in cart. So, might be select few that are discounted as a combo. Don`t know - no list available and the weekly sales flyer is kinda hard to make sense of
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August 4, 2012 3:36:24 AM

How much of a downgrade is this CPU compared to the i3? I really don't want to lose performance.
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Anonymous
August 4, 2012 5:37:17 AM


One option available on the RAM is to install a single stick 4gb 1600mhz. Creates a better upgrade path because using a second stick of the same RAM doubles your memory, if ever needed.
If the 7770 is all you can do right now, no problem. If ever more graphics power was needed; you could sell it and upgrade or buy a second one and crossfire them. Something to think about while you`re looking at all this stuff.

Enjoy it! Report back with updates that`s always cool
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August 4, 2012 5:48:16 PM

Wow, I didn't think I would be able to get an i5 in there.

This person seems to have pretty much the same specs as you linked, and is able to run Battlfeild 3 at ultra with 30-40 fps. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK4PqG7hDVY

Would this still be achievable if I used the AMD instead of the i5?
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Anonymous
August 4, 2012 6:36:14 PM

Yes, the AMD setup will run BF3, Ph2 965 and 7770. Should look into what mainboard to get with the 965 though. From what little I know about the 965 it is comparable to the i3 performance in games. That first ASUS I linked would work well at stock levels. However, if you ever wanted to overclock I would have to suggest a MB with better power management. So, add/sub parts from your cart and make it work for your budget. The 965 on 760 board with 7770 is going to be cheaper now but limited in future.
The PSU you originally linked TR2 seems good for either build and offers 5 year warranty. Case is all about preference, airflow, durability, ease of use. The NZXT 210 is good, but only includes one fan. The Antec series have always been decent. For 50 bucks the 300 or 302 would do well. The 302 is the latest revision and would be my suggestion
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August 4, 2012 6:56:09 PM

Ok, so it sounds like I could go with the AMD and not have too much of a performance hit and save a ton of money. I am not looking at overclocking just yet. So I could go with the AMD and upgrade my 7770 to a 7850 and get good performance. I found a refurb antec 900 for 40 bucks, so I am going to go with that. So it sounds like I've got myself a build! Thanks a lot mate.
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Anonymous
August 4, 2012 7:11:53 PM

So, it`s the 965 w/ 7850. Well, that will certainly play games. Like I said spend a couple minutes and learn about these AMD mainboards. Mainly the difference in chipsets, then read some reviews and decide from there.

Enjoy!
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August 4, 2012 9:02:40 PM

One last question. If I go to the store and buy all the parts, I will get the discounted price for the mobo and the CPU right?
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Anonymous
August 4, 2012 11:31:33 PM

Yes.
I switched out a few mainboards from the cart, not all of them were discounting in the cart. I did review the catalog(weekly sales flyer) and it clearly says $40 off any Motherboard when purchased with black edition cpu. You can find it on the upper right corner of the MC website. They will make all adjustments as needed. Don`t forget to check prices at newegg.com, MC will pricematch them, except promo codes. I once saved 100 on a system by price checking a couple components.

When you launch these games, I would encourage you to use your monitor native resolution, 1680x1050. what is the issue with full screen gaming? just wandering really...never tried windowed or ever known anyone to actually. I`ve had 1920x1080 monitors since they came out and have always used every bit of it. I`m up to a 27" now and it`s awesome. again, just wandering - seems like your missing out. well, with your new computer you can run full screen smoothly. LOL

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August 4, 2012 11:39:14 PM

Dijas said:
Ok, so it sounds like I could go with the AMD and not have too much of a performance hit and save a ton of money. I am not looking at overclocking just yet. So I could go with the AMD and upgrade my 7770 to a 7850 and get good performance. I found a refurb antec 900 for 40 bucks, so I am going to go with that. So it sounds like I've got myself a build! Thanks a lot mate.

Its not really a performance hit at all. 9 times out of 10 a 2500K with a 7770 is going to be outgamed by a Phenom II 965 with a 7850. A stronger CPU is nice if you can afford it, but a stronger CPU absolutely cannot make a weaker video card perform better. And almost every game on the market is GPU limited, not CPU limited.

As far as what boards are good with them, Asrock 970 Extreme 3's are about as cheap as I would go. Ideally an Asus 970 or 990 Evo.

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Anonymous
August 5, 2012 12:03:12 AM

nekulturny said:
Its not really a performance hit at all...

As far as what boards are good with them, Asrock 970 Extreme 3's are about as cheap as I would go. Ideally an Asus 970 or 990 Evo.


Thanks for posting about the mainboard. I really wasn`t sure what to recommend. All those different chipsets...geez.

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August 5, 2012 12:15:08 AM

No problem, the main difference in the chipsets is PCI-E lanes. Anything with a G on the end as you might of guessed will have onboard graphics. When you get to the 9xx series AMD chipsets (maybe 8xx too I'm not positive) thats where you pickup your USB 3.0 and SATA III support.

970 chipset is ideal for a modern AMD system with a single card, but if you want to crossfire or SLi at some point, the 990 series is going to be the better choice.

As far as the difference between the motherboard beyond that. The Asrock 970 Extreme 3 has a 4+1 power phase. Not really ideal for overclocking, but it is a solid board. I'd recommend spending a little more on the Asus M5A97 970 thats got a 6+2 power phase for better overclocking stability.
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Anonymous
August 7, 2012 3:59:38 PM

Dijas said:
One last question. If I go to the store and buy all the parts, I will get the discounted price for the mobo and the CPU right?


How`s it going? Any parts yet?
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!