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$700 Gaming Rig, needs monitor rec

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August 8, 2012 7:47:45 PM


Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: 1-2 weeks

Budget Range: 700 - 750 after rebate/ shipping etc

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming - diablo 3, wow, Rpgs (doesn't need to run at max settings), surfing

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: No existing parts

Do you need to buy OS: No .

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference. Not near a microcenter/ frys

Location: C'ville, Virginia, US

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to upgrade to Intel CPU)

Overclocking: Maybe, leaning on no since I'm not comfortable with it

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: hmm...anything decent, prefer to spend about 100 on the monitor

Additional Comments: First time building my own rig, so preferably parts don't require a lot of expertise to put together?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I moved and don't have a PC.


I've read through quite a few threads and thought I'd go with something like this build below. A few questions,

1. Are these parts ok together? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

2. Do I need a board like z77 if I won't be Overclocking and isn't likely to upgrade in the next 2 years? Is there a cheaper alternative?

3. Any recommendations for a decent gaming monitor? Would like one that's at least 21"

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($116.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($65.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $609.46
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-08 15:29 EDT-0400)


August 8, 2012 8:49:14 PM

Thanks for the link. I'm mainly concerned about the rig. The monitor is one what secondary for me.
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August 8, 2012 10:01:11 PM

You could do better on the CPU end and save on the MB and PSU end as you're not CFing and you're not going to be able to OC. Check out my $650 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Only $120 ATM and it's a 23" with solid quality. Would grab fast if you want it, deal ends tomorrow.

1. They are alright but you could do better for the money.
2. Answered above, but again. You don't need the board for so much and a PSU with 600w.
3. Above.
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August 10, 2012 12:26:19 AM

I disagree. The CPU is fine... the GPU won't max it out. Since this is a gaming rig, you need as much money in the GPU as possible. Keep in mind that some XFX GPUs can be really loud. I agree about the PSU. It's also overkill. Just get the Antec 550W Modulating one from Newegg... really high rated. The one in aznshinobi's build is good as well. I'd stay with a Z68/Z77 mobo just because they have some features besides CF that you may want. Of course, you can save there if you would like. You DO NOT need a better CPU if you've just got a 6870... I'd try to get that up to a 7850 if possible by saving on some other components. ASUS 7850 would be GREAT. At that point, you'd certainly want a better CPU.

For the case, I'd look into a HAF 912... they're really nice.

1. Answered above, I believe. All are compatible.
2. Z68 is fine as well. Moving into the Hxx boards... well... there are some small things you might want from a Z68/Z77 board. You may want to look into smaller (mini/micro ATX) boards for a cheaper alternative. Everything's just closer together... not really any performance drawbacks (although heat could be an issue, you're not CFing)
3. Sorry 'bout that. Definitely check tomshardware's daily deals on the front page and slickdeals.net
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
August 10, 2012 12:33:15 AM

^ Well what other features? B75 allows for the CF with the board in my build. Also OP isn't OCing so the Z68/Z77 boards really only have that and 8x/8x on B75. I don't see another real justification. :/  Personally at least.

For the chip, although it is true, the i3 is pretty sufficient for a GPU. If the budget allows I think going for the i5 would be nice so you don't have to upgrade in the future specifically if you have things you want to do in the future where a quad-core would be beneficial. Better to spend now than more later for one.

Also another thing about the GPU, OP's games pretty much have the limitations to where a 6870 would be enough to play them on High settings no AA. Personally that's why I think the 6870 would be fine. The 7850 would be nice but I don't think it'll be needed for Diablo and Wow. Games that are meant to be easy to run for lower end systems.
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August 10, 2012 12:55:26 AM

He/she also said they wouldn't upgrade for a while. So I thought... why not put a bit more on the GPU? What OP must understand, though, is that both of us are right... they're just different approaches. If you go with either setup, you'll be happy.
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a b 4 Gaming
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August 10, 2012 12:59:42 AM

True true. CPU or GPU that is the question. I think the GPU being upgraded later though is easier personally. With the GPU you just need the GPU, with the CPU you may or may not need to buy a new motherboard. If you get what I mean, as all Z77/B75/H77 MBs have PCI 3.0 already.
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August 10, 2012 1:02:02 AM

You have a point. I didn't notice the games he/she said they'd be playing. So your setup will probably be better.
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August 10, 2012 4:05:06 AM

Thanks to both of you for the helpful advice. In the end, I decided to go with an i5 2400 and Asrock H61M. I also got the corsair 600w because there is a good deal on newegg now and it's 40 after discounts and rebates. The PSU with lower wattages cost roughly the same anyway. =)
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August 10, 2012 4:05:12 AM

Best answer selected by Scyr.
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