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First gaming rig ever. Little help?

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: 700~

System Usage from Most to Least Important:Gaming, College, possible music creation

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade:NA

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon or Newegg. pref amazon because newegg charges me tax -_-

Parts Preferences: which ever gives me most bang for buck

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

So here is my dilemma. I want to build a new gaming pc that can run most games on high settings and spend as little as possible. But i want the MOST bang for my buck For example if i would get good performance by spending 700 bucks but if i spent 800 and got a MASSIVE improvement, then I would shell out the extra bucks. I can't figure out the line of "good enough" and don't want to overkill. all prices please include a monitor. Thanks to anyone who can help. this has been driving me nuts.
28 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($113.49 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($105.24 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($50.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $721.67
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-28 17:43 EDT-0400)

    This is a configuration I would personally purchase for your price point :)

    Don't be fooled by the i3! Even though it's a dual core, it's one smoking little thing. It'll perform great in almost every title as long as it's backed up by a very beefy GPU, which it is. The HD7870, one of the best cards in this price point.

    I wish I could've invested in an HD7950, but I didn't want to compromise too much in this build :)

    **EDITED LIST**

    This rig will cost around $20 more than your budget, however, it will yield very good performance for the price. If you would like me to edit this list so it is within budget, please let me know and I'll be happy to edit it for you :)
  2. Here you go:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($97.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($207.55 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($51.00 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($51.98 @ Newegg)
    Monitor: Acer S201HLbd 60Hz 20.0" Monitor ($108.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $834.03
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-28 17:46 EDT-0400)
  3. Great answers both of you but here is what was really bugging me. Will I regret not spending a couple hundred more to get a 2500k 660ti combo? what specific differences will I see with the cheaper builds.
  4. I would prefer you invest around $25 more into an i5 3570k. It's newer technology with better features, you won't regret the purchase.

    Also if you had the cash to go with a GTX660 Ti, I would highly recommend the HD7950. With AMD's recent price drops, there isn't any reason NOT to get an HD7950. More performance, and there's even more performance potential once overclocked.

    You may or may not regret spending the extra $$$ going with these cheaper builds. The i5 3450 is already a very modest chip that will certainly last you a long time. If you want to overclock, then I would say save some money and invest in a K sku i5.

    Investing in a better GPU is up for debate. The HD7850/7870 are already modest GPU's that have great potential once overclocked as well. You can't go wrong with either of our rigs.
  5. thanks a lot but could you tell me the difference between your suggested build and one with a 2500k and a 6950
  6. *7950, not 6950 :)

    The rig I personally listed has an i3 2120, which is a dual core processor that can't be overclocked. Since you can not overclock the i3, the i5 2500k/3570k will have a clear advantage in two ways -

    1) Overclocking capability. You will see significant performance gains in certain games and Video Editing applications due to high clocks obtainable
    2) Quad Core CPU apposed to Dual Core with hyperthreading.

    The HD7950 is $300, which is only $50-$90 more expensive than the HD7850/HD7870 while bringing you more performance. That's a very fair trade off IMO.
  7. Like g-unit, I'd say that 800 build w/ monitor is a good bet. Past that and you get less output for money spent. Below that and you can give up performance that would make gaming enjoyable.

    Bottom line: if you can find a way to get a 7850 and i5 into the rig you plan for:

    EXPL from newegg note the use of combos:

    1

    SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-222BB/BEBE - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827151244
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy


    $16.99
    1

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822152185
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$30.00 Instant


    $99.99
    $69.99
    1

    Acer S231HLbid Black 23" 5ms HDMI LED-Backlight LCD monitor Slim Design
    Item #: N82E16824009255
    Return Policy: Monitor Standard Return Policy
    -$60.00 Instant


    $199.99
    $139.99
    1

    XFX Core Edition FX-785A-ZNFC Radeon HD 7850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    Item #: N82E16814150617
    Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
    -$30.00 Instant
    $20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card


    $234.99
    $204.99
    1

    XFX Gift - DEUS EX Game Coupon
    Item #: N82E16800989014
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$49.99 Saving


    $49.99
    $0.00
    1

    Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
    Item #: N82E16820104173
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
    -$6.00 Instant


    $45.99
    $39.99
    1


    Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-650 650W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified, Modular Design, Single +12V Rail, ATX12V v2.31/EPS12V ...
    Item #: N82E16817182132
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm ...
    Item #: N82E16811147153
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$30.00 Instant
    -$30.00 Combo


    $159.98
    $99.98
    1


    Intel Core i5-3470 Ivy Bridge 3.2GHz (3.6GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 ...
    Item #: N82E16819115234
    Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Item #: N82E16813157297
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$18.00 Combo


    $294.98
    $276.98
    Subtotal: $848.91
  8. easyfame said:
    Great answers both of you but here is what was really bugging me. Will I regret not spending a couple hundred more to get a 2500k 660ti combo? what specific differences will I see with the cheaper builds.



    You dont need to OC an i5 to hang with any game out and and game coming out soon. If you do want to OC then you need to make sure you add a mobo that can OC and an aftermarket CPU cooler. That would tend to mean a z77 mobo and a CM 212...that is a 30-40 dollar price jump for not a whole lot of in game performance.

    A 7850/7950 are both good cards for the price. I feel that the 660ti is overpriced but the gtx 670 still seems like an ok deal.
  9. loops said:
    You dont need to OC an i5 to hang with any game out and and game coming out soon. If you do want to OC then you need to make sure you add a mobo that can OC and an aftermarket CPU cooler. That would tend to mean a z77 mobo and a CM 212...that is a 30-40 dollar price jump for not a whole lot of in game performance.

    A 7850/7950 are both good cards for the price. I feel that the 660ti is overpriced but the gtx 670 still seems like an ok deal.

    great great I love the new input!
    is the difference between the i5 and the i3 minimal in terms of gaming? and would the 7850 be a good match with the i3?
  10. i3 and HD7850 is kinda like they were made for each other :) They compliment each other very nicely.

    However, for most games, you won't feel a difference between the i3 and i5. In some cases, however, such as Battlefield 3 Multiplayer, you will see a significant difference between the i3 and i5.
  11. mocchan said:
    i3 and HD7850 is kinda like they were made for each other :) They compliment each other very nicely.

    However, for most games, you won't feel a difference between the i3 and i5. In some cases, however, such as Battlefield 3 Multiplayer, you will see a significant difference between the i3 and i5.

    hah. bf3 was gonna be a big game for me. newegg has a ivy bridge 3570 forr 200 after promo code, good? And best possible graphics card with it would be...? almost there guys thanks so much for helping :D :D
  12. Yes the 3570 for that price is very good. The GPU I would most likely pair that CPU with would be either a Radeon HD7870 or a Radeon HD7950. But that's only if your budget allows.

    Otherwise, an HD7850 will do just fine.
  13. easyfame said:
    Great answers both of you but here is what was really bugging me. Will I regret not spending a couple hundred more to get a 2500k 660ti combo? what specific differences will I see with the cheaper builds.


    You're better off putting that money in the GPU, not the CPU. For the same price as the 660TI, the Radeon 7950 is a far better bang for buck option.
  14. So a i3 with 7950 wouldn't be silly?
  15. Not at all. Most games utilise more of the GPU than CPU anyway :) so there isn't a lot of harm done. There may be some slight bottlenecking, but I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    If you so wished, you could easily upgrade the i3 to an i5 in the future as well.
  16. mocchan said:
    Not at all. Most games utilise more of the GPU than CPU anyway :) so there isn't a lot of harm done. There may be some slight bottlenecking, but I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    If you so wished, you could easily upgrade the i3 to an i5 in the future as well.


    For the most part most CPUs (unless you use an AMD FX or something like that) won't be a bottleneck. Most of the time that lies in other factors like the primary hard drive, but pairing a high end video card with a CPU like that won't really matter too much. Most games usually only use two cores 1/2 the time - there's definitely a few exceptions though.
  17. g-unit1111 said:
    For the most part most CPUs (unless you use an AMD FX or something like that) won't be a bottleneck. Most of the time that lies in other factors like the primary hard drive, but pairing a high end video card with a CPU like that won't really matter too much. Most games usually only use two cores 1/2 the time - there's definitely a few exceptions though.

    ^Great advice

    And yes that's true about the CPU cores. One great example of a game that would definitely benefit from core count would be Battlefield 3 Multiplayer. Other than that, there's really no need, but you would still see a small increase from an i3-->i5.
  18. I would argue that an i5 is something that you should go after if you intend to pay 700 bucks for your rig. (monitor aside)

    You can find a 7850 and a gtx 560ti for 200 bucks. An i5 w/ those cards will be a balanced build and run most games a high settings.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161405

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127616


    If you plan on 600 to the rig then an i3 seems more than a fair call.
  19. Both of those rigs up the top their look brilliant. Choose which one you like the best and if you want switch one or two things.
  20. but honestly i wont see that much of an improvement by getting an i5. which is better an i3 and 7870 is better then a 560ti and i5 non k series
  21. easyfame said:
    but honestly i wont see that much of an improvement by getting an i5. which is better an i3 and 7870 is better then a 560ti and i5 non k series


    Going from the basis that most games utilise more of the GPU than the CPU, an i3 2120 paired with a Radeon HD7870 will perform better than an i5 3450 paired with a GTX560 Ti.

    The GTX560 Ti is a great card, however, it's not something I would purchase today as it's last generation, and it's price point can be easily beat performance wise by something like an HD7850/HD7870.
  22. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/g2y0 can someone rate my final build.
    any feedback / changes
  23. Is the PSU with a combo? If not, choose this instead -
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cmpsu500cxv2
  24. yes its with the combo i get the psu and case for 100. and thanks mocchan you've been most helpful
  25. Best answer selected by easyfame.
  26. In that case, disregard what I have recommended :)

    And you're very welcome.
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