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Budget Gaming Build

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August 28, 2012 10:17:10 PM

Hi all,

This is my first time building a computer, so I am a little overwhelmed with information. I'd like to get some advice as to what parts I should buy. This is my first desktop in a long time, so I will be needing to buy everything.

I want this computer to be able to run Guild Wars 2 at at least medium settings, and be able to play any future expansions. This won't be used for any hardcore gaming, but I game more than a casual gamer.

Approximate Purchase Date: by the end of 2012 (Christmas)

Budget Range: 400-600(my definite max). There might be some wiggle room, as I could get this to count as a birthday present, but not much more.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, web, watching videos/movies

Parts Not Required: I need everything (monitor, mouse, keyboard, operating system, etc.)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg or amazon

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No (I'm not even sure what this is, to be honest.)

Monitor Resolution: 1080p HD, if possible

Additional Comments: I'd like to have this be easily upgradable, so that when I have the money I can get better parts. I think it would be better for me (as this is my first time building a computer) if there were more space in the tower, rather than having everything be cramped and hard to work with. The quieter and cooler, the better.

More about : budget gaming build

a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2012 10:23:31 PM

**EDIT**

Apparently I didn't see that you didn't need an OS at first glance, I'll edit this list and be right back.

**NEW PARTS LIST**
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 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($78.24 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($167.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($57.08 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $597.81
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-28 18:26 EDT-0400)

Phew, this rig could most likely play GW2 on max settings at around 30FPS according to Tom's latest 'review' of the game :) 
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August 28, 2012 10:32:52 PM

Thanks for you build tips. Sorry if my description was a bit confusing, but I DO have to purchase an OS.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2012 10:39:46 PM

Alright thank you for the input :)  I'll edit the list and be back in a moment!
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a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2012 10:50:40 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($35.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($78.24 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 450W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($45.60 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.22 @ Amazon)
Total: $620.00
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-28 18:51 EDT-0400)

For this price point, I would feel comfortable getting an AMD Phenom II X4 over an i3. You could squeeze a little more performance out of the chip over the i3 due to the overclocking capability. This is a little over budget, but you can feel comfortable it will perform very well.
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August 28, 2012 11:03:04 PM

This is great! Thanks for all the help! I won't be doing any overclocking, at least I do not intend to at this point. Will this motherboard work with the intel CPU, and is this build easily upgradable down the road? Sorry for all the questions, i just don't want to get anything wrong after spending all this money. :D 
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a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2012 11:04:38 PM

You're very welcome :) 

Unfortunately no, this board is not compatible with Intel CPU's. Totally different socket.

However, this motherboard IS compatible with AMD's new CPU's that are coming sometime later this year or early next year code named Pile Driver :) 
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August 28, 2012 11:17:17 PM

Thanks, thats great to know. I'm just trying to get the most information I can before I actually buy everything. Based on your experience, is there really a speed difference between AMD and Intel CPUs, or is it just a preference thing?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2012 11:22:44 PM

Generally speaking, Intel outperforms AMD in any price point. They're just superior to AMD in any way these days it seems :lol: 

However, the reason why I chose an AMD chip for this configuration was due to the price point, and intended use. AMD, while they may not be the fastest, still get the job done VERY well for a GREAT price.

The Phenom II X4 chips are very modest CPU's that are head to head with the i3 21xx series of chips from Intel along with the i5 23xxx series.

For your budget, I will recommend an AMD chip. You don't want to compromise too much on your GPU and with an Intel rig, you will have to do that. With the current configuration, you have a very balanced rig which can be easily upgraded in the future.
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August 28, 2012 11:28:26 PM

Thanks for all the help! Hopefully I will be able to build my new machine soon :) 
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August 28, 2012 11:43:17 PM

Is there anyway that I could do a build thats similar, but for around $100 less, so that I would have room to buy a decent HD monitor?

Would a build $100 less make a huge difference in performance?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 28, 2012 11:51:50 PM

You're welcome :) 

I'll see what I can do with a budget of $500. There's a slight chance that it may perform a little worse, but it will still be playable in terms of modern titles.
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August 29, 2012 12:31:39 AM

I was just wondering, how does a store bought desktop at this same price point compare to this build? Is it actually worth building from scratch like this?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2012 12:34:52 AM

Yes, it is worth purchasing your own components and building your own rig at this price point.

With store bought computers, you will often times run into scenarios where a motherboard may be locked to certain CPU's, HIGHLY limiting your upgradability, and you will often times run into scenarios where the OEM's have cheaped out GREATLY on your GPU and PSU.
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2012 12:45:49 AM

This is still a little over-budget, however, it will still perform great for the price :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G620 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($58.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($35.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($41.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.06 @ Amazon)
Total: $524.95
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-28 20:45 EDT-0400)

Since this is an Intel based rig, you have the option to upgrade to an i3, i5, or i7 in the future as well! :) 
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August 29, 2012 1:20:13 AM

This looks great! Thanks! Could I easily upgrade the video card as well?

Will I be able to connect a 21 inch 1080p HD monitor to this?

(This is probably a bad question) Will I be able to use a wireless keyboard and mouse with this? I want to have as many open USB ports as possible.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2012 1:27:09 AM

Yes, you will be able to use a wireless keyboard/mouse with this computer. The case has ample USB 2.0 ports, as well as the motherboard. So you could easily connect up to 8-12 USB devices (6 USB 2.0 on motherboard, 2 USB 3.0 on motherboard, I think there's 4 USB 2.0 on the case).

You will be able to connect this to a 21 inch 1080p monitor without a problem :) 

Also, yes, you could upgrade the video card to anything you would like in the future. The CX500V2 is a very robust PSU that could handle anything up to a GTX660 Ti.
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August 29, 2012 2:39:23 AM

Great! Will this be able to run a game like GW2 at high settings?

Are these all of the components that I will need to build a functioning system?

Can you recommend any guides or walkthroughs to help me put it all together?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 29, 2012 2:59:17 AM

Yes, these are all the functional parts you will need to complete a system :) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls

That is a very informative video on how to build a computer step by step! :)  There are TONS more on the web if you need more information, so FEAR NOT! :D 
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August 29, 2012 2:15:54 PM

Best answer selected by bgt123.
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