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$500-$600 budget gaming build

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September 27, 2012 12:10:04 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: $500-$600 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (WoW, SC2, D3), web browsing

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: Everything, minus Case, monitor, and DVD-RW drive

Do you need to buy OS: Maybe, still on XP PRO SP3...willing to upgrade if the parts require it

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, or anything cheaper

Location: San Luis Obispo, CA, USA. Cannot drive outside town (car sucks)

Parts Preferences: Any

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not due to my budget

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I just want something that will run WoW, SC2, D3 with good framerate

Why I'm Upgrading: My PSU fried my entire system a year ago (granted I built it 6 years ago).

Additional Info: I know it will be hard to get a decent gaming system for my budget, but I have a nice case, good monitor, and DVD-RW drive. I just really need help picking parts because I have researched a lot, but honestly I'm worried about picking the correct CPU/MOBO, PSU, and GPU to get the most bang for my buck.

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case *Already have this*
OS: Windows XP Pro SP3 *Already have this*...willing to upgrade if needed.


CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53470

MB: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-h77m

GPU: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-video-card-hd687azhfc

PSU: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply Is this enough?
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cmpsu...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...

RAM: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/patriot-memory-pvi38g160c9...

List of parts is here: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/iFWE

Please note, all of these parts are subject to change. Just looking for suggestions.
September 27, 2012 1:08:31 AM

It would help to know what case you have, to make sure whether or not to look into ATX, micro-ATX, or ITX motherboards. I'd have to guess that a micro-ATX is a likely choice, just to be on the safe side. Do you have a retail version of Windows or other OS already, or will that need to be a part of the budget?

Since you've decided on a GPU already, I'll omit $120 from the actual budget for that. Hope it'll fit in the case you already have.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/iEue - $408, with an Intel Core i5-2300. Leaves a fair amount for you to play with, since you already have a case, and lets you get an OEM Windows 7 if you want/need to.

Edit: Whoops, you seem to have posted while I was choosing the parts. Nevermind then.
September 27, 2012 1:17:44 AM

Sorry, I forgot to mention the case I already have. Included it in my original post.

Also, will the 6850 run into any issues with that AM3+ mobo? Worth it to upgrade to 6870? I'm most concerned about the PSU...very open to opinions and suggestions on that.
Related resources
September 27, 2012 1:29:13 AM

For a PSU, I'd suggest something SeaSonic. The 520w modular one (linked in the parts I suggested in my previous post) is one that I'm currently using in my recently built PC and it works pretty nicely. It's good for pretty much any single graphics card (that doesn't draw 200w, I'd say), so it should be fine with the 6850. That one is being end-of-life'd from what I've heard, however... You may want to consider a 6870 instead, but that's up to you. With the savings compared to what I posted with your combo up there, you could probably (easily) afford at least a Radeon 7770 or a 6870 instead (the 7770 is a tier down from the 6850, while the 6870 is, as could be expected, a tier above). Considering your monitor's resolution, I'd suggest going with the 6870 or maybe saving up for a 7850.
September 27, 2012 1:30:06 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($190.39 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($177.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $587.34
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

That price is after $40 in rebates and you'll have to pay tax so it's a little out of your price range but it's the best performer you can hope for. You can switch to an i3 to save about $60 dollars.
September 27, 2012 1:32:59 AM

There shouldn't be any issues between AMD components like the AM3+ and an AMD GPU, I think. The issues would likely be the size of the card compared to what you can fit inside the case, as well as providing enough power to the GPU from the PSU. So long as you've got the dimensions of the card and what fits in the case in mind, you should be okay.
September 27, 2012 6:37:19 AM

Ok, I edited my original post to reflect some of the suggestions made. My main concern: Is the PSU enough to handle the GPU, CPU, etc.? Also, does everything look compatible with each other? Thank you :) 
September 27, 2012 7:07:25 AM

Any decent 500W or better power supply will provide enough power for a single video card system using current generation components. Either the Corsair CX 600W or 500W is sufficient. The 500W is actually $10 cheaper at Newegg at the moment (there's a promo code that doesn't show up in pcpartpicker).

There's also a combo deal for that motherboard and memory that saves $8.

If you can possibly afford it the 7850 will provide significantly better performance than the 6870. See this comparison.
September 27, 2012 8:00:00 AM

Thank you for the replies everyone. I am taking the hint and just shelling out a little extra money for the 7850. I might downgrade and get a 550w and get a regular ATX mobo. Thanks guys
!