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$700 Gaming Build

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September 27, 2012 11:11:55 PM

I'm building a rig for gaming mostly. Call of Duty and a few others. My budget is 700. I need the whole computer, OS, keyboard, and monitor. Can someone come up with a build? :D 
Planning to buy within a few weeks.
I live in Maine, USA.

More about : 700 gaming build

a b 4 Gaming
September 28, 2012 12:48:53 AM

This build is a just a little over price. It is $770 before rebates, but it is an awesome computer. It doesn't include a keyboard because I don't recommend keyboards as they are completely personal. I would buy a normal keyboard and upgrade if you decide you want to.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/iJES
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September 28, 2012 1:04:45 AM

zared619 said:
This build is a just a little over price. It is $770 before rebates, but it is an awesome computer. It doesn't include a keyboard because I don't recommend keyboards as they are completely personal. I would buy a normal keyboard and upgrade if you decide you want to.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/iJES

I'd rather have intel that AMD..
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September 28, 2012 1:18:10 AM

tamouq said:
I'd rather have intel that AMD..

Not at that price range, mate.
Unless you wanna use a Pentium or something like that.
The CPU there is still quite good, its performance is near the i3 to low end i5 and will be more than enough to your needs.
Of course you could go with Intel but their mobos are more expensive and you would be forced to use a dual core.
And again, you wont be pushing the CPU to its limit, if gaming is what you intend for the machine, the CPU choice is fine, as it leaves quite some room for that HD7850 which is, as well, another great choice for the money.


Remember that when making value oriented machines, you should pick accordinly to what your needs are.
This rig seems quite viable to me
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a b 4 Gaming
September 28, 2012 1:22:05 AM

The only way to get an intel is to pony up $40 more for an i3, and performance wise for gaming, they are the same.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 28, 2012 1:28:50 AM

Yeah, while it is possible to get decent performance out of an AMD rig, for the same money an Intel rig will outperform it in games, and you don't want to handicap the AMD build further with an ancient-chipset mobo that only offers 2000MT/s. I need to hit the rack (5:00a comes early), but I'll mark this thread and try to post a build tomorrow.
Edit: recent articles and reviews have shown that there is no longer any price point at which Intel does not outperform AMD in games. Motherboards with equivalent quality and features cost about the same; AMD has some cheaper options, but they're the kind of under-performing and/or dead-end "cheap" that will have you kicking later yourself for getting one instead of waiting until you had another $10-$20.
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September 28, 2012 1:41:46 AM

@jtt
Yeah its actually pretty possible, I am tinkering right now on it, even if I dont fully support Intel on the budget side.
I am trying to base the build on an i3-2100 but in real life performance, the most relevant part is the graphics card. As long as processor goes, I am still constrained, A LOT, by the fact that the guy needs an OS and Monitor included. That leaves us with about 500 to 500 to build the actual PC. And I am sorry to break this down on you, but still to my point of view, the AM3 platform is far more viable.

I'll edit with an i3 build soon.

Edit: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/iJZD

Total: 825 after rebates. I am sorry, I cant figure out a way to get Intel within acceptable margins. Maybe you could drop a little on your motherboard, but I dont recommend going with another chipset at all. Z68 and Z77 are good but anything bellow is not worth buildng around. You could also drop a little on your Monitor. If you have no urge to go 1080p and 1600x900 is enough for you (which is very good as well) then you could save up 40 bucks more with a 20".

Overall, though, as much as people tells you that an i3 is the way to go, dont listen. Yes it is a good CPU, but the Phenom mentioned before matches it perfectly with games. It falls down a little with media encoding and all that (and yet, it is very capable as well, dont think it cant do it at all).
Oh and besides! that Phenom is unlocked, which means that you can drive about 20% more power to your cpu if you ever need to. You cant get unlocked Intel, until you get to the 2500k which is waaay more expensive

On a separate note, you could always go with an APU. Even if you have to wait one or two month until Trinity is released for desktops, it will be the absolute killer of the i3 considering gaming performance with a low end dedicated card (lets say 100usd) added to the system, when the i3 will need something about 200usd to even match it

Edit2:
Something like this http://pcpartpicker.com/p/iK6S
Check out some benchmarks, you will be surprised :D 
And this system is equipped with gskill 1866Mhz memory and a 1080p monitor by asus, almost no compromises made.
If you feel the CPU lacking a little bit, worry not, for it is unlocked. Its video power however, matched with the 6670 should allow you to max out MW3 and play BF3 with mid settings, if my estimates are correct.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 28, 2012 5:40:52 PM

Ok, here is a build. When sticking to a tight budget, there will always be compromises. I believe such compromises can and should be targeted carefully, so they don't prevent the system from becoming useless in a matter of months.

ASRock B75M LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:B75M
Item #:N82E16813157313
$69.99 -$5.00 Instant $64.99
I've been happy with ASRock. This board has modern interfaces and features, and should remain capable for years to come.

PowerColor AX7770 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support ...
Model #:AX7770 1GBD5-DH
Item #:N82E16814131477
Mail in Rebate
$119.99 $119.99
This card is a competent gaming card, particularly at the resolution of the selected monitor. At the time you consider upgrading your monitor, then you may also want to upgrade this card, but even then you may not have to if every setting need not be on UltraSuperMaxOhWOW.

Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:R101-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147112
$29.99 $29.99
I have built in this case. It is reasonably sturdy for a cheap case, and has plenty of room for the selected components. Its fan is quiet but moves enough air, especially considering that this initial configuration won't generate a lot of heat. Should you upgrade the processor and/or graphics card in the future, an additional $10 fan in the front should take care of any extra heat.

LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
Model #:iHAS124-04
Item #:N82E16827106289
$17.99 $17.99
One optical drive is much like another.

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
Model #:BX80623I32120
Item #:N82E16819115077
$124.99 $124.99
I was actually surprised to be able to fit this into the build, thinking I'd have to go for a Pentium G850 instead. If you'd prefer a stronger graphics card ($50 will let you take a small step up to a HD6870 or GTX560), you can get the Pentium instead, and still outperform an AMD 965 in most games.

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Model #:GFC-02050
Item #:N82E16832116986
$99.99 $99.99
Not much to say here.

Gateway HX2001L bmd Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LED Monitor
Model #:ET.DW1HP.001
Item #:N82E16824113030
$139.99 -$50.00 Instant $89.99
You could spend another $20 for a 1920x1080 monitor, but it wouldn't be LED, wouldn't have speakers, and would be closer to the comfortable limit of the chosen graphics card. IMHO this monitor fits this build; simple as that.

Logitech B120 Black 3 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB or PS/2 Wired Optical Mouse
Model #:910-001802
Item #:N82E16826104379
$14.99 $14.99
Bottom-dollar rodents are frustrating. You won't feel like hurling this one across the room because it can't track, and the tilt wheel gives you some extra options in games.

Microsoft Keyboard 200 6JH-00026 White USB Wired Standard Keyboard
Model #:6JH-00026
Item #:N82E16823109234
$13.99 -$5.00 Instant $8.99
On a budget, this one should do. I prefer light keyboards because they are more readily visible in any lighting conditions; you may want a black one. Feel free to replace this at your discretion, since keyboards are such a personal choice item.

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS
Model #:F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS
Item #:N82E16820231396
$19.99 $19.99
Four GB of RAM is still sufficient, but this probably IS the first place I'd toss another $15, to get a 2x4GB kit. The mobo only has two slots, so upgrading RAM means throwing away or selling this. Still, like I said, on a budget this is enough.

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD5000AAKX
Item #:N82E16822136769
$79.99 -$10.00 Instant $69.99
It pains me to choose a drive with only a two year warranty, but these seem to hold up well enough. For another $40, I'd get a 1TB WD Black, which still has a five year warranty.

Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V v2.3 Power Supply
Model #:VP-450
Item #:N82E16817371045
$49.99 -$15.00 Instant $34.99
Efficient enough for 80+, it is only disqualified for not having an active PFC circuit (it needs a little voltage switch). When you upgrade your graphics card to a HD7850, you won't need to replace this PSU.

Subtotal: $696.88
There's shipping on some items, but there's also a rebate in there, and perhaps a discount code.
When you can, you'll want to add decent speakers. You may eventually want a larger monitor (and then possibly a stronger graphics card), but I believe this system is well balanced for its budget. It is a good place to start, and has the ability to grow, so it won't feel like a waste next year.

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a b 4 Gaming
September 28, 2012 5:45:31 PM

Onus said:
Ok, here is a build. When sticking to a tight budget, there will always be compromises. I believe such compromises can and should be targeted carefully, so they don't prevent the system from becoming useless in a matter of months.

ASRock B75M LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:B75M
Item #:N82E16813157313
$69.99 -$5.00 Instant $64.99
I've been happy with ASRock. This board has modern interfaces and features, and should remain capable for years to come.

PowerColor AX7770 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support ...
Model #:AX7770 1GBD5-DH
Item #:N82E16814131477
Mail in Rebate
$119.99 $119.99
This card is a competent gaming card, particularly at the resolution of the selected monitor. At the time you consider upgrading your monitor, then you may also want to upgrade this card, but even then you may not have to if every setting need not be on UltraSuperMaxOhWOW.

Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:R101-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147112
$29.99 $29.99
I have built in this case. It is reasonably sturdy for a cheap case, and has plenty of room for the selected components. Its fan is quiet but moves enough air, especially considering that this initial configuration won't generate a lot of heat. Should you upgrade the processor and/or graphics card in the future, an additional $10 fan in the front should take care of any extra heat.

LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
Model #:iHAS124-04
Item #:N82E16827106289
$17.99 $17.99
One optical drive is much like another.

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
Model #:BX80623I32120
Item #:N82E16819115077
$124.99 $124.99
I was actually surprised to be able to fit this into the build, thinking I'd have to go for a Pentium G850 instead. If you'd prefer a stronger graphics card ($50 will let you take a small step up to a HD6870 or GTX560), you can get the Pentium instead, and still outperform an AMD 965 in most games.

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Model #:GFC-02050
Item #:N82E16832116986
$99.99 $99.99
Not much to say here.

Gateway HX2001L bmd Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LED Monitor
Model #:ET.DW1HP.001
Item #:N82E16824113030
$139.99 -$50.00 Instant $89.99
You could spend another $20 for a 1920x1080 monitor, but it wouldn't be LED, wouldn't have speakers, and would be closer to the comfortable limit of the chosen graphics card. IMHO this monitor fits this build; simple as that.

Logitech B120 Black 3 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB or PS/2 Wired Optical Mouse
Model #:910-001802
Item #:N82E16826104379
$14.99 $14.99
Bottom-dollar rodents are frustrating. You won't feel like hurling this one across the room because it can't track, and the tilt wheel gives you some extra options in games.

Microsoft Keyboard 200 6JH-00026 White USB Wired Standard Keyboard
Model #:6JH-00026
Item #:N82E16823109234
$13.99 -$5.00 Instant $8.99
On a budget, this one should do. I prefer light keyboards because they are more readily visible in any lighting conditions; you may want a black one. Feel free to replace this at your discretion, since keyboards are such a personal choice item.

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS
Model #:F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS
Item #:N82E16820231396
$19.99 $19.99
Four GB of RAM is still sufficient, but this probably IS the first place I'd toss another $15, to get a 2x4GB kit. The mobo only has two slots, so upgrading RAM means throwing away or selling this. Still, like I said, on a budget this is enough.

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD5000AAKX
Item #:N82E16822136769
$79.99 -$10.00 Instant $69.99
It pains me to choose a drive with only a two year warranty, but these seem to hold up well enough. For another $40, I'd get a 1TB WD Black, which still has a five year warranty.

Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V v2.3 Power Supply
Model #:VP-450
Item #:N82E16817371045
$49.99 -$15.00 Instant $34.99
Efficient enough for 80+, it is only disqualified for not having an active PFC circuit (it needs a little voltage switch). When you upgrade your graphics card to a HD7850, you won't need to replace this PSU.

Subtotal: $696.88
There's shipping on some items, but there's also a rebate in there, and perhaps a discount code.
When you can, you'll want to add decent speakers. You may eventually want a larger monitor (and then possibly a stronger graphics card), but I believe this system is well balanced for its budget. It is a good place to start, and has the ability to grow, so it won't feel like a waste next year.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this system bottleneck on the GPU far before the system I built would bottleneck on the 965?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 28, 2012 6:30:01 PM

Depends on the game, but in general I wouldn't think so, for three reasons. First, the monitor in mine is 1600x900, vs. your 1920x1080. Second, your system (which is already over budget) does not include a CPU cooler, which would be necessary to get the required additional performance out of the 965. Third, and this is just a feeling, but I can't help but think that 2000MT/s (compared to a modern AM3+ with 5200MT/s) is going to introduce a systemic lag that will be noticeable even if it is small.
It's not that I think your build is bad (I used to build mostly budget AMD systems myself), but that it's a one-off; like many of the SBM builds, it might do well initially, but the compromises become hard limits rather than things that are easily improved later.
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September 28, 2012 6:44:13 PM

This is about the cheapest build that includes an i3 and a 7850.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($107.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Acer V213HLBJbd 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($99.00 @ Compuvest)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.88 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Gigabyte GK-KM5200 Wired Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($12.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $698.79
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

The price is after $30 in rebates, there is an additional $7 for shipping on the motherboard, but there is also a $10 promo code for the PSU that is not showing.

edit: Fine tuned the build a bit
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September 28, 2012 6:47:47 PM

zared619 said:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this system bottleneck on the GPU far before the system I built would bottleneck on the 965?


The CPU/motherboard in your AMD build is only $7 less than the ones in my Intel build. The i3-2100 is about 25% faster in single threaded apps than a stock 965 BE. Easily worth the price.

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September 28, 2012 11:20:19 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I've got a few updates...
I no longer need a monitor.. got my hands on one :) 
Also don't need memory.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 28, 2012 11:43:36 PM

What is the resolution of the monitor you got? What are the specs on the RAM? May we assume it is DDR3?
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September 28, 2012 11:50:30 PM

Onus said:
What is the resolution of the monitor you got? What are the specs on the RAM? May we assume it is DDR3?

1440x900
DDR3 1600 (2x4gb)
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September 28, 2012 11:59:04 PM

Lack of monitor and memory frees up enough to go with an i5

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.22 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Gigabyte GK-KM5200 Wired Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($12.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $697.14
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Price is after $30 in rebates, but there is the extra $10 off the PSU.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 29, 2012 3:45:35 AM

Tough call. It's a lot harder to go wrong now. For 1440x900, a HD7850 may be a little overkill, but it would support a larger monitor later. If you'd like to improve something else, you could safely get a HD6870 here instead, which will be $25 cheaper (also after rebate; $159 before MIR).
I'd probably choose the Z75 mobo myself, especially since it's a little cheaper, but compare ports and see if one of them has more of something you want. The Challenger-U3 is definitely a nicer case, especially if you anticipate using the front USB3.0 ports. If you don't, check out the cheaper Rosewill Blackbone. Saving a little on the mobo and case will let you improve the mouse and keyboard; those are such personal items that you may choose to pick them up at a local brick and mortar after a hands-on, which will cost more than getting them online.
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