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$800 Gaming Build Review of parts

Last response: in Systems
October 2, 2012 8:31:10 AM

Ok, my last full computer upgrade is pushing 6.5 years ago and I’m still using that system for “gaming.” I think for the last few years my opponents online have been gaming, I’ve just been fresh meat to devour. Anyway, I intend to use this new system upgrade for some light to moderate gaming keeping in mind I seem to like older games: Counter Strike Source, Company of Heroes, Civilization series. I’m looking to keep this system for another 5 years or so with the understanding toward the last few years it’s not going to be anywhere near top performance but I have a high tolerance for imperfect gaming.

Approximate purchase date: In the next few weeks
Budget Range: About $800 or less
System usage from most to least: Gaming, web browsing.
Buying monitor: No
Interested in SLI: No
Over clocking: Maybe but not likely
OS: Plan on using the copy of XP Pro I have
Preferred website: Newegg
Monitor Resolution: My desktop is kept at 1680x 1050

Case, Rosewill Challenger ATX Mid Tower-$50:

Motherboard, ASUS p8B75-V SATA 6 GB/s USB 3.0, ATX -$99:

CPU, Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3 GHz Quad Core-$219:

Memory, both Gskill 8 Gb, really not sure which one is better- $39.99


Hard drive, Western Digital 500 GB 7200 RPM 16 MB cache SATA 6.0 Gb/s- $70

Graphics card, EVGA GEForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536 MB- $200

Power Supply, Seasonic 560W rated 80+ gold certified, $124

Total on newegg- $800

My goal is to try to see if the options I’ve picked are the most efficient for the price range. Thanks.

October 2, 2012 9:32:28 AM

Some thoughts:
1. If you're not going to overclock why get a "k" CPU? You can get a locked (i.e. non-k) Ivy Bridge quad for $30 or $40 less than your CPU price. If you want to leave the option for overclocking you should pay the extra $10 for the 3570k, and you'll need a Z75/Z77 motherboard.

2. The B75 chipset is really designed for business. If you're not OCing you'd be better off with an H77 motherboard, which you can get for less than the $100 you've allocated.

3. Given your budget a $124 PSU is overkill. You can get a good Seasonic built PSU in the 500-600W range for less than half that.

4. With the savings on PSU, CPU and motherboard you can afford to upgrade your GPU to a 7950. You'll get much better performance, especially years down the road.

5. One thing that concerns me is your plan to re-use your copy of Windows XP. Is it a 64 bit version? If not you're not going to be able to address 8GB of RAM. And is it an OEM or a full license? You may have a problem activating it if it's OEM.

Edit: Example of system you can get for $800 if you don't need OS:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $772.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
a b 4 Gaming
October 2, 2012 12:47:40 PM

add os if needed. highly recommended to get windows 7