$600 Gaming Desktop

Purchase date: Within the next month
Budget Range: $500-700
System Usage: Gaming, programming, movies, college
Monitor: No
OS: No
Preferred Website: Newegg or Microcenter (In store as well)
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Parts: Either AMD or Intel. Whichever is better bang for your buck or just two separate builds, one intel, one amd
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: No (maybe in the future but not near future)
Monitor: 1920-1080
I would like a computer that can run BF3 on max settings if possible. If not at least at high settings. Also, that will run any other games out now and hopefully into the future.
Thanks!!
22 answers Last reply
More about gaming desktop
  1. Here is what I'd consider:

    ~$720 with adjustment of "In Store Pricing" at Microcenter (I included a link for you).

    i5-3570k w/Antec One Case w/AMD 7850 GPU
    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($33.99 @ 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 ($209.99 @ Microcenter)
    Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($46.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $722.47
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    If you have a hard $700 budget limit, you can drop the HD down to a 500 gb one for about $10-20 less and you can adjust the PSU down a bit to fit within the $700 budget limit. I think this build above will cover most of the things you will need for a bit. The mobo doesn't include another PCI-e graphics slot, but I think your better off buying the best GPU you can afford in a year or two, if you feel your losing some gaming performance.
  2. Check out my $650 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module146695821
    Switch the 7850 for the 7870 (+70)
    http://www.amazon.com/HD7870-DC2-2GD5-DisplayPort-Utilities-PCI-Express-Graphics/dp/B007JLFVNO%3FSubscriptionId%3D19BAZMZQFZJ6G2QYGCG2%26tag%3Dsquid1240995-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB007JLFVNO
    Total: $710 before MIRs.

    You'll get a better GPU (much better for that matter) out of the 7870. The i5 3450 is still a solid chip, the PSU is more than enough, and cheaper currently with the discount Newegg is having. The pricing is not including Microcenter discount which would rack up another $40 off giving you only a total of about $660 when you account for the Neo Eco discount and the Microcenter discount for the CPU.
  3. Can you guys explain the i3 vs like AMD's 4.2GHZ quad cores? Like how is the 3.3 dual core that much better than a 4.2 Quad core? Just curious. Thanks for the replies!


    edit #1: is there anything I could change to save a couple bucks. (poor college kid here haha) what about the evga gtx550Ti graphics card? I have read a lot of good things about it.. Or do I want to spend the extra money?
  4. No problem:

    The the days where clock speed matters are over. I mean it does play a small role, but mostly the performance comes from arch. Pretty much as simple as that. AMD clocks their chips higher because clock-for-clock Bulldozer simply doesn't match up to Ivy-Bridge or Sandy Bridge.

    As for the build.

    Did you check out my build?
    Check out my $650 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module146695821
    Switch the 7850 for the 7870 (+70)
    http://www.amazon.com/HD7870-DC2-2GD5-DisplayPort-Utilities-PCI-Express-Graphics/dp/B007JLFVNO%3FSubscriptionId%3D19BAZMZQFZJ6G2QYGCG2%26tag%3Dsquid1240995-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB007JLFVNO
    Total: $710 before MIRs.

    At your price point, overclocking with the i5 3570K is nice but for the sake of gaming, a better graphics card is more important. With that said, the i5 3450 performs the same as the i5 3570K without an overclock. The only downside to the i5 3450 really is overclocking, but even then overclocking is unneeded honestly. I have the i5 2500K and I do like messing with overclocks but stock clocks for a daily are better than overclocked. Heat reasons and power saving.

    Anyways the 7870 is much better than the 7850. The 7850 granted can overclock well, the 7870 can get up to the 7950/7970 in performance though on a solid OC. Even before OC it performs well.
    7870 vs 7850
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/548?vs=549
    Obviously the 7870 will be better, but its by a pretty large margin in most cases.

    After overclocks, the 7870 gets up to about a 7970:
    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_7870_overclock_guide,14.html
  5. aznshinobi said:
    No problem:

    The the days where clock speed matters are over. I mean it does play a small role, but mostly the performance comes from arch. Pretty much as simple as that. AMD clocks their chips higher because clock-for-clock Bulldozer simply doesn't match up to Ivy-Bridge or Sandy Bridge.

    As for the build.

    Did you check out my build?
    Check out my $650 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module146695821
    Switch the 7850 for the 7870 (+70)
    http://www.amazon.com/HD7870-DC2-2GD5-DisplayPort-Utilities-PCI-Express-Graphics/dp/B007JLFVNO%3FSubscriptionId%3D19BAZMZQFZJ6G2QYGCG2%26tag%3Dsquid1240995-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB007JLFVNO
    Total: $710 before MIRs.

    At your price point, overclocking with the i5 3570K is nice but for the sake of gaming, a better graphics card is more important. With that said, the i5 3450 performs the same as the i5 3570K without an overclock. The only downside to the i5 3450 really is overclocking, but even then overclocking is unneeded honestly. I have the i5 2500K and I do like messing with overclocks but stock clocks for a daily are better than overclocked. Heat reasons and power saving.

    Anyways the 7870 is much better than the 7850. The 7850 granted can overclock well, the 7870 can get up to the 7950/7970 in performance though on a solid OC. Even before OC it performs well.
    7870 vs 7850
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/548?vs=549
    Obviously the 7870 will be better, but its by a pretty large margin in most cases.

    After overclocks, the 7870 gets up to about a 7970:
    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_7870_overclock_guide,14.html


    With that graphics card, could i change to the i3 3220 rather than an i5? Also, will the i3 handle gaming fine? Can I get full 1920x1080 on some games with this set up too? Its not 100% necessary but I'd like it. Just trying to save a little if possible since I dont have a ton of money while in college but I want a rig for the next few years. Thanks!
  6. edlovereze said:
    With that graphics card, could i change to the i3 3220 rather than an i5? Also, will the i3 handle gaming fine? Can I get full 1920x1080 on some games with this set up too? Its not 100% necessary but I'd like it. Just trying to save a little if possible since I dont have a ton of money while in college but I want a rig for the next few years. Thanks!

    The i3 3220 will work fine. You might want to upgrade to a 4 core CPU if your needs change, but the i3 3220 will do fine for most games. I recommend the 4 core CPU's to take advantage of the multi-tasking that they offer over a dual core CPU. Generally if your budget is tight the i3 3220 will do just fine. This will allow you more $ for other parts or save that money now and save up for future upgrades down the line. It's up to you, but for the long term (if you can afford it) the i5 3570k is the way to go. You won't need to upgrade the CPU until you do a total rebuild of the next system. The only thing that you would need to upgrade later, if you decide to do, is a GPU upgrade (only if you feel your losing too much FPS or other graphic options).
  7. ^ exactly.

    I would go with the i5 3450 since it's generally a put off thing to upgrade your CPU. I've been telling myself to mess with my CPU (i5 2500K) more lately, but I just don't want to fool around with stable tests too much. With that said, I'd try and get the i5 3450 now to leave room for better overall system performance off the bat. But you can put it off if you want.
  8. I feel as though I may just wait and save up some extra money and do an i5. How is this i3 compared to the other?
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=7295297&sku=I69-0210&SRCCODE=LINKSHARE&cm_mmc_o=-ddCjC1bELltzywCjC-d2CjCdwwp&AffiliateID=lw9MynSeamY-CGivDOKfbu3qPgkO2OxRlw

    Also, is there a GPU that is a little cheaper than the 7850 or whatever but is still worth buying? I'm thinking of just waiting closer to Black Friday and seeing if I could find any deals around then or even in the coming weeks with sales usually starting. Thanks again!
  9. The i3 2100 is from the Sandy Bridge series, slightly worse than the i3 3220 but not by a huge margin. Can't go wrong with it at that price.

    Which GPU is it? If it is the GTX 650 or 7770, not exactly. The 7850 is the perfect card for the price performance.
  10. edlovereze said:
    I feel as though I may just wait and save up some extra money and do an i5. How is this i3 compared to the other?
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=7295297&sku=I69-0210&SRCCODE=LINKSHARE&cm_mmc_o=-ddCjC1bELltzywCjC-d2CjCdwwp&AffiliateID=lw9MynSeamY-CGivDOKfbu3qPgkO2OxRlw

    Also, is there a GPU that is a little cheaper than the 7850 or whatever but is still worth buying? I'm thinking of just waiting closer to Black Friday and seeing if I could find any deals around then or even in the coming weeks with sales usually starting. Thanks again!

    Well you can wait for deals, but I prefer to buy all the parts in a short period of time (1 week or so). This way you can test your system and all of the parts out before any 30 return windows close (most stores/online have this kind of return policy). This will save you time and $ if you can deal directly with the store where you bought the part at and you won't have to deal directly with the manufacturer either (which saves time and money).
  11. lunyone said:
    Well you can wait for deals, but I prefer to buy all the parts in a short period of time (1 week or so). This way you can test your system and all of the parts out before any 30 return windows close (most stores/online have this kind of return policy). This will save you time and $ if you can deal directly with the store where you bought the part at and you won't have to deal directly with the manufacturer either (which saves time and money).

    So I found this i5:
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/388577/Core_i5_3570K_34GHz_LGA_1155_Processor

    and this motherboard:
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/387627/Z77_Pro3_1155_ATX_Intel_Motherboard

    With a coupon I can get these two as a combo for ~$225? Would that be a good choice? Or is there a cheaper motherboard at Microcenter I should get?
  12. Solid, go with the Microcenter choice! If you can do local pickup that'd be your best route! Definitely just noticed you're in a city where there is Microcenter! So that's solid .
  13. Ok unless someone convinces me to do something different (or if this won't work), this is what I am going with:
    CPU: i5 3570k
    Motherboard: ASRock z77 pro 3 1155 atx intel
    Memory: Kingston HyperX blu 8gb DDR3-1133 (34.99 at MC. Plan on getting everything from there cause I just want to be able to pick it up and this seemed like a good price)
    PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 500 Watt ATX
    Optical: LG 24x Burner (15.99)
    GPU: Want to save some money so I am thinking the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 (Is this a bad choice? I like my total price with this compared to the 7870. Can I still run most games on high settings? Mainly like BF3. I have never seen it at its best on a PC and want to have a computer that can run it at high quality.)
    Case: Diablotex EVO Mid Tower ATX (Good reviews and good price. 4 fans included and looks cool.
    Already have a hard drive too. How does that look to you guys? Total is about $590 with the rebate on the card. I guess I could save money by buying on Newegg and not paying taxes. Any final thoughts? Thanks for all the help everyone!
  14. OCZ is a good enough company. Older series were hit and miss but currently the ZS and ZT series are pretty solid. The Stealthstream isn't such a hot PSU but it's ok. I'd go with this though for pretty much the same price:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371030&Tpk=neo%20eco%20520

    For the Tower: http://www.amazon.com/Technologies-SOURCE-CA-SO220-01-Steel-Front/dp/B0066130AO%3FSubscriptionId%3D19BAZMZQFZJ6G2QYGCG2%26tag%3Dsquid1240995-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB0066130AO
    OR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129181

    THe 7850 is solid, the 7870 will be better for BF3 as stated but would opt for the 7870 for smoother frames. Depending on settings of course. The 7850 will be excellent if you overclock though.
  15. Do any of you ever use BillMeLater? If you would suggest that I will definitely go with the 7870 and just use newegg for everything but the processor. Extra time to pay it off would be perfect for me. Although I have the money now, I'd like to slowly pay it off. Which 7870 is the right one? I know there are a couple brands. Also, is the Rosewill Challenger fine? I like that case more the the Antec one but I will go with the Antec one if its much better! Ready to buy today so thanks!

    Edit: Can I do the Powercolor PCS+ 7870 for 194.99. Saves me a good chunk of money for, as far as I know, the same card. Or should I do the Gigabyte?
  16. Not sure on the BillMeLater is, but it depends on what you want to do. The 7850 is a good card and should do well for you for quite some time. Obviously the 7870 is a better card (especially if you get it <$200), but if you can't afford it than that is fine too. In 1-2 years from now, if you feel that you need more GPU power, than you could just get the latest single GPU that you can afford and upgrade then.

    The Rosewill Challenger is fine, cases are person specific and it's up to you. The Antec One is a good case too, so decide on what you want. I would just remember to try and get a case w/front USB 3.0 ports, so you can take advantage of it.
  17. The cases you listed, either is fine. Both are great.

    The 7870 is solid and the Powercolor, although not the greatest heatsink, it's still pretty decent. GREAT price and even nicer stock overclock. Can't go wrong but it's out of stock. When it comes back in stock at a similar price though, a definite buy.
  18. Well I did everything I said before except i did the 7850. Got a 2GB version for 175 so figured I will just OC that to run BF. Thanks for everything guys! Totaled like 560!
  19. Sounds good! Good luck!
  20. If I were you I would go to your local Micro Center RIGHT NOW and buy a i5 3570k and a Z77 board from them. The I5 is 179.99 and you get$50 bucks off any Z77 board with that purchase. It is exactly what I did for my first build I'm getting. I mean a I5 3570k for less than 200 is insane, let alone 50 bucks off your MotherBoard.

    GO NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

    Oh. Already been discussed. The deal is over at the end of the week at Micro center, not sure this week or next but be quick.
  21. I know this probably doesn't go here but I figure you guys might be able to help. I have built my pc and ever since the first turn on there have been red dotted lines all over the screen. I tried downloading the drivers for my 7850 but when the computer restarts, it cannot get passed the windows 7 welcome screen. The login screen is just black. Is this a faulty gpu? Thanks.

    edit: OK. So I can boot the computer and everything but the bios and everything up until the actual desktop has two horizontal perpendicular lines that are red and they are thick lines (maybe 5 inches wide) made up of a bunch of red dashes. Once I get into the desktop. They multiply into like 7 of these lines. When a program is opened in front of the lines, they turn blue... What the hell is this? Like i said. I install the drivers for the 7850 and then the computer restarts, says windows, then just turns black at the login screen and I can't do anything. The only thing I can do is boot into safe mode, which is what I am in right now. In device manager, it shows that the 7850 is working properly, well it doesn't have a yellow ! at least. What would you suggest? I literally have been at this since 9 this morning. Never quit. I just want to see this in action. Also, I am at a resolution of like 1240x1024 or something. When I plug in my VGA, the monitor doesn't recognize it. It will only output for HDMI. I am using my tv but when I try on my regular monitor, which only supports VGA, theres just no signal. Thanks for any help.
  22. So to recap:?

    * Issues with HDMI output from GPU.
    * No Video output using VGA Only (no HDMI plugged in)??
    * Update 7850 drivers and you get blank screen?

    Things needed to help:
    * What mobo do you have (make/model)?
    * Do you have another GPU to test?
    * What PSU do you have (make/model)?
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