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Advice on a gaming computer build?

So I am doing a gaming pc build. I'm not looking to run bf3 at max settings, but I am hoping to be able to stop lagging my way through modern games at low settings.

I already have the OS, and don't plan on upgrading peripherals at the moment.

My build so far:

Mobo
ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-M5A97-R2-0-SATA-Motherboard/dp/B008V9959O/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1349880565&sr=1-1&keywords=ASUS+M5A97+AM3%2B+AMD+970+SATA+6Gb%2Fs+USB+3.0+ATX+AMD+Motherboard+with+UEFI+BIOS

Cpu
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314

Case
Rosewill Challenger Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153

Graphics Card
HIS H675FS1G Radeon HD 6750 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161395

PSU
Rosewill RP600V2-S-SL 600W ATX12V v2.01 SLI Ready Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182032

HDD
WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB Desktop Hard Drive - 3.5", SATA, 7200RPM, 16MB Cache
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7281716&CatId=2459

CD drive
My dad does computer support and maintenance, and also will keep broken computers to salvage from, so I can use any of the billions laying around in the mound of dead pc's in the basement :)

Build caps out at about $500 for now, not counting shipping or other issues that may arise. such as getting optional things like a non cannibalized cd rom or extra HDD to use for extra storage.

Other considerations:
This will be my first build so any random advice is welcome.

I'm a high school student who has a terrible minimum wage job. This build pretty much has to cap out at $600, any more and I probably wont be able to get it till 2013 XD

I am what I consider Tech savvy at least for my age group, but honestly, I dont understand much about the components and ALL the things that contribute to performance. The main things I have no idea about is the Graphics card, the HDD (i really only get the capacity, everything else may as well be in Klingon) , and if I should invest in a sound or NIC card since they are integrated.

Thanks all!
25 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about advice gaming computer build
  1. For gaming in general, the graphics card is more important than the cpu.
    My rule of thumb is to budget twice the cost of your cpu for the graphics card.
    In your case, you have it backwards.
    Read this article on BF3 performance with different cpu's and graphics cards:
    http://www.techspot.com/review/458-battlefield-3-performance/

    Take a look at this Tom's article on the August 2012 $500 gaming build.
    Not so much for the specific parts, but for where to allocate your funds.
    I think if you used a less expensive Intel duo cpu and a stronger graphics card, you would have more satisfactory gaming.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-overclocking-pc-building,3273.html

    There is no need for a discrete sound card, or a network card. They are included with all current motherboards.
    Also, do not ignore smaller M-ATX and ITX sized motherboards. They will do the job and usually be cheaper.
  2. Best answer
    Quote:


    Take a look at this Tom's article on the August 2012 $500 gaming build.
    Not so much for the specific parts, but for where to allocate your funds.
    I think if you used a less expensive Intel duo cpu and a stronger graphics card, you would have more satisfactory gaming.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,3273.html


    The bad thing about the system builder articles is the bland, junk case choices they include, and they've got a lot of crap for it over the last two go-rounds.

    I went a bit over budget but here's what I got for <$550:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard ($86.97 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($111.97 @ Newegg)
    Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($70.17 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $543.06
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
  3. Ivy Bridge alternative

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: MSI B75MA-P45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($119.98 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $492.91
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
  4. FinneousPJ said:
    Ivy Bridge alternative

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: MSI B75MA-P45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($119.98 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $492.91
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


    Ivy Bridge is tricky to do on a <$500 budget. This is one area where AMD actually comes out ahead - especially with Trinity. I've been reading a few of the articles that were recommended to me yesterday and for the price the Trinity APU is not a bad CPU at all, in fact there's areas where it beats the i3-3220. The A10 has an unlocked multiplier and onboard 7660 video. Not too shabby.
  5. g-unit1111 said:
    Ivy Bridge is tricky to do on a <$500 budget. This is one area where AMD actually comes out ahead - especially with Trinity. I've been reading a few of the articles that were recommended to me yesterday and for the price the Trinity APU is not a bad CPU at all, in fact there's areas where it beats the i3-3220.


    If you are going to use the trinity apu, and not a discrete graphics card, then the trinity cpu will be sufficient.

    If you are going to use a discrete graphics card, then the stronger ivy bridge cpu will probably be better.
  6. geofelt said:
    If you are going to use the trinity apu, and not a discrete graphics card, then the trinity cpu will be sufficient.

    If you are going to use a discrete graphics card, then the stronger ivy bridge cpu will probably be better.


    Even disabling the onboard video the Trinity is still a pretty capable CPU.
  7. g-unit1111 said:
    Even disabling the onboard video the Trinity is still a pretty capable CPU.


    True enough, but if you are going to do that, then an equally priced Intel cpu will be even more capable.
  8. geofelt said:
    True enough, but if you are going to do that, then an equally priced Intel cpu will be even more capable.


    Believe me I'm the first to recommend Intel without even thinking about it, but quad core + onboard 7660 for $120 is really hard to beat. Plus you don't have to deal with B75 either.
  9. Here is the possible alternative Mobo

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2932738&Sku=G452-8442&csid=ITD&recordsPerPage=10&body=REVIEWS#CustomerReviewsBlock

    And the possible alternative graphics card

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=41125&CatId=3669

    Also, I will look through the info you have given so far, in a vain attempt to understand all of it ;P
    I will let you know what I find

    Third - Amd seems to be the more budget cpu, and doesnt seem that bad off preformance wise for it. idk
  10. veerorith said:
    Here is the possible alternative Mobo

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2932738&Sku=G452-8442&csid=ITD&recordsPerPage=10&body=REVIEWS#CustomerReviewsBlock

    And the possible alternative graphics card

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=41125&CatId=3669

    Also, I will look through the info you have given so far, in a vain attempt to understand all of it ;P
    I will let you know what I find

    Third - Amd seems to be the more budget cpu, and doesnt seem that bad off preformance wise for it. idk


    A 550TI doesn't hold a candle to a 7750: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/535?vs=541

    You should really do some research on the new Trinity CPU / APU because it beats the 965 in most areas and even comes close to knocking off the i3s in some areas.
  11. I used that fancy pc part picker dealy and combined some of my original options with the parts suggested. I currently am debating on intel or amd, or that ivy thing. your argument/debate has me unsure of which would be better at the moment. The current build is what i am thinking, but correct me if I have done a horrible thing :P

    thanks for all the help so far!
    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jZU8
  12. Also, does the mobo on the build have a built in sound card?
    and does the cpu come with a heatsink and fan or do i need to get that seperate.
    Also, I shall research the trinity thing, as well as that ivy thing, because honestly I have no idea which one would be better.

    Thanks for the help with the gpu especially, gpu's are especially confusing for no apparent reason to me so ya, :D
  13. OHHHHHHHH the trinity is the A series, durr, ok i see, XD
  14. Once more with feeling
    the build is slowly turning into a replica of yours :P
    except the case, because my case has glowy blue led's and that is obviously important to performance, how much a computer glows XD
    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jZYl
  15. Oh and one more question. Would it cost a ton more to get 16gb of RAM that is compatible to the Mobo? And also, would it be worth it with the current specs, or would it go mostly unused?
    PC is mostly for gaming, maybe some video / music editing and programming
  16. Why don't you try it with 8 GB first, RAM is probably the easiest thing to add.

    That PSU is overkill, you're not using even 400W.
  17. Thanks for the psu info, i will look for a cheaper unit :)
  18. veerorith said:
    Also, does the mobo on the build have a built in sound card?
    and does the cpu come with a heatsink and fan or do i need to get that seperate.
    Also, I shall research the trinity thing, as well as that ivy thing, because honestly I have no idea which one would be better.

    Thanks for the help with the gpu especially, gpu's are especially confusing for no apparent reason to me so ya, :D


    1. Pretty much all motherboards have sound cards built in or come with modules anymore.

    2. Yes

    3. I can see where they would get confusing - a lot of the older ones have been discontinued. So that rules them out.

    Quote:
    Thanks for the psu info, i will look for a cheaper unit :)


    Don't go too cheap on the PSU though - some are good and others not so good, this is one area where you must tread carefully. A good PSU you can use from one build to the next, a bad PSU and you're likely to have it blow up or short out on you. Believe me I've had both happen and now I'd rather pay more and get a good one than skimp and have it fry my system. Good brands would be Seasonic, Corsair, Antec, XFX (which is rebranded Seasonic), and PC Power & Cooling. Bad brands would be Ultra, Apevia, Raidmax, Xion, Xclio, Coolmax, and so on...
  19. Alright, so this is what I have, with a new 400w PSU

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/k3We

    Again, thanks so much for all your help :D
  20. Oh hold on I lied just checked reviews on the psu and apparently it likes to shut down for fun XD
    be back with new link momentarily
  21. PSU shopping is scary XD
    Half the good rated PSU have some horror story of flaming computers and toasted components
    I was looking in on this one, any thoughts?
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1450sx2b9
  22. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/k4n1

    Ok so after wandering about looking at reviews, I decided that that psu would probably work, so i put it in the build for now, unless you have other info for me on it.

    Let me know if this should work, and thanks again
  23. Great PSU.
  24. Methinks I am set!
    Thank you all for all your help, good luck in all your technology related, and unrelated endeavors :)

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/k4n1
  25. Best answer selected by veerorith.
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