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Need advice for ~$600 Budget Gaming PC

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October 26, 2012 3:04:17 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: ~Christmas - Sooner if possible

Budget Range: $500-$800 would be where I'm looking before rebates; before shipping - I'd like a machine that can keep up with games for the next year or so (or perhaps one that can be upgraded as needed) - Other than that, the lower the price, all the better

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games, surfing the net, word processing

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: New build - We already have monitors, keyboard and mouse, speakers, and a Antec Solution SLK3000-B Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) - I'm OK with replacing the case if necessary, but if there is a solution that can include the old one, then why bother?

Do you need to buy OS: No - Using Windows 7 pro

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I've done shopping on newegg in the past - I'm most familiar with their site

Location: Austin, TX, USA

Parts Preferences: I think I'd like to go with Intel and NVIDIA parts (open for suggestions here)

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: most likely 1680x1050 - Running 2 monitors in dual-screen mode (only one monitor needed for gaming)

Additional Comments: This computer is for my wife, and she is really interested in playing Borderlands 2. She is not a hardcore gamer, and won't need a "power" setup - Just something that will run at a high framerate and will last for the next year or so - Here are the system requirements for Borderlands 2:

*** Minimum ***
OS: Windows XP SP3
Processor: 2.4 GHz Dual Core Processor
Memory: 2 GB(XP)/ 2 GB(Vista)
Hard Disk Space: 13 GB free
Video Memory: 256 MB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8500 /ATI Radeon HD 2600
Sound: DirectX 9.0c Compatible
Other Requirements:Initial installation requires one-time internet connection for Steam authentication; software installations required (included with the game) include Steam Client, DirectX 9, Microsoft .NET 4 Framework, Visual C++ Redistributable 2005, Visual C++ Redistributable 2008, Visual C++ Redistributable 2010, and AMD CPU Drivers (XP Only/AMD Only)

*** Recommended ***
OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista/Win 7
Processor: 2.3 GHz Quad Core processor
Memory: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 20 GB free
Video Memory: 512MB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 / ATI Radeon HD 5850
Sound: DirectX 9.0c Compatible
Other Requirements:Initial installation requires one-time internet connection for Steam authentication; software installations required (included with the game) include Steam Client, DirectX 9, Microsoft .NET 4 Framework, Visual C++ Redistributable 2005, Visual C++ Redistributable 2008, Visual C++ Redistributable 2010, and AMD CPU Drivers (XP Only/AMD Only)

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: She has my old computer (built around 2006), and it had trouble running the original Borderlands. It is time for an upgrade!

Best solution

October 26, 2012 3:39:19 AM
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Easy peasy :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($46.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $627.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


The SSD will make that system really sing, but you could drop it if you need to save the money. Alternately, if it's going to be used purely for gaming, you could drop the secondary HDD and just run off the SSD. Hell, you could probably re-use HDD from that 2006 machine for secondary, and the DVD drive too as long as they're not IDE.

An argument could be made for getting a Radeon 7850 instead of the GTX 660, and I'm sure someone will.

It shouldn't be a problem to re-use the old case, but if you do I'd suggest picking up another 120mm fan for a few bucks to mount in the front as an intake. A modern case with better airflow and some basic cable management would run about $40-50, just for reference.
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October 26, 2012 3:53:31 AM

Actually, a 7870 would fit perfectly in your build, ckholt. :lol: 
October 26, 2012 3:53:47 AM

Thanks for the quick replies and advice! I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for a good case should I decide to replace the old one. I don't know much about airflow or cable management, so I'm a little lost when it comes to picking out something good.
October 26, 2012 4:14:21 AM

Best answer selected by hodgie404.
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