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A Budget PC with a budget of $550

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November 9, 2012 5:28:28 AM

Hey Guys,

I am planning to build a gaming PC. Problem is that not all of us have wallets the depth of the Mariana trench and I only have $550 as a budget for this build. I've never built one before so I'll be getting the help of a friend to assemble this one. Please recommend the best hardware (within my budget) that I need for this build.

I'll be playing games like FIFA 13, ACIII, Call of Duty games, etc.

Please guys, I am pretty clueless when surfing the online stores.

Please ask for more details.

More about : budget budget 550

November 9, 2012 5:37:16 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: December 2012

Budget Range: Full Cost (Including Shipping): $550

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Playing Games, Playing Online, Streaming Videos, Uploading/Editing/Rendering Videos, Using Office Applications,

Are you buying a monitor: Yes (but this is not included in this budget; I'll be buying it separately)



Parts to Upgrade: New Build (so everything)

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any

Location: I live in India so u guys just need to tell me which hardware I need to buy; I could see if it is available here.

Parts Preferences: Nothing really

Overclocking: I'm not sure what is! Could u guys explain it to me?

SLI or Crossfire: I'm not sure what is! Could u guys explain it to me?

Your Monitor Resolution: Please recommend which would be best for gaming...

Additional Comments: Something flashy but this is not a priority.

Why Am I Upgrading: I want a decent PC to run my games and to power powerful application.
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November 10, 2012 2:21:18 AM

Well do you need a monitor? If so you really can't get a good gaming build. As for overclocking. It is essentially the increase of performance in either a processor or graphics card past factory "clocks" (operating frequency). This is good to increase the processors performance with the addition of more heat, which is why most people buy aftermarket coolers because the stock cooler would not be able to handle it. Most processors need to stay uner 95 degrees Celsius, or they will fail. SLI/Crossfire is the usage of 2 or more graphics cards together to increase gaming performance. SLI is for NVIDIA cards and Crossfire is for AMD/ATI cards. As for the rendering, this may be bothersome. A good rendering processor is the i7-3770k. Unfortunately it has a price tag of $320. So don't expect amazing video/rendering work. If you need a monitor, might as well bump that budget up to $700 since a decent monitor goes for $150 or more.
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November 10, 2012 2:22:55 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($158.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($31.64 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
Total: $560.55
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-09 23:24 EST-0500)
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November 10, 2012 2:32:23 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3 Micro ATX AM3 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($158.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($51.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
Total: $616.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-09 23:31 EST-0500)

A little more expensive but the parts are a little more trustworthy. I for one do not trust a PSU under $50. I agree that the Source 210 is a great, cheap case. The 965 will do though, no need for an i3. The 965 is a little more powerful for less.
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November 10, 2012 3:09:01 AM

Poltregeist said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3 Micro ATX AM3 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($158.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($51.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
Total: $616.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-09 23:31 EST-0500)

A little more expensive but the parts are a little more trustworthy. I for one do not trust a PSU under $50. I agree that the Source 210 is a great, cheap case. The 965 will do though, no need for an i3. The 965 is a little more powerful for less.


False; the Phenom II X4 965 BE has been shown to underperform even the Pentium 630 in CPU oriented gaming fps-wise, so the i3 is far more powerful. AMD is far behind Intel in terms of efficiency and performance per core, so even though it has four true cores, it doesn't outperform the i3. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

The Antec 450W is a better power supply than the CX series. The CX series is made by Channel Well and is a 3rd tier power supply, in terms of build quality, efficiency, and longevity. The 450W is a tier 2 power supply, and has been recommended by the experts at Tom's Hardware on their System Builder Marathons, and at full load can actually pull 550W while still maintaining 81% efficiency. This is enough to run any card up to a GTX 560ti. You can refer to this link to research power supply quality: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

That RAM costs more, and has the same specifications.
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November 10, 2012 3:43:59 AM

I am curious, what does the OEM at the end of the WD HDD mean?

Is it the same as with an OS? what are the effects?

I was about to purchase when I saw that. Anyone kind enough to explain?

:) 
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November 10, 2012 5:05:26 AM

Thanks guys for replying and for keeping within the budget. I'm just wondering whether the processors you guys mentioned include the heatsink and the fan with them. And also, is overclocking ESSENTIAL for proper gaming performance?
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November 10, 2012 10:19:46 AM

sonicers said:
False; the Phenom II X4 965 BE has been shown to underperform even the Pentium 630 in CPU oriented gaming fps-wise, so the i3 is far more powerful. AMD is far behind Intel in terms of efficiency and performance per core, so even though it has four true cores, it doesn't outperform the i3. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

The Antec 450W is a better power supply than the CX series. The CX series is made by Channel Well and is a 3rd tier power supply, in terms of build quality, efficiency, and longevity. The 450W is a tier 2 power supply, and has been recommended by the experts at Tom's Hardware on their System Builder Marathons, and at full load can actually pull 550W while still maintaining 81% efficiency. This is enough to run any card up to a GTX 560ti. You can refer to this link to research power supply quality: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

That RAM costs more, and has the same specifications.


Guys, I'm having trouble getting that GPU over here in India. Do you have any alternatives
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November 10, 2012 10:19:46 AM

Poltregeist said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3 Micro ATX AM3 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($158.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($51.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
Total: $616.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-09 23:31 EST-0500)

A little more expensive but the parts are a little more trustworthy. I for one do not trust a PSU under $50. I agree that the Source 210 is a great, cheap case. The 965 will do though, no need for an i3. The 965 is a little more powerful for less.


I'm having trouble getting that GPU over here; could u suggest any alternatives?
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November 10, 2012 12:16:19 PM

See if you can find a GTX 560ti, it slightly underperforms the 7850 but has PhysX, for games like Borderlands 2, and CUDA cores. The 2 are roughly the same, but the GTX 560ti is one generation older.

OEM operating systems mean you can only install them on one computer, while if you had the full version, you could install that operating systems on pretty much as many systems as you like.

For a hard drive, it means it's the original manufacturer; if you bought a Seagate OEM hard drive, it'd be made by Seagate. Same with Western Digital, and just about everything else.

Overclocking is not essential to gaming, and certainly is not for you price point. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

Unless you're buying a CPU that's used, 99% of the time, it includes a heatsink and fan.

As shown here, the Phenom II X4 overclocked at 4 GHz performs about the level of a Pentiums G860, which significantly under performs the i3 2120. If you had a higher end processor, overclocking could be a consideration, but not here. Unless you wanted to do some extreme overclockinging, there'd be no point, and if you were to do extreme overclocking, you'd need a really nice cooler, preferrable one over $50; a 212 EVO ($25) would not cut say, 4.5 GHz. With the nicer cooler, you'd be above your budget.

The CX 600 is not a more trustworthy power supply, as proven by numerous reviews.



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November 11, 2012 1:07:00 AM

Best answer selected by thuppayath.
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November 11, 2012 1:08:20 AM

Thanks guys for the responses, it was helpful - especially for a tech dummy like me!
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!