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What is the best $800 budget gaming pc build?

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November 29, 2012 2:27:35 PM

So I am going to try and make this as simple of a question as possible. I am new to the gaming pc world and I am looking to build my first gaming desktop around christmas time. I am on an $800 dollar budget. Can somebody please list the parts I will need to achieve this goal.


Note: I want a minimum of 8gb of ram, 1TB of hard drive space, and decent cooling supplies so I can overclock. I have already been looking at the AMD 4300 or 6300 CPU and an AMD Radeon 6670, but I don't know exactly what I need :(  . I want to run games like Battlefield 3, Planetside 2 and Arma3 on high settings. Thank you for the help!

More about : 800 budget gaming build

November 29, 2012 2:44:08 PM

brandonlugo615 said:
( . I want to run games like Battlefield 3, Planetside 2 and Arma3 on high settings.


I would look at something based around a lower end i5 (3350P, 3450, 3470), H77 MB, and a Radeon 7850 or 7870. If you are careful with part selection you should be able to this easily for your budget.

$800 excludes monitor, right?

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a c 442 4 Gaming
November 29, 2012 2:45:40 PM

posted this on your other thread:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($57.40 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $787.32
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-29 11:38 EST-0500)
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November 29, 2012 2:51:11 PM

twelve25 said:
I would look at something based around a lower end i5 (3350P, 3450, 3470), H77 MB, and a Radeon 7850 or 7870. If you are careful with part selection you should be able to this easily for your budget.

$800 excludes monitor, right?

yes this excludes monitor
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November 29, 2012 2:51:40 PM

tiny voices said:
posted this on your other thread:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($57.40 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $787.32
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-29 11:38 EST-0500)

awesome! thanks tiny voices, but i have one more question. can i choose my own case from somewhere else or does it have to be that one?
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a c 442 4 Gaming
November 29, 2012 2:52:42 PM

You can choose any case you like. And you are welcome! Always my pleasure to help!
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November 29, 2012 2:53:31 PM

That's similar to what I was thinking, but I don't see a windows license. You might need to knock one tier off the CPU, MB and GPU to free up the $90 for that.

So maybe something like this (based off above build)

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/q7GE
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/q7GE/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/q7GE/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock B75 PRO3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($57.40 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.28 @ CompUSA)
Total: $737.16
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-29 11:53 EST-0500)

I guess I got it a little too low. So maybe we could move back up to the 7870.
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Best solution

a c 442 4 Gaming
November 29, 2012 2:57:24 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($57.40 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.28 @ CompUSA)
Total: $797.61
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-29 11:57 EST-0500)

Budgeted in OS
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November 29, 2012 3:01:26 PM

tiny voices said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($57.40 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.28 @ CompUSA)
Total: $797.61
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-29 11:57 EST-0500)

Budgeted in OS

is that the absolute best build for under 800?
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a c 442 4 Gaming
November 29, 2012 3:03:29 PM

For a well rounded system its very good. You could drop to an i5 3470 and a different MOBO and bump up to a 7870 but you lose the ability to overclock.
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November 29, 2012 3:08:34 PM

tiny voices said:
For a well rounded system its very good. You could drop to an i5 3470 and a different MOBO and bump up to a 7870 but you lose the ability to overclock.

what if i go with the build you posted but the video card and motherboard that twelve25 listed? would i still be able to overclock and would that be better?
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a c 442 4 Gaming
November 29, 2012 3:11:11 PM

You need a z77 motherboard chipset in order to be able to overclock.
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November 29, 2012 5:11:14 PM

I think both mine and tiny voices' builds are right where you want to be. You just need to decide whether to get the unlocked CPU and z77 for overclocking, or drop to a H77 or B75 board and locked CPU, but have a little more to spend on the graphics and upgrade to a Radeon 7870. Personally, I'd go with the latter, but it's all a matter of personal tastes.

If you can just go $850, you can do both! :) 
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November 29, 2012 8:07:21 PM

Which is more important, overclocking or a better graphics card?
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November 29, 2012 8:27:25 PM

For gaming, 9/10 it is going to be the card.

What resolution monitor will you be using? If it is 1920x1080, definitely go with the higher end card.

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November 29, 2012 10:56:24 PM

twelve25 said:
For gaming, 9/10 it is going to be the card.

What resolution monitor will you be using? If it is 1920x1080, definitely go with the higher end card.

i actually don't know because i don't have a monitor yet
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November 30, 2012 1:20:22 AM

Well the higher your resolution, the more you need to spend on a graphics card. I's get a 7870 if you are going 1920x1080 but if you go less than that, a 7850 will be all you need.

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November 30, 2012 3:42:01 AM

okay so to wrap this up, could either (or both) of you please just post one last final build that is the absolute best bang for your buck for 800. thanks again guys. you've been a big help
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November 30, 2012 4:38:55 AM

I think you've got enough to go on. Just look around and what's on sale and reviews and you'll get a good build
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November 30, 2012 1:23:00 PM

I have been doing that for a month but its too much information to take in at once for me that's why I made this thread
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November 30, 2012 4:54:56 PM

The first build posted by tiny voices looks great. If you already have an OS that's what I would go for. If you don't have an OS then you need to make some compromises. The other builds posted fit the OS in, but they drop the 7870 video card down to a 7850. I think that's the wrong way to go. For a gaming build you should try to get the best video card you can.

To fit the 7870, I would drop down to an i3 3220 or an FX 6300. Since you want to overclock, that eliminates the i3. The following build includes the FX 6300, 7870 2 GB, and an OS. It also includes an after market cooler and a 600W PSU to meet your overclocking needs.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($133.79 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($231.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $790.67
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-30 14:12 EST-0500)

Note: The rebates for the video card and PSU end today, but don't sweat it. You should be able to find more deals using PCPartPicker. Just got to know what to look for.
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November 30, 2012 6:28:36 PM


brandonlugo615 said:
I have been doing that for a month but its too much information to take in at once for me that's why I made this thread


We gave you 4-5 builds in this thread. You have to do SOME of it yourself. I'd be worried if someone just grabbed a forum build and used exactly every part that is listed without knowing why or what.

Just take the build here and use them as a template to pick your own exact parts, making substitutions where you see fit. Do you like the case? Did you want a bigger or smaller hard drive? Do you like a specific brand of part? Like I said, you need to own your build.

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December 1, 2012 2:36:49 AM

okay based on what all 3 of you gave me, this is what i've come up with. please give me your thoughts (what should be improved/downgraded and why).

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($42.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $778.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-30 23:33 EST-0500)

NOTE: I will buy a cooler master hyper 212 EVO after i get everything i need and acquire more money.
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December 1, 2012 4:17:11 AM

Looks fine to me. By the way, I own that case you chose, Cooler Master Elite 430. I can tell you it looks great but it's not very good at routing power cables. It can route data cables, but power cables won't fit in the holes provided. If you want better cable management, try the Antec or Corsair cases suggested here. The cable routing holes are bigger on these cases. If you want the side panel window and blue led fan, then go ahead and stick with the Cooler Master. Better yet try to find a case that has all these features and on sale.
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December 1, 2012 4:27:02 AM

That's a good build. I think you would be a little happier with an i5. If you go with a slightly cheaper case and power supply, I think you can squeeze it into the budget.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qnok


And there are some very nice cases out there, but if it comes to having poor cable management or a slower CPU, then I pick a few extra zip ties every time.
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December 1, 2012 2:28:19 PM

okay i can do that. the reason i went with the fx 6300 is because with this is can overclock and have the gigabyte 7870 2gb (which has 3 fans on it). but you're saying to go with the i5 anyway. is the i5 really that good to the point where i lose overclocking just to have an i5 instead?
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December 1, 2012 2:41:41 PM

EdTheTech said:
Looks fine to me. By the way, I own that case you chose, Cooler Master Elite 430. I can tell you it looks great but it's not very good at routing power cables. It can route data cables, but power cables won't fit in the holes provided. If you want better cable management, try the Antec or Corsair cases suggested here. The cable routing holes are bigger on these cases. If you want the side panel window and blue led fan, then go ahead and stick with the Cooler Master. Better yet try to find a case that has all these features and on sale.


does the lack of power cable room drastically affect me?
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December 1, 2012 5:16:26 PM

NO, it just means you have to be creative with looping and bundling cables together with velcro/zip ties so you can maintain decent airflow.

I think you'd find you need to overclock the fx6300 quite a ways to match the 3450/3470, even at their stock speeds. But the 6300 is a good processor, sure. For gaming, even the 8350 is slightly behind the i5 chips. Now a lot of games max the GPU out before the CPU, so for those it won't matter. But certain games like Skyrim and starcraft want an i5 to really scream.



Some benchmarks to check out: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-rev... (CPU limited, i5 killing it)

http://www.techspot.com/review/586-amd-fx-8350-fx-6300/... (GPU limited, all about the same)

General benchmarks: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/699?vs=702

I'd happily run an fx6300, it's a great midlevel CPU. But when an i5 can be squeezed into the budget, that seems like a much better way to go.



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December 1, 2012 8:12:53 PM

what are your views on windows 8? is it good for gaming? why or why not
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December 1, 2012 8:43:13 PM

Window 8 is fine, but as an early adopter, you may end up having to wait for patches and drivers that you wouldn't on Windows 7. Most things are going to run the same. It's just like with any other OS launch. Tom's has an article comparing performance and the differences were in the margin of error.

On the other hand, why pay the same price for an "old" version?
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December 2, 2012 3:04:51 AM

Okay, I think i've come to a final conclusion. Thoughts?

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock B75 PRO3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($227.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Xion XON-570 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Cooler Master eXtreme Power 550W ATX12V Power Supply ($45.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $755.34
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-02 01:10 EST-0500)
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December 2, 2012 4:19:21 AM

A lot of power supplies that come with cases tend to be cheap. They burn out on you in a couple months and sometimes take your motherboard with them. I don't know anything about that case+psu combo you chose. If you did research on it and found out the PSU is good, or it has a lot of good reviews, then go for it.

Personally, I would buy the PSU separate and make sure it has 80 plus efficiency. It tends to cost more but it's money well spent, imo.
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December 2, 2012 6:09:50 AM

EdTheTech said:
A lot of power supplies that come with cases tend to be cheap. They burn out on you in a couple months and sometimes take your motherboard with them. I don't know anything about that case+psu combo you chose. If you did research on it and found out the PSU is good, or it has a lot of good reviews, then go for it.

Personally, I would buy the PSU separate and make sure it has 80 plus efficiency. It tends to cost more but it's money well spent, imo.


here, check that same post again, i edited in that psu from before and a different case, will that case fit everything fine?
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December 2, 2012 2:17:56 PM

That case looks good but it wont support USB 3.0 in the front. You can still put your USB 3.0 header in the back but it will use up one of your expansion slots. If that's OK with you go for it.

Also, I'm not sure about that power supply. Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/314712-28-please-read...

The max power consumption of the 7870 according to wikipedia is 175 Watts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_AMD_graphics...

Using the formula from the first link: (175/12) +15 + 5 = ~35 amps needed on the 12 volt rail

That PSU has two rails, each at 16 amps. Add those up and you get 32 amps, which is below the 35 recommended by the formula. Also, it's not 80 plus efficient. It might still work fine or it might not, I don't know, but I wouldn't risk it.





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December 2, 2012 2:40:48 PM

Since it doesn't look like you'll be overclocking with the i5-3470, 500 watts should be fine. How about this one?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-371-...

It's 520 watts and delivers 40 amps on the 12 V rail. If you were intending to buy this from Newegg, it's pretty much the same price as the one you have now.
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December 2, 2012 8:41:35 PM

EdTheTech said:
That case looks good but it wont support USB 3.0 in the front. You can still put your USB 3.0 header in the back but it will use up one of your expansion slots. If that's OK with you go for it.

Also, I'm not sure about that power supply. Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/314712-28-please-read...

The max power consumption of the 7870 according to wikipedia is 175 Watts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_AMD_graphics...

Using the formula from the first link: (175/12) +15 + 5 = ~35 amps needed on the 12 volt rail

That PSU has two rails, each at 16 amps. Add those up and you get 32 amps, which is below the 35 recommended by the formula. Also, it's not 80 plus efficient. It might still work fine or it might not, I don't know, but I wouldn't risk it.


woah woah woah, okay what's all this about usb 3.0 and power levels?

the usb ports are on the top of the case

im not going to be overclocking, so does the power supply matter?
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December 2, 2012 9:07:01 PM

That first build with the 7870 and no OS - would that be able to say, max out Skyrim/Fallout? Those are only PC games I want to play (with tons of mods) and around 800 is right where I'm at. Sorry for hijacking! (also will want to dual monitor/watch HD video on my main TV, but I'm assuming that's no problem with that build?)
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December 2, 2012 9:08:58 PM

He's saying it doesn't have USB 3.0....meaning the 2 ports on top are USB 2.0, not 3.0, if that matters to you.

When it comes to the power supply, it absolutely matters. It is the most important part of any build. You must make sure you get a good quality unit and that it has enough wattage and amperage available on the 12v rail to power everything in your system with ease and won't break down and fry your motherboard (and possibly video card and CPU as well). The one Ed recommended looks good enough for your build and for ~$50 you can't go wrong.

EDIT: @ninja - depends on the mods but yes that system should be able to run skyrim and fallout pretty much flawlessly. Skyrim is an odd game in that the CPU has a major effect on performance, but that CPU is more than good enough. From what I understand though, if you use a high res texture mod it can bring down cards that have over 2GB VRAM, but as long as you don't max out the VRAM it'll run great. As far as displays, that card can run up to 4 of them.
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December 2, 2012 11:00:27 PM

Best answer selected by brandonlugo615.
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