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Cheap build - can I make it cheaper

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December 4, 2012 12:30:20 PM

I'm thinking about building my first desktop. I would want to play 2013 games on medium settings. Is there room for cost savings in this build or am I going too cheap? (The Biostar mobo is on sale for $70.)

Also, I have no clue how much wattage the PSU needs to be.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Biostar TZ77XE3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($125.91 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.98 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($57.40 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: HEC 485W ATX12V Power Supply ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.89 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $458.14
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 09:23 EST-0500)


Edit: Also looking for a good 23-24" monitor for less than $150.
December 4, 2012 2:03:29 PM

CPU: If you can get a little more money, get an i3-3220. Really. The i3-2100 architecture is outdated, and both are the same price!!!
Motherboard: You don't need a Z77 mobo for this built (what are your future goals? Do you plan on multiple SLI???), get an H77 mobo like the AsRock H77M (I prefer Asus's PH77M but AsRock's mobos are cheaper). Your Biostar is cheap for a Z77, but you'll get better quality with another brand
Memory: Get the same brand/model, but 1600MHz. Maybe only $4 more ;-)
Video card: Fine, but benchmarks have proven that the AMD HD7770, for the same price, is better (EDIT paid mine Canadian $99 ). But feel free to stick to that GeForce
Case: Often used, nice case, but I'm sure that you can find cheaper, like the K350 from CoolerMaster (paid $30). You'll find my review on this case here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...
PSU: DON'T!!! Never cheap out on your PSU. You'll have to pay around $50-$60 for a 500w PSU. See reviews on that. I'd recommend the Corsair CX500, but see also Antec's Earthwatt, yoiu may find cheaper. Again, DON'T buy this one, you may damage your computer using cheap parts like this. And even some Thermaltake or CoolerMaster PSUs over $50 are dangerous. If you buy this, you'll put your computer at high risk. Worth mentioning, even if your computer, by chance, doesn't break, it'll crash during intensive gaming...
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December 4, 2012 2:08:08 PM

Oh, just saw Larry's post.
Wished to add that a CX430 might be enough ;-)
See http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp to make sure that you'll have enough power, but see my config (under my picture, more information) and you'll see that I have quite the same as your project and a CX430
December 4, 2012 2:22:13 PM

Darkmonk said:
Oh, just saw Larry's post.
Wished to add that a CX430 might be enough ;-)
See http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp to make sure that you'll have enough power, but see my config (under my picture, more information) and you'll see that I have quite the same as your project and a CX430


Nice explanation Darkmonk..looks like we were on the same page.
December 4, 2012 2:35:05 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qThO

I made this cheaper and increased the quality of most of the parts.

Changed to a CPU from this current architecture.

The PSU you had was junk. This one is very reliable and will serve you well.

The GPU you had wasn't really cut out for the gaming you want to do. The 7770 will be much better. You could even swing a 7850 if you wanted to.

The RAM you had was expensive and slow so I replaced it with ddr3 1600 1.5 volt RAM

You were overpaying for your case so I chose one that was cheaper but still of high quality.
December 5, 2012 3:29:19 AM

Thanks for the replies. It seems the consensus is upgrade CPU to i3-3220, GPU to HD 7770, RAM to 1600, change mobo to ASRock h77m, PSU to something better, and case to something cheaper.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/r06m

Any advice on good 23-24" monitors for less than $150?
!