Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Budget Gaming PC

Last response: in Systems
Share
December 7, 2012 3:15:49 AM

Hello everyone, this is my first post on Tom's Hardware. I've spent several hours searching online for some references and suggestions regarding budget gaming builds, but ultimately I'd like some insight and suggestions on specific parts that I'm not too familiar with. I was reading through other threads and decided that some of my picks were good, while others weren't. I'd like to use this thread to discuss my own build, however, so I'd appreciate any and all suggestions.

I plan to finish this build sometime in January/February 2013. I'm looking at a $1100-$1300 budget, roughly. I'll be using this machine primarily for intensive gaming. I searched for all the parts on NewEgg, but if I can find it cheaper on Amazon or some other site that accepts PayPal, I would rather buy it there. Parts decided so far:

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Undecided, but ideally I'd like to get a GTX 670. Not sure on specific make.

Power Supply: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Unsure about all other parts like cooling, case, etc. I do plan to do some pretty decent overclocking on both the CPU and GPU, so that's important to keep in mind when choosing the other components. I plan on setting up a SLI configuration later on in the future with another GTX 670 once I get the money for it. I already have a 1 TB HDD which is more than enough, but I intend on getting an SSD strictly only for games. I don't want to spend much on RAM, anything DDR3 @1600 is fine. If you guys have other suggestions on parts I'd appreciate them, thank you.

I forgot to mention I don't need a monitor, speakers, mouse, keyboard, software or HDD. Just looking for the core components. Also, I just quickly went through the part picker to build something quickly for a rough idea on price. I'll link to it for further advice: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/riEG

More about : budget gaming

December 7, 2012 11:38:05 AM

To be honest, a 7970 GHz Edition is superior to the 670. While the mobo you picked is a very nice board, I believe that the Extreme 6 does the same thing, just cheaper. Additionally, a 750 watt PSU, is a tad small for two 7970's and the 3570, all overclocked.

With those points made, here is the build. I think it is a very nice build that will serve you well.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.71 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($454.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($85.44 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1273.07
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-07 08:37 EST-0500)

Note: If you live near a microcenter, you can save a lot of money on the CPU there.
December 7, 2012 3:52:26 PM

Thank you for the suggestions zared619, I agree that perhaps the mobo you suggested is better for me, though I lack the proper technical knowledge to efficiently pick good motherboards. I do prefer Nvidia cards and from what I've gathered the GTX 670 is exactly what I need since overclocking allows for better performance than a stock 680. I was thinking of getting the MSI version, as it's right under $400 and meets my requirement of at least 1.0 GHz speed:

MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't think I'll make much use of the extra memory the Sapphire offers since I game on a single monitor. Everything else looks good to me too. A question on the Power Supply though, as I'm not very familiar with the specifics of those either, but I just want to make sure that the one you recommend is good enough to last me several years, as I don't plan to upgrade for at least another 3 years. Thanks again for your input, I'd appreciate others as well.
Related resources
December 7, 2012 4:03:22 PM

Do not get the MSI 670 PE. The 670 in general is good, not as good as the 7970, but still good. However, MSI tweaked the power edition to allow for higher overclocks, however, this is bad. Very often, these GPU's will pump in too much voltage and kill them selves.
I highly recommend the 7970, but if you are dead set on the 670 then get an Asus or Gigabyte version, both are good.

XFX power supplies are made by Seasonic, which is the best quality PSU that you can buy, so you would be just fine with that.
December 7, 2012 4:22:30 PM

I do prefer Nvidia cards but I'm not really dead set on getting the 670. What I really want is a card that can play current games and next gen games at 60 fps at full settings. From the searching I've done I gathered that it was the best bang for buck card currently out there. I haven't done much digging on the 7970, but if it will deliver performance better than a 670 I'd gladly look into it. Thanks for the heads up on this as well, I wasn't really sure which version to look at for the 670.

Also, I was reading up on the ASRock Z77 Extreme6 mobo and there seems to be a preference in the quality of the Asus motherboard I selected. Would you say this "quality" is negligible or is there some truth to those statements? As I mentioned I'm looking to buy parts that can provide the longest lifetime because I doubt I'll be able to upgrade anytime soon.
December 7, 2012 5:10:10 PM

I've spent the past hour reading tons of reviews, benchmarks and opinions for the Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Vapor-X, the GTX 670 and 680 and I'm honestly very confused on which to pick. There are good arguments on both sides, but it seems to me like the better choice would be the 7970.

The benchmarks for the games I play are pretty much even on both AMD and Nvidia cards, with some titles running better on one, while others run better on the other. I think I'll stick with the 7970 Vapor-X though, as it seems to be the faster, more future-proof of the bunch. Picking the GPU is the hardest part for me, it's like trying to choose between your babies.

I forgot to mention that I also might prefer a card that supports 120Hz monitors. Not sure if I'll bother to buy a monitor like that soon, but it's something else I've been thinking about.
December 7, 2012 5:11:40 PM

Kevdo said:
I do prefer Nvidia cards but I'm not really dead set on getting the 670. What I really want is a card that can play current games and next gen games at 60 fps at full settings. From the searching I've done I gathered that it was the best bang for buck card currently out there. I haven't done much digging on the 7970, but if it will deliver performance better than a 670 I'd gladly look into it. Thanks for the heads up on this as well, I wasn't really sure which version to look at for the 670.

Also, I was reading up on the ASRock Z77 Extreme6 mobo and there seems to be a preference in the quality of the Asus motherboard I selected. Would you say this "quality" is negligible or is there some truth to those statements? As I mentioned I'm looking to buy parts that can provide the longest lifetime because I doubt I'll be able to upgrade anytime soon.


7970 Ghz edition will do atleast 30 FPS.
If you want 60FPS, you want a 7990. or a crossfire setup.
December 7, 2012 5:12:40 PM

with mb it a little bit tricky. you have to do some googling on the model you want. some vendors can have issue with there mb or a higher then normal doa rate. with mb when you go cheap they have to cut costs. most times it the thickness or layers of the mb.the heat sinks and or power inputs used. some mb like msi now say they use military grade parts on there mb. i found that gigbyte has the best stock mb and bios..plane jane and run well for years. asus has the easy bios to read and set..also some of there mb now have a usb flashback so if the bios gets damaged you dont need it to post to reflash it. msi and asrock come in as the poor mans overcloer/server mb. a lot of there products are rock soild but sometimes there qa issues or slight bugs. with ssd on your build spend a little more on the ssdd and stay with intel or samsung. right now the computer tech space is teething the ssd. give them a few more years to work out firmware and parts issues. even intel on there 330 ssd been hit with qa and firmware issues (bricking ssd). also look at videos like exploding power supplys by cosair and other online reviewers and testers. the bad power supply's blow up or shut down before there rated voltages. the bad ones are ones that are out of the atx spec the output is to low or too high and causes bsod or lock up or burns drives outs. one thing to be care full is your going to be buying parts when the tech field going to be switxhing over to the newer intel haswell cpu and amd and nvidia are going to be dropping there next gen of gpu's. may want look into how much faster the intel haswell will be rated for over the ib cpu and is the price$$$$ you pay for the newer cpu worth it. with the newer haswell is the newer pin out mb.
December 7, 2012 5:37:25 PM

Kiowa789 said:
7970 Ghz edition will do atleast 30 FPS.
If you want 60FPS, you want a 7990. or a crossfire setup.

Really? I can't seem to find a solid, straight answer on this. I'm currently using a 32" television for a monitor and I game @1080p on the single television. I was under the impression that the GTX 670, 680 and the 7970 3GB Vapor-X would all run games steady @60 fps.

On the other hand, I've heard that SLI setups are better than Crossfire setups, but I can't validate whether the point is simply a misguided opinion or if Nvidia has perfected the technology better. At the 400+ price range though, it's really between the GTX 680 and the 7970 GHz edition for me.

Edit: Also, since the MSI GTX 670 was no good, and assuming I'm comparing Nvidia cards with AMD's 7970 GHz edition, how does this GTX 680 compare to it?

GIGABYTE GV-N680OC-2GD GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 7, 2012 6:18:38 PM

Kevdo said:
Really? I can't seem to find a solid, straight answer on this. I'm currently using a 32" television for a monitor and I game @1080p on the single television. I was under the impression that the GTX 670, 680 and the 7970 3GB Vapor-X would all run games steady @60 fps.

On the other hand, I've heard that SLI setups are better than Crossfire setups, but I can't validate whether the point is simply a misguided opinion or if Nvidia has perfected the technology better. At the 400+ price range though, it's really between the GTX 680 and the 7970 GHz edition for me.

Edit: Also, since the MSI GTX 670 was no good, and assuming I'm comparing Nvidia cards with AMD's 7970 GHz edition, how does this GTX 680 compare to it?

GIGABYTE GV-N680OC-2GD GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

7970 demolishes the 680
The only reason why anyone would say that is that AMD has micro stutter issues in older cards.
You are fine, I ment a 7990 for EVERYTHING like the latest games (Crysis 3, ETC.) older games will be hitting right around 70 fps+ even with older cards.
December 7, 2012 6:35:12 PM

Kiowa789 said:
7970 demolishes the 680
The only reason why anyone would say that is that AMD has micro stutter issues in older cards.
You are fine, I ment a 7990 for EVERYTHING like the latest games (Crysis 3, ETC.) older games will be hitting right around 70 fps+ even with older cards.

Ah I see. Alright well I'm convinced, I think I'll get the 7970 then. However, just for comparison which 7990 card would you recommend? I'd just like to see how it would sit in my budget.

Thanks to everyone for the help thus far.
December 7, 2012 7:29:05 PM

Kevdo said:
Ah I see. Alright well I'm convinced, I think I'll get the 7970 then. However, just for comparison which 7990 card would you recommend? I'd just like to see how it would sit in my budget.

Thanks to everyone for the help thus far.

Thats just it.
The 7990 is an unofficial card produced by HIS and Powercolor, ATI/AMD has not officially recognized it, They hit around 1000$ a piece, they are two 7970's merged in one, along with a few upgrades here and there for other parts of the card, the 690 competes with it.
It won't fit in your budget, I guarantee that.
December 7, 2012 7:52:11 PM

Oh, well then that's just easier for me to choose then haha. Alright I think I'm all set. This build looks great, thanks to everyone for the advice. Great help!
!