In trying to satisfy my son's xmas request for a better video card I realized that if I wanted to upgrade his GPU I was going to need to upgrade elsewhere too. I though a neat thing to do would be to build him a slightly better rig than he currently has. I say slighltly because I'm on a budget.
I'm keeping the current 7200 HD and 8GB dddr3 RAM. The case, PS, CPU, GPU & mobo are what I'm replacing. With a loose budget of $500 this is what I came up with:
Rosewill CHALLENGER-U3 Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case -$59
Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-550 550W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified, Modular Design, Single +12V Rail, ATX12V v2.31/EPS12V v2.92, SLI Ready, CrossFire Ready, Active-PFC Power Supply - $69
Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz
ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 - CPU and board came as combo for $293
GIGABYTE GV-R785OC-1GD Radeon HD 7850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $175
For a grand total of $597.95
My questions are (1) Is this a balanced build or did I go unnecessarily overboard somewhere where I could have saved a few bucks and gotten the same overall performance? (2) Am I getting good bang for my buck with quality components?
This is only my 2nd time building and my first build was a "cost is no object" build. Thanks in advance for your feedback.
I know it's a bit more expensive but it has a
Faster, overclockable CPU
Higher end motherboard which allows overclocking
Higher quality power supply
Graphics card that is a lot faster
And a better case.
How is a Z75 pro 3 better than a Z77? XFX PS is non-modular and part of the $49 price tag is a mail-in rebate. I like the suggestion on the case. The 55$ step up to the 2GB 7870 is too steep for my budget (I'm already $100 over), but I could get to a 2GB 7850 with the money I save going with your case, just not sure I need the extra gig for the games my son plays ( wow, LoL and such). I fell over when I saw the price on the 3570, until I read the part about in-store pickup only.....no Micro-Center in FL and it's at least $215 at every other retailer.
Thanks for suggestions!
I missed that on the CPU. Side by side the two boards did look identical except for a couple of SATA connectors and a digital out on the Z77. I'm getting a nice discount for purchasing that board and chip as a combo and I thought Ivy Bridge was preferrable. So my only two choices in clockable i5s are the 2500k and the 3570k?
In the end I did go with the ASrock Z75. I stayed the course with the 3450, maybe in 2 years I'll wish I had gotten an unlocked chip, but I really wanted Ivybridge. I also stayed the course on the Rosewill case. It was remarkably easy to work with and work in and more than enough hardware and space for components and cable management and well placed vents and fans . Changed to a Corsair 430w builder series PSU and used the savings to bump up to a powercolor 7870 2GB 256kbps GPU. My son and I put the rig together in just over three hours from sealed boxes to initial power on. My first by my own hands build posted and installed windows on the first power up and aside from having to remove and reinsert the GPU (at first the machine didn't "see" it) , it all went perfectly. My son is now playing all his favorites on maxed out settings and getting max fps while the machine stays very quiet and under 35deg C. A very merry xmas!