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HELP!!!!! Need advice for building a $500 gaming rig

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December 20, 2012 2:58:57 PM

Hey All,

I want to build my first gaming rig, and after much research i'm torn on how to approach it. I am asking for advice on which parts to purchase. I already have a case, an antec psu 750w(don't know the model it was a gift) and a HDD 500 GB 7200 RPM. My goal is to spend a total of $500.00 on the CPU, MoBo, GPU, RAM and Monitor. I would prefer a nvidia/intel solution, but if amd/ati is the only way, so be it.

Thanks in advance for your time.

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a b 4 Gaming
December 20, 2012 3:13:20 PM

Here's an Intel option. If you can stretch the budget a bit and squeeze in a HD 7870, that would be well worth the extra $50.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($172.08 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Acer V213HLBJbd 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($96.00 @ Compuvest)
Total: $480.05
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-20 12:07 EST-0500)

Here's an AMD option...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($82.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($214.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer V213HLBJbd 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($96.00 @ Compuvest)
Total: $495.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-20 12:13 EST-0500)
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a b 4 Gaming
December 20, 2012 3:52:23 PM

They look good, your Nvidia alternative would be a GTX 660 FYI

EDIT: If you're not going to overclock go the Intel route. If you do overclock, the AMD route is probably better.
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December 20, 2012 4:00:56 PM

I think the AMD route is better anyway. You get a true quad core, but also, you get a better video card than with the i3, which for gaming, your video card will make more difference anyway, and the AMD should have an unlocked multiplier to push more performance out of the CPU.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 20, 2012 4:11:54 PM

Having a true quad core doesn't really mean anything unless it translates into performance gains. The i3 should comfortably beat the Phenom in the majority of games regardless of how many cores it has. You can't overclock it though, obviously that's why I recommended the Phenom if overclocking.
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December 20, 2012 4:24:48 PM

Perhaps, but the phenom build has a better video card. Also on the i3 i know benchmarks say different, but for now I'm still on an Athlon quad system at 3 ghz which does everything I want including games. I have worked with newer i3 systems they don't feel as fast to me. Even the windows 7 Wei benchmark showed my CPU at a 7.3 I think and newer I 3 systems I've played with showed like 7.1. I know other benchmarks show different, for me personally I'm not hip on i3. If I had to take one I would, but they are not my first choice.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 20, 2012 4:34:43 PM

To be fair, they're both good choices. You can't go wrong really. I just value low power consumption as well and both the i3 and HD 7850 are incredibly efficient. Take power consumption out of the equation completely and they are pretty similar builds that would give roughly similar FPS depending on the game.

EDIT: And as I mentioned earlier, overclocking would swing it in favour of the AMD build at the cost of much higher power consumption and more heat/noise. (Nothing too crazy, just be sure to get a decent CPU cooler. I'd look at $30+ for a worthwhile overclock.)
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December 20, 2012 4:55:29 PM

Thanks all for the info. I'm going to sort through this and probably decided later today. I'm hoping this build will last me at least 2 years, as i intend to save up in order to afford something state of the art down the line.
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December 20, 2012 4:56:13 PM

Best answer selected by sunspotdragon.
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December 20, 2012 6:05:12 PM

Nice thing on either build you've got going, you should be able to either upgrade the AMD rig to Piledriver or Steamroller. Or on intel, possibly an i7 later.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 20, 2012 6:07:34 PM

Fair enough. No problem.
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December 20, 2012 6:08:00 PM

Hey guys,

So i'm looking at the HD Radeon 7870 GHz Edition or the GTX 650 ti. Which would be a better choice??
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a b 4 Gaming
December 20, 2012 6:36:51 PM

The HD 7870 is waaay better.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 20, 2012 7:02:38 PM

One more thing I wanna throw out there... If you go with the Intel build and grab the ASRock Z75 Pro3 motherboard, you'll have a much better upgrade path in the future. If I were in your situation, I would do my best to save up another $50 or so and grab the Intel build with the Z75 Pro3 and the HD 7870.

This is completely up to you. I hope this helps; good luck!
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