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$500-$650 Budget Gaming Build (first timer)

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December 28, 2012 2:21:14 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: this week (Boxing Week!)
Budget Range: $500-$600
Are you buying a monitor: No
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Location: Montreal, Canada
Parts Preferences: Intel
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

First of all, I have been always a console gamer but I decided it's time to make the move especially since my current laptop hardly runs anything modern :x
I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer and I buy games sparsely so hence I am going for a budget (yet capable) build. I play games like Skyrim, Borderlands, Deus Ex, and other FPS games.

So with that in mind, my requirements are not high and I would rather start moderate. I don't mind running games on medium settings at full HD and I am very ok running at 720p for high settings. 30 fps is just fine by me. Please keep in mind that I will be moving out of Canada in a few months and where I am headed, the PC market is not as varied and prices are astronomical so I want to build something that will hang on for 2-3 years. My preference for Intel is solely because they are much more accessible should I want to replace/upgrade the CPU.

I did some research and I have adjusted Tom's Q4 budget build but would like to hear your suggestions. BTW, I did look at all the stickies of BestConfigs but most of the builds are $1000 for budget.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($59.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Rosewill Blackbone ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($23.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Total: $513.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-27 22:34 EST-0500)

Would this build fulfill my requirements and endure? Is it balanced? Also, are the RAM voltages ok with the mobo/CPU? I remember reading somewhere that Intel has some voltage restrictions but now I don't remember what exactly and I am new to building PCs (my first).

I used the Radeon HD 7850 but using an Nvidia GPU is fine if it meant better bang for the bucks. I am also willing to dish extra money ($100 max) if it meant significantly better parts/system (overly optimistic?). I understand some might suggest the i3-3220 and I could go for that but still I'd like to hear your opinions on the overall system. Also, is there a better shopping time than Boxing week (from now until May 2013) that I should wait for (price-wise or parts-wise)?

Finally, I would love to have a microATX slim build but I couldn't reach a good build without compromise (non-standard PSU, not enough watt, etc.). I specifically liked the Rosewill R379-M (www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147098...(Computer+Cases+-+ATX+Form)-_-Rosewill-_-11147098&AID=10592396&PID=3938566). Can I reach my goal with a MicroATX slim case?

Thanks.
December 28, 2012 2:31:48 AM

Get this :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($179.99 @ NCIX)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.82 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $516.75
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
December 28, 2012 4:34:32 AM

Hmm.. Thanks.. I would have gotten that GTX 660 in a heart beat for that price but it expired so fast now we are back to $220+ after rebate.

BTW, is XFX a good brand? because I found this HD 7870 (http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=69828&vpn=FX787ACNFC&...) which is cheaper AND comes with a bonus game.
Related resources
December 28, 2012 6:11:29 AM

You are right. I missed that.

Is there a quality alternative for the PSU? it's sold-out at NCIX and other websites has it for $20 extra.

Also, what would be a good microATX mobo/case alternative? or do I need to change other components as well to fit the size?
December 28, 2012 6:30:52 AM

If i was going to build a PC in that budget, this would probably be it

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($104.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: EVGA 130-SB-E685-KR ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($66.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($129.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Cooler Master NV-692A-KWN2 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $593.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-28 03:28 EST-0500)

But if you can afford it, upgrade the graphics card to a GTX 660
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/asus-video-card-gtx660d...
December 28, 2012 3:22:42 PM

Why would you put an evga board, that sucks hard and an i3 sandybridge?


pheroh said:
You are right. I missed that.

Is there a quality alternative for the PSU? it's sold-out at NCIX and other websites has it for $20 extra.

Also, what would be a good microATX mobo/case alternative? or do I need to change other components as well to fit the size?



You can get a decent micro atx mobo+ micro atx case here :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-GL Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($54.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($179.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($34.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.82 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $531.75
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

I see the XFX 550w available, but there's also this : http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3...
December 29, 2012 10:32:10 PM

Thanks guys for all the suggestions :) 
!