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First Budget Gaming Build - $400-$450

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December 29, 2012 7:00:57 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime in January 2013

Budget Range: $400-450

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, skype, surfing the net - that's pretty much all i'd use it for

Are you buying a monitor: No, I have a 19 inch 1080p HDTV that I could use for a monitor, or a 19 inch HP monitor I could use.

Do you need to buy OS: I guess since it's a new build...

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or amazon.com

Location: Maryland

Parts Preferences: Intel, but AMD is fine as their parts are cheap

Overclocking: I'm open to it, but if i'm looking to overclock certain parts, i'm pretty sure i'd need more cooling, which adds on to the cost of the rig

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: I'm not sure about my 19 inch screen, but i'll just say 1280x1024...

Additional Comments: I am looking for something that will perform well in games on medium-high settings. Some games i'll be playing are GW2, Planetside 2, Smite, SR3, BF3, and maybe Far Cry 3. I already have a monitor, mouse, keyboard, headset, etc. All i'd need to do is assemble the PC and i'd be good to go.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My laptop isn't cutting it anymore, and I've always wanted a gaming rig.


a b 4 Gaming
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December 29, 2012 7:16:01 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($67.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($35.75 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($38.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $438.68
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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December 29, 2012 7:24:08 PM

djangoringo said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($67.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($35.75 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($38.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $438.68
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


For some reason when I see that Intel Pentium being suggested in gaming rigs, I think about sluggish performance.. I guess it's because it's not an i3 or i5. How well do you think this rig would perform in the games I suggested in the thread? Also, if I wanted to, could I upgrade to, say, an i3-2120 without having to upgrade any other parts?

Also, thanks for helping me out again :) 
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December 29, 2012 7:26:07 PM

Meh, for the games you want to play it's not plausible IMO.

BF3 requires a good quad core, and in fact is optimized for even better, which are hyper threaded quad and even hex cores, meaning at least an i5 is necessary, costing already at least 170 dollars. Also you need hyper threading to run Planetside at good settings also, meaning the G860 the above poster gave you is simply not adequate.

For BF3/Planetside 2 I'd say a GTX660/7870 is good enough, a 650Ti won't cut it simply because the memory bandwidth is too low, meaning extreme FPS drop on higher resolutions, and also FPS drop with AA/AF, not to mention bad utilization of memory resources. A GTX660/7870 is at least 230 dollars if not more.

The RAM the above person gave you is enough, However for a 660/7870 that power supply is not adequete, it doesn't put out enough wattage and only has 1x6 pin, which isn't enough, you need 2x6 pin. A Corsair CX600 V2 would be a better choice.


Other than that you also need an operating system, which is another 80-100 bucks depending.

EDIT: Have you maybe considered a Console instead? I'm genuinely not trying to be disrespectful, I just believe that for 400 dollars a Console provides much better performance than a PC.
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December 29, 2012 7:29:24 PM

An antec vp-450 does the job for a 660 gtx/7850, the 7870 you can put a molex, it delivers more than the 450w @ good temps...
For a budget of 450$ and restricted to amazon/newegg, you can't have more than that, the mobo is a good one, you can latter on upgrade to an i5 ivybridge.
Also the pentium G860 is not that bad, it will not bottleneck the 650ti.
If you want a i5 spend some more 90$.
See this : http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-gaming-do-it...

I just didn't put the 7850 cause it will be over the budget.
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December 29, 2012 7:33:54 PM

darksparten said:
Meh, for the games you want to play it's not plausible IMO.

BF3 requires a good quad core, and in fact is optimized for even better, which are hyper threaded quad and even hex cores, meaning at least an i5 is necessary, costing already at least 170 dollars. Also you need hyper threading to run Planetside at good settings also, meaning the G860 the above poster gave you is simply not adequate.

For BF3/Planetside 2 I'd say a GTX660/7870 is good enough, a 650Ti won't cut it simply because the memory bandwidth is too low, meaning extreme FPS drop on higher resolutions, and also FPS drop with AA/AF, not to mention bad utilization of memory resources. A GTX660/7870 is at least 230 dollars if not more.

The RAM the above person gave you is enough, However for a 660/7870 that power supply is not adequete, it doesn't put out enough wattage and only has 1x6 pin, which isn't enough, you need 2x6 pin. A Corsair CX600 V2 would be a better choice.


Other than that you also need an operating system, which is another 80-100 bucks depending.


Well i'm not looking for anything extravagant, and I think I went a little far with me wanted to play Far Cry 3 on it, but at the moment I have an AMD A8-4500M Quad Core ~1.9 GHz with an AMD HD 7670m and I can play Planetside 2 on a mixture of low and ultra settings, with like 25-35 FPS.. Seeing as the game is horribly optimized for Quad Cores, which means it's basically only using one of my cores, that's still pretty good. Obviously the GFX card he listed is better than the 7670m I have right now, so that shouldn't really be a problem.
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December 29, 2012 7:37:06 PM

djangoringo said:
An antec vp-450 does the job for a 660 gtx/7850, the 7870 you can put a molex, it delivers more than the 450w @ good temps...
For a budget of 450$ and restricted to amazon/newegg, you can't have more than that, the mobo is a good one, you can latter on upgrade to an i5 ivybridge.
Also the pentium G860 is not that bad, it will not bottleneck the 650ti.
If you want a i5 spend some more 90$.
See this : http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-gaming-do-it...

I just didn't put the 7850 cause it will be over the budget.


I'm just wondering... is there a reason why everyone goes with intel processors for budget builds? AMD is rather cheap, and from what I heard, they offer O-K performance. I know my friend has an AMD Phenom II X4 965 black edition which is a quad core processor clocked at 3.4GHz i believe, and that processor on Newegg is only about $100. That sounds pretty good to me. What's your take?
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December 29, 2012 7:42:48 PM

7670m actually isn't too bad a GPU, and the A10 actually isn't too terrible a CPU, it's probably equal or even a step up from a Pentium, but I digress.

The Phenoms are very good processors, the 965 in particular is very good in it's per core performance and overclockability, when overclocked to around 4GHz it is roughly equivalent to a Sandy Bridge i5 2500k at stock. People don't like them though because they don't provide a good upgrade path, whereas with Intel the socket changes every tick tock cycle so if you buy during the tick you can use the same mobo during the tock. Additionally the quality of AMD processors isn't guaranteed, example: Zambezi turned out to be a flop, even after all the hype, etc...
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December 29, 2012 7:44:44 PM

For gaming even the pentium G860 is better, also you get a better upgrade path(i5 or i7), pcie 3.0 support, usb 3.0, lot of sata ports.
A 650 ti is miles better than a 7670 mobile, that thing is even less powerful than a 6670 desktop...
And that's totally incorrect, a x4 965 be get no way near a i5-2500k even oc to whatever digit :

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/far-cry-3-performan...
http://img.techpowerup.org/121123/ac3%20proz483.png
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December 29, 2012 7:47:39 PM

darksparten said:
7670m actually isn't too bad a GPU, and the A10 actually isn't too terrible a CPU, it's probably equal or even a step up from a Pentium, but I digress.

The Phenoms are very good processors, the 965 in particular is very good in it's per core performance and overclockability, when overclocked to around 4GHz it is roughly equivalent to a Sandy Bridge i5 2500k at stock. People don't like them though because they don't provide a good upgrade path, whereas with Intel the socket changes every tick tock cycle so if you buy during the tick you can use the same mobo during the tock. Additionally the quality of AMD processors isn't guaranteed, example: Zambezi turned out to be a flop, even after all the hype, etc...


Thanks for the detailed explanation. Do you think this build would be any better if I upgrade the CPU to an i3-2120 or something?
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December 29, 2012 7:52:43 PM

Just upgrade latter to an i5+better card, the pentium G860 does not bottleneck the 650 ti, it's worthless.
By the way the 450$ doesn't include os.
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December 29, 2012 7:57:11 PM

djangoringo said:
Just upgrade latter to an i5+better card, the pentium G860 does not bottleneck the 650 ti, it's worthless.
By the way the 450$ doesn't include os.


Ok, how well do you think that rig would perform in games like GW2, SR3, or BF3?
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December 30, 2012 2:54:11 AM

djangoringo said:
For 1280x1024 it will give good fps in those games @ mid/high settings.
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_650_Ti_Direc...
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_650_Ti_Direc...


Sorry for the late question, but I was wondering another thing. Say a little down the road if I don't think the pentium isn't doing it for me anymore, I could easily upgrade to like an i5-2500k without needing to upgrade any parts? I know that is highly overclockable, so I could get some fans or something else to cool it, but other than that, should I be good to go?
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December 30, 2012 3:36:00 AM

djangoringo said:
The h77 can fit any ivybridge cpu(including xeons), but to overclock the cpu you have to go with a z75 or z77 mobo(recommended).
You still take full advantage of the cpus, even the turbo, but to overclock only those.
Like this ones :

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z75pro3
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-motherboard-z77ag41
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77pro3


Ok, thanks for clearing that up.

I just had ONE more question to ask. I know you guys don't include the OS, so that will add a good bit to the end price. I know on newegg you can buy W7 64-bit Home Premium for $100, and regular Windows 8 64-bit for $100. Is there anywhere else I could buy Windows 7/Windows 8 for cheaper, as that kind of adds a pretty good chunk of money onto the subtotal.
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December 30, 2012 6:41:15 AM

Here's a Phenom II build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/uWZc

Took djangoringo's build and was able to fit the Phenom II by saving some money with less RAM and a cheaper graphics card of similar performance. You can also add an aftermarket cooler when you have the money and OC the cpu for some extra performance. Price is $450 without OS.

If you need an OS to be included in that price, than you might want to consider an A10: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/uXsG

You'll have to live with integrated graphics while you save up for a better graphics card like the ones Darksparten suggested (660/7870).

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December 31, 2012 3:17:27 AM

EdTheTech said:
Here's a Phenom II build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/uWZc

Took djangoringo's build and was able to fit the Phenom II by saving some money with less RAM and a cheaper graphics card of similar performance. You can also add an aftermarket cooler when you have the money and OC the cpu for some extra performance. Price is $450 without OS.

If you need an OS to be included in that price, than you might want to consider an A10: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/uXsG

You'll have to live with integrated graphics while you save up for a better graphics card like the ones Darksparten suggested (660/7870).


I'm tempted with this rig, but I'm not sure about the 4GB RAM, and I now see that if I go with the other build, I have a better upgrade path. Also, I really like the 650 Ti.
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January 2, 2013 11:30:06 PM

bump.. any other suggestions?
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January 2, 2013 11:39:50 PM

Things like the ram has changed, it's more expensive now, also the 650 ti galaxy got more expensive.

My updated recommendation : http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vzol (combo with gfx card+ram)

or if you can pay a bit more : http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vzmT (also the same combo with ram, plus it's a better card, but without any game for offer)
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January 2, 2013 11:54:35 PM

djangoringo said:
Things like the ram has changed, it's more expensive now, also the 650 ti galaxy got more expensive.

My updated recommendation : http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vzol (combo with gfx card+ram)

or if you can pay a bit more : http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vzmT (also the same combo with ram, plus it's a better card, but without any game for offer)


Alright, the only thing holding me back at the moment is purchasing the OS, but i'm still trying to get either a student discount, or i'm just going to ask my dad if he can get it for cheap since he works for HP. Thanks!
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January 3, 2013 12:17:03 AM

djangoringo said:
Things like the ram has changed, it's more expensive now, also the 650 ti galaxy got more expensive.

My updated recommendation : http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vzol (combo with gfx card+ram)

or if you can pay a bit more : http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vzmT (also the same combo with ram, plus it's a better card, but without any game for offer)


Wait, I just noticed that the gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB card is pretty cheap at the moment. On newegg, it's only $100.. Do you think that's still a good card for that price, still considering I need to squeeze an OS in that build?
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