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Seeking thoughts on $650 general-purpose Intel rig

Last response: in Systems
January 9, 2013 12:40:33 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Early February (hopefully)
Budget Range: $600 - $700 after shipping and before rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Internet, watching movies, light gaming
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: Everything but a monitor
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, NCIX, Amazon (note that I have to pay 8% tax on Amazon purchases)
Location: Yakima, WA (No Microcenter outlets within 1000 miles)
Parts Preferences: Full-width [9.6" / 244mm] ATX motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI; Cooler Master cases; DDR3-1600 RAM with blue or black heatspreaders.
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024 CRT (may get a 1920x1080 LCD down the road).

Additional comments: I think I finally nailed down a final configuration. Checked the memory compatibility lists, read the reviews, checked prices. The reason that I picked a Z77 motherboard despite going with a non-K CPU is because I didn't like the configurations/layouts of the B75/H77 boards available. That being said, I also don't need more than 1 PCIx16 slot as I'm not ever going to do a 2-card rig.

I did not include a video card because I'm betting that the HD 4000 graphics will be sufficient for my light gaming needs (indie RPGs, simple games like "Angry Birds", previous-gen console emulation, etc.) I see the $20 premium that the i3-3225 holds over the i3-3220 as a 8-to-1 wager that I won't need a discrete gaming card. If I'm wrong I've only "wasted" $20, but if I'm right I've saved a net of $130 (assuming I would've bought a $150 card otherwise.) Of course, I'm hedging my bets by getting a 550w PSU in case I do need to get a decent low/mid-range card...

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($127.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H (Rev. 1.1) ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 2x 4GB DDR3-1600 Memory (9-9-9-24 @ 1.5v) ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 64mb Cache 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced (USB 3.0 Version) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified Modular Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $635.92

Best solution

January 9, 2013 12:47:56 PM

I'm just throwing it out there but previous gen console (like the pcsx2) can get pretty demanding at 1080p

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 54.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($74.24 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($112.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($30.95 @ NCIX US)
Total: $652.11
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-09 09:43 EST-0500)

This is actually more gaming optimized but I'm just giving you some alternative to show that you can get a decent video card at $650. It's fine really if you stick to your build.
January 13, 2013 7:47:04 AM

Best answer selected by Svengeguttensen.