Mobo/GPU/CPU advice wanted-for gaming on tight budget

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next week

Budget Range: about $300 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, watching videos about gaming, surfing the net

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, ATX case, and possibly the power supply (already bought Win7 ultimate)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I shop at:,,, (I want to get the best price and only use 1 or 2 vendors)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I've always bought AMD, and ASUS, but would love to go Intel for this re-build

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not

Monitor Resolution: 1600x1200 ideally

Additional Comments: This re-build is for my son. His computer crashes frequently, and he wants better graphics. He plays games that he downloads on Steam. He also plays Assassins Creed, Skyrim, and Amnesia.

Here is what his current computer has:
Asus M4A78 Pro motherboard
Amd Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5800+ 3.00Ghz
4G ram
ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series gpu
2 WD ATA hard drives
runs Windows7
HP 22" widescreen monitor
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More about mobo advice wanted gaming tight budget
  1. Hi. If you want to go with an Intel build, you'll have to go with a non-overclocking Pentium processor to have more money on the graphics card which is better for gaming. It is sufficient for your intended usage and won't bottleneck the graphics card. This build is a little over budget but you can go with a single 4GB DDR3-1333 1.5V stick of RAM and add another one in the future if you need to. I don't know if you need to replace the PSU so I included one just in case. Do you know what your PSU is?

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.76 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $313.72
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-08 23:26 EST-0500)
  2. That mobo supports the X4 965 BE, i think it's worth staying with the mobo, the current problem of crashes, it could be several things, did you check the temperatures of the cpu and gpu, run some antivirus or alike, check also if it's the ram with Memtest86+.
    Also worth knowing what's your current psu.
  3. I just downloaded and started running the Memtest program. I never knew such a program existed before I read the message from djangoringo. So thanks for telling me about that!

    I'll update once it has finished with the unused memory, and again once my son has played games for a couple of hours.

    I'll also open up the case so that I can get the psu information.

    I have run full system scans for infections and malware. I have also checked the hard drives for damage and errors.

    This computer has been shutting down for a couple of years. I've always just thought something was getting too hot and truthfully, by the time it kicks off, the kids have already been playing for over an hour and it has been a good excuse to make them do something else.

    Your eyes are probably rolling as you groan about my ignorance.

    In my defense, I have discovered just how little I know about computers, and I am trying to change that!

    Can anyone recommend a good program for testing cpu and/or gpu temps?
  4. For cpu temperatures and other stuff : hwmonitor.
    For gpu temperatues try gpu-z.
    It could be really the cpu or gpu getting too hot or the psu.
  5. Ok, I finally got the kid away from his computer long enough for me to crack the case. lol

    The PSU is a: Ultra 550W ATX power supply

    There are 2: Ultra SilentFlow 1500RPM case fans

    CPU has a: MASSCOOL 12V ball bearing fan

    The GPU is a: Sapphire Radeon HD 4850

    I ran the Memtest and it found zero errors

    Now I am off to try both hwmonitor and gpu-z
  6. Ok, I ran hwmanager first, and I got some weird results. The AUX under Voltages keeps flipping between +0.05V and +1.89V. Those also happen to be the MIN and MAX settings. I took screenshots of what was happening, but don't know how to post them here.

    The GPU-Z program didn't have anything unusual happening.

    Does anyone have any ideas what was going on with the voltages?
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