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Looking to build a pc to play old republic with $400-500

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January 14, 2013 3:53:13 PM

Not sure if this is the right forum but im looking to build a computer that can run old republic and diablo 3. I only have 400-500 to spend and Id prefer to have it so I can upgrade it in the future to play newer games. I dont need a monitor or windows. Any advice and builds comes much appreciated. thanks
January 14, 2013 4:15:09 PM

Use pcpartpicker.com and try build a system, then we will help to refine it :) 
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2013 4:57:23 PM

If you want pure game performance, check the $400 and $500 builds in my sig.

cheers!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2013 5:00:34 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 311 (Blue) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($55.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $499.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 13:59 EST-0500)

Do this. A 7770 is better and a 550ti and a 650ti is slightly better than a 7770.
January 14, 2013 5:20:46 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xAmi
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xAmi/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xAmi/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus P8B75-M LX PLUS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($106.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($30.95 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $490.86
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 14:20 EST-0500)

That's what I came up with. You could shave another $5-10 on the case by going with a cheaper Rosewill. If you want to change up the power supply, do check jonnyguru.com and/or hardwaresecrets.com for reviews. If there's one part you don't want to get wrong, it's the power supply.

Likewise, you could save a few bucks on the HDD, but the 1TB Seagate quoted above is the most cost-efficient option, I think: losing 500GB of capacity in return for about $10 in savings doesn't seem like a worthwhile trade-off.

mc_creeper's build is good too; I just don't like to recommend parts at a price point that requires mail-in rebates.

I started out trying to cram an HD7850 in there, but that put me well over $500. You might prefer to follow the most recent Tom's Hardware System Hardware Marathon Budget entry instead; it'll give you significantly more graphics' horse power and somewhat less CPU power. How much of each you prefer will depend on what resolutions at which you wish to play games.
January 14, 2013 5:23:50 PM

tiny voices said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 311 (Blue) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($55.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $499.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 13:59 EST-0500)

Do this. A 7770 is better and a 550ti and a 650ti is slightly better than a 7770.


Also a very nice build. :) 
January 14, 2013 5:30:26 PM

tiny voices said:
I would go with a 650ti over a 7770. Here are some benchmarks: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=680


I would too, but it's a question of cost, as always. The 650 Ti is $30 more.

The more I look at it, the more I think Paul Henningsen's budget build from the System Builder Marathon is the best option. The 7850 is better than either of the other cards we've discussed, and the Pentium's disadvantage relative to the i3 probably isn't that important, in a gaming rig.

Some of the prices quoted in that article may be out of date, though, of course.
January 14, 2013 5:39:41 PM

wow guys.. thanks alot.. now its just a matter of which one
January 14, 2013 7:53:00 PM

quilciri said:
Here's an updated $500 gamer...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US) Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($56.97 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($154.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($34.90 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)

Total: $510.38 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

enjoy!


See, now that's a great build. I could live without the mail-in rebates, but I think this is about the best you're gonna do at around the price point in question. The only small flaw is HDD capacity, but that's something the OP will have to work out himself.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2013 8:20:03 PM

Try this...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.76 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($204.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Apex PC-389-C ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $494.28
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 17:16 EST-0500)

I was able to squeeze in a HD 7870. This will give you a significant performance boost in games. Don't be afraid of the pentiums. They're plenty powerful for now. You can upgrade to a quad core i5 in the future if you so desire.

If you want to have the option to overclock in the future and can spare the extra cash, I would suggest you go with this motherboard instead of the one in the build I created above...

ASRock Z75 Pro3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, to be honest, you don't necessarily need 8gb of RAM. If you're on a really tight budget, a single 4gb dimm would be sufficient. You can throw in another to take advantage of dual channel memory once you obtain the extra cash.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
January 14, 2013 8:44:15 PM

quilciri said:
I fail to see how posting links to other sites constitues more effort than two seperate builds (3 at this point).

Criticism for putting in a large amount of initial effort, then re-using the information is a baseless criticism as well. Two week old builds are far better than month-and-a-half old ones. Actually the tom's builds are even older than that, because the build prices were before tom's ordered, built, and tested the system.


(Cherry-picking out-of-context quotes is fun, isn't it? I'll assume you're conceding every other point.)

If you ask someone a question, would you rather receive an answer that attempts to educate you on the matter at hand, or someone's pre-canned solution that doesn't even fit your criteria? Your first post in this thread was little more than a proverbial, "read the FAQ," where the FAQ doesn't even apply.

And thanks for finally acknowledging that Tom's did in fact order, build, and test the system -- and then published a description of the proces -- all of which is in stark contrast to the effort you invested in, and the informational value of, your pcpartspicker list. Appreciate the convo!

Oh, and excellent job, Deus! Your build does introduce something new to think about (the 7870) -- and you managed to stay under budget. You have any experience with that case?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2013 9:04:55 PM

Fulgurant said:
If you ask someone a question, would you rather receive an answer that attempts to educate you on the matter at hand, or someone's pre-canned solution that doesn't even fit your criteria? Your first post in this thread was little more than a proverbial, "read the FAQ," where the FAQ doesn't even apply.

And thanks for finally acknowledging that Tom's did in fact order, build, and test the system -- and then published a description of the proces -- all of which is in stark contrast to the effort you invested in, and the informational value of, your pcpartspicker list. Appreciate the convo!

Oh, and excellent job, Deus! Your build does introduce something new to think about (the 7870). You have any experience with that case?

No, I have no experience with that case. I simply chose one of the cheapest cases I could find. It serves as a house for those parts. Nothing more; nothing less.

The OP is more than welcome to upgrade this as he sees fit. You may not feel as though you need to play games on ultra. If so, then the GTX 650 Ti or the HD 7770 would suffice. You can then use the saved cash to get a better case or whatever you want.

My build is directly targeting raw performance in graphically bound games. The games you (the OP) listed are usually limited by the CPU more so than the GPU. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to go with the i3 and HD 7850 combination quilciri put together. But then again, I'm not sure how well SWTOR and Diablo 3 handle hyperthreading. There may be little to no benefit over the Pentium if those games aren't optimized for hyperthreading.

Do you plan on playing any other games besides SWTOR and Diablo 3? If so, can you list a few? Also, what do you want out of your gaming rig? What kind of FPS and visual settings are you looking for? Would you be willing to sacrifice a little more visual quality for FPS? Also, what resolution is your monitor? These GPUs we're recommending may be overpowered and quite useless if you're only playing on a 720p or 1600x900 resolution monitor.
January 14, 2013 9:14:29 PM

DeusAres said:
No, I have no experience with that case. I simply chose one of the cheapest cases I could find. It serves as a house for those parts. Nothing more; nothing less.

The OP is more than welcome to upgrade this as he sees fit. You may not feel as though you need to play games on ultra. If so, then the GTX 650 Ti or the HD 7770 would suffice. You can then use the saved cash to get a better case or whatever you want.

My build is directly targeting raw performance in graphically bound games. The games you (the OP) listed are usually limited by the CPU more so than the GPU. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to go with the i3 and HD 7850 combination quilciri put together. But then again, I'm not sure how well SWTOR and Diablo 3 handle hyperthreading. There may be little to no benefit over the Pentium if those games aren't optimized for hyperthreading.

Do you plan on playing any other games besides SWTOR and Diablo 3? If so, can you list a few?


Fair enough on the case; I was just curious. Regardless, it wouldn't be the end of the world if the OP threw an extra ~$15 into the chassis if he wants something a little more substantial. I'm just impressed you crammed a 7870 into a $500 build. :) 

SWTOR is kind of an odd duck. It's so poorly optimized for large-scale multiplayer encounters that the developers basically nuked their big PvP battleground shortly after the game launched. So ironically, because the game is CPU bound when many other players are on the screen, there's almost no realistic situation in which you'll actually find a lot of players fighting together -- if that makes any sense.

FWIW, I've played the game a fair amount on a rig with an i3 3220 and a HD7850. The game is butter-smooth whenever I need performance (fighting either solo or in the small team encounters that comprise the vast bulk of the game's group content). In those situations, the game is GPU-bound; the game's native FPS counter even tells you which component is bottlenecking your system at any given time (numbers red if GPU, green if CPU).

The only time my CPU rears its ugly head is in the main hub area where there are lots of players standing around, checking the auction house and whatnot. In those areas, I can see dips into the 20-fps range, but then again my FPS doesn't really matter when I'm standing at an NPC vendor.

So the TL;DR on all of that rambling is that I don't think a beefier CPU will really make all that much practical difference in SWTOR as it's presently constructed. YMMV, caveat emptor and all that jazz. The game is extraordinarily RAM hungry, though; given its punishing loading times, a RAM disk might not even be a bad idea if you don't have an SSD.

I don't have any direct experience with Diablo III. You make good points on all the rest :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2013 9:27:42 PM

Fulgurant said:
Fair enough on the case; I was just curious. Regardless, it wouldn't be the end of the world if the OP threw an extra ~$15 into the chassis if he wants something a little more substantial. I'm just impressed you crammed a 7870 into a $500 build. :) 

SWTOR is kind of an odd duck. It's so poorly optimized for large-scale multiplayer encounters that the developers basically nuked their big PvP battleground shortly after the game launched. So ironically, because the game is CPU bound when many other players are on the screen, there's almost no realistic situation in which you'll actually find a lot of players fighting together -- if that makes any sense.

FWIW, I've played the game a fair amount on a rig with an i3 3220 and a HD7850. The game is butter-smooth whenever I need performance (fighting either solo or in the small team encounters that comprise the vast bulk of the game's group content). In those situations, the game is GPU-bound; the game's native FPS counter even tells you which component is bottlenecking your system at any given time (numbers red if GPU, green if CPU).

The only time my CPU rears its ugly head is in the main hub area where there are lots of players standing around, checking the auction house and whatnot. In those areas, I can see dips into the 20-fps range, but then again my FPS doesn't really matter when I'm standing at an NPC vendor.

So the TL;DR on all of that rambling is that I don't think a beefier CPU will really make all that much practical difference in SWTOR as it's presently constructed. YMMV, caveat emptor and all that jazz.

I don't have any direct experience with Diablo III. You make good points on all the rest :) 

Well, thanks for the info. That was actually insightful. I'm not very familiar with SWTOR or Diablo 3, lol.

My vote would go towards a build based around the i3 (or Pentium G860) and HD 7850. It's a better balanced build and offers better case options. Airflow is important for gaming PCs.

If you go with the i3 (or Pentium G860) and HD 7850 combination, I would get this case. It offers more in terms of upgrade-ability.

NZXT Source 210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 15, 2013 4:15:06 PM

DeusAres said:


Do you plan on playing any other games besides SWTOR and Diablo 3? If so, can you list a few? Also, what do you want out of your gaming rig? What kind of FPS and visual settings are you looking for? Would you be willing to sacrifice a little more visual quality for FPS? Also, what resolution is your monitor? These GPUs we're recommending may be overpowered and quite useless if you're only playing on a 720p or 1600x900 resolution monitor.


skyrim, (any newer rpgs, like witcher 2 ect..).. and yeah i would be playing in 720p i dont need the highest resolution id def want more fps in a game..

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
January 15, 2013 5:17:42 PM
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Since you're playing on a 720p res monitor, I recommend this...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($106.97 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($20.49 @ Amazon)
Total: $498.97
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 14:10 EST-0500)

If you can manage an extra $10, I would highly suggest you grab the 1tb version of the Seagate Barracuda HDD. Here's a link...

Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 7200.12 1TB
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=58746&vpn=ST31000524AS...

This will get you high settings on most of the games you listed at 720p. You may have to turn some settings down on The Witcher 2. That game seems to be poorly optimized. There's an option called ubersampling. I would disable it. There really isn't much benefit from it; however, it greatly lowers FPS when enabled.

Anywho, I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to ask. :) 
January 15, 2013 5:45:31 PM

Best answer selected by poseidun.
January 15, 2013 5:47:08 PM

DeusAres said:


Anywho, I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to ask. :) 


Im actually going to buy that build with the 1tb hd.. really appreciate it.. You think i could play games like far cry 3, dishonored and ac3 on low with it?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 15, 2013 5:53:02 PM

poseidun said:
Im actually going to buy that build with the 1tb hd.. really appreciate it.. You think i could play games like far cry 3, dishonored and ac3 on low with it?


Should be able to play those games on medium to high settings at your resolution.
January 15, 2013 5:55:23 PM

You will be able to run them at medium to high actuly :D  (dont know about ac3 i had some problems with it not shure why)
January 20, 2013 11:12:16 PM

nice.. lets say later down the road i want to upgrade.. what do you guys suggest i should start with?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2013 11:33:09 PM

poseidun said:
nice.. lets say later down the road i want to upgrade.. what do you guys suggest i should start with?

That highly depends on your budget and needs. I would say start with the GPU if you want better performance out of games. I would be careful though. Your PSU may need an upgrade once you start adding in more power hungry components such as high end graphic cards and overclock-able CPUs.

Do you plan to overclock in the future? This could play a huge role in your decision as well.
January 20, 2013 11:57:03 PM

DeusAres said:
That highly depends on your budget and needs. I would say start with the GPU if you want better performance out of games. I would be careful though. Your PSU may need an upgrade once you start adding in more power hungry components such as high end graphic cards and overclock-able CPUs.

Do you plan to overclock in the future? This could play a huge role in your decision as well.


I would like to (Ive never overclocked anything but a nook hd, tho im comfortable using DITY tutorial). I would want the most i could get out of my system. btw do you have an email or aim I could get in touch with you? You seem to be very tech savvy:D 
a b B Homebuilt system
January 21, 2013 12:41:45 AM

Well, I'm not as tech savvy as you might think. I'm still learning. I'm comfortable with hardware, but I'm no where near the level of expertise as some of the other people on here. I don't like giving out my personal email due to spam and privacy. You can, however, always contact me here. I typically use this site daily. If you ever have any questions, feel free to send me a personal message here on Tom's Hardware. I'll do my best to answer it. If I can't, I'll try to find someone who can. :) 

Do you plan on upgrading your monitor anytime soon? I just remembered you're playing at 720p. If you don't upgrade your monitor, I would recommend upgrading your CPU before your GPU. Your GPU is already strong enough to play at medium to high settings. A stronger CPU would be more useful in CPU bound games such as MMOs and some single player RPGs. The i5 3570k would be an excellent option for a CPU upgrade. The HD 7850 would be a great GPU upgrade if you're playing at 720p. Once again, this all depends on numerous factors. I'm simply guesstimating and offering some suggestions.

If I had more information concerning your upgrade plans, I'd be able to better assist you. However, things change so often it's really difficult to offer sound advice at this point. I would suggest coming back once you've acquired the cash and a general idea of the upgrades you feel your system needs. Some things to keep in mind: Is your system serving your needs? Will you be using this system for things other than gaming? Will this computer serve as a tool for work/school? Do you plan on upgrading your monitor? Things like this will be helpful in determining what upgrades would be best for you in the future.

One last question: When do you plan on upgrading your system?
January 23, 2013 9:49:08 PM

Id want to have it so I could maybe upgrade the cpu and gpu next year
!