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Gaming/Daily Use PC build ideas?

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January 27, 2013 12:04:38 PM

I am a completely new to building my own custom PC and I hate to ask the TomsHardware community to do all the hard work for me, but I feel that I really have absolutely no idea what I am talking about and you guys do.

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Approximate Purchase Date: In about 2 months or so, whenever I can get the money. (But with my mind continually thinking about the build, the price with fluctuate. As will the approx. Purchase date.)

Budget Range: 500-600 don't include shipping/rebates...

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing the net, watching shows/movies, skype... More than average use of my computer (as described below)

Are you buying a monitor: No
Do you need to buy OS: Yes but I am not going to count that into the total...
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com and TigerDirect.com

Location: United States
Parts Preferences: BUILD SPECS BELOW
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Software and Games: Pretty much just like Battlefield 3 games and Crysis and stuff, I have never had a gaming PC so I don't know what games I would really be into.

Why I am Upgrading: Sick of trying to run games/applications/etc. on a laptop. I want more power in my computer than what my laptop provides, on a daily basis.



Now, to my computer dilemma. I found specs for an "on a budget" gaming PC and I wanted to see what you guys had to say about it. Should I go for a better CPU or motherboard or graphics card. (I am not too worried about RAM, the hard drive or optical drive because those are all pretty upgradeable/universal)

******SCROLL DOWN FOR THE CUSTOM BUILD SPECS I am talking about********

My situation is that I have only a laptop and like a 10 year old desktop computer that is terribly slow, and I want a PC that is for hardcore daily use. Meaning like I will use it for over 8 hours+ a day on it (estimation) with lots of software open at once. And my tiny little laptop is just not cutting it some days. I want a "gaming" PC that will handle my experimentation of games/software. I don't want the highest end graphics card. I just want a gaming PC that will run a game, I don't know, at like 50 to 60 FPS on High-ish graphics settings. I don't care about it on Ultra settings, I just want to play a game smooth with nicer graphics than like a PS2 or something. Which I think only the graphics card matters there (Again, I am new at this) and then also handle my average tasks.

Laptop Specs:
Operating System
MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
CPU
Intel Core i3 @ 2.20GHz
Sandy Bridge 32nm Technology
RAM
8.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 665MHz (9-9-9-24)
Motherboard
Hewlett-Packard 3585 (CPU1)
Graphics
Intel(R) HD Graphics Family
Hard Drives
625GB SAMSUNG SAMSUNG HM641JI (SATA)
Optical Drives
hp DVDRAM GT50N

For example, daily (On my Laptop) I run at the same time Firefox, Google Chrome, VLC media player and Skype, plus others. Then in the off chance I want to play something like Minecraft. And if I had a PC that could handle it, other games like Battlefield 3, Crysis, Skyrim or anything really... Anyway, I want a computer that can handle all that. But what is the graphics card I have down below (EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti - 2 GB) capable of, in this set up? I am not really interested in spending like 400 dollars on just a graphics card, because really graphics to me is just a BONUS, and in this set up with my "criteria", is this the right graphics card for me?

Then, I am guessing the multi-tasking is where the CPU, motherboard and RAM come into play.(I really don't know what I am talking about :lol:  ) I just would like to know if the build below, would be a good build for the price, the specs, and for what I actually want it to do. OR if you have another suggestion on another build, or that this is too expensive/cheap or you have an alternative to one component, go for it. Anything will help me.

It would just really help me if I had another opinion, especially someone that actually has experience with building computers, before I go off and take a "gamble" with a 500 dollar machine.


This is the "on a budget" gaming PC SPECS:

Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ ($85)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition ($95)

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 4GB (DDR3 1333Mhz) ($24)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti (2GB) ($160)

Hard Drive: Western Digital Blue 500GB (7200 RPM, 16MB Cache) ($60)

Optical Drive: Samsung Internal DVD Writer ($18)

Case: Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Mid Tower ($30)

Power Supply: Corsair CX Series 430 Watt ($45)

Total Cost: $517 (USD)
January 27, 2013 12:27:15 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.50 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower Case ($36.39 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $559.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-27 09:26 EST-0500)

You are gonna want 8gb for gaming... and the 7850 is substantially better than the 650 ti.
January 27, 2013 12:35:28 PM

Ok, what is the difference in the AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor and the one I listed, AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition? I am just totally curious, in the difference. And is it worth it to to spend 30 more dollars?

The 7850 1 GB is better than the EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB.... Hmm I don't understand that. Wouldn't more GPU memory be better? (Again, I really don't know...)

I totally like your build too, I just really don't know the difference in them since all you changed was the CPU and GPU. For only a 40-ish dollar difference.
Related resources
January 27, 2013 1:21:46 PM

the CPU is faster 6300 - is 3.5ghz and the phenom is 3.4ghz
the 6300 has 6 cores (sort of like having 6 cpu in one) and the phenom has 4 cores
(the cores i just explained as simple as i can, but it is not ALWAYS better to have more cores)

the 6300 since it has 6cores will multitask better than the phenom (more cores allow better multitasking)

video card

the 2gb memory on video card does not really matter for light/moderate gaming. most of the games still dont even use FULL 2gb (but more of futureproof)
the 7850 will work good for you, dont worry
January 27, 2013 2:05:45 PM

Thank you for simplifying it that way. Very easy to understand it that way. Thanks.
January 27, 2013 5:41:38 PM

I don't think the 650 ti is even fast enough to benefit from the 2gb vram lol. The 7850 will be alot better, you won't regret it :) .
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