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Best Bang For Your Buck (Help please)

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Last response: in Systems
January 29, 2013 5:13:41 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: From now to a month.

Budget Range: Max is $800.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Hardcore gaming, and the basic computer usage.

Are you buying a monitor: No.

Parts to Upgrade: Everything, building from scratch.

Do you need to buy OS: No.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: and

Location: Miami, Florida, United States.

Parts Preferences: Intel/Nvidia. However if AMD can deliver same results for less I wouldn't mind.

Overclocking: Later, I still want the possibility of doing so later down the road.

SLI or Crossfire: Later, Focusing on just getting one good graphic card, instead of two bad graphic cards.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: It has been my dream to always play games maxed out. I never play high end games because never had a good computer to run those games. But now I'm 18 and starting to work soon so I can afford building one, that is why the budget is limited.

I would feel bad if I just come her and just ask for help without doing some deep research myself. So I put two builds together, one going for Intel and the other one going for AMD.

CPU: ($230) i5 3570K
GPU: ($390) MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670 2GB
PSU: ($30) Antec Neo Eco 620W
RAM: ($50) G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Mobo: ($90) ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Total: $790

Is this worth the money? Should I replace it for an i3 2100? Would the i3 have a huge impact CPU-Intensive games like Battlefield 3 MP or Starcraft II?

CPU: ($90) AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black
GPU: ($390) MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670 2GB
PSU: ($30) Antec Neo Eco 620W
RAM: ($50) G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Mobo: ($90) ASRock 970 Extreme3
Total: $650

Is this worth it? Would the Phenom slow down the computer? Would it stop me from maxing out in games? I also want some kinda of future proof and something that will last me more than 2 years tops. Will this build give me that?

Sorry for all the questions. You guys are amazing at helping others in need of help. I read so many forums posts and I received an extraordinary amount of knowledge concerning computer hardware. Thank you all for your time.

More about : bang buck

January 29, 2013 5:27:49 PM

Stick with the Intel build.

I would spend a little less on the video card say a GTX 660, and more on a PSU. A high performance gaming machine needs good, solid, clean power.

I would look at some power supplies in the 650W range, and I go for a 5 year warranty. There are a lot to choose from, but I'll recommend a couple.

Corsair Enthusiast, $20 promo code:

Venerable standby, Earthwatts green 650:


Remember, Don't skimp on the power supply!! You can save money in other places.

Best solution

January 29, 2013 5:35:09 PM

If you want to play all games maxed out, an i3 is NOT going to cut it. You can get a base model i5 for $170, which is only $50 more than the i3. Yes, the CPU DOES have a huge impact on games like BF3 and SC2.
The problem with the Phenom is that your buying a four year old processor. Intel is ahead in the race right now, so, even if you have to wait a bit for Haswell to knock down ivy bridge prices a bit, go for intel.

Everything else looks good. If you go for an i5 don’t forget a 212 EVO CPU fan by coolermaster.

Buzznut, the NeoEco 620 IS a Seasonic power supply, check it here:
Related resources
January 29, 2013 5:56:40 PM

If you decide to go with AMD, this would be a much better build than the one you listed:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $782.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-29 14:52 EST-0500)

Otherwise, the Intel build is good. Stick with the i5-3570K if you know you want to overclock. Otherwise, go with an i5-3450 or 3470 to save a few bucks.
January 29, 2013 8:45:07 PM

Is the PSU I picked bad or something?
February 1, 2013 4:39:06 PM

fallbless said:
Is the PSU I picked bad or something?

No, Its fine. There are many forum members that will only reccomened certian power supplies. The Antec you picked is fine.
February 1, 2013 4:48:20 PM

Best answer selected by fallbless.