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Best Bang For Your Buck (Help please)

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.
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about best bang buck help please
  1. 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.
  2. Best answer
    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:,2913-4.html
  3. 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.
  4. Is the PSU I picked bad or something?
  5. 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.
  6. Best answer selected by fallbless.
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