Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Help with Budget Gaming Build

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 10, 2013 8:42:05 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-4 months.
Budget Range: Ideally no more than $450, but I'm already over budget, so definitely no more than $650.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Word-processing, gaming
Parts Not Required: Monitor, mouse, keyboard, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I slightly prefer Newegg over Amazon, and I do not have a local Microcenter. I am willing to consider other options if you can vouch for their reliability and customer service.
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: Intel processor.
Overclocking: Probably not, given my budget. If I'm wrong and overclocking would actually save me money, I'd consider it.
SLI or Crossfire: Not now.
Monitor Resolution: Currently 1024 x 768. I can't afford a new monitor right now, and it's working fine.
Additional Comments:
This is really intended to be a semi-temporary system. I am the type of person who keeps computers long after most people replace them. I'm currently using a 2006 HP Pavilion. I thought that I would be able to spend ~$2,000 on a new system this year since I spent $2,500 on tuition last year with no job, and this year, I have a full-time job. Unfortunately, I'm still paying off that tuition, so it's going to be a couple of years before I'll be able to get the $2,000 system. So, I'm looking for something in the meantime. I use WordPerfect as my word processor, as I dislike Word and Open/Libre Office. I believe I can transfer my current copy of Windows XP to the new computer, but I will have to find out how to do that. My main concern is that I'd like to be able to play newer games on my PC. Currently, I've been playing Dragon Age: Origins on my Mac Laptop (not ideal, but the PC is too old to play it) and I'm interested in Skyrim. I do not need to use max settings. I'm pretty used to minimum settings anyway; I just want to be able to actually load the game.

I think I'm not very good at doing research, because my research led me to a $650 system, and I'll really only have $450 (so any extra will have to be on credit). Because of that, if you're going to recommend a higher priced part, please find a way to off-set that cost. And if you can find places where I could save money, that would be great. The only part that I'm willing to increase in price without an off-set would be the PSU, since I know first-hand the problems with cheap PSUs.

Oh, and for cases, I vastly prefer simple designs.

Here's the system I ended up with after research:

Case:
BitFenix Merc Beta $29.99

CPU:
Intel i3-3220 Ivy Bridge $129.99

Motherboard:
ASRock Z77 Extreme LGA 1155 $134.99

Graphics Card:
SAPPHIRE Radeon 7770 $114.99

Power Supply:
Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V Power Supply $39.99

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 1TB Internal Hard Drive $79.99

Memory:
1 x Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB $45.99

Optical Drive:
ASUS DRW 24B1st DVD Burner $19.99

CPU Cooler:
Enermax ETS-T40 $34.99

Case Cooler:
SILVERSTONE Air Penetrator AP121

Total: $648.90

Link to Newegg wishlist: Research-Budget wishlist

The information on the wishlist may change as I gather more information from this thread. I will leave the original post as is, so that readers can follow the progress without getting confused.

More about : budget gaming build

February 10, 2013 10:35:50 PM

Looks fine to me, you could cut down the mobo money if you wanted a better CPU or GPU.
m
0
l
February 10, 2013 10:47:56 PM

If I could cut down the motherboard money for a better CPU or GPU, does that also mean I could get a cheaper motherboard with the current CPU and GPU and save money? I would assume so, since it seems that if I get *better* CPU/GPU, I would potentially need a better/more expensive motherboard rather than being able to get a cheaper one. That said, I'm a complete novice to this, so I could be wrong.

If that's the case, what motherboards would you recommend at a lower price?

Also, after reading some other new build threads, it seems like 2X4GB RAM is better than 1X8GB, so I'm considering this instead:

G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9D-8GAO $47.99
m
0
l
Related resources
February 10, 2013 10:50:45 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CIHC
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CIHC/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CIHC/benchmarks/
single channel memory
CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.79 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Vortex Plus 54.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($25.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 EG 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.88 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case Fan: Logisys CF120BL 69.2 CFM 120mm Fan ($5.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $536.56
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-10 19:50 EST-0500)

dual channel memory
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CILW
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CILW/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CILW/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Vortex Plus 54.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Hitachi 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Logisys CF120BL 69.2 CFM 120mm Fan ($7.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $555.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-10 19:55 EST-0500)
m
0
l
February 10, 2013 11:06:24 PM

Thanks, bodeen2012! How is Outlet PC on reliability and customer service? Have you bought from them before?

I'll have to look through your suggestions in more detail, but I like the savings, particularly on the optical drive and the fans. I'm assuming that means I don't need as much cooling since I'm 1) not overclocking, and 2) have a fairly basic set-up. Is that correct?
m
0
l

Best solution

February 10, 2013 11:16:08 PM

This would be better in the long run.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($23.20 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($104.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $474.10
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-10 20:15 EST-0500)
Share
February 10, 2013 11:27:47 PM

Thanks, cutebeans!

What's the reasoning behind the higher-priced case? I like it, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure I want to add $20 to the case price if it's not necessary. The other components are more important to me.

Also, I notice you don't include any fans. Does that mean I don't need any? Or are they included with the case (the reason for the higher price)?

Otherwise, it looks great -- much better price than what I came up with.
m
0
l
February 10, 2013 11:33:55 PM

Hi, the one you linked is a $40 dollar case because of shipping $10.

The case is a pretty solid case especially when USB 3.0 becomes standard at least you can utilize it. :) 

If you can see, it's only 4gb ram. Just add another 4gb ram when you have the money.

4gb is enough for gaming and it's more than enough for your resolution :) . The 7770 GHZ edition will max everything.
m
0
l
February 10, 2013 11:41:34 PM

Good point on the USB 3.0. And you're right - I forgot to consider shipping. That was one of the cases I was already considering (I have "research" wish lists for each component), so I'll consider it more strongly now :) .

Makes sense on the RAM, too. Is the lower RAM the reason I don't need fans?

Also, as I asked bodeen2012, is Outlet PC reliable? Have you bought from them?
m
0
l
February 10, 2013 11:46:21 PM

yes i have bought from outlet pc, and never have had any problems
m
0
l
February 10, 2013 11:47:10 PM

Hi,

Lower ram does not mean you need less fans. The Source 220 is a cool case so you really don't need much air cooling especially since you won't be OCing.

Hi, I'm not from the US. So I can't say. Microcenter, NCIX, Newegg, Amazon and Tigerdirect are good. Outlet PC, haven't heard much from em.
m
0
l
February 10, 2013 11:48:41 PM

you do not need a z77 series mobo if your not overclocking
m
0
l
February 10, 2013 11:56:48 PM

Okay. Here's my understanding so far:

Outlet PC is decent -- good to know.

The motherboard sounds like it could easily be changed, which is also good to know. Since this is semi-temporary, I probably don't need much in the motherboard anyway, now that I think of it. I was thinking I'd want extra memory slots and whatnot, but if I'm replacing it all anyway in 2 years (normal for most, but very early for me), that's not as much of an issue. That probably means that micro ATX (as suggested by cutebeans) is very doable.

So far, the only motherboard alternative I've received is ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard from cutebeans.

The reason for no fans (or the "included" fans) is 1) I'm not overclocking, and 2) the NZXT Source 220 is a cool case anyway.

4 GB of RAM is plenty for me.

I want to do a little more research, but things are definitely coming into focus. Thanks to everyone who's replied so far!

Edit:
Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply:
Wow! How did I miss this? It's a much better choice than what I selected.
m
0
l
February 11, 2013 12:00:49 AM

Hi Raven.

I'm a gamer and I've played a lot of games last year. All I had was 2gb of DDR2 ram (ANCIENT). It was enough to play every game I threw at it.

4gb is enough for gaming. 8gb will last you a very long time or until your PC dies.

Hope this helps.
m
0
l
February 11, 2013 12:06:42 AM

i just think its silly when 8gb kits are 30-40$
m
0
l
February 11, 2013 12:17:16 AM

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

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($23.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: BitFenix Merc Beta (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $444.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-10 21:16 EST-0500)

Cheaper and has dual channel ram, you can go with 8gb if you like
m
0
l
February 11, 2013 12:51:04 AM

arich5 - Normally, I'd agree, but right now, if I don't need 8GB, I'd rather save the few dollars and upgrade when I have more money. Even a few dollars makes a big difference for me, especially considering that this is semi-temporary. When I make my $2,000 build, I'll probably go for 8GB or even 16, depending on what prices are then.

shellls45 - Good point on dual channel RAM.

I notice you went with the case I'd originally chosen. Is that as cool (in temperature) as the NZXT Source 220 recommended by cutebeans? Or would I need to get extra fans with it?

To cutebeans, shellls45, and bodeen2012: What's the difference between the Sapphire and MSI Radeon HD 7770? The MSI seems to be cheaper (even though I don't have Microcenter near me, so it's the $99.99 posted by bodeen2012 rather than the $89.99 posted by shellls45), so if there's no significant difference, I'd probably go with the MSI.
m
0
l
February 11, 2013 12:58:53 AM

form what i know msi is a horrible company...bad after service...questionable mir policies....just to register your card they want your firstborn. lol
m
0
l
February 11, 2013 2:04:37 AM

Okay. Here's what I have so far:

Case: Not sure. Either
NZXT Source 220 CA-SO220-01 Black Steel / Aluminum-like finish ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

or

BitFenix Merc Beta (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case

The Beta is $10 cheaper, even with shipping, but still waiting to hear back on cooling ability.

CPU: Intel i3-3220 Ivy Bridge

Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

GPU: Sapphire Radeon 7770, unless someone can convince me to go with MSI instead. Right now, it's looking unlikely, thanks to arich5's response.

Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply or Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply

I'm leaning toward the latter, now.

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Memory: Mushkin Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory, for now.

Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer

And if I buy at a variety of places (Amazon, Newegg, Outlet PC), I can save money.
m
0
l
February 11, 2013 6:44:44 PM

It really doesn't matter which card you get from my experience. The 220 has an extra fan, but that being said the heat output of this setup will be very low.
m
0
l
February 12, 2013 2:02:41 AM

I added a new post to the CPU/Case/etc. forum on the case. I didn't realize that the NZXT only had 1 USB 2.0 port on the front, and that's going to be a problem. I have a non-wireless printer that is usually attached to the PC, but that I switch to my Mac laptop if I need to print something from it. That means that if it were attached to the back of the PC, it would be a huge problem. If there's only 1 USB 2.0 port, I'd have to unplug the printer every time I wanted to save something on a flash drive. So I want at least 2 USB 2.0.

Anyway. The case is something I'm still researching.

I've decided to go with the SAPPHIRE card.

I'm also reconsidering the PSU. I've been browsing other threads on the new build forum, and I saw that someone specifically recommended NOT getting a Corsair Builder CX-430 or CX-500. I found the Tom's Hardware article on PSUs, and found their list of Recommended PSUs. For the Corsair CX-430, there was a warning: "longevity and safety of this PSU has been called into question" here.

My original choice of the Antec VP-450 is on the recommended list, but I'm considering upgrading to the Rosewill CAPSTONE 450. I want to do more research on Power Supply review sites that do in-depth testing (Jonny Guru, etc.) before deciding. As I said in my original post, the PSU is the only component I'm thinking of flat-out paying more for.

Otherwise, I'll admit that I'm pretty anxious to actually start ordering parts. I was planning to wait until I had more money, but I have $350 in savings right now, so I'm thinking of buying this week-end after doing taxes. All of you who have replied have been very helpful. Thank you!
m
0
l
February 12, 2013 2:03:21 AM

Best answer selected by RavenCorbie.
m
0
l
February 12, 2013 3:42:56 AM

Hi, the Corsair PSU right now is on its version 3. It's not the first or original PSU that was called out in the article.

It should be better :) 
m
0
l
February 12, 2013 10:41:16 AM

Thanks, cutebeans. For the PSU, I'd rather stay safe with something that's been proven stable rather than something new that "should be" better than one from the same company that had problems. Also, as I noted, other people responding to other new build threads have recommended avoiding that one. I've had PSU problems in the past, and I know you really can't guarantee anything, but I want to take it as safe as possible with the PSU.

Edit:
Okay, I think I have it:

Case: BitFenix Shinobi Window (it's more than I wanted to spend, but very neat looking, 2 fans, 2 USB 2.0, and if needed, 2 USB 3.0)
CPU: Intel i3-3220 Ivy Bridge
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB
PSU: Antec VP-450
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB
Memory: Mushkin Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH224BB CD/DVD Writer
m
0
l
!