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Trying to build a great $600 gaming computer. AMD or Intel?

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February 19, 2013 1:46:06 PM

Hi all,

Here's two builds I've come up with. My goal is to be able to run any game out now at max or near max settings in 1080p, for ~$600. What do you guys think. Which of the two would you go with? Thanks for any help!


AMD build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $577.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-19 10:41 EST-0500)


Intel build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.14 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $604.62
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-19 10:44 EST-0500)
February 19, 2013 1:51:20 PM

vote for intel build :)  i5 cant be wrong

but i see some improvement there
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February 19, 2013 1:51:58 PM

I would argue for the Intel build since the i5 has better performance than the 6300.

However, if you think you need the extra 500 GB of hard drive space, I would go for the AMD build.

Furthermore, you could overclock the 6300, and it would have reasonably close performance to an i5. Personally, I really enjoyed overclocking my CPU, and I think that would be a big enough reason to get the AMD build.
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Related resources
February 19, 2013 1:53:40 PM

NZXT Source 210 S210-002 White w/Black Front Trim “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD FX-4300 Vishera 3.8GHz (4.0GHz) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4300WMHKBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock 970 PRO3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C9D-8GAB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS IceQ H787Q2G2M Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

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

For 600$ that would be my pick for gaming! High quality case and PSU, Quad Core CPU, motherboard that will last for another generation of CPUs so I can upgrade without buying new PC, and of course a 7870 GHz edition! The only thing I would add later is an SSD
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February 19, 2013 1:55:59 PM

^^ Great build, though it would probably be worth it to stretch a little and get a 6300.

What's your monitor's resolution? The 7870 could be overkill for it, especially depending on what you want to do.
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Best solution

February 19, 2013 1:58:16 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.14 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $608.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-19 10:55 EST-0500)

minor change on ram

for mobo actually z77 pro3 has no good reputation, while h77 pro has been recommended by toms build several times :) 

and for a few bucks more, xfx 550 has seasonic quality
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February 19, 2013 1:58:59 PM

morgoth780 said:
^^ Great build, though it would probably be worth it to stretch a little and get a 6300.

What's your monitor's resolution? The 7870 could be overkill for it, especially depending on what you want to do.


I agree. I think i'd want to splurge for the 6300 but everything else looks pretty good. Ill be playing through a 42" 1080p television. If I'm going to go overboard on something, I want it to be the gpu. Thanks for your input.
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February 19, 2013 2:00:37 PM

michxymi said:
NZXT Source 210 S210-002 White w/Black Front Trim “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD FX-4300 Vishera 3.8GHz (4.0GHz) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4300WMHKBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock 970 PRO3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C9D-8GAB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS IceQ H787Q2G2M Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

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

For 600$ that would be my pick for gaming! High quality case and PSU, Quad Core CPU, motherboard that will last for another generation of CPUs so I can upgrade without buying new PC, and of course a 7870 GHz edition! The only thing I would add later is an SSD



Thanks man, that looks pretty good. I think I'd go with a 6300 instead but otherwise I like it. I noticed that mobo has been getting pretty mixed reviews, though. Any thoughts on that?
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February 19, 2013 2:03:33 PM

AMD Radeon said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.14 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $608.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-19 10:55 EST-0500)

minor change on ram

for mobo actually z77 pro3 has no good reputation, while h77 pro has been recommended by toms build several times :) 

and for a few bucks more, xfx 550 has seasonic quality


Thanks, man! I appreciate the input. I picked the z77 at first because i want to oc in the future, possibly. But then I think I'd have to get a different processor anyway so it might not be worth it.
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February 19, 2013 2:06:20 PM

spdbump08 said:
Thanks man, that looks pretty good. I think I'd go with a 6300 instead but otherwise I like it. I noticed that mobo has been getting pretty mixed reviews, though. Any thoughts on that?


Glad I can help! Of course if you can get the FX 6300 go for it! :) 

As for the motherboard I use to check the AM3+ VRM database from this forum

http://www.overclock.net/t/946407/amd-motherboards-vrm-...

And if you check PRO 3 is a recommended one! If you don't plan a heavy overclock I would go for it!
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February 19, 2013 2:50:15 PM

Forget about Corsair CX, it's overrated. It actually has a lot of noise issues, and questionable wattage allotment on rails, it cheaps out on +12v to give more to +3 and 5, which is unnecesssary.

If you're going for a 7850, this would be more than enought to power it up even with modest OCs.
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/antec-power-supply-vp450
The Antec VP-450 was well received on reviews and excellently graded, it can pull more than the advertised wattage.

As for a 7870, I would suggest at most a 550w PSU for a single GPU setup.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any of those would be better than the CX series from Corsair.
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February 19, 2013 2:55:56 PM

excella1221 said:
Forget about Corsair CX, it's overrated. It actually has a lot of noise issues, and questionable wattage allotment on rails, it cheaps out on +12v to give more to +3 and 5, which is unnecesssary.

If you're going for a 7850, this would be more than enought to power it up even with modest OCs.
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/antec-power-supply-vp450
The Antec VP-450 was well received on reviews and excellently graded, it can pull more than the advertised wattage.

As for a 7870, I would suggest at most a 550w PSU for a single GPU setup.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any of those would be better than the CX series from Corsair.


Thanks for your suggestions. I am definitely going to change the PSU. I don't want to screw around there...I think I'm going with the XFX 550w 80+ bronze. There's a $15 rebate on it right now.
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February 19, 2013 3:06:37 PM

excella1221 said:
Forget about Corsair CX, it's overrated. It actually has a lot of noise issues, and questionable wattage allotment on rails, it cheaps out on +12v to give more to +3 and 5, which is unnecesssary.

If you're going for a 7850, this would be more than enought to power it up even with modest OCs.
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/antec-power-supply-vp450
The Antec VP-450 was well received on reviews and excellently graded, it can pull more than the advertised wattage.

As for a 7870, I would suggest at most a 550w PSU for a single GPU setup.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any of those would be better than the CX series from Corsair.


thank you, i will consider this 2 PSU for mi own build. (my build)
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February 19, 2013 3:11:41 PM

^ A very nice PSU, and it would've been an awesome deal, 'cept with the "sale" they gave, the free shipping was omitted at the same time. :lol: 
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February 19, 2013 3:13:43 PM

The problem with the VP-450 is that, while good quality, it has it's output split into two 18A rails. That means you only have 18A at most for your graphics card, which can be limiting. Even a 7770 wants 22A, even though it doesn't use very many watts.

You definitely want single rail if you are going to run a half-decent GPU.
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February 19, 2013 5:37:24 PM

So if I plugged my 30A video card into one of the 18A rails, it could still provide 30A to my card? If so, how?

That link didn't really provide any useful data to support the claim that it doesn't matter. Sure, if you have a bunch of low amp regular components, you'll distribute them among the two rails and the PSU will balance fine. But a single large load exceeding the capacity of a single rail is not going to be handled.

Think of it like 2 hard drives that are 500GB. Sure, together they hold 1TB, but you still can't store a 600GB file.
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February 20, 2013 3:47:41 AM

And I quote:
Quote:
All power supplies convert the AC(alternating current) power that comes out of the wall into DC(direct current), and most units only have a single 12V DC source, in a single rail unit all of the yellow 12V wires are tied directly to this source, in a multi rail unit they are split into bunches(rails) and tied to the source, there is a controller chip monitoring the current going into each rail and if it exceeds a set limit it will shut down the power supply. Some smaller cheaper units claim to have multiple 12V rails to comply with the old ATX specs, but actually just tie all the bunches together with no over current protection so while the label makes it appear as a multi rail unit its actually a single rail unit, this helps cut costs.


At least I'm providing something to back up my claims, and the data itself is obviously legit given its positive feedback and popularity. I'd like you to show one to back up what you're fighting for though.

I don't know why you're comparing it two HDDs since those are externally separated from each other while rails aren't.

And since you asked for it - In this hardwaresecrets review, it says the CPU power cable is alloted on the 2nd rail while all other lines go on the first meaning the CPU is powered up on one, while the GPU and other stuff is on the other. It also says the OCP limits are higher than advertised by Antec(good for them) so you won't have any trouble overloading a single rail since 100w of power is alloted for the CPU itself on one rail while the others sit on the +5 and +3.3v.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Antec-VP450-Powe...

And if one wants more info on OCP,
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Everything-You-N...

Going by your logic, you're like saying the VP-450 should not be considered even for a 7770.
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February 20, 2013 5:36:54 AM

twelve25 said:
The problem with the VP-450 is that, while good quality, it has it's output split into two 18A rails. That means you only have 18A at most for your graphics card, which can be limiting. Even a 7770 wants 22A, even though it doesn't use very many watts.

You definitely want single rail if you are going to run a half-decent GPU.



The 7770 does NOT draw 264 watts just for the graphic card
22 amps x 12 volts = 264

I could believe an entire system that included a 7770 would draw about that under full load
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