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Best budget pc to be added on to later?

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February 28, 2013 5:00:07 PM

I would like to build my first pc, I have a budget of about $600. I don't have any parts that I will be taking from an old machine. I am wanting to build a cheap, but decent gaming pc that I can upgrade as I go in the future. I prefer intel based on a lot of the stuff I have researched, but I'm not opposed to AMD if it works well and fits in my budget. I already have the monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers. Basically, I plan to upgrade every single piece with the exception of maybe the case/cooler, depending on what's necessary. Every month or two I will be adding 1-2 upgrades to the build. So say today I build i3 550 machine with low-mid end parts all staying under my $600 budget, in what order should I upgrade? I was thinking 1) mobo and processor together 2) gpu etc... Any input would be great.

also, it will be used for gaming, I have a 1080p monitor, I have my OS already windows 7 pro, I live in MO, USA. I won't be oc, or doing sli/crossfire unless they are re recommended in this build, I will be doing both of those when my upgrading is done.

You may say just save up and build from there, but I currently play games on my crappy laptop, and I wont be able to afford to save up for like 6-8 month to get what I plan on doing, and I would like to have something in the mean time. Any advise would be great. Thanks for the help.

More about : budget added

February 28, 2013 5:13:31 PM

While I won't say to wait and save but I will suggest waiting for Haswell, Intel's next generation processors and the corresponding socket 1150 motherboards which should be released around June - there will likely be benefits to that
Just my take here
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February 28, 2013 5:20:52 PM

C12Friedman said:
While I won't say to wait and save but I will suggest waiting for Haswell, Intel's next generation processors and the corresponding socket 1150 motherboards which should be released around June - there will likely be benefits to that
Just my take here


I don't know anything about Haswell, is this going to make i5/i7's cheaper?
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February 28, 2013 5:35:53 PM

It should release at the same price point as current i3, i5 & i7 cpu's (or there abouts) and should show performance increases and higher efficiency. Haswell will still use the Core i numbers but will have different model numbers. The Core i5 3570k will be replaced with the Core i5 4670k etc... It is to use a new socket 1150 motherboard which are to be released around the same time
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February 28, 2013 5:37:44 PM

My take on this process is to get a decent motherboard like a Z77 which will be good for the life of the machine. Same with the PSU; start out with an oversize but very efficient PSU like a Seasonic X-series 80+ Gold; in the 550W-650W range. Get 8GB of RAM to start too, since RAM prices seem to be going back up. Get a case that will hold whatever you are likely to want a few years down the road. Something like a Rosewill Challenger-U3, or an Antec 302 would be solid choices.
If you've been playing on a "crappy laptop," you'd probably be happy initially with a Pentium 860G and a HD7750, but you can scale these up as your budget allows. An i3-3220 and a HD7770 or GTX650Ti would be a good step up and should fit in your initial budget. A single 500GB - 1TB hard drive is a good start. Partition it with a 111GB or 238GB C: drive; you'll be able to clone that partition onto a 120GB or 256GB SSD later with minimal hassle.
After you've played some games, you'll see where (or if) you want to upgrade anything. I'm sure you'll want the SSD. Graphics card upgrades will also be available, as will stronger CPUs. The motherboard won't change, so you won't need a new Windows license. If you start collecting media, you can add more hard drives. If you're an audiophile, maybe a nice sound card is in your future.


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February 28, 2013 6:45:23 PM

Thanks for the reply, What mobo would you suggest?
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February 28, 2013 7:14:29 PM

IMHO, Asus makes the absolute best mobos, but they can be a little pricey. I don't think they've got a bad one, so let features and budget be your guide. They are targeted a little more for overclockers, which is some explanation for the price. If you want to keep the cost down some, I'd next consider ASRock. The Extreme6 is good. The Extreme4 has considerably weaker (but not horrendous) VRMs, but if you don't plan to overclock, would also suffice; I'd buy either of those myself, most likely the Extreme6.
Gigabyte is another brand I'd consider reliable, and that's enough. With those three companies offering a full range of decent boards, I personally have no reason to consider any others; I don't trust MSI due to past VRM issues.
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February 28, 2013 8:09:12 PM

Onus said:
IMHO, Asus makes the absolute best mobos, but they can be a little pricey. I don't think they've got a bad one, so let features and budget be your guide. They are targeted a little more for overclockers, which is some explanation for the price. If you want to keep the cost down some, I'd next consider ASRock. The Extreme6 is good. The Extreme4 has considerably weaker (but not horrendous) VRMs, but if you don't plan to overclock, would also suffice; I'd buy either of those myself, most likely the Extreme6.
Gigabyte is another brand I'd consider reliable, and that's enough. With those three companies offering a full range of decent boards, I personally have no reason to consider any others; I don't trust MSI due to past VRM issues.



In my notes I had the extreme 4, I was thinking after what you said that it would be smart to invest in a better mobo to start out that way I save a little bit of money in the long run. Since the haswell is coming out with a new chip set, and since I will be upgrading this machine piece by piece, should I just go with the extreme 4 as the cheap way to go now and get the 1150 when I upgrade or invest in a good quality z77 that can handle the next cpu I install like an i7? Sorry that I am a noob at this, I'm just trying to talk to more experienced people about this rather than throw my money at an inferior product. Thanks for the advice.
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February 28, 2013 8:38:54 PM

Well, I personally don't see Haswell being a worthy upgrade over Ivy Bridge; rather I don't see Ivy Bridge being unable to run anything likely to come out for years, and even Haswell will be obsolete by then.
Any time you replace your motherboard, you need to use a new copy of Windows (unless it's a retail version, then I think you get additional installs; you may need to call Microsoft though, to activate it).
People will be quick to point out that some of its features are gimmicky (and I can't disagree with them), but it is very hard to argue with the five year warranty offered by Asus' Sabertooth boards. If you're going for long term, that's the one I'd get (and why my own Omega build uses one). It does add to the price, but you might think of it as an insurance policy. Phoenix would have too most likely, but it's a micro-ATX build. I chose another high-end Asus board though, even though my overclocks are mild.
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