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Review on $400 Budget Gaming Rig

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March 1, 2013 2:08:24 AM

Hey guys! I made a post earlier this month, hoping to pick up an a10-5800k based rig for $300. However, my budget has increased to $400. I already have a case and a SSD, so do not include these within the budget.

Anyway, here is what I was looking to build:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gmte
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gmte/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gmte/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($76.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Value 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $403.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-28 23:02 EST-0500)

I cannot exceed $400. The only thing I am looking to do is build a rig for fun, so I am not terrible concerned with performance, but I would like the option to add onto it later. This is why I went with an ATX motherboard (and Z75 at that). If you guys think I would be better suited with less, just let me know. :) 

I found a 550Ti at Best Buy for ~$90, so I planned on picking that up. Thoughts? The only game I play is Runescape, which runs on almost anything, but the performance of the iGPU on my 1.7Ghz core i5 isn't cutting it.

The case I bought, the NZXT 210, came with one fan, should I purchase more?

If I purchased a i5 with an unlock CPU later down the road, can I overlock on the board I selected (Z75)? Is this board capable of SLI/crossfire?

Thanks for the help everyone!
March 1, 2013 2:16:03 AM

Get an i3 3220 and an hd7770.
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March 1, 2013 2:47:52 AM

Pingypoker said:
Looks good, but I would go with this GPU. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202023

And yes, you can overclock and you can SLI/Crossfire in the future.

Unfortunately it seems like the 7770 is slightly out of budget range. I don't think it'll be too much of difference, given that I've been getting along with Intel GPU graphics for quite some time. In that case, would something like the 7750 be better suited? I like this one because it has two DVI ports, and my two monitors only have (1920x1200). Would you still suggest this over the 550Ti? The Ti is also $10 less, but with a much higher TDP. :??: 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That would bring me to:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/GIqs
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/GIqs/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/GIqs/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($122.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($76.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Value 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7750 2GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $391.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-28 23:48 EST-0500)
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Best solution

March 1, 2013 12:41:37 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($122.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($124.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $387.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-01 09:40 EST-0500)

Do this for sure. The 650ti is better than the 7770.

An mATX board is just as good as an ATX board.

Get an i3 3220 not a 3225 because you don't need better integrated graphics.

This is a much better option.
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March 1, 2013 1:02:33 PM

The build looks good - one suggestion. Would using the onboard graphics for a few months and saving money get you into a better GPU? Gaming with intensive graphic games require more GPU, less CPU, and investing $100-$120 into a GPU that you may want to update in the near future may not be the best move.

If you can invest $200-$250 into a GPU in a few months, the performance would be quite a bit better...just a thought.

The other components look great for a build.
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March 1, 2013 5:14:56 PM

tiny voices said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($122.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($124.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $387.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-01 09:40 EST-0500)

Do this for sure. The 650ti is better than the 7770.

An mATX board is just as good as an ATX board.

Get an i3 3220 not a 3225 because you don't need better integrated graphics.

This is a much better option.

Okay, so will definitely go with the 3200. As for the graphics card, I'd really like to go with the 650, but the whole build comes over budget before rebates. :fou: 

I just went over to Best Buy and I can pick with a 550Ti for $87, which I think is good since it performs just under the 7770, as it looks like in your link. They also price matched a 7770 for $125. Just concerned about the TDP of the former. I would really like to maximize the amount of cash I put into savings this month, but I'm torn on what GPU to get. :??: 

Would the microATX still provide plenty of room for expansion later?

Thank you so much for helping me out, I really appreciate it!
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March 1, 2013 5:18:08 PM

What games are you wanting to play?
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March 1, 2013 5:21:31 PM

ronintexas said:
The build looks good - one suggestion. Would using the onboard graphics for a few months and saving money get you into a better GPU? Gaming with intensive graphic games require more GPU, less CPU, and investing $100-$120 into a GPU that you may want to update in the near future may not be the best move.

If you can invest $200-$250 into a GPU in a few months, the performance would be quite a bit better...just a thought.

The other components look great for a build.

Conceivable, and I considered it (albeit not a $200 GPU :p ). However, I would like to maximize how much I put into savings over the next few months, as building this is just a leisurely activity and not truly a necessity. Additionally, I don't think I need more than $100 GPU to play a game less intensive than WoW, but I'm not keen on how much of a part GPUs play. Thank you guys for your help! I really appreciate it. :) 
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March 1, 2013 5:22:58 PM

tiny voices said:
What games are you wanting to play?

The only game that I've ever played is Runescape, which the HD4000 handles decently. Other than that, nothing much. :??: 
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March 1, 2013 5:23:31 PM

The 550ti will be fine then.
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March 1, 2013 6:21:29 PM

tiny voices said:
The 550ti will be fine then.

550 Ti it is then! Thank you so much for your help!

Would you still go for the microATX board then?
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March 1, 2013 6:28:16 PM

Yeah, it makes virtually no difference with anything.
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March 1, 2013 6:46:13 PM

Best answer selected by seande.
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March 3, 2013 4:12:25 PM

Just a follow up, I went with the 7770 that I bought at Best Buy. Originally $150, I got a price match to TigerDirect (which was after $113 AFTER rebates) and a $5 off coupon which brought the total down to $108. Still about $20 more than I wanted to spend, but I didn't think I could pass up what seemed like a good idea. Didn't have to go through the hassle of rebates either. :D 

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
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