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Help building a $600-$800 gaming computer

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March 3, 2013 7:39:40 PM

Hey All,

I'm trying to build a new gaming PC for myself. Currently I play Starcraft 2, Civ 5, with the occasional dabbing in games like the Sims 3. In the future I'll be playing the new Sim City.. I'd like to be able to play Starcraft 2, Civ 5, and Sim City at the highest settings possible for my budget range below. Besides gaming, I'll be in grad school using my computer for research/homework purposes. I keep practically no music on my computer now (120 songs), I just need storage for games and the occasional large data set/homework assignments. My tablet can cover most of the web browsing and video watching. I've researched parts for a week, and made sort of a rough draft of a build here: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HhSq
It's a bit over my range, and I'm not sure these parts are the greatest (or even necessary for my purposes). I figured that getting input from people with more than a weeks worth of knowledge would be quite helpful, so if anyone has any suggestions that would be amazing.

Approximate Purchase Date: Maybe in a week or 2

Budget Range: $600-$800


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming > Research purposes > Web Browsing

Are you buying a monitor: No for now


Do you need to buy OS: Yes.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, anything that's reliable really.


Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Parts Preferences: Best for the price that lasts

Overclocking: Not if I don't have to

SLI or Crossfire: Not if I don't have to

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I've got a Macbook Pro that can barely handle the games I like to play on minimum settings and figured for way less than a new MBP costs, I can buy a powerful gaming computer that'll last.

Thanks a bunch.

Best solution

a c 246 4 Gaming
March 3, 2013 9:40:06 PM
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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($234.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.21 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: WD Cavier Blue 1tb ($67.99)
Other: Kingston 2x4gb RAM ($39.99)
Other: Asus dvd writer ($16.99)
Other: xfx psu 550w ($63.99)
Total: $768.12
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-03 18:39 EST-0500)

No overclocking and no SLI/crossfire. The 7870 XT gives great price/performance.
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March 3, 2013 10:02:10 PM

The build you have just needs a few tweaks.

The PSU is a little weak. AMD actually state 500W as a requirement for that graphics card. You probably would get away with that 450W because its good quality... but why take the risk? Either of these would be great
XFX 550W
Corsair CX600
Seasonic 520W

The motherboard is far too expensive if you aren't over-clocking and don't plan to SLI/Xfire. Personally, I would go for this one at $76 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It will do everything you need and is reasonably good quality. But really you are wasting money spending anything over $100 on a motherboard for what you need.

There is also no reason to pay so much for that hard drive. You can get a 500GB Seagate Barracuda for $60.

Finally - either enjoy the savings or upgrade the graphics to a 7870 ;) 


a c 246 4 Gaming
March 3, 2013 10:19:26 PM

Oh, did you need a blu-ray reader? My build is overall better but if you need a blu-ray reader then I have to cut down on some stuff.
a b 4 Gaming
March 3, 2013 10:28:46 PM

realchaos said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($234.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.21 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: WD Cavier Blue 1tb ($67.99)
Other: Kingston 2x4gb RAM ($39.99)
Other: Asus dvd writer ($16.99)
Other: xfx psu 550w ($63.99)
Total: $768.12
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-03 18:39 EST-0500)

No overclocking and no SLI/crossfire. The 7870 XT gives great price/performance.
+1 It's a good build. ;) 
March 3, 2013 11:32:27 PM

Thank you that helps quite a lot. No I don't need a blue ray player, basically I just need a functional optical drive for installing games and the OS, so that build looks great. Thanks again.
March 3, 2013 11:58:14 PM

Best answer selected by Jbean_14.
!