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Gaming Computer Budget WoW Photoshop $500-$700

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December 5, 2013 6:42:41 PM

So my cousin wishes to have me build a gaming computer for her daughter. She also works with photoshop. The game would be World of Warcraft. She's looking to build a decent rig so her daughter can enjoy gaming and her photoshop activities. Something to fit in a minitower would be nice. She also may be looking at playing the new Skyrim MMO coming out, so whatever that may entail.


Budget Range: $500-700 not including the monitor
System Usage would be for World of Warcraft and Photoshop
Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse
Preferred Website for parts would be Amazon, but I'm open for others.
Country: U.S.A
Parts Preferences: Asus, Intel, I'm looking for best price and quality.
Overclocking: Won't be messing with this too much.
SLI or Crossfire: not worried about this
Monitor Resolution: 1920X1080

Will need a wifi card, and not sure if I need a soundcard or just use the sound from the mobo?
a b Ý World of Warcraft
a c 170 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
December 5, 2013 9:34:11 PM

This is fairly near the top end of the budget, but that's mainly because I've gone down the i5 route.
You could put together a build with a cheaper Intel dual core, but relative to the AMD competition, they don't make a lot of sense economically.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($82.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.13 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($160.66 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN350GD 802.11b/g PCI Wi-Fi Adapter ($8.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($82.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $703.71
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-06 00:31 EST-0500)

The CPU is basically the cheapest i5 you can buy. That's not a bad thing. Good value for money.
THe H87M is a slight luxury in that you could save $15-20 by swapping to a B85 board. I'd have gone for an Asus as requested, but there really weren't any compelling options, and the ASRock is very well priced for what you get.
Memory is pretty straightforward.
Graphics card is about as good as you can get under $200 right now.
Case is fairly standard in proportions, but remarkably compact. The aesthetic might not be for everyone, but its a quality budget case without significant compromise
OS can be swapped for Windows 8 if you prefer.

If you wanted to drop the budget, then it would make sense to transition to an AMD build really. An alternative would be to change the HD7870 for a HD7850, but you end up becoming increasingly CPU-budget heavy.
a b 4 Gaming
December 5, 2013 9:51:31 PM

Rammy said:
This is fairly near the top end of the budget, but that's mainly because I've gone down the i5 route.
You could put together a build with a cheaper Intel dual core, but relative to the AMD competition, they don't make a lot of sense economically.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($82.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.13 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($160.66 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN350GD 802.11b/g PCI Wi-Fi Adapter ($8.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($82.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $703.71
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-06 00:31 EST-0500)

The CPU is basically the cheapest i5 you can buy. That's not a bad thing. Good value for money.
THe H87M is a slight luxury in that you could save $15-20 by swapping to a B85 board. I'd have gone for an Asus as requested, but there really weren't any compelling options, and the ASRock is very well priced for what you get.
Memory is pretty straightforward.
Graphics card is about as good as you can get under $200 right now.
Case is fairly standard in proportions, but remarkably compact. The aesthetic might not be for everyone, but its a quality budget case without significant compromise
OS can be swapped for Windows 8 if you prefer.

If you wanted to drop the budget, then it would make sense to transition to an AMD build really. An alternative would be to change the HD7870 for a HD7850, but you end up becoming increasingly CPU-budget heavy.


I agree with the parts he selected with all but one exception. The motherboard. I assume you have a general understanding of computer parts since you will be putting it together. The motherboard selected by Rammy is a good one, but it has a z87 chipset. This is the best chipset you can get for this type of build, but unless you plan to overclock the CPU it offers little to no benefit. I would advise getting one of these instead.

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

I personally would go with the Biostar board. It has some bad reviews, but not a lot and its likely you won't have an issue. It has better audio on board is the main reason I would chose it, and its cheap.

Biostar has been around for some time and is known to be pretty good company. I listed the Gygabite board as the most expensive because it is one of the oldest and best known manufacturers and usually have good quality. The 3rd board is listed just because it is cheap and has good reviews. I would recommend any of them over the Asrock board though. Not that Asrock boards are bad, my current system uses Asrock and they are okay, but you don't need that big of a chipset.

Search the names on amazon should find them.
Related resources
a b Ý World of Warcraft
a c 170 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
December 5, 2013 10:17:09 PM

IInuyasha74 said:

The motherboard selected by Rammy is a good one, but it has a z87 chipset


Er, nope. It's H87, the mid-level chipset. As I mentioned in my post, you could definitely save a little cash by dropping to a B85, but I figured that most of the boards that are worth changing to are pretty spartan in features.
I maintain the Asrock H87M Pro4 is a pretty good value buy.

a b 4 Gaming
December 5, 2013 10:38:29 PM

Oh I suppose so. Sorry about that, reading too quickly sometimes leads to mistakes.

I still think one of these cheaper boards would be better though. Apart from having 4 RAM slots, while two of the others I posted only have 2 RAM slots, the only thing you really lose is the 2nd PCIE x16. Which unless you plan to use two graphics cards in future is unlikely you will end up using it.

However the Biostar board also has those features as well as better audio. There is no real feature you lose by the change, and apart from those listed above you don't really lose anything by going with the others. I would still think it a better idea.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
a c 170 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
December 5, 2013 11:05:10 PM

Yeah Crossfire is generally not advisable on mATX anyway. One thing you do need to watch is the slot configuration, as it might mean changing the wireless card from a PCI to a PCIe x1, but that's straightforward enough.
If there was a more compelling B85 board like an Asus he requested in the OP, then I'd have stuck it in straight away.
I'm not sure why the Biostar has better audio than the Asrock either.

Bottom line, I think the H87M Pro4 is good value for what you get in terms of features, connectors, and brand recognition. If I was going to change it for the absolute best value, I'd go for this -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b 4 Gaming
December 5, 2013 11:20:41 PM

Rammy said:
Yeah Crossfire is generally not advisable on mATX anyway. One thing you do need to watch is the slot configuration, as it might mean changing the wireless card from a PCI to a PCIe x1, but that's straightforward enough.
If there was a more compelling B85 board like an Asus he requested in the OP, then I'd have stuck it in straight away.
I'm not sure why the Biostar has better audio than the Asrock either.

Bottom line, I think the H87M Pro4 is good value for what you get in terms of features, connectors, and brand recognition. If I was going to change it for the absolute best value, I'd go for this -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The configuration he will want to consider for himself. All depends on his ideas.

As for the audio, the motherboard has a cut off piece of silicon on the board, cut off by a layer of non-conductive material, that separates the audio components from the rest of the board. This helps to cut down on interference from other devices. It also has high gain low leakage components. All of this helps to reduce the interference so the audio is more clear. Most of these also have an amp to boost the audio even more, but I am not sure if this particular model does or does not.
December 6, 2013 6:09:20 AM

Wow thanks for all the different recommendations! I will check these out asap and let you know which I choose!
!