Author Topic: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)  (Read 2873 times)

Offline brain candy

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Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« on: June 13, 2011, 10:42:49 AM »
I've got a really good friend who wants to build a gaming PC within the $500-$1000 range. The farther away from $1000 we get, the happier he'll be. This PC is intended to facilitate his future addiction to The Old Republic MMO as well as Skyrim. I want to get him something pretty beefy on the GPU side of things and some good hardware that will allow him to grow out his PC in the future. I would also prefer that he be on an Intel Sandy Bridge platform. As always, I'm too lazy to clean up my links, I'm edgy on cheapo stuff, and I love eVGA video cards.

I figured it never hurts to crowdsource these things... so have at it, boys. ;)

Initial thoughts:

- Mobo/CPU Combo
Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52400
GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.654392&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=1lhf4uobe9jo8

- Memory
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=1ogly31b5foa3

Maybe some CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMX8GX3M2A1333C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145315&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=6neaaqahzxbo

- PSU
Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371026&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=fqipppggy32g

- GPU
EVGA 012-P3-1571-KR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130613&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=12lqcvm2ykf9s
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 10:44:31 AM by brain candy »

Offline Atariangamer

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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 11:19:58 AM »
Dat PSU.

Antec Split Rail system with 25a on the 12v

That card wants 38, minimum.


Just saying.

This COOLER MASTER GX is a bit more expensive, but with a huge 12v rail, and I can speak for XFX's powersupplies, which this one is about the same price as the Antec, a little less powerful, and still has a good sized rail.

Who knows, I could be blowing that problem up for nothing (as we're still not sure that's what the problem was <_>), but better be safe than sorry...
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 11:21:20 PM by Atariangamer »
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Offline brain candy

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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 11:28:36 AM »
Dat PSU.

Antec Split Rail system with 25a on the 12v

That card wants 38, minimum.


Just saying.

This COOLER MASTER GX is a bit more expensive, but with a huge 12v rail, and I can speak for XFX's powersupplies, which this one is about the same price as the Antec, a little less powerful, and still has a good sized rail.

The Antec is not as split as it appears. It really only has two rails and two regulators, then they split each rail into two to make four rails. It's really just two rails at 50 A each which is plenty for the card. Point taken though. Using a split rail system is nothing more than a headache and a bother. Going single rail just to avoid any future drama. Good call. Thanks for the pointer. :)

Your link is broken! I'd be curious to see what CoolerMaster is up to.

Also, had really good luck with the Corsairs so this is looking really good:

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 12:00:41 PM by brain candy »

Offline Atariangamer

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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 11:22:02 PM »
Link fixed: Somehow had a negative in there, and it added a HTTP to that, so it just got messed up.
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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 02:30:30 AM »
The Sandy Bridge processor has integrated graphics. I honestly don't know much about it but, I was looking into it and I think it doesn't support graphics other than that. (I don't know though... I'm still very much a noob, and only read very little on building computer so...)
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Offline brain candy

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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 12:10:35 PM »
No worries. We all start somewhere, eh? :)

All the pre-Sandy Bridge processors had integrated graphics as well but were only utilized with the H series chipsets. The motherboard I linked above has the shiny new Z68 chipset that basically combines the benefits of P67 with the integrated graphics handling of H67 chipset. Before, the P67 would enable processor-based overclocking and dual-GPU configurations, while H67 could facilitate access to the integrated HD Graphics core, including Quick Sync. But, PC enthusiast sorts who used the P67 were blocked from utilizing the CPU graphics capability. You aren't penalized by having a CPU with integrated graphics, it's just a matter of finding the right motherboard to use those integrated graphics (if that is a concern).

So, the Z68 paves the way for processor-based overclocking and integrated graphics but no self-respecting gamer is going to overclock their CPU and then rely on Intel's HD Graphics solution just for easy access to Quick Sync-accelerated transcoding. Now there is a neat piece of software that allows you to use your discrete GPUs while using the CPU graphic core for transcoding and such.

Offline brain candy

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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 01:17:56 PM »
I need video card advice! All the "Best Bang For Your Buck" lists are predominantly Radeon cards and I have a real hard time with AMD. Also, the motherboard is a little overkill for a single card GPU system, and that's where I can really cut costs, but I can't find another half-decent LGA115 board. Any help with that would be greatly appreciated as well.

I was thinking of bailing on Z68 chipset for the P67, but not too sold on the P67 motherboards.

Edit: The potential build so far...
Quote
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

- MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128493

- RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PGD38G1600ELK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220558

- GPU: EVGA 01G-P3-1373-AR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130568

- PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

- CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

- HD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

- ETC: LG DVD±RW SuperMulti Drive Black SATA Model GH22NS50 Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136216

Total: $948.92
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 04:46:36 PM by brain candy »

Offline ChexCommander

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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 05:43:45 PM »
I'd definitely stick with the GTX 460; it won't be a power-thirsty noise machine like the 470/480s but it's still got a super amount of quality for the money. Ask Atarian more, I think he managed to get one. Not too sure about Intel mobos, though.
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Offline brain candy

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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 07:05:09 PM »
I'm really leaning towards the GTX 560... same architecture as the 460 but would put him in the current gen GPU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130661

Offline Atariangamer

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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 09:29:30 PM »
Oi, if you can afford it, go higher. I got the slightly low specc'd version of the full 460, and while it owns in all the games I've tried, I can't help but feel its going to be out of contention fast. So getting the current gen would ensure your card is ready for anything for at least another year, probably 2 or more.

However, if you need to keep a budget, the 460 overclocks like crazy, even with stock cooling. I've got my over done a good bit, and it rarely spins up the fan.

Bit more info on my particular card: Its the 460 with a few cores disabled, but running at most of the same speeds and what not. I've gone from stock core/shader/memory 648/1296/1700 to 800/1600/1725 with no problem at all. I rarely get FPS slowdowns anymore, and when I do, its because something super serious is happening (like, over 100 Dr. Klieners in gm_bigcity after throwing 2 CS Realistic Weapons smoke grenades...which is a ton of stuff), and its still playable framerates over 30FPS. Now, from my experience, you get more performance increases with better memory clocks, but thats also what creates more heat and instability. I've put that at a relatively safe setting, but if I ever took the time to run more GPU testing, I could easily crank this up.

Aaand...EVGA. The ONLY source for nVidia graphics cards. DO IT. I think I'm echoing BC (or BC will probably echo me) that EVGA is hands down one of the best nVidia card manufacturers.

Now, Radeon cards can pack their punch, but its harder to do so. They're very un-overclockable in most cases. I was able to get my GTS 250s to run better when they were defective, compared to my Radeon 4850, which didn't like to be overclocked, and was nowhere near comprable in performance (only comprable in pricepoint).
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Offline brain candy

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Re: Sorta-Budget Gaming PC ($500-$1000)
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2011, 11:14:34 AM »
He ened up ordering this build last night:
Quote
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

- MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128493

- RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PGD38G1600ELK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220558

- GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1461-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130661

- PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

- CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

- HD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

- ETC: LG DVD±RW SuperMulti Drive Black SATA Model GH22NS50 Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136216

Total: $953.92

There was a $5 difference between the GTX 460 and GTX 560 (not TI). The GF114 is functionally identical to GF104, it was just simply reworked to deliver higher clocks while using less power. I looked over a performance chart that showed that the GeForce GTX 560 is essentially a GeForce GTX 460 overclocked to GeForce GTX 560 Ti levels. Works for me. I hope it's as scalable as the 460 was. Unfortunately, the Radeon's really are the better option in this price-range but yeah, they suck.

And you forget who you're talking to! I'm the queen of eVGA. ;)

Notes:

- MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 LGA 1155
This board and chipset take full advantage of the Sandy Bridge CPU I picked out. It has an EFI BIOS (point-and-click BIOS... the BIOS part is going to get dropped one of these days). The MOBO supports Intel's "Smart Response" technology which takes a NetAPP sort of architecture and implements it on the desktop. You pair a low capacity SSD and a traditional hard drive and cache content from the traditional hard drive. 350% performance improvement! It helps solve the capacity vs performance problem with SSDs and hard drives. The MOBO also has dual 16x PCI-E lanes so that he can do a proper SLI set-up when he wants to. And of course SATA III and USB 3. Basically, lots of goodies for future expansion.

- PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready
It has the 8 Pin 12 volt connector I need. A must for Z68 builds.

- CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
This was the only case in its price range that had a proper fan setup. It's nothing super special inside, but it's an Antec, and has two front 120s, one rear 120, and one top 140. I wish it had some of the cable management options that the CoolerMaster's have in this price-range but the fan thing takes precedence because the rig is going to be pumping out video games 24/7 in a stuffy dorm room.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 11:35:34 AM by brain candy »

 


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