I might be getting the money to invest in a gaming PC. Need Help.

#1 Posted by TurboMan (7498 posts) -

Okie Dokie, Bombers. Christmas is around the corner and I'm only asking for money from my folks this year because I have saved up a significant chunk of change and I'm feeling the urge to leap into this magical, mythical world that you guys might call "Steam" and actually buy a computer that can handle all of today's games.

That being said, I don't know my ass from my face when it comes to building my own gaming PC, and I need your help on figuring out what I should buy. I'm currently thinking of investing between 600-800 dollars for a build, and just using my dorm room tv as my monitor.

After looking through YouTubes, I like this guys pitch the most because he looks and sounds like he knows what he's talking about and many people are giving him thumbs up in the comment section.

Here's the list of things he puts on this build:

Intel Core i3-3220 Processor: http://goo.gl/VkfHE

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 Graphics Card: http://goo.gl/sWlSo - Out of stock? Try here: http://goo.gl/FYevq

Asus P8-H77-I Motherboard: http://goo.gl/iQ2ak

8GB Samsung DDR3 1600MHz RAM: http://goo.gl/PtqKe

500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue Hard Drive: http://goo.gl/anjgl

Bitfenix Prodigy Case: http://goo.gl/gaaLj Out of stock? Try here:http://goo.gl/b0gEC

430W Corsair CX430 Power Supply: http://goo.gl/yteIl

Molex Adapter (for second case fan): http://goo.gl/2gYSX

So... is there anything else to know, or does this seem to cover everything I need to get a kickass gaming PC?

#2 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

I still think optical drives are worthwhile; maybe add a dvd-rw drive?

Those component choices seem like a reasonable balance between the CPU and GPU. The only caveat I would add is that graphics cards, memory, motherboards, and power supplies tend to have super variable pricing. Like you can buy good 430W power supplies (like the one you have listed) for ~15-20 dollars every few weeks due to rebates off newegg. If you are open to switching between several component manufacturers (there are a decent number of good ones) it would probably be possible to knock a rather large amount of the cost off compared to Amazon.

But to really benefit from that you kind of need to take a few weeks to buy all of the parts. Just following newegg (or tigerdirect, etc) for a couple weeks can be worth it.

#3 Posted by Fish_Pie (25 posts) -

I would recommend spending a bit more and buying an SSD. A 128 GB SSD will easily store the OS and a handful of games and the benefit in terms of speed, especially on boot times is enormous. If you are short on money even a 60 GB drive would be enough for the OS and a few games.

#4 Edited by eSci (29 posts) -

I just recently built a new computer and the first biggest problem I see if the PC is going to be used for gaming, is the Radeon 7850. Its not not great. Benchmarkshave the card >60 frames on medium settings on some games. To me that says that the card can or will become out of date in under a year to the point that newer games coming out will be unplayable. Trust me, I have made this mistake before, don't just buy cheaper parts to just get a PC. Because there is many variables you have to consider when you upgrade such as the Power Supply Unit you are thinking of using. A 430W will mostly likely not be enough to power higher end video cards which is what I ran into in the past when trying to upgrade my own older rig.

My suggestion, go to some place like Reddit Build A PC - I don't care what others opinions of reddit is, but r/buildapc is a great place to go for pc building. Also, I would use a place like PC Parts Picker to get a build together.

Keep in mind the number one rule when it comes to PC building, Performance = Cost. The higher the cost, the better performance, because there is no such thing as high end budget gaming PC. My build cost to run all current generation games < 60 fps was right around $2,000. Granted, some of the parts are optional like my SSD and I went for overclocking hardware like the I7-3770K.

#5 Posted by Subjugation (4719 posts) -

Avoid cutting corners just to get a PC right now. I've done it before and I ended up kicking myself for it for a long time afterward. You end up behind the curve/needing to upgrade much sooner and you don't really end up saving money. I won't get into the fine details of which parts to pick, just the advice to avoid cutting corners. It just isn't worth it, especially if you want a good gaming experience at a decent resolution.

#6 Edited by Snail (8593 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

Avoid cutting corners just to get a PC right now. I've done it before and I ended up kicking myself for it for a long time afterward. You end up behind the curve/needing to upgrade much sooner and you don't really end up saving money. I won't get into the fine details of which parts to pick, just the advice to avoid cutting corners. It just isn't worth it, especially if you want a good gaming experience at a decent resolution.

Precisely. You're better off saving up and spending 1000$ on a gaming PC a few months from now.

If you want to invest an extra 200$ in that build you should get a much better CPU and a slightly graphics card, but that in turn would probably require a more expensive PSU, so you'd be approaching the 1000$ mark to an extent that you're seriously better off saving up some and actually going for the one-grand build.

I recommend that, before you commit to a set-up, you check out this Tested article. It gets thrown around a lot on these forums, so you might've seen it already, but if you haven't then I seriously advise you give it a read.

#7 Posted by Andorski (5240 posts) -

Another vote for saving up more money and building later. If you know your financial situation well and see that $600-800 will be the only spare amount of cash that you will have on hand for a PC for the foreseeable future, then I'd say go for it.

The guy in the video is being a bit optimistic though when he says that most games will run at 60fps at 1080p. Games that are ported from consoles without any work on the developers' part in utilizing the PC's extra power will play flawlessly. Spec Ops: The Line, a game that I'm playing right now, fits the description. It's essentially the console game with higher res assets. Coupled with the linear, scripted structure of the game makes it very easy to run on lower end hardware. More open-world games that have been developed with the PC platform in mind will not perform so smoothly. My GTX 570 cannot hit 60fps on Assassin's Creed 3, Witcher 2, Sleeping Dogs, or Far Cry 3 with graphical settings maxed on DX11 at 1080p. I usually have to change the graphical settings between a mix of high and medium as well as turning down AA on it's second lowest setting. Still heaps above what consoles can do, but don't get into the mindset that you will make the build you posted, max out all the settings, and be ready to go.

#8 Posted by Chrjz (326 posts) -

I don't know if you included the cost of Windows 7 in there but I would put that money towards something else and pirate a copy instead.

I also agree with everyone saying a 7850 1GB won't be as awesome as he seems to think it is.

#9 Posted by TurboMan (7498 posts) -

@Andorski said:

Another vote for saving up more money and building later. If you know your financial situation well and see that $600-800 will be the only spare amount of cash that you will have on hand for a PC for the foreseeable future, then I'd say go for it.

The guy in the video is being a bit optimistic though when he says that most games will run at 60fps at 1080p. Games that are ported from consoles without any work on the developers' part in utilizing the PC's extra power will play flawlessly. Spec Ops: The Line, a game that I'm playing right now, fits the description. It's essentially the console game with higher res assets. Coupled with the linear, scripted structure of the game makes it very easy to run on lower end hardware. More open-world games that have been developed with the PC platform in mind will not perform so smoothly. My GTX 570 cannot hit 60fps on Assassin's Creed 3, Witcher 2, Sleeping Dogs, or Far Cry 3 with graphical settings maxed on DX11 at 1080p. I usually have to change the graphical settings between a mix of high and medium as well as turning down AA on it's second lowest setting. Still heaps above what consoles can do, but don't get into the mindset that you will make the build you posted, max out all the settings, and be ready to go.

I'm not exactly looking for having an incredible PC that's ready for the next generation of graphics, but just one that is able to handle everything that's out so I can take advantage of PC gaming (ie Steam, certain games that I can't play on my Macbook or PS3, etc.). I'm not too crazy over having the best graphics possible, so I guess what I'm saying is I think I might be ok with what any budget build offers me for now.

Everyone is saying that the 7850 sticks out as a lowpoint, is there any idea to what is replaceable to that for around the same price point?

#10 Posted by Andorski (5240 posts) -

People are saying that the 7850 sticks out as a low point because they are willing to spend more money on a GPU. You sound pretty confident on knowing what your absolute spending limit is though. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-4.html - Sorry, on an iPad right now. If you have a little headroom on your budget, you can go up to the 7870.

#11 Edited by TurboMan (7498 posts) -

So after running around the internet, I've found this one to be popular for $600ish

ComponentSelectionBase PricePromoShippingTaxPriceWhere
CPUIntel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor$109.99FREE$109.99NCIX US
Motherboard
MSI B75MA-E33 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard$54.99$54.99SuperBiiz
MemoryMushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory$39.99FREE$39.99Newegg
Storage
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive$67.99FREE$67.99NCIX US
Video Card
Galaxy GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card$209.99FREE$209.99Amazon
Case
NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case$49.99FREE$49.99Amazon
Power Supply
Rosewill Green 630W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply$59.99-$10.00FREE$49.99Newegg
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Optical DriveSamsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer$17.99$4.99$22.98Newegg
Base Total:$610.92
Mail-in Rebates:-$10.00
Shipping:$4.99
Total:$605.91

---

Anything overly offensive in here? As in, it's ok to run mostly everything on high settings and will run Far Cry 3 on 60 FPS on medium at least.

#12 Posted by Amafi (639 posts) -

I'd try to get a Z77 motherboard in there if at all possible.

Also, make damn sure there's room for your video card next to the cpu cooler when getting an mATX motherboard, some of them get really tight.

Been looking at a mATX build myself and if I go that route I'm going for something like an antech kuhler/corsair h60 style water cooling solution just to make sure I have room on the motherboard.

#13 Posted by Th3_James (2576 posts) -

My advice. Don't cheap out and regret purchasing inadequate parts later. Having a limited upgrade path could result in you spending more down the road when you realize you want something more out of your pc. Save up, spend the money, sit back and enjoy great gaming for years to come

#14 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4337 posts) -

@TurboMan said:

So after running around the internet, I've found this one to be popular for $600ish

ComponentSelectionBase PricePromoShippingTaxPriceWhere
CPUIntel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor$109.99FREE$109.99NCIX US
Motherboard
MSI B75MA-E33 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard$54.99$54.99SuperBiiz
MemoryMushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory$39.99FREE$39.99Newegg
Storage
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive$67.99FREE$67.99NCIX US
Video Card
Galaxy GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card$209.99FREE$209.99Amazon
Case
NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case$49.99FREE$49.99Amazon
Power Supply
Rosewill Green 630W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply$59.99-$10.00FREE$49.99Newegg
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Optical DriveSamsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer$17.99$4.99$22.98Newegg
Base Total:$610.92
Mail-in Rebates:-$10.00
Shipping:$4.99
Total:$605.91

---

Anything overly offensive in here? As in, it's ok to run mostly everything on high settings and will run Far Cry 3 on 60 FPS on medium at least.

No way that will run Far Cry 3 at 60 on medium unless the resolution is toned down to 720p (maybe). You seriously need an i5 thrown in there, it wouldn't even need to be the recent gen Ivy Bridge, Sandy is just fine. Like everyone else has said though, I bet you anything that you're going to regret this purchase because you're going to end up having to build a new one sooner rather than later to stay relatively on top of things. Save up more cash and get something that will last you, PC's are meant to be investments.

#15 Posted by Jimbo (9796 posts) -

Buy a racing wheel.

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