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Thread: Thoughts on Tom's HW $500 Gaming Build?

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Tom's HW $500 Gaming Build?

    I'm thinking about building a desktop PC using Tom's $500 gaming rig as a template and I'd like the community's input. I haven't owned a desktop since the PIII era, much less built one so I'm starting from scratch for all practical purposes. I'll be dual booting ubuntu and win7 for gaming and otherwise using it as a workstation.

    It seems like I could get a lot of computer if I shopped around a bit (Tom's is sponsored by Newegg of course) and dropped in some more money. Let's say my budget is $650.

    1. What would you add/subtract to this build besides the obvious memory upgrades?

    2. What are some obvious shortcomings of this build that I'm likely not seeing as a first-time builder?

    3. What peripherals would you recommend? Monitor? Keyboard?

    Here's the build: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...uter,3364.html

    CPU: Intel Pentium G850 (Sandy Bridge): 2.9 GHz Base Clock Rate, No Turbo Boost, 3 MB Shared L3 Cache $70

    Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP: LGA 1155, Intel H77 Express $70

    RAM: G.Skill Value Series 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 3-10600CL9D-8GBNT $34

    GPU: PowerColor AX7850 1GBD5-DH: Radeon HD 7850 1 GB $170

    Hard Drive: Western Digital WD3200AAKX: 320 GB, 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive $65

    Case: Rosewill Blackbone ATX Mid-Tower $40

    Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450 W $36

    Optical Drive: LG 24x DVD Burner SATA Model GH24NS90-OEM $16

    Total Price $501
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Thoughts on Tom's HW $500 Gaming Build?

    bump

  3. #3
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    Re: Thoughts on Tom's HW $500 Gaming Build?

    If you want it to be faster, Id get an SSD hard disk. You can boot from that and use a second standard had disk for storage. The power supply also seems a bit low. 450 W would probably do it, but if you upgrade something later or add another harddrive you may have power supply problems. Its better to spend a little more for a higher wattage now than to have to buy a whole new PSU later.

  4. #4
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    Re: Thoughts on Tom's HW $500 Gaming Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by whatthefunk View Post
    If you want it to be faster, Id get an SSD hard disk. You can boot from that and use a second standard had disk for storage. The power supply also seems a bit low. 450 W would probably do it, but if you upgrade something later or add another harddrive you may have power supply problems. Its better to spend a little more for a higher wattage now than to have to buy a whole new PSU later.
    That's good advice. I've considered the ssd option but I will have to think about it some more, thanks.

  5. #5
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    Re: Thoughts on Tom's HW $500 Gaming Build?

    I'd switch the 7850 for an nvidia GTX660: http://techreport.com/review/23527/r...-graphics-card

  6. #6
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    Re: Thoughts on Tom's HW $500 Gaming Build?

    I'd be looking at an i5 2500k or the like for a gaming PC; you get a lot of bang for buck. That'll probably throw your budget a bit, but CPU isn't something you want to scrape on if you're playing modern games.

    If you're not playing anything strenuous, you obviously needn't worry!

  7. #7
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    Re: Thoughts on Tom's HW $500 Gaming Build?

    you could also go with AMD CPU which should be cheaper that intel and maybe in this case offer more power. this one is like celeron or rather like a core3i with stuff disabled....
    go for 550 w power supply.

    also hard drive. i am sure if you add just a bit more you will get much larger drive.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Thoughts on Tom's HW $500 Gaming Build?

    also hard drive. i am sure if you add just a bit more you will get much larger drive.
    Actually, using newegg as a reference, the WD 500GB (7200 RPM Caviar Blue) is the same price as the equivalent Caviar Blue 320GB, so there's no reason not to get the 500GB. If no SSD is used, the hard drive definitely has to be 7200RPM.

    this one is like celeron or rather like a corei3 with stuff disabled....
    The Pentium G860 is a good pick for gaming. It has the same L3 cache as the equivalent core i3 and the G860 even has L2 cache, which the cheapest dual-core i3 doesn't. The G860 has a lower price because it has no integrated graphics, which is a good thing for a gaming rig with a discrete card.
    As for AMD, they don't offer anything compelling (to me at least) for gaming. Their older CPU's perform well and you can get a cheap quad core Phenom II 965, but it's got a 125W TDP and the Pentium G860 would probably outperform it in terms of gaming.
    EDIT: Also, with the LGA1155 socket, it leaves room for upgrading down the road to a high-end Ivy Bridge quad core if one wishes.
    Last edited by Temüjin; January 15th, 2013 at 05:50 PM.

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