Entry-level gaming build

By baN893
Oct 12, 2012
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  1. Hey guys and gals,

    I'm back after a while with a new project. With Black Friday coming up in a little more than a month, I'm looking to help a friend of mine build an entry level gaming desktop.

    • He wants a computer to comfortably be able to play games, especially Total War (strategy) games like Napoleon or Rome 2.
    • His budget is around CAD $800
    • Located in Manitoba, Canada with no current build.
    • Mainly looking to buy off of and
    • Also needs periphirals including monitor, speakers, mouse, mouse pad, and keyboard
    • Has not bought any components yet.
    • He already has a copy of Windows 7
    • With our current pick of the CPU we think to opt out of an after market cooler for budget reasons, silence is not really a priority.
    ASRock B75M-DGS LGA 1155 Intel B75 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    Intel Core i3-3220 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ...
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ
    XFX FX-775A-ZNP4 Radeon HD 7750 Core Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
    Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
    Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    ASUS VE Series VE208T Black 20" LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers
    Logitech Wireless Combo MK260 920-002950 Black USB RF Wireless Standard Keyboard and Mouse

    SUBTOTAL: $704.90
    with taxes and shipping: $862.71

    Now let me expand on some of the choices we made, as you might notice, our build is strongly built around the guides found here on techspot.

    Motherboard: Seems like a decent choice, I have an ASRock myself so why not.
    CPU: It's the one suggested by techspot. However with some of the package deals found at I'd strongly opt for something like this for $250: NCIX Gaming Bundle Deal Intel Core i5 3450 CPU & MSI Z77A-G43 DDR3 CrossFire Motherboard
    RAM: Just your standard RAM I guess? Does he need 8GB?
    GPU: This is where I feel the largest wiggle room, and I'm hopping that I will be able to snatch a hot deal on Black Friday, like a 7850 or maybe even a 660? Hoping being able to buy everything else at a discount will allow the wiggle room here. Currently we have a 20" screen, but might as well go for a 1080p screen if we are able to snatch a deal.
    Storage: Shooting for $70 and already seen 1.5TB drives on for that price, so it's a place holder really.
    PSU: 520W with the build listed above seems appropriate. With changing CPU and GPU this will obviously adjusted.
    Case: Just want something clean and that gets the job done, no special affiliation.
    Monitor: With a 7750 this monitor seems good to game at 1600x900. Again, the monitor is such a wiggle object where I will need to make decisions once the deals actually roll out.
    Peripherals: Logitech leads the way ^^

    So, if you really read through all of this, THANK YOU. I realize this build is really "wiggly", but as that build stands currently, let me know what you think or where you see issues.


  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +170

    The i5 3450 goes for $210 by itself so I'd say that's a great bundle deal for $250, it's only $50 more than the i3 + mobo you picked. RTS games are usually quite heavy on the CPU so a proper quad core would definitely help.

    Considering the price of RAM nowadays you should really go for 8GB, it's only $10 more than 4GB. Also a 2x2GB kit would be a pain to upgrade, with 2x4GB you can just pop in another 2x4GB for 16GB of RAM if your friend ever needs it.

    If you can get a 7850 or 660 for cheap then those will pretty much play all games at max or high settings, a 7750 is a bit weak.

    The HAF cases are great for airflow but a bit loud. You might want to consider a quieter case since the build won't generate that much heat.
  3. baN893

    baN893 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 82   +10

    Thank you very much, I will take all of these suggestions into consideration :)
  4. baN893

    baN893 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 82   +10

    Bump. Any other input?

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