Saturday, June 23, 2012

Budget gaming rig 2012-June(estimated price: $750)

Previously we talked about two great gaming rigs at price points of $1000 and $1500. Mind you these prices were without the peripheral devices, such as the monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers and headset. So, you will have to add at least another $250~$500 to get your whole system done.

Today, let’s look at a rig proposed at a sweet $750 price point. Most people (read: most gamers) should be able afford a PC at this price point. Otherwise, you should just forget about proper gaming.
This list goes as this.

Component Suggestion Price (US$)
CPU Intel Core i3 2100 109.99
CPU Cooler Stock Intel Cooler 0.00
Motherboard BIOSTAR TZ77B 89.99
RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 46.99
Video Card GeForce GTX 560 Ti ZOTAC AMP! Edition 209.99
Sound Card Integrated Realtek ALC892 Audio 0.00
Hard Drives OCZ Agility 3 60GB 64.99
Samsung HD204UI 2TB 119.99
Case Zalman Z9 49.99
Power Supply CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 59.99
Total 751.92

So, after cutting this and that, I managed to get a decent rig at $750 price point.

The specs look promising, but we are losing a big on the bang for the buck the $1000 rig provided us with.

CPU

The CPU is decent and is pretty good value for that price, but you cannot overclock it at all.

RAM

We changed the RAM to G.Skill, which are great actually, and I should have gone with these when I proposed the previous two systems. Not only they are cheaper, they would overclock better as well. G.Skill is known to do better in overclocking that Corsair Vengeance series.

Motherboard

If you don’t care about quicksync, you can easily opt for a H67, H77 motherboard. Or the better B75 motherboards. But since you are not gonna overclock the CPU, you don’t really have to care much about the motherboard. As long as you are not getting any weird issues with it, you are OK.

Graphics card

We had to go with the previous generation graphics card this time round. ATI don’t have a $200 graphics card in  their current generation, and nVidia is yet to release their midrange products. When they do, GTX650 Ti would hopefully replace the GTX560 Ti. However, I’ve chosen a 15% pre-overclocked graphics card in here. Zotac Amp cards are crazy fast compared to the reference speced cards.

Storage
We could have dropped the SSD completely and stuck to the HD7850 from the $1000 gaming rig, but I believe an SSD should be there in every rig you build today. I have first hand experience how bad my Office PC is without an SSD, even though it has a Core i7 2600 in it. We had to drop to a 60GB model, which is OK for Windows and all the apps, but you won’t be able to install more than a couple of games in there. I still think you should keep the 2TB drive, because 1TB drives are not that cheaper. You would be only saving around $20.

Case and PSU

I went with the Z9 Plus’s little brother, the Z9. You lose the fan controller and few little things, but not a biggy. We retained the 500W PSU from the $1000 build because you cannot really save any more money by going lower.

So there you go, all the justification and stuff. I am not sure if I should look at building a cheaper rig, somewhere around $600 range. I don’t really like to spend that little on the rig. XD
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