500-600$ MicroATX Build for Moderate Gaming and Win8


Jun 21, 2012
Alright guys, so my current rig is waaay outdated and it's time to build something new to power me through the next 5 or so years of life. I'm not gonna give you the entire specs of the old rig, but let's just say anything will be an upgrade (Athlon 64 X2 5200+ in there now). I'm not an avid gamer, mostly play indie games and an old(ish) MMO. Nothing too graphically intensive on the gaming front. That said, I do video editing, some 3D modeling and occasionally use Photoshop.

Approximate Purchase Date: By the end of summer. Want something together by the time I leave for school.

Budget Range: 500-600$

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Internet browsing, schoolwork, gaming, data storage, media editing.

Parts Not Required: Monitor, speakers, sound card, OS, optical drive, graphics card, HDD?

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: MicroATX mobo, minimal case, USB 3.0, HDMI, 8+ gigs of RAM, 1TB HDD

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 and up

Additional Comments: Quiet, small, minimalist, upgradable. Really, I just want something as aesthetically sleek as a Mac, prepared for the goodness of Windows 8.

Here's a sub-600$ build I've come up with so far, using old rig's Radeon 5670:

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000

BIOSTAR TZ77MXE LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

IN WIN BK644.BN300TBL Black 0.6mm SECC Japanese ECO Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case 300W Power Supply

Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F60GB3A-BK 2.5" 60GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

i-rocks KR-6402-BK Black USB Mini Keyboard

All that together for just under 570$ seemed pretty spiffo to me. Might not be a top-of-the-line video card, but it's what I've got on hand. The case is small, but I won't be fiddling with the innards often. The PSU that comes with the case has me a little worried, but *I think* it should power the box just fine.

Any recommendations on an SSD+HDD pair?
I really like the idea of installing everything on the SSD and having the HDD for data storage, but I fear my 5+ year old 300Gig HDD is nearing the end of it's lifespan... Could use more space too...

Suggestions, questions, and berating comments are welcome. :)


May 20, 2012
You may want to get corsair Ram instead, its more popular and is know for high quality. It's also $4 cheaper. Your SSD is fine and your HDD just depends on how much space you want. Its speed matters as well, new HDD have about 7200 rpm while yours may only have around 5000. This means its slower and you may want to consider getting a new one. Another option would be getting a new 500 gb hard drive and install the 300gb one as backup in case you run out of space. Lastly the psu won't handle everything you have. It may handle if you don't OC and don't use the graphics card, but since you probably won't do that you should look into a 500-550W psu for around $60.


May 2, 2012

Corsair RAM isn't better than Kingston, GSkill, Mushkin or Crucial. They're all decent. Go with whatever you can save money with at the same specs. G Skill Ripjaws seem the most popular on newegg at the moment, though if you go with those, might as well get the Ripjaws X series.

Personally, I wouldn't go with a Biostar mobo. I hear too many bad things about it. Asrock or Asus is better.

I share your concerns about that PSU. Its probably better to get a separate case and more reliable PSU like Corsair CX430 V2. The one in the case won't be able to handle both that CPU and GPU if you ever OC.
For PSU reference: http://images10.newegg.com/BizIntell/tool/psucalc/index.html



Jun 21, 2012
The only caveat with the RAM is that it needs to fit into the case comfortably, so the bigger heatsinks won't work. Too bad about the PSU though... The one that comes with the case is really just on the edge of acceptable. Maybe I'm just too attached to the case...

As for the mobo, I've had a Biostar in my current rig since it was set up and have had zero problems with it. Wanted to stick with a brand that I had a good history with, but I realize that microATX isn't super popular and the Ivy chips are new so reviews are sparse.

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