BestConfigs - Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC

jpishgar

VP, Global Community
It's that time again! Time to update the Tom's Hardware BestConfigs! Once again, we are opening the field to user recommendations to get the best consensus for the absolute best of the best in each category. Post the best configuration you can put together for the following build category and our editorial team will pick 5 of the best to be put up to a public vote right here in the Systems forum. The top-ranking build will go on to become one of Tom's Hardware BestConfigs and you'll get the credit for having put together a brilliant build with a special credit in the feature article.

Post your entries to this thread for the category of:
Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC

Stay within $1,000 (without shipping) and no need to include OS, monitor, mouse/keyboard. Please be sure to format your list of components as follows:

Joe's "Barely Runs Crysis" Chug-along Rig
Processor: Component Name and Component Price
Motherboard: Component Name and Component Price
RAM: Component Name and Component Price
Graphics Card: Component Name and Component Price
Hard Drive: Component Name and Component Price
Case: Component Name and Component Price
Power Supply: Component Name and Component Price
Cooling: Component Name and Component Price
DVD Burner: Component Name and Component Price

See below for quick-copy/paste text of the BBcode.

[cpp]
Joe's "Barely Runs Crysis" Chug-along Rig
Processor: Component Name and Component Price
Motherboard: Component Name and Component Price
RAM: Component Name and Component Price
Graphics Card: Component Name and Component Price
Hard Drive: Component Name and Component Price
Case: Component Name and Component Price
Power Supply: Component Name and Component Price
Cooling: Component Name and Component Price
DVD Burner: Component Name and Component Price
[/cpp]

You can also use the Tom's Hardware System Builder to build your recommendation and use the BBCode export option at the bottom of the build. If you do, be sure to include a link in your post to your build on the app for quick viewing.

Good luck, and may the best builds win!
 

striker410

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Striker's "Gamer's delight" build

Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor $305

Motherboard: MSI P67A, bundled above

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory $33

Graphics card: Galaxy 58NLH5HS3PXZ GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $439

Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $40

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $60

Power supply: Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $70

Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler $30

DVD Burner: Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner $18

That comes to $998 after rebates.
This is a GTX 580! The most powerful single GPU gaming card! This is the epitome of a single GPU card configuration. It doesn't get better than this.

With full SLI support (minus power supply :D) this build can take anything you can throw at it. It outperforms similar builds with dual 6850's, and demolishes any single GPU config there is.

If you want a single card, this is the way to go.

 

gregor405

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I like your build striker, the one I posted is the one I was likely to build in the near future, but considering yours has a superior graphics card for the same price you might have helped me out, That Antec power supply is the big difference, do you think the antec being only partially modular will affect airflow in a smaller case like the HAF 912 we choose?
 

striker410

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For the price I think it is an excellent power supply. I do not think it will hamper airflow at all.

I also wanna point out you forgot to add a CPU cooler. It would be a cryin shame to get a 2500k and not OC that bad boy!
 

gregor405

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That is true, that would put me over 1k though, I def prefer your build, if you buy the i5 and HDD together you can get the total down to 980.91, then if modular is not neccessary you can couple the haf 912 with a corsair 750 and make it 960.91, small changes but does make it cheaper.

Do you think that 750 is enough to SLI the gtx 570? also will there be any equivalent to eyefinity for nvidia in the foreseeable future, as eyefinity is very impressive and I would not like to forfeit the opportunity entirely in order to get a few more fps in games as opossed to the 6950.
 

mgf derp

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Derp's "That'll Work PC" Build

Cpu
Intel Core i5 2300 $185
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115076

Mobo
MSI P67A-G43 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130583

Ram
Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4Gb (2x2Gb) 1333 $39
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146748

Case
Rosewill Challenger $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153

HDD
Seagate Barracuda 500Gb $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148701

DvD
Samsung $17
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151233

Psu
Antec Earthwatts 650w $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371044

Gpus
2x XFX Radeon HD 6950's 1Gb $240/$480
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150523

Total= $1001 before rebates and shipping. I hope a dollar doesn't kill my chances

I redid my whole build as after building my Highend AMD and Budget AMD builds I realized I just want as much Graphic power as possible and this is it.
 

striker410

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Actually, nvidia has "nvidia surround" which does just that.
Also, the corsair tx 750 costs $20 more, not less.
And yes 750w is certainly enough to SLI 2 570's.
Thanks for the tip on the combo. Unfortunately, it might be gone by the time the article is published.

Cmon gregor, that's a total plagaristic build and you know it.
 

gregor405

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I found information concerning the Nvidia surround, shame you have to have two Nvidia GPU's in order to achieve it
 

gregor405

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I apologize ill take it down, I did take your MOBO as i was not aware there was one with SLI 8x/8x cheaper than the ASrock. and the GPU.... sorry, none the less I am not concerned with any competition on this forum and I still thank you for the advice.
 

striker410

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Yeah sorry for sounding a bit harse. I got a little defensive when I saw your build become uncomfortably similar to mine. I meant you no disrespect, I guess this got my competitive juices flowing hehe. If you need any other advice be sure to shoot me a message as we probably should stop spamming up this thread.

Last thing. Get that build back up! I liked the first one and thought it brought some interesting choices to the table. Don't forget that certain 6950's can be flashed, adding lots of low cost value ;)
 

gregor405

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Greg's "Bill Kabies Rig"

DVD
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118039

GPU: MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127562

MEMORY: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233147

CPU: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157229


COOLER: COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Intel Core i7 compatible
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103057

PSU: COOLER MASTER GX Series RS750-ACAAE3-US 750W ATX12V v2.31 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC
CASE: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.662151

CPU:Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.656677

Total: 987.91
 

genghiskron

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GenghisKron's "Kronic Raider" :

2x GPU: XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB
HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s $404 Combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.644197
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
MOBO: MSI P67A-G43
$330 Combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.660242
CASE: Antec 300 Illusion $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 $48
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
DVD: LG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS70 OEM $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136238
PSU: XFX P1-650X-CAH9 650W $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207007
HEATSINK: Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185142&Tpk=scmg-2100

Total: $997.45
 

cmadrid

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CMadrid's Budget Build
Processor: Intel I5 2500k $225
Motherboard: MSI P67A-c43 (B3) $115
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB DDR3 1600 $85
Graphics Card: MSI R6950 Twin FrozrII 2GB $280
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint f3 1TB $61
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 $60
Power Supply: Corsair HX650 $120
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus $30
DVD Burner: LG DvD burner $20

Total: $996

note: This doesn't include any combos or rebates in the price calculation.. it should be pretty easy to get the price down farther, but that depends on the deals available at time of purchase, so I didn't include that in the calculation. Also, you can save quite a bit on the CPU if you live near a Microcenter

edited to fix BBCode error
 

grody

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Well I feel a lot more comfortable with my build now. Seems I've chosen near identical components to yours.

Unfortunately I got the p67 verson and not the z68, so my board only does 16x/4x PCIe and not 16x/8x for it's video cards. I was hesitant to crossfire some 6850's, but after reading some articles comparing 16x/4x and 8x/8x, I wasn't too worried. The p67 was less than $100, too.

Can't wait til all the components arrive.
 

ChiefTexas_82

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Chief Texas_82's "Gaming Gear" Build (Returns)

CPU: i5 2400 Combo $302 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.669640

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 LGA 1155 (B3) $0 combo

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB 1600 $40 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226176&cm_re=ddr3_1600_%282_x_2gb%29-_-20-226-176-_-Product

GPU: 2* HIS H687F1G2M Radeon HD 6870 $185/$370 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161349&cm_re=6870_1gb-_-14-161-349-_-Product

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB $60 http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-HD103SJ/dp/B001U3S5S0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1307598330&sr=8-1

Case: Rosewill GEAR X3 $70 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147121

PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W  $90

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus $35 http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10-212P-G1/dp/B002G1YPH0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1307598652&sr=8-1

Optical: ASUS 24X DVD Burner $20 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

Total: $ 988 before shipping and rebates.

All Right. Tom's hardware did like the twin 6870's cf for the money, so has GenghisKron. I'm not original here. This build is not a pure graphics powerhouse, because I don't want to sacrifice HDD or other performances for all out graphics. I am going for convenience. This has front usb3.0. I have only 4 gigs of 1600 memory.

Pros: Front USB 3, case has plenty of fans, SOME overclocking , 8*8 crossfire.
Cons: Not 8gb of ram, no quick sync???, no blue-ray (no big loss for me - yet).

Edit 6-18: Nerfed power suppy, changed DVD, and included cm 212+

Edit 6-21: Price fluxes, power supply change due to price fluxes.

6-25: Included combos, water coling for i5

6-30: Return of the Gear Tower. Had to fix power supply. Needed 4 PCIe plugs. Went to a i5 2400 and a new board.
 

grody

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Jason's "Sandy-Fire" Rig
1. Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $220
2. Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 Z68 $145
3. RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333 1.5v Cas 7 $50
4. Graphics Card 1: HIS Radeon HD 6870 1GB $185
5. Graphics Card 2: HIS Radeon HD 6870 1GB $185
6. Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s $60
7. Case: APEX Vortex ABS ATX Mid Tower $35
8. Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W 80+ Bronze $75
9. Cooling: Xigmatek LOKI SD963 92mm HYPRO $25
10. DVD Burner: LG DVD±RW SuperMulti Drive 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW $19
Total Cost: $999

The build is based on customer reviews from Newegg, Tom's Hardware's latest Best Graphics Cards For The Money: May 2011, and their Intel’s Second-Gen Core CPUs: The Sandy Bridge Review.

*Note: I update this frequently because of price flunctuations.
 

crystalklear64

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i know you're going for budget here but just like to point out the -ar version of that video card is only ~20$ more which gets you the lifetime warranty and step-up program eligibility. could be worth it to take a 20$ hit somewhere for it.

making a sub 1k$ build myself atm and trying to work that -ar card in.
 

striker410

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Thanks for the suggestion crystal. However, I don't think I can pull it off. Also the EVGA I listed comes with a 10 year warranty which should be plenty.

I think I may rework the build, and submit a second one around dual gtx 560's...
 

striker410

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Broken links bro.
 

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