Budget Gaming PC - $700ish Incl Windows


Aug 3, 2011
Looking to get some thoughts on a budget gaming rig that can be easily upgraded in the future. I'm not partial to AMD or Intel, but it appears to me that Intel will give me better upgradability in the future. I won't have to get a DVD drive, Keyboard or Mouse. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100

MSI P67A-C43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard P67A-C43 (B3)

EVGA 01G-P3-1366-TR GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card Model #:01G-P3-1366-TR

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible CMPSU-650TX

Patriot Viper Xtreme Series, Division 2 Edition 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model Model #:pXD38G1600LLK

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD7502AAEX

$689.93 before MIR, After MIR and adding Win 7 64-bit Home Premium, it will be right at $700.


Sep 30, 2009
AMD is the one with the best upgradability. I heard Intel's Ivy Bridge will use 1155 too and that a bios may be all you need in order to use Ivy Bridge but you will miss out on some features. Anyway here's my suggestion.

CPU: Intel Core i3 2100 $125

CPU Cooler: Stock

MOBO: ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) $110

RAM: G.SKILL 2x2GB F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ $35

GPU: XFX HD-685X-ZNDC Radeon HD 6850 $170 [$140 after MIR]
ALTERNATIVE: Asus ENGTX460 $165 [$135 after MIR]

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ $60

CASE: Cooler Master Elite Mid Tower RC-310-BWN1-GP $40
ALTERNATIVE: Rosewill Challenger $50

PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO550W $76 after shipping [$56 after MIR and shipping]

OPTICAL: Lite-On iHAS123-04 $20

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit $95

Normally I would go with H61/H67 for a budget build but you won't be able to use 1600MHz RAM. The P67 is better because even IF you won't be able to use Ivy Bridge, you can always upgrade to an i5-2500k and overclock it easily. You really don't need an aftermarket heatsink at this point. G.SKILL is reliable and full of quality. As for graphic card, I would go for the 6850. The GTX 460 is still a good card but it's pointless to stay behind with it. You also didn't mention monitor or whether you will be doing crossfire or sli so I assume you will be using a single GPU for your setup, which is why the P67 only has 1 PCIe 2.0 x16 slot and that we're using a 550W PSU. The Samsung Spinpoint F3 is already a well known best performance for cheap price hard drive. Choose your own case, I listed three. The XFX power supply is manufactured by Seasonic so it's reliable. Any $20 DVD burner works and I included your OS.

The total cost is $741 after choosing the most expensive part in each suggestion. After rebate will be $691. If you plan to crossfire I would bump up to at least 650W and a motherboard with two PCIe 2.0 slots. The 550W will handle the 6850/460 just fine. The HD 6850 will handle most games on high setting/resolution with good fps.