Looking to build a computer... Help me pick parts?


Apr 30, 2012
My friend and I are both looking into building computers this summer, we want to know where to get started component wise in order to run most modern games, he has a bit more money to spend on his as noted below...

Approximate Purchase Date: this summer, just want to get ideas on where to start

Budget Range: $500-600, $700-800 for my friend
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching YouTube etc., Schoolwork

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: everything, we literally are building from scratch

Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference, wherever i can get it cheapest in the US

Location: CA, USA

Parts Preferences: I like Intels but I'm open to AMD, again, its all price dependant

Overclocking: Nope

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution:None right now, whatever we can get with the price we set

Additional Comments: We'd like to be able to run newer games (i.e. AC3 and Far Cry 3) and that's about it, not using them for any video processing/recording or photo editing. Basically, we want the most powerful gaming PCs we can get for our price ranges.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: We want gaming computers, I have a laptop but its built for schoolwork more than anything else.

Thanks in advance!


Jan 22, 2011
CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 $119.99
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-GL LGA 1155 Intel B75 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX $59.99
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $23.00
Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE $59.99 ($20 mail-in rebate available)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $69.99
Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100358L Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 $119.99 ($15 mail-in rebate and also comes with free game coupon for FarCry 3 and Medal of Honor Warcry)
Case: Athena Power CA-GSB01DA Black 0.8mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $22.99
CD/DVD Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner $19.99
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit $99.99
Alternatively you could get Windows 8 for the same price but it's a new OS so probably bad driver support/bugs etc. and a lot of people don't like it. It's basically Windows 7 for tablets, but this isn't a tablet so I'd go with Win 7

I don't see how to squeeze in a better video card without a larger budget but this card can game at 1080p with some settings turned down.

Total price before taxes/shipping/mail-in rebates: $596.91


(click to enlarge)

EDIT: Oh right if you're not buying to the summer this could all be meaningless because Intel will be close to having their next gen Haswell chips out and nVidia and AMD could have the 7xx/8xxx series out by then rendering this stuff obsolete.


^what he said. This summer is a LONG LONG LONG time away in tech years. By then a whole new generation of stuff comes out making everything from this "era" a bit cheaper. If you are waiting that long, just keep an eye out but don't make a build yet.