Building the wife her first gaming PC.


Apr 7, 2010
So the wife wants a gaming pc for her birthday (Aug 28th Actually). I want to do a cheap build with the help of some parts I have lying around.
I don't mind used, or older parts for this either if it'll save me some money. I'm kinda cheap.

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc.

Gaming, Web Browsing, Listening to Music, Watching Youtube, etc. Basically General Purpose + Games.
She plays source games, and she wants saints row 3/4, Sims, and Roller Coaster Tycoon 2/3, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Killing Floor, Battlefield 3. But here's the kicker, she going to want to play the Left4Dead 3 when it comes out and I'm pretty sure it's going to run on source 2, but I'm unsure about the requirements that entails. Also, she'd like to be able to play newer games.
2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
Around $200, I could probably go as far as $250.
3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.
US, VA, Newport News.
4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
CPU, Motherboard, Ram. If I can get a better CPU for the money on the ram, I can loan her a pair on the sticks in my main rig.
5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
PSU: Ultra ULT-LSP750P
Case: Random Crappy ThemalTake ATX Case that has been modded (Poorly) to allow for a 13" long Graphics card.
Video Card: HIS 5870 2GB Eyefinity 6 Edition (Reference)
Random Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers
6) Will you be overclocking?
Not if I don't have to the case I have sucks.
7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
1680x1050 22" May be upgraded at a later date.
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Within the next few days.
9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.
16x PCI-E Slot, UEFI, Wifi (or an expansion slot for a card)
10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
Yes, 64-Bit, Windows 7.
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[H]F Junkie
Jan 8, 2004
$177 - Intel Core i3-3240 and Gigabyte GA-B75M-HD3 combo
$30 - ADATA XPG V1.0 series 4GB DDR3 1600 DIMM
$16 - Rosewill RNX-N150PCx (PCI) or ENCORE ENEWI-2XN45 (PCI-E) wireless card
$223 - Subtotal (not including shipping, taxes, or rebates)

You're not going to find a good quad-core for less than $180 new. I use the word "good" in the context that the Intel Core i3 (Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge) dual-core processors can compete with (if not beat) most of AMD's quad-core lineup in gaming benchmarks. AMD's true advantage comes from its comparatively lower prices and superior embedded GPUs.

Over the long run, you'll need to replace everything else in that build. Here are some alternatives to consider:

Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite
PSU: Corsair CX600 (How old is your Ultra PSU? Assuming my information is correct, it's not really that good.)
Video card: GTX 760 (Time the purchase at the same time as the new monitor.)


[H]F Junkie
Jan 8, 2004
I recommend replacing the PSU now, if you can afford to.

The CX600 has about the same amount of power in its 12V rail as the Ultra 750W PSU, but it's newer and (IMO) backed by a more reliable vendor in Corsair.