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i3 worth buying these days?

#1staticxtreme5Posted 9/30/2013 8:44:15 AM
Looking to build a good efficient gaming PC. I would like to be able to max or nearly max games like Skyrim and Bioshock Infinite, but I don't really care if the PC is very future proof. I really only plan on using it for a year, two tops. Any money I can save building it would be worth it to me, as I plan on building a really nice PC in a few years from scratch.

I have an HP laptop, and I was curious if any of the parts from it would work with a PC I build. The HDD especially. It's nothing special, but if I save some money on that as well then cool.

What about the RAM as well? I assume laptop RAM won't work on a desktop or be worthwhile putting in, but if it would work well enough then that's even better. I have 16GB of RAM although I don't know the specific type (I bought it a while back, so I can't remember).

Maybe I'm just being overly frugal, idk. I just want a really cheap gaming PC to hold me over for a year or two. I plan on playing on a 46" 1080p TV if that matters. I feel that most of the money I do spend on the PC will be for a graphics card, but even then I probably only want a 660 ti. Anyways, any advice would be appreciated!
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#2CaspernomnomPosted 9/30/2013 8:45:12 AM
Not really easier just to pick up a i5 and max any game with a nicer gpu
#3SScorpioPosted 9/30/2013 8:59:42 AM
An i3 still runs well, but an i5 will get you better performance for about $60 more. It really depends on the budget you have for you machine, if you can swing the cost of an i5 you should get that instead.

As for laptop vs desktop RAM. The memory itself is the same as it would be DDR3, but the actual size/shape of the sticks is completely different. Desktop memory comes in DIMMS, while laptops uses SODIMMS. You wouldn't be able to use SODIMMS on a desktop motherboard.
#4I_Am_On_FirePosted 9/30/2013 9:10:51 AM
An FX-6300 is the better budget buy unless you really need the single core processing power, like if you want to play GW2. I can't comment on Skyrim, but my PC has been handling newer/fairly demanding games (like Bioshock Infinite, BF3, etc) without issue, even on high/ultra settings.

You'll be able to use the HDD and maybe even the OS from your laptop, but not much else.

As for GPU, you'll probably want to get a 7870 GHz or . 7950 at this point in time. Going as low as a 7850 may work well, depending on price. Both should easily last for a number of years, so if it's only a build for a year or two you probably won't have to lower many settings at all.
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HAF 912 | i3-3220 @ 3.3 GHz | SAPPHIRE HD 7850 2 GB OC Edition | Corsair CX430 | 8 GB Corsair XMS3 1600 | Seagate Barracuda 2 TB | MSI B75MA-P45 | Win 8x64
#5staticxtreme5(Topic Creator)Posted 9/30/2013 10:39:38 AM
Only reason I'm going with Nvidia is I may or may not buy a Shield at some point. I could probably get a better card for a lower price with AMD but I don't think I want to go that route. Good to know I can use the HDD, I figured I would be able to. It would definitely be nice to transfer the OS as well.
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#6staticxtreme5(Topic Creator)Posted 9/30/2013 12:45:39 PM
Ok so I checked and my HDD in my laptop is only 5400rpm. I would likely buy a small SSD for my OS, and keep my games on the main HDD. Is that a bad idea? I can't honestly compare gaming on a 5400rpm and a 7200rpm HDD because I haven't had much experience playing PC games besides my current laptop. Is it worth getting a 7200rpm HDD for what I am wanting to do or is it fine as is?
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#7I_Am_On_FirePosted 9/30/2013 1:00:45 PM
As long as the 5400 RPM drive is in decent shape, it should be ok. Things will take longer to load and windows will be a little less snappy, but it's perfectly fine. I used the 5400 RPM drive out of my laptop in my desktop for ~6 months until I bought a 2 TB 7200 RPM HDD, and I didn't have issues besides stuff loading a bit slowly.

I actually used the OS that was on the drive (I dropped it into my desktop and it booted) as well, which may have contributed a bit to the slowness, in addition to the fact that the drive isn't in the best of shapes.

A 7200 RPM drive/SSD would be a good investment at some point, though, but if you're trying to save money now it's not a necessity.
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HAF 912 | i3-3220 @ 3.3 GHz | SAPPHIRE HD 7850 2 GB OC Edition | Corsair CX430 | 8 GB Corsair XMS3 1600 | Seagate Barracuda 2 TB | MSI B75MA-P45 | Win 8x64
#8staticxtreme5(Topic Creator)Posted 10/1/2013 12:42:53 AM(edited)
I'm now thinking maybe I can sell my laptop and just use that to find a better HDD. I would have to buy Windows if I did that though, although I might have to anyways if I couldn't get it moved from my laptop to my PC. Anyways, so the i3 should be decent enough to still max or nearly max today's games huh? Do I need 8GB of RAM, or would 4 be good enough for gaming at high settings? Keep in mind this will strictly be a gaming PC. I could care less about streaming content over the internet or multitasking a ton of programs and browser tabs and the like.

Edit: Also, which i3 should I buy if I were to buy one?
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#9SlaynPosted 10/1/2013 5:49:51 AM
What's the point of stretching yourself so thin to build a mediocre PC right now? Standard build is i5, affordable mobo, regular 1-2tb hard drive, modest case, 500w psu, throw in all the other components, and when whatever you have left over budgeted for the video card. Really trying to save some extra money going with i3 or 4gb of memory isn't worth it. You might save, what, $150 max by skimping on CPU and memory? Might as well just wait 1-2 weeks for a paycheck, or buy less Starbucks for a month.
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You can buy a $500 console and a $500 computer and have two crap machines, or you can spend $1000 building your own computer and have the best of both worlds.