The GTX650 (non-Ti) only has 384 kepler cuda shaders. It's slower
than the GTX460-768MB edition in MY computer (a lower-middle tier GPU from ~3.5 years ago). IMO the GTX650, like the HD7750 and R7 250 that it performs like, are really in that 1+ HTPC class of GPU, where you would normally pick the HD7730 or R7 240 or GT640, but due to availability or pricing, the "step up" made sense and offers the peace of mind that the machine could play games at low settings if it had to. This is not a HTPC build that stumbled across a GPU upgrade in the component selection phase because the price wasn't much different, this is a gaming machine that should have a respectable GPU in it!
The GPU really should be the focus of a budget gaming machine. TRY to improve on this. The Ti edition with a 1GB frame buffer would be far better, as it has DOUBLE the shaders. Neither card will benefit from more than 1GB of VRAM, as the texture quality required to fill more than 1GB is far beyond what these cards could draw fast enough to achieve playable framerates anyway. With realistic settings tuned to get good performance from these cards, 1GB is plenty. It takes ~1000 keplar cuda shaders to have enough draw performance to really start to take advantage of more than 1GB of VRAM. The GTX660 is a pretty good match to it's "1.5GB" VRAM configuration. (I know it has 2GB, but it really only has access to 1.5GB at full speed, so for all intents and purposes it is a 1.5GB frame buffer).
The FX-6300 is a very good value CPU for gaming, however, that only holds true IF it is overclocked. If you leave that capability un-tapped, then there are better ways to spend that money on the intel side IMO. The i3-4130 actually performs better than the FX-6300 in most games when compared stock-vs-stock. There's only a handful of games that can leverage enough parallelism to give the FX-6300 the edge, and in the titles that do, the margins are slim (usually less than 10-15%). On the other hand, in the titles that the FX-6300 is at its worse, the margins are often wide. In game titles that favor the per-core performance (many), you can expect to see the i3 perform 20-40% better than the stock clocked FX-6300.
On the other hand, If you clock the FX-6300 to 4.8-5.0+ghz, it will trade blows with an i5-4440 in gaming. At that clock speed, those games that the intel chips had large margins on before, will narrow to ~10-20%, and in games that can leverage more parallelism, the FX chip will pull ahead by 10-20%. As it would turn out, the cost to implement an i5-4440 on a cheap B85 board using the OEM HSF, is pretty similar to the cost to implement an FX-6300+UD3P+aftermarket HSF. Either way is awesome and the performance differences aren't significant enough in either direction to matter much on a system with a middle tier or lower GPU anyway. One solution requires performance tuning, the other does not. Some people like the novelty of the process of performance tuning a machine, some would rather it just work out of the box.
The way I see it, the FX-6300 doesn't become competitive until you take advantage of it's overclocking headroom. Most FX-6300's seem to be good overclocking chips. Haven't seen many people that have had one that wouldn't do 4.0ghz on less than 1.20V, and most
that will do this can hit 5ghz on ~1.45V or less provided it is sitting on a motherboard with enough clean stable tightly regulated power available. Power requirements of the chip at 5ghz are typically ~160-180W. There are several CPU coolers in the ~$50 range that can maintain this sort of dissipation while keeping temps in check. Motherboard selection is key. The M5A97 LE
R2.0 is a no-go for this power level. I recommend the GA-970A-UD3P.
If you're not going to overclock the FX-6300, get the i3-4130 or i5-4440.
I still question "Team" RAM as I keep hearing tidbits about it being single rank (using less higher capacity ICs on one side of the DIMM, instead of populating both sides). If these rumors are true, then that would detract from performance compared to traditional DIMMs as rank interleaving would not work on such a DIMM (unless multiples of them were installed on the same channel).
Performance scaling is generally pretty minimal with higher end memory especially on a mid to lower tier CPU, and even less when the system will be bottle-necked on a lower tier GPU most of the time anyway. Only buy faster RAM if there is little to no price difference for a build at this budget.
Here's how to do the AMD build:CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor
($109.99 @ Newegg or Amazon)
For now the build will have to get by on the stock cooler. You can lock most FX-6300s to about 1.20V and they will run stable at 3.8-4.1ghz without much trouble, this is usually doable on the stock cooler. Disable Turbo, but leave APM enabled and it will keep thermals in check under parallel workloads on the weak CPU cooler with mild throttling if necessary. Upgrade to aftermarket cooling at a later date to improve CPU performance further. (~5ghz).Motherboard + Memory Combo: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P + Kingston Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600
($158 @ Newegg)
This motherboard has no trouble providing the power required to run the FX-6300@5ghz. Most other 970 chipset boards won't.Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
($59.99 @ Newegg or Amazon)Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card
($169.99 @ NCIX US)
This is 2-3X faster than the GTX650, depending on settings/resolution.Case + Power Supply combo: Rosewill Challenger-U3 + Capstone 450W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular
($105 @ Newegg)Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-07 DVD/CD Writer
($19.99 @ Newegg)Total:
$643 Shipped, $623 after 1 MIR (GPU).(Generated by PCPartPicker, edited by mdocod 2014-03-10 22:49 EDT-0400)
Here's the Intel alternate:CPU: Intel Core i3-4330 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor
($134.98 @ SuperBiiz)Motherboard + PSU Combo: Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H + Capstone 450W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular
($120 @ Newegg)Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
($74.99 @ Newegg)Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
($59.99 @ Newegg)Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card
($169.99 @ NCIX US)Case: Cougar Spike MicroATX Mini Tower Case
($34.99 @ TigerDirect)Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer
($17.99 @ TigerDirect)Total:
$633 Shipped, $613 after MIR (GPU).(Generated by PCPartPicker, edited by mdocod 2014-03-10 23:22 EDT-0400)