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Help: Is This Build Good for a Budget PC? ($600-800)

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November 22, 2013 12:14:18 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month (Black Friday/Christmas Holiday)

Budget Range: $600-800 After Rebate

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Software Computing (Matlab), Movies

Are you buying a monitor: No.

Parts to Upgrade: Buying all essential parts.

Do you need to buy OS: No.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Newegg, but really any website with the cheapest deals will do (as long as shipping doesn't cost an arm and a leg).

Parts Preferences: No preference, just maximum efficiency and performance at a budget price.

Overclocking: Maybe.

SLI or Crossfire: No.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 22" Acer monitor.

Additional Comments: Would prefer a quiet PC that doesn't overheat easily with potential for upgrades down the road within the next year or two (i.e. replacing new graphics card, adding another stick of RAM if possible, etc.)

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Laptop is slowly dying on me and I want a powerful but budget gaming desktop that can run most games on high settings if not ultra and can load many programs quickly.

Some Current Build Ideas so Far:
1.) http://pcpartpicker.com/p/26oyp
2.) http://pcpartpicker.com/p/266n7
a b 4 Gaming
November 22, 2013 12:52:35 PM

1. The motherboard on both builds are not overclockable, rendering the K-series CPU rather useless.
2. The GPU in both builds is not available for purchase. That explains the cheap price point.
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November 22, 2013 1:38:37 PM

ksham said:
1. The motherboard on both builds are not overclockable, rendering the K-series CPU rather useless.
2. The GPU in both builds is not available for purchase. That explains the cheap price point.


Here's an alternative build I threw together real quick, do you think these will be compatible? Or maybe i can wait until that Radeon 7950 is back in stock although I don't know how long that'll take. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/26Hfw
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a b 4 Gaming
November 22, 2013 5:41:40 PM

This one is way better:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.24 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($63.24 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card ($299.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ ZT 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $789.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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Best solution

a c 271 4 Gaming
November 22, 2013 6:32:53 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.98 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($95.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card ($299.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Platinum 650W 80+ Platinum Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $790.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-22 21:30 EST-0500)

Great cpu/motherboard combo deal at NCIX. $75 off.
This will max out your budget and play anything at max at 1080p.

Or you can go way under budget:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.98 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($95.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $576.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-22 21:32 EST-0500)

High - max on most games.

What build you get all depends on what games you want to play.

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November 22, 2013 9:17:51 PM

So in this case it'd be better to invest more in the gpu than the cpu? I'm hoping to run a variety of games like Battlefield 4, Total War Series, Assassin's Creed Black Flag, next gen games (hopefully Titanfall and GTA 5 down the road). Thanks for your advice!
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a c 271 4 Gaming
November 22, 2013 9:30:45 PM

In that case, you would want to go for the first build.
Yes, you should spend more on the gpu than the cpu since games are mostly 85% gpu 15% cpu.
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November 23, 2013 2:22:50 PM

realchaos said:
In that case, you would want to go for the first build.
Yes, you should spend more on the gpu than the cpu since games are mostly 85% gpu 15% cpu.


Is the AMD Fx-8320 a rough equivalent of an i5 3570?
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a c 271 4 Gaming
November 23, 2013 2:31:18 PM

Kind of. I guess you can say it's AMD's version to compete against an i5. Overclocked, it should be fine in games and it equivalent of a stock i5.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 23, 2013 2:35:48 PM

DoodleMoose said:

Is the AMD Fx-8320 a rough equivalent of an i5 3570?

Yes and no. The FX-8320 is an octa-core CPU. Being octa-core, you can run twice as many tasks simultaneously compared to the i5. But at the same time, each core of the FX model is weaker than that of the i5. Since the majority of the games still only uses two cores, having more cores isn't beneficial in game play. The future may change this, but as of now, with two cores, it's better to have stronger individual cores. So in terms of gaming, the i5 will still be superior. For multi-tasking or multi-threaded tasks, the FX will be superior.

Having said that, the FX-6300 is sufficient since the octa-core does not bring any major advantages over the FX-6300 in gaming or in Matlabs. That CPU won't bottleneck any GPUs that is out currently. But I will say that higher overclocking on a FX-8000 model will require a motherboard with better VRMs than that comparatively to the FX-6300. The motherboard that @realchaos selected will be sufficient for a decent overclock of the FX-8320. Nothing high or extreme though.
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November 23, 2013 6:28:12 PM

ksham said:
DoodleMoose said:

Is the AMD Fx-8320 a rough equivalent of an i5 3570?

Yes and no. The FX-8320 is an octa-core CPU. Being octa-core, you can run twice as many tasks simultaneously compared to the i5. But at the same time, each core of the FX model is weaker than that of the i5. Since the majority of the games still only uses two cores, having more cores isn't beneficial in game play. The future may change this, but as of now, with two cores, it's better to have stronger individual cores. So in terms of gaming, the i5 will still be superior. For multi-tasking or multi-threaded tasks, the FX will be superior.

Having said that, the FX-6300 is sufficient since the octa-core does not bring any major advantages over the FX-6300 in gaming or in Matlabs. That CPU won't bottleneck any GPUs that is out currently. But I will say that higher overclocking on a FX-8000 model will require a motherboard with better VRMs than that comparatively to the FX-6300. The motherboard that @realchaos selected will be sufficient for a decent overclock of the FX-8320. Nothing high or extreme though.


I noticed that this build is very similar in price to @realchaos' first build with the fx-8320 but comes out to be similar in price (with an i5 3570). Would this be overall better for gaming? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/27nFV

This build also seems much cheaper but would this one have similar performance? (Albeit somewhat slower graphics card) http://pcpartpicker.com/p/266n7

I was also curious if there's a noticeable difference in fps between the fx-8320 vs i5 3570 because if the difference was less than 10 fps it might not be worth the increase in budget unless I can futureproof the system.
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a c 271 4 Gaming
November 23, 2013 6:45:37 PM

Go with the AMD. The case and psu in your build is lower quality.
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November 23, 2013 8:11:48 PM

realchaos said:
Go with the AMD. The case and psu in your build is lower quality.


Is the motherboard Asus M5A97 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard
that you recommended able to overclock? I'm thinking about attempting to overclock the 8320 from 3.5GHz to 4.0GHz if I did get this system to improve performance.
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a c 271 4 Gaming
November 23, 2013 9:40:44 PM

Yes it can. The Asus M5A97 R2.0 is one of the best 970 chipset motherboards, IMHO. The VRM heatsinks on that is amazing.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 23, 2013 10:24:39 PM

DoodleMoose said:

I noticed that this build is very similar in price to @realchaos' first build with the fx-8320 but comes out to be similar in price (with an i5 3570). Would this be overall better for gaming? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/27nFV

This build also seems much cheaper but would this one have similar performance? (Albeit somewhat slower graphics card) http://pcpartpicker.com/p/266n7

I was also curious if there's a noticeable difference in fps between the fx-8320 vs i5 3570 because if the difference was less than 10 fps it might not be worth the increase in budget unless I can futureproof the system.

The first build is good, but over your specified budget. The second build is weaker because the GPU is weaker, the power supply is crap, but most of all, the GPU isn't available for sale. Not all parts listed on PCPartPicker is in stock so you will want to confirm that.

990FX is better than the 970. And should games gain better support for 4+ cores in the future, then you don't have to swap motherboards in upgrading to a stronger FX chip and in overclocking. And @realchaos, a 4+2 VRM on the M5A97 R2.0 is not amazing.
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a c 271 4 Gaming
November 23, 2013 10:27:06 PM

The power phases isn't as great as a 990FX board, but the VRM heatsinks on that board is good. It's fine for moderate oc like getting the 8320 to 4.3ghz.

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a b 4 Gaming
November 23, 2013 10:34:33 PM

Agreed. I stated before that the motherboard that you chose is good enough for a decent overclock and nothing more. I was only commenting about the VRM being amazing part. :) 
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November 23, 2013 11:00:47 PM

ksham said:
Agreed. I stated before that the motherboard that you chose is good enough for a decent overclock and nothing more. I was only commenting about the VRM being amazing part. :) 


Good point, the fx-8320 performance wise in gaming isn't much better than the fx-6300 correct? If that's the case then it's probably better bang for buck to get the 6300 and maybe I can upgrade next year or down the road when I have more money and when games have better support :) .
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a c 271 4 Gaming
November 23, 2013 11:03:20 PM

The FX-8320 and Asus M5A97 R2.0 is in a great combo deal at NCIX where you save $55. That basically brings the 8320 price down to a 6300.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 24, 2013 12:32:58 AM

DoodleMoose said:

Good point, the fx-8320 performance wise in gaming isn't much better than the fx-6300 correct? If that's the case then it's probably better bang for buck to get the 6300 and maybe I can upgrade next year or down the road when I have more money and when games have better support :) .

Especially when you overclock it. If you save that money and then buy the 990FX that I recommended, you can upgrade to a FX-8350 or whatever new-gen AM3+ CPU in the future without swapping out a motherboard. So it's a bit more future-proof in that respect. Plus, swapping out motherboards generally require you to re-install your operating system.

For gaming, the FX-8320 won't bring anything new to to the table as of now. The only game that I know that the FX-8320 may have an advantage is Crysis 3. I'm not sure about Battlefield 4.
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a c 271 4 Gaming
November 24, 2013 11:15:59 AM

The 990FX board won't be more "future-proof." The 970 board should still support AMD's next gen processor as long as it uses the AM3+ socket.
Also, I have stated it many times. Thanks to the combo deal at NCIX, the FX-8320 is basically at the price of a FX-6300 since you save $55. By swapping it out for a FX-6300, you will save nearly no money since you lose that combo deal.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 24, 2013 12:39:24 PM

Yes it will. The Gigabyte board that I chose has better VRM and can support the high end FX-9000 series. Your 970 will not. While they are socket compatible, the FX-9000 will draw so much power (even at stock configuration) that it will literally burn the MOSFETS on the motherboard.
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a c 271 4 Gaming
November 24, 2013 3:20:53 PM

Are you talking about the FX-9590 and FX-9370? Because those are stupid as they are just an overclocked version of the FX-8320/8350.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 25, 2013 12:01:53 AM

Stupid how? You try overclocking the FX-8320 or FX-8350 to 5GHz. It's no easy task, even with custom water cooling. You will need the top 10% bracket of the FX-8350 to even be able to overclock to 5GHz.
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a c 271 4 Gaming
November 25, 2013 4:27:08 PM

It's overpriced and you need to buy a higher quality cpu cooler to actually have it run. It's not worth it. Overclocking the FX-8350 to near 5ghz shouldn't be too hard if you grab a higher end cooler. Once you hit the 4.8-4.9ghz mark, it's basically the same performance. But again, it all comes down to the chip itself as some overclock better than others.

The fact that it's the same chip as a 8320/8350 but at a higher clocked rate makes it kind of pointless for an upgrade. It would be better to just wait for AMD's next gen processors instead of upgrading from a 6300 to a FX-9370/9590.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 25, 2013 4:36:52 PM

Overclocking the FX-8350 to 5GHz is actually pretty hard. I've built two computers with that chip and have not gotten it past 4.8GHz max stable. Maybe I'm unlucky, but it was painful to get to a stable 4.8GHz.

Anyway, I'll leave it as that. I don't want to go off on a tangent here. I'd prefer to buy a high-end motherboard over an unnecessary CPU upgrade.
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