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Improvements to cheap build

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December 4, 2013 1:27:15 PM

Hey guys,
I'm currently in the process of building a cheap, but well-rounded computer that'll be capable of playing most modern days (not on any crazy resolutions), I've come up with this so far.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 750K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£57.05 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£23.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£53.42 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£64.00 @ Ebuyer)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.50 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 270 2GB Video Card (£132.50 @ Ebuyer)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£58.98 @ Ebuyer)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£37.09 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £469.52

I don't think my build is exactly perfect, which is why I've come to you guys. Is there any way this build can be improved, but keeping it within the same boundaries money-wise? (£400-£500)
December 4, 2013 1:32:45 PM

I think you're skimping on the PS a bit, if you're tied to the budget save a few bucks on another case and get a 550W PS (especially since I assume you plan to OC that processor).
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December 4, 2013 1:36:19 PM

True, true, is there any other PSU you would recommend?
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December 4, 2013 1:39:45 PM

I like the PS you have just get the 550w version of it :) 
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December 4, 2013 1:41:31 PM

How about this?

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 750K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£57.05 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£23.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£53.42 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£49.73 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.50 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (£174.95 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case (£47.98 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£47.23 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £496.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

XFX PSUs are built by SeaSonic.
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December 4, 2013 1:41:52 PM

another Corsair fan? awesome,

but the CX series only goes 400, 500, 600, would 500 be abit risky or do you think it'd work?
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December 4, 2013 1:45:47 PM

Well I would either steal the build gannon posted (it is $30 more but will be a good deal faster due to the upgraded gpu) or you can just get another corsair 550w psu, they dont' make any terrible ones.
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December 4, 2013 1:48:17 PM

Looks reasonable.
I think you may need a slightly stronger psu, more like 450w or 500w to run the r9-270.
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December 4, 2013 1:48:27 PM

ganon11000 said:
How about this?

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 750K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£57.05 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£23.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£53.42 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£49.73 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.50 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (£174.95 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case (£47.98 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£47.23 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £496.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

XFX PSUs are built by SeaSonic.


seems like a good deal and I've never really looked at XFX PSU's, but since they're by SeaSonic they must be top-notch.
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December 4, 2013 1:56:35 PM

Thanatognomonic said:
ganon11000 said:
How about this?

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 750K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£57.05 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£23.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£53.42 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£49.73 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.50 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (£174.95 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case (£47.98 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£47.23 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £496.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

XFX PSUs are built by SeaSonic.


seems like a good deal and I've never really looked at XFX PSU's, but since they're by SeaSonic they must be top-notch.


They sure are :)  528W on the 12V rail!
Quoting Johnnygury.com : "Internally, we can see that the Core Edition 550W uses the Seasonic S12II platform, very much like the Core Edition 450W. Even the fan is identical"

The S12II may not be the latest but it sure does take a battering. I've over-heated mine as well as tried to pull too much current and shorting it out and it still runs perfect to this day!
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December 4, 2013 3:22:45 PM

Quick question, would it be better to go AMD APU for a more budgeted build? and perhaps cross-fire with the corresponding card to the APU later down the line?
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December 4, 2013 3:25:03 PM

say if I did a build like this, i'm saving £96.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A8-6600K 3.9GHz Quad-Core Processor (£74.03 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£23.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£53.42 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£92.15 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.50 @ Aria PC)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£58.98 @ Ebuyer)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£47.23 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £392.29
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-04 23:24 GMT+0000)
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December 4, 2013 3:41:19 PM

For a balanced gaming pc, budget about twice the cpu cost for the graphics card. The graphics is all important in gaming.
The amd APU is decent if you never plan on upgrading.

Here is my canned rant on planning for dual cards:
-----------------------------Start of rant----------------------------------------------------
Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX650/ti or 7770 can give you good performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX660 or 7850 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single gtx690,7990, GTX780ti or R9-290X is about as good as it gets for a single card.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, or a 4k monitor, might sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards and stronger single card solutions.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX660 needs a 430w psu, even a GTX780 only needs a 575w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 200w to your psu requirements.

Even the most power hungry GTX690 only needs 620w, or a 7990 needs 700w.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual gpu's do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual gpu support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) dual cards up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.
The Maxwell and amd 8000 or 9000 series are due next year.
-------------------------------End of rant-----------------------------------------------------------

Also, no game will use more than 2-3gb by itself. ON a budget, 8gb is plenty.



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December 5, 2013 6:11:08 AM

I do have to say, I don't want to build this budget build so I can play the newest games on the highest possible settings, I just really want it for some indie gaming or playing games on low/medium settings as well as being able to do most college work.
Saying just for these standards, would you say the APU build would be able to do this? 'cause my main concern is being able to keep the price as low or possible.
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December 5, 2013 7:14:25 AM

Thanatognomonic said:
I do have to say, I don't want to build this budget build so I can play the newest games on the highest possible settings, I just really want it for some indie gaming or playing games on low/medium settings as well as being able to do most college work.
Saying just for these standards, would you say the APU build would be able to do this? 'cause my main concern is being able to keep the price as low or possible.


The APU would meet your immediate needs, but will not be very good for a future upgrade.
May I suggest then that you buy a intel i3 cpu of some sort like the i3-4130 and plan on using the integrated graphics initially.
Integrated HD4400 graphics is adequate for games that do not depend on fast action such as civ 4. The superior Intel cpu performance will allow you to install a stronger discrete graphics card later.
Pair it with a B85 based motherboard.

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December 5, 2013 7:56:20 AM

Can you suggest a good B85 motherboard?
and say if we used TERA: Rising as a base game, its recommended requirements being...
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ or,INTEL Core2 Duo E6750
ATI Radeon HD 3870 or, NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT

would the i3-4130 be more than capable of this?
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December 5, 2013 3:48:50 PM

Thanatognomonic said:
Can you suggest a good B85 motherboard?
and say if we used TERA: Rising as a base game, its recommended requirements being...
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ or,INTEL Core2 Duo E6750
ATI Radeon HD 3870 or, NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT

would the i3-4130 be more than capable of this?

The i3-4130 would be more than capable compared to a X2 6000.
The i3-4130 has a passmark rating of 4936, the X2-6000+ has a rating of 1588.

On the graphics side, HD4400 @502 is not quite there, the 3870 and 8800gt are in the 750 range.
I think you might need to budget $60-$100 for a discrete graphics card. I might try integrated first and then determine how much you need to spend for discrete graphics. A 7750, for example measures 1600 and costs about $90.

Asrock and ECS offer decent B85 based motherboards, here are two:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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December 6, 2013 10:46:49 AM

I spent abit of time messing about with various prices and products, reading and watching a few reviews and unboxing and I came up with two builds, one including the i3 4130.

Build 1 - Intel
PCPartPicker part list
CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor (£88.07 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H81M-HDS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£37.30 @ CCL Computers)
Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£50.15 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£77.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£32.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£47.67 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £333.73

Build 2 - AMD
PCPartPicker part list
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 760K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£60.89 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£53.42 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£50.15 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£77.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£32.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£47.67 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £322.67

I checked cpubenchmark.net for the score of the Athlon II and it got 4,354, making it just under 600 lower than the i3-4130
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December 6, 2013 12:35:27 PM

Thanatognomonic said:
I spent abit of time messing about with various prices and products, reading and watching a few reviews and unboxing and I came up with two builds, one including the i3 4130.

Build 1 - Intel
PCPartPicker part list
CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor (£88.07 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H81M-HDS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£37.30 @ CCL Computers)
Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£50.15 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£77.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£32.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£47.67 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £333.73

Build 2 - AMD
PCPartPicker part list
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 760K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£60.89 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£53.42 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£50.15 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£77.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£32.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£47.67 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £322.67

I checked cpubenchmark.net for the score of the Athlon II and it got 4,354, making it just under 600 lower than the i3-4130


I have edited the PSU to a cheaper, SeaSonic-made one.
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2g4hI
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December 6, 2013 12:40:20 PM

ganon11000 said:
Thanatognomonic said:
I spent abit of time messing about with various prices and products, reading and watching a few reviews and unboxing and I came up with two builds, one including the i3 4130.

Build 1 - Intel
PCPartPicker part list
CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor (£88.07 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H81M-HDS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£37.30 @ CCL Computers)
Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£50.15 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£77.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£32.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£47.67 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £333.73

Build 2 - AMD
PCPartPicker part list
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 760K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£60.89 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£53.42 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£50.15 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£77.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£32.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£47.67 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £322.67

I checked cpubenchmark.net for the score of the Athlon II and it got 4,354, making it just under 600 lower than the i3-4130


I have edited the PSU to a cheaper, SeaSonic-made one.
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2g4hI


Will that PSU be adequate when it'd come to over-clocking both the GPU and the CPU? (I'd add in a Hyper 212 when it'd seem needed)
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December 6, 2013 3:23:14 PM

Thanatognomonic said:
ganon11000 said:
Thanatognomonic said:
I spent abit of time messing about with various prices and products, reading and watching a few reviews and unboxing and I came up with two builds, one including the i3 4130.

Build 1 - Intel
PCPartPicker part list
CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor (£88.07 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H81M-HDS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£37.30 @ CCL Computers)
Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£50.15 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£77.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£32.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£47.67 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £333.73

Build 2 - AMD
PCPartPicker part list
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 760K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (£60.89 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£53.42 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£50.15 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£77.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£32.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£47.67 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £322.67

I checked cpubenchmark.net for the score of the Athlon II and it got 4,354, making it just under 600 lower than the i3-4130


I have edited the PSU to a cheaper, SeaSonic-made one.
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2g4hI


Will that PSU be adequate when it'd come to over-clocking both the GPU and the CPU? (I'd add in a Hyper 212 when it'd seem needed)


More than adequate, this can power an i7 with a GTX 285!
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December 7, 2013 10:43:01 AM

So we're all agreed that the intel build is better and since i'm going for a GPU included straight off the bat, is there no CPU for the same price that doesn't include the integrated GPU but provides the same/better performance with the LGA1150 chipset?
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December 7, 2013 11:05:35 AM

Thanatognomonic said:
So we're all agreed that the intel build is better and since i'm going for a GPU included straight off the bat, is there no CPU for the same price that doesn't include the integrated GPU but provides the same/better performance with the LGA1150 chipset?


I don't think so.
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December 7, 2013 11:14:02 AM

Alright, I'll go with the Intel build,

Thanks so much for your help!
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!