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Adivice: cheap gaming rig now, upgrade later

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January 1, 2014 5:51:28 PM

Hey, guys. I'm trying to build a way cheap gaming rig. I don't care much about running games on ultra at 1080 but I just want to play the latest games at mid settings. I would also like to be able to record my playthroughs without the recordings or the FPS to suffer too much.

My budget is $500 but if possible $400. I don't care too much about anything except the motherboard. I don't want the best I just want an affordable mobo which I can upgrade later. Cheap now, awesome later.

I picked a few things on Newegg but I have no real idea if what I've chosen is good or compatible. See below. Also, I have an 850w PSU and I don't need an OS or HDD.

MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I can't remember what GPU I picked...

Thanks in advance. Also, this is my first forum post ever so I dunno if I posted this properly and everything and stuff ... >_>

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January 1, 2014 6:33:37 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($109.99 @ TigerDirect)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3P ATX AM3+/AM3 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R7 260X 2GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Microcenter)

Alternate GPU: Asus GTX660OC ($179.99 @ Newegg.com, includes $20 rebate)

Other: DIY Case ($39.99)
Total: $418.95
Alt. Total: $458.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-01 21:18 EST-0500)

The FX6300 is literally the same price as the FX4300, and many people consider it a competent gaming CPU.
It's easier to not have to upgrade later on, but upgrading something like the GPU isn't difficult.

The Alt. GPU is better, and I thought I'd give an Nvidia option as well as the AMD option. Of course, it requires going up $40 in your budget. You could do that the same with the AMD option, but then this list would go up and include many GPUs.

You should have no issues getting medium settings with those options. A friend uses a Radeon HD 7790 and plays on high / ultra with 30FPS in some games.

Don't expect the world with this setup though, and don't think I'm talking up one company over the other. Let me know if you need any help with anything else in particular. I think the base set up is fine for gaming until you want to upgrade to a $300 GPU. You probably wouldn't even need to upgrade the CPU for a while, though it is middle of the line as it stands.
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January 1, 2014 7:06:15 PM

Wow. I didn't expect such a prompt yet thorough response. Thank you so much. I guess I wasn't too far off. I originally chose the six core but the quad was on sale, ha.

Thanks again. Happy new year.
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January 4, 2014 1:04:35 AM

To be perfectly clear, the only thing I wasn't sure about was the case, but that's a highly subjective decision (and, debatable, also highly objective) so I decided not to touch it when considering parts.

I picked the same parts that you had on purpose, but they certainly have nothing wrong with them. I use a Gigabyte mobo too, and quite like it. Upon reflection, I honestly don't think I needed quite the feature set it offers, but it's what I wanted and I shouldn't complain. ;) 

When you decide to upgrade, consider getting a Closed Loop Cooler. H90 is an example, but that isn't a recommendation. You'd need to do your own research before purchase.

Some coolers suffer from leaks. I was about to buy from on a big discount, but during my research, found that it had many negative reviews due to leaks. My point? The FX6300 is an easy overclock, keeping in mind you play the silicon lottery. A nice OC can increase the longevity of a chip you might otherwise change out (at the expense of the actual longevity of the chip). When you do finally decide to upgrade, you'd either be replacing the MOBO for a totally new chipset, or you'd be going to an FX8320/50 (FX9xxx series is not a real option), that is assuming AMD doesn't release another chip for AM3+.

I should have written this all 3 days ago, but Toms email notifications go to my junk mail, and I've been busy.

To close off my ramblings, before you OC anything, make sure of two things. 1) Your system is rock solid beforehand. A bad chip before an OC won't be covered under warranty after an OC, and 2) if you aren't 100% comfortable ruining things, don't touch voltage, and proceed with help (online guides are everywhere).

Best of luck with PC gaming! I'm curious to know what your frame rates are, and which GPU you picked.
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