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~$500 low end gaming/music production build. How does this look?

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February 4, 2014 7:31:33 PM

PC partpicker list

So I'm thinking about building a PC but I have zero experience with all of this stuff. I have browsed a few forums and tried to get a decent idea of what I should be buying before posting inane questions. I'm not a huge PC gamer, but I do play enough(Kerbal, Skyrim, World of Tanks,) that I'd like to be able to play at medium settings with a decent framerate on my 1920x1080 monitor. The ability to play some more graphically intense games would be nice as well.

I'll also be using this PC for music production with programs that are pretty well suited for multi-threading. I'd say that this is probably more of a priority than gaming.

$550-560 is my max budget. Is there anything in this build that I should avoid? I'm thinking i can do a minor overclock on the 6300 with the upgraded cooler, is that correct? Should I get cheaper ram and put that money towards a better graphics card? To be honest, I'm pretty clueless as far as GPU's go, what should I be looking into in the $150 range?

I appreciate the help in advance.
February 4, 2014 7:48:31 PM

exafro said:
PC partpicker list

So I'm thinking about building a PC but I have zero experience with all of this stuff. I have browsed a few forums and tried to get a decent idea of what I should be buying before posting inane questions. I'm not a huge PC gamer, but I do play enough(Kerbal, Skyrim, World of Tanks,) that I'd like to be able to play at medium settings with a decent framerate on my 1920x1080 monitor. The ability to play some more graphically intense games would be nice as well.

I'll also be using this PC for music production with programs that are pretty well suited for multi-threading. I'd say that this is probably more of a priority than gaming.

$550-560 is my max budget. Is there anything in this build that I should avoid? I'm thinking i can do a minor overclock on the 6300 with the upgraded cooler, is that correct? Should I get cheaper ram and put that money towards a better graphics card? To be honest, I'm pretty clueless as far as GPU's go, what should I be looking into in the $150 range?

I appreciate the help in advance.


I was also in the same spot as you two months ago when building my first rig. Got an Fx 6300, HD 7850 1gb, Asus M5 A97 LE2.0, 2x4GB ram 1600mhz, 1tb 7200rpm HD, dvd rom, and windows 8.1 for 541. So 445 roughly without the windows license.

WOT is running at the second highest settings and I average about 40-45 fps but it sometimes dips down to 25 in some bushes of some maps and goes up to 65 at other times. WOT is CPU-bound, if memory serves.

Playing Metro last light at second highest settings with the goodies turned off on my 1080p monitor and it is smooth enough for me; don't know what fps I'm getting.

1. My 2x4GB of g skillz RAM was bought for 50 bucks; you should be able to save some money off your build.

2. Your case is kind of pricey for my tastes; my roseville Challenger U3 was only 25 with the mail in rebate.

3. My 7850 1gb was only 105 with the rebate but prices have gone up recently. I've read that the 2gb version only really makes a substantial difference if you are gaming with resolution higher than 1080p but I'm a relative noob so defer to people with more knowledge about this topic.

4. Other than that I think your build is fine. Your mobo has 3.0 header; mine didn't so I had to get a converter cable and my front USB ports are not 3.0 speed now. :(  The fx-8320 is sometimes only like 130, I believe, so you may want to get that if you can spare the 20 bucks. It won't make a big difference according to benchmarks and its TDP is 125W instead of the FX 6300's 95W but if it isn't that much more expensive you could consider it. Good luck!



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a c 280 4 Gaming
February 4, 2014 8:42:43 PM

Looks like you live near a Microcenter. Lucky you.
I tweaked your build a bit:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($109.99)
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 ($44.99)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: BitFenix Shinobi Window ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $559.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-04 23:42 EST-0500)

-Upgraded cpu cooler to the newer EVO for the same price.
-Cheaper RAM, dual channel for better performance.
-Better quality case and psu.
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February 5, 2014 9:09:37 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. realchaos, that case looks really nice thanks for the recommendation. Anyone have suggestions or opinions on the video card? I might be able to squeeze out another $30 for a better one if there is better value in the $180 range.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 5, 2014 9:19:26 AM

I see that you have chosen a CPU cooler meaning that you will be overlcocking I'm guessing. This I would not recommend on that motherboard get rid of the cooler and invest some more money into getting a better GPU such as the 7870. Also, dual channel your memory so that you have 2x 4Gb's sticks. You can get this for about $70 also saving you some money. Thirdly, some AMD 970 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Vishera CPUs so consider chaning your MoBo. Here is what I suggest:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($116.97 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($54.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Kingston Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($33.91 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $625.50
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-05 12:18 EST-0500)

This can play all latest games on ultra settings at 50+ FPS. A great improvement from your original build although slightly over budget so you may want to get a 660 ti instead of a 760. Still a good card though.
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a c 280 4 Gaming
February 5, 2014 6:25:42 PM

@Computer__Guy: Most 970 chipset motherboards already support Vishera. Only the REALLY, REALLY OLD motherboards that were shipped out to retailers before Vishera was officially released won't support it, but it's been a long time since Vishera was released so it should be fine.
The motherboard you chose is even worse. I wouldn't recommend anything under a 970 chipset motherboard for Vishera because 970 and up have much better VRMs to support Vishera.

@Babo: If he gets the 8320, he won't be able to get the combo deal with the motherboard, which knocks off $50. IMHO, the FX-6300 is still a better deal due to the combo.

@OP: For an extra $30, you can grab a 7870: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-video-card-fx787acnfc
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February 8, 2014 6:10:43 AM

I didn't see that there was a combo deal at microcenter. It's crazy since we have like the same exact rig.
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February 10, 2014 5:12:17 PM

I ended up going with what realchaos suggested but spent a bit more on the GPU and bought an R9 270x.
babo, that's pretty awesome how we have similar builds. I would have liked the 8320, but the 6300 deal was too good to pass up and allowed me to spend more on the GPU. Either way, this is a monstrous upgrade from my current Phenom x3 8450 + Geforce 440.
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