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Budget PC under 500 - Is this build worth it or am I just wasting 500?

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Last response: in Systems
March 21, 2014 6:50:31 AM

Hi, I am going to build a machine for my brother who has been playing games on a 8 year old PC. He wants to get a budget PC for 500 or less. I have built him one on newegg, but I am not sure if it is worthy of the $500. The machine I built a year ago for myself was 575 and seems better than this machine, but I could be mistaken. Figured I would let you experts look at it give me your opinions which I very much appreciate.

Case: Rosewill Challenger - $49.99
GPU: EVGA GeForce GT 630 1 GB 228 - $63.99
PS: CORSAIR CX 430W - $44.99
RAM: ADATA XPG 4GB 240 PIN DDR3 1600 - $49.99
SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB Sata - $85.99
CPU & MOBO Combo: Intel Core i3-4130 Haswell 3.4GHz Dual Core & MSI Micro ATX Intel - $164.98

Basically, is this machine worth the 500 after mail-in rebates or am I just crazy. I didn't include the OEM windows in this list.

To me it seems a pre built machine is almost as good or better, but you get a similar graphics card with a big ole HDD which he doesn't need. Also he can upgrade the ram later when he wants.

Thanks for your help.


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Thanks for far for all the replies, looking over all the builds now!

More about : budget 500 build worth wasting 500

Best solution

March 21, 2014 7:15:16 AM

Here's what I'd probably do for $500:

Antec NEW SOLUTION SERIES VSK-3000 Black SGCC steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Model #:VSK-3000
Item #:N82E16811129186
$49.99 -$15.00 Instant $34.99

ASUS H81M-E LGA 1150 Intel H81 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:H81M-E
Item #:N82E16813132042
$59.99 $59.99

PowerColor AXR7 250X 1GBD5-HE Radeon R7 250X 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Model #:AXR7 250X 1GBD5-HE
Item #:N82E16814131559
$99.99 $99.99
Another $20 here gets a R7 260X, which would be a good step up. Note though, that this is a 250X, not a 250. It is going to be a lot better than whatever 8-yr old card your brother is using now.

Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V v2.3 Power Supply - Intel Haswell Fully Compatible
Model #:VP-450
Item #:N82E16817371045
Mail in Rebate Card
$49.99 -$10.00 Instant $39.99
Can handle this rig with any graphics card having a single 6-pin PCIe power cable.

Intel Core i3-4130 Haswell 3.4GHz LGA 1150 54W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4400 BX80646I34130
Model #:BX80646I34130
Item #:N82E16819116946
$124.99 $124.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK
Model #:F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK
Item #:N82E16820231180
$47.99 $47.99
If you have another $30, this is the first thing I'd upgrade, to a 2x4GB kit. That's because the motherboard only has two RAM slots.

Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive - OEM
Model #:WD5000AAKX
Item #:N82E16822136769
$59.99 -$5.00 Instant $54.99

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Model #: DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
Item #: N82E16827135204
$19.99 $19.99

Subtotal: $482.92
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March 21, 2014 7:15:45 AM

If it's going to be gaming, this would get him High/Ultra in most games:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($98.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Asus M5A78L-M LX PLUS Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($44.99 @ Micro Center)
Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($36.49 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill RANGER-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $478.43
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-21 10:14 EDT-0400)

The 630 isn't a gaming card, whereas the 270 is capable of at least High at 1080p.
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March 21, 2014 7:19:08 AM

I don't care for that one. The mobo is old-tech, it has single-channel RAM, and the PSU is not good for longevity. The Corsair "CX" units were built with some inferior Samxon capacitors that do not like heat and are known for early failure. The case would be good though, and the video card certainly is too.
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March 21, 2014 7:23:30 AM

Yeah, but considering he won't be stressing the PSU or overclocking or anything like that at all, it won't really matter in this specific case. For gaming, the single channel RAM won't make much of a difference, and for what all is going into this system, the 780 series is plenty for what he needs. He's been gaming on the same computer for 8 years, it's still a huge upgrade, and will get him much, much better performance.
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March 21, 2014 7:34:38 AM

If you can stretch the budget I would swap the MSI board out for an ASUS or GIGABYTE, but the MSI will be fine if not.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-4330 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($137.93 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI H81M-P33 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($41.95 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M500 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $523.83
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