Solved

First build with a tight budget-Suggestions welcome!

This is my first attempt at building a computer, and I'd love any input. I want to keep it under $500, the lower the better. I think the most taxing thing I'll want it to do is play Minecraft with FTB. Please let me know if anything is incompatible, or if I forgot anything, or made a stupid choice. :)

Here is a link to my build:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2nprYJ

I also have a hard drive from my last computer that I plan to stick in there as well. Thank you!
33 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build tight budget suggestions
  1. well it's not bad. but............... think you can pop for a 240 SSD? those small ones just don't hold enough. can get one for almost $100.
  2. Thank you, I was debating between the two and wasn't sure. I'll certainly look into the 240 instead.
  3. PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7tKcRB
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7tKcRB/by_merchant/

    CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($74.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock H97M PRO4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($84.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 270 2GB TurboDuo Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: NZXT H230 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $499.92
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-12 16:50 EDT-0400
  4. Everything is compatible, and it looks like it would fulfill your needs.

    Though I do have a revised build based on my preferences -
    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HbCDkL

    I went for equal/lower pricing, as I understand you are on a budget.
    While I like APUs, I don't think dual graphics is an effective gaming solution. While dual graphics usually gives you a higher average framerate, it often increases micro stutter which negates a lot of the increased performance, as it makes for choppy looking gameplay. As it looks like you want more GPU power than the APU alone can provide, my advice is to simply ditch the APU.

    An Athlon X4 750K is basically the same APU you had chosen but with the iGPU disabled, and a lower price tag. Since you don't need high speed memory for the iGPU anymore you can get a lower priced kit with no meaningful performance difference. Using that savings, you can get a r7 250X, which will provide a better experience than the APU+R7 240 would have.

    Also, if it were me, I'd drop the CD Drive too ;) you can use a USB drive to install windows if you have another computer you can borrow to set up the USB drive.
  5. Cheaper, and massively better performance for Minecraft.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Pentium G3220 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: MSI H81M-P33 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($43.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital BLACK SERIES 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R7 260X 2GB Video Card ($114.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Enermax ECA3253-BL ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: EVGA 430W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $425.91
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-12 16:52 EDT-0400
  6. if your using this as a gaming pc drop the ssd for now and add it latter. use the funds for a better power supply and case.
    by dropping the ssd I was able to get a 270 gpu into the build and a 750w power supply. Went with newer h97 mb and intel cpu. with amd apu you lose some speed do to the gpu that built in. the x750 is a better gaming cpu if your using a 3 party gpu.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106.html
  7. smorzio please stop suggesting dual cores in your builds. please?

    I run ssd's exclusive.............. even have one on my 5800k......... HD's are trash any more.
  8. swifty, if the most taxing thing he's going is running Minecraft, he only needs a single core lol Minecraft is single threaded, and other normal computer programs are almost exclusively single or dual threaded, and the Pentium is perfect for that. It will certainly be better than the APU or Athlon 750k.
  9. natedawg72 said:
    While I like APUs, I don't think dual graphics is an effective gaming solution. While dual graphics usually gives you a higher average framerate, it often increases micro stutter which negates a lot of the increased performance, as it makes for choppy looking gameplay. As it looks like you want more GPU power than the APU alone can provide, my advice is to simply ditch the APU.

    An Athlon X4 750K is basically the same APU you had chosen but with the iGPU disabled, and a lower price tag. Since you don't need high speed memory for the iGPU anymore you can get a lower priced kit with no meaningful performance difference. Using that savings, you can get a r7 250X, which will provide a better experience than the APU+R7 240 would have..


    Thank you so much for the reply. I like your changes and really appreciate that you explained everything. I am seriously considering it.
  10. Wow thanks so much for all the help already! I am trying to read through and consider everything carefully. I truly appreciate it!
  11. piopiosping said:
    Wow thanks so much for all the help already! I am trying to read through and consider everything carefully. I truly appreciate it!


    Don't go with an FM2 CPU, they have poor CPU performance, and Minecraft doesn't like poor CPUs lol Minecraft is single threaded, meaning it will only use a single CPU core/thread to run, so spending extra money for more cores won't do anything for you.
  12. So, since everyone is giving me really interesting and good feedback here, I want to explain some of my reasoning a bit. Then you can tell me if I'm thinking about things the wrong way and it might help me make some decisions since the ideas I'm getting are somewhat diverse.

    The reason I went for the SSD was because I've heard it helps to install your OS there. So I figured I'd do that right off the bat, since I think it might be annoying to have to reinstall the OS down the road. I figured the video card would be much easier to switch out. But based on these responses, it seems maybe I should shift a bit more priority to the video card? Possibly by finding a less expensive CPU? That seems a pretty consistent response. :)

    And on that note, I wasn't sure I needed more than a dual core, but I worried I might regret that down the line? In a few years, do you bet I'll wish I'd sprung for a quad or do you suspect (since I'm not terribly hardcore) that dual should do me for a good while?

    That was the same line of reasoning I took with the motherboard--I was afraid if I got a micro ATX that I might regret it someday down the road. The ATX seems to have so much more room to add things later . . . but it is quite a bit pricier. Thanks so much again for all of your help!
  13. SSD's load everything faster...........

    I gave up on dual cores back in the days the 775/q9550 came out. I ran the fastest dual core and the swap was like going from slush to really slick ice. for a couple of years people said i was nuts "you don't need a quad core".......... who was wrong?

    I don't understand the analogy that minecraft is tougher on a system than Crysis. maybe somebody can help me out here? keep Java up to date if you're having problems.

    the motherboard........... what do you plan on adding in the near future ( now and 5 years )? I use micro atx boards in all my builds now. but I have a good idea of what my needs are or will be. you do have to think it out. so won't dump on you in your choice.

    i understand the builds above are pretty good and shouldn't be discounted. the k750 is good but I don't like the low end cards. the apu above has more shaders. (512 I think ). the 260x on the other hand. better choice in cards.

    tough decisions for you.

    something I overlooked.................. the apu and the 240............. you plan on crossfiring with the apu?.............. does minecraft support it?
  14. Minecraft is single threaded, and doesn't give two shits how many cores/threads your CPU has. You could overclock the 750k to 5 GHz and it'll still run Minecraft terribly due to its low single thread performance. I completely agree with you that a quad core CPU would be a better choice most of the time, as games are now starting to be 4+ threaded, but for a system that will be only running basic computer programs and Minecraft, higher single thread performance is what is important.

    I don't really understand the tougher than Crysis analogy either, don't know where that came from lol

    And I agree SSDs are better, but 120GB is just not enough to be used as the sole drive for most people, which is why I listed the WD Black drive, as it's pretty dang quick for a platter drive.
  15. the Crysis analogy............ for some reason this "single thread" need humongous processor blah, blah, blah..................... it'll play fine on an apu............... the deal being.................... not to use a dual core processor............ you need to have the latest JAVA installed for best results............. how many cores/threads is java taking advantage of? software changes with the times. this isn't 2006........... add 8 years to that. think about the next few.

    the ssd........ why wait for a HD to spin up. as soon as you double tap the icon the app is almost instantly loaded in comparison to a standard drive. even on an old pile of junk ( I have one on a 939 rig from yearzzzzzzzz ago........... different machine )

    still not to sure about the 240 graphics card and the apu xfire......... i would run the on board graphics and if I needed a card i would buy a bigger one down the road............ bypassing the xfire altogether.

    just my thoughts..........
  16. It doesn't matter one bit what Java is doing, Minecraft runs on a single thread. The performance difference between a Pentium and quad core APU is night and day all else equally, as the Pentium has far superior single thread performance. It doesn't matter what year it is now, running Office applications and Minecraft certainly do NOT need 4 or more cores, and the dual core Pentium will beat the APU in every CPU category he will be utilizing. It will also run quieter and cooler.

    Yes, obviously an SSD is better, but again, a 120GB drive by itself would fill up fast, and adding an SSD in the future is simple. The WD Black 7200 is far faster than a standard 5400 drive from years ago anyway (though not near as fast as an SSD) and will give him plenty of storage for now.

    And yeah, running dual graphics certainly isn't ideal, which is why I went with the 260x above.
  17. play minecraft/learn JAVA ................... all I'm goint to say.

    where did that 5400rpm HD all of a sudden come from?............ and did you miss my suggestion of upgrading to a bigger SSD? HD's are slow trash. the sooner you stop using them the quicker you'll find that out.

    trash might be a little harsh..........??? don't care.
  18. Okay, I've come up with another version. Please let me know if I've made any errors!

    http://pcpartpicker.com/user/piopiosping/saved/mp448d

    I decided to get a less expensive motherboard, CPU, and RAM. I dropped the optical drive too. (I thought I needed one but my husband said we might as well just get an external USB one so we never have to bother with one in a computer again, so it's no longer part of my budget, yay!) With the savings from all of that, I got a bigger SSD (240GB) and the better graphics card (R7 260x). It ends up being a bit more expensive (about $16 more) but I think it is overall better. Do you agree? Also, an Amazon review of the graphics card said I'd need at least 500w power supply even though the pcpartspicker estimates 289w . . . do you think I should upgrade that as well? I thought it was most efficient to have just enough power and not too much more than you need, but I guess I'm not sure how close you should get.

    Thanks for explaining the issues with Minecraft. I think I may have been misleading with my original post by listing only that. I do use other programs/games as well, but it always seemed like Minecraft was what my computer struggled with most, so I thought it would be fine just to list that. Thanks for explaining its idiosyncrasies. I guess it seems like you have to choose whether to optimize for Minecraft or everything else, so I'm choosing the other stuff even though I enjoy Minecraft. I hope it will still run decently on something like this?

    I chose that particular motherboard because it looks like it will accommodate a wireless card which I unfortunately need. If you have any recs on that, let me know too!

    Thanks again for all the help!
  19. you can hate me now or you can hate me later.............LOL

    I never used an evga power supply so don't know about their longevity. power wise it's on the boarder of where I like to be. (amps)

    the SSD........... I don't like the ssd now 300's. think they were one of the first models they put out and were always slower than anything else.

    those are my opinions. take it where you may.

    what about this one? too much?...............http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8037062&CatId=5300
  20. Would still highly, highly suggest the Intel CPU over the poorly performing 750k. The Pentium will be noticeably better for what you're doing. If you think 240GB of storage is enough, then an SSD is a great choice :) As swifty said, the speed difference is remarkable.

    This system with the Pentium and 260x will draw around 200w max, so the Antec VP450 here is perfect, and great quality.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Pentium G3420 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Asus H81M-D PLUS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($52.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R7 260X 2GB Video Card ($114.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Enermax ECA3253-BL ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $477.92
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-13 14:54 EDT-0400
  21. Swifty- Hmm that is a bit pricier. =/ But I appreciate your opinion since I know nothing about the quality of any of the different brands/types. I basically chose it based on price and average stars from reviews. Would something like this http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sandisk-internal-hard-drive-sdssdhp256gg25 be better while still being a little less expensive? It has good reviews too. Or is the one you recommended pretty much the least you'd pay to expect a quality product? Thanks again!
  22. My build above is $5 cheaper overall than the one you linked lol I wouldn't go over anything you list.

    The Sandisk is ok. I just picked the Crucial M500 because it's very reliable, I'm not too sure on the long-term reliability of the Sandisk, especially as a primary drive.
  23. Bleeding- I am checking out your build right now. It looks great at first glance . . . although it takes me a while to check everything, haha. Is there an easier way to see what the mother board has besides examining the picture? I wish they'd just list somewhere: "2 SATA 6, 1 PCI, etc" haha. The only concern I have is that the Asus motherboard in your build looks like it has one PCI Express for the graphics card, and then two SATA 6's and no regular PCI? I know I'm being a pain, but I was thinking it would be good to have one SATA near the PCI Express in case I wanted to get an even better graphics card later since some require both? And then the other SATA I need to plug in my old hard drive from my old computer. Then it looks like there's nothing left over for a wireless card to plug into? Maybe I'm looking at it wrong though. I'll also look if I can find a mother board that might work better.

    I really wish I could try the two CPU's out since I'm getting conflicting opinions. I'll try to do some more research to see if I can make a better guess what will work better. Or is it just the particular CPU I have picked? I do know Intel is supposed to be better than AMD, I just didn't expect a 3.2 dual to be better than a 3.4 quad. But I don't have a lot of experience obviously. :)
  24. And Swifty, do you like the Crucial SSD also? That might be a happy middle ground?
  25. You can't compare a dual core Intel chip clocked at 3.2 to a quad core AMD clocked at 3.4 by looking at numbers. Like I said, what you will be using will be single/dual threaded, which will mean the dual core Pentium will wipe the floor with the AMD in terms of performance. This is a fact, not an opinion. A quad core would be better for more CPU heavy applications, but doing stuff like Word, internet browsing, and Minecraft are single or dual threaded, and won't gain ANY performance from a quad core, and would get less performance due to how poor AMD CPUs are per thread.

    I have no idea what you're talking about having a SATA port near the PCIe port, as the graphics card has nothing to do with SATA. The PCIe slot here will handle any graphics card, even the $3000 Titan Z.

    This motherboard has 4 SATA ports total, so you have room for 4 hard drives, or 3 hard drives + 1 CD drive.

    There is also an x1 PCIe slot you would be able to use a wireless card with, you would just need to get a PCIe x1 wifi card instead of a PCI card.
  26. Best answer
    piopiosping said:
    Okay, I've come up with another version. Please let me know if I've made any errors!

    http://pcpartpicker.com/user/piopiosping/saved/mp448d

    ...With the savings from all of that, I got a bigger SSD (240GB) and the better graphics card (R7 260x).

    ...Also, an Amazon review of the graphics card said I'd need at least 500w power supply even though the pcpartspicker estimates 289w . . . do you think I should upgrade that as well?

    Thanks again for all the help!


    I quite like the changes you've made, though I'd personally choose a Crucial SSD over the kingston one. I do think the better graphics card will be quite worth it, and the power supply you've chosen will be plenty. 500w is the "recommended" power supply, which is always way overstated by the manufacturer to avoid issues with low quality power supplies. A 430W powersupply only limits you in the addition or upgrading to more power hungry CPUs or graphics cards - however, with the current trend for new hardware with far better power efficiency I strongly believe that by the time you would want to upgrade there will faster hardware that will easily run under that 430w power supply.

    The reason people are recommending dual cores for minecraft is because that game is notorious for using only a single core. Intel processors have stronger cores than AMD processors, so from a pure performance standpoint Intel would be faster in minecraft. However, the AMD processor is still plenty fast enough for minecraft, and my choice would still be the Athlon X4 750K.

    However, if I were to recommend a dual core system that I would use for your use case, I would get either an i3 or the multiplier-unlocked pentium, the G3258. Overclocking is easy nowadays and a ~500mhz boost would be worth it on the pentium.

    Good luck with your build.

    Edit: forgot to add, micro-atx would be perfectly fine for you. Graphics cards are really the only thing that you absolutely need to use a PCIe slot for, just about anything else can be added with USB. Just get a board with enough memory slots and sata connections and you are good to go.
  27. piopiosping said:
    Swifty- Hmm that is a bit pricier. =/ But I appreciate your opinion since I know nothing about the quality of any of the different brands/types. I basically chose it based on price and average stars from reviews. Would something like this http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sandisk-internal-hard-drive-sdssdhp256gg25 be better while still being a little less expensive? It has good reviews too. Or is the one you recommended pretty much the least you'd pay to expect a quality product? Thanks again!


    the least I'd pay......... it's not based on that. it's based on the drive. the controllers 300's were turds. don't know right now what the upgrade would have been on the second sandisc drive you posted or how well it performs. but from what I see it's 30 bucks more expensive than the seagate drive I suggested....???. seagate has a different controller all together. same as on the corsair gtx neutrons. you seem to be hooked on sandisc...... sure it's not marketing or package coloring? it's totally saturated the market. not going to say that somewhere along the line they didn't improve stuff but it's not the flavor I would buy. in the end it's up to you. ( also, "least I'd pay" is based on your need to keep the project under budget constraints ). trying to find what I would deem the better drive for the money...........

    don't buy the new crucial "mx" series or the corsair force "lx" series........... the write speeds don't come close to previous drives. they are cheaper for a reason.
  28. That's really weird. For some reason on mine it shows the sandisk being $105 and the seagate being $130. I don't have a preference for the sandisk brand, honest. :) I'll try to check again, maybe it's because I'm on mobile right now and can't see all the options or something . . .
  29. the seagate you need to type in the promo code provided.... .EGN130672 ......... coupon"........... at checkout I think it says. should come up $114.99.. I can look for another drive???
    might even get free shipping??
  30. Ah okay well that would make it only $5 more than the crucial so I guess that would be worth it if it's the better product. Thanks!
  31. Here is my final build in case anyone is curious.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/user/piopiosping/saved/48qhP6

    Thank you all for your help. I learned quite a bit from you during this process and I'm very grateful. Take care!
  32. somebody should sticky that for the next guy.
  33. Again, the 750k is a poor CPU choice for what you need, but enjoy your build nonetheless.
Ask a new question

Read More

Gaming Desktops Computers Build Components