~$500 Budget Gaming Build

Hi guys, I'm new to the community and I would love some help setting up a new build.
This is my first time actually making a build, so any advice regarding set up or install would be welcome as well.
So here goes:

Approximate Purchase Date: this month (can wait till black friday)

Budget Range: ~$500, max $550

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, internet, movies, student work (general word, light adobe), no photoshop or art work

Parts Not Required: monitor, keyboard/mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: Not likely

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe? not sure what it's supposed to do

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 and higher

Additional Comments: like something that runs cool and stable, and relatively easier to install (i've seen some homebuilt systems that completely bazzles me), combo deals welcome. Gaming will be centered to SC1 &2, COD series, some CS. Won't be doing the extremely system-heavy games like crysis, mainly light gaming/movies/writing.

Like I said, any advice of wisdom is welcome! Thanks in advance =p
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about budget gaming build
  1. For $500 you're not going to be gaming on high at 1080p. A better target resolution would be 1366x768 while 1680x1050 would be pushing it. I guess you already have a monitor though.

    Go for an AthlonII X3 and a board with good overclocking capabilities. For a video card you're probably looking at a Radeon 5770 or 4870. The hard part will be finding a good PSU and Case combo.
  2. Here is a start. Of course, searching for your own combo deals diligently may net you a better system. Just be wary of going too cheap on the Case and PSU.

    AMD Athlon II X3 ADX445WFGMBOX:
    ASRock M3A770DE:

    Combo Price: $128.99

    Corsair Value Memory $61.99


    LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98 $21.99

    XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB $129.99

    WD 640GB Black $64.99

    Total $487.94
  3. Here's another idea

    GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 + GIGABYTE GV-R577SO-1GD Radeon HD 5770
    AMD Athlon II X3 450
    OCZ Signature 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 + OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB
    LG 22X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA + Rosewill Blackbone

  4. Best answer
    Well I've come up with 2 builds based on your needs.


    AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz & BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard Combo $112

    OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Modular PSU & OCZ Signature 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM Combo $122 BEFORE $25 rebate

    GIGABYTE GV-R685D5-1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card $180 :D

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB Hard Drive $55

    NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $40

    ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $19

    Totals to $528 before $25 reabate.
    This is however very much aimed at gaming first, everything else second rig


    AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz $75

    ASUS M4A88T-I Deluxe AM3 AMD 880G HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard $125

    HIS Silence Radeon HD 5550 512MB GDDR5 Video Card $68

    Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB DDR3 1333 $60

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB Hard Drive $55

    SILVERSTONE Sugo SG05-B Black Computer Case with SFX 300W 80Plus Power Supply $105

    SAMSUNG Black SFF SATA CD/DVD Burner $29

    Total: $518

    Not as powerful compared to the the other build but it takes up a lot less space and uses half the power.
    Gaming should be good as well if you only plan on running SC1 & 2, COD series and CS. Just don't expect SC2 on high settings.
  5. General M00n said:

    The rig looks good, I was guessing to go with the AMD X3 445 & HD6850 (rather than the 5770)
    Can the Case be changed to or will there be problems with the installs (e.g. motherboard to big, etc.)?

    Also, will the power build cause any problems concerning stability/reliability?
  6. Also, is this motherboard better than the combo you mentioned? or pretty much the same (no reason for the $10 increase)
    BIOSTAR TA785G3HD AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  7. The benefit of that mobo is that it has a good integrated gpu, which is pointless if you are buying a discrete
  8. Zooted is right, the only extras are on-board gpu, 8 channel surround sound and higher CPU wattage support (125W vs 140W). However all these things are unnecessary for your needs.

    The Cooler Master case was one I was considering but I personally prefer NZXT cases, either one is fine. I use to actually dislike the look of the GAMMA case but its grown on me over time. You could also consider the since its styled in the same way as the cooler master case.

    Really all 3 will do the job it just comes down to personal preference.
  9. if you want the cheapest *reliable* Motherboard, look at the base-model AS Rock 770, its $59.99 with USB 2 and SATA 2, no integrated graphics and a 5.1 built in sound card.

    for $74.99 thers a version with USB 3 and sata 3
  10. Id personally go with the build that has the 6850 if you wanna hd game but it depends on how much you game also if not too much gaming go for the balanced build and im referring to general moon's builds however get the 1tb f3 it has a $15 off promo code that puts it right at the price of the 500gb f3 you get 500gb free
  11. made a sample build based on suggestions, but the mobo+graphics+cpu combo is getting me all confused

    NZXT BETA EVO Classic Series CS-NT-BETA-EVO Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $40
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $55
    ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $75
    GIGABYTE GV-R577SO-1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX450WFGMBOX Combo $218
    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ...
    OCZ Signature 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3SR1333LV4GK Combo $124

    Comes down to around $520 before rebate
    I'll just throw in a decent $20 CD reader/writer.

    I needed the 1tb harddrive, samsung seemed like a decent deal.
    The power & memory was a good combo, so threw that in.
    case=decently priced?
    I guess it comes down to the compromise btw mobo, graphic, and cpu.
    Is it better to go for a quad core (X4 3.0) at the price of 0.2 ghz, or should it suffice to stay with the tri-core?
    Also, mobo pick is the most confusing cuz I look at the reviews and everything seems to have issues with reliability, etc.
    Asus or Gigabyte seems more favorable, but really too many to choose from and can't tell why one is better than the other.
    This GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H AM3 AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard seems like a good model, don't know if its worth the $20 increase

    Anyway, any critics about the build?
  12. Take a look at AS Rock motherboards. AS Rock spun off from ASUS an is a very solid mobo manufacturer. You can get their 770 Extreme 3 model with USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 for the same $75 as your Asus 785 model.

    Don't get OCZ memory. G.Skill DDR3-1333 is very cheap $59.99

    The discount on the 1TB Hard drive has expired, but at 69.99 it's still a a good deal.

    the X3 450 is a great cpu. stick with it.
  13. Best answer selected by wqess.
  14. Screwy is right, AsRock is a very good manufacturer, I've actually got the base 770 mobo myself and I love it. Only recommended the BioStar mobo because of the great combo.

    Would of replied sooner but I've been studying all week for my Computer Science exam that's in 12 hours, and then its summer break whooo!!
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