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Budget gaming pc build under $500?

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Last response: in Systems
January 9, 2011 9:10:01 PM

I have read several of the guides here, and I'm having a rough time compiling a list of parts, so I was hoping ya'll could help me out.

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime this week. No sooner than 1/10.

Budget Range: $500 USD before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Primarily gaming, surfing the interweb, minor word files, etc.

Parts Not Required: I currently don't have mouse, keyboard, or monitor for a desktop. These items do not need to be included in the price range mentioned. Any recommendations regarding these products would be appreciated though!

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No real preference here, other than websites with proven track records.

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Again, no real preference here.

Overclocking: Maybe. I haven't done much research regarding overclocking, but it is something that I am definitely interested in based on my current knowledge.

SLI or Crossfire: No.

Monitor Resolution: Not very sure on this one, and this also raises another question that I have. I currently have a 42" 1080p tv (1920x1080) (More tech specs on the TV can be found here:, and I was curious if this would be suitable for a monitor (instead of purchasing a new monitor). I normal sit around 7 feet from the TV, and im not quite sure how internet,desktops, or games would appear on a larger screen.

Additional Comments: This is my first build. I'm very excited to give this all a go, so any advice/personal experiences are more than welcome. I play games similar to WoW, and really want this computer to play the upcoming star wars game. I'd also like this computer to remain viable for roughly two years (until I finish college and get my career started). I really do not have any hardware preferences, and I am frankly baffled by the large array of hardware available. If anyone can also offer estimated frame rates on builds, that would also be useful! Thanks for any help in advance! :) 

More about : budget gaming build 500

January 9, 2011 10:08:36 PM

try going amd, and get a beastly video card, that would be your best bet with this budget. As for the monitor, a TV is kinda to big to play games. Its nice to watch movies though

estimated guess for a budget would be
amd cpu+mobo ~$200
memory 4gbx2 $50
hd $50
dvd $20
ps $60
gpu $150
case $50

The price can definitely be lowered by finding various discounts to perhaps 500 or lower. If you have an Microcenter nearby you can get the amd athlon2 x4 640+msi mobo for about $100 dollars. and you can get a decent budget rig.
January 9, 2011 11:03:18 PM

Any recommendations on specific parts? Thanks.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
January 10, 2011 12:55:57 AM

here's the general recommendation I'd give for you:

AMD Athlon II X3 450: $79.00
ASRock 880 : $60.00
4 GB DDR3-1333: $42.00
GTX 460 SE 1GB or GTX 460 768MB: $160
Seagate 500 GB HD: $50
Antec Neo Eco 400W PSU: $45
Rosewill Destroyer case: $50
Cheapo DVD Burner: $18
January 10, 2011 9:48:32 PM

Thanks Screwy!

I have a few questions though.

Would 1600 RAM be better than 1333?

Additionally, I was leaning more towards the GTX 460 SE 1GB over the 768mb. Can any insight be shed on this subject? It seems to me that the 768mb simply comes pre-overclocked?

I was also going to swap in a 500W PSU, as the guide here (don't currently have a link) says the minimum recommended wattage is 450W. Again, does this sound correct?

January 10, 2011 10:50:47 PM

Some advice and personal experience.
Get a sturdy case.
Don't Get a cheap power supply, I would recomend 600w rather than 500w,

1600 Mhz ram is better than 1333, is it worth the extra money in gaming? probably not. and odds are if you do OC your ram speeds will change as well.

Do you need Keyboard///mouse///Case////Operating system?

If you do want to OC i would get an aftermarket cooler and good thermal paste *i'd reccomend artic silver 5 TIM paste*

Wow has become a lot more CPU oriented than gpu, Pretty much only on ultra or the next highest setting, will a modern GPU be pushed to its max, based on your shadow and particle density settings.

Also their are many articles, saying that getting a 250$ GPU and a 75 $ CPU is a bad idea, you will bottleneck your cpu, which can be worse than bottlenecking a GPU, because you CPU controls everything on your system including ram// and the PCI express slot itself.

Wow is known to run better with Nvidia than ATI so you might wanna consider that as well.
January 10, 2011 11:15:58 PM

Here's a build under $500 with a very good video card.

January 10, 2011 11:28:59 PM

I do need a mouth/keyboard/case, however the mouse/keyboard do not need to be included in the package.
In regards to OS, I am a university student, so I can get windows 7 at a discounted price. The above suggested build is better in some aspects, however (as stated before) it seems that that build will surely be bottlenecked by that processor. I don't necessarily want my games to be run on max settings (and im fairly realistic about what im getting at this price range).
a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2011 12:07:03 AM

AMD PhenomX2 555BE@3.0Ghz Unlock to quad core &
Gigabyte full ATX motherboard combo $133.98

Ram: OCZ Reaper HPC DDR3 1600 4GB(2x2) $64.99

Graphics Card: HIS Radeon 5770 1GB-$99.99 after MIR

Power supply-Rosewill 500W-$39.99

Hard Drives
OS Kingston 8Gb SSD-$44.99

Storage-Western Digital 500 GB-$39.99

CD Drive-Asus CD/DVD Burner-$19.99

Case: PIXXO GC-8402 Gaming Case $49.99

TOTAL $493.91

This is about the best youre gonna get for the price

Phenom quad core (unlocked)
Full ATX mobo
4GB DDR3 1600
5770 1GB
500 GB HDD
500W PSU
Solid gaming case
CD/DVD burner

Hope this helps
a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2011 2:02:42 AM

Sorry just noticed that chip isnt a 555BE its a 545 (Dont count out unlocking but chances are a little less than 555BE.Still a proven overclocking chip well capable of 4+ Ghz. Also after seeing the "Fan Turbo" on the side of the case ( Really looks like something you'd see on a riced out honda civic lol ) I gotta change my suggestion to this
A cool budget HAF for 60 Bucks ! Good luck man
January 11, 2011 5:14:53 AM

I prefer the previously mentioned build, but have a few questions.... Granted that the processor is OEM, do I need to buy a cooling system for it? The reviews on newegg state that it does not come with one... Also, what is the benifit of using a SDD for the OS? Additionally, is that psu enough if I want to overclock, and will I need additional cooling options? That build puts me 35$ over budget before MIR, which I currently don't have... Any advice would be great :) 
a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2011 11:31:36 AM

don't get a 2=-core hoping to unlock to a 4 core. Less than 25% unlock into 4 core processors (there is a reason they were binned down!)

For decent gaming, stick with at least an Athlon II X3.

The 460SE does outperform the 768 model at 1920x1080 by about 5%. Its still slower than the regular 1GB model by about 12%, but still adequate for all games at 1920x1080
January 11, 2011 4:51:39 PM

Alrighty, well thanks for the help everyone. Here is the build I plan on ordering later today. I just wanted to make sure that everything is compatible:

AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz

ASRock 880GM-LE AM3 AMD 880G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1333

GTX 460 SE

Antec 500w

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

HAF 912

Also will be getting a mini-HDMI to hook this to my TV

Grand total: 501.91 without the mini-hdmi!
a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2011 8:12:34 PM

Should come with a cooler, all of the combos I have ordered off newegg have. The SSD for running the OS makes your OS and all the drivers and other software attached to it run much faster.Start ups shut downs and reume are also much faster. The PSU is fine until you want CFX or SLI. Remember that rana isnt much of an overclocker. That phenom will do 4ghz+ right out of the box and despite what screwy said theres a pretty decent chance you get at least a 3 core if not all 4. 2 of the 3 phenoms iv built went 4stable the other did 3 stable. And dont go 1333 on your ram, especially if you want to eventually OC on a locked multiplyer AMD chip like the 450 of 545, you are really going to miss those extra 333 Mhz overhead when you decide to, But anyways nice choice on the HAF, aint that thing sweet!!