[Updated] $400~ Budget Gaming Build

Looking to build a pretty low budget comp to do some moderate gaming. I'm not doing any serious gaming, but looking to play stuff like TF2, WoW, SC2 with mid-high settings/res. I'm probably going to have to be flexible with my budget but want to stay around the $400 range.

Already have: OS,Keyboard/Mouse, DVD Drive, Monitor

Edit: Updated build (expanded budget a bit)

$235 after MIR

CPU/MOBO: 965 and the 760G from http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundlePROMO.html for $150

PSU: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0334767 35$ after MIR


Total $420 after MIR


Originial idea:
I've been reading up on builds and was thinking about going with a 460 GPU, but not so confident on my CPU and PSU selection. I feel like i would end up bottlenecking with the 460 and a Phenom II x4 840

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127519

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231396

MOBO/CPU: Looking towards an AMD, seen alot of people talk about getting a bundle from micro center, maybe the PHENOM II X4 840? http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundlePROMO.html

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182038

HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073

CASE: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023


All of that sets me around $400 + shipping after MIR if i go with the Phenom II x4 840 off microcenter.

Haven't heard much about the case, I know alot of people recommended the challenger. I know if I'm going to OC I'll need an after market cooler for the cpu, so I may hold off on that at first.

Thanks in advance for your input!
17 answers Last reply
More about updated budget gaming build
  1. You should extend your budget a little for the 965 combo at Microcenter. The reason being is the 8xx was meant for OEM's so like HP/Dell/Compaq etc. etc. to build computers that were cheap and look good to fool the public.
    810 (close enough to the 840) vs 965 BE
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/82?vs=102
  2. You should know the PHENOM II X4 8XX processors are re-branded Athalon II X4s, they will still make a good choice for budget gaming, but the 9XX series will perform better if you can fit one in your budget.
  3. I agree with the above two persons, splurge for the extra $50 and get the 965 combo at microcenter. I also question the ability of the PSU you selected to hold up under the GTX 460. if you could find the $50 for the CPU upgrade and maybe $15-25$ for a better PSU, you would have a better budget gaming system.

    PSU suggestions:

    CORSAIR Builder Series CMPSU-500CX 500W ATX12V v2.3 Active PFC Power Supply
    Item #: N82E16817139018
    -$10.00 Instant
    $15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
    $69.99
    $59.99
    $44.99 after Mail-in Rebate Card

    Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    Item #: N82E16817371016
    -$15.00 Instant
    $79.99
    $64.99

    There also some good OCZ Mod/Stealth Stream 500/600W PSU on sale at microcenter for around $50.

    Any other thoughts on this guys?
  4. Hi, below I have a configuration that costs $500 without OS and PSU, but I agree with the above people about extending your budget. These are Australian prices though.

    Phenom II X2 555 $110
    Asus M4A88TD-M $120
    3Gb DDR3 RAM $50
    Multi Drive $30
    1Tb SATA HDD $60
    Elite 334 $40
    Geforce GT 440 $90

    TOTAL = $500
  5. Get a ps3 instead lol you need at least a descent 1,000$ to make a good budget gaming computer
  6. Since Microcenter is an option

    X4 840 + Gigabyte 760G $99.99
    http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundlePROMO.html

    Stuff from Egg $313AR


    $413AR total
  7. residentdean said:
    Get a ps3 instead lol you need at least a descent 1,000$ to make a good budget gaming computer
    Partially agree, if that price point is fixed, consider a console or some kind of cheap 300$ Dell PC that has a PSU strong enough to support the addition of a discrete GPU. Howerver, I think you can build a "decent" gaming PC for ~700$, 1000$ being a very sweet spot because you can get very good components that will last you a few years instead of something that will start being obsolete in a year...
  8. Nay sayers be gone!

    This will be a fine system for gaming on medium settings:

    Those are some great finds batuchka!! especially the Apex mATX case.

    I don't think he needs the DVD drive, so lets apply that $ to up grading the MB/CPU combo at microcenter to the Phenom x4 965 and Gigabyte MB for 149.99. so the net add is + $32.01.

    so for $445.01 after rebates you will have a medium duty mATX gaming Rig.

    If you are putting Win 7 of Vista on it and can scrape together another $40, I saw that G.Skill 2x4G (8Gb) Ram N82E16820231422 is only $79.99 with free shipping at newegg. This will give you a good performance increase and reduce swap file usage.

    all in all this is a good budget build, decent CPU, GPU and PSU better that any xBox of PS3.
  9. Thanks guys for the input, really helping me out!

    To the "just get a ps3" comment, heres a little more info on my situation. I have a ps3, my current desktop is 6 years old, and I go to a college that requires me to use a tablet laptop which costs a good chuck of change and I'm looking for something to be able to play stuff on decent-high settings. From budget builds found online it seems possible.

    Also, taken all the consideration of going with the 965 from microcenter I'm bumping my budget to $450 since the benefit seems worth it for the extra $50.

    Updated set up:


    the 965 + M4N68T-M V2 Socket AM3 630a mATX** from microcenter for $150 http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundlePROMO.html

    OCZ 500w PSU from microcenter $31 after MIR
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0276315

    After rebates that sets me around $416 pre tax/shipping which is definitely in my price range, but I'm worried about that case/PSU set up:
    I've heard good things about ocz, but I'm not great when it comes to PSU's, is this a good psu or would I be putting the rest of my computer at risk with it?
  10. Hmm the StealthXtremeII is 80+ so if looking for PSU option in MC:

    So OCZSII 500 $36AR?
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0334767

    Also stick to the Gigabyte 760G - I would rate any of these chipsets

    740G
    690G
    GF 7XXX
    NForce 4xx/5xx/6xx

    far inferior than any entry level AM2+ out in 2008 due to

    a. HT Limitation when paired with any AM2+/AM3 chip
    b. Still stuck on PCIe gen 1.0/1.1, true AM2+ had migrated to PCIe gen 2.0 as of 2008

    Gigabyte NForce 630a
    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3497#ov
    Quote:
    * If you install AMD AM3 CPU on this motherboard, the system bus speed will downgrade from HT3.0 (5200MT/s) to HT1.0 (2000 MT/s) spec; however, the frequency of AM3 CPU will not be impacted. Please refer "CPU Support List" for more information.


    MSI 740GTM-P23
    http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=proddesc&maincat_no=1&cat2_no=171&prod_no=1917
    Quote:

    Hyper Transport Bus

    • HyperTransport 1.0 supporting speed up to 1000MT/s

    Slots

    • 1 PCI Express x16 slot with x16 operation (PCI Express Bus SPEC V1.0 compliant)
  11. Kevink91 said:
    To the "just get a ps3" comment, heres a little more info on my situation. I have a ps3, my current desktop is 6 years old, and I go to a college that requires me to use a tablet laptop which costs a good chuck of change and I'm looking for something to be able to play stuff on decent-high settings. From budget builds found online it seems possible.
    Tablet or laptop, is the laptop model fixed, is it bought yet? If there was a way to leverage what you already have it would be great.
  12. Zenthar said:
    Tablet or laptop, is the laptop model fixed, is it bought yet? If there was a way to leverage what you already have it would be great.


    oh its a purchase i had to make last school year, Fujitsu t5010. It doesn't have any leverage in my build, just that I'm sticking to a low budget since the laptop is used for my educational stuff, the desktop for more gaming/video.
  13. Kevink91 said:
    oh its a purchase i had to make last school year, Fujitsu t5010. It doesn't have any leverage in my build, just that I'm sticking to a low budget since the laptop is used for my educational stuff, the desktop for more gaming/video.
    Ok, it's just that if it had been a future purchase, adding 400$ maybe could have turned it into a gaming laptop.
  14. After rebates that sets me around $416 pre tax/shipping which is definitely in my price range, but I'm worried about that case/PSU set up:
    I've heard good things about ocz, but I'm not great when it comes to PSU's, is this a good psu or would I be putting the rest of my computer at risk with it?

    I agree with your concerns on the PSU. I was also thinking that since you are using a mATX case that a solid modular PSU is needed. Here are 2 good choices that are with in your budget. both are 80+ certified and have 2 PCI-e connectors (this something the other PSU's we were throwing around didn't have, you would have to use a molex adapter ) which you will need to power your graphics card. Both are good, I prefer the 550w just because of the 25A 12v rails vs the 500w's 18A rails. both will power you rig just fine though.

    Modular PSU
    NEWEGG
    OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    Item #: N82E16817341022
    -$15.00 Instant
    $20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
    $84.99
    $69.99
    $49.99 after mailin rebate

    MICROCENTER:
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0301545
    OCZ ModXStream Pro 500 Watt ATX EPS12V Modular Power Supply
    Our Price: $59.99
    After Rebate: $39.99 after rebate savings
    SKU 907790
    Mfr Part #: OCZ500MXSP
    UPC: 842024009108
  15. one change I'd suggest: Get the Rosewill R-101 or 102 case. Only $5 more than the apex case, but it has a 120mm fan and room for a second 120mm, the Apex is only a 92mm.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147111
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147112

    or for a full ATX board, the Xigmatek Asgard II case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811815004
  16. ScrewySqrl said:
    one change I'd suggest: Get the Rosewill R-101 or 102 case. Only $5 more than the apex case, but it has a 120mm fan and room for a second 120mm, the Apex is only a 92mm.




    The Apex Tx-318-C has option for a front mount 120mm fan if it starts to get warm in the case. Besides, I think it looks better with the handle :)
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