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$450 Budget Gaming Build

Last response: in Systems
August 19, 2011 6:52:49 AM

Hi everyone, just wanted to get your thoughts on this quick little build that I made.

PS: Please disregard the blank DVD I got on there!

My personal thoughts are that with a little overclocking of the CPU and ram, the GPU component of the APU processor could really shine, and give budget gamers a very good performance for only a $450 build. The only issues I have is that the motherboard isn't AM3+ and I might have gone a little overboard with the power supply, but other than that I'm not sure what I'm missing.
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 7:29:07 AM

If gaming, then I would suggest a setup like this, which is also AM3+ ready and with USB 3.0,... Though costs about ~$35 more, but IMO is a better gaming setup,...
X3 720 + Patriot 1600MHz DDR3
- Unconfirmed reports that it will unlock to a Quad, but I would say its a hit or miss,... But for gaming, tri-cores are well suited,...

CPU Cooler - So you can overclock that X3 pretty high,...

GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard


NZXT Gamma

Corsair 500W + HD 6770

Total - ~$486
August 19, 2011 7:40:27 AM

Wow...when I linked my build I thought the reaction would be "OMG WHAT AN FANTASTIC BUILD, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT". But, alas, I cannot deny that the build you just put together is excellent, and with the rebates + the fact that I don't need a DVD drive atm, it is right around the same price. My hat is off to you good sir.

EDIT: Although I can't help but wonder, even overclocked, will that tri-core be on par with a stock quad core?
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 8:03:34 AM

^ Yes,... In most of the cases, it would hold up,... Also like I said, there is a high probability that it would get unlocked to a Quad-Core,...
August 19, 2011 8:05:12 AM

1. Cut the costs on the PSU and Case. A 700W PSU is not needed by your PC for sure.

Otherwise your build seems just fine. Don't ever think of buying Phenom II X3/4 instead of a Llano.
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 8:14:01 AM

^ Could you care to explain why not to buy a X3/ x4 instead of a Llano ?
August 19, 2011 8:57:13 AM


Read the title of the thread. He needs a "Gaming PC". Llano has a power GPU built in it. Plus its a 32nm chip which produces lesser heat and consumes lesser power than the Phenom or Athlon.
Also, the price difference between a 955BE and Llano A3850 is very small and llano saves you the cost of buying a discrete graphics card. Understand?
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 9:01:53 AM

^ I think you would need to understand first that for a "Gaming PC" you would need a powerful GPU...Though the onboard on the Llano is good, but it is far from being a "Gaming grade" GPU,... Understood?
Just dont read bits and pieces about a product and give suggestions like these,... Read more about that CPU and you will know where they stand,...
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 9:27:29 AM

^ Am sure you have checked the IGP vs Discrete graphics chart in that review,...
The X3 is about ~$65 cheaper than the Llano, also if it is going to be a gaming PC, a X3 + a discrete card like say even the HD 5670, would offer better performance in gaming,...
August 19, 2011 9:31:01 AM

My $.02

$30 Xigmatek ASGARD II B/B (painted interior, tooless, get a cheap 120mm fan for the front later)
$59 Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-520 520W
$100 GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
$120 AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
$45 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
$35 Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM
$19 LITE-ON DVD Burner
$80 SAPPHIRE 100326DDR3L Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 ($10 more for an XFX GDDR5 version)

Total no OS: $488 + S&H (not counding combo, specials, or MIR's)
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 9:33:28 AM

^ Nice build,...
Without the DVD which the OP doesnt want and with the GPU + PSU combo that I have linked, it would be very good,...
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 9:38:55 AM

Very nice IH8U
August 19, 2011 10:35:50 AM

For 450$ you can't get a system with GTX 590's.. He'd get a mid end gfx card if he gets a phenom or athlon. So thats what Llanovoffers at reduced cost.
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 12:41:12 PM

GKay09 > 008Rohit by far; the latter's comments are entirely out of context. Llano is good for a mainstream system to ALSO be able to play some games (on lowered settings, but it can play), but for a GAMING system, you'll want a more powerful discrete GPU. In that case, the L3 cache and overclocking of the Phenom II will blow Llano away.
The only thing I'd change in GKay09's build is the mobo. Get a 900-series chipset socket AM3+ board, as it will support a Bulldozer upgrade (if you ever want it), and can do SLI as well as Crossfire. I'd probably choose this one: because unlike its slightly cheaper competitors (e.g. the one IH8U linked), it can do Crossfire or SLI at x8,x8, which is a lot better than x16,x4.
August 19, 2011 12:52:02 PM

Which AWESOME GPU can you get along with a X3 720 under 450$?

Just FYI, Llano has a much better onboard GPU than my i3 2100. And My i3 2100 can play games like FIFA 11 or Virtua Tennis 4 or GTA San Andreas at highest settings. So Llano should be able to play even Crysis or CoD:Black Ops at medium/high settings.

Also, Don't forget its a 32nm chip. And its overclockable too, right?
August 19, 2011 2:37:40 PM

^^ How about a 6670, and an X4 BE (beats Llano handily), Or GKay09's combo of a Corsair PSU, and a 6770? (Llano has at best a 6250, if you get low CAS Latency RAM).
August 19, 2011 2:48:20 PM

The llanno APU, while the best igp out there, will get destroyed by gkay's suggestion.
August 19, 2011 2:55:44 PM

You're only considering the graphics part. If you really need that high 1080p Highest Settings gaming, get a HD 6990 or GTX 590. Price is a big factor here and I beleive the A8 3850 is the best CPU+GPU Combo for the price.

Also, processor-wise the Llano is better than a X4 BE as its a 32nm chip. So what about that?
August 19, 2011 2:58:23 PM

No its not, it lacks l3 cache separating the athlons and phenom II's It is essentially an athlon II x4.
August 19, 2011 3:03:31 PM

I didn't know it lacks L3 cache. :o 
August 19, 2011 7:09:14 PM

Wow, okay, let me give my reasoning about the APU in the first place. It seemed like a nice affordable option for a budget minded gamer, like myself. I also chose it because at any point I could pop in a an 80 buck 6670 and crossfire it (which is also partly why I had the 700w PSU up there). While, IH8U's build is pretty nice, the phenom quad core doesn't make up for the little 6670 doing all of the graphics. If I was to buy right now, I would choose gkay's build with the case that IH8U linked, instead of the one from amazon that gkay linked.

Gkay's is better all around in my opinion, especially because there is a cpu fan included, which would allow me to get the most out of the tri-core (possibly quad-core?).

Finally, I'd like to ask everyone a 'what if' question. If I wanted to upgrade my system, wouldn't it be easier to upgrade the APU set-up, due to the powerful power supply and the fact the APU can crossfire with a 6670? Not to mention, that build has a better case also, so overheating would probably not be an issue.
a b 4 Gaming
August 22, 2011 4:32:38 AM

^ From the above various links am sure you must have a good idea now how the Llano and the X3 perform,...So its upto you to decide which one you want,...

Dont worry about the CASE and PSU, they both can handle much more than what you want to do,...
PSU - That Xig no doubt looks good, but I am a bit naive so I suggest sticking with Tier 1 brands if given an option,...
Corsair 650TX - 5 years
$20 off w/ promo code EMCKBJB36, ends 8/24

Antec EA 650 - But it has only 3 years warranty
$15 off w/ promo code EMCKBJD39, ends 8/22

PCP&S 650W- 5 years
10% off with promo code PCPowerAug, ends 8/22
August 22, 2011 7:12:37 AM

Okay so I revised my build a little bit, and here is what I've come up with. $30 Case $45 1TB Hard Drive $93 AM3+ Mobo $31 4GB DDR3 1600 RAM CX500 + 6770 Phenom II QUAD core + cpu fan

Now this totals out to $489, with the rebates and other savings, it drops to right around 450. Is the quad core worth losing 4 gigs of ram?

a b 4 Gaming
August 22, 2011 10:13:32 AM

^ 4GB of RAM would suffice as of now, anyways there will be 2 free RAM slots, so you can add more RAM later on, so it wont be an issue...

But change the HDD,... Its a 5900RPM, which will be slower for a boot drive,... I would recommend a 7200RPM drive as a boot drive,...

RAM - Get this kit -
Crucial 4 GB DDR3
Its an underrated kit, capable of lower CAS without any issues,...
Also IMO Crucial is as good or much better than Kingston,...
August 22, 2011 10:36:26 AM

Why does no one consider you need a OS on these builds thats an extra 100.00 so all these 450 builds are really 550 unless I'm missing something. Most systems come preloaded so you can't transfer os.
August 22, 2011 4:40:16 PM

@jcamm, You're absolutely right, I guess this would just be a $450 for ME, since I have a OS and a cd/dvd burner already.

But, you have to remember, this thread is about my build, so there are gonna be some stuff you are going to need to switch around if you want the builds listed here to work for you.

Now, @gkay, I switched up the ram and the hard drive, is there anything else you would recommend, or is this build good to go?
a b 4 Gaming
August 23, 2011 3:57:02 AM

^ Which HDD have you selected ? As for the build, yes it is good to go,...
August 24, 2011 5:41:58 AM

Hey all, due to monetary issues, I have had to cut a few corners and switch around so stuff here and there so please look at the revised build! $15 CPU Fan HDD + DVD $54 Case + Power Supply (500W) $75 Mobo + 8 gigs Ram (Here is where I'm most concerned, I'm wondering if this motherboard is even worth buying) Phenom II tri-core + HD 6670 $144

Comes out to around $375, $360 for me since I don't need a DVD burner.

Tell me what you guys think!

a b 4 Gaming
August 24, 2011 6:01:26 AM

^ Not a good PSU choice,... Kinda weak CPU cooler ,...
Could you spend about ~$25 more(But there is about ~$60 in rebates), then here is a slightly revised build from my side with a good quality PSU and a better CPU cooler and a good case,...

X3 + Corsair A50

Mobo + RAM
Same and as for your concern, that is a pretty good mobo for the money, but you should know that it might or might not support BullDozer


PSU - Xig 400W 80+ Bronze, IMO far better than the Extreme series PSU

HDD - Same


Total - ~$385 | $325 if you count in rebates,...