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Ye Ol' Budget Gamer - Looking for Input on Build

Last response: in Systems
September 19, 2011 5:47:45 PM

Hello all. First post here.

I've been looking into building a desktop PC for the first time, with the aim of mid-level gaming capabilities for a decent price. I primarilly intend to use it for Starcraft II, and SWtoR when it releases, so nothing too demanding. I am not looking for face-melting graphics. Just in need of a fast, responsive system that can play these games at a solid frame rate without dropping way low, for example, in 4v4 match ups on SCII.

Here is what I put together:
(from newegg)

GPU -- XFX Radeon HD 6670 HD-667X-ZAF3 Video Card

MEMORY -- G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

MOBO -- ASUS M4A87TD EVO ATX AMD Motherboard

CPU -- AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision HDZ555WFGMBOX

STORAGE -- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

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

PSU -- RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-630SS 630W Modular LED Power Supply

CASE -- Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

TOTAL PRICE -- ~$540

I wanted to post to ensure that all of these parts are compatible.

Any input/criticism/advise from more experienced builders would be much appreciated. Trying to keep the price around $500, so if anyone has any suggestions as to cost/efficiency that would be awesome.

September 19, 2011 5:59:04 PM

It's not so good...Dual Core CPU when you can get a Quad Core, low quality PSU and case and finally not so powerful GPU (although I have to search to see if it's the best you can get with this budget..). Because with such budget Intel isn't an option, are you in a hurry to buy this? Because new AMD CPUs will be released by the end of the month and you can have more options....
September 19, 2011 6:56:36 PM

Terrible build in my opinion. Outdated. Non upgradeable. Horrible power supply choice.

fill out the new build form in the new build section if you want input.

You can also check out the $500 system builder marathon pc here:,2970....

This was last June so those prices have come down since.
Related resources
September 20, 2011 1:15:04 AM

Much better and the ability to upgrade.
September 20, 2011 1:49:49 AM

Ohk, so this should play games better.

Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - $125
Motherboard : ASRock H61M-GE - $63
RAM : G.SKILL Value Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - $20
Graphics : XFX HD-677X-ZNLC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 - $110
Storage : Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB - $40
PSU : CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 - $45
Case : Xigmatek ASGARD II ATX Mid Tower - $30

Total : $433 before rebates, $393 after rebates

you can squeeze in another 4GB RAM of the same model and make them work in dual channel mode.
September 21, 2011 2:05:28 AM

Thanks everyone for the input so far. I reworked the build with a mixture of your suggestions and the 2011 marathon build.

Here's what I got:

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1 GHz ~$125

GPU: Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 ~$165

MOBO: ASRock H61M-GE HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard ~$63

PSU: Antec NEW ECO 400C 400W ~$30

STORAGE: Seagate Barracuda 750GB 7200 RMP SATA ~$33

CASE: Xigmatek ASGARD II Mid Case - Black and Orange ;)  ~$30

DRIVE: ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24x DVD Burner ~$21

MEMORY: G.SKILL Value Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 ~$20
(if newegg restocks soon, otherwise some crucial 4GB 2x2GB cards)

TOTAL: ~$486 before rebates

Let me know what you think!
September 21, 2011 3:03:55 AM

The build looks solid. I'd just not run HD 6850 on a 400W PSU. Try to find discounts on Corsair CX430 or Antec Neo Eco 520.

Edit : Unlike the other neo eco PSUs the 400W one features a single +12V rail and delivers 30A which is more than enough for a HD 6850. Go on!
September 21, 2011 3:39:25 AM

Maybe even go up to a 6870 and 8gb ram total since you're way below what you started with.
September 21, 2011 3:45:39 PM

The 400w psu is plenty for your build with a 6850. I'm running a more power hungry HD5850 and i have a 380w psu and I still have over 50w of headroom.

If you plan to upgrade to a Ivy Bridge cpu and a new video card next year, then go with a 550w psu.

Make sure the ram you buy is 1.5v, not 1.65v.
September 21, 2011 5:56:53 PM

008Rohit said:
The build looks solid. I'd just not run HD 6850 on a 400W PSU. Try to find discounts on Corsair CX430 or Antec Neo Eco 520.

Edit : Unlike the other neo eco PSUs the 400W one features a single +12V rail and delivers 30A which is more than enough for a HD 6850. Go on!

They all have single 12v rails. ;)  I have the 620w in my closet for my next upgrade.
September 22, 2011 8:17:20 PM

I can't believe they are giving away Deus Ex:Human Rev, it's friggin $50!!!!

I've been wanting it having played the original Deus Ex and waiting for the price to drop.
September 24, 2011 4:29:57 PM

Thanks again for the input. I do appreciate it.

I think I'm about ready to make the purchase. Decided to go with the HIS 6850 with the free Dues Ex. ;)  Looking forward to playing games at an ENJOYABLE much as i hate to admit it, I've been running on a regular MacBook for the past couple years trying to run WoW/SC2. haha

Any further advice as far as building goes? Any good online guides/videos?

Also, once i have it all built, how much set up does one have to do as far as OS/drivers/software? I think I get the idea, just want to check my bases.

September 24, 2011 5:56:11 PM

my suggestion:
load the OS.
Load any drivers for the motherboard/gpu that came on disc with the hardware.
Download your antivirus choice
then do windows updates. you might have to repeat the windows update 2-5 times. do it until there is nothing left to update.
once that is done, download from NVidia or AMD the very latest video drivers

After that, load the rest of your software.