$400 Gaming PC

Approximate Purchase Date: As early as tomorrow and as late as Christmas

Budget Range: $400 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: None

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.: newegg.com, amazon.com, tigerdirect.com, any others you guys think

Country: USA...specifically CA

Parts Preferences: Really doesn't matter....whatever give me best performance

Overclocking: Maybe...probably not

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: Whatever gives me best performance

Additional Comments: Just looking to play games like Oblivion and Morrowind with mods, maybe starcraft, and some FPS's like quake or doom....doesn't have to be on Ultra settings or whatever
24 answers Last reply
More about gaming
  1. That's pretty much impossible unless you're buying refurbished $20 Chinese brand knock-offs from the IT black-market (lol).

    If you already had all the necessary peripherals, a monitor and a Windows 7 key then this would be a different story. Are you still interested in me helping you?

    For every new gaming rig, you have to pay the price of admission. If you already have all of the aforementioned bits and pieces, then you don't have to pay it.
  2. lol I have Windows 7....but nothing else....it can be around $500 but nothing above like $550 I guess.....any help would be appreciated!
  3. If you have a valid copy of Windows 7 that hasn't already been used, then your budget is $500. A decent monitor will cost you $150, so you're down to $350. Decent peripherals will cost you another $30-50. That leaves you with around $300-320. You're not going to get a decent system for $300 unless you buy a lot of used parts, which is a bad idea in general.

    I'm a bit suspicious, though... if you have absolutely nothing else, how do you have a copy of Windows 7 already?...
  4. Do you live near a microcenter?
  5. pcgamer31 said:
    lol I have Windows 7....but nothing else....it can be around $500 but nothing above like $550 I guess.....any help would be appreciated!
    Seriously man. You're going to have to recognize that your budget is pretty unrealistic unless the only game you want to max out is Space Invaders or PacMan...

    Raise it to $700 and I might be able to get you something that could possibly run Skyrim on High @ 30-45 fps. Maybe now really isn't the right time for you to build a gaming PC. You're really going to have to pinch your pennies. This would be a completely different story if you already have the price of admission covered.

    I found a place that can sell you a pretty good prebuilt at about $550 with Modern Warfare 2, Battlefield 3 and Dirt 3 thrown in for free. Including the monitor and peripherals, we're looking at about $725.
  6. someguynamedmatt said:
    If you have a valid copy of Windows 7 that hasn't already been used, then your budget is $500. A decent monitor will cost you $150, so you're down to $350. Decent peripherals will cost you another $30-50. That leaves you with around $300-320. You're not going to get a decent system for $300 unless you buy a lot of used parts, which is a bad idea in general.

    I'm a bit suspicious, though... if you have absolutely nothing else, how do you have a copy of Windows 7 already?...



    Well SINCE you asked lol I bought a copy of Windows 7 Pro because I found it decently priced at a CompUSA a while back...because I was planning on building this last summer...okay so my budget now is like $550 thats the highest I can go
  7. You should be able to play Oblivion on something like this:

    Intel Celeron G530 - $56.99
    4GB G.Skill NS - $20.99
    ASRock H61M-VS - $59.99
    HIS HD 6670 1GB - $69.99 (plus $15 MIR)
    Seagate Barracuda 250GB - $89.99
    Antec Earthwatts 380W - $29.99
    Fractal Design Core 1000 - $29.99

    Total - $357.93

    After mouse, keyboard and speakers you're then at around $390-400. Add a $100 monitor and you can do it for ~$500.
  8. Ok thanks everyone for being honest....I will try in the next couple months to get some more money
  9. Don't worry mate you can build something to play Oblivion for $400 before the monitor. I played it at ultra high settings with a core 2 duo and 7950GT, people don't seem to remember that it came out in 2006.

    Fair enough I wasn't playing at 1920x1080, it was at 1440x900. If you are happy with a 19-20'' monitor you can play those games for less than $500 including the monitor no problem.
  10. :D
    Sounds good. Was just checking. :heink: You'd be surprised, the things we hear around here.... I hope it didn't sound like I was accusing you of something.

    As has been said, it's possible. And if you really want us to pull something together for you, we could probably do it. The thing is that you can get a system an entire order of magnitude faster if you just save up for a little bit longer.

    Oblivion really isn't all that hard to run (good choice of games, by the way), and if that's your sole purpose of building this, then it probably wouldn't hurt much to go ahead and build it now. The problem comes in with newer games, though - if you wanted to run, say, Skyrim on this system, you'd be doing even more upgrading to the system that you just built. It's your call - it all comes down on what you plan to do with it. :)
  11. Here let me help you
  12. dvd burner
    case
    hdd This is a re certified drive, as the cost of hdd's are crazy high right now.
    monitor
    psu
    ram
    cpu
    gp+mobo+free dirt3 game
    $542.91 ($517.91AR)
  13. No one wants to recommend llano? I played oblivion on a 6150 IGP, so I'd think this could go high settings

    CPU/GPU:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157277
    or
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103957

    MOBO: Asrock FM1
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157277

    HDD (For what they cost just get an SSD): 64GB SSD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147502

    Everything else as jmsellars1 suggested.

    edit: Also, you get a couple of games included

    Monitor: 21.5', $90 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824262011
  14. a Llano A6-3650 build is just want you need.
  15. jmsellars1 said:
    Don't worry mate you can build something to play Oblivion for $400 before the monitor. I played it at ultra high settings with a core 2 duo and 7950GT, people don't seem to remember that it came out in 2006.

    Fair enough I wasn't playing at 1920x1080, it was at 1440x900. If you are happy with a 19-20'' monitor you can play those games for less than $500 including the monitor no problem.


    Thank you very much....i am happy with that resolution if it is possible
  16. someguynamedmatt said:
    :D
    Sounds good. Was just checking. :heink: You'd be surprised, the things we hear around here.... I hope it didn't sound like I was accusing you of something.

    As has been said, it's possible. And if you really want us to pull something together for you, we could probably do it. The thing is that you can get a system an entire order of magnitude faster if you just save up for a little bit longer.

    Oblivion really isn't all that hard to run (good choice of games, by the way), and if that's your sole purpose of building this, then it probably wouldn't hurt much to go ahead and build it now. The problem comes in with newer games, though - if you wanted to run, say, Skyrim on this system, you'd be doing even more upgrading to the system that you just built. It's your call - it all comes down on what you plan to do with it. :)


    No I completely understand lol well thank you for letting me know...and yes those games are pretty much my only reasons for building this....thank you!
  17. Ok here's a build. The budget imposes limitations, but this is NOT a bad little system:

    ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
    Model #:M3A770DE
    Item #:N82E16813157176
    $59.99 $59.99
    Bulldozer was not worth it, so AM3+ is an unneeded luxury; was an easy sacrifice to the budget. This mobo became a standby in budget AMD builds. I've used a couple of them myself with no problems. You do give up USB3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s but you'll need to spend another $30 to get those.

    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
    Model #:EA-380D Green
    Item #:N82E16817371033
    $59.99 -$30.00 Instant $29.99
    Excellent deal on a very solid PSU. Will handle a HD6850, but nothing more; does put a cap on future-resistance, but again that shouldn't be a problem.

    Acer S201HLbd Black 20" 5ms LED-Backlight LCD monitor
    Model #:ET.DS1HP.001
    Item #:N82E16824009256
    $139.99 -$50.00 Instant $89.99
    Yes, there is a 1920x1080 monitor available for the same price, but you might be straining the GPU a little as it is, and this 1600x900 model seemed a reasonable compromise.

    HIS H667F1GD Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card with Eyefinity
    Model #:H667F1GD
    Item #:N82E16814161375
    $97.99 -$8.00 Instant $89.99
    You could drop back to a HD5670 for about $20 less, but I think a gaming PC needs as strong a GPU as you can get (within reason). Do that if you have to, but I would NOT drop either back to a GDDR3 model.

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Model #:ST3500413AS
    Item #:N82E16822148701
    $44.99 $44.99
    That price is only valid in a combo, in this case with the RAM.

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
    Model #:F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
    Item #:N82E16820231314
    $39.99 -$10.00 Instant $29.99
    More than needed, but it combos with the HDD to save a LOT of money. In my experience, G.Skill is excellent RAM, it just works.

    Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Model #:Blackbone
    Item #:N82E16811147023
    $49.99 -$10.00 Instant $39.99
    This case only has $5 shipping, so it works out to be an even better deal than it looks. I've built in this case, and it is roomy, and the fans are quiet but effective.

    AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX445WFGMBOX
    Model #:ADX445WFGMBOX
    Item #:N82E16819103872
    $74.99 $74.99
    May unlock, and can play any game (particularly on reduced settings) even if it doesn't.

    Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
    Model #:AD-7261S-0B
    Item #:N82E16827118040
    $19.99 $19.99
    One optical drive is much like another, but this one has lightscribe.

    Subtotal: $479.91

    There you have it. Especially at the reduced settings you are willing to accept (but may not even need with the older games you've listed), this machine will perform decently. If you want to hold out until you can spend more, the places you'd want to improve first are the GPU (HD6770 or HD6850 without a PSU upgrade; anything higher will need a stronger PSU too) and possibly the CPU (the 955BE is $105 right now, but you'll also want a $30 cooler to overclock it decently).
    Do not buy the apparently higher wattage HEC PSU that someone linked; the little voltage switch gives it away as, at best, an older, overrated, inefficient design; at worst a cheap system-killer.
    If you can spend $550, a good case can be made for an Intel system for significantly more CPU power and a better upgrade path (though still not a great one).
  18. THANK ALL OF YOU!! those were great suggestions...I am probably just going to wait until Christmas for some more money...but I might just go ahead and build it now knowing it is possible...nevertheless...thank you!
  19. Screwysqrl's Llano combo isn't bad if you replace the CM PSU in it. It starts out a little weaker than mine, but you can always add a discrete GPU to it later.
  20. Boxing day ! or Day after christmas as it is called everywhere but here
  21. Onus said:
    Ok here's a build. The budget imposes limitations, but this is NOT a bad little system:

    ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
    Model #:M3A770DE
    Item #:N82E16813157176
    $59.99 $59.99
    Bulldozer was not worth it, so AM3+ is an unneeded luxury; was an easy sacrifice to the budget. This mobo became a standby in budget AMD builds. I've used a couple of them myself with no problems. You do give up USB3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s but you'll need to spend another $30 to get those.

    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
    Model #:EA-380D Green
    Item #:N82E16817371033
    $59.99 -$30.00 Instant $29.99
    Excellent deal on a very solid PSU. Will handle a HD6850, but nothing more; does put a cap on future-resistance, but again that shouldn't be a problem.

    Acer S201HLbd Black 20" 5ms LED-Backlight LCD monitor
    Model #:ET.DS1HP.001
    Item #:N82E16824009256
    $139.99 -$50.00 Instant $89.99
    Yes, there is a 1920x1080 monitor available for the same price, but you might be straining the GPU a little as it is, and this 1600x900 model seemed a reasonable compromise.

    HIS H667F1GD Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card with Eyefinity
    Model #:H667F1GD
    Item #:N82E16814161375
    $97.99 -$8.00 Instant $89.99
    You could drop back to a HD5670 for about $20 less, but I think a gaming PC needs as strong a GPU as you can get (within reason). Do that if you have to, but I would NOT drop either back to a GDDR3 model.

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Model #:ST3500413AS
    Item #:N82E16822148701
    $44.99 $44.99
    That price is only valid in a combo, in this case with the RAM.

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
    Model #:F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
    Item #:N82E16820231314
    $39.99 -$10.00 Instant $29.99
    More than needed, but it combos with the HDD to save a LOT of money. In my experience, G.Skill is excellent RAM, it just works.

    Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Model #:Blackbone
    Item #:N82E16811147023
    $49.99 -$10.00 Instant $39.99
    This case only has $5 shipping, so it works out to be an even better deal than it looks. I've built in this case, and it is roomy, and the fans are quiet but effective.

    AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX445WFGMBOX
    Model #:ADX445WFGMBOX
    Item #:N82E16819103872
    $74.99 $74.99
    May unlock, and can play any game (particularly on reduced settings) even if it doesn't.

    Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
    Model #:AD-7261S-0B
    Item #:N82E16827118040
    $19.99 $19.99
    One optical drive is much like another, but this one has lightscribe.

    Subtotal: $479.91

    There you have it. Especially at the reduced settings you are willing to accept (but may not even need with the older games you've listed), this machine will perform decently. If you want to hold out until you can spend more, the places you'd want to improve first are the GPU (HD6770 or HD6850 without a PSU upgrade; anything higher will need a stronger PSU too) and possibly the CPU (the 955BE is $105 right now, but you'll also want a $30 cooler to overclock it decently).
    Do not buy the apparently higher wattage HEC PSU that someone linked; the little voltage switch gives it away as, at best, an older, overrated, inefficient design; at worst a cheap system-killer.
    If you can spend $550, a good case can be made for an Intel system for significantly more CPU power and a better upgrade path (though still not a great one).

    After all that work... "thanks but nevermind" :pt1cable:
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