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Budget Gaming computer setup

Last response: in Systems
November 30, 2011 10:46:45 PM

I have built quite a few computers in the past, and have come here for feedback and everytime you guys have been amazing. So was wondering if you could have help me once again!

I have been assigned to build a computer for younger brother for christmas. Small budget of around £300 - He mainly uses it for gaming. I know £300 won't get him far but, worth a shot. The main games he'll normally be playing are basically WoW and maybe SWTOR.

Approximate Purchase Date: Before Christmas

Budget Range: around £300

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming playing MMO's like World of Warcraft and the soon to be released SWTOR

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, (Maybe HDD, although isnt SATA from previous computer)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Ebuyer prefrabbly, excellent customers service, Aria, Overclockers, DABS

Country: United Kingdom

Parts Preferences: Graphics: Prefrabbly Nvidia - had problems with ati in the past

Overclocking: Possibly

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not

Monitor Resolution: not fussed

Additional Comments: To be able to play Wow / SWTOR at an okay frame rate, doesnt have to be on great settings, bearing in mind only spending £300

Motherboard: Asus M5A97 PRO 970 Socket AM3+ 8 Channel HD Audio ATX Motherboard (Ebuyer) £77.98

Memory: G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V (Ebuyer) £36.12

CASE: Coolermaster Elite 330 Case With Coolermaster eXtreme Power 500W PSU (Ebuyer) £49.98

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 Socket AM3 3GHz 2MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor (Ebuyer) £75.99

Gigabyte GT 440 OC 1GB DDR3 DVI VGA HDMI Out PCI-E Graphics Card (Ebuyer) £57.28

Total: £297.35

This was the closest I could get it to £300 and that was without a SATA HDD - Unsure If I could do any better for my money, once again any help you give is highly greatful

Kind regards

December 1, 2011 2:45:41 AM

The PSU you are suggesting to use is completely worthless.

I don't think you need a regular ATX motherboard. A micro atx motherboard should do everything you need for much less cost. You can put that money towards a better PSU. If you absolutely must have a case+psu combo then make it an ANTEC case+psu. Pretty much anything is better than a cooler master PSU.

Also, a GTX 440 is not a real great way to spend that amount of money. There are a whole slew of cards you can get for the same amount or cheaper and they work much better. HD 4830, HD 6670, HD 5670, HD 6750, HD 4870, HD 4890...

They are all ATI cards, but I would really think twice about holding yourself back on this one. Even a 4x GTX 440s (yes, I do mean four of these cards) in SLI with a 1000w PSU wouldn't equal one 4890 in performance. You would even save money with the 4890.

AMD/ATI has the market cornered for budget parts with high bang for the buck. Intel and NVIDIA are just not in that market segment heavily. With a rock bottom budget your performance will suffer a lot if you rule out the king of this market segment.

Not sure about processor prices where you are at, but you could stand to move up to a Phenom 2 x4 840 (mislabeled Athalon 2 Propus) instead of the 640. They aren't very expensive, that is what I use and I am also extremely budget conscious.
December 1, 2011 10:08:52 AM

Ah awesome, yeah from searching the ati cards I can defiantly see where you are coming from, thanks a lot for that information. definitely agree with the power, just from previous experience with ati cards made me want to stay away from them, but I guess it's the way forward with there price range.

Erhm I didn't definitely want to go for that case, it was just one that I saw cheap and I did think that cool master had an ok rep, but I personally have always gone for Antec, but I just know they are quite pricey and am on a small budget.

Also I tried searching for micro atx motherboard on the sites I use but can't seem to find any, could you reccomend a certain one that would be useful for this cheap build.

Many thanks in advance,

been an eye opener! xD
Related resources
December 1, 2011 10:38:54 AM

A simple case with 80cm fan, front USB II and audio. Good for such price

Casecom CB-191 Black Mid Tower Case

A branded 80+ PSU from Corsair to power your system safely

Corsair 430W V2 CX Series PSU

Triple Core CPU. It's enough for such games (plus It can be a quad core)

AMD Athlon II X3 455 3.3GHz Socket AM3 Retail Boxed Processor

AM3+ motherboard with SEMI-FULL support for AMD FX CPUs (it can get all the current AMD AM3 CPUs). It lacks of SATA & USB III and RAM slots but for such price I personally can live with that ;)  Ah! And it can also turn your Athlon II X3 to X4 ;) 

MSI 760GM-P23 (FX) Socket AM3+ VGA DVI 7.1 Channel Audio mATX Motherboard

RAM is so cheap these days that 8GB is a must

Kingston 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX Blu Memory Kit CL9 1.65V

6770 is the least you have to get if you want to actually play PC games

EXDISPLAY Asus HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 Direct CU DVI VGA HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card

Unfortunately you can't use your old HDD cause it's IDE

Seagate 500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6Gb/s Barracuda Hard Drive 7200RPM 16MB Cache

SUM 320

December 1, 2011 12:12:06 PM

Awesome michxymi thanks very much for that shopping list <3 think i'll have to go with that.

Can this setup also be upgraded in future, or I guess it would just be worth scrapping the Mobo and replacing that.

Also is the triple core easy to update the the quadcore as you said ?

Many many thanks btw, gr8 help :) 
December 1, 2011 12:44:20 PM

hearmenow said:
Awesome michxymi thanks very much for that shopping list <3 think i'll have to go with that.

Can this setup also be upgraded in future, or I guess it would just be worth scrapping the Mobo and replacing that.

Also is the triple core easy to update the the quadcore as you said ?

Many many thanks btw, gr8 help :) 

As I said, this CPU supports all AM3 CPUs and SOME of the AM3+ yes you can upgrade later with either a re used Phenom II X4 955, X6 1090T....AMD FX CPUs aren't that good for gaming but you still have the option.

As for USB & SATA III. SATA III is only worth if you have a SSD. For normal HDDs it makes no difference. For USB III there are a lot of PCI-E 1X expansions with low price so If you ever need it you can buy one ;) 

Finally all you have to do to try to unlock the 4th Core is going to MSI BIOS and enable Core Unlock
December 1, 2011 1:09:12 PM

Awesome thank's very much for your help mate :) 
December 1, 2011 2:03:34 PM

For the record, there is no guarantee of a 4th core with this processor.

AMD makes chips like these with 4 cores and if testing shows that only 3 are working and the 4th is not working then it disables the 4th one and sells it as a 3 core CPU.

If the market demands more 3 core CPUs than the number of CPUs with 1 broken core coming off the factory floor, then AMD will take a working 4 core and disable 1 core and sell it as a 3 core CPU.

Demand is high enough for the 3 core versions that this latter thing happens quite often.

I have heard it said that about 3 working 4 cores are sold as 3 core versions for every 1 broken 4 core sold as a 3 core. If so, it is 75% likely give or take that you can use the 4th core.

You could be one of the people that gets the broken version and you could end up being stuck with 3 as well.

As for the other stuff, michxymi's recommendations fit with the stuff I said before pretty well, you should be fine with those.
December 1, 2011 5:37:43 PM

some nice info there Raiddinn, but I guess it's a bet that pay's out if not doesnt matter, minimum specs for wow / swtor are quite low soo he should be fine. I played beta weekend with a pretty good rig, and ran flawlessly on high graphics so should be fine I guess.

Thanks again guys, been a big help :)