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First build - ultra-budget gaming rig

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Last response: in Systems
January 8, 2012 2:52:27 AM

Brand new here, this gamer girl is hoping to spend as little as possible for fair to awesome performance. Can it be done?? X)

Approximate Purchase Date: this month

Budget Range: 300-500 (not too sure about rebates)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, watching movies, internet

Parts Not Required: mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,,,

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: AMD CPU.. well, check out what I've gathered so far

Overclocking: Nah

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not

Monitor Resolution: .. can someone explain this to me? ^_^

Additional Comments: I don't care what it looks like, quiet is better but not needed, want it bare - no flash or extra stuff at all, just looking for what it puts on my screen.

So far, here's what I've set up to purchase:

From newegg:
Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500YS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive
APEVIA ATX-CW500WP4 500W ATX Power Supply
G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor
total: $268

From amazon (free shipping):
GeForce GT 440 GPU
total: $130

optical drive
total: ?

grand total for rig: $400+

My question is, will it run? @_@

More about : build ultra budget gaming rig

January 8, 2012 3:45:59 AM

Right-click on your desktop and choose "Screen Resolution" (if you're using an older version of windows, I think it's "Properties;" the one at the bottom). Resolution is a number like 1280x720, 1366x768, or 1920x1080.

Can you say what games you want to play? And what settings you want to play at (anything at all, at least medium, must be ultra! etc.). The one thing I can say right now is don't skimp on the power supply; you don't want to save $15 and end up with a ticking time bomb that could blow out at any minute, taking out the rest of your $500 machine with it. As it happens, this ($24) and this ($34) are both reputable branded PSUs that are very cheap right now.
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January 8, 2012 6:33:18 AM

residentdean has a good build at an excellent price. However, I'd like to propose an alternative build. I know you said you prefer AMD, but that's best for overclockers. If you don't want to overclock, I would suggest using an Intel CPU in a build something like this:

CPU: i3-2100 ($110)

Motherboard: BIOSTAR TH67+ SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX ($60)

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ($21)

Case: Thermaltake V3 Black Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($30)

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W ($34)

ODD: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer - Black SATA LightScribe Support ($19)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache ($85)

GPU: HIS Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 ($140)

Total: $499. I win :kaola: 

If you were going to overclock, the Phenom II x4 830 would be better, but at stock the i3-2100 pulls ahead [1]. This build also has a better (and non-refurbished) videocard. On the downside, it has less hard drive space and RAM, and costs a bit more. It'll give you a better gaming experience, though.
January 8, 2012 7:31:05 AM

residentdean said:
Way better than that build and under 500! The 5770 is a better card than the gt 440 and you have a true quad core processor. I build an average of 4 computers a week at my business and I have used this kit more than a hand full of times good build.

Did you seriously just suggest a Diablotek?
January 8, 2012 8:43:01 AM

How about something like this?

AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D AD3870WNGXBOX $144.99

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT $34.99

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan $49.99

CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply $39.99

ASUS F1A75-M LE FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $89.99

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM $19.99

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $99.99

Total: $480

I know you said you don't want to overclock, but the A8-3870k was only $5 more than the A8-3850. You could also save around $30 by getting the open box ASUS F1A75-M from newegg and getting the hard drive from amazon as erikalikesfire suggested.
January 8, 2012 10:05:34 AM

CPU-wise, the A8-3870k should outperform the i3-2100 in threaded applications, but in games it would need a good overclock just to pull even [1]. And even with an overclock and some blazing fast RAM (the graphics on Llano scale well with RAM speed [2]), the 6550D is still several tiers below an HD 6870 [3][4].
January 9, 2012 11:35:39 AM

It would be easier to provide recommendations based on which types of games you play and at what setting, but you may consider the AMD APUs if you are looking for an Ultra Budget gaming machine. They have HD 6550D equivalents in some of them.