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$400 Minecraft PC?

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Last response: in Systems
January 29, 2012 6:13:08 PM

Hi everyone,

I am planning on building a system exclusively to play Minecraft ( and I want to be able to get around 40-50 FPS on the max settings while recording with FRAPS or Bandicam.

I already have:
DVD drive
2 2TB 7200RPM Drives
24" Monitor

I can't go more than $400, and parts from Tigerdirect, Newegg and Amazon would be best, but all suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!


More about : 400 minecraft

Best solution

January 29, 2012 6:55:41 PM

You should be able to achieve 40 FPS in Minecraft with an A8 processor within that budget range.

CPU $145

Motherboard $85 (230)

RAM $40 (270)

PSU $43 (313)

Case $50 (363)

That leaves some room available in the budget if you have to get a mouse and keyboard which you didn't mention. The price quoted above is after rebates as well if that is important.

You will have to use an OS you already have also. That isn't included in the above price.

I would highly suggest sourcing everything from Newegg. They are dominant over both Tigerdirect and Amazon in this sort of thing.

I can't comment on how it will work in conjunction with the two programs you mentioned. You may want to look on boards specific to Minecraft to ask them if their performance is negatively impacted significantly when using these programs.

In any event, I don't think you can do any better than this with a hard limit of $400 for the computer.
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January 29, 2012 9:20:10 PM

Thanks to both of you for your great, comprehensive answers. I did forget to mention that I have a mouse and keyboard, along with a copy of Win7.
January 29, 2012 10:12:48 PM

Comparing with the other proposed build, I would say mine is a slight step up in pretty much every category for about the same cost.

If it were me, I wouldn't change any of my choices to match the parts from other suggestion.
January 29, 2012 11:28:09 PM

After reviewing your build again Raiddinn, I think that the PSU and case you have are superior (I didn't realize it was a HAF 912 [I love that case]).

However, the memory and the motherboard in my build are a little superior for about the same price. I favor AsRock because of their ability to provide quality and features for price compared to Gigabyte. GSkill has a little more reliable RAM than Crucial in my opinion plus for the same price you get heatspreaders that keep the memory cooler.

EDIT: I guess you don't really need the heatspreaders, but for the price why not?
January 30, 2012 12:41:42 AM

compared to the AMD A8 you would be better off with a low end AM3 or 1555 board for around $50-60 and a phenom II or pentium g series cpu ($100 or less) and that should give you enough left to get a proper dedicated gfx card like a 5770/6770
January 30, 2012 2:50:37 AM

The RMA rate for G.Skill RAM is about 5x that of Crucial RAM, if not more. Not sure how you would find it to be more reliable.

On these boards I have fielded many dozens of problems people had with G.Skill RAM and not even 1 where someone had DOA Crucial RAM. The only time I ever saw anyone have a problem with Crucial RAM was when someone had 8 GB sticks in their computer and their board couldn't handle 8 GB sticks. That doesn't really count, though, because we are talking about having RAM compatible for the boards in question.

Also, I don't think I have ever seen anything that in any way proves an inherent performance or heat advantage for RAM that has heat spreaders vs RAM that doesn't. As far as I am concerned it is for looks and nothing else. As in it is one of the things you throw in when you can't get sales based on ultra low failure rates.

As for Asrock vs Gigabyte, the Asrock brand doesn't have the same track record that Gigabyte does, that is why they have to throw in all these features for free. If they didn't they couldn't sell boards.

If it were necessary to cut costs, I might be able to support Asrock, but an ideal stock A8 build already comes under the hard limit.
January 30, 2012 6:13:39 AM

Yeah, both configurations are the same. You are going to fight over details and fanboy-ism.
If you choose the path of APU get the cheapest A75 mobo, the cheapest 2x2gb or 2x4gb @1600 ramkit at 1.65vram or lower, any credible 300ish watt psu (if the price difference is small then get more watts.. maybe later you decide to add a discrete card)
And of course the APU, you can also get the A8-3850, for a little less. Keep in mind that an unlocked CPU needs aftermarket cooler if you are to OC.

Alternatively you can get second hand parts if you can find for less.
Aiming along the lines for a Phenom 2 x4 840 or 955 or athlon x3 455, a good-ish 125-140watt thermal design mobo that can support these cpus, a 5770/6770 or 6790 or even if you can find a good bargain on ebay or so a 6850. I don't advise towards second hand PSUs so you will have to get a new credible 500-ish watt.
Ram same as the APU config.
January 30, 2012 4:44:12 PM

It is pretty stupid to devalue lower RMA rates by calling something "fanboy-ism".

It would be fanboy-ism if I wasn't advocating for the company with the lowest failure rates in the RAM industry. Since that is not what I am doing, it should be considered intelligent shopping.

Unless I didn't get the memo and people want their stuff to fail right out of the box.

The OP can have the highest levels of quality parts on an A8 system, I don't know why you are suggesting to him that he should get the crappiest stuff on the market.

Not like your money is where your mouth is since you have stuff that isn't known to be the cheapest in its class.

Telling someone to get whatever low quality thing they can find is just inviting them to have trouble they don't need. I would expect more out of a regular.
January 30, 2012 4:46:01 PM

The Pentium G series (1155) beats pretty much all PHenom II X4s, and all FXs at stock.
January 30, 2012 5:33:56 PM

The middle of the road Phenom 2 x4 955 is even with a G840 in pretty much everything except for all the things it destroys the G840 in (the stuff where + cores actually helps).

Music and video encoding, 3d Modeling, Cinebench Multithreaded, Excel Monte Carlo Simulations, stuff like that... The 955 would make the G840 very sad.

For gaming, they would be about the same.

Not like the 955 is a super high end x4 either.
January 30, 2012 7:02:52 PM

each company has it's pros and cons. unfortunately there isn't one that excels in all fields. If it is too good then it is too expensive, if it's too cheap it has few phases and probably the capacitors are second grade. 400$ is a very tight budget for a good all around computer that will play games. While APUs are great, they are a jack of trades but master of none.
I do believe in all-rounded systems and every component being en-par. Most of the times no problems occur with the more budget oriented parts. It is not like i suggested the drags of hardware to you. All these are decent pieces and they would be my choice if i was building a system for a friend, aiming at one thing and only: best bang for buck.
There is the chance of RMA, ye. And headache figuring out what went wrong. This chance is there with all brands.
When i reply to someone on these forums is because i learned all this stuff the hard way and want to offer my knowledge on my spare time.
Seeing regulars squabbling over which brand is best as if they were defending a family business is not helping the OP.
In my personal opinion building a computer that is one sided like a G 1155 is only valid for htpc's. So is the AMD Fusion chips though they pack a little more flavor.
The AM3 platform offers upgradability and so does LGA 1155, whichever that might be in each case. The fusion locks the OP to FM1 socket with few options, if any.
The budget is tight and i trust we all have the OP's concerns in mind.

So, what is it going to be? Best bang for buck or (limited) assurance that costs 50-100$ more and costs in horsepower? Only the OP can decide on this.
January 30, 2012 8:35:39 PM

The thing we should be doing is trying to
1) Best meet the requirements
2) Maximally reduce the OPs downtime
3) Add extras we think they should have not included in the requirements

#1 shouldn't be sacrificed for #2 or #3, nor should #2 be sacrificed for #3. It is OK to sacrifice 3 for #2 or #1 and to sacrifice #2 for #1.

If #3 is sacrificed for #2, it is a gain for the OP.

In this case if a computer can be made with the G850 for under the $400 it might give the computer a few more FPS, but I think it would most likely have a lower FPS because FRAPS would be running on the same 2 cores the game is running on rather than 2 of the unused cores.

I have looked at some videos of FRAPS running on an A8 and it seems to be doing really well from where I sit.

Also, I think I might rather have a 6600 series on the CPU rather than a 6770 in the PCIE slot on a dual core system putting even more strain on the 2 cores available.

I looked at some videos on Youtube with Minecraft and Fraps running on an A8 and the game was playing right there in the 45ish FPS range.

Anyway, my build seems to be filling #1 and #2 pretty well. Although it is agreed that #3 is suffering a lot. I think it kinda needs to be with the budget we are talking about.

The OP is going to go with whichever build they feel like, obviously, but if lots of alternatives are going to be thrown out that muddy the waters they should at least meet the requirements and have some advantages over previous builds.

I looked up some 6770 Minecraft videos and found one with an i3-2120 that was getting 60 FPS. The author said that running FRAPS and Minecraft at the same time caused his FPS to drop by more than half.

If we assume that is the penalty for running FRAPS and Minecraft on a dual core (even one of the best ones out now) then I am not sure if non-llano can pull off the requirements at all.

Anyway, I would like to see a serious attempt at it. I would rather see such a build be used if it has quality enough parts, but I think any such build will probably have quite large disadvantages over the one I originally posted.
January 30, 2012 9:24:23 PM

i guess scrapping off parts off of ebay is not for beginners. clearly the only other viable option is the Llano for the multitasking purposes the OP seeks.
Not futureproof but heh, easy to setup and enjoy for the now.
January 31, 2012 7:49:15 PM

Man, you guys are awesome. Thanks again... TONS!
February 1, 2012 12:40:00 AM

I am going to hazard a guess that 90% likely that PC you linked will not run Minecraft + FRAPS anywhere close to 40 FPS even if you add another $100 worth of parts to it.

For starters, as far as I can tell, there is no video card included with this computer of any sort other than basic motherboard graphics. That means the whole $100 savings would go to getting a 6770.

Once you got that, you would be looking at close to the same specs as the system I suggested except that every part would be from a much worse brand. The processor excepted because both are AMD.

The system you chose would have more upgrade potential, but it would also be much less likely achieve the results you want and it is likely that parts would start dying on this computer much faster than with the parts I suggested. It is also much more likely to have parts failures straight out of the box.
February 11, 2012 10:43:31 AM

I thank all of you, and for now, I'm going to say that Raiddinn had the best answer. One other thing that I forgot to mention.... I'm 11 years old. Just thought I'd get that out.
February 11, 2012 10:44:10 AM

Best answer selected by zduba1.
February 11, 2012 11:01:13 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey