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Need a Super Budget Gaming PC ($300-400)

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February 20, 2012 9:55:30 PM

Hey there, I'm currently looking into building myself a gaming PC, unfortunately my budget is extremely tight and should be from $300-400. As of right now this is what i can afford and I will most likely be upgrading it in the future, but I would like to have a nice cheap entry level gaming PC.

The PC of course does not need to run games on Ultra settings, but i would appreciate being able to play them somewhere in the middle range.

I do not need a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or an OS, and will most likely be purchasing this sometime next month. Any help will be appreciated.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2012 10:07:03 PM

On that budget, your best options are going to be prebuilt, especially if you are including the OS in the $300-$400.

You will not get the versatility that you get when you build your own though.

My advice would be to save a bit more until you can build your own. Or just look at prebuilts locally or online.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 20, 2012 10:11:46 PM

Here are some ideas:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suggest you get the hardrive off craigslist or search for other deals. I use only a 160 gb for backup and 60 gb ssd for my main drive. Same for the video card.
To really save and get a hardrive in the package, check newegg's shellshocker specials every day and register for email promos.
Related resources
February 20, 2012 10:21:31 PM

The OS isn't included in that, and I had a feeling i would run into problems with finding something within my price range.

I did find something but I'm not quite sure that its entirely compatible or provides quite the bang for my buck.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103911
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220480
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817154026
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102934
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138329
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154094
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

Curious as to if this is a good build, compatible, all that good stuff, and if I can do any better considering my budget.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2012 11:17:52 PM

If you can flesh out your needs/expectations for the system a bit, it would help to get you into something that fits them.

Like which games you want to play and which apps you want to be able to run.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 20, 2012 11:45:13 PM

The only thing that howls to be changed is the fecal PSU. A quality modern PSU has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency. Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and Enermax/LEPA are among the better brands. One notable exception to the Active PFC "rule" is the Antec VP450, which is efficient enough to qualify for 80+, but can't be certified because it doesn't have active PFC. Right now though, you can get the 80+ bronze 430W Antec Earthwatts for only $40.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2012 11:49:28 PM

GIGABYTE GZ-F5HEB Black SECC Steel / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - 24.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - 39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor and LG 22x Super-Multi DVD Burner Combo - 99.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - 54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory - 22.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100326DDR3L Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - 69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - 84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $397.92 (before MIR, promo codes. shipping not included)
February 20, 2012 11:53:13 PM

I'll most likely be running several Valve games, and other lower end games. Although being able to run games like Battlefield 3 at a decent frame rate couldn't hurt, if possible.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 21, 2012 12:02:53 AM

Make sure you have a power cord for the PSU.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 21, 2012 12:09:14 AM

Pezcore27 said:
GIGABYTE GZ-F5HEB Black SECC Steel / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - 24.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - 39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor and LG 22x Super-Multi DVD Burner Combo - 99.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - 54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory - 22.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100326DDR3L Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - 69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - 84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $397.92 (before MIR, promo codes. shipping not included)


I would take his build and switch the cpu and gpu with this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and this


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Games depend a lot more on the gpu

or this is a lot better


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a b B Homebuilt system
February 21, 2012 12:24:33 AM

i wouldnt. for the lower end games he is wanting to play what i posted is more than enough depending on his resolution, and the 850 gives him a stronger processor for day to day tasks.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 21, 2012 2:09:37 AM

There are no compatibility issues go with the seagate it's $10 less. What resolutions are you going to be gaming at?.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 21, 2012 2:10:09 AM

more than $10 (free shipping :)  )
February 21, 2012 2:16:49 AM

Screen resolution is going to be 1366x768
February 21, 2012 2:20:48 AM

Dude I'm telling you Llano is the way to go. No doubt about it. It takes a lot of *** from hardcore gamers who compare them to i5s and i7s but for a low end budget it will destroy anything in it's price range.

Llano = AMD's line of A Series APUs with integrated graphics. You can use dual graphics (essentially crossfire between the processor's graphics and dedicated card)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

A4's alone can run DirectX 11 and I've seen what they (alone) can do in games and was impressed for the price point.

If you can stretch the price point go for a A6 or A8 but if not get the A4.

Oh... and never never never get 2x2GB of RAM. Pretty much any new mobo you get's going to hold a minimum of 4GB in a slot... Single 4GB sticks are cheaper than any 2x2 config you can find on NewEgg right now and they leave doors open for expansion.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 21, 2012 2:22:54 AM

Venomkringe said:
Screen resolution is going to be 1366x768

My advice would be to get the 6770.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 21, 2012 2:30:56 AM

$500 build in my sig. Includes a $100 OS, so should be around $400.
February 21, 2012 2:34:33 AM

flossbandit said:
Dude I'm telling you Llano is the way to go. No doubt about it. It takes a lot of *** from hardcore gamers who compare them to i5s and i7s but for a low end budget it will destroy anything in it's price range.

Llano = AMD's line of A Series APUs with integrated graphics. You can use dual graphics (essentially crossfire between the processor's graphics and dedicated card)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

A4's alone can run DirectX 11 and I've seen what they (alone) can do in games and was impressed for the price point.

If you can stretch the price point go for a A6 or A8 but if not get the A4.

Oh... and never never never get 2x2GB of RAM. Pretty much any new mobo you get's going to hold a minimum of 4GB in a slot... Single 4GB sticks are cheaper than any 2x2 config you can find on NewEgg right now and they leave doors open for expansion.


I do agree that Llano it's a very nice platform, but you need to remember than the better of them (A8-38XX series) have a 6650D iGPU (equivalent to HD6450) and it's much weaker than a HD6670.

Considering linear scaling -> A8 (400 cores at 600mhz), A6 (320 cores at 443mhz), A4-3300 (160 cores at 443mhz).
A8 would have about 340% the A4 performance. (Remember that the A8 is kind of weak).

My recommendation would be an intel CPU (any of them.. really) + HD6670 + Z68 motherboard for future Ivybridge support.

Article: AMD A8-3800 Llano processor review
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 21, 2012 2:38:41 AM
February 21, 2012 2:45:57 AM

vitornob said:
I do agree that Llano it's a very nice platform, but you need to remember than the better of them (A8-38XX series) have a 6650D iGPU (equivalent to HD6450) and it's much weaker than a HD6670.

Considering linear scaling -> A8 (400 cores at 600mhz), A6 (320 cores at 443mhz), A4-3300 (160 cores at 443mhz).
A8 would have about 340% the A4 performance. (Remember that the A8 is kind of weak).

My recommendation would be an intel CPU (any of them.. really) + HD6670 + Z68 motherboard for future Ivybridge support.

Article: AMD A8-3800 Llano processor review


I'm talking about a dual graphics set up with a GPU.

here's an A8(that's all i could find with a 6670) playing Bad Company 2 @ Med/High settings. He says it gets an avg of 50 fps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJAWavcYLo0

Were now looking at about a $200 price range for that combo, so I might be getting a little far out there.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
a b B Homebuilt system
February 21, 2012 2:48:30 AM

Venomkringe said:
Screen resolution is going to be 1366x768

You don't need any more than what I gave you then.
February 21, 2012 2:48:38 AM

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 21, 2012 9:35:32 AM
Share

Here's a typical newegg shellshocker for today: http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx?cm_sp=S.... This setup is priced so low as it will give you some breathing room for a decent video card. You can sell the power supply and get something else, or keep it for a spare.
February 21, 2012 5:16:17 PM

o1die said:
Here's a typical newegg shellshocker for today: http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx?cm_sp=S.... This setup is priced so low as it will give you some breathing room for a decent video card. You can sell the power supply and get something else, or keep it for a spare.

Regarding the amd llano, is the integrated graphics good enough to stand on its own? Or is a dedicated graphics card better?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
February 21, 2012 5:18:38 PM

A separate video card would be better, but amd's dedicated graphics are better than Intel's. And the included hardrive is what makes it a bargain. Case and ps are just average.
February 21, 2012 7:12:23 PM

o1die said:
Here's a typical newegg shellshocker for today: http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx?cm_sp=S.... This setup is priced so low as it will give you some breathing room for a decent video card. You can sell the power supply and get something else, or keep it for a spare.


How's he going to fit a descent video card into a grey pin light for $16.99?
February 21, 2012 7:58:42 PM

Venomkringe said:
Regarding the amd llano, is the integrated graphics good enough to stand on its own? Or is a dedicated graphics card better?

dud it really depends. the a8 gives console level graphics...but w/ ur budget, u can actually do better. here is my suggestion.
DO NOT GET A PREBUILT!!!

that money is not bad...with 400 bucks u can build urself a mediocre-decent rig. i did one my self. Prebuilts are a waste of money. best way to start at that price range is with a barebones. at ur budget, i suggest:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
that barebones has the bare necessities for $250. now u have $150 headroom for GPU. sell the graphics card that comes with it and you might get like $30 bucks out of it.

Get a GTX 550 Ti for your Graphics card ($120)

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

then, with the $60 or so dollars you have left, save up for an OS, or u could use a non-genuine version, which a lot of people will disapprove of.

Put together that rig well, download all the drivers, and you got your self a rig that will play most games medium to high. If your monitor sux, i recommend playing @ 720p w/ AA, AF, and Vsinc tuned down. you should be able to put the rest of the settings high with no problem. I can run BF3 on high on my rig. :3
February 21, 2012 8:05:47 PM

or...if youre gonna play on extremely low settings...you could just use $250 and stick with only the barebones. you get worse graphics, but if graphics arent a matter to u, u dont even need to spend money on a new GPU.

here is crysis running on the stock GPU that comes with the barebones

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d38FSDCk8Rw

the graphics are pretty bad...but the gameplay is smooth (it seems otherwise because of FRAPS). if graphics in of no matter to u, dont get the GPU, but i doubt thats the case.
February 21, 2012 8:23:43 PM

But out of all these...my best suggestion to u is saving money and getting something more upgradable. Get this kit:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
its only $360, and it comes with a decent temporary GPU. The graphics are not bad
here is crysis running on a similar GPU:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rmkHFjKSoU
as u can see, it runs Gamer, 720p, @ 30-40 fps w/o fraps

then...save some money. this is highly recommended because this is such an upgradable kit. The CPU is good enough to support some of the high end GPUs. After u get enough money, Get a brand new GPU (such as 560 ti), and a good psu if necessary. this is what i did for my main rig. I got that exact same Kit, got a GTX 580 ( http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... ), and a good 600w PSU. it was super cheap (like $800), and can max out any game ever, on a 1080p monitor. I am playing BF3 now on max settings like a boss :D 

i highly recommend getting this barebones, and then saving up, because this one gets you decent graphics anyways, and it is very upgradable. In the future, when u get more money, u can potentially upgrade it to an uber awesome rig. good luck :) 
February 21, 2012 9:49:17 PM

Venomkringe said:
Regarding the amd llano, is the integrated graphics good enough to stand on its own? Or is a dedicated graphics card better?


I can't really speak on a desktop level, but I do have a laptop with an A8-3500M in it that uses integrated graphics only. In the name of science I downloaded my Steam account onto it.

MW2 - 60fps med settings @ 1600 x 900
MW3 - 60fps on low/med settings. same res
BF3 - unplayable
Black Ops - unplayable, Treyarch's more demanding.
Crysis 2 - mildly playable on low settings
Witcher 2 - extremely unplayable on lowers res, lowest settings, windowed.
LOTR War in the North - Jumped from 60 to 10fps sporadically.
Darkness II - pretty dang playable but I don't remember the specifics.

TL;DR 2/10 wouldn't bang

If you're building a gaming computer, definitely get a dedicated GPU no matter what CPU you get. Llano is definitely gonna beef up your graphics. Especially on a lower end card. But if you're looking to build something for gaming, Llano alone won't quite cut it... it'll just give you enough of a taste to piss you off.

Also, I put that A8 in and took an A4 out. With A4 you were looking at lower performance, but the playable games still functioned - just at lower quality.
February 21, 2012 9:59:09 PM

mahin1islam said:
But out of all these...my best suggestion to u is saving money and getting something more upgradable. Get this kit:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
its only $360, and it comes with a decent temporary GPU. The graphics are not bad
here is crysis running on a similar GPU:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rmkHFjKSoU
as u can see, it runs Gamer, 720p, @ 30-40 fps w/o fraps

then...save some money. this is highly recommended because this is such an upgradable kit. The CPU is good enough to support some of the high end GPUs. After u get enough money, Get a brand new GPU (such as 560 ti), and a good psu if necessary. this is what i did for my main rig. I got that exact same Kit, got a GTX 580 ( http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... ), and a good 600w PSU. it was super cheap (like $800), and can max out any game ever, on a 1080p monitor. I am playing BF3 now on max settings like a boss :D 

i highly recommend getting this barebones, and then saving up, because this one gets you decent graphics anyways, and it is very upgradable. In the future, when u get more money, u can potentially upgrade it to an uber awesome rig. good luck :) 



This is very true. If you're looking to upgrade, make sure and get a LGA 1155 board.

BUT if you don't plan on upgrading in the future, buying Intel products at a $400 price range is like going to the race track and picking out a Lexus with a V6 over a Ford with a V8.

You'll get better immediate results from AMD, but if you want to leave a lot of doors open, a board that supports Sandy Bridge wouldn't be a bad idea.
February 21, 2012 11:31:21 PM

Decided to go with the shellshocker deal from newegg as well as a Radeon HD 6450 for somewhere around $414 including an OS. Thanks to everyone for the help! Especially o1die who brought the shellshocker to my attention. Now i must learn how to put the Computer together in the time it takes to arrive.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 21, 2012 11:33:32 PM

Good luck mate!
February 21, 2012 11:35:22 PM

Best answer selected by Venomkringe.
!