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Building a Budget Gaming PC

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March 26, 2012 11:16:41 PM

I live in Canada and I am looking to building a budget gaming PC.
I have my build so far and I am thinking of using it for as long as I possibly can.
If anyone can find any of these parts for cheaper, please inform me.

AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Processor ($166.98)
www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103923

MSI 970A-G46 Motherboard ($84.99/$99.99)
www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-detail...

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6870 Graphics Card ($167.48)
http://www.amazon.ca/Sapphire-100314-3L-Radeon-DisplayP...

Crucial Ballistix 8GB (2x4GB) 1600 MHz DDR3 Memory ($47.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 2.5" 120GB SATA III SSD ($134.98/$204.98)
www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226236

Coolmax 600-Watt 135mm Fan ATX Power Supply ($31.99/$41.99) <-I'm not sure if that is enough.
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Power Up Black Mid-Tower ATX Case with 450W Power Supply (Already bought)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Masscool 90mm Ball Bearing Case Fan ($5.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Subtotal: $640.40 - $735.40
HST: $83.25 - $95.60
Total: $723.65 - $831.00

More about : building budget gaming

March 26, 2012 11:35:47 PM

As a computer enthusiast site, I don't think anyoneb here will consciously recommend PSU's like the Coolmax 600W. They are cheap, too good to be true (600W for $42?) and generally poor build quality. Although I haven't read any reviews for the unit, I am willing to bet that it will eventually fail in a year or 2 and potentially take out your mobo/CPU/GPU while it's at it. In short, if you want your system to last as long as possible, this PSU will be the weakpoint.

Otherwise your build looks fine.
March 26, 2012 11:41:36 PM

Since I'm open to overclocking, would I get equal performance/temperatures with a AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE clocked to the 980 specs? That would open up my budget a bit to get a better power supply.
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March 26, 2012 11:46:18 PM

UVB076 said:
Since I'm open to overclocking, would I get equal performance/temperatures with a AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE clocked to the 980 specs? That would open up my budget a bit to get a better power supply.


I have a 955 BE and OC'd it to 3.8, I think, just by changing the multiplier and without messing with voltage. Very stable. I doubt you'll get much of a noticeable difference with a 975, so yeah, if you can find a 955 for less, I can recommend it.

And I want to reiterate the PSU recommendation. You absolutely do not want to skimp on that. I recommend Seasonic (which is the best, but also the most expensive), Antec, or Corsair. Some people like Coolermaster and XFX, but I have no experience with a PSU from them.

You could also switch to Intel and get the i3-2120 for around $120, maybe cheaper. Toms did a test with the i3-2100 against an OC'd 955 BE and the i3 beat it even at its stock speeds (in gaming).

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-overclock...
March 27, 2012 12:10:24 AM

I am looking to OC to around 4 GHz? Do I have enough cooling for that? (I also have a 80mm fan already installed onto my case)
March 27, 2012 12:54:23 AM

Right now my choices are:
i5-2500K
i3-2120
PII X4 960T
PII X4 955 BE
a b 4 Gaming
March 27, 2012 1:08:23 AM

i5. Period. Will give you 10+FPS differences in games. Well worth it. If overclocking, get the Hyper 212. 4GHz is a snap. 4.5Ghz is where you start to need better cooling, liquid cooling, etc.
a b 4 Gaming
March 27, 2012 1:51:35 AM

The FX has terrible power consumption. The 8150 can consume over 200w!
a b 4 Gaming
March 27, 2012 1:52:22 AM

If you want performance, get the i5. If you want something cheap get the i3. The i3 still beats the Phenom.
March 27, 2012 8:32:37 PM

Barebones Kit ($629.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
-GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3 Intel Z68 Motherboard
-Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz Quad-Core Unlocked CPU
-Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 OverClocked 1GB GDDR5 GPU
-2x Patriot 4GB DDR3-1333MHz G2 RAM
-Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Mid Tower Case
-Diablotek PSDA600 DA Series 600W ATX PSU
-Sony Optiarc AD7280S-OB 24x DVD-RW Drive
-Sell Seagate ST1000DM003 Barracuda 1TB HDD (around $90-$100), buy Patriot Pyro 120GB 2.5" SSD ($114.99)
3x Power Up! T12025 120mm Case Fan ($11.97)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Subtotal: $666.95
HST (13% Sales Tax D:<): $86.70
Total: $753.65

What do you guys think?
March 27, 2012 9:51:00 PM

Btw can I O/C on stock cooler (to 3.7 GHz)
March 27, 2012 9:56:54 PM

UVB076 said:
Btw can I O/C on stock cooler (to 3.7 GHz)


That's such an incredibly tiny OC, that yes, I believe you could. But since each CPU is different, you'd still want to monitor your core temps just to be sure.

And yeah, that build looks fine. Except for the PSU. That thing looks like junk. I always say stick with Seasonic, Antec, or Corsair. And if it were me, I'd go ahead and get the 1600 RAM.
March 27, 2012 10:15:09 PM

I've heard that RAM speed doesn't make big difference, and I would have to spend more money on it. Then there's the whole issue of selling RAM and buying faster RAM. Same with the PSU.
March 27, 2012 10:49:02 PM

I'm no expert on RAM, but I've heard that in gaming, you can tell a difference from 1333 to 1600, but not much beyond that. I'll let someone else chime in on that.

I didn't notice it was a kit. I would not buy it. The PSU is the backbone of the whole system and it's incredibly important to the overall health of the computer.
March 27, 2012 10:55:56 PM

Should I just try to sell the Diablotek and buy a better unit? I can't really afford some of the higher end stuff.
March 27, 2012 11:28:09 PM

UVB076 said:
Should I just try to sell the Diablotek and buy a better unit? I can't really afford some of the higher end stuff.


If you're on that tight of a budget, I encourage you to shop around and find the best prices on each of those pieces. You might find that you can get a lower price by ordering them all separately. If not, then yes, I'd recommend selling the Diablotek, even though I doubt you'd get much for it.

Take a look at this. I really think this would be plenty of juice for your system, at least without a high overclock.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 27, 2012 11:30:34 PM

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

^ That one should serve you much better, performance and pricewise. With PSU's, the manufacturer is an important factor in choosing and Corsair are one of the most reliable ones out there. I don't know how suited this PSU is for gaming though, so I'll let the others fill you in on this. But it should be fine for a single 6850.

EDIT: hahahaha ringzero beat me to it. But yes, go with his (our) suggestion. And sell that unit since it will be useless to you anyways.
March 28, 2012 12:05:05 AM

Be careful, Ultra is known for having very shoddy PSU's.
March 28, 2012 1:05:35 AM

Barebones Kit ($519.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item...
-GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3 Intel Z68 Motherboard
-Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz Quad-Core Unlocked CPU
-2x Corsair 4GB DDR3-1333MHz RAM
-Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Mid Tower Case
-Ultra LSP550 550-Watt PSU
-Sony Optiarc AD7280S-OB 24x DVD-RW Drive
-Patriot Pyro 120GB 2.5" SSD

Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 GPU ($159.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3x Power Up! T12025 120mm Case Fan ($11.97)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Subtotal: $694.95
HST (13% Sales Tax D:<): $89.95
Total: $781.90

What do you think now?
March 28, 2012 8:00:19 PM

My dad just bought a Gigabyte Windforce Radeon HD 6870 factory O/Ced GPU while I was at school.
March 28, 2012 9:38:24 PM

Should I wait for Ivy Bridge?
March 31, 2012 12:48:48 AM

I bought a XFX 750W PSU, are they any good?
!