Need advice on potential budget gaming pc

Hello all, firstly, i am new to the forums, so hi there and thank-you for taking the time to read and consider my thread.

As the title suggests, i am a newbie to customizing a pc for gaming. Over the past two weeks i have researched plenty of websites and guides on what components to prioritise and trying to educate myself on what i should go for.

Since that time i have made a few online specs but i still have concerns on whether they are compatible or more importantly, if the system i have drafted actually makes any sense and works harmonously with eachother, for example getting a great graphics card but falling short on other components like a cpu so not fully utilising the graphics card (wasting money)

My parameters: i am a casual gamer with about £400 to spend on a unit, i do not plan on building it physically myself, i would like an entry-mid level budget gaming pc to play diablo 3 on medium settings and smoothly run most games. I would also like the pc to give me decent performance for a few years or at least have upgrade options for the future incase i fancy a bigger beast!

So i invite you experienced builders to offer me your thoughts and feedback on my specifications listed below:

Build 1:

  • CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.60 GHz Quad-Core AM3+ CPU 4MB L2 Cache & Turbo Core Technology
  • Cooling Fan: Coolermaster Hyper TX3 with 3 x Direct Contact heat-pipes CPU Cooling Fan
  • Motherboard: ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3 AMD 760G (780L) Chipset DDR3 Socket AM3+ Micro-ATX w/ 4 RAM slots, 7.1 Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, SATA-III, 1 PCIe X16, 1 PCIe X1, & 2 PCI
  • Memory: 4GB (2x2GB) PC10666 DDR3/1333mhz Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)
  • Video Card: AMD Radeon HD 6670 1GB GDDR3 16X PCIe Video Card [+20] (Major Brand Powered by AMD)
  • Power Supply Upgrade: 500 Watts Power Supplies [+10] (CyberPower 500W Gaming Power Supply (No Overclocking recommended))
  • Hard Drive: 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache HDD (Single Hard Drive)
  • Optical Drive: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE. (BLACK COLOR)
  • Network: ONBOARD 10/1000 NETWORK CARD
  • Case: NZXT Tempest 210 Mid-Tower Gaming Case (Black Colour)

£409.20 in VAT

Build 2:

• Intel Core i3 2100 Dual Core,
• Nvidia GTX550Ti 1024MB
• 1155 Asus P8H61-M LE,
• 4GB DDR3 Corsair 1600 (2 x 2GB),
• Integrated Sound Card,
• Manufacturer Supplied Cooler,
• DVD+/- RW - 22X Samsung SATA,
• 500GB SATA Hard Drive SATA 3,
• No Secondary Hard Drive,
• No Monitor,
• CiT Vantage Black Midi Gaming Case HD Audio Black Interior 4 Fans Card Reader No PSU,
• 450watt Standard PSU


Build 3:

CPU: AMD FX 4100 Black Edition
Motherboard: Gigabyte M68MT-S2
RAM: 4GB Corsair DDR3 1600mhz Vengeance (1x4GB)
Hard Drive: 500GB S-ATAII 3.0Gb/s
Optical Drive: 22x DVD±RW DL S-ATA
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB
Sound card: Onboard 7.1 Audio
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus
PSU: 500W Xigmatek


thank you again for reading i i welcome all feedback on what you guys think or suggest i do since alot of components and products i am unfamiliar with so will take your advice onboard
3 answers Last reply
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  1. All the systems you laid out are fine given your budget, for another 100 more Euros you can make a good jump in performance but as these are fine.

    However, if you have any sense of handiness about you or played with Lego's as a child and can follow directions, as in Lego's, then you should be able to build the computer yourself. I suggest this because this gives you more of a sense of ownership of the computer and accomplishment, as well as educates you far more than reading online ever can, all while saving money.
    Here is my procedure for picking out parts:
    -Pick a processor: look at Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: May 2012 for a suggestion in your price range,read customer reviews if available, and keep a tab open to the CPU hierarchy chart to compare CPUs you are looking at.
    -Pick a motherboard: most websites allow you to pick from search criteria, select the socket type (LGA 1155, AM3+, FX, LGA 2011, etc) and look for one with the connections you need and is within your price range.
    -Pick your memory: read Memory Upgrade: Is It Time To Add More RAM? to get an idea of what to look for, and again choose something compatible with your motherboard (DDR3 1600 8GB 2x4GB seems like a good price/performance right now).
    -Pick your video card: this may not be necessary if you only plan to use integrated graphics, but for gaming it will be. Read the latest Best Graphics Cards For The Money: May 2012 article to get some good suggestions similar to the CPU.
    -Pick your primary drive: this should be large enough to host the operating system and whatever programs and files you use on a regular basis, Solid State Drives (SSDs) are preferred because of their awesome speed but that comes at a premium cost, given your budget probably a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) would suit you best (320GB-1TB) is a good range, get as many RPMs as you can with as large of a cache as possible (Western Digital Caviar Black drives usually fill these pretty well but cost a little more).
    -Pick an optical drive: they are all essentially the same, choose whether you want LightScribe and/or Blu-Ray then pick the one with best customer reviews or is cheapest.
    -Pick your secondary drive: if you got a SSD then you will probably want more space to store less used data, otherwise don't worry about this.
    -Pick your Power Supply Unit (PSU): this is a critical component so seek as much council as possible, get one with enough Watts without going overboard, and don't skimp on price since if this component malfunctions it could kill all the other components.
    -Pick your case: look for good customer ratings within your price range, make sure the case can fit your components (follow the ATX standards), and make sure it fits your taste for a few years.
    -Pick your operating system: for most of us it is Windows, if you have more than 4GB of RAM you will want the 64-bit version (x64).

    I suggest shopping at Newegg or TigerDirect or any other fairly reputable computer parts retailer. Once this is done and you have your parts, READ THE DIRECTIONS for installing each component...then read them again. The installation should be the fun part and may bring you back feelings from childhood playing with those Lego's. If you have done everything correctly power it up and install the operating system and you are good to go.

    Best of luck.
  2. thankyou for your help its very info rich and will have me working hard haha, some nice links too +1
  3. No problem, knowledge is power, and knowledge is the one thing no one can take from you :)
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