Help with build - 400 or less

Approximate Purchase Date: within a couple weeks

Budget Range: no more than 450, but the less spent the better

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming*, general pc usage

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, os

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, but any reputable dealer will do.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: As much as can be done on such a low budget, but I don't expect much

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 720p currently, plan to upgrade to 1080p soon (running through a small lcd tv right now)

Additional Comments: This is where the '*' on gaming comes in. I'm not a major graphics whore. Honestly, I just want something that will be able to play current games at or just above console levels, and will be capable of playing newer games for the next 5 or 6 years. Can it be done?
8 answers Last reply
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  1. at 450? For a computer that can handle newer games for 5 to 6 years? Probably not.

    600? Yes, I could do something with that.

    450 might get you a system for 2 to 3 years. Do you have any games specifically in mind?

    At your current price, I would probably be building you a system based around the AMD Llano APU, its a CPU and graphics chip in one. Its pretty decent for what it is, but its not going to be an aggressive system. Its basically going to be a powerful laptop in a desktop's body.
  2. Llano build- Decent but not great

    Motherboard- $65

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131813

    CPU + Graphics- Llano 3870K $120
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106001

    RAM- $47 8GB (4GB*2)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314

    Power-Corsair CX430 $45

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

    HDD- WDC 500Gb -$75
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

    CD/DVD Burner- $18
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

    Case- Very cheap Rosewill case $30

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147073


    Total: $400

    Also, you can add a 2nd discrete graphics card to operate in Crossfire mode with the Llanos onboard

    Video Card- Radeon 6670- $65
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102988

    Bringing your total to: $465 Although I urge you to consider the build below instead.
  3. that looks pretty good, but I don't think I can swing 600. Thing is, I'm also trying to build a cushion for when I go to college, so I can live in case I don't find a job within a couple months, so I'm hesitant to take much more out of it than the 450. I'm thinking of going with a sandy bridge based celeron, like the g850, which would save me like 40 bucks over your suggestion (although it is only dual core, and cant oc)

    I was also looking at something more along the lines of a 6850, for roughly the same reason.

    Would a build using those components be able to run new games for the next 5-6 years (albeit at low graphics settings)?
  4. I can't make any guarantees about what happens 5 or 6 years down the road, I don't think anyone can. Its up to you, I personally am of the opinion a dual core CPU is not an appropriate choice for a modern computer, especially as we go forward. Right now software technology is somewhat behind hardware, in that many programs are still 32 bit, and still don't use all 4 cores as effectively as they could, when you're talking 5 or 6 years from now I think you'll find more quad core games and applications. I would advise keeping the Phenom II since obviously a Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge quad core is out of the question.

    You could always stick a better video card in later, since this is what matters the most in gaming. Upgrading the CPU say in 2 or 3 years would involve a new motherboard, and maybe even RAM (since DDR4 will be coming out at some point in time)

    Maybe you could go with a weaker video card today in the 100 dollar price range? Would that help you out?
  5. nekulturny said:


    I generally agree with most of the build above, but you could shave off a few bucks by doing this:

    RAM: PNY XLR8 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178265

    also this ($20 better price on the video card after rebate)

    XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $150
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150561

    You may also consider an i3-2120 as your CPU, which is technically a couple rungs higher on the chart than the Phenom II 965, for about the same price. Either one will work, though.
  6. I'd add to captain taco, you can drop down further on the video card this is a GTX 460, they have some miles on them, they were originally priced over 200 dollars, but they're an older generation, I have one of these in a system with an i5-2400, its still a very capable graphics card:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130749

    With Mail in rebate, it can be had for $115 bucks.
  7. ^^^ second on that. 460 will work fine be fine as long as you're not going crazy.

    For that matter, so will an HD6850 or HD7770, which are a little newer generation-wise but basically the same performance. Right now there's a 7770 on sale for $119. Man, they sure love giving out Dirt 3 or Dirt Whatever game vouchers with video cards these days.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102967
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