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[Homebuilt] Will this $500ish build work for gaming?

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June 9, 2012 7:38:45 PM

Hey Tom's Hardware! I'm helping my roommate build a PC on a budget and I'm hoping you guys can help me out / re-affirm my build before we pull the trigger. He wants a gaming PC for $500, and I just read through the $500 June budget PC and it looks great. I wouldn't have thought of using a Celeron processor in *any* PC before, but the G530 benchmarks look pretty killer for $50. Anyway - enough talk, here's the slightly edited build we're thinking of going with:

CPU: Intel Celeron G530 (Sandy Bridge): 2.4 GHz, 2 MB Shared L3 Cache
$50

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-H61MA-D3V LGA 1155 Intel H61 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
$70

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
$44

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500gb (for now, adding a Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III with next paycheck)
$0 / $120

Case/PSU: Rosewill R218-P-BK-450W MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with 1x 120mm Fan, 450W Power Supply
$50

GPU: BFG GeForce 7950 gt OC (for now, upgrading to GTX560 with next paycheck)
$0 / $210

Total: $214 / $544 (with new GPU/SSD)

We've already got a mouse/keyboard/W7 home premium OS/speakers/1080p monitor that won't be upgraded, so I didn't add those things.

Here's what we want to do with this system:
First and foremost, it’s for gaming. It needs to be able to run Sins of a Solar Empire, The Witcher 2, Skyrim, Metro 2033, Civilization 5, Diablo III, and just about everything else. With the GTX560, I’m hoping it should run just about everything on high settings at 1080p, which the June $500 build seems to confirm. We’re shooting for 35+ fps on everything with the final build. For the next couple weeks we’ll be using the old GeForce 7950, though, which hopefully should be able to handle Sins of a Solar Empire and some other games (at 1280x720 or 1024x768).
Other than that, it’s going to be used in part as an HTPC – streaming Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, playing 720p videos with iTunes, etc. It will also be used for email, internet, document editing (Microsoft Office 2007), and other basic use. No video/image editing on it at all, no CAD or anything like that.

So basically here’s my question: Is this build viable for what we want to do? I’m going pretty heavily off of the $200 June build that was posted, but I’m pretty new to this. Any comments or advice will be welcome!
Thanks in advance,
Nick
June 9, 2012 10:10:51 PM

That Celeron CPU will definitely bottleneck the 7950, so it's not even worth doing that.

I would say get at least a Pentium G630 or G860.
Related resources
June 9, 2012 10:26:35 PM

Thanks for the replies!

o1die said:
Use the onboard video for awhile and skip the 7950 to save some $$. For amd, these may give you better performance for a few $$ more:

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'm not buying the 7950, it's just lying around, so I figured it'd probably be better to use than the onboard.


Ironslice said:
That Celeron CPU will definitely bottleneck the 7950, so it's not even worth doing that.

I would say get at least a Pentium G630 or G860.


Hmm... According to the benchmarks in http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-do-it-yourself-geforce-gtx-560,3216.html the Celeron works fine for Battlefield 3 and Skryim on high settings at 1080p - It doesn't seem to bottleneck the system in real use..
June 9, 2012 10:28:58 PM

Nope, you didn't read the last page :D 

"At the highest settings, we were seeing performance in the 20 to 30 FPS range, with an occasional dip into the teens during intense combat. Although we had enough graphics muscle to handle this game, our CPU simply wasn't up to the task."

"Instead, we think that today’s build deserves, at the very least, a step up to Intel's Pentium G850. The extra $38 is a wise investment for anyone looking to duplicate out efforts."
June 9, 2012 10:34:08 PM

WOW!!!

Another thing that I missed but you definitely need to fix. The 450W power supply that comes with the Rosewill case is complete junk. DO NOT get that power supply. In fact, don't get any power supply that comes with cases.
June 9, 2012 10:52:58 PM

Ironslice said:
Nope, you didn't read the last page :D 

"At the highest settings, we were seeing performance in the 20 to 30 FPS range, with an occasional dip into the teens during intense combat. Although we had enough graphics muscle to handle this game, our CPU simply wasn't up to the task."

"Instead, we think that today’s build deserves, at the very least, a step up to Intel's Pentium G850. The extra $38 is a wise investment for anyone looking to duplicate out efforts."


You're right, I didn't see that. I was thinking about upgrading to an i5 once he's got more money. They only said that about Just Cause 2, though, and even said that Battlefield 3 seemed limited by the GPU rather than the CPU.

Ironslice said:
WOW!!!

Another thing that I missed but you definitely need to fix. The 450W power supply that comes with the Rosewill case is complete junk. DO NOT get that power supply. In fact, don't get any power supply that comes with cases.


I'm a little concerned about this actually. Do you think that the Altec VP-450 450 W would be a better choice? I was a little bit worried about skimping on the power supply, but I've had good experiences with Newegg before and this one has decent enough reviews..
a b B Homebuilt system
June 9, 2012 11:48:30 PM

Antec? Yes, but at least 500w for the GTX 560.
!