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$450 Gaming Build!

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June 16, 2012 8:55:37 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month or so.

Budget Range: $450 or £280. Please also bear in mind that components are a little cheaper in America (If you guys could help me out too it's be great!) so to round off the conversion, I'll say a budget of $400.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Medium-level gaming. Above-average performance.

Parts Not Required: Monitor, peripherals (Mouse/Keyboard) and OS.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon and/or Novatech.

Country: UK.

Parts Preferences: Most likely AMD FM1 processors, budget is very tight. I'd say go for a Pentium but low-end AMD processors wipe the floor with low-end intel processors, imo. Also veering towards AMD graphics, but Nvidia is fine.

Overclocking: Unlikely.

SLI or Crossfire: Crossfire at some point, possibly.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080/1200 but smaller resolutions for gaming will do.

Additional Comments:

Yes, I know it's a tight one. I'm making a new rig for a friend of mine and he doesn't have too much cash to wave about. I'm probably talking Micro ATX, PSU included kinda tower. Probably AMD, for the value (And probably FM1 at that, AM3+ is nice but even THAT is more pricey than I can handle)

It needs to run top end games smoothly (minimal settings is ok, average settings is even better)

So ladies and gentlemen, this is the doolittle raid of the PC world. Hit me with your ideas!

More about : 450 gaming build

June 16, 2012 10:02:29 PM

He's interested in BF3, the sort. High end stuff - of course, high end settings are out the question but average/low settings and resolution is ok if we're running on 40+ FPS.

EDIT: Oh and thanks for that link. Is it a sticky? Sorry, I should have checked it out. I'll edit the OP accordingly :) 
Related resources
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
June 16, 2012 10:11:13 PM

When you say all parts needed, you mean to say you need a monitor? keyboard? mouse? speakers? Operating system? Theres no way 400 bucks is gonna cut it. With all that needed, we're gonna have to be talking about 700 before there can even be a serious consideration.
June 16, 2012 10:14:28 PM

Whoa, my own stupidity again. No peripherals needed, sorry. I already have the OS too. I think that's all..

I'll edit my post again.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
June 16, 2012 10:15:46 PM

Arlite. let me see what I can do.. gimme a few minutes, but I still think I'm gonna come in over budget a bit.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
June 16, 2012 10:24:30 PM
June 16, 2012 10:29:04 PM

You seem to have misunderstood, I'm talking in POUNDS. I put the $400/450 as a reference.

I know it sounds stupidly tight, but I've come up with something myself so I know it's viable, I just fancied seeing some alternatives.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
June 16, 2012 10:30:35 PM

Well, I'm sorry I disappointed you, thats the best I can do that I would consider a "viable" gaming system.
June 16, 2012 10:31:40 PM

I'm not talking a powerful rig like mine, just a low/medium level spec machine that will run games on low settings.

Thanks for your help anyway. :) 
June 16, 2012 11:36:37 PM

CPU: Intel G530 (£32.97)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005KIWT2O

MB: Asrock H61M-VS Micro-ATX (£37.40)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004S9JXPW

RAM: Kingston Value 1x4GB (£16.07)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006JMYHY8

GPU: XFX HD 6850 (£94.95)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/XFX-Radeon-HD6850-Graphics-Memo...

PSU: Corsair CX430 (£37.52)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0057GTW56

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM (£48.50)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005F306RY

ODD: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002YXVX7U (£15.50)

Case: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005QNZO0C (£20.75)

Total: £303.64

I don't know the UK sites so you might be able to find the parts a little cheaper, but I think that's about the lowest you can go and still have something worth using. If you skimp any more on the hard drive your friend will probably want to blow his brains. If you skimp any more on the case/psu, you might as well put your money in a trash can and set it on fire. The GPU is just good enough that he won't immediately want to change it. There's room for upgrades to the CPU and RAM later on, and the GPU should hopefully last a couple of years.
June 16, 2012 11:47:40 PM

TPrezzle: I can't make out the sticker on the power supply for that case/psu combo, but according to the review it's only rated for 14A on the 12v rail. That's 168 watts. The CPU has a TDP of 100W and the GPU has a TDP of 65W. That thing will blow, and fast.
June 17, 2012 12:08:37 AM

It was only a quick skim of the site to check if I could find the components cheaply. I agree, the PSU is disgraceful. I'll be looking harder for the final purchase. I wasn't expecting a good 500W PSU AND a case for that price. I think your idea is far better, although I'd be tempted to downgrade to a 6750/70 and upgrade to a Pentium. The pentium, while not great, is less likely to bottleneck the GPU imo. Alternatively, I could still continue with an AMD build as in my experience, their low-end processors perform better than intel's Celerons and Pentiums.

Thoughts?
June 17, 2012 12:26:29 AM

some interesting reading:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pentium-g620-amd-a8...
6670,3140-8.html

The G530 -> G620 is a worthwhile upgrade. I wouldn't upgrade the CPU any more than that unless I were getting the i3-2120. As for the GPU, I wouldn't go below the HD 6670. If you can get the prices to work, a G620 and HD 6750 is a good combo. Really, I chose the HD 6850 because I thought it would be nice for your friend if there were at least one part he wasn't immediately itching to replace as soon as he got the system.

Right now Intel is winning on almost every front on the desktop: price, efficiency, value, and brute single-threaded performance. The only reason I would suggest a new AMD cpu right now is if you were planning on using the integrated graphics as a stopgap measure while you saved for a discrete GPU, or if you found some crazy deal where the AMD APU came with a free motherboard.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2012 12:35:42 AM

erikalikesfire said:
CPU: Intel G530 (£32.97)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005KIWT2O

MB: Asrock H61M-VS Micro-ATX (£37.40)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004S9JXPW

RAM: Kingston Value 1x4GB (£16.07)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006JMYHY8

GPU: XFX HD 6850 (£94.95)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/XFX-Radeon-HD6850-Graphics-Memo...

PSU: Corsair CX430 (£37.52)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0057GTW56

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM (£48.50)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005F306RY

ODD: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002YXVX7U (£15.50)

Case: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005QNZO0C (£20.75)

Total: £303.64
...

That looks pretty good, although I think a little better balance between CPU and GPU would be a good idea. Considering the OP is willing to lower settings, I think a HD6770 would be sufficient if it lets them have a G860. I'm assuming you selected only one RAM stick to allow for an upgrade later, otherwise 2x2GB will give better performance.
June 17, 2012 12:42:14 AM

Onus said:
That looks pretty good, although I think a little better balance between CPU and GPU would be a good idea. Considering the OP is willing to lower settings, I think a HD6770 would be sufficient if it lets them have a G860. I'm assuming you selected only one RAM stick to allow for an upgrade later, otherwise 2x2GB will give better performance.


The more I think about it, the more I agree that a better balance of CPU and GPU would be nice. And that motherboard only has two slots, and I think 4GB just isn't enough these days. Of course, if there's a few quid left over after rebalancing the CPU and GPU, then definitely just get the whole 8GB now :D 
June 17, 2012 12:47:02 AM

Mmm, but I don't agree with the G860. It costs 60% more for a 10% increase in clocks.
June 17, 2012 12:49:15 AM

It bottlenecks significantly less, from what I've seen! Nevertheless, I'll sleep on it now. I still have a lot of deciding to do...

(And thanks for all the advice!)
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2012 3:05:59 AM

Well, a G630 would be an option, but that's probably the first thing I'd want to upgrade.
June 17, 2012 10:04:24 AM

erikalikesfire said:
Really, I chose the HD 6850 because I thought it would be nice for your friend if there were at least one part he wasn't immediately itching to replace as soon as he got the system.


This is the only thing thats bothering me, I want at least SOMETHING in the system to be good...

Hmm, check this out. It's BF3 running on a 6750 with 1080p, all medium settings, no AA. Looks like 30/35 FPS here, not too bad in all honesty. Maybe if I COULD bump that up to a 6780...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC7vfY7fBXU
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2012 2:43:53 PM

There is no HD6780. There is a HD6770 and a HD6790. The latter costs too close to the HD6850 not to make the jump, but if the HD6750 was just not quite good enough, the HD6770 should be.
June 17, 2012 4:46:44 PM

All I can think is to tell your friend that a little more money would go a long way.
You could hit the budget if you took my build as a base and downgraded the graphics card to an HD6770. It'll run medium today and next year he'll probably want to spend £150 to upgrade the CPU and GPU, and again the year after that. Or he can spend £50 more today and get the HD6850 and the G620, and run on high today, and medium next year. Let him know he's not wasting money i.e. he hasn't hit the point of diminishing returns yet. His current budget is below peak value, so that a pound more today will save him three next year.
June 17, 2012 5:02:05 PM

I've told him that, I'm working on squeezing another hundred out of him because I know that at this level, a little goes a LONG way. Even if it was just to upgrade to an i3, I could get a 550 Ti or 6870 too.

That is a much better build and is a lot more future proof. That even adds space for a full size ATX with Crossfire/SLI capabilities.
!