My Budget Gaming Build

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime this month.

Budget Range: Around the $600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS, Cables/Wires

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: AMD CPU

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024

My Build So Far:
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD FX-4170 Zambezi 4.2GHz (4.3GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4170FRGUBOX

ASUS ENGTX550 TI DC/DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

SILVERSTONE Strider Plus ST50F-P 500W ATX 12V v2.3 & EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Optical Drive:
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT

Hard Drive:
Western Digital AV-GP WD3200AUDX 320GB IntelliPower 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
6 answers Last reply
More about budget gaming build
  1. At your monitor's resolution, the GTX 550ti will be a great little card. I was able to use it at high(ish) settings in most games on a 1680x1050 monitor for a build a did for someone. Keep in mind that the motherboard's X16 x4 PCIe slots are not very good for using 2 cards. The X4 slot will drag down the performance of the other card. I put together a build with 2 HD 6850s and a x16 x4 board. Very dissapointing. Stay with a single card and use the extra PCIe card slot as another PCIe x1 slot. Your PSU is good sized. I'd say you put together a good budget build for $600.
  2. Well, for the same price, you can get the 6850 which is an amazing value. So much faster than the 550Ti.
  3. another vote for the radeon 6850 rather than the 550 ti

    consider the antec 300 two as your case . The front USB 3 ports make it worth the extra
    But that would also mean finding a more expensive mb with internal usb3 ports .
    IMO the Asus M5A97 evo

    To offset those increases you can get the FX 4100 which is an identical part to the 4170 and just overclock it to 4170 speeds [ and beyond]
  4. Thank you for your input.
  5. Do you live near a microcenter?

    clutchc puts a positive spin on it, but his post is really just the nice way of saying the 550ti won't even max all the games out today at your target resolution; future games will be less kind. If gaming is your top priority with this build, I'd suggest a stronger video card.
  6. I would drop the PSU down to something a little less "extravagant" and opt for something less expensive.
    $80 is kind of high for a PSU in a build like this. How about you swap it for something like a CX430?
    The CX430 is a decent PSU that is usually in the $20-$30 range after rebates.

    Switch the FX-4100 for an i3-2100 or 2120. Take the money saved and spend the small amount more on a 6850:

    If you switch to an INtel CPU (and I strongly believe you should) you will need to choose another motherboard:

    The build cost would be about the same (actually a little cheaper) making the switch to an i3 over the FX.
    It will cost less in the future as well because the i3 will also consume so little power compared to the FX
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