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$400 GAMING PC - Check it out!

Last response: in Systems
August 10, 2012 7:06:46 PM

I was bored at work, so I decided to piece together a budget build for a friend. Hopefully this will help someone else looking for a value gaming PC.

PCPartPicker part list:
Price breakdown by merchant:

CPU: Intel Celeron G540 2.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI H61M-P31 (G3) Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($21.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Zalman N Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($106.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Xion XON-180 ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($26.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $406.88
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-10 15:08 EDT-0400)

More about : 400 gaming check

August 10, 2012 7:11:43 PM

What are you going to be trying to play with this build? also no need for a ssd in a budget build put that money into a better gpu. finally whats ur res?
August 10, 2012 7:14:31 PM

after using that processor temporarily(long story), i would not suggest it for any gaming oriented build. at least get a pentium, but still id suggest a core i3 or i5
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August 10, 2012 7:18:58 PM

Ehhh... I think this build will be mostly for steam games or RTS games.
ie. DOTA, LOL, HON, SC2, D3, etc.

This is a budget build since my friend is reluctant to waste money on a full-on gaming PC.

Also, the usual web browsing, school work, etc. etc.
August 10, 2012 7:19:54 PM

well to emphasize what spicy_benie said, just drop the ssd and put it into the processor (that puts you in pentium range, or i3 2100), or a better gpu, but i feel like the cpu is most lacking in that build
August 10, 2012 7:24:53 PM

ahh but SSDs are sooooo good.
I'm actually addicted to their performance.

Personally, I replaced all my OS drives with SSDs because they are just that good. (2 desktops, 1 laptop, 1 netbook). Worth every penny.

You know what I mean right? ;D
August 10, 2012 7:27:57 PM

i mean i have one too, they are great, but not at the expense of the processor haha. even if i were building one on this budget for myself, id cut out ssd for better cpu. in fact id just cut out gpu at this budget and get a better cpu and motherboard, and save for a gpu later. thats just me though haha, and i see where youre coming from
August 10, 2012 7:28:52 PM

With regards to the CPU, it should be okay with reasonable game settings. No need to attempt BF3 at ultra 1080p.

The Sandy-Bridge architecture is that good, even a dual core @ 2.XGhz is powerful enough for most games. (I just read lots of reviews)
August 10, 2012 7:32:08 PM

im using that same cpu and motherboard (was originally built for server, wouldnt have bought it for games) right now, and even when paired with a good gpu, it really struggles when i get around multiple ai. i mean maybe at lower textures/resolution it would do the trick. i just wanna issue a fair warning, dont let me tell you what to do at all haha
August 10, 2012 7:33:11 PM

I would drop the SSD and get a pentium or i3.

Also, how come no one EVER puts on OS in their budget? I know some people have it, but are all these people pirating Win7?
August 10, 2012 7:40:36 PM

Question: Why do you suggest a Pentium vs. Celeron?

The only difference is like... 0.1Ghz + 1MB L3 Cache (Pentium G620)... How much improvement can that really bring =="

Yes, I have an i3-2120 and it pwns, but it's expensive. (2x - 3x the price of the G540, but only 50%-100% more performance)
August 10, 2012 7:44:41 PM

also, i wouldnt really suggest the pentium, but its better than the celeron
August 10, 2012 7:44:59 PM

only 50-100%? thats a pretty vast improvement haha. the 2100 costs (this week) less than 2x as much as the g540 and you get hyper threading with the i3. i suggest because buying the lowest end processor today will not get him very far. i dont like the term future proofing, but its not gonna be very long before that cpu will be basically worthless, having no resale value to speak of, and then he has to drop more money on a better cpu/motherboard to get in the game again. just and idea, but if it were my friend, i wouldnt let him get the celeron

the i3 i was referring to:
August 10, 2012 7:59:13 PM

Thanks for the replies again, I know what you're saying.

I agree though, I personally would not settle for less than the i3 2100. But it costs about $110-$120 here in Canada, while the G540 is $40.

--> Looking at some random benchmarks, the G540 is about 2500 points, while the i3 2100 is about 4000 points. I'm too lazy to cite it, hope you believe me.

I looked at some comparisons between the G540 and the G620 ($60-70)... the difference is actually like 2 FPS. Comparing the G540 to the higher-end pentiums G8XX ($80-100), that difference extends up to 10FPS.

The i3 has about 10FPS (at worst) to 40FPS (at best) FPS increase than the celeron.

Anyway, I can't argue with you about real life performance, as you have the CPU and I have yet to see it function... so I'll take your word for it. But judging from the specifications and benchmarks, I don't feel like the Sandy-Bridge Celeron is worthless anytime soon. It should last for another 2-3 years, while the i3 may last for 3-4 years. imho.

The Celeron G540 (2.5Ghz) is on par with the Core 2 Duo E8600 (clocked @ 3.3Ghz)
August 10, 2012 8:06:51 PM

fair enough, didnt know you were in canada. i was going off of american prices, which change the outlook completely haha. just trying to provide some good input! hope it works out well for your friend!
August 11, 2012 5:07:58 AM

I have a similar build. But I'm using some used parts so went with a atx board and a pentium. And Im using a gtx 460.
August 11, 2012 5:35:34 AM

Don't game on a celeron. Not exciting, get a g630 at least.
August 11, 2012 10:07:04 AM

i don't care about intel they suck u just pay for the premium this pc is a budget but you can work out with it on i3-2120 or something but if u want more juice go with phenom II x3 and it will do the job and also amd based motherboards are cheaper so u can go with 7770 instead of 7750. and with amd based pc u can go skyrim on 7770 all drivers installed max graphics 30-60 fps that's what u get for 400$
August 11, 2012 2:42:00 PM

lol, that computer build makes me smile. You're not getting anything that could be called a "Gaming PC" while keeping a straight face without spending at least $600.
August 11, 2012 3:15:43 PM

nekulturny said:
lol, that computer build makes me smile. You're not getting anything that could be called a "Gaming PC" while keeping a straight face without spending at least $600.

thats true
August 11, 2012 3:43:06 PM

I think the best thing is to downgrade to a 320gb hdd,dump the ssd and get a gtx 560(non ti) and Pentium g630. Just to claim 'gaming'. You'd have to stop everything to run a game but at least it'll work.
August 13, 2012 11:31:46 PM

Alright alright, I know what you guys are saying. It's not a full fledged gaming machine that will run everything super smoothly... it's more of a "I just want to be able to play" sort of build.

Personally, I can run SC2 on ultra @ 1366x738 on my laptop with a NVIDIA GeForce 310M 512MB, so I'm pretty sure this build can handle that as well....

How about we drop the SSD from the build, and lower the budget to $350 then. Let me know what you guys can build with that sort of budget, and I'll pass that on to my friend!

August 14, 2012 2:55:32 AM

nekulturny said:
lol, that computer build makes me smile. You're not getting anything that could be called a "Gaming PC" while keeping a straight face without spending at least $600.

August 14, 2012 4:34:19 AM

The only way this'll work @$350 is if you get the cheapest CPU with the most powerful gpu and enjoy the bottleneck. Or play minesweeper on ultra.
August 14, 2012 4:41:09 AM

guerrero said:

Its just a weak system, lol. It would make a hell of an HTPC, but I'm sorry, theres no way I'm calling that a "gaming PC". Let me know how well you play Crysis 2 at Ultra settings on it, or low settings for that matter.
August 14, 2012 6:39:59 PM

Who said anything about Crysis 2 @ Ultra settings? O_o

I was talking about SC2, D3, LOL, etc etc etc....
August 14, 2012 6:42:46 PM

It would play those games maxed out (Idk about SC2).
August 14, 2012 6:51:21 PM

Possibly... from experience, my laptop (i5-430M, GeForce 310M) maxes out SC2 @ 1366x738 resolution, so I'm sure this PC can max it out @ 720p, at least.

From benchmarks... the Celeron G540 is equivalent to my mobile i5-430M... so sad T~T
August 14, 2012 8:50:25 PM

^ I'd love to see what you come up with.
August 14, 2012 9:10:31 PM

kawininjazx said:
I would drop the SSD and get a pentium or i3.

Also, how come no one EVER puts on OS in their budget? I know some people have it, but are all these people pirating Win7?

I know i have some extra licenses at home that I will be using on my new build
August 15, 2012 6:39:18 AM

allanitomwesh said:
^ I'd love to see what you come up with.

I don't understand...? What was I supposed to come up with?
August 15, 2012 8:16:40 AM

Your final build,I'd love to see the specsheet.
August 15, 2012 6:38:27 PM

allanitomwesh said:
Your final build,I'd love to see the specsheet.

It's completely different, but for $350 (after a shitload of MIR), it's probably a better value:

Bundle - $285 (after $65MIR)
-AMD Phenom II X4 965 Processor OEM
-MSI 760GM-P21 AM3+ Motherboard
-Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM
-MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC GeForce GTX 550 Ti Video Card
-Seagate ST1000DM003 Barracuda 1TB Hard Drive

Zalman CNPS 5x Performa PURECOPPER/ALU 92MM Fan CPU Cooler - $5 (after $5MIR)

Ultra XBlaster Mid-Tower V2 Case w/ LifeTime Warranty - $25

Corsair CX430 V2 PSU - $25 (after $20MIR)
August 15, 2012 6:43:22 PM

I'd rather get the Radeon 6770 as even it performs better than the 550ti.
August 15, 2012 6:46:19 PM

August 15, 2012 7:30:27 PM

Yep. I think azeem40 is trollin' me hard =="
August 15, 2012 7:44:12 PM

haha,he's only commented once.
August 15, 2012 8:15:25 PM

azeem40 said:
I'd rather get the Radeon 6770 as even it performs better than the 550ti.

I would rather get a 7750