Budget gaming sys - please check specs

EDIT: New specs/questions in post #6 below

- - -

Hi all, I'm new to picking custom parts so I was wondering if I could get someone to look over my choices thus far.

I'm aiming for a budget gaming build -- "budget" because I'm watching my wallet and also because I'm not playing the top-of-the-line stuff. So ideally, I'd like to play (for example) Starcraft 2 on ultra with a good framerate. (With that in mind, hopefully the parts I picked don't make me look like an ignoramus.)


CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX


Video: HIS iCooler H777F1G2M Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready

Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR

Power supply: FSP Group AURUM GOLD 400W (AU-400) ATX12V /EPS 12V 80PLUS GOLD Certified Compatible with Core i7

Storage: Western Digital WD Blue WD3200AAKX 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Optical: ASUS 24X DVD Burner Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

Since I'm pretty new to this whole thing I can't self-check as far as potential bottlenecks, etc., so if someone could let me know if there are problems or offer other suggestions that would be great.


Approximate Purchase Date: this week or next week

Budget Range: hopefully $700-800 after buying Windows + monitor

System Usage from Most to Least Important: games, internet, movies

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (going to get the $70 promo for Win8 64-bit, I've been using the Release Preview and the tablet stuff doesn't bother me, I just want something fast and cheap that can handle more ram than my XP 32-bit)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Location: Anchorage AK

Overclocking: Not necessarily

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: I've heard 1920x1080 is what I should strive for?

Additional Comments: Like to smoothly run SC2 and Deus Ex: HR on full/ultra settings


Thanks very much to all who read this!
7 answers Last reply
More about budget gaming check specs
  1. You should be good except for two things.
    One: You'll need to overclock your CPU in order to avoid a bottleneck. To do that, you'll need an aftermarket cooler. (I recommend the Hyper 212+ or evo)

    Two: That hard drive is a waste of money, and WILL bottleneck your entire system. Blues are known for not performing very well a lot of the time - I would highly recommend getting a cheapo WD black.

    The other thing I would highly recommend is getting an SSD. I know they're expensive, but they're also completely worth it. I have a 128GB SSD running on SATA III as my boot drive, and from POST, windows takes about 4 seconds to boot - the boot animation can't even completely load most of the time.

    The other beautiful thing about SSDs is that launching programs will be almost instant if they're installed on it, and any game installed on it will have loading screens about 5-6 times faster than if it were on a hard drive.

    There are going to be a lot of people who'll tell you to go Intel. Ignore them - intel is king at higher price points, but for any tower below ~$650, I'd always go AMD.

    As for your monitor, yes, 1920x1080 is the 'standard' for gaming nowadays. On older rigs, you'll probably prefer 1600x900, as it's quite a lot easier on the graphics card. (For this rig, you'd be able to max out anything at 1600x900, and get medium to high settings at HD, depending on the game)
  2. Thanks, I appreciate it -- I'll look into your suggestions!

    PS Is it possible to upgrade one or two components from my list to get 1920x1080 reliably?
  3. Something like this perhaps, monitor and OS included.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($92.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Scorpio Black 320GB 2.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Monitor: BenQ GW2250 21.5" Monitor ($123.99 @ Amazon)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($92.22 @ Amazon)
    Total: $745.12
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
  4. This sys is fine for 1080p just not at max setting with current top teir titles games..more like go in and adjust till your happy @ 1080p. O.o
  5. Hi again, I appreciate the help. I've done some more reading, looked at your responses and come up with the following:


    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core
    Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
    Mobo: ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600
    GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card
    Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" SSD
    Power: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V
    Optical: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case

    A few questions:

    - If I don't require very much space (say, 120gb or less), it's fine to use the SSD as my main/everything drive, right? (Never had one so I don't know if they get finnicky from using them like a "normal" hard drive.)

    - I also haven't overclocked before, and I read some confusing things about setting memory speeds. This memory is "rated" for 1600, which the mobo supports (as OC)... is there any problem I will encounter with this rig if I try and overclock? (Enough power, right mobo/memory, etc.?)

    - For GPU I decided on the 6850, which seemed like a good middle-ground between the 7770 and 7850. The benchmarks I saw seemed to support high settings for SC2 and DX:HR. I guess I don't have a question for this so much as asking you all if I will indeed be able to run those games on high based on my other hardware choices. (Really just a double-check, since earlier posts seemed positive.)

    Thanks again!
  6. Seems nice.

    Yes, it's fine to use. You can buy a normal HDD later if you need more space.

    Nope, no problems here.

    Yeah, I think high is quite possible.
  7. if you dont want to worry about fps switch the cpu for the fx-6100 and the GPU for a nvidia 550ti

    i have both and have had little problems (the cpu doesnt play certain games but there is a fix i have only found 2 deus ex and counter strike go) since you put deus ex on there i wil recoment the phenom II x4 my buddy has one and he has no problems with any games, infact he plays games maxed out streams and uploads and runs a minecraft server at the same time no problems

    the x6 is the same but is you plan on doing super muiltitasking

    edit ignor the gpu part i read that wrong
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