$300 New Build - Gaming at Max Settings and 4xMSAA at 720p for 2 Years

Approximate Purchase Date: (Approx.) Black Friday (November 23, 2012)

Second Update: Budget Range: $300 after rebates/shipping
First Update: Budget Range: $500 after rebates/shipping
Original Post: Budget Range: $300 after rebates/shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Second Update: Play Games up to 2007/2008 with max settings and 4xMSAA at 720p (1366*768)
Original Post: Gaming with max settings and 4xMSAA (or equivalent) at 720p (1366*768) for 1.5 to 2 years.

Are you buying a monitor: No


Parts to Upgrade:
CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Graphics Card, Hard Drive, Case, and Power Supply.

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
newegg.com or amazon.com (just because I have accounts on these two websites, suggestion for other websites is very welcomed.)

Location: Urbana, Illinois, USA

Parts Preferences:
Second Update: The following parts has been purchased:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G2120 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($88.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI H61M-E33/W8 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Apevia 500W ATX Power Supply ($23.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $272.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-23 21:32 EST-0500)

Original Post: none

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution:1366*768

Additional Questions:
Second Update: My own answers added
Q1. For motherboard, the socket probably will change in 2 years, so would going with a cheap one for now be logical?
A1. Yes
Q2. For RAM, would 2*2GB be sufficient for a foreseeable future (beyond 2 years)? Or should I get 2*4GB to be future proof instead of wasting money on 2*2GB?
A2. 2*4GB
Q3. For hard drive, because I am not storing anything but a few games, I think a single 64GB SSD should give good speed and capacity, is this thought reasonable?
A3. 120GB and up gives more GB per dollar
Q4. Would a 500W PSU enough to power rigs at 1080p (max settings and 4xMSAA) two years from now?
A4. 500W would be plenty for mid-range build
Q5. What would be a good (CPU price)/(GPU price) ratio for a balance (no bottleneck) build?
A5. 1/1 to 1/1.5 (base on benchmark of the various performance builds in system builder marathon)

Why Are You Upgrading:
Second Update: Decided to divide up the time period and play some old games (up to Crysis) with a budget build ($300) first, and save the $200 for 1080p upgrade.
Original Post: After playing a lot of ancient (10+ years old) games on my cheap laptop, I decided that I will move up the ladder and play some modern games with a cheap desktop. I have a very limited budget right now and would like to keep using my 32" 720p TV. I am considering upgrade to 1080p (maybe even 3D) in 1.5 to 2 years from now, so I would like to keep as many non-performance-critical parts as possible (everything except CUP/motherboard and graphics card).

Thank you for the help.
14 answers Last reply
More about build gaming settings 4xmsaa 720p years
  1. you need a bigger budget

    your best budget option is probably an AMD A10 apu
    which is a processor with very powerful graphics built in
  2. For $300?

    No.
  3. The cheapest budget rig I've ever considered was $400, and that would only play low-medium settings at 1080p.

    Trying to get ultra settings for years with $300, even at lower resolutions, is simply unfeasible.
  4. Thanks for all the replies. After much hard work I think I could increase the budget to $500. I don't think 720p gaming would be difficult for this budget at the moment, but could it survive 2 years?
  5. APU BUILD


    CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M-DGS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($55.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($71.74 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $467.66
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 13:44 EST-0500)

    Here's benchmarks for a10 5800K and other trinity based apus http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a10-5800k-a8-5600k-a6-5400k,3224-16.html
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intel build

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-overclocking-pc-building,3273.html
    To see full build and benchmark click link!
  6. I know how you can do this, buy used parts, look around and make sure you look at deals and such, black friday on cases can be something good, last year I was some cases cost $5, optical drives were $4. Little things like that might add up.
  7. butremor said:
    APU BUILD


    CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M-DGS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($55.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($71.74 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $467.66
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 13:44 EST-0500)

    Here's benchmarks for a10 5800K and other trinity based apus http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a10-5800k-a8-5600k-a6-5400k,3224-16.html
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intel build

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-overclocking-pc-building,3273.html
    To see full build and benchmark click link!

    Where is he going to put his data?
  8. Meh, just memorize it

    Lol, j/k. Here's bit another build.
    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nsvM
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nsvM/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nsvM/benchmarks/

    CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M-DGS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($55.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($50.98 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($71.74 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $509.64
  9. Here is a temporary build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nEtC

    Since I can get the OS from my college, I can spend those money on a better graphic card. But I have to ask the age old question: is this build balanced? What would be a good CPU/GPU price ratio?
  10. Both 4GB RAM kits and 64GB SSDs are at very poor price points currently, you can get double the capacity for a couple dollars more in both instances. You'd also be extremely tight on space with 64GB, but I think 128GB is doable.

    There's not much point in me giving you a build list if you're buying on Black Friday because all the best deals will change, but just to give you an idea:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Pentium G2120 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($94.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($61.97 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
    Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Antec DF-35 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $505.91
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-13 22:10 EST-0500)

    Marginal CPU improvement, twice the RAM, twice the SSD capacity, better chassis. Again, this is purely academic and subject to change. I would put any money you save from Black Friday deals towards a better CPU and a bit beefier PSU.
  11. ckholt83 said:


    Marginal CPU improvement, twice the RAM, twice the SSD capacity, better chassis. Again, this is purely academic and subject to change. I would put any money you save from Black Friday deals towards a better CPU and a bit beefier PSU.

    It may also be worth noting that places like NCIX have quarterly sales where you can buy cases for up to 50% off ( It's totally awesome ) and black friday also has some great deals on cases, seen mid-towers priced as low as 15$.
  12. Updated to reflect changes in goal of the build.

    Suggestions and comments are extremely welcomed.
  13. I got a hd 7770 ghz edition for $70 yesterday. i would suggest that and a sandy bridge pentium . It would CRUSH any apu. (the 7770 is ussually like $135!).
  14. blake1243 said:
    I got a hd 7770 ghz edition for $70 yesterday. i would suggest that and a sandy bridge pentium . It would CRUSH any apu. (the 7770 is ussually like $135!).


    I got the same HD7770 (from MSI) and an Ivy Bridge Pentium G2120. The 7770 is a really great deal, and the G2120 at $80 ($12 more than the cheapest G860 I found) is really attractive as well.

    However, Newegg has the A8-3850 APU for $85, which I think is truly difficult to beat with discrete CPU/GPU combo at same price range. In the end though, A8-3850 probably won't handle Crysis at 720p very well, so I have to look elsewhere.
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