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Cheap gaming mini PC (>500$)

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November 13, 2012 1:37:18 PM

I'm trying to build a super-cheap multimedia/gaming PC. I have never done this, and need help. I am not familiar with most technical stuff, but am a quick learner. So I hope you can help me as this seems like an awesome place to find this sort of help.



Requirements:
1 Small (mini-ITX?)
2 Quiet
3 Strong enough to play Skyrim at 1080 med-high detail at +30FPS
4 Low power consumption
5 No optical drive
6 100% will not be upgraded in the next 2-3 years (maybe harddrive, is SSD gets cheaper)
7 No overclocking
8 W8 will be the OS

Usage scenarios:
1 Gaming
2 Browsing
3 Multimedia
4 Office

I realize that when price is the main criteria, many compromises would need to be made.
I took this as a starting point:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-overclock...

I should mention that I will not be buying this in USA, so those coupons, promo codes and whatnot do not come into play.
So basically I need to adjust the configuration from the link to the smaller form factor while maintaining or even possibly bringing the price even more down and also maintaining the performance requirement that I gave.

I will mostly be playing games like mass effect series, dragon age, starcraft, dawn of war 3 (when it comes out).. And some other games from the past years that i missed out on, but would like to have to possibility to play newer games at medium settings in 1080.

I also have some questions:
1 If I buy a mini-ITX case, do I need to look out for sizes of components other than mbo, like graphics card? Also, how limiting would this smaller form factor be in regards to cooling , how loud the PC is or when choosing other components?
2 These are the graphic cards I'm deceiding between fro now: 6850, 6870, 7850, 450+. Any other suggestions? My requirement would be that it runs Skyrim at 1080P 30FPS at medium-high details. And the lower TPD/price, the better.
3 For the processor, I'm kinda set on a Pentium (G860). Do IB Pentiums bring anything to the table, like lower TDP? If not, is there a lower TDP processor with comparable performance and price point?
4 Does better cooling guarantee lower noise level?
5 How many W of electricity would be enough if I'm not going to be upgrading the PC, with these components: SB/IB Pentium, 7200RPM HD, graphics (no optical drive). Is 400W enough?
6 How does that intel wireless display technology work? Can any display be made to work wirelessly? Are there special models?
7 I was thinking of buying an affordable IPS display, like this:
http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/lg-ips235v/4505-31...
Is it worth it over the somewhat cheaper regular LCD/LED displays?

Thanks!

More about : cheap gaming mini 500

November 13, 2012 2:00:06 PM

I can't edit this post, so here goes:

- IB Pentium G2120 has 55W TDP, compared to 65W of G860. How important is that in regards to noise/cooling?
- Radeon 7770 has a relatively low TDP of 80W. So same question as above?
November 13, 2012 2:01:33 PM

I can't edit this post, so here goes:

- IB Pentium G2120 has 55W TDP, compared to 65W of G860. How important is that in regards to noise/cooling?
- Radeon 7770 has a relatively low TDP of 80W. So same question as above?
Related resources
November 13, 2012 2:03:38 PM

I would get atleast a micro ATX case for gaming build as noise and temperatures would be problem even with low TDP CPU and GPU
November 13, 2012 2:08:34 PM

michxymi said:
I would get atleast a micro ATX case for gaming build as noise and temperatures would be problem even with low TDP CPU and GPU


Sorry, but what does that exactly mean? Smaller the case, lower the noise? I was thinking it's the other way around!
November 13, 2012 2:55:54 PM

markiz said:
I'm trying to build a super-cheap multimedia/gaming PC. I have never done this, and need help. I am not familiar with most technical stuff, but am a quick learner. So I hope you can help me as this seems like an awesome place to find this sort of help.



Requirements:
1 Small (mini-ITX?)
2 Quiet
3 Strong enough to play Skyrim at 1080 med-high detail at +30FPS
4 Low power consumption
5 No optical drive
6 100% will not be upgraded in the next 2-3 years (maybe harddrive, is SSD gets cheaper)
7 No overclocking
8 W8 will be the OS

Usage scenarios:
1 Gaming
2 Browsing
3 Multimedia
4 Office

I realize that when price is the main criteria, many compromises would need to be made.
I took this as a starting point:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-overclock...

I should mention that I will not be buying this in USA, so those coupons, promo codes and whatnot do not come into play.
So basically I need to adjust the configuration from the link to the smaller form factor while maintaining or even possibly bringing the price even more down and also maintaining the performance requirement that I gave.

I will mostly be playing games like mass effect series, dragon age, starcraft, dawn of war 3 (when it comes out).. And some other games from the past years that i missed out on, but would like to have to possibility to play newer games at medium settings in 1080.

I also have some questions:
1 If I buy a mini-ITX case, do I need to look out for sizes of components other than mbo, like graphics card? Also, how limiting would this smaller form factor be in regards to cooling , how loud the PC is or when choosing other components?
2 These are the graphic cards I'm deceiding between fro now: 6850, 6870, 7850, 450+. Any other suggestions? My requirement would be that it runs Skyrim at 1080P 30FPS at medium-high details. And the lower TPD/price, the better.
3 For the processor, I'm kinda set on a Pentium (G860). Do IB Pentiums bring anything to the table, like lower TDP? If not, is there a lower TDP processor with comparable performance and price point?
4 Does better cooling guarantee lower noise level?
5 How many W of electricity would be enough if I'm not going to be upgrading the PC, with these components: SB/IB Pentium, 7200RPM HD, graphics (no optical drive). Is 400W enough?
6 How does that intel wireless display technology work? Can any display be made to work wirelessly? Are there special models?
7 I was thinking of buying an affordable IPS display, like this:
http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/lg-ips235v/4505-31...
Is it worth it over the somewhat cheaper regular LCD/LED displays?

Thanks!



1 If I buy a mini-ITX case, do I need to look out for sizes of components other than mbo, like graphics card? Also, how limiting would this smaller form factor be in regards to cooling , how loud the PC is or when choosing other components?

To answer the first part of your question, yes, you will need to be mindful of what kind of components you get in your case as not all cases are big enough for certain GPU's. Cooling will depend on the case you buy, if you find the stock fans to be really loud, you can always get Noctua fans. They're very, very quiet. I'm using Noctua fans for my case and CPU cooler and they're very silent. The loudest thing will either be the GPU or the CPU fan. It'll get loud, but loud is a subjective term. Everyone has different opinions on what constitutes as a loud PC. So, you'll have to try a few things out on your own and find the right configuration that matches your personal taste.

2 These are the graphic cards I'm deceiding between fro now: 6850, 6870, 7850, 450+. Any other suggestions? My requirement would be that it runs Skyrim at 1080P 30FPS at medium-high details. And the lower TPD/price, the better.

If you're looking for better performance and better power consumption step up to the 7000 series a HD7770 strikes a great balance in the power consumption and performance areas.

3 For the processor, I'm kinda set on a Pentium (G860). Do IB Pentiums bring anything to the table, like lower TDP? If not, is there a lower TDP processor with comparable performance and price point?

Step up to a Core i3. You'll find an overall improvement in everthing you do.

4 Does better cooling guarantee lower noise level?

Are you referring to better cooling for components overall? Or CPU cooling? Regardless, as I mentioned above, fans is really a defining factor when it comes to cooling. Once again, I recommend Noctua fans if you want silent cooling.

5 How many W of electricity would be enough if I'm not going to be upgrading the PC, with these components: SB/IB Pentium, 7200RPM HD, graphics (no optical drive). Is 400W enough?

Yes, 400W is more than enough.

6 How does that intel wireless display technology work? Can any display be made to work wirelessly? Are there special models?

Unfortunately, I cannot help you with this question as I'm not familiar with Intel's Wireless Display Tech.

7 I was thinking of buying an affordable IPS display, like this:
http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monito [...] 80804.html
Is it worth it over the somewhat cheaper regular LCD/LED displays?


Will you be doing any video or photo editing? If so, an IPS display is better suited for things like that. Otherwise, you're better off with a LED backlit display.

I found this case to be a pretty good when it comes to cooling and being able to upgrade.

Here's a motherboard and CPU that you could combine. Also, here's a GPU that you can put in to it.

I know you're not buying things from the US but I thought I may throw in those as suggestions.

As for a power supply, if you truly want energy efficiency, you'll want to get a Gold or Platinum rated PSU.

I'm no expert but I hope my answers were helpful.
November 13, 2012 3:28:35 PM

That was very helpful, thanks!

I think pentium will still be more than enough for me. If it does not bottleneck the GPU. But it seems for the cards I'm looking at, that's not gonna happen.
I have actually made 7770 my n0.1 choice :) 
So thanks for confirmation!

Case is also great, but unfortunately it's not available where i live :( 

Power supply and vent advices are also very helpful. I guess I'll try with the stock ones, and if they're too loud, I'll try some quieter ones.
November 13, 2012 3:32:25 PM

yup listen to solinvictus01.
November 13, 2012 9:15:25 PM

Is AMD disqualified because i said "no overclocking"?
Is there an AMD processor of comparable performance to i3, bit cheaper?
November 13, 2012 9:21:46 PM

Also, main reason I want lower power consumption is not cost of electricity.
But i know lower TDP affects cooling and noise in laptops.

If cost id the only benefit, I can strike it from the list. a few extra dozen $ a year is not important.
!