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Budget Gaming PC for a friend

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January 11, 2013 5:14:51 PM

Hi guys, my friend's laptop broke so I offered to build him a desktop for his gaming, rather than him buy another not-so-good laptop. He's on a fairly limited budget though (preferably close to £550, upper limit £600), and so I came up with the following parts list from PC Part Picker.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/x2XV
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/x2XV/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/x2XV/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (£73.80 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46 ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£57.56 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£32.21 @ Dabs)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.56 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Video Card (£85.86 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case (£38.80 @ Dabs)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Novatech)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Monitor: Asus VE208T 20.0" Monitor (£104.82 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£59.94 @ Aria PC)

Total: £568.51
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


Please Note: The whole "closer to £550" thing is because preferably he'd like to spend the other £50 of his budget on things like a keyboard and headset, as his laptop had a built in mic and, obviously, a built in keyboard.

So then, the question I'm asking is; is this the best system for the budget I'm working with here? If not, what would you use instead?
Thanks in advance.

More about : budget gaming friend

January 13, 2013 5:36:05 AM

Hi. That build looks good for the budget. I suggest downgrading the PSU to the 450W version while upgrading the graphics card to the GTX 650 Ti. I'm guessing you decided on a 1600 x 900 monitor instead of 1920 x 1080 because you didn't want to sacrifice image quality or frame rate for more pixels. I have compiled an alternative build below with an Intel i3 since most games don't use more than 2 cores yet and it performs better than most AMD processors in games. There's nothing wrong with your AMD build though.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£86.22 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: MSI B75MA-E33 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£41.70 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£34.50 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.56 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card (£107.99 @ Aria PC)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£31.18 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£36.98 @ Novatech)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Monitor: Asus VE208T 20.0" Monitor (£104.48 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£59.94 @ Aria PC)
Total: £568.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-13 07:26 GMT+0000)
January 13, 2013 8:38:47 AM

The graphics card upgrade, PSU downgrade idea is a good one, so thanks for that. I already posted this on a few other forums, and they seem to agree with you on the i3 over the AMD FX CPU, so I'll go with that as well. As to why I selected a 1600x900 monitor over a 1920x1080 one, that sounds like a good reason, but in truth it's just because I use a 1600x900 monitor and it seems to be good enough for me.
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January 13, 2013 7:04:16 PM

Well if your friend don't mind, then the GTX 650 Ti will perform well at that resolution. You're welcome and good luck with the build.
January 13, 2013 8:12:08 PM

Thanks for the help! :) 
January 14, 2013 10:49:57 AM

If it was my money, I might, but won't fit in the budget. And we call them pounds :) 
!