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Another Budget Build: Advice, ideas, comments, etc.

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February 6, 2013 3:16:22 PM

Hello everyone in virtual land,

Yes, I'm another one of those people stomping in here and asking about building a computer as cheap as possible! By cheap I mean....uh, *embarrassed cough* £300 cheap. £350 is possible, with £400 at a stretch if I deem it worth it.

I write about games for my job, but have been mostly a console gamer despite growing up a PC gamer. My current computer is older than Tutankhamun's grandmother.

So, finally I thought I'd get around to building a new computer, but obviously not one that's going to be impressing anyone.

Mostly, I want to be able to play RTS games like Stronghold 3 etc., especially good 'ol Supreme Command at high settings,. I'd also like to play modern games as well, but don't need them to be at high settings - low to medium would be fine, if I can manage it.

I've put together a list of parts, but would love advice on whether it's a solid selection or utter garbage. This was just done quickly using Ebay, so yeah.... Anyway, total build price was £332. (Yes, I'm from the UK)

- Motherboard, processor and RAM bundle made up of: Phenom II x4 965 3.4 GHz, Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB and Kingston 8GB Hyper-Blue.

- GTX 650 GPU

- OCZ Technology 500W CoreXStream PSU

- SanDisk Ultra 2.5" 120GB Solid State


I went with the cheap SanDisk simply to try and stay at a low price even though it's not that great. I don't story a lot of stuff on my computer in terms of vids, music, etc. so I'll keep the old HDD from my current computer for that.

Keyboard, mouse, monitor and OS are not needed. Nor speakers.

So, thoughts? Could I get better parts for the cash? Will it explode in a ball of fiery death? Are my hopes of running modern games at low to medium settings just the dream of a very stupid man sitting behind a keyboard? And should I consider any extra cooling, keeping in mind that I've got no plans to overclock?

I may also need to think about a new case as looking at this old one the ventilation isn't superb.

And yes, I'm more than happy to build it all myself. Should be a could laugh and educational.

Okay, I think I've covered everything. Cheers for all of your help, and have mercy on this clueless soul.

P.S. If you just happen to have a £5000 PC around the place that you don't need, I'd happily take it off your hands. You know, recycling and all that.... :D 

a b B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 3:30:59 PM

It's decent, you have all the parts needed, all of it are compatible, i don't know if those parts are used, i'm going to list the parts of your bundle from uk shops :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£68.99 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£43.23 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: GeIL Enhance CORSA 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.23 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£70.97 @ Dabs)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card (£89.98 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£36.98 @ Novatech)
Total: £340.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
February 6, 2013 4:53:54 PM

Also, would it be worth taking the Solid State out of the equation and use some of that money toward getting a better graphics card? Or is the extra performance a solid provides over a regular drive worth it?
Related resources
February 6, 2013 4:56:23 PM

you dont need the solid state unless you like a computer that boots and loads games fast
a b B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 4:57:34 PM

It all depends on the resolution and the games in question, but if you want a better card, then yes, the ssd is expendable, if you have already a hdd, that money can be spent in a better cpu/gpu.
I just listed the ssd, because i thought you wanted one.
a c 92 B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 4:58:20 PM

HopelessNoob said:
you dont need the solid state unless you like a computer that boots and loads games fast


Yeah I agree, you could take the SSD out and invest in a better video card - get a reference GTX 660 or a Radeon 7870 GHz edition. You can always add the SSD later.
February 6, 2013 5:03:10 PM

djangoringo said:
It all depends on the resolution and the games in question, but if you want a better card, then yes, the ssd is expendable, if you have already a hdd, that money can be spent in a better cpu/gpu.
I just listed the ssd, because i thought you wanted one.

No, thank you for listing it! As I say, I was just debating whether the solid state would be worth it over the extra graphics power.
February 6, 2013 5:08:27 PM

upgrading your graphics card is always better than upgrading your hard disk as long as it's not slower than 7200 rpm
a b B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 5:10:08 PM

Yes, that card is a good upgrade from the 7770 or 650 gtx, and it has two games free.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 5:10:30 PM

What about an fm2 trinity build? Save a bundle by getting an a10-5800k, put some 1866 ram in there and OC the CPU/GPU and youve got yourself a decent gaming rig.
a c 92 B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 7:52:53 PM

WolfLeBlack said:
Adding the £50 to the solid would have cost to getting a GPU would bump up my budget for that to around £130. For that money, would a Radeon 7850 be a good option?
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-radeon-hd-7850-c...


Yeah that would provide a significantly huge boost to your graphics output.

Quote:
What about an fm2 trinity build? Save a bundle by getting an a10-5800k, put some 1866 ram in there and OC the CPU/GPU and youve got yourself a decent gaming rig.


Not a bad suggestion but the A10 as a CPU is relatively weak - you get better integrated graphics but having a stronger GPU is a far better option.

a b B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 10:02:55 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Yeah that would provide a significantly huge boost to your graphics output.

Quote:
What about an fm2 trinity build? Save a bundle by getting an a10-5800k, put some 1866 ram in there and OC the CPU/GPU and youve got yourself a decent gaming rig.


Not a bad suggestion but the A10 as a CPU is relatively weak - you get better integrated graphics but having a stronger GPU is a far better option.


Nnh...an a10 is pretty much piledriver without the L3 cache if im not mistaken, no worse than the antiquated phenom ii x4. And he mostly wants to play cpu intensive games and maybe a couple gpu games on low while on a budget. That to me has trinity written all over it. You know, we dont even know what resolution hes got. Unless its 1080p, an hd 7870 is way overkill, dont you think? Again, that cheap sweetness that is hd7640 starts looking mighty good to me.
a c 92 B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 10:25:06 PM

Augray37 said:
Nnh...an a10 is pretty much piledriver without the L3 cache if im not mistaken, no worse than the antiquated phenom ii x4. And he mostly wants to play cpu intensive games and maybe a couple gpu games on low while on a budget. That to me has trinity written all over it. You know, we dont even know what resolution hes got. Unless its 1080p, an hd 7870 is way overkill, dont you think? Again, that cheap sweetness that is hd7640 starts looking mighty good to me.


OK yeah that is a good point. Resolution is key to determining what GPU you go with. The nice thing about the A10 is you can overclock the s--- out of it with very minimal effort so it does have that going for it over the G860. :lol: 
a b B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 10:33:12 PM

An amd apu isn't suffice even for some demanding games at 720p, for e.g. BF3 at ultra settings at 720p it won't get decent framerate.
February 6, 2013 11:53:36 PM

how terrible would the A10 be playing in low to mid settings as the OP suggested?
a b B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2013 11:57:41 PM

Well, if he was looking to drop the ssd for a better card, that means he wants better performance and better settings in game.
The amd a10 is a competent apu, it can do some gaming, even some of the recent titles, but for some demanding games or games with higher quality settings, it won't be suffice.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 12:25:06 AM

I said BF3 at ultra settings, not in low settings, i'm not trying to say that the amd a10 is a bad apu, but it's not recommended for someone who's aspiring to play at maximum settings or high settings, or some demanding games, skyrim isn't one of them.
See, a 7750 does only get 30 fps which is for me, it's unplayable : http://tpucdn.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7750/images/bf3_1280_...
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 12:31:30 AM

djangoringo said:
I said BF3 at ultra settings, not in low settings, i'm not trying to say that the amd a10 is a bad apu, but it's not recommended for someone who's aspiring to play at maximum settings or high settings, or some demanding games, skyrim isn't one of them.
See, a 7750 does only get 30 fps which is for me, it's unplayable : http://tpucdn.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7750/images/bf3_1280_...


but the OP said this...

"I'd also like to play modern games as well, but don't need them to be at high settings - low to medium would be fine, if I can manage it."
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 12:40:34 AM

He already had a card in it, in his first build, when you can afford a better card and cpu, it's useful, specially he can now play it at high settings, and the 7850 has two free games, i don't know the op desires in gaming, but for the most games that will come, an a10 won't be suffice.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 12:49:14 AM

djangoringo said:
He already had a card in it, in his first build, when you can afford a better card and cpu, it's useful, specially he can now play it at high settings, and the 7850 has two free games, i don't know the op desires in gaming, but for the most games that will come, an a10 won't be suffice.


when that day comes, there will be a new generation of CPUs compatible with FM2 mobos and he can upgrade the CPU on the cheap. also, if he ever feels his GPU is lacking, he could easily get a cheap HD 6670, 7750, or 8750 (or whatever) to crossfire.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 12:54:09 AM

A 7850 will always be better than any apu, if you can afford a discrete card, it's always better, as long it's a low/mid end one, like the 7770 or 7850.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 1:47:20 AM

Of course a discrete card CAN be better than an APU, but that's not the point now is it? The OP wants gaming at a certain price point, and a trinity APU will fit HIS needs as stated now and for quite a while in the future with its many upgrade opportunities. the a10-5800k is just as strong as the Phenom, maybe stronger. FM2 has just as much upgradeability as AM3+ but at a cheaper price point. Yours might do it "better", but a 7850 is kinda pushing the budget eh? Mine is a viable option, one that i happen to think is the best one if the OP is really that tight on money. If he really wants to, he could just as easily slap a 7970 on an FM2 board in the future if he so desires. I really don't see the downside to FM2 here. It gives him many more options than an AM3+ rig with a discrete GPU does while accomplishing his goal.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 1:59:03 AM

It's not mine, it was the op who put the 7850 link, and the other parts, before i suggested anything, he might not want an apu build, if he plans to play some demanding game with higher settings, the apu just doesn't cut it, even a pentium G860+7750 is a better option for gaming, in my opinion.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 2:04:59 AM

djangoringo said:
It's not mine, it was the op who put the 7850 link, and the other parts, before i suggested anything, he might not want an apu build, if he plans to play some demanding game with higher settings, the apu just doesn't cut it, even a pentium G860+7750 is a better option for gaming, in my opinion.


but he didn't say he wanted to play demanding games at higher settings.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 2:07:48 AM

Let him speak when he's online, and let him clarify his needs/wishes for the in game settings and what games he intends to play or future games that he intend to.
Other than that, i can't say nothing more.
February 7, 2013 9:16:00 AM

Morning everyone,

Thanks for all of the replies!

To clarify, I'd like to be able to run current games on the PC, but only at low to medium settings. For example, I'd love to be able to run Battlefield 3 if possible. Call of Duty would also be great, as would most modern RTS games.

In short, I'm looking for low to medium settings in any modern game, primarily to keep the cost down as I cannot afford very much.

I don't have any degree of knowledge in regards to components. I picked out the parts in my initial post and the 7850 because I thought they offered solid performance for the money. If you think another GPU is advisable, I'm more than happy to consider it :) 
February 7, 2013 9:31:10 AM

Make a fith duplicate post and I'll close this thread! :non: 
February 7, 2013 9:39:45 AM

Morning everyone,

Thanks for all of the replies!

To clarify, I'd like to be able to run current games on the PC, but only at low to medium settings. For example, I'd love to be able to run Battlefield 3 if possible. Call of Duty would also be great, as would most modern RTS games.

In short, I'm looking for low to medium settings in any modern game, primarily to keep the cost down as I cannot afford very much.

I don't have any degree of knowledge in regards to components. I picked out the parts in my initial post and the 7850 because I thought they offered solid performance for the money. If you think another GPU is advisable, I'm more than happy to consider it :) 
!