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~$400 All-around/gaming rig

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February 15, 2013 3:37:39 PM

So, I'm looking to build a computer. I plan to have my family members get me parts for my upcoming birthday.

I like the idea of being able to play a few games but certainly don't play any of the newest games or need the highest performance for those that I do play.

Possible Games: Starcraft II; HoN; TeamFortress2; SW:KotR
Usual activities: web browsing, productivity suites, movie streaming

Using the Template from Guide:
Approximate Purchase Date: April or May 2013
Budget Range: $300-450 (After Rebates; After Shipping)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: surfing the internet, gaming, watching movies
No Monitor needed; eventually will hook up to projector
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Location: Mid-Michigan
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution:1024x768, and higher
Additional Comments: Doesn't have to be fancy or pretty case; shouldn't be super loud; can upgrade somewhat in the future; I'd like to have HDMI output for future projector hookup

Current System Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DHss
The SSD drive I included in the build would be used to hold the OS (Windows 7 Home).

Basically, I'm looking for advice on a cheap but decent system. I'm not real sure about memory or HD performance.

Please post alternative builds!
Thanks for any and all advice and comments.

More about : 400 gaming rig

February 15, 2013 4:06:22 PM

I'd not get SSD in a $400 gaming rig, your FPS will suffer too much.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 975 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($82.18 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($65.85 @ Compuvest)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($96.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $437.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-15 13:06 EST-0500)

Edit: Forgot to mention, you'll be able to upgrade this up to 8-core Steamroller CPU (FX-8350 successor). FM1 is already a dead socket and FM2 won't really provide much better performance with new line of CPUs. You can add SSD when you can afford one. As long as you've got good, upgradeable base you'll be fine.
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February 15, 2013 4:11:04 PM

Hmm, okay. I am just intrigued by the fast startup time. I didn't realize that having the SSD would affect games stored on another drive.

Thanks for the build example.
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February 15, 2013 4:14:53 PM

Benefits you get from having an SSD are great, but in low budget gaming builds they cut too much into overall performance so it's better to just skip one until you can afford it.
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February 15, 2013 4:48:43 PM

Do you think I could get by with one of the new AMD APU processors and how buy a dedicated graphics card?
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February 15, 2013 5:49:47 PM

Anyone else want to give me some ideas?

I'm thinking I don't really need a separate graphics card.

With promos and rebates from Newegg I can get the below rig: 412.45 (+ $20 mail-in rebate) including shipping
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A6-5400K 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($71.97 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($72.25 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: A-Data Premier Pro SP600 32GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($21.99 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Xigmatek XSF-F1252 75.0 CFM 120mm Fan ($7.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $429.15
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-15 14:48 EST-0500)
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February 15, 2013 5:55:49 PM

Soda-88 said:
I'd not get SSD in a $400 gaming rig, your FPS will suffer too much.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 975 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($82.18 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($65.85 @ Compuvest)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($96.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $437.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-15 13:06 EST-0500)

Edit: Forgot to mention, you'll be able to upgrade this up to 8-core Steamroller CPU (FX-8350 successor). FM1 is already a dead socket and FM2 won't really provide much better performance with new line of CPUs. You can add SSD when you can afford one. As long as you've got good, upgradeable base you'll be fine.


I can now see some of the great parts of this build. I'll just not familiar with a few of the vendors that are showing for the cheapest parts.

Thanks for the awesome build Soda-88!
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Best solution

February 15, 2013 5:59:25 PM

If it's for casual gaming, then yes, an apu build is a good option, but i rather get ram with higher frequencies, also if it's just for April or May, there's no point in doing lists now, the prices of the components will vary, some might get discontinued by then, also worth mention by that time, there will be the new amd apus : http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-richland-28nm-a10-...
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February 15, 2013 6:07:15 PM

djangoringo said:
If it's for casual gaming, then yes, an apu build is a good option, but i rather get ram with higher frequencies, also if it's just for April or May, there's no point in doing lists now, the prices of the components will vary, some might get discontinued by then, also worth mention by that time, there will be the new amd apus : http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-richland-28nm-a10-...


Oh, thanks for letting me know about the new apus.

I'm just getting a little excited hence my wanting to get a bit more informed now. I haven't been closely monitoring the market to know that components vary so frequently.

Thanks for the information. What Frequencies would you recommend?
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February 15, 2013 6:07:31 PM

Best answer selected by Izec86.
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