System Builder Marathon Q3 2014: Budget Gaming PC

Case, Power Supply And Optical Drive

Case: Rosewill Challenger Mid-Tower

Although I'm free to pick a case without sacrificing the system's core components, I believe that most gamers building on a budget do not dedicate more than about 10% of their overall funds towards the enclosure. So I kept my sights on products priced $50 and under.

The Rosewill Challenger earned a Recommend Buy award for the value it offered to gamers building with limited funds. It provides plenty of airflow with a trio of bundled cooling fans and a generous volume of interior space for keeping our modest little Pentium cool. It also includes tool-less drive clips, a bottom mount power supply, and ample cable management considerations. 

Read Customer Reviews of Rosewill's Challenger

There were two versions of the Challenger available, both priced the same. One offers USB 3.0 connectivity, though to remain compatible with our H81-based motherboard, I picked the older version with front-mounted USB 2.0 ports.

Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450 W

Many builders fall to the temptation of skimping on power supply quality. But clean, reliable power is one area I just won’t compromise.

Read Customer Reviews of Antec's VP-450

Antec’s affordable VP-450 has powered many of my previous gaming PCs. It is Haswell-ready, includes the single 6-pin power lead I'd need, and serves up to 30 A across its +12 V rails. This should give our miserly little build plenty of reserves for tweaking.

Optical Drive: LG 24x DVD Burner Model GH24NSB0B

While an optical drive may no longer be a necessity for many folks, they are so affordable, and we’re inclined to believe you’ll still want access to one occasionally. It’s a subjective call, so we changed our rules to make the inclusion of a drive exempt from our performance budget. This time, LG provided us the most affordable internal SATA-attached DVD burner.

Read Customer Reviews of LG's GH24NSB0B

  • Memnarchon
    Wow! Pentium G3258 becoming a monster for that price, once it goes over 4Ghz...
  • g-unit1111
    I would personally love to get a Pentium G3258 for my HTPC, it's only like $50 at Micro Center and the motherboard is $70 at Newegg. Hmm... decisions, decisions. :lol:
  • ScienceGuy3
    What about the Frame Times? Isn't this processor notorious for bad frame times in heavily threaded games like BF4?
  • elbert
    serves up to 30 A across its +12 V rails.
    Its rated to serve up to 30 Amps but can do far more. Tests on this little gem shows it can output 22amps on each rail and maxes out around 38~39 Amps on both. Im paraphrasing a popular power supply testing site. Max wattage is about 553ish which is a good deal more than rated. This power supply can't be certified due to it lacks a circuit required but exceeds 80 percent efficiency.
  • de5_Roy
    a lot of things went right for this build: amd introduced the full pitcairn/curacao gpu based r9 270 under 150w, needing single 6 pin pcie power connector, cryptocurrency craze was over and gfx card prices came down, hdd prices came down to sane levels, cpu-overhead-reducing gfx card drivers came out, intel released an unlocked dual core cpu and allowed o.c. bioses....
  • jdwii
    I'm just not sure for one they didn't show latency times. I'm pretty sure this build will suck for future gaming to such as GTA5.,3849-5.html
    When toms reviewed this CPU it was shown to have poor latency
    For a 500$ build i would probably do a 6300+265 build. 600$ i would probably jump the build up to a I5+265 or 8320+270X.
  • Onus
    No stuttering? Very interesting; looks like more testing might be needed, but perhaps settings can also be adjusted.
  • akula2
    Since this CPU is super performer on various fronts (single core), so why not this config?

    Pentium G3258 - $69.97
    NZXT Kraken X31 - $73.98
    Asus MAXIMUS VII HERO - $203.99
    G.Skill Trident X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 - $184.99
    Crucial M550 1TB 2.5" SSD - $447.98
    Asus GeForce GTX 970 4GB STRIX - $349.99

    NZXT Phantom 530 (White) - $121.98
    EVGA 650W ATX12V - $64.99 (not sure about its power good signal value?)
    Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer - $16.99

    Asus VG248QE Monitor - $264.99

    D-Link DWA-171 802.11a/b/g/n/ac USB 2.0 - $29.27
    Logitech MK550 w/Laser Mouse - $49.99
    Corsair Vengeance 2100 - $79.99
    Logitech Z506 155W 5.1ch - $69.99

    Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional (32/64-bit) - $170.99

    Total: $2200

    What you guys think? Usage? Racing Games at homes, audio/video encoding etc. I don't need K CPUs because I'm not in a hurry in this case.

    Power source: 100% green aka Solar energy.
  • Janemba
    Will 400 watt enough for R7 265 ?? tell me ??
    i use i3-4130 btw.
  • alchemy69
    Very similar to the system I just put together for myself except that I felt a 260X was more than enough power for the GPU and put the savings towards a small SSD for the boot drive.