Bargain gaming build

jctazzy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
150
1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
gaming (ESO/Skyrim, WOW), general video playback/streaming, Bluray playback

2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
~$700, tax and shipping included

3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.
US - Waco, TX

4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
CPU, GPU, motherboard, RAM, power supply, optical drive, HDD, case, monitor, mouse/keyboard, and OS

5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
None

6) Will you be overclocking?
No

7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
Buying one as part of this build, targeting 21-23" 1600x900 minimum would prefer 1920x1080

8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Within a week

9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.
micro ATX preferred for space issues

10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
No

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok, so I'm not even sure this is viable.

I am trying to put together a true ground-up PC build list for ~$700 that will support ESO/Skyrim today (not too tough) and Bluray playback while also avoiding a dead-end path for future upgrades.

Here's what I've come up with so far:


CPU..................AMD Athlon X4 760K..........................$85
GPU.................MSI R7 265 2GD5 OC.........................$150
......................(can also find GTX 750TIs same price)
Motherboard.......ASRock FM2A75M Pro4+..................$60
RAM..................G.Skill Ares Series 8GB.....................$70
PSU...................Rosewill CAPSTONE 450..................$60
HDD...................Western Digital WD10EZEX 1TB........$59
Optical................ASUS BC-12B1ST BluRay................$47
Case..................XION XON-560..................................$40
Monitor...............AOC E2360SD.................................$119
Keyboard/Mouse..whatever..........................................$25

Total.........................................................................$715

Problem? No OS and I'm already at/over budget. I've trimmed each component several times to reach this spot. I'm wary of cutting too much into core components as I've already come down several notches, but I'm hoping you can find more room to squeeze.

Case and monitor choices are a result of price trimming... they aren't requirements asthetically, just trying to hit a good price while hopefully avoiding total garbage.

Thank you in advance.

.
 
Last edited:

Excalibur55

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
184
I'll try to help; here it goes :

Replace the PSU by this Corsair CX430: (minus 15$)

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Build..._sim_pc_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=1KZD0VW77PX6F010DE4W

Replace the CPU by going Intel with a Pentium G3220 (minus 20$)

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Pentium...&qid=1398212000&sr=1-1&keywords=pentium+g3220

Motherboard LGA 1150 with USB 3.0: (minus 10$)

http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-Inte...=1398212270&sr=1-18&keywords=motherboard+1150

Trim another 45$ by changing your card with a Radeon 7770 :

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Radeon-Di...qid=1398212547&sr=1-1&keywords=radeon+hd+7770

Sincerely, that's the best I can do. At least you can do some upgrades with an i3 and a better card later on. Or you'll have to change your budget.

Why a Pentium ? See my sig, I'm playing Skyrim and Eve Online with a G620 and a 6770. My resolution is 1600 x 900. Don't know about Bluray playback tough...

Hope that helps. Maybe someone else will do better.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Just go with Excalibuer's recommendations. You are losing GPU performance but you can't really complain considering your tight budget and the OS requirement.

Get this RAM to save another $5:
$65 - Kingston HyperX Blu KHX1600C10D3B1/8G 8GB DDR3 1600 RAM
 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
Could you live without the Blu-ray drive? Better question: since you're going with an OEM drive, do you already have Blu-ray playback software?

If you don't have the right media software -- and the good ones cost upwards of $60 -- then your Blu-ray drive is essentially a more expensive DVD burner. In that case, you could save over $20 by simply going with a DVD burner. That plus the changes that Excalibur55 and Dangman recommended earlier will place you under your budget, even after factoring in the cost of the operating system.

Speaking of changes, the XION XON-560 case you selected is currently out of stock. I recommend the NZXT Source 210 Elite, which gives you a lot of value for the $10 extra you spend in comparison. Any other (cheaper) case I could recommend would be as much of a compromise as the XION.

Then again, I found a slightly cheaper monitor in the Acer S220HQL Abd. And we can't forget the hard drive (slightly better performance for a slightly lower price).
 

jctazzy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
150
Thank you all... this is exactly what I was hoping for. I backed myself into a corner by cutting and needed a new way out.


CPU..................Intel Pentium G3220..........................$65
GPU.................MSI HD 7770 1GB.............................$120
Motherboard.......Gigabyte LGA 1150H81M-H...............$50
RAM.................. Kingston HyperX Blu KHX1600C........$65
PSU...................Corsair CX 430.................................$45
HDD...................Seagate Barracuda 1 TB...................$55
Optical................ASUS 24X DVD Burner.....................$20
Case..................NZXT Source 210 Elite.......................$50
Monitor...............Acer S220HQL.................................$110
Keyboard/Mouse..whatever..........................................$25

Total....................................................... ..................$605​


Taken together, those changes leave enough headroom for an OS within the original budget.

A couple of questions from your recommendations:

- changing the motherboard to an LGA 1150 H81 chipset would allow seamlessly plugging in a Core i3 or better chip if I can increase budget, correct?​

- RAM: given the $5 savings of going with a single 8GB option, am I losing anything meaningful vs. using a 2x4 GB arrangement?​


Assuming the transition to the Pentium G3220/H81 combo means a much easier upgrade path, now it's time for additional budget discussions for both CPU and GPU.
 
Last edited:

rastaban

Gawd
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
818
You can actually upgrade to the Radeon R7 260 for $110 if you jump on the current $10 off promo code. 2GB of VRAM, small bump in shader count, higher stock clocks, and current gen architecture (GCN 1.1).
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
- changing the motherboard to an LGA 1150 H81 chipset would allow seamlessly plugging in a Core i3 or better chip if I can increase budget, correct?​
Correct.
- RAM: given the $5 savings of going with a single 8GB option, am I losing anything meaningful vs. using a 2x4 GB arrangement?​
No.
Assuming the transition to the Pentium G3220/H81 combo means a much easier upgrade path, now it's time for additional budget discussions for both CPU and GPU.
Food for thought: It's really more cost-effective to get the higher-end CPU first rather than do a phased upgrade. Think about it: You spend $60 now for the Pentium G3220. You spend another $120 for the Core i3 4130 later on. You would have effectively spent $180 on CPU upgrades. If you had saved that money, you could have gotten the faster Core i5 4430 or even Core i5 4570.
 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
changing the motherboard to an LGA 1150 H81 chipset would allow seamlessly plugging in a Core i3 or better chip if I can increase budget, correct?[/INDENT]

Yes, the H81 chipset supports any Haswell-based Socket 1150 processor. I recommend updating the motherboard's BIOS to ensure maximum compatibility.

Keep in mind the limits of both the motherboard and the H81 chipset:
  • You can't overclock the K processors (i5-4670K, i7-4770K) so don't bother considering them.
  • You're limited to two sticks of RAM for a total of 16GB of memory.
  • You can only use one video card. That only becomes important if you pursue a 4K monitor in the future, as you may or may not get the performance you desire even with a high-end video card.
  • You only have two SATA 3Gb/s ports and two SATA 6Gb/s ports. Should you decide to buy an SSD in the future, you need one of those SATA 6Gb/s ports.
  • The Gigabyte board only has two USB 3.0 ports -- in the rear I/O panel. If you want additional USB 3.0 ports, you have to buy an expansion card.
  • You only have three expansion ports (one PCI-E x16 port and two PCI-E x1 ports) on the board. If you use a dual-slot video card, you only have one PCI-E x1 port for any add-ons.
RAM: given the $5 savings of going with a single 8GB option, am I losing anything meaningful vs. using a 2x4 GB arrangement?[/INDENT]

No. Some people say that dual-channel offers 5% better performance over single-channel, but it's only noticeable in synthetic benchmarks. You won't notice anything while performing your everyday tasks.
 

rennyf77

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
2,865
don't bother with the hd 7770. the r7 250x is the same chip and cheaper. also don't bother getting any card with 2gb of memory short of an r7 265/hd 7850 because they won't be powerful enough to utilize that much memory anyway.
 

jctazzy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
150
You can actually upgrade to the Radeon R7 260 for $110 if you jump on the current $10 off promo code. 2GB of VRAM, small bump in shader count, higher stock clocks, and current gen architecture (GCN 1.1).
don't bother with the hd 7770. the r7 250x is the same chip and cheaper. also don't bother getting any card with 2gb of memory short of an r7 265/hd 7850 because they won't be powerful enough to utilize that much memory anyway.

Thank you for the idea. I'm reading up on the differences between R7 250X / 260 / 265 to see if one of those can be squeezed in.


Food for thought: It's really more cost-effective to get the higher-end CPU first rather than do a phased upgrade. Think about it: You spend $60 now for the Pentium G3220. You spend another $120 for the Core i3 4130 later on. You would have effectively spent $180 on CPU upgrades. If you had saved that money, you could have gotten the faster Core i5 4430 or even Core i5 4570.

This was my thinking... get a Core i3-4130 first rather than wait. Excalibur55's suggestion really opened up that idea. It remains to be seen if some additional money is in the budget this week. If not, buying the base of this setup and waiting a week or two to pick up a 4130 seems like a strong option.


Yes, the H81 chipset supports any Haswell-based Socket 1150 processor. I recommend updating the motherboard's BIOS to ensure maximum compatibility.

Keep in mind the limits of both the motherboard and the H81 chipset:
  • You can't overclock the K processors (i5-4670K, i7-4770K) so don't bother considering them.
  • You're limited to two sticks of RAM for a total of 16GB of memory.
  • You can only use one video card. That only becomes important if you pursue a 4K monitor in the future, as you may or may not get the performance you desire even with a high-end video card.
  • You only have two SATA 3Gb/s ports and two SATA 6Gb/s ports. Should you decide to buy an SSD in the future, you need one of those SATA 6Gb/s ports.
  • The Gigabyte board only has two USB 3.0 ports -- in the rear I/O panel. If you want additional USB 3.0 ports, you have to buy an expansion card.
  • You only have three expansion ports (one PCI-E x16 port and two PCI-E x1 ports) on the board. If you use a dual-slot video card, you only have one PCI-E x1 port for any add-ons.


No. Some people say that dual-channel offers 5% better performance over single-channel, but it's only noticeable in synthetic benchmarks. You won't notice anything while performing your everyday tasks.

Thank you for going in-depth. I will do some reading on H81 vs. B85 (or higher) LGA 1150 chipsets and compare prices to anticipated/future needs.

Given the 2 RAM slot limitation with this board, it further supports the argument of going with an 8GB stick first and leave room for another if the need should arise later (in addition to the single stick being a bit cheaper).
...
 
Last edited:

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
This was my thinking... get a Core i3-4130 first rather than wait. Excalibur55's suggestion really opened up that idea. It remains to be seen if some additional money is in the budget this week. If not, buying the base of this setup and waiting a week or two to pick up a 4130 seems like a strong option.

I recommend buying everything at once, including the i3-4130. If you have to wait an additional week or two to save enough money, then wait. It's better to buy the better processor now as you'll be less likely to swap it out over time.

Thank you for going in-depth. I will do some reading on H81 vs. B85 (or higher) LGA 1150 chipsets and compare prices to anticipated/future needs.

Let me help... within the next 12 months, will you:
  • Buy an additional storage drive? More than one?
  • Buy a second monitor or a larger resolution monitor?
  • Upgrade your video card?
  • Play more first-person shooter games? Or increase the visual quality in all of your games?
  • Perform a resource-intensive task like virtual machines or video editing?
 

cardboardbox

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Messages
96
Good call on getting the i3-4130 instead of the G3220. I had a G3220 and it was the bottleneck in my system that had a 7850. I recently upgraded to an i5-4430 and a GTX 760 and the performance issues are gone. Too bad I was lazy and didnt benchmark the i5-4430 with the 7850 to find out if my performance gain was mainly from the cpu upgrade but I think it was because I overclocked the 7850 and it made not one FPS difference.
 
Top