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Upgraded Multifunctional Gaming PC on a $500 budget
by ReDnAx1991
Permalink:   (13 comments)
Description

Hi all!

Thank you for looking into yet another one of my builds, this time my cousin wanted to be able to play games at least at the same level as my little brother. His build can be found here:" http://pcpartpicker.com/b/EqZ ". My cousin had a budget of 500 EUR.

However while building this we ran into multiple problems, this build learned me a lot about troubleshooting.

The story begins:

My cousin owned a notebook, you read that right he owned one. He was not paying attention and sat on it while it was laying in the couch. As the notebook was insured, he got 400 EUR back from the insurance to buy a new notebook. This time though he didn't want a notebook as my brother was constantly beating him during PVP battles in a minecraft servers they both like. My brother was beating him due to the fact that my cousin's notebook wasn't powerful enough to run minecraft smooth (at least 30 FPS), he was getting around 12 FPS.

The story continues:

Lets just keep this part as short as possible. My cousin asked my aunt to give me a call to ask to build him a gaming PC.

Brace yourself, difficulties are comming: I would like to start with: "I never had a PC with this much problems". I really had a hard time figuring out what the problem was. In the end it wasn't a just a single problem it appeared to be multiple.

So the troubleshooting begins. While playing games and streaming on twitch at the same time the PC would suddenly shut down and stop reacting to any input. I posted this build last week and someone gave me a comment that R9 270 needs a powersupply of at least 500W. So that is why the first thing I checked was the powerusage of the build under load. As I have this device laying around:" http://www.highflow.nl/aansluitingen/stroomkabels/brennenstuhl-energie-power-meter-met-klok-en-meetfuncties.html?sl=NL" I was able to find out that the PSU was sucking 469W from the wall under load. So we had to replace the Corsair CX430 which we bought at first as this PSU was not strong enough. So why did I get a 550W instead of a 500W, well more is almost always better, and I already knew that it was a very well build PSU as I have used it before and last but not least we still wanted to have some headroom to overclock the build.

So there we go one problem solved. We started up the PC again, we ran it for a while when it suddenly nothing seemed to be wrong. Until faith struck I was able to freeze the PC relatively easy with playing games and google chrome with some tabs open. You might have guessed it already, we ran out of RAM memory. Therefore we bought a second RAM module to get rid of this problem.

The final problem was really hard to find. I tackled the problem with the GPU and PSU already, so why does the PC still shut down while playing minecraft and using twitch. I did many stress tests on the RAM and GPU and I wasn't able to trigger the shut down. I monitered the CPU and I saw that nothing was wrong there, it only showed a 50% load while extensive gaming and the temperatures looked OKish, but while I was about to stress test the CPU I saw a sudden termperature increase exceeding 100 degrees Celsius followed by the shut down again (this took me 3 hours to find as it didn't always occure). I finally found the problem, the CPU was getting too hot during load. The stock cooler wasn't doing its job properly. As we really ran out of budget I removed the thermal paste from the stock cooler with some isopropanol. I applied some of my own Arctic MX-4 paste and put the cooler back on top of the CPU. Finally PROBLEM SOLVED !!! (I almost cried a little).

The parts:

  • CPU: I actually wanted to buy the 750K but this had a delivery time of unknown so I took its 3 EUR more expensive brother. I already knew that this processor was going to perform outstanding as Athlon has always been there for people with a somewhat small budget and delivering great performance for that money. read difficulties
  • Motherboard: only found positive reviews and it has all the features which we need.
  • Memory: Bought a 1x4GB of 1600MHz RAM module first, the second one was added a week later read difficulties
  • HDD: price difference between 500GB and 1TB is negligible therefore more is better.
  • Graphicscard: used all money left after all components were selected to find this beauty, my first experience with R9 cards (notice that this card was bought before the second RAM module).
  • Power supply: first we purchased the Corsair CX430W PSU with the new and improved 80+ bronze certificate, however the GPU was demanding too much power for this little powersupply. I had to return the PSU and we bought the XFX Core Pro 550W instead. I have used this PSU in the past and it has never let me down before. read difficulties
  • OS: I used the installation disc and activation code which came with the notebook. I had to reinstall windows because windows got corrupted due to powerfailures caused by the PSU and GPU. I was able to use the backup which I made, this saved me a lot of time (always perform your backup boys/girls).

  • DVD writer: it works and does its job.

  • Wireless Network adapter: best reviews with a great price.
  • Card reader: well, you won't believe it but it reads flashcards and has an extra USB port :D.

Now for the piece de resistance! The case:

Well what can I say about this, it does look good and DAT PRICE DOE!. Build quality is decent considering pricepoint. Side panels are made out of very thin alumina which isn't much of an issue more something which you need to be carefull with not to dent it. It comes with cable manage holes which is nice, however that is not that much space to place the excess cables. There is not much to say about it other than it really does what it is made for and does that quite nicely.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed and learned something about problems that could occure during a PC build.

I would also like to thank those who commented on the first post, they really sent me in the right directions to find the problems. A big shoutout to them!

Part List
Details
AMD Athlon X4 760K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.8GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle38.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load67.0° C
Gigabyte Radeon R9 270 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.0GHz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate6.0GHz
GPU Temperature While Idle28.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load72.0° C
Comments
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Sorted by:
 
 
TNTrocks123 [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

it looks like u didnt push in your gpu all the way in

 
 
ck3 1 point 6 months ago

i believe its just the weight on the end pulling it down.

 
 
ReDnAx1991 [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

Hi TNTrocks,

ck3 is right, this is what they call sagging, it occures when the GPU has a quite heavy cooler. This problem can be fixed with either a GPU backplate (full metal plate behind the PCB) or like how I did it with a piece of plastic that supports the card (this is not shown on the pictures yet).

 
 
Cruhx 1 point 6 months ago

Hows is the Wireless Network Adapter working out?

 
 
ReDnAx1991 [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

Hi cruhx,

I was actually amazed by the range of the WLAN card, it works absolutly fine. Windows recognized it right away during the installation, I didn't have to do anything just type in the password of the network and you are ready to go.

 
 
thunderdan602 [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

Good job getting all the problems sorted out. It's a nice build and for the price will serve it's purpose admirably.

 
 
ReDnAx1991 [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks, I appreciate the nice comment!

 
 
Lost2Frostbite [2 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

What a build! And great prices for the horsepower ;)

 
 
praveenkrs 1 point 3 months ago

Where did you get those parts from! They're so much cheaper than anything I can get

 
 
ReDnAx1991 [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 3 months ago

I live in the Netherlands Europe and if you are talking about the videocard price. The AMD ATI card prices weren't affected by the bitcoin miners buying all the ATI cards just like in the U.S.

 
 
lenouveau 1 point 3 months ago

Great build for the price! Just wanted to know how is your gaming performance with your setup? Thanks

 
 
ReDnAx1991 [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 3 months ago

Hi Lenouveau,

Thanks for the comment. The gaming performance is actually really good. The PC just upgraded to a 1920x1080 screen and is running @50 - 60 FPS on high to very high settings.

Also have a look at my other builds if you have time.

 
 
llijzenga 1 point 3 months ago

Hi ReDnAx1991,

Im dutch to! and i want to make a budget build but i dont know where to buy the parts bcz newegg does not ship to the netherlends where did you bought your parts?