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Black Friday Budget Gaming PC

by Aelon51



CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature Under Load

31.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



I'm 15 years old. My old computer was eight years old, and ran about as fast as your average tortoise. With that in mind, I saved up my meager birthday and Christmas money for over a year or so in order to build my own, the end product of which you see here. I decided to buy during Black Friday, and am quite pleased with the deals I got. My goal was to make a decent gaming PC for appx. $650, and I think I succeeded.

Part Breakdown:

FX-8320: I was originally going to get the FX-6300, but at the time of purchase, the FX-8320 was only $10 more. ($129 vs. $119) so I decided to make the step up - no reason not too, except that due to its loud stock fan (or so other people have said), I may need to buy an aftermarket cooler like the Cooler Master 212+, which I don't mind. Extra ideas for Christmas, eh? Eight Cores at a decent price, should work well.

Asus M5A97 R2.0: Good reviews, decent feature list. Easy to work with and install. The only possible problem I have with it is that my graphics card hangs fully over one of the small PCI Express slots, and nearly encroaches onto the other, meaning that any add-on (such as a wireless card) will not fit or leave the graphics card with poor airflow. That's not as much the board's fault as mine of course (for the part selection), and I can always just get a USB wireless adapter anyways.

Ares Series RAM: Simple, DDR3 1600, and on a VERY nice sale on Black Friday. Went in easy, works well from what I've seen. Should be able to do just fine for any program/game.

Barracuda HDD: Again, Simple 1 TB Hard Drive. Does it's job, went in nicely, should provide plenty of storage. Yes, a SSD would have been nice, but this is a budget build.

MSI Radeon HD 7870: Very very nice, especially for $121 after rebate and promo code. I was originally going to get a 7850, but the price drops (such as with the FX-8320) let me justify this. Plenty of power for a budget gaming rig, and MSI Afterburner is a nice touch.

Corsair 300R: For a first-time builder, supremely easy to work with - and on a great sale! Practically tool-less, the only thing I needed was a common magnetic screwdriver to screw some of the stuff in. DVD Drive just slides in, so does the hard drive. Built in standoffs, so no fumbling around. Perhaps could have done with a couple more tie-off points, but it worked well as it was. I would definitely recommend to anyone building, especially first-timers.

XFX 650W PSU: Another bargain steal. XFX is a good manufacturer, 650W should be plenty, and the semi-modular design was very handy. Screwed right in, and hasn't blown up. My only (minor) problem was that some of the (included) power cords seemed like they could have afforded to be a few centimetres longer, though again that was probably due more to my building skill than the actual part.

ASUS CD/DVD Drive: It goes in and out, and reads disks. What more do you want?

Windows 8.1: Yes, Windows 8 takes getting used to, but especially as time passes and it become standard, should be good to have. It really doesn't look that bad, and took only about 10 minutes to install.

As far as the build went, I think it went pretty smoothly, even if it did take 3.5 hours for the hardware part alone. I probably could have used a little more cable management (that back of the case is a rat's nest), but all in all a good experience for a first time builder.

A NOTE ON PRICING: All prices given are after rebate and/or promo code at the time of purchase.

Also, on the pictures, I know the lighting is weird and some of the pictures are blurry, I was experimenting with different camera modes. Sorry!

ONE-YEAR LATER EDIT: I've added a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo, and the temperatures and sound are much better.

Comments Sorted by:

WiliyamMSL 2 points 48 months ago

This build is pretty awesome for $650. $95 for a mother board seems a but much for most budget builds but it's still an AWESOME board. I can hardly believe you got that GPU for so low even after mail in rebates!

Aelon51 submitter 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Thanks! I was really lucky to get the parts at the prices I did. I know the motherboard is a bit steep, but it's quality and has some expandability, so hopefully it will work well down the road.

StryderXCVI 1 Build 2 points 48 months ago

Wow, this build is really, REALLY good. I'm pretty jealous! I hope to be making my own first build as well. What sort of games have you tried so far?

Aelon51 submitter 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

To be honest, pretty much nothing (I only finished putting it together yesterday.) I played some RCT3 (Yes, the one from 2004) to make sure the graphics card worked. I don't really have any graphics-intensive games around yet since I was never able to play them, but when I get them (Again, Christmas), they will definitely be played.

cjeffcoatjr 3 Builds 2 points 48 months ago


lamb_llama 1 Build 0 points 48 months ago

WOW YOU TWO ARE LIKE BROTHERS (apply face right here)

XIscottyIX 3 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

Fantastic budget build this pc will serve you well!! Cables could use a bit of work but all in all great first build!

skeletor_01 3 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

Keep the intensity, awesome build. I bet that took some discipline to save the money for this, but it was well worth it.

fnapoli 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Yeah I have to say, this is a really good build for the price. Amazing deals. Keep an eye out for a decent cooler to go on sale (EVO?) and I'm sure you can get much more speed out of that CPU...

ravagex 1 point 48 months ago

Fine job

Primusmulti 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

pretty similar to what i built this week as well! except i went with the 970a gigabyte board and the 500r with the cx500 watt psu instead, but i like your choice in parts ;)

mark4685 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Nice build for a great price! If you don't plan on overclocking I would just keep the stock cooler as long as it isn't too loud or anything. Maybe for your next upgrades you can get a good deal on an SSD next black friday or something. Nice work!

lamb_llama 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

my mouth was like :O when i looked at those prices!

raf.roland 1 point 48 months ago

Only thing i would change is buy the windowed version of the 300R and get an SSD, oh and cant forget an aftermarket cooler!

Aelon51 submitter 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Windowed would be nice, but very pricy-I was lucky to get the normal 300R at the price I did. As far as the SSD, I would very much like one when I can get it, just didn't fit in the budget. Same with an aftermarket cooler, though that's not as much of a problem since without any overclocking it seems to run fine on the stock.

raf.roland 1 point 48 months ago

I believe you can buy a windowed side panel on its own in the future if you want to! i think i have seen them for $35

Aelon51 submitter 1 Build 2 points 48 months ago

Oh really? Didn't know that. Perhaps I will do that in the future :)

slaier92 1 point 47 months ago

yeah they are on corsair website for 20 i believe...oh yeah and very nice build im beating my self up because i want the case and psu you have but now there like 90 a pop for each

Aelon51 submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Yeah I got very, very lucky.

albertfarrales1 1 point 46 months ago

Sweet build bro :) Prices are amazing, and im looking forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday!!! Lol

Aelon51 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Hey, they're only 9 months away! xD

endyyy 1 point 46 months ago

Great build! I am going for something similar but was wondering if you were able to fit a wireless adapter in? I got the same case and wanted to get the same GPU but would be really bummed if a wireless adapter won't fit.


Aelon51 submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

I never did put a wireless adpater in, I'm just running a USB adapter off the front. You probably could fit one in still, it would just be tight. Keep in mind that's assuming you use the same motherboard as me as well. There's plenty of room in the case to fit in multiple PCI parts, just the specific configuration of the motherboard and the graphics card made things a little cramped.

Beastquist 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

This is extremely similar to my Black Friday build, good job budget shopping!

Aelon51 submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks, you did a great job too! It does seem like we got a lot of the same deals :P

IndyAJD 1 point 45 months ago

Remind me next time I build a PC to build it around Black Friday.