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Budget Gaming Rig for my Sister

by BanzaiWasabi



Date Published

June 22, 2014

Date Built

June 20, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

67.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

900 MHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.6 GHz


Hi guys!

This is my second build on here, and I figured I'd document everything better this time around. Sorry for the picture-flurry in advance haha!

I'd like to start with explaining why I haven't added the purchase prices on the list. I live in Denmark, so the prices are different from the US - and this will make things seem like crappy value. I really do believe that I hit a value sweet spot with this build, and I wouldn't want that not to be reflected here :-)

I'll go through the part selections one by one:

CPU: It's the cheapest Core i3 - that pretty much sums it up. The Hyper Threading makes it able to run 4 threads at a time, which does help it outperform the Pentiums. The price gap between this and the 4330 is a bit larger here than on this site - otherwise I would probable have picked that instead.

CPU Cooler: I had the stock cooler from my i7 lying around, so I decided to use that over the i3 one due to the copper core. It may not make much difference, but I don't see why not. I did re-route the wire on the cooler to go the other way around. This was so I could mount it with the Intel logo oriented correctly. I do believe in things being neat - even though there's no window in the case.

MOBO: This is probably the one place where I could have spent a bit more. The CHA fan header only supports PWM regulation of the case fan, which isn't a PWM fan. This means that it always runs at a full 12v, which creates unnecessary noise. Luckily, I had a low-noise fan adapter (aka a resistor in a wire) lying around, so I added that in, which helped a lot. Also, there's no USB3 header on the motherboard, which means the front USB port isn't connected to anything. That's really a shame, and it annoys me that I didn't check this.

RAM: Cheapest 1.5V 8GB 1600MHz CL9 kit around - simple as that :-) I was surprised to see just how low profile these sticks are - I doubt any coolers will have clearance issues with these!

HDD: Again - cheap 1TB drive. I like WD - I have a couple of them in my own rig, and I've been happy with their drives in the past.

GPU: This was obviously the toughest call, seeing this whole thing is a gaming machine. I quite quickly settled on the MSI Gaming series of card, as I have a GTX 770 from that series in my rig, and I love the quietness and efficiency of it. The R9 270 seems to have picked up where the HD7870 left. Great 1080p performance for a great price. Sure, the 270X is faster, but it's not much - and going for the non-X card pushed the cost just to the magic limit I had been given (4000DKK if anyone's interested)

Case: Nice cheap case from a good manufacturer. This case really brought me back to the old days of system building - back when cable management was a proper challenge. There's not really any space behind the motherboard to store anything, so you're limited to the ODD bay really. I did put some effort into making this look as clean as possible, and I think I got away with it quite well. Obviously there are always things that could be done better, but I'm happy with the result.

PSU: I have the 550W edition of this in my rig, and I have had nothing to complain about thus far. Great PSU for a great price in Denmark at least - it seems to be a bit pricey in the US compared to the alternatives.

The DVD drive and WiFi adapter were just whatever I could pick up for next to nothing really.

All in all the build went smooth. The only hiccup was the missing USB3 header on the motherboard and the lack of 3-pin fan control. I'm happy with the way it turned out, and I hope she will like it when I deliver it to her this weekend :-)

Thanks for reading - and sorry for the wall of text!

Comments Sorted by:

ThePCGamer123 2 points 58 months ago

Very good budget PC for your sister, +1!

BanzaiWasabi submitter 2 Builds 2 points 58 months ago

Thanks :-)

nervozer4 4 Builds 2 points 51 months ago

great to see a nice and polished budget build

BanzaiWasabi submitter 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Thanks! :-)

Le_Matt 1 Build 1 point 58 months ago

Great build, hope she likes it +1

Also, looks like the case really didn't have any options for cable management but it looks like you got by.

BanzaiWasabi submitter 2 Builds 1 point 58 months ago

Thanks! :-) I hope so too - so far I think she's very excited about it. It runs her favourite game (Wildstar) with everything maxed out, which is a good start.

It really didn't! But back in the day, no cases did, and we still managed. ODD bays are worth their weight in gold for these things - and so are cable ties ;-)

fnapoli 1 Build 1 point 58 months ago

This is an excellent budget build! So much performance out of not a lot of money!

BanzaiWasabi submitter 2 Builds 1 point 58 months ago

Thanks! :-) Yeah - I was surprised too. There's really a lot of value to be had around the $500-600 mark these days!

Phallusmalice 1 point 58 months ago

Excellent cable management for a non modular psu!+1

Neatness should be practiced by everyone no matter what parts they have.

BanzaiWasabi submitter 2 Builds 1 point 58 months ago

Thanks! :-)

I really do believe in neatness regardless of whether its visible or not. It feels good to know that everything inside the box is well organised even if you can't see it.

DragonFireXY 2 points 58 months ago

Having good wiring also helps your airflow! Great build m8!

vikingXcore 4 Builds 1 point 58 months ago

This a great budget build! I might suggest doing a coverup job of the ports up front, and then down the road get her a different case that you can accomodate the ports for! still under $600 is a feat!!

BanzaiWasabi submitter 2 Builds 1 point 58 months ago

Thanks man!

Yeah - I advised her to put a bit of tape on the USB3 port in the front. She won't be using it anyway, as the PC is located next to her TV, and she'll be playing from the couch.

She was so happy when I set it all up this weekend - that makes the task even more fun :-)