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Budget Gamer - First Timer

by LarryRow



CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

62.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

860 MHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.2 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

24.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

59.0° C


This is an upgrade from a 3 year-old $700 laptop with a 2.2ghz core 2 duo and radeon mobility 4530 512mb gpu. While it gave me many great years of service for work and pleasure, allowing me to play games like Dragon Age, Arkham Asylum and the new XCOM, it's simply time to transition to the world of desktops.

Designed the build around the fx6300 which seemed like the best combination of price and performance. The 990 motherboards were a bit pricey, so I went with a 970. I deliberately chose a case and mobo without front panel USB 3.0 to save some money; I especially like my inexpensive case that still has excellent cable management options.

I took a gamble on the 1.65V Kington memory - pretty sure this exact model is not on the mobo's QVL. To my surprise and delight my motherboard did not need to be told to clock it up to 1600.

People will probably say that I should have gotten a 1TB drive for the extra $5 but I am just not a data hoarder. I don't take pictures (can't you tell), don't hoard music, and rarely work with video files. I have never come close to running out of room on a hard drive.

The GPU is probably the choice I'm least confident about. Price fluctuations, varying reviews, number of fans, criss crossing chipset numbers, etc. made selection difficult. Maybe I should have gone with a 7870, I don't know. However, I figure I'll probably get a lot of mileage out of the 7850 until it's time to upgrade to something much better than a 7870, and I'll never know the difference.

Re: the case fan setup. I read an article that tested fan configurations for optimal cooling, and the results were pretty conclusive that a side intake is superior to a front intake unless you have 4+ fans.

Running Windows 8 64 bit.

A shout out to the pcpartpicker website and community for being a fantastic resource for first time computer builders (and beyond).

Thanks for reading; feedback appreciated!

Comments Sorted by:

BLC 4 points 67 months ago

I suppose the stock cooler will be enough to your needs ?

Anyways, great build for the money !

voodoomike69 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

Agreed, I have a similar build in mind for my wife. Nice to see the idea out before spending the money.

voodoomike69 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

Nice set up, clean, +1. Why no cooler?

LarryRow submitter 1 Build 3 points 67 months ago

No immediate plans to overclock, but if I get the itch I may add one down the road.

PickItApart 2 points 67 months ago

Get a Cooler Master Evo and overclock that CPU! Also, push that 7850 with an overclock. Both will give you big performance gains.

LarryRow submitter 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

Maybe one day when I learn to wrap my head around voltages. That day will probably be a few days after I try to run some fancy new game on high and get lousy fps ;)

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 2 points 67 months ago

Nice build, similar concept to the one I just made for my friend.

MySong 2 points 67 months ago

and I was like you can't fill a Hard DRIVE?!! IMPOSSIBRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

flipins 3 Builds 2 points 67 months ago

How is your frame rates on average?

LarryRow submitter 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

I am installing the Witcher 2 (most demanding game I have right now), and I'll let you know when it's up and running. Right now it's downloading a 10.5gb patch over dsl. ugh.

[comment deleted]
LarryRow submitter 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

Getting 40-50 fps @ 1080p on High. One of the default settings for High is actually Low draw distance, which I turned up to Medium, so my settings are slightly more demanding than High.

Mattios 2 points 67 months ago

Nice :) How is the 6300 going? I plan on getting the same :D

LarryRow submitter 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

No issues to report, but to be honest I have no idea how to answer this question. I ran Prime95 to test the temperature under load (temps reported above) but I don't know how I'd gauge the actual performance. Even if I ran a demanding game and performance was less than stellar, I wouldn't know to attribute that to the cpu or the gpu. However, if you give me more specifics on what you're looking for, I would be happy to come up with an answer.

onekoolguy 2 points 64 months ago

Build looks good!

tmteamgreen 1 point 63 months ago

Im building one similar to this, do you have any benchmarks/framerates on any games?

LarryRow submitter 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

60 fps at 1080p in Batman arkham city on very high with gpu overclocked to 1000mhz.

40s and 50s on games like witcher 2 and gta iv with settings on high.

Toshing_It_Zach 1 point 60 months ago

Did you have any issues with the Bios for the mobo? I'm building my first pc with that cpu and mobo and down at the bottom it says...

"Some AMD 970 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Vishera CPUs."

Double4Free 0 points 62 months ago

That mobo cant overclock :[

LarryRow submitter 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

Yes it can.