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Build

The Ultra-Budget Rig

by cmanAC130

20
45 Comments

Details

Date Published

July 8, 2017

Date Built

June 2, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

3.7GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.1GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.0GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

36.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

67.0° C

Description

TL;DR I like this PC, and I build it for cheap. I play games on it.

Btw, sorry for the crappy pictures. I have a bad camera.

This build started out as a way for me to play the games I wanted without having to share with my brothers. (I know, not the most noble reason to build a PC.) I had an Xbox One, and got Overwatch. I liked the game, and played it often. But, alas, so did my brothers. I didn't really like sharing with them, so I looked for an alternative. I bought Overwatch for the laptop I had, and it sucked. The poor thing couldn't even manage 30 FPS at low settings, everything turned off or low, the render scale at 50%, and even at 720p. I knew it was time to upgrade. Enter the Ultra-Budget Rig. I knew I was going to have a tough time convincing my parents to buy a brand knew gaming PC. The one I wanted was a $600 PC with a GTX 1050. :| I thought that it was a good deal, but $600 was still way too much. SO, I entered the world of PC building. Every day after school, I'd hop on the laptop that had failed so miserably at gaming and research. It was kind of fun, but I was anxious to begin building. There were still two huge obstacles to get around; money, and my parents. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but they're definitely not the go to guys when you need tech help. I finally got the money part under control by mowing lawns for my aunt. I would take a loan from my parents and then mow lawns to pay off the debt. So with that out of the way, I had to deal with my parents. They weren't quite sure I would be able to build a PC. I remember my father referring to the idea of PC building as a "Ponzi scheme". After a long presentation about PC parts and how I knew for a fact I knew what I was doing, they finally gave the green light with one caveat; the PC had be under $400.

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860K This quad-core was not originally on my mind. I wanted a Pentium that was hyper-threaded, but I realized that it would be too expensive to fit under a $400 budget. I finally settled for this CPU. I got $10 off on it during a sale on Newegg. It's a quad-core at 3.7 GHz, which is pretty good for the price. But, the IPC's on this thing suck. The clock speeds may look high, but they have to be in order for the weak cycles to have good effect. But oh well, it's a decent CPU for the price, and it gets the job done.

Motherboard: MSI A68HM-E33 V2 Pretty much the only rationale behind this is the cost. It was the cheapest board at the time of selecting my parts. This board is pretty mediocre. I like the low cost, and that's pretty much it. There's really nothing special here. There are a few things that should be noted. My RX 460 covers up two of the SATA ports, only allowing for 2 drives to be connected. There are only a total of 4 USB ports on the rear I/O, 2 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0. There is HDMI, however, which is nice if you have an APU with strong onboard graphics. There is also 2 front panel USB headers, which is more than some high-end boards, so, VICTORY!

Memory: Team Vulcan (8GB) DDR3-1600 The rationale here is pretty much the same as the motherboard. It was the cheapest 8GB stick I could find. I don't really need 8GB, but I have it in case I need it. Also, it's red to match my AMD theme.

Storage: Kingston A400 120GB 2.5" SSD I was pretty torn about my storage choice. I really wanted the speed of an SSD, but I also wanted the capacity of a hard drive. I couldn't afford both, so I needed to make a decision. I eventually chose the SSD because it was on sale, and I figured I wouldn't need much storage anyway to just play Overwatch and a couple other games. I was wrong. This thing is fast, but I'm realizing that I need more storage. So, I'll probably end up buying a WD Blue 1TB hard drive sometime soon.

Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon RX 460 WindForce OC I love this card. It was only 90 bucks, and it does a great job of running games. I get a smooth 60 FPS at high in Overwatch, and am able to crank the graphics settings all the way up in Phantom Forces and still get smooth gameplay (which, by the way, was the goal all along). However, this thing can get hot over a long period of time if you don't turn up the fans. I had an issue with it crashing very often, but was able to fix it with a downclock of about 100 MHz and a voltage increase through MSI Afterburner.

Case: Rosewill FBM-01 I got this case on sale for $20, and I have mixed feelings about it. Let's start with the pros. It's cheap, which is really good. It has two fans, an 80mm exhaust and a 120mm intake. They don't move much air, but it's something. It looks nice, being subtle yet sleek. The blue power LED looks pretty, which is very important. There some major drawbacks, however. The metal is somewhat flimsy. The PCI slot covers are a one-way ticket. They come out, and don't go back in due to them not being screwed in. The cable management is the worst, but I guess that's what you'd expect from a $20 case. I did manage to use duct tape and attach my SSD on the back of the motherboard tray, which keeps SATA cables out of the way. Every other cable gets stuffed into the unused 5.25" bay on top. For the price, I would say that this case is pretty good.

Power Supply: EVGA BV 450W 80+ Bronze I got this on sale for about $20 off. It's 450 watts and 80+ Bronze, so I can't complain. The only issue is that the power cable won't seat correctly. It sags down, causing the system to shut off. So, I used some tape to hold it up. Other than that. it's pretty good.

Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit It's Windows 10. With 64 bits.

EDIT: Hopefully, I can save up enough money to purchase this PC, reusing parts from this one. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/T7m3D8

Or hey, maybe I'll go with a Ryzen 3. If or when it comes out. :)

Part Reviews

CPU

Cheap, gets the job done.

Motherboard

Also cheap. gets the job done. I really don't like the lack of rear USB ports and the fact that SATA ports are covered.

Memory

Good RAM that will last me a long time.

Storage

Fast, slim, and cool to say that you have it in a $400 PC. Doesn't hold much. though.

Video Card

A power house in the $100 GPU price range. I would however, go with the GTX 1050 if you could spend 10 more dollars.

Case

Cheap. looks nice, but is lackluster in build quality. The front USB ports are pretty tacky, and let certain USB devices to sag and not connect properly.

Power Supply

Great, except for the seating issue.

Operating System

I paid $93 for a disc and a 25 character combination.

Comments Sorted by:

twistedwrister 3 points 5 months ago

Nice Work! I know how you feel with the struggle to convince parents or to find the money for computers :)

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 4 points 5 months ago

Thanks! I'm still technically in debt though, so I'll be mowing lawns for the next couple of weeks before I can start to make profit.

Rocket1981 3 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

good job. my first PC 'build' was a bit like this. i upgraded and old Lenovo M58p. got me into PC gaming and the rest is history.

irritablemoth 2 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

I have an HTPC with a similar CPU (Phenom II X4 955) with the 4GB version of the GPUyou have and 6GB of RAM. It doesn't crash for me, although some games do struggle more than others on that combo. What games are you playing?

Great work getting in on budget +1

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

Mostly Overwatch and the aforementioned Phantom Forces. When I get my 1TB hard drive. I really want to buy PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. I am having some questions though as to whether I'll be able to run it well. I also was wondering about Battlefield 1.

irritablemoth 2 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

FWIW, here are some games and how they perform for me. My TV is only 1080p and these might not be the highest settings. I'd say you might be ok with Battlegrounds but Battlefield 1 might be a step too far.

Wolfenstein Old Blood: around 60FPS; GTA V: 50-60 FPS; Rainbow 6 Siege: 60 FPS; Rage: 60FPS; Ori and the Blind Forest: runs fine; Super Meat Boy: runs fine; Dishonored: 30FPS but playable.

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

Do you think 1080p at low would run at a playable frame rate (Battlefield 1)? I have quite some time until my next upgrade.

irritablemoth 2 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

The min specs are an FX 6350 and a 2G HD 7850 GPU. It might be worth a try. I was a little shocked to only get 30 FPS on dishonored so on my system I'd imagine it would be less with bf1. GTA V, Csgo, r6s, battlegrounds, should all be easier for multi player, anything that isn't a brand new AAA.

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

So I did download the Trial Version, and I played at 1080p low at playable frame rates. However, intense action scenes did result in a huge grand loss. But, for the most part, it's ok. Not pretty, but playable.

irritablemoth 2 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

CPU hierarchy and GPU hierarchy shows where your CPU and GPU are compared to the min specs.

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

Thanks for that helpful link!

MadTheSwine 2 points 5 months ago

Don't worry about it man you will be just fine. I have a 1050 which is within a few percent of the 460 performance wise and it handles it just fine. If you have the money and want the game, you will be able to handle it. Love your post!

jtc2793 2 points 5 months ago

Nice build, have you seen the prices on old AMD FX cpu / mobos? They are really dropping and I just upgraded my cpu. Ebay is great for used fx cpu's, although I wouldn't buy a used mobo on ebay. Only issue with fx cpus is that you would probably want an aftermarket cpu cooler.

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

I was thinking about upgrading to FX, since I could reuse a lot of parts. Thanks for the Ebay suggestion!

DontLookAtMyName 2 points 5 months ago

Are you sure a 450W power supply can run a GTX 1060. I don't really think so. Might be wrong anyway.

Eltech 17 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

Yes, a GTX 1060 (3GB/6GB) will run just fine with this current spec of a build. My uncle has an i5-6500 paired with a GTX 1060 3GB. Along with an SSD and two hard drives. When I checked his wattage use, he never came close to 300w and he too has a 450w PSU. So OP will be OK if that is their intended GPU down the road.

DontLookAtMyName 2 points 5 months ago

oh phew

MadTheSwine 2 points 5 months ago

I can really relate to your story! I saved up about 300 dollars because my laptop was just not cutting it but I soon realized that I could not get a lets just say, great new computer for that price. So I decided to hit the used market. I ended up going to Craigslist and getting pentium g4560, gtx 1050, 16 gigs of ddr4, 430 w psu, as rock motherboard, 275 gig m.2 ssd, zalman case all for 290! Have fun with your computer brother!

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

Dang! That's some great scrounging! Hope you get those frames pumping!

wdoyen21 2 points 5 months ago

Would this built be able to play any game in 1080p?

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 3 points 5 months ago

Not every game. It crushes games like Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. I can play Battlefield 1 at 1080p low ok. More demanding titles will suffer.

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 5 months ago

I have that same monitor!

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

It's a pretty nice monitor even though it's old. 1080p @ 60Hz is pretty nice to have for free. I used it from my dad's old desktop.

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 5 months ago

It is pretty nice

LukeAvio 0 points 5 months ago

You could have been able to get windows 10 for free, therefore getting more money for better parts. But for 300 dollars this isnt a bad build at all

valrykie 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

How so?

Eltech 17 Builds 4 points 5 months ago

One can download Windows 10's ISO to a flash drive or DVD. When able to install the OS there's a choice to input the Product Key or to skip this step which means you can enter the product key later on. It's the free version of Windows 10 with some limitations. This helps for those to decide if they are interested of Windows 10 and want to try it out or if intend to buy the product key later on, but need time to save money. This is true for Windows 10, not like its previous predecessors.

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 3 points 5 months ago

Hmm. I might try that some time! Would save me a lot of money.

Eltech 17 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

Yes, it helps for those with very tight budgets and thinking about Windows 10.

valrykie 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

actually i kinda disagree with you on this yes the ISO part is fine but for windows 7 you dont actually need the key for 30 days and you can actually extend it a few more times, you would still have to put the key in though

Eltech 17 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

Are you talking about the ISO trial for Windows 7? Or something else? With the current ISO for Windows 7 on Microsoft's site, you need a legit product key.

I'm not certain on what you disagree upon besides the ISO. I am just saying you can install Windows 10 without a product key while installing the OS, but does have limitations. Preferable, purchasing the product key (legally) is best.

I couldn't do this with Windows 8 (even their ISO being burn to a flash drive). I have no personal experience with Windows 7 installation methods, only read forums. For all I know I forgotten something since at those times I had a different life and wasn't a techie when Windows 7 was around. What am I missing?

valrykie 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

when i installed windows 7 with a disk (9 months ago) i had to use the 30 day trial as the product key it came with was "only viable to upgrade past windows" and i eventually had to extend it another 30 days before i could get a key.

cmanAC130 submitter 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

Thanks!

[comment deleted by staff]
philip staff 10 Builds 1 point 5 months ago

The sale of those keys violate Microsoft ToS, and the keys may be unexpectedly disabled. Recommending, suggesting, advising, encouraging, hinting, or in any way implying these keys as a solution or option is not allowed on this site.

[comment deleted by staff]
philip staff 10 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

Comments like this are not appropriate for this site.

Otakami 1 point 5 months ago

I didn't really mean it in a bad. I was feeling sorry for him since he wanted an extremely budget PC. I wanted him to have something better.

You guys sure are strict huh? :D

philip staff 10 Builds 3 points 5 months ago

We are strict, yes. (Why put up rules if we don't enforce them?)

[comment deleted by staff]
manirelli staff 8 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

Please re-read the user code of conduct before you continue posting on the site.

timless 2 Builds 1 point 5 months ago

Because he wanted to purchase a legit copy of Windows 10. What a concept.

Otakami 1 point 5 months ago

Never implied pirating anything at all. You can buy a much MUCH cheaper windows copy than freaking 100 dollars.

manirelli staff 8 Builds 3 points 5 months ago

Generally speaking, anything less than about 80 dollars on sale will not be a legitimate copy or sale.

[comment deleted by staff]
manirelli staff 8 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

Sale of software and keys from that site often violates the ToS or are resold licenses purchased via fraudulent credit card. Recommending, suggesting, advising, encouraging, hinting, or in any way implying these keys as a solution or option is not allowed on this site.