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Bruiser on a Budget

by jjhighberger


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

March 10, 2015

Date Built

Feb. 14, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

10.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

29.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

966 MHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.35 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

23.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

37.0° C


Named for color scheme.

Got my wife to agree to a $500 budget due to the lack of security on my 2005 and 2006 XP machines. (reasons for her; for me, I need something to game on!)

This is my 1st build in over 15 years so I was a little out of the loop on how things work. Having $500 budget I feel I did a pretty nice job.

I don't do much other than play WOW and surf/email. However I will be trying Thief soon, since it came free on Steam with my FX 6300.

Initially this was a very simple build. Cable management was fairly strait forward, only having the 20+4-pin power too short to hide. The older PSU, from a previous upgrade on my 2005 Dell, only had 2 SATA leads and were daisy chained, so they weren't long enough connect the HDD and the optical drive. I went to MicroCenter and purchased a Molex to SATA splitter and solved that problem.

I had a borrowed GT 520 card with an shotty fan, to start this build. I later purchased his GTX 650 Ti. When I first booted there was no screen so we thought it might be the video card, tried another, then tried a new cable. Turned out it was the wireless mouse/keyboard being plugged into the USB 3.0 on the front that was causing the problem.

The cable management looks a bit better than the photos show. I will post better pics when I remember to take them in better light. This will also be updated to show the GTX 650 Ti.

I do hope to upgrade the monitor at the holidays, and need to put priority on upgrading the PSU.

D4mn that printer for messing w/ my budget, but the wife made me add it so I'm not adding it to the $$.

UPDATE: I did indeed update the PSU. I was having some intermittent display loss. I attributed that to the lack of 20A on the 12V rail that my GPU required (BFG only had 18A). After some Q&A from friends, here, and other forums I decided on the EVGA 500B.

I will add more pics soon when I have better lighting to catch the somewhat improved cable management.


Part Reviews


NO complaints, runs cool on stock cooler without overclocking.


What can I say? I got this board for a heck of a price.

Video Card

This card is light years above what I have been running for the last 7 yrs I have been playing WoW.


Solid case. decent cable management. Only issue was getting front face off when adding optical drive. Have a pair of needle nose pliers handy! Came with 4 fans! but the Blue LED fan in the front didn't give off enough light so I moved it to the top.

Operating System

It is what it is.

Comments Sorted by:

Diox 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Damn, your using a PSU from a company that's been defunct for 4.5 years.. I don't know whether to recommend to change it or to put it in a museum.

jjhighberger submitter 2 Builds 0 points 48 months ago

definately need to do something with it. it started acting up today. at least i hope that's the problem and it hasn't complicated something else. I need to pull the trigger on something under $40 but I don't know how much diff a 80+ is from a 80+bronze

Diox 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Don't cheap out on your psu please. If you psu goes, there's a chance your whole computer will go brother. Go for this PSU, it is 100 watts more than this current one and will is from an awesome manufacturer! Don't buy the Corsair CX series, stay away from most of their cheap units.


jjhighberger submitter 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

I went with the EVGA 500B before I saw your post. But TY!

Diox 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Oh okay. Well good luck with the PSU! I hope it suits your needs. No problem man, feel free to pm me if you need any help!

wschelpe 1 point 37 months ago

Did the case really come with 4 fans pre installed? Or did you add some yourself?

CapnJudge 3 Builds -2 points 49 months ago

The first upgrade you will want to do is get a 250 SSD, and use it to created virtual memory (virtual ram) It will speed your boot up when you put the os on there too!

jjhighberger submitter 2 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

I decided against the SSD, boot time is not important to me. But maybe down the line.

CapnJudge 3 Builds 0 points 48 months ago

Thats cool, but using it for virtual ram will speed your gaming up immensely

jjhighberger submitter 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

good to know, ty

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jjhighberger submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago


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jjhighberger submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

I don't even play MC so is this an insult?

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jjhighberger submitter 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

LMAO ty for the compliment then.