No OS needed --- will be running Linux.
Trying to beat an i7-2670QM + GT 555M laptop.
Show me what you can do at such a low budget. Bonus points if you come in under $300!
It's not under $300, unfortunately, but the Skylake i3 offers a suprisingly substantial iGPU that makes it a great contender for a build like this. A less expensive alternative would be the Skylake Pentium, which has a slightly lower clock speed without hyperthreading which can do well in the lower-requirement games.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
Then this would be the other major option. The AMD APU route. This one will get under $300 and performs roughly equivalent to the 6100 in gaming, at the cost of lower single-thread performance (which I think you'd be hard-pressed to reach the limit of either, really)
Have you used the Apex case before, or seen it? I'm a bit wary of products that haven't been reviewed or listed at used in a build.
I'll encourage you to look at the reviews for it yourself. There are a few bad reviews (there are bad reviews for everything), but overall it seems like a decent choice given its low price, plus it has a PSU included. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154062
I like the idea of the case with included PSU, and your suggestion for the iGPU. I played around with those ideas (dropped down to the Pentium to save $50) and pulled out a $250 build. I think I'm looking for a bit more power in this one, but I'm going to keep the $250 "bang for the buck" in mind for an upcoming project at work. Also intrigued by the A8 --- definitely need to read more into it!
I'd stick with the laptop..
Unfortunately the laptop is dying.
Shame.. how high do you think you could go to make this worth your while?
I've got a budget of ~$300, but depending how negotiations go at work this week, that might come up to closer to $400.
That's what I would do, I run something similar myself in the living room while I'm waiting for bargains to upgrade it. It will overclock nicely even on the stock cooler, the 750Ti is more than capable of 1080p gaming as long as you are realistic with the settings in AAA titles.
The reason for wanting extra money would be to make it smaller with more storage..
This is one I put together that comes to $325.
I'd double the ram if you think you could go that bit extra but it's an easy upgrade down the line of course.
It's a good build though, nice find on the mobo as well!!
The PSU is less than amazing but you can't knock it at the price. I'd just be a little wary of big overclocks.
EDIT: I didn't notice the rebates but if you are happy with them then it's all good.
Thanks for the build idea and the comments on my post!
The problem is that the laptop is dying; it's the gpu in particular that's going off. But you're right, it's hard to match. The two options are:
1) Have a GPU (GT 750 Ti, for instance), and cut costs other places. Above in the comments we came up with ~$320 builds like this.
2) Go for a newer iGPU, as was suggested by Fellway. It looks like the integrated Intel HD 530 and Radeon R7 benchmark higher than the GT 555m I had before.