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Gaming PC on a $500 budget

Sniktch

61 months ago

This is my first attempt at putting together a decent gaming rig on a modest budget - I need to stay as close to $500 as possible... my last tower is 6 years old and not up to the task any longer; I basically need to upgrade almost the whole thing. I received some Christmas funds to work with, so I'm giving the old PC to my young children, getting rid of the 10 year old Dell in the playroom, and building a new machine for Mom & Dad to play with. :)

Feedback is welcome - I'm hoping to get the best bang for my $$ as possible - this tower needs to make it the next 5 - 6 years if possible. I'm familiar with the innards of a PC, but this will be the first time I build one completely from scratch.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/PK6jsY

Comments

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

10/10 would bang.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks pretty good, but without Mail-in-rebates, it costs 561,81 dollars, so it actually cost more then a few dollars over 500.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor $89.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard $44.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory A-Data XPG V1.0 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $34.99 @ Newegg
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $49.88 @ OutletPC
Video Card PowerColor Radeon R9 280 3GB TurboDuo Video Card $149.99 @ Newegg
Case NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case $41.99 @ SuperBiiz
Power Supply EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $32.99 @ Newegg
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer $13.99 @ Newegg
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $458.81
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-12-29 01:58 EST-0500

Slightly closer to the budget, you can throw in another 4GB RAM stick later.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I should have mentioned that I can shell out the extra up front and take advantage of the rebates to get back down to $500ish... but anything over $500 is basically out of pocket. Some good suggestions I will check into, though.

Edit: Just checking the specs on some parts you recommended - will that motherboard support 1600 RAM? It lists: Memory Type DDR3-1066 / 1333 only.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

It supports 1600 Mhz RAM(it seems that it will work with 2133 Mhz RAM, too), but it will run at 1333 Mhz, unless you manually overclock it to 1600.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks pretty good, though I would suggest 2x4gb sticks of RAM vs a single eight.

If the rebates is enough of an issue you're out of budget and can't purchase the items all at once, you can always just purchase the stuff on rebate first, and purchasing the rest once the rebates come in.

Re this tower lasting 5-6 years: it's really hard to say. It's hard enough to say how future proof any rig is, and with an Fx-6300 and R9 280, it needs to be taken into account that we're already working with components that are a few years old (FX series was released October 2012, R9 280 is based on a GPU that was released January 2012.) What do you considering lasting 5-6 years as? Playing minecraft and browsing the web, or playing current titles at high graphics?

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you sum up the difference between using 2 x 4 as opposed to 1 x 8 on the RAM? I was thinking I could add another 1 x 8 in the future when I had some extra cash - like after my annual bonus comes in.

Re: future proofing. Of course this is hard to predict, and I'm not opposed to upgrading components here and there, like adding some more RAM and a SSD. I'm past my really serious gaming days due to other demands on my time, but I do play Marvel Heroes and some titles like Dawn of War, Blood Bowl, and had my eye on the new Mordheim game. My wife loves the Sims but hasn't gone past Sims 2 yet as our current tower can't really handle Sims 3. I'm running Marvel Heroes on bare minimum settings, with issues, and would love to be able to turn on the bells and whistles.

I'd say I've invested an average of $30 to $50 a year on small upgrades and maintenance for the current PC and would probably be able to continue at that pace with the new one. It's just reached the point where it's time to move on - the CPU, motherboard, and GPU are all dinosaurs at this point.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

2 4gb sticks of RAM perform better than 1 8gb stick because two ram sticks can run as dual channel memory, which helps performance. You won't need the second stick of 8gb ram anyways because you won't be bottlenecked by your memory, and even if you felt you needed the extra memory, the MoBo you had selected still has 4 slots.

PC upgrades aren't really such that you can spend $30 to $50 to keep it up to date. It's not like you can throw a $20 bill at an expensive PC component like the CPU, PSU, or GPU and expect to work better. To upgrade, you'll have to sell your old piece, take the depreciation hit, and buy another new unit, or throw on a second unit (if it's a GPU.) The upgrades you can do are upgrade your RAM, which you wouldn't benefit from given your usage profile, and increase your hard disc space. That, and throwing on case fans (and you should at least throw one on when you build it anyways because it doesn't come with an intake fan) are really the only things that a build like this can benefit from. Probably a CPU cooler. I hope that makes sense and isn't too depressing.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Makes perfect sense... and when I say average... there are years where I spend nothing on the PC, and other years where I spend $100 - $150... it averages out in the end.

I didn't touch my current tower for 2 years. Third year I upgraded the graphics card... which I didn't account for the power increase and had to upgrade the power supply shortly thereafter. Two years ago I added a 500Gb HD since the original 350Gb was about full... really nothing since then. I added some RAM but it was scavenged and cost nothing.

Again, thanks for the feedback!

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

i3 4150 is released in 2014 and performs better with lightly threaded apps (games)

not gonna make a build but you should research it

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

First Upgrade: 2nd 4gb Ram Stick / Second Upgrade: 1tb hard drive

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD Athlon X4 860K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor $78.98 @ OutletPC
Motherboard Asus A88XM-A Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard $52.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $37.99 @ Newegg
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $33.00 @ Amazon
Video Card XFX Radeon R9 280X 3GB Double Dissipation Video Card $204.99 @ Newegg
Case Cougar Spike MicroATX Mini Tower Case $29.99 @ Mwave
Power Supply SeaSonic 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $49.99 @ Newegg
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer $17.98 @ OutletPC
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $505.91
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-12-29 17:07 EST-0500
[comment deleted by staff]
  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the suggestions - trying to understand the difference in the GPU you selected, as it looks like basically the same card for $25 more? The one you selected is 950 MHz vs 855 MHz - is that really going to make much of a difference?

[comment deleted by staff]

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