Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

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Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:01 am

Can you build a decent gaming PC with new parts delivered from Newegg for less than $525? Show us your build!

In TR's Christmas 2011 System Guide, the Econobox build looks like this:
TR's System Guide wrote: $105 +7½ shipping Asus P8H67-V ATX LGA1155 motherboard w/ H67 chipset and USB3
$125 -10 code "EMCJHKD49" Intel Core i3-2100 hyper-threading dual-core 3.1 GHz LGA1155 processor w/ HSF
$20 2x2 GiB PC3-10600 Kingston KVR1333D3S8N9K2/4G (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V) memory
$145 +7 shipping -15MIR Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD6850 1GB graphics card w/ Dirt3 coupon
$0 Integrated motherboard audio
$100 +6¼ shipping 750 GB Hitachi HDS721075DLE630 7200-rpm hard-drive
$19 Asus DRW-24B1ST DVD-RW
$65 +10 shipping Fractal Design Core 3000 mid-tower ATX case
$53 +2 shipping Antec EarthWatts EA-380D power supply
=====
Total: $621.92 + $32.81 shipping = $654.73 -15MIR.
A few readers opined that the Econobox was short on the "Econo" part and suggested cheaper components in the article comments. Ultra-frugal gerbil halbhh2 claims to be able to build a new gaming PC for an amazingly-cheap $350. I'll give you 50% more than that for this challenge.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:10 am

have you looked at this thread?

New budget gaming build for $472

gist was that a cheaper case/psu goes a long way
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:15 am

The components that I suggested in that thread totaled to $546 -20MIR. I wasn't counting the rebates, either. That was with a 200MHz faster Core i3-2120 processor and $109 less than the Econobox build. Even at that price point, I wasn't happy to be giving up USB3 and two DIMM slots on the motherboard and only sticking with the Econobox's 2x2 GiB of memory. :( You could save another $29 with the Core i3-2100 on a cheap ASRock H61 motherboard, but Asus's UEFI BIOS is nice.

That's why I was so impressed with the claim of a $350 budget for a gaming PC. How low can you go?
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:44 am

So we have to shave $130 off the Econobox?

All right. I'll play the Llano CrossfireX game:

AMD A8-3850: $140
Gigabyte A75: $83 -There are cheaper, but it's what I'd buy
8GB of G.Skill RAM: $35 -I had no idea memory had gotten this cheap
LG 22x DVD-RW: $17 -Still need the optical
Hitachi 500GB: $80
(That all subtotals to $355 so if you have a case, PSU, and ODD to reuse, there's your under $350 build)
Antec NSK3480 + 380W: $95 -Find an ATX case if you want more space
Sapphire HD6670: $80 -Has a $10 rebate
Total: $530 plus any tax and shipping and minus a $10 rebate. Going with a Radeon 6570 instead of a 6670 saves up to $20, leaving the total at $510.
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:42 pm

Last edited by credible on Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:18 pm

Credible that system I show as 463.93 before $50 rebates. Not bad at all...
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:47 pm

Credible, your system would probably play games better if it had a hard-drive and an optical drive.


I'm open to suggestions for the guidelines.

I had been thinking that...
1) The parts must be ordered new from Newegg.
2) Standard shipping to the lower 48 is included in the build cost (which is why free shipping is so popular).
3) Sales taxes are not collected.
4) Instant discount codes are encouraged.
5) Combination discount deals are also encouraged.
6) What should we do with mail-in rebates?

It looks to me as if the forum gerbils are close to shaving 20% off of the cost of the Econobox.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:02 pm

Here's what I had:
$90 +130 +4 shipping -17 combo Asus P8H67-M LX Micro-ATX LGA1155 motherboard w/ H67 chipset, only 2 DIMM slots and no USB3
and Intel Core i3-2120 hyper-threading dual-core 3.3 GHz LGA processer w/ HSF
· or $63 ASRock H61M-GE Micro-ATX LGA1155 motherboard with H61 chipset and 4 DIMM slots but neither USB3 nor SATA3
· and $125 -10 code "EMCJHKD49" Intel Core i3-2100 hyper-threading dual-core 3.1 GHz LGA1155 processor w/ HSF
$20 2x2 GiB PC3-10600 Kingston KVR1333D3S8N9K2/4G (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V) memory
· or $43 -7 combo -15MIR 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 Patriot PSD38G1600KH (DDR3-1600, CAS 9, 1.5 V) memory
$140 -20MIR HIS H685FN1GD Radeon HD6850 1GB graphics card
$0 motherboard integrated audio
$80 500 GB Hitachi HDS721050CLA362 7200-rpm hard-drive
$19 Asus DRW-24B1ST DVD-RW
$80 -10MIR Antec Three Hundred mid-tower ATX case
and Antec Basiq BP430 power supply
========
· total with alternative motherboard, processor and memory: $533 -45MIR
Total: $546 - 30MIR
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:42 pm

MIR prices should be considered pre-MIR, IMO.

The only way I could get it below $525 is to drop a TON of graphics performance. Not willing to go with a 5770 or 550Ti just to save $15-20.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBund ... mbo.719050 (Phenom II X2 3.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, ASUS 880G mobo) $304
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811129065 (Antec 300 + BP430) $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827151252 (Samsung DVD-RW) $17
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814125353 (Gigabyte 6850) $140

= $541 (free shipping all around).

JAE's system has the better CPU, but I get double the storage. Still either way it's fast enough for gaming, and it you might get lucky enough to unlock it.
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:39 am

If I were building a super-budget gaming box, it would start with a Sandy Bridge Pentium G620
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116399
$70 shipped
Giving up hyperthreading hurts, but it's still pushing enough frames for a "decent" gaming experience, and it's $55 cheaper than the SB i3 options.

Add a Gigabyte MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128527
$57 shipped

Pick a cheap case/PSU combo like this Rosewill with a 120mm fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811147082
$40 shipped

Add in the same budget pieces parts seen already
$80 500GB HD
$17 DVD-RW
$20 DDR3-1333

So you're at $284 and need a GPU. Personally I think the 57xx/67xx cards are the beginning of "decent" gaming cards. Those start at $92 shipped, but I'd go for the Sapphire 6770 GDDR5 card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814102941
$110 shipped with $20 MIR

That's just shy of $400 to your door without rebates.

The GPU is going to make the biggest impact, so the $140 6850 linked earlier is the smarter choice. That would kick it up to $424.

/
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:15 pm

Peldor wrote:If I were building a super-budget gaming box, it would start with a Sandy Bridge Pentium G620
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116399
$70 shipped
Giving up hyperthreading hurts, but it's still pushing enough frames for a "decent" gaming experience, and it's $55 cheaper than the SB i3 options.

Add a Gigabyte MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128527
$57 shipped

Pick a cheap case/PSU combo like this Rosewill with a 120mm fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811147082
$40 shipped

Add in the same budget pieces parts seen already
$80 500GB HD
$17 DVD-RW
$20 DDR3-1333

So you're at $284 and need a GPU. Personally I think the 57xx/67xx cards are the beginning of "decent" gaming cards. Those start at $92 shipped, but I'd go for the Sapphire 6770 GDDR5 card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814102941
$110 shipped with $20 MIR

That's just shy of $400 to your door without rebates.

The GPU is going to make the biggest impact, so the $140 6850 linked earlier is the smarter choice. That would kick it up to $424.

/

Nicely done. I'd definitely go for the 6850 and I'd also definitely spend another $15 to go for a Pentium G840. So that adds... $45 to your build so just shy of $450. Come on, that's decent.

I know it might seem boring, but I do wish TR would review the Sandy Bridge Pentiums.
flip-mode
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:08 pm

You know, I thought maybe flip-mode was crazy, and then I did some Anandtech bench comarisons and found that even the Penitums are pretty fast.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/190?vs=406

Soundly beating an Athlon II X2 across the board.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/202?vs=406

Regularly trouncing the fastest X3, too.

Wow.

edit: if you're just playing games, it's approaching the same speed of AMD's CPUs at twice the price:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=406

You have to really ignore everythign else for that to make sense though.
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:53 pm

SB Pentiums will be EOL'd very soon...
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:56 pm

That's just FUD. For our purposes, if we can buy it from Newegg this month, it's fair game.
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:14 pm

I like where Peldor headed, except that the no-name PSU in that cheap case scares me. I've had bad experiences with cheap PSUs from DEER, Allied, Bestec, etc.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/22104/2
TR's System Guide wrote: Repeat after me: friends don't let friends use shoddy power supplies. We don't need a lot of juice to power the Econobox, but that doesn't mean we're gonna skimp on the PSU and grab a unit that weighs less than a bag of chips.


How about this combination deal?
$70 + 65 -10 combo Intel Pentium G620 dual-core 2.6 GHz LGA1155 processor w/ HSF
and BioStar H61MU3 Micro-ATX LGA1155 motherboard with USB3 but only 2 DIMM slots and no SATA3.
The 2.9 GHz Pentium G850 is $15 more.

It's been a while since I strayed from Asus or Gigabyte for a new motherboard, but USB3 for that price is appealing. Newegg's reviews indicate that a BIOS update is needed, that the chassis fan speed controller doesn't work and that BioStar's driver disk is missing a few things. Those are not problems that you would typically encounter with an Asus motherboard.
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:58 am

Here's what i came up with for $552 shipped $522 after mir. complete with a 6850, 500gb 7200rpm hd, corsair 500w 80+ psu, nice case with good coolling and cable management features, usb 3.0/ sata 6gb/s, upgraded heatsink for overclocking, and a future up grade path. o and dual pcie with crossfire support lol.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDeal ... mbo.787095
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820104221
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813157272
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835103064
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827136240
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811146075
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814161384
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822145299

Or if your lucky enough to be close to a microcenter Thanks to there low cpu pricing + there combo cpu+mb specials. You can get this same setup but with a i5 2500k and gigabyte z68 mb for only $602. or the setup with a 1055t x6 am3+ cpu for $520. If you look at the add the i5 gets a extra $50 off any z68 mb right now. The 1055t get's a extra 30 off any amd mb, and is on a firesell for 119 to begin with.(i just grabbed one of the 1055t's myself)

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/7e4 ... e47d029/27
http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0364087
http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0354589
http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0351758

http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0334812
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:26 pm

That's pretty nice, Bojangles. That PSU / CPU bundle is a nice find. Here's a build for essentially the same price but better case, lesser PSU, G840 in a P67 mobo, and a DVD burner shipped for free:

$550 including shipping (some rebates are possible but not calculated - I hate rebates):

$85 Pentium G840 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 8&Tpk=g840
$100 Antec NSK 4482 with 380w power http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811129071
$152 Radeon 6850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814102908
$20 4 GB Mushkin DDR3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820146748
$86 500 GB Hitachi http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822145299
$17 DVD burner http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827151233
$90 MSI P67 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813130576
flip-mode
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:10 pm

flip-mode that's a nice system, though I question a P67. The Pentium isn't OC-able, and if the system is later re-purposed the on-board graphics might be useful.
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:49 pm

flip-mode wrote:That's pretty nice, Bojangles. That PSU / CPU bundle is a nice find. Here's a build for essentially the same price but better case, lesser PSU, G840 in a P67 mobo,


No offense but how is that case better?? Besides the more recognized name brand.It lacks in features from every conceivable angle then the one i listed. Despite costing more. Even with the power supply. it's still a worse value then the nzxt case+ corsair 500w i listed which combined are the same price as your antec combo.
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:14 am

Funk and Bo, both your arguments are well founded. The P67 is truly pointless with the G840 and there the Antec case isn't the most feature filled. The upside of the Antec case is it's quality construction and comes with a high quality and very quiet power supply. Bo, I know you got an even higher quality PSU in your build but it only makes sense for an AMD build. Regardless, my component could benefit from some tweaking.
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Re: Econobox Economy Challenge: Gaming PC < $525

Postposted on Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:37 am

FWIW the guy that started this, halbhh2, basically came back and said basically to take advantage of Microcenter bundles and don't buy all the parts since you probably have an optical drive, PSU, and a case already. So it was kind of false advertising in the first place. He also referenced pre-flood hard drive prices, which means that you have to add $40 or more to make up for post-flood pricing. Follow the link to the comments in JAE's OP. There's no full system build for $350 that's worthwhile for gaming.

Although, you guys did pretty impressive, getting it down below $450 for an actual complete system with rather potent components.
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