First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:47 pm

Adampff wrote:
superjawes wrote:Here's the thing about $400 (and cheaper) PCs...if you're building your own, it might actually be cheaper to get one from HP or Dell (and you get tech support).

The issue is that you have to slap an extra $100 on top of whatever you're building in order to get Windows. This one from HP should play Diablo, has Windows, and is a slim form. It's right at that $400 mark, but it should illustrate my point. That's a system built, small, and loaded with Windows.

Regardless, take a peek at the latest TR System Guide. The editor's here explain why they chose particular components for a build, and if you read the comments, some Gerbils actually had the conversation about getting a sub-Econobox build.


I see your point and to be honest forgot that I would have to add windows to any PC that I bought. However the HP you showed me does look nice and fits my needs, I would like something that, if need be, can be upgraded further down the line so I don't end up in my current situation.
You actually want the second one I listed if you might upgrade. The slim model would not be upgradeable (probably) and would be difficult even if you could. The second, with a real ATX case should be easy to upgrade, especially the RAM and GPU.


Unfortunately my Pavilion is not an option to scrap as I still need it for school, etc. Also as to what I mean with the word "adequately" is to be able to play Diablo 3 at 60 fps at least.
I didn't realize it was a laptop, so you really wouldn't be able to scrap anything anyway other than the hard drive. That's okay, though.

As for getting 60 FPS, is that at high settings? What resolution? More pixels means lower FPS for a given GPU. Sinking more money on a more powerful one will allow those prettier textures, and it would handle future games better.

cynan wrote:
DPete27 wrote:
[edit] Forgot about a Windows licence. If you're a college student or know one, most colleges offer Windows 7 for like $30. Maybe you can make a $30 exception to your budget?


Not any more that I know of. The university I'm affiliated with offers Win 7 for $99. The best price for students was back when MS offered the Ultimate Steal promotions (Which was $30 for students in the US), but those haven't been running for a while.
Our licenses were $15... That was pro XP and 7, and I think ultimates were $30.

You HAVE to be a student for it to be legal, though. Just like OEM licenses are supposed to be for one system, home use licenses are supposed to be for students/employees only, which is why you are limited to a number of licenses and they tie it to your name. Students can check universities, employees can check employee purchase/home use programs. Bigger companies tend to have more perks since they have to more negotiating power.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:52 pm

If you have a hard budget of $400 you might as well not bother wasting the money. The builds suggested can barely play the games you mentioned, not to say they can't, but even at the lowest settings you're going to die due to it stuttering/low framerate. Wait till you can throw another $150 for a videocard ontop of the builds suggested and you're going to be much much happier. I know you said you can go up to 500 but you didn't consider the cost of windows, so $150 on top of that.

I hate to encourage it but, you can off-set costs by using the windows 8 preview, it's usable and stable but there is a learning curve. But free is free. If it works well enough for ya it probably won't cost much to make it your official primary OS.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:21 am

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Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:42 am

Try this, you'll still need to buy a Windows OEM license, keyboard and mouse. I'd add a discrete graphics card for a $100 to round it out somewhere down the road when you can.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:52 am

zzz wrote:The builds suggested can barely play the games you mentioned


By your standard, all games consoles are unsuitable for gaming, since they can barely play modern games.
If low-quality, 20-30 fps, 720p (or lower) is good enough for consoles, what is wrong with a PC that runs the same game at medium quality, 40-60 fps, at 1080p or higher?

Getting vsync on Ultra settings is never the point of a $400 PC. Yes, you'll need a $150 graphics card to crank up the details at high resolutions but you know as well as I do that most games look pretty good on medium detail these days because all the content is optimised for our underpowered consoles; There's only so many ways you can lens-flare, motion-blur, anti-alias, HDR, soft-shadow a low-polygon, low-texture model before it feels like polishing a turd.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:08 am

Alright well once again I want to say thank you to everyone who has replied to this thread. You have all been more then helpful.

Firstly just to clear up some things that I should have included in my original post.
- I have a keyboard, mouse and monitor so those do not have to be included in the $400 I would like to spend.
- I can buy Windows 7 OS for around $30 from my college so that does not need to be included in the $400 I would like to spend.
- Ultimately I would like a computer than can be used to play Diablo 3 on medium settings around 50-60 fps - basically I want to be able to enjoy the game and not worry about large amount of lag and/or low fps.
- I would like a computer than I can upgrade down the road if I ever want to.

Chrispy_ wrote:
I would really like to keep it under $400 however if I absolutely must go up to $500 than I suppose I could make an exception.


Yeah, I figured as much. It's really down to how much you want to spend. A $500 PC will play games more than 25% better than a $400 PC, but a $400 PC will still play games very well. A lot of these guys encouraging you to spend more are accustomed to high-resolution, silky-smooth graphics running on hardware that is much better than average. In fact I just finished a bout of Crysis2 (which isn't great, BTW) at 2560x1400 with the high-res textures and DX11 mode, and whilst it looked nice, it was just as enjoyable last week at 1280x720 without the high-res textures, DX11 features or details set to max. Whilst there are exceptions, a lot of new games are still designed to run well on 6-year-old consoles with antiquated hardware. This means that even a $75 graphics card can do a decent job of smooth gameplay at high(ish) details because it's still ten times more powerful than the graphics abilities of an XBox360.

If you're upgrading from an old HP DV4, you'll be more than happy with a $400 system, and by the time you want more, a $100 graphics card upgrade is probably all you'll need to give it another couple of years gaming.

As for the i3 vs G8/G6 Pentiums, there's basically no difference except clockspeed. Most games don't get any tangible benefit from hyperthreading. Some even perform worse! Unless you plan to spend $150 on a graphics card, you'll probably not see a big difference between a G620 and the top-end i3, because the graphics card will always be the limiting factor in today's games.


You took the thoughts right out of my head Chrispy. I appreciate all of the help I have gotten however I do not feel I am ready to drop more than $400 on a gaming PC at this point in time. I realize that if I would raise my budget I can get a very nice computer but honestly I am just beginning to get in to computer gaming and as your pointed out, a $400 gaming PC would blow my current HP Pavilion dv4 out of the water. I have got some great advice on what to buy for my budget and I believe I have it narrowed down to the build clone suggest.

clone wrote:CPU / MOBO:
AMD X3 450 cpu $69.99 at Newegg.com
GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+ $59.99 at Newegg.com
MEMORY:
8gb G.skill value series ram $39.99 at Newegg.com
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5 $64.99 at Newegg.com
VIDEO:
Gigabyte HD 6670 $69.99 at Newegg.com
CASE / POWER:
GIGABYTE GZ-F3HEB Black SECC Steel / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $19.99 at Newegg.com
Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V v2.3 Power Supply $37.99 at Newegg.com
OPTICAL DRIVE:
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $16.99 at.... you guessed it Newegg.com

total price before MIR/IR/taxes/shipping $382.92 at Newegg.com


As Clone pointed out this build can be bought for less than $400 as well as give me the option to upgrade down the road if I were to ever choose to do that. As far as I can tell this build fits all of my needs it terms of being able to run Diablo 3 (as far as I can tell and through the research I have done). Would everyone else here agree on this build or have any other input? I am still open to any new suggestions that people may have. I just thought I would let everyone know what I am leaning towards so far.

Thank again everyone! :D
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:26 am

Well it looks like you are pretty set. Obviously, keep reading TR articles and come back if/when you decide to upgrade anything on your system. I've always valued individual experiences in choosing products.

As one more suggestion, shop around if you want to save some cash. Newegg is nice, but sometimes Amazon has cheaper hardware as well. As long as you're alright getting multiple shipments, you could find yourself with a little extra cash.

But on the note of extra cash...I realize no one mentioned speakers. You already have a solution for this? Any pair of headphones would work, and getting a basic pair of desk speakers is still cheap, but it's something you'll want to remember so that you don't end up missing anything in the short run.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:27 am

You could drop down to 4 gigs of RAM to save a few bucks.

You *might* also be able to get away with no DVD drive, if you have a 4gig or bigger USB stick. You can use this tool for installing windows (which I suggest anyways, it's so much faster from a usb stick than a DVD). Then I assume you can download Diablo 3.

Those are just my ideas for squeezing every last dollar out of the build.

It looks like a good starter system. Just be careful, it's easy to get addicted to upgrading :D
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:10 am

Adampff wrote: I do have a monitor that I can use in the mean time. Also I appreciate the recommendations and will look into them.


What's the resolution on the monitor? That will have some influence on what graphics level you need to run a given game at a particular frame rate if you want to use the monitor's native resolution.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:22 am

With such an extremely low budget, I'd skimp a bit on the CPU and go with a dedicated GPU. All the performance scaling articles around the internet (well, the two that I've read) all indicate that an E7000 range Core 2 Duo is sufficient as long as your GPU is up to the task. And then you just need to get enough GPU to hit your target resolution. If dropping $40-50 to get a G630 is enough to let you get a Radeon 7750, in this case I think it's a good trade-off.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:17 am

superjawes wrote:Well it looks like you are pretty set. Obviously, keep reading TR articles and come back if/when you decide to upgrade anything on your system. I've always valued individual experiences in choosing products.

As one more suggestion, shop around if you want to save some cash. Newegg is nice, but sometimes Amazon has cheaper hardware as well. As long as you're alright getting multiple shipments, you could find yourself with a little extra cash.

But on the note of extra cash...I realize no one mentioned speakers. You already have a solution for this? Any pair of headphones would work, and getting a basic pair of desk speakers is still cheap, but it's something you'll want to remember so that you don't end up missing anything in the short run.


Oh I certainly plan on sticking around here. I am a member of forums all over the internet and this one is by FAR the most helpful and professional forum I have ever been a part of. :D Also I was already snooping around on Amazon seeing if I could get the same items for a little less, thanks for the tip. Also (as I should have mentioned in my original post) I have a pretty nice pair of noise cancelling headphones that I was planning on using.


BobbinThreadbare wrote:You could drop down to 4 gigs of RAM to save a few bucks.

You *might* also be able to get away with no DVD drive, if you have a 4gig or bigger USB stick. You can use this tool for installing windows (which I suggest anyways, it's so much faster from a usb stick than a DVD). Then I assume you can download Diablo 3.

Those are just my ideas for squeezing every last dollar out of the build.

It looks like a good starter system. Just be careful, it's easy to get addicted to upgrading :D

I will look in to lowering the RAM to 4 gigs. If I do decide to drop it to 4 gigs of RAM will the negatively affect me later down the road? (I realize this is probably a pretty silly question but I thought I would ask it anyway :roll: ) I will also look into getting away without a DVD drive. I will look in to putting Windows 7 on my 4 gig USB stick. I appreciate all the help.


[SDG]Mantis wrote:
Adampff wrote: I do have a monitor that I can use in the mean time. Also I appreciate the recommendations and will look into them.


What's the resolution on the monitor? That will have some influence on what graphics level you need to run a given game at a particular frame rate if you want to use the monitor's native resolution.

Haha, well the monitor I had lying around is a "Planar 03761428" and is 15". I tried to find its resolution from an online source however unfortunately I was unable to do so. It is a very old monitor. But as long as we are on the topic of monitors I have a 'Haier K-Series HL24XK2 24" LCD TV' that I was told I could possibly hook my computer up to that and use that as a monitor. Would the setup that I am thinking about be able to handle this large of a screen? Its resolution is 1080p.

derFunkenstein wrote:With such an extremely low budget, I'd skimp a bit on the CPU and go with a dedicated GPU. All the performance scaling articles around the internet (well, the two that I've read) all indicate that an E7000 range Core 2 Duo is sufficient as long as your GPU is up to the task. And then you just need to get enough GPU to hit your target resolution. If dropping $40-50 to get a G630 is enough to let you get a Radeon 7750, in this case I think it's a good trade-off.


Hmm, alright man I will certainly think about it. I
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:26 am

Adampff wrote:I will look in to lowering the RAM to 4 gigs. If I do decide to drop it to 4 gigs of RAM will the negatively affect me later down the road? (I realize this is probably a pretty silly question but I thought I would ask it anyway :roll: ) I will also look into getting away without a DVD drive. I will look in to putting Windows 7 on my 4 gig USB stick. I appreciate all the help.

The answer is yes, but the question you should have asked is how long down the road. Which is trickier to figure out. I rarely see my RAM usage go over 4 gigs with Win7. So I would guess you would be fine until the next generation of consoles come out, and then it would depend on what kind of specs they have.

I would also guess that you'll notice your other components being limiting factors before 4 gigs of memory will be.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:50 am

On the flip side, ram is never this cheap. 8gb for $40 is a real steal, and cutting down to 4gb would give you minimal savings. That said, the benefits from having a 7750 (or even a 7770) over a 6670 would be significant and long-standing. If you shifted the ram down to (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820148346) and upgraded the video card to (http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-11202-00 ... ewpoints=1) or even (http://www.amazon.com/XFX-FX777AZNF4-10 ... words=7770)

The Sapphire card is $90 after MIR and has free shipping/no tax + it could also feed your 24" TV Sound and Video over HDMI, eliminating your need for a speaker setup (should you ever want to game without headphones. A note, the cards drivers may disable onboard audio. Refer to the reviews if you need to switch that back for any reason, I'm pretty sure it just involves going into your system's BIOS!
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:15 pm

BobbinThreadbare wrote:
Adampff wrote:I will look in to lowering the RAM to 4 gigs. If I do decide to drop it to 4 gigs of RAM will the negatively affect me later down the road? (I realize this is probably a pretty silly question but I thought I would ask it anyway :roll: ) I will also look into getting away without a DVD drive. I will look in to putting Windows 7 on my 4 gig USB stick. I appreciate all the help.

The answer is yes, but the question you should have asked is how long down the road. Which is trickier to figure out. I rarely see my RAM usage go over 4 gigs with Win7. So I would guess you would be fine until the next generation of consoles come out, and then it would depend on what kind of specs they have.

I would also guess that you'll notice your other components being limiting factors before 4 gigs of memory will be.


Hmm, well I think I can get by with 4gigs.

BloodSoul wrote:On the flip side, ram is never this cheap. 8gb for $40 is a real steal, and cutting down to 4gb would give you minimal savings. That said, the benefits from having a 7750 (or even a 7770) over a 6670 would be significant and long-standing. If you shifted the ram down to (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820148346) and upgraded the video card to (http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-11202-00 ... ewpoints=1) or even (http://www.amazon.com/XFX-FX777AZNF4-10 ... words=7770)

The Sapphire card is $90 after MIR and has free shipping/no tax + it could also feed your 24" TV Sound and Video over HDMI, eliminating your need for a speaker setup (should you ever want to game without headphones. A note, the cards drivers may disable onboard audio. Refer to the reviews if you need to switch that back for any reason, I'm pretty sure it just involves going into your system's BIOS!


Thanks for the advice man, I think I will drop the gig down and upgrade my video card. So here is my computer build that I will most likely be getting pretty soon.


CPU / MOBO:
AMD X3 450 cpu $69.99 at Newegg.com
GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+ $59.99 at Newegg.com
MEMORY:
Crucial 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 $18.99 at Newegg.com
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5 $64.99 at Newegg.com
VIDEO:
Sapphire 11202-00-20G Radeon HD 7750 $99.99 at Amazon.com
CASE / POWER:
GIGABYTE GZ-F3HEB Black SECC Steel / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $19.99 at Newegg.com
Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V v2.3 Power Supply $37.99 at Newegg.com
OPTICAL DRIVE:
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $16.99 at Newegg.com
Total: $388.98 :D

So, with that said I would like some reassurance on two things. 1)These are all of the parts I need to make a computer correct? 2)All of these parts should work together when I set it up? (The only reason I ask is because I changed the memory and video card around and I don't want to order all of this to only have it not work). Thanks again.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:16 pm

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Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:10 pm

Do you have any computer stores near you Adam?

You might be able to find a better case at a local computer store, since you won't have to pay for shipping. The only weak link (for a $400 machine) in that setup is that the case may be flimsy based on reviews. Other than that I couldn't spot any compatibility issues, so you should be good to go! The benefits of 2x2gb vs straight 4gb aren't too significant, but if you prefer a 2x2gb ram setup (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231394) would be fine.

Best of luck!
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:37 pm

I wouldn't go with an AMD system for gaming, but thats just me. Have a look at this TR article and you will see that AMDs bulldozer falls shy of even the i3-2100 at most games. That paired with the rumors that AMD will be focusing on APUs and the mid-lower end of the CPU market doesn't give me much confidence that AMD will overtake Intel in topperformance any time soon. Now mix in this article that says that the G630 can game on par with the AMD FX-8120 and Phenom X4 955 and its no contest. Going with a G630 now will get you by, then when you have enough money, you can drop an i5-3570K in that B75 mobo that I recommended and be sitting at the top of the hilll with CPU gaming power.

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zzz wrote:The builds suggested can barely play the games you mentioned...

Yeah, I agree with others. A 7750 can definetly play ALL modern games but you obviously won't be doing so at 1080+ resolution at ultra quality settings large amounds of AA and AF. In that article TR had their 7750 playing BF3 at 1080 resolution and medium quality settings and 4x AF pushing out 40FPS average. That's nothing to scoff at in a $400 machine.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:23 pm

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Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:04 pm

Adampff wrote:Haha, well the monitor I had lying around is a "Planar 03761428" and is 15". I tried to find its resolution from an online source however unfortunately I was unable to do so. It is a very old monitor. But as long as we are on the topic of monitors I have a 'Haier K-Series HL24XK2 24" LCD TV' that I was told I could possibly hook my computer up to that and use that as a monitor. Would the setup that I am thinking about be able to handle this large of a screen? Its resolution is 1080p.
Your old Planar monitor appears to be a 1024x768 touchscreen (which might be interesting with Windows 8, but doesn't bode well for gaming).
Your 1080p TV has one HDMI input. If you're not using that input for something else, that would be the best way to connect the PC.


How about something like this?

$90 Intel Pentium G860 dual-core 3.0 GHz LGA1155 processor w/ HSF
$65 -6½ code "GIGABYTE712718" Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V micro-ATX LGA1155 motherboard w/ USB3

or $70 -10 code "EMCNCJH25" Athlon II X3 450 triple-core 3.2 GHz socket-AM3 processor w/ HSF
and $60 -10MIR BioStar A880GZ micro-ATX socket-AM3+ motherboard

$23 2x2 GiB PC3-10600 G.Skill F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
or $40 2x4 GiB PC3-10600 G.Skill F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V)

$105 -10MIR Sapphire 11202-00-20G Radeon HD7750 1GB
or $130 HIS H777F1G2M Radeon HD7770 1GB

$67 500 GB Western Digital WD5000AAKX Caviar Blue 7200 rpm
$19 -5 code "EMCNCJH42" Samsung SH-222BB DVD burner

$50 -7½ code "RWCP1507" Cheap Rosewill R218-P-BK-450W ATX case and power supply

$30 Student deal on Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit

$0 Existing keyboard and mouse
$0 Existing 24" 1920x1080p TV
$11¼ 6' HDMI cable

======
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:46 pm

clone wrote:
So, with that said I would like some reassurance on two things. 1)These are all of the parts I need to make a computer correct? 2)All of these parts should work together when I set it up?
yes.... no surprises like an MATX case that won't fit an ATX psu, or a motherboard that won't fit the CPU or laptop ram that won't fit in the board.... should be all good, anyone else feel free to double check my work.

make note you'll be losing a little perf by going with a single dimm of ram... not much but a little.


Thanks for the help man. I do realize I will be sacrificing a little but I am willing to live with it.


BloodSoul wrote:Do you have any computer stores near you Adam?

You might be able to find a better case at a local computer store, since you won't have to pay for shipping. The only weak link (for a $400 machine) in that setup is that the case may be flimsy based on reviews. Other than that I couldn't spot any compatibility issues, so you should be good to go! The benefits of 2x2gb vs straight 4gb aren't too significant, but if you prefer a 2x2gb ram setup (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231394) would be fine.

Best of luck!


Thank you for the help. I also saw through reviews that the case was said to possibly be flimsy but to be honest I am not going to be moving it much. Also, as you pointed out, I realized after doing some research that the difference between a 2x2gb vs straight 4gb aren't significant enough for me to change the setup I a planning on getting.

DPete27 wrote:I wouldn't go with an AMD system for gaming, but thats just me. Have a look at this TR article and you will see that AMDs bulldozer falls shy of even the i3-2100 at most games. That paired with the rumors that AMD will be focusing on APUs and the mid-lower end of the CPU market doesn't give me much confidence that AMD will overtake Intel in topperformance any time soon. Now mix in this article that says that the G630 can game on par with the AMD FX-8120 and Phenom X4 955 and its no contest. Going with a G630 now will get you by, then when you have enough money, you can drop an i5-3570K in that B75 mobo that I recommended and be sitting at the top of the hilll with CPU gaming power.

PICK MY BUILD!! PICK MY BUILD!!

zzz wrote:The builds suggested can barely play the games you mentioned...

Yeah, I agree with others. A 7750 can definetly play ALL modern games but you obviously won't be doing so at 1080+ resolution at ultra quality settings large amounds of AA and AF. In that article TR had their 7750 playing BF3 at 1080 resolution and medium quality settings and 4x AF pushing out 40FPS average. That's nothing to scoff at in a $400 machine.


I did further research on the AMD and after reading numerous reviews it seems like it will fit my needs. It got excellent reviews and people seemed overall very happy with its performance and you can't beat the price. So I will probably stay with that one. As for my video card I also did plenty of reading in to that and I also agree that it can play the games I would like. I realize that I will most likely need to play on medium to lower setting for Diablo 3, however I am willing to live with that. I am not very picky on needing the highest detail settings and whatnot. I agree with a lot of what Clone said regarding the AMD, I believe it will fit my current needs.


JustAnEngineer wrote:
Adampff wrote:Haha, well the monitor I had lying around is a "Planar 03761428" and is 15". I tried to find its resolution from an online source however unfortunately I was unable to do so. It is a very old monitor. But as long as we are on the topic of monitors I have a 'Haier K-Series HL24XK2 24" LCD TV' that I was told I could possibly hook my computer up to that and use that as a monitor. Would the setup that I am thinking about be able to handle this large of a screen? Its resolution is 1080p.
Your old Planar monitor appears to be a 1024x768 touchscreen (which might be interesting with Windows 8, but doesn't bode well for gaming).
Your 1080p TV has one HDMI input. If you're not using that input for something else, that would be the best way to connect the PC.


How about something like this?

$90 Intel Pentium G860 dual-core 3.0 GHz LGA1155 processor w/ HSF
$65 -6½ code "GIGABYTE712718" Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V micro-ATX LGA1155 motherboard w/ USB3

or $70 -10 code "EMCNCJH25" Athlon II X3 450 triple-core 3.2 GHz socket-AM3 processor w/ HSF
and $60 -10MIR BioStar A880GZ micro-ATX socket-AM3+ motherboard

$23 2x2 GiB PC3-10600 G.Skill F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
or $40 2x4 GiB PC3-10600 G.Skill F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V)

$105 -10MIR Sapphire 11202-00-20G Radeon HD7750 1GB
or $130 HIS H777F1G2M Radeon HD7770 1GB

$67 500 GB Western Digital WD5000AAKX Caviar Blue 7200 rpm
$19 -5 code "EMCNCJH42" Samsung SH-222BB DVD burner

$50 -7½ code "RWCP1507" Cheap Rosewill R218-P-BK-450W micro-ATX case and power supply

$30 Student deal on Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit

$0 Existing keyboard and mouse
$0 Existing headphones
$0 Existing 24" 1920x1080p TV
$11¼ 6' HDMI cable

======
$441¼ -10MIR


I will certainly plan on using my 24" 1920x1080p TV as monitor and, once again, I forgot to mention that I already have a 6' HDMI cable, so that does not need to be factored in to the price. The build looks solid from what I have gathered through reviews on the items listed. However, going back to the topic of AMD vs Intel it appears that the AMD would once again be better for me. Not only is it less expensive but it has features such as hyperthreading whereas the Intel Pentium G860 does not. The AMD also has more reviews and appears to be the better bang for my buck. However please correct me if I am wrong.
Adampff
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:12 am

You are correct, for your situation AMD is better bang for your buck. I honestly think you will be pleasantly surprised with the 7750, I have a 7770 and it is nice card. I used to be a power-fiend, but have since settled for low heat/noise alternatives. The performance difference isn't that extreme, and would barely be noticeable in a game like Diablo 3!
BloodSoul
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:26 am

.
Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
neg
clone
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:48 am

Adampff wrote:it appears that the AMD would once again be better for me. Not only is it less expensive but it has features such as hyperthreading whereas the Intel Pentium G860 does not.


The X3 will suffice because it's a capable chip, but as clone already stated it does not have hyperthreading.

I am here to 'correct you if you are wrong' :)

The cheapest pentium (G620) is both cheaper and faster than the X3 450, whilst also running cooler. In games, it would seem to be at least 25% faster than the X3.
Here's a complete battery of tests for that exact matchup.
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Chrispy_
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:18 am

BloodSoul wrote:You are correct, for your situation AMD is better bang for your buck. I honestly think you will be pleasantly surprised with the 7750, I have a 7770 and it is nice card. I used to be a power-fiend, but have since settled for low heat/noise alternatives. The performance difference isn't that extreme, and would barely be noticeable in a game like Diablo 3!

I think I will also. I have been doing a lot of research on the 7750 and the more I read about it the more I like it. I have read on 5 different websites that it works very well, especially for playing games such as Diablo (many reviews said I can play at 55+ fps on high quality settings).


clone wrote:the AMD cpu you are going with doesn't have Hyper Threading, it's a true triple core & still more than up to the task but it's an X3 that's thankfully not based on the latest Bulldozer architecture.

Alright, my mistake. This is exactly the reason I come to forums like these; I have no idea what I am talking about lol. :lol:

Chrispy_ wrote:
Adampff wrote:it appears that the AMD would once again be better for me. Not only is it less expensive but it has features such as hyperthreading whereas the Intel Pentium G860 does not.


The X3 will suffice because it's a capable chip, but as clone already stated it does not have hyperthreading.

I am here to 'correct you if you are wrong' :)

The cheapest pentium (G620) is both cheaper and faster than the X3 450, whilst also running cooler. In games, it would seem to be at least 25% faster than the X3.
Here's a complete battery of tests for that exact matchup.


By all means always correct me when I am wrong. I came to these forums specifically because I have little to no knowledge when it comes to computers. Thanks to you guys I have learned A LOT more about computers in the past few days than I ever knew prior to this.

Also I appreciate the link. It certainly gave me some more thinking to do.
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:17 am

Hey, we're all happy to help. Half the time I read random threads like this because I learn something too. One thing to be clear about is that there are a lot of different "right answers". You'll rarely get ten people in here to agree on something, so these threads can go on forever.

Even if you said "it's too late, I already bought a 6670 and an X3 450" you'd still assemble it and find it happily running games like WoW and D3 on high details. Good luck with the order, don't overthink it too much and come back here if you've got any worries about how to screw it all together.
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Chrispy_
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:56 pm

I'll throw another round of support behind the Pentium over the Athlon with Chrispy_- the Pentium has much higher IPC, so each MHz counts for more. And I really like JAE's build too. Good luck!
Canon 6D|24-105/4L IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|24/2.8 IS USM|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
Airmantharp
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:16 pm

Well everyone I just wanted to let you know that I placed my order. :D

CPU / MOBO:
AMD X3 450 cpu
GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+
MEMORY:
Crucial 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
VIDEO:
Sapphire 11202-00-20G Radeon HD 7750
CASE / POWER:
GIGABYTE GZ-F3HEB Black SECC Steel / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V v2.3 Power Supply
OPTICAL DRIVE:
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer


I just wanted to give one last thanks to everyone. I can now sleep soundly at night knowing I spent my $400 on a system that I will be happy with. I now know where I will be going if I ever need any help related to computers. Who knows, I may be back here in a few days needing help putting it together haha. :lol: However hopefully that all goes very smoothly.

Once I have my computer up and running I will let everyone know how I like it. But as I said before I am sure it will be just what I am looking for.

Thanks again!
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:20 pm

That's a decent build for $400. I think you'll get a pretty good service life out of it.
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ludi
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:22 pm

I know you already purchased the components, but I thought I'd try my hand. I left out an optical drive due to the aforementioned USB install method. This build uses the same CPU but with a 90GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and an HD6850. You even get a free copy of Dirt3. I left out a Windows license as it seems you did as well. Viva linux!
This list presupposes that you are on newegg's mailing list to use promo codes and that you've signed up for the shoprunner trial (eking out every penny of $400 means free shipping is important!)

Open Box: MSI 760GM-P21 (FX) AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813130638R $33.99

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable VGA Series GV-R685OC-1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX ...
Item #: N82E16814125353 $10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card $149.99

AMD Gift - Dirt3 Game Coupon - OEM
Item #: N82E16800995114 $0.00

2x Pareema 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model MD313C81609L1
Item #: N82E16820576002 $39.98 ($19.99 each)

AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX450WFGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103886 $69.99

OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-90G 2.5" 90GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820227757 -$65.00 Instant $15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card $84.99

Rosewill R218-P-BK-450W MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with 1x 120mm Fan, 450W Power Supply
Item #: N82E16811147082 $49.99

Apply Promo Codes
RWCP1507 Discount From Promo Code -$7.50
EMCNCJH25 Discount From Promo Code -$10.00
HARDOCPX711A Discount From Promo Code -$12.75

Total is $398.68 shipped minus $25 in mail in rebates, which I suppose you could use to buy a DVD burner if you receive them.
daisuke
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Re: First Time Builder Needs Less Than $400 Gaming PC

Postposted on Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:14 am

Once you get the parts for your build installed and tested stable why not drop into the BIOS see about turning your triple core Athlon II into a quad core assuming Gigabyte still allows core unlocking.

Something extra for free if you can spare some time to check for stable operation.
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