£500 budget gaming pc? First build.


Nov 13, 2012
So I've never really built a PC before, but I've been watching tutorials and such. I don't want a system to fancy, just one that can run the latest games at a decent fps. But I really have no idea about the parts.. I have most picked out I think, not sure on a motherboard yet (I would really appreciate if someone could suggest one fitting my budget). The specs I'm thinking of so far are:

i5-2500k processor (But this could change on the motherboard suggested)
8GB (2x4GB) corsair vengeance 1600Mhz RAM
Western Digital 7200rmp 500GB Hard drive
OCZ ZS 80+ Bronze 650watt powersupply
XFX Core Edition HD 7770
Coolermaster Elite 430
SONY Optical 24x DVD Writer, AD-5280S-0B, SATA, Black, OEM

Will these parts all work together? Is there anything else I might need to buy? (additional wires maybe).

Thanks very much :)
I would go with the newer 3570K Intel instead. Its just newer. Not much faster, but just newer.

I don't like OCZ mainly because their power supplies are largely hit and miss. Some are good, and some are not. I would go with like an Antec or Corsair. You probably don't need more than 500W with that system.

What games are you looking to play?


Nov 13, 2012
I honestly have no idea.. FPS' mainly.. Could you give me an example of a game that would be pushing it with this system? And thanks for the info.
I'd put more cash into the GPU for a FPS game. If you can squeeze a bit more out of the budget and give up overclocking, this would give much better performance:

Intel Core i5-3470
2x4GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600Mhz 1.5v
MSI B75A-G43
MSI HD 7850 2GB
Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM
Corsair CX-430 430W
Coolermaster Elite 430

Total - £505 on Scan

Doesn't include a DVD drive, maybe you could install via USB? Or you could try to shop around to save a bit? Either way, this would be a lot better for gaming. You couldn't overclock though.




I think on that tight of a budget I'd ignore the 2500K entirely. A good example of a game that pushes a system to its' limits is Battlefield 3.

Maybe try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£134.10 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£72.41 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£39.28 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.00 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£88.00 @ Amazon UK)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£31.18 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply (£54.57 @ Ebuyer)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£14.99 @ Novatech)
Total: £489.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-13 19:28 GMT+0000)

CPU i5-2500K £162.37 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/intel-cpu-bx80623i52500k
CPU Cooler Zalman CNPS10X OPTIMA £20.38 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/zalman-cpu-cooler-cnps10xoptima
Motherboard MSI Z77A-G41 ATX £63.32 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/msi-motherboard-z77ag41
Memory Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB DDR3-1600 £30.96 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/corsair-memory-cml8gx3m2a1600c9
Storage Seagate Barracuda 500GB £40.98 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/seagate-internal-hard-drive-st500dm002
Video Card XFX Radeon 7850 1GB £136.99 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/xfx-video-card-fx785aznfc
Case XClio Nighthawk ATX Mid Tower £28.79 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/xclio-case-nighthawk
Power Supply Corsair CX430W V2 80 PLUS ATX12V £32.92 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/corsair-power-supply-cmpsu430cxv2
Optical Drive Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer £11.96 http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/part/samsung-optical-drive-sh222bbbebe

Total: £528.67

A little over budget, but no need to compromise between graphics and CPU.

It's a decent little overclocking build. It won't get a huge overclock on the CPU nor the video card, but it can go beyond stock and even at stock, it has great gaming performance at 1080p.

The i5-2500K needs no introduction.

The Zalman CNPS10X OPTIMA is a surprising good cooler for the price. It's better than the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, but usually found at about the same price.

This MSI Z77 is an absolute cheapy and won't break any overclocking records, but it sohuldn't have trouble going beyond 4GHz or thereabouts.

The memory is just what it needed to be, a 2x4GB DDR3-1600 1.5V kit.

I'd prefer a Caviar Blue hard drive, but that'd be more expensive and since this was already over budget, I went for what I think is the next best thing.

This is a decent 7850. It's cooler is only somewhat better than reference if at all, but it's still a 7850 and that makes it far better than any 7770 in gaming performance.

This is a fairly nice case with decent airflow and a very low price.

Not the PSU that I'd really wanted which was an Antec VP-450, but that wasn't an option and this CX-430 CV2 isn't too bad of a compromise.
Looks like it might be a choice between overclocking the CPU and having 2GB of GPU RAM. I'd personally go for graphics memory but either is a viable choice. At any rate, an i5 and the HD 7850 should be the best choice.



Why would you get an Xclio case? They're absolute junk, they're on my list of manufacturers to avoid.

Honestly, that case doesn't seem like junk to me and I've had an Xclio case before. They're not great cases, but for the money, they can be great. For example, this is one of the cheapest ATX cases available in the UK, yet it is highly-rated, has good air flow, and reviews that I'd read before suggesting it in my build were quite positive overall unlike many Raidmax cases that I've seen.

It was also what I thought was the best that I could find without going far over budget. I suppose slightly more expensive options such as these could be chosen instead without hurting the build's price much, but I liked the Nighthawk's lower price and additional fan:
Overclocking is usually a good way of getting more performance out of equipment that can handle it such as the system build that I suggested. If you're interested in it, then you can read some online guides about overclocking that CPU and those graphics cards (they'd explain it all better than I and most other Tom's members could).
Okay, no overclocking, no problem. Here's an edit to my build:

I gave it a 7850 with 2GB of frame buffer and factory overclock and I removed the after market cooler. I also upgraded the storage and changed the memory and CPU to cheaper alternatives since you don't want to overclock. Still has an i5 and a 7850, no compromises made in performance and it even has a cheap 64GB SSD for a boot drive. It's still a little over your budget, so if you'd rather have the computer be under the budget, then we could remove the SSD and we're over £20 under the budget.


Nov 13, 2012
Extremely helpful, thanks very much. Any tips for building this? One thing I'm a little anxious about is installing the processor.. I know you're supposed to just drop it into place, and not add any pressure, but will there be any circumstance where it seems like it's in place but isn't?
Well, if you don't put the CPU in the motherboard's LGA 1155 socket with the right orientation, you'd have to reorient it, but it shouldn't be an issue.

I can't really think of many tips other than making sure that you're electrically grounded by touching something electrically conductive such as a piece of metal while you put the computer together. Static electricity can damage components, hence the grounding recommendation.

Don't try to force any connectors into their slots. If it's being difficult to get in, then you're probably not putting it in right or its the wrong connector.

Be especially careful with installing the CPU cooler. Those stock Intel heatsinks have pushpins that can be fragile.

Inspect each component a little before installing it. Look for signs of damage. For example, cracks in any PCBs, scratches on anything, bent pins, etc. On the off chance that something came DOA or otherwise faulty, you might see signs of the problem early on and be able to more easily act about it.


Nov 13, 2012
Okay thanks, and my last question is if what you've suggested is everything I need? New eggs how to build a computer tutorial suggested I get some cable ties, but would anything else be useful?
I wouldn't say that what I suggested is nearly everything, but really, for the most part you can just read or watch ha tutorial and wing it and the build should come out fine. Most of the process of putting a computer together is common sense and the rest can be found in pretty much any decent tutorial (probably explained a lot better than I could explain too).