Beginners gaming rig build - April 2018

Apr 15, 2018
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Good morning guys!  I've been out of the PC building scene for several years (since around 2008).  My wife and I are both a avid gamers - mostly console but some PC (mainly Sims 4 and a few indie titles). We've been using older laptops (2012 MacBook Pro w/ early gen i7 processor) to play said PC titles.  This year we have decided to dip our toes into the desktop gaming rig waters.  I've got several questions and a few requirements for building a PC, however.  First, I want to keep my budget around $500.  Thanks to cryptocurrency mining I realize that right now is an awful time for those looking for good GPU prices.  RAM is also commanding a premium as well.  This leads me into the main question.  I've been seeing a whole lot of articles and videos lately regarding the intriguing AMD Ryzen 3 and 5 APU chips that have integrated graphics.  Typically I know integrated graphics are just awful in comparison to a discrete GPU.  However, the builds I'm seeing look pretty amazing and offer outstanding value.  Should I go with a build utilizing this new technology and just wait to integrate a dedicated GPU later when (hopefully - God knows when) the market cools and demand drops.  Or, should I go with a lower end GPU such as a GTX 1050 build, as I have seen a few of those as well.  What are the pros/cons of each build?  As I stated we are not hardcore PC gamers, but I would like to get the best bang for my buck here as I'm probably going to be building two systems, one for each of us.  I'd also like some good upgradability going forward for when RAM and GPU prices don't require a mortgage to purchase.  Thanks so very much for your help!
 

toshibitsu

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Sep 4, 2013
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Integrated graphics are only going to go so far. If you are planning to play AAA titles, you definitely do not want to go this route(unless you don't mind lowering resolution & turning down graphic settings).

1050 / 1050 Ti are considered 'entry level' graphics cards. A 1060 3GB is a bit of an improvement, but it won't be until you get to a 1060 6GB that you'll be able to move up from 1080p(to 1440p) and raise graphic settings. If you want to be able to play the latest games on 1080p/1440p and set graphics to high/ultra, you will need a 1070 or 1070 Ti card. Considering your price range though, these cards are out of the question(and you definitely will not be able to do 4K).
 
Apr 15, 2018
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Thanks for the tips! I'm pretty sure she's not too worried about 4k gaming. Mostly the only games she likes to play are Sims 4 and My Time at Portia (lol yes she's a girlie girl). I'm mostly concerned with making her gaming experience as lag free and enjoyable as possible but also keeping in mind what may come out for her in the future. Sims 4 isn't terribly hard on GPU's (specs listed below). Having an SSD is a must for load times and responsiveness. I'm also open to browsing Ebay for a good used system if all else fails, but would prefer to build it myself with as many new components as I can l.

Sims 4 Recommended Specs...

OS: 64 Bit Windows 7,8, or 8.1
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5 or faster or AMD Athlon X4
MEMORY: 4GB RAM
HARD DRIVE: At least 9 GB of free space with at least 1 GB additional space for custom content and saved games
DVD-ROM: DVD ROM drive required for installation only
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GTX 650 or better
SOUND CARD: DirectX 9.0c Compatible
DIRECTX: DirectX 9.0c compatible
 

toshibitsu

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I put together a system here that will work:

PCPartPicker part list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ncTx6s
Price breakdown by merchant: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ncTx6s/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel - Core i3-8100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($113.74 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: CRYORIG - M9i 48.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.89 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI - Z370-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: ADATA - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($43.85 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1050 2GB SC GAMING Video Card ($159.77 @ OutletPC)
Case: Raidmax - Vortex V4 ATX Mid Tower Case w/450W Power Supply ($24.90 @ Newegg)
Total: $527.13
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-04-17 12:46 EDT-0400


I realize the Z370 is an overclockable board, but a standard H370(non-overclockable) board was around the same price. So I figure you may as well get the one that's overclockable in case you ever upgrade the CPU & decide to overclock.
 

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