Question Budget gaming system build help ($400-$500)

Dec 9, 2019
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I have built personal PCs in the past (with lots of help from TH members). My nephew would like me to help him build a gaming PC .

Approximate Purchase Date: preferably before Christmas

Budget Range: $300-$400 total end cost

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (destiny 2), cool looking case

Are you buying a monitor: No

I am sure you all have specific components you recommend based on real world experiences, so I thought it would be best just to ask for help. Thanks for looking.
 
Hey there,

I'd go for something like this for a 1080p monitor.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2 GHz 6-Core Processor ($135.49 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450-A PRO ATX AM4 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 570 8 GB ARMOR OC Video Card ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake Versa N21 ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $450.45
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-12-09 14:21 EST-0500


It's a bit over budget, but I wouldn't play Destiny 2 with anything less. Otherwise you will have to dial back in game graphical goodness to maintain good FPS.

I'm sure other posters might suggest differently. I've chosen a B450 mobo, so you have a nice upgrade path on the CPU. You can also upgrade to 16gbs of ram very cheaply, only about $20 difference, which would really give a bit more longevity. The GPU is a decent 1080p 60hz gaming card, with 8gbs of vram. The Rx570 is a great budget, but relatively high performance GPU to boot.
 
What is the exact brand and model of monitor that you have?

Further, what other parts are you retaining?
  • Mouse?
  • Keyboard?
  • Retail Windows License that can be carried over?
This all sort of helps us determine what exactly has to be part of the budget limit.
 
Dec 9, 2019
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Further, what other parts are you retaining?
  • Mouse? Yes
  • Keyboard? Yes
  • Retail Windows License that can be carried over? Yes, Win10 32-bit
  • Monitor? 1080p
Thanks again for looking.

I see that ryzen 5 2600 is only $119 on Amazon. Would that be a better option or too much for the GPU?
 
Further, what other parts are you retaining?
  • Mouse? Yes
  • Keyboard? Yes
  • Retail Windows License that can be carried over? Yes, Win10 32-bit
I would VERY STRONGLY recommend getting a 64-bit Windows license. 32-bit limits you to 4GB of RAM. You can put more in, but Windows won't be able to use anything past 4GB. This will completely cripple the system.

  • Monitor? 1080p
  • What is the max refresh rate of your monitor?
  • Does it have FreeSync, GSync, or neither?
    • If FreeSync, what is the FreeSync range?
  • If you don't have these details, the exact brand and model number would be helpful.
I see that ryzen 5 2600 is only $119 on Amazon. Would that be a better option or too much for the GPU?
The idea of a perfect match between CPU and GPU is a myth - you might have heard people talking about how the CPU can bottleneck the GPU, or vice versa. But people misuse the term a lot.

Mostly, it's a matter of monitor resolution and refresh rate, and what specific games you're playing.
  1. A "too powerful" CPU can NEVER cause a GPU to perform LESS than it would with a less capable CPU
  2. A "too powerful" GPU can NEVER cause a CPU to perform LESS than it would with a less capable GPU
 
Dec 9, 2019
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Thanks so much for the help. I am not a gamer 😂 And my nephew is just starting out.

Looks like he is wanting to use a very old monitor (HP W19b). Should he upgrade that as well?

He also said he has access to a 64bit license too, so we will use that.
 
Hmm, yeah, that is an old monitor, and a sort of oddball resolution of 1440x900, giving a 16:10 aspect ratio. Most monitors are 16:9 (widescreen, same aspect ratio most TVs use these days), and some are 21:9 (ultra-wide).

The overwhelming majority of monitors in use are 1920x1080 resolution, which is a 16:9 aspect ratio.

For the time being, if his monitor still works, it'll be fine, though I imagine, depending on his age, he'll want to upgrade at some point.

I'd actually save a little and go with the 4GB RX 570, and one is available (after $10 instant discount, and $20 mail-in-rebate) for $99.99
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/tF648d/xfx-radeon-rx-570-4gb-rs-xxx-video-card-rx-570p427d6

Are you by any chance located within a reasonable driving distance close to a MicroCenter? If so, they have some great in-store deals.
In-store, you can get the Ryzen 5 1600 for $79.99, and get the ASRock B450M Pro4 MicroATX board for $79.99. Buy them both together in-store and they knock another $20 off.

For the rest of the parts, here's what I've got:
PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($57.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX500 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($99.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: XFX Radeon RX 570 4 GB RS XXX Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake Versa N21 ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX (2017) 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Total: $372.94
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-12-09 22:58 EST-0500


This memory kit is on Corsair's compatibility list for that motherboard. I stuck with @keith12's case suggestion as I am utterly hopeless when searching for cases.

Unfortunately, even assuming you're conveniently close to a MicroCenter, the CPU and Motherboard still add $160 to that, so $532.94 AFTER rebates, and BEFORE tax.
Am I correct in assuming there's a keyboard and mouse from a previous system? (edit: ah, yes, you mentioned keyboard and mouse earlier, I missed your reply to my previous question on that) Are there any other parts being carried over, say, hard drives or SSDs? Am I wrong in assuming there's a previous system involved at all?

To save a bit more, you might need to go with a smaller SSD, or no SSD, and resort to a regular HDD. That would shave about $40 or so off. That might JUST cut it under the wire of $500 after rebates and before tax.
 
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Ah, when you're viewing a list, just above the list, to the right, there's something that says Markup. One of the things after Markup is an icon that looks like "BB"

If you click that, it brings up a popup window that has a text field in the middle of it, with the text already highlighted. Just do CTRL-C (or right-click on the highlighted text and do Copy), then come back to the area where you're typing in this message board and CTRL-P (or right-click and choose paste).

It's something called BB-code, and that's what Tom's Hardware forums uses for formatting.
 

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