Help with $400 budget gaming Intel build?


Aug 11, 2011
I just want to play games from 2000- current and in the future on medium or high settings. My budget is $400. Can you guys give me some ideas to go off on? I have an idea in mind, but I want to hear you guy's ideas first before I make a decision. Thanks.
You won't manage an Intel build with that budget. A build like the following is the best you'll do on your budget:

Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:R101-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147112
$29.99 $29.99
Check for free shipping on your case; at this price point, adding another $10+ for shipping is a big deal. If you can, you may want a full ATX case, but I've used this one, and it is pretty decent, including a quiet 120mm fan.

ASRock A75M FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Model #:A75M
Item #:N82E16813157260
$84.99 -$10.00 Instant $74.99
I've always had good results from ASRock boards.

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
Model #:EA-380D Green
Item #:N82E16817371033
$59.99 -$15.00 Instant $44.99
Has been my "goto" PSU for budget builds for years. If you can stretch your budget, the 430W or 500W model would give you more room to grow.

AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU AD3850WNGXBOX
Model #:AD3850WNGXBOX
Item #:N82E16819103942
$139.99 $139.99
There's no GPU in this build (you can add one later), but the IGP in this will get you started. You should be able to play pretty much any game, but with lower and lower settings as the game gets more current or more demanding. You WILL want to get a GPU when you can afford it. The PSU will support a HD6770 or probably even a HD6850.

Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ...
Model #:996586
Item #:N82E16820146748
$25.99 $25.99
Mushkin or G.Skill; those brands have done well by me over the years.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:ST3500413AS
Item #:N82E16822148701
$44.99 -$5.00 Instant $39.99
This is a new drive, and I haven't seen reliability data, but it should be decent enough.

Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
Model #:AD-7261S-0B
Item #:N82E16827118040
$19.99 $19.99
Meh. One optical drive is much like another. This one offers Lightscribe support.

Subtotal: $375.93
Adding shipping might go over your budget a little, so look for free-shipping alternatives if possible.


Aug 1, 2011
I actually wanted to get the i3 2100 in a $350 budget, and I did get it by getting other components of low quality. The PC died after 15 days because of the Power Supply.
I'm going to the market today, to buy quality components this time.

I'll post a build for you soon.


Oct 4, 2010
$100 just for Windows 7 Home, so you really only have $300 for hardware components.

You're kidding yourself if you expect to play any modern games on anything but low settings with that kind of money. I mean let's be realistic here!


Aug 11, 2011
@aaron88_7 I already have an OS, I don't need to buy one.
Thanks for all the replies so far.

I finally convinced my parents to let me have a $500 dollar budget for this, so this is what I was thinking.

Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 Dual-Core - $124.99

Motherboard: ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - $54.99

Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 1GB DDR3 - $69.99

RAM: G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - $25.99

Case: Rosewill Challenger Black Gaming ATX/mATX Gaming Case (3 fans) - $99.98

Power Supply: Rosewill Green Series 630W Continuous @40 degrees C, 80 plus certified
(Combo with Case)

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive- $74.48

CD/DVD Drive: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black Sata Model iHAS-324-98B
(Combo with Hard Drive)

Wireless Adapter: TP-LINK TL-WN822N Mini USB 2.0 Wireless Adapter - $24.99

Total: $480.25

+I need some speakers, found some $12.99 ones for with good reviews, Logitech ones, so real total is:


Is this a good build for $500?

Also, I would like to se what build 008Rohit says too.


Aug 11, 2011
Allright, see you then.
I thought the Radeon HD 5670 would be pretty decent though, people were saying it could run StarCraft 2 on Ultra settings around 40-50 FPS, 30 in a 1v1 match, Crysis on max 30 FPS, etc. And since I want to play only on Mid-range settings, I thought I could get up to 20 more FPS if I did. And it's cheap, haha.
Ok. I'm not fond of this build, but it will do:

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
Model #:BX80623I32100
Item #:N82E16819115078
$124.99 $124.99
I've seen the benchmarks, but I would rather have real cores than hyperthreading.

ASRock H61DE/S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:H61DE/S3
Item #:N82E16813157254
$74.99 -$7.00 Instant $67.99
Not the cheapest one. This has SATA 6Gb/s, and four RAM slots. For a few dollars more, you can get USB 3.0 too.

XFX HD-679X-ZRFC Radeon HD 6790 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Model #:HD-679X-ZRFC
Item #:N82E16814150564
Mail in Rebate
$129.99 $129.99
There's a $20 rebate on this card.

Xigmatek ASGARD II B/B CPC-T45UC-U01 Black / Black 0.8 mm SECC / Aluminum and Aluminum Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer ...
Model #:CPC-T45UC-U01
Item #:N82E16811815004
$39.99 -$10.00 Instant $29.99
Appears to be a decent budget case, or go with a Rosewill; they look very similar. Check for free shipping on the case when you're ready to buy, because that could be another $10-$15 right there.

XIGMATEK NRP-PC Series ACXTNRP-PC402 400W ATX12V Ver.2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:ACXTNRP-PC402
Item #:N82E16817815007
$59.95 -$25.00 Instant $34.95
This one has had a decent review, but I'd be more comfortable myself with a more "comfortable" brand here, like Antec or Corsair. Still, this PSU will handle this build.

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
Model #:F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
Item #:N82E16820231394
$25.99 $25.99
I've never had any trouble from G.Skill RAM; no DOAs and no RMAs.

Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:ST500DM002
Item #:N82E16822148767
$39.99 $39.99
There's a tiny bit of wiggle room, which may let you fit a bigger drive, but I'd question whether you need it now, or could add a second drive later (which could also back up this one).

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-222AB - OEM
Model #:SH-222AB
Item #:N82E16827151233
$19.99 $19.99
One optical drive is much like another.

Subtotal: $473.88
Shipping may break the $500 mark, but there was a rebate in there, so maybe not. If you insist on Intel, this is how you could do it.
amd655, this community does not condone piracy. And, your wishlist links go to the opener's cart, not a particular public list.
Bear in mind that unlocking a CPU is never a "done deal." Many don't unlock, and in many that do, one or more cores are unstable. If you NEED the cores, you should buy them.


Aug 11, 2011
@amd655, I already have a legit copy of Windows 7 and Snow Leopard. I believe that Windows 7 does stop after five installs, and the OEM version stops after 1 install. Also, your link doesn't work, it brings me to my shopping cart, not yours.

@jtt283, that looks like a pretty good build to me. Better graphics card, I probably could get a better PSU with the extra that I save with that from Antec or Corsair for the same price. Thanks for the idea, I may go with it.


Aug 5, 2010

If he has a .edu email address he could get Windows 7 Professional for $30 from microsoft