News How to Build a $350 Gaming PC That Can Play AAA Games

Jul 12, 2020
53
10
35
0
I'm not sure, but don't those OEM PSU/mobos have different power pin set up? So if you install a "normal" PSU it doesn't work unless you get a proprietary adapter?

The problem in a non-ventilated case with cheap PSU is, now you add much more load and heat to the top-mounted PSU. So there is a chance you need a new PSU soon. Although expensive, it still could be a good deal if you need to add $100 for a PSU. but only if it is compatible.

I have an old HP business PC and know if the PSU dies, I likely better get a whole new PC. (in my case it isn't even ATX)

And this whole experiment requires diligent searching. Most recon PCs only have 4-8GB RAM and no SSD. Obviously getting 16GB, and SSD really makes this a much easier project.
 
Reactions: spentshells

AnimeMania

Honorable
Dec 8, 2014
314
14
10,815
13
If you can look up the Computer Model you going to buy, watch a video paying careful attention to the space inside the case, then look up upgrades for that Computer Model and see what problems people were having, especially with the PSU wattage, PSU connectors, and Video Cards. Most high-end older CPUs have no problem running newer games as long as they are paired with a Video Card that is high-end. Also make sure that OS is included and that it is a recent version, pre-installed. That is one expensive and headache you want to avoid.
 

Shadowclash10

Proper
May 3, 2020
155
43
110
0
Dont do it guys and get a console ... $399 digital PS5 is three times faster and better
Ugh please just stop. Do you not understand the difference between a PC and a console? Do you not understand ANYTHING? Some people have no need for a PC, they won't want to play games on PC for whatever reason (friends on console, bias towards PCs, don't want to mess around with a PC, etc etc.). They should get a console. A PC is way more than just a games platform. Tell me, can you write an essay for school on your console? Can you create a presentation on your console? Or really anything else. No. Some people need a PC because they need a PC. Some people don't want to pay what, $120 a year for live games services. Some people (like me) would prefer playing games on a weak PC with worse graphics then having to play on a console. Enough said.
 

Shadowclash10

Proper
May 3, 2020
155
43
110
0
$350 ? what about the OS. there was no mention of that.
They did briefly mention the OS - one sentence.
You can use Windows 10 Pro Unactivated for completely free or purchase an inexpensive key
If you use it unactivated, you basically just can't change personalized settings, such as your wallpaper. If you have an older computer you are replacing, you could also transfer the license to this computer, and have a fully activated version of Windows. I'm not sure whether these preowned OEM style machines generally come with a copy of Windows. If they do, it doesn't matter if it's Win7/8/8.1 - MS allows you to upgrade from the aforementioned versions to W10 free.

I do think this would be an easier build with a greater chance of success (in finding a good preowned desktop) if the budget was pushed to $400.
 

hotaru.hino

Prominent
Sep 1, 2020
549
177
590
9
SATA to 6 pin adapters are a fire hazard.
I can not believe you would suggest such a thing in an article.
For this setup, it's actually fine. SATA does indeed provide 54W of additional power (3x 1.5A@12V) and the 1650 Super is a 100W card. As long as the card draws most of its power from the slot than the connector, then there's no problem here.
 
Reactions: JarredWaltonGPU
I did something similar and it works just fine
Z220 from HP 149 CDN ivy bridge xeon @ 3.5Ghzwith 8 threads, 8GB, 1TB Upgrade to a 550 watt psu 55 CDN
9 dollar psu adapter24 to 20 pin
rx570 120CDN
I've played high on all games I've tried @ 60FPS
Nothing secure on this pc
Disable specter and Meltdown fixes gained a ton of performance up to 30 FPS in some games "WWZ" 20 In "Dirt Rally"
 
Reactions: Shadowclash10
Sep 20, 2020
2
1
15
0
They did briefly mention the OS - one sentence.

If you use it unactivated, you basically just can't change personalized settings, such as your wallpaper. If you have an older computer you are replacing, you could also transfer the license to this computer, and have a fully activated version of Windows. I'm not sure whether these preowned OEM style machines generally come with a copy of Windows. If they do, it doesn't matter if it's Win7/8/8.1 - MS allows you to upgrade from the aforementioned versions to W10 free.

I do think this would be an easier build with a greater chance of success (in finding a good preowned desktop) if the budget was pushed to $400.

you are correct. there a dumb add right over that lol.
 
Reactions: Shadowclash10
Apparently one of the writers over at Tom's watched TechYesCity, figured no one had seen it and thought they were posting something novel.

There is a point at which the ability TO do something still isn't really a recommended way to go about it. Just the same there is a level of catering to that budget market....

With just a few dollars more, and particularly with the value proposition that the R3 3xxx series of CPU is offering even as compared to 3 generation old i7, it is beginning to be a bit disingenuous to make such suggestions as a tech advice website.
 

JarredWaltonGPU

Senior GPU Editor
Editor
Feb 21, 2020
580
470
760
0
For this setup, it's actually fine. SATA does indeed provide 54W of additional power (3x 1.5A@12V) and the 1650 Super is a 100W card. As long as the card draws most of its power from the slot than the connector, then there's no problem here.
Yeah, it should be fine. I mean, ideally you find a PC that comes with a 6-pin adapter, but if you're only running the GPU off the SATA strand, even better. Most SATA harnesses have three or four connectors for future expansion, so they can safely carry a fair amount of power. Also, just to confirm the 100W power requirement:
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/JqrMUoBDnHrzXzBdM8hiiB.png

Basically, the GPU should only pull around 100W, but there's a question of where it comes from. I didn't show this in the power testing article, but I do have the numbers. It may vary with other 1650 Super models, but for the ... I think it was MSI? Maybe EVGA. Anyway, here's the PCIe 6-pin and PCIe slot power charts as well:
72
73
 
Reactions: hotaru.hino

hotaru251

Honorable
Oct 30, 2014
497
52
10,940
40
yeah...no thanks.

you "could" spend $350 on that stuff....and just have spend more later.


ddr3 is mroe expensive than ddr4 (and it will only get more expensive with time)

that cpu is prehistoric. yes, it would work, but you buy a pre-build dell on sale for $400....with modern parts that crush this 350$ frankenstein. Only thing you'd be worse in is gpu power. (and tbh not by much when u consider how much you'd be cpu bound by most modern AAA games (let alone the ones that utilize 6 cores)


so for $50 more u get better everything cept graphics, an actual activated WIN10 os, and a warranty .
 
To each his own.
But I have had 2 OEM computers brought to me for repair with overheated/ melted SATA to PCIE adapters.
Many OEM boards do not supply 75watts of power to the PCIE slot. Some as low as 25-40watts
So the card will try to draw the extra wattage from the PCIE power connector.
Trying to pull 75 watts through a 54 watt connector will cause overheating and possibly a fire.
You guys should know better than to even suggest using such adapters.
 

vinay2070

Distinguished
Nov 27, 2011
183
30
18,720
2
Ugh please just stop. Do you not understand the difference between a PC and a console? Do you not understand ANYTHING? Some people have no need for a PC, they won't want to play games on PC for whatever reason (friends on console, bias towards PCs, don't want to mess around with a PC, etc etc.). They should get a console. A PC is way more than just a games platform. Tell me, can you write an essay for school on your console? Can you create a presentation on your console? Or really anything else. No. Some people need a PC because they need a PC. Some people don't want to pay what, $120 a year for live games services. Some people (like me) would prefer playing games on a weak PC with worse graphics then having to play on a console. Enough said.
Thats true, a PC can do much more. But if gaming is what people want primarily, then the newer console is a much better option. A lot of people will have laptops anyway for basic stuff.

But on the other hand, this a good 350$ PC of course with its own downsides.
 
Reactions: nofanneeded

hotaru.hino

Prominent
Sep 1, 2020
549
177
590
9
To each his own.
But I have had 2 OEM computers brought to me for repair with overheated/ melted SATA to PCIE adapters.
Many OEM boards do not supply 75watts of power to the PCIE slot. Some as low as 25-40watts
So the card will try to draw the extra wattage from the PCIE power connector.
Trying to pull 75 watts through a 54 watt connector will cause overheating and possibly a fire.
You guys should know better than to even suggest using such adapters.
Do you have any proof that "many OEM boards" don't supply 75W? A sample size of 2 out of millions isn't very representative of anything. This on top of not telling us what they tried. If they tried to toss in a card that exceeds 130W, then sure, you're going to have issues. Also it seems kind of silly to include a PCIe x16 slot and not expect people to throw in a graphics card without some kind of warning.
 

Endymio

Proper
Aug 3, 2020
134
46
110
0
I'd also like to point out that if this "320 watt" PSU is 7 or 8 years old, cap aging has likely reduced that output spec substantially.
 
The actual specs for the PCIE slot is 5.5a on the 12v rail or 66 watts.
It is also specked to supply 3a on the 3.3v rail or 9.9 watts.
Most sites round this to 75w not 75.9 watts.
Dell Optiplex 960 has a 35 watt limit on the PCIE slot
Dell PowerEdge T310 has a 25w limit.
HP Z240 45w limit
These are the ones I remember , but any other model with the same motherboard will have the same limits.
 

nofanneeded

Notable
Sep 29, 2019
833
120
1,070
3
Ugh please just stop. Do you not understand the difference between a PC and a console? Do you not understand ANYTHING? Some people have no need for a PC, they won't want to play games on PC for whatever reason (friends on console, bias towards PCs, don't want to mess around with a PC, etc etc.). They should get a console. A PC is way more than just a games platform. Tell me, can you write an essay for school on your console? Can you create a presentation on your console? Or really anything else. No. Some people need a PC because they need a PC. Some people don't want to pay what, $120 a year for live games services. Some people (like me) would prefer playing games on a weak PC with worse graphics then having to play on a console. Enough said.
If you havent noticed this article is about a "gaming pc"

How to Build a $350 Gaming PC That Can Play AAA Games
.

and yes I know the difference between a PC and console ... and it seems you are out of topic here .
 
SATA to 6 pins is not a great idea, especially in this case.

This PSU is a 12v ONLY PSU that uses nonstandard connectors. It cannot be upgraded easily.

Also, I don't think its exactly correct to say it has 16a on the 12v rail. If it did, your GPU and CPU alone would be exceeding the maximum output of the 12v rail, likely tripping OCP.

If I interpret the label correctly, the PSU can supply up to 16 amps to the CPU and up to 16amp to "main" individually, however, the two can not add up to more than 320w or 26 amps at any given time. I assume "main" would power the PCIe slot and SATA power for the GPU.
 

nofanneeded

Notable
Sep 29, 2019
833
120
1,070
3
Guys never go this route it has many problems .

1- i7 2600 is ~10 years old , and this system is at least 8-9 years old. you will soon have to face failing power supply , failed motherboard capacitors .

2- get a BRAND NEW PS5 digital console , with 8 Cores 16 threads vs 2600 crap and GPU ithat is three times faster than this. for the same price $399 ($350+$50 controller)

3- there is no way you compare old PC with brand new Console , every hardware has shelf life , and 10 years is alot , this PC wont live !

4- for people who are comparing this agains gaming PC and saying this is both PC and gaming , well it is 8-10 years OLD PC. even thats alone makes it very bad choice.


This article is very m,isleading, because this is not even comparable to $400 MODERN console not only in 1/3 performance on everything , but also , it is 8 years old machine near its death time. Capacitors ,power supply , etc.

Had this article been in Q/A in the forums moderators would called it bad advice. Just for the end of life of the system TOO OLD.

I had an i7 2600 Dell Machine at work , it died TWO YEARS AGO . and we had to replace it . it died from Failing capacitors.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: BlueCat57

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS