System Builder Marathon, June 2012: $500 Gaming PC

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Hardware community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.
Status
Not open for further replies.

Augray37

Distinguished
May 4, 2011
601
0
19,010
22
I think I see what the aim of this build was, and I appreciate Paul sticking to the budget, but I gotta say, I would have forgiven them had they spent an extra $20 bucks to move up to the G630. That would be a justifiable step up in my book, not just a $20 dollar core clock upgrade. Just an outside opinion. Thanks Tom's!
 

Onus

Titan
Moderator
I've contemplated this system all morning since reading about it, and I have no fault to find; it was an experiment, and it provided some interesting data points. No, it isn't something I'd build (although I've used that case, and will use it again, and maybe I've been luckier with quieter fans), but then I don't think I've ever built such a strictly gaming-focused PC.
Just as an exercise, it would be interesting to rerun the benchmarks with some stronger CPU(s); an i3-2100 at the least, perhaps bracket that with an i5-2400 and a G860.
 

K-beam

Distinguished
Feb 10, 2011
52
0
18,640
1
The big GFX card in the build looks awkward indeed coupled with the Celeron. Seeing how the GFX card is held back in almost all resolutions, I am curious how much of the FPSs you could still keep if you went with a more balanced pick like HD 6850. This will be a true entry-level gaming machine for Xbox money providing you infinitely better experience. If you combine it with an ITX MB+case, this may be evem more interesting.
 

zooted

Distinguished
Feb 17, 2010
1,414
0
19,360
29
The goal of any low budget gaming rig is to get the most fps per dollar. This build without a doubt achieved that. It can run bf3 at 1920x1080. That is an incredible feat for such a cheap build. Great job.
 
G

Guest

Guest
It would be great if Toms' could rune the same gaming benchmarks again with different cpus.
Just so you can see what you would get if you spend a little more.
 

redgarl

Distinguished
I still have a PII X3 OC and Unlock to a X4 at 3.6GHz with 2 radeon HIS 6850 OC to 850 GHz and 1250MHz for the memory in crossfire...

My rig still rock whatever I throw to it. I wanted to upgrade... but why? In reality, I have no need for an upgrade and my rig is working perfectly.

So that little rig make a lot of sense. Still, I would try to CF or SLI two cards and squeeze the prize. A CPU is nowaday a little bit of a bad investment for gaming. GPU is the way to go.
 

bin1127

Distinguished
Dec 5, 2008
736
0
18,980
0
oh wow Celeron still exists? i thought i3 was the lowest it will go. Good build for the budget constraint. The power supply is a bit scary being that cheap it could possibly blow up the whole computer.
 

Onus

Titan
Moderator
I'd also like to see what a pair of HD7750's in Crossfire can do. The few benchmarks I've seen show them mostly beating the GTX560Ti, and the power savings should be impressive when an unneeded member of the pair shuts down. Or use a pair of stronger but similarly priced HD6770's.

This was a great build, because it raises a lot of interesting (and testable, hint hint) questions.
 

Onus

Titan
Moderator

HardwareSecrets gave the VP450 a Golden Award. Its efficiency is enough for 80+, but is disqualified for not having Active PFC. It seems to be the exception that proves the rule. FSP is the OEM.

 

sincreator

Distinguished
[citation][nom]zooted[/nom]The goal of any low budget gaming rig is to get the most fps per dollar. This build without a doubt achieved that. It can run bf3 at 1920x1080. That is an incredible feat for such a cheap build. Great job.[/citation]

BF3 single player campaign only though at those settings. The 64 player conquest matches would make this setup take a dump, unless the settings were set to medium-high with very little AA(if any at all) instead of ultra. These results are very decieving. I think most people buying BF3 are buying it to play online.

The 560ti is about the same as my HD5870 in performance and I can run Ultra settings with 4x AA in the single player to stay at 30fps+, but when I play online I have to drop my settings to high and 2x AA to stay at or above 30 fps at 1920x1080. I also have the PH II x6 @ 4.0ghz which is probally the only reason I can keep the settings online as high as I do.

I really wish there was some sort of benchmark to measure the online aspect of BF3 because all of these recent articles do not paint the whole picture. Not even close... Maybe Tom's need to play at least one whole 64 player conquest map and record with fraps to get a more realistic picture of what to expect. I know the gameplay is inconsistant from match to match, but it would still be better than going off of the singleplayer alone. All the writers would have to do is state what they did to test and what map was used for testing. Perferably the most demanding map. Maybe Caspian Border... Then state why they did test it and that it will not be a consistant benchmark, but was worth doing to help give a better overall picture of what to expect.
 

Dragoon21b

Honorable
Mar 11, 2012
17
0
10,510
0
whats interesting for me about this build is that it displays just how much you really can get for around a couple of hundred dollars. if you are on an extremely tight budget and trying to decide on what you actually really "Need" to spend to get to the level of functionality you want. I think the take away from this is to not disregard a CPU or motherboard just based on price or the pretty bells and whistles (although I regard the ability not to OC as a bit of a longevity issue, but for the price you can't complain to much). Everyone would love to drive a Ferrari but for most of us a Ford Focus does just fine getting you to the show.
 

element1981

Distinguished
Sep 26, 2009
9
0
18,510
0
Ah the Celeron. Reminds me of my overclocked Celeron 600 coppermine core that hit 1087mhz in 2001 with a 440bx mobo from Abit. That was a budget beast.
 

lilcinw

Distinguished
Jan 25, 2011
833
0
19,010
10
To summarize: It is generally a bad idea to spend 4:1 on your GPU and CPU. I think the sweet spot lies somewhere between 2:1 and 3:1 personally. Pushing the ratio past that and you will notice the bottlenecks you created.
 
This is an interesting experiment, to say he least. However, in any remotely CPU intensive game, the Celeron will struggle. In something like BF3 multiplayer with a lot of players, it could be a crippling factor (as others have stated). It would be much more interesting if the Celeron had an unlocked multiplier and we could find a good enough Z68/P67/Z77 board at such a low price and added in a dirt cheap yet still good cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212, but that would have required a higher budget even if the Celeron had an unlocked multiplier.

[citation][nom]cypeq[/nom]lol at this build 2 years ago I bought 500gb Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 for 30$[/citation]

Prices on hard drives skyrocketed last year and haven't come close to where they were back then. Where have you been?
 
[citation][nom]sarinaide[/nom]55FPS in BF3 at 1920:1080p as if, I have seen bigger systems struggle to maintain 60FPS.[/citation]

Bigger systems with what graphics? So long as the CPU isn't a limiting factor, the GTX 560 TI is still an upper mid-range card and that counts for a lot. The CPU is good enough for most situations at 1080p outside of CPU intensive games, so it will beat machines that don't have superior graphics in many situations that aren't too CPU limited. Besides, it depends on the settings that it is playing at. Also, this machine had 45FPS in BF3 at 1080p and with Ultra settings with 4X MSAA, 16X AF, and HBAO. Unless you were referring to a different benchmark done in BF3 and in Ultra and such, you got the numbers wrong. I wouldn't be surprised to see a computer with a faster video graphics configuration get ~60FPS and thus be beating this $500 SBM build by over 30%.
 

eddieroolz

Splendid
Moderator
I for one do not like this massively lopsided build. Its an excellent way to experiment, to showcase. But nothing more. This PC would make a pretty bad daily driver - but if gaming is the only thing done on the PC, then it may be acceptable.
 
[citation][nom]eddieroolz[/nom]I for one do not like this massively lopsided build. Its an excellent way to experiment, to showcase. But nothing more. This PC would make a pretty bad daily driver - but if gaming is the only thing done on the PC, then it may be acceptable.[/citation]

Gaming isn't all that it would do well. Regular usage such as web browsing and such wouldn't have any problems. Only if you want to do something that is actually CPU intensive would you have a problem.
 

superflykicks03

Distinguished
Sep 9, 2010
57
0
18,640
1
Its amazing the impact that marketing has on our opinions of products. Lots of people are balking at the Celeron used in this build based on previous experiences with processors bearing this name. I know that I build a few rigs for ppl using Celeron's back in the day and ended up mad disappointed.

The new "Celeron" chips do not disappoint in terms of general computing performance and gaming. I build a rig for a friend recently using one and I gotta say, for the money, these things are really a bargain. The system is super responsive and handles all basic tasks with ease. Sure, you could go with the entry level pentuims and shave a min or two off of your Handbrake times, but this is a budget build.

Bottom line, unless you have used a new Celeron, you shouldn't be so quick to scoff at it. In my opinion, for 95% of users, they are a viable entry level option.
 

BulkZerker

Distinguished
Apr 19, 2010
844
8
18,995
2
IMHO too much GPU not enough CPU, and memory... I'll be flat out honest when I say I have seen BF3 use 3.5 gigs of system memory while running MP, leaving win 7, an os that likes to run a gig of memory at least for itself, origon, an app that wants a tick over 100mb, and the prerequisite browser window to run battlelog that chews about 100megs itself a half Gig or ram to share. See a problem here? 8 gigs of ram is a definitate worthwhile upgrade.

CPU can't be OC'd and this absolutely cripples the system's ability to stretch it's legs. Next tiem spend a little more on the CPU so you can find one that isn't lashed down like this celeron.
 
[citation][nom]BulkZerker[/nom]IMHO too much GPU not enough CPU, and memory... I'll be flat out honest when I say I have seen BF3 use 3.5 gigs of system memory while running MP, leaving win 7, an os that likes to run a gig of memory at least for itself, origon, an app that wants a tick over 100mb, and the prerequisite browser window to run battlelog that chews about 100megs itself a half Gig or ram to share. See a problem here? 8 gigs of ram is a definitate worthwhile upgrade. CPU can't be OC'd and this absolutely cripples the system's ability to stretch it's legs. Next tiem spend a little more on the CPU so you can find one that isn't lashed down like this celeron.[/citation]

Technically, the BLCK could have been upped a little if the board supported it. It wouldn't be much, but it would be an OC.
 

RedJaron

Splendid
Moderator

Celerons may have been, and still may be, mocked by some of the general public, but I think most dedicated tech people have always known what they're capable of in certain situations ( especially considering Celerons 10+ years ago were some of the best overclockers for gamers on a budget. )
 
Ummmm...
that's a odd build.
Seems like people's comments are that the Celeron is pretty good.
I think it sucks, it's obvious that you can use it if you went broke buying everything else but I would have just spent a little bit more. Too many games were held back by it's poor proformance and even worse in some other games mentioned but not benchmarked.

I'm thinking I would have spent a little bit more and gone with an AMD Phenom 2 X4 or X6 and perhaps a slightly slower GPU.

I think this would have made for a better system:
For $120 you could get an X4 965 BE. (Boxed w/ fan) (Or you could choose the G850 as mentioned in the article)
For the same price you can get an AMD motherboard (ASRock 770iCafe)
For $159 you could get a 6870

Savings:
CPU is $70 More
GPU is $50 Less
That means the changes I suggested would cost only $20 more but you CAN get AMD motherboards for $45 which would save you $15 and you would only be paying $5 more.

What do you guys think?
 

RedJaron

Splendid
Moderator
First, realize this particular build was designed for one thing: impressive gaming at 1900x1080 and little else. If your build isn't geared that same way then it's pointless to compare them. So I'll have to assume your suggestions are also intended to compete along those lines.

As someone with a 6870, I think you'd find the graphical muscle a little lacking onyour build compared to this one. While I can max out just about everything at 1680x1050, I'd be a little hesitant to try it at full 1080p ( and I've got a 2600K and 8GB RAM behind mine. ) Yes, your build will get perfectly acceptable results at medium or high detail levels, but you'd be hard pressed to average 40+fps on highest/ultra detail.

I don't think anyone would gainsay your build on overall system horsepower and usage balance, but for pure gaming it may fall a little behind.

And finally, a lot of people simply respond to these things with, "I would have just spent a little more." But if you justify one slight budget increase, then you justify another and where does it stop? I realize that many people go just a little beyond their build budgets ( I did myself last year when my $1200 system suddenly ballooned to $1450. ) However you have to abide by some kind of rules in these SBMs or there's no real point to comparing the systems together. ( Perhaps they could change in the feature to allow a +/- $50 and then penalize scores for going over budget and boosting those that stay under, but that's another point entirely. )
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS