System Builder Marathon, June 2012: $500 Gaming PC

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halls

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I really liked this experiment and I was surprised that the G530 could keep up at 1080p in most cases with some adjustments on settings. I'm glad you guys did something crazy!

I would like to echo the suggestion that you switch out the G530 and get some data on how much of a performance boost you would get in this system from the rest of the sandy bridge lineup. You would have a whole host of budget PC builds at a lot of price points, with an easy way to predict their performance.
 

RedJaron

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$500 * 130% = $650. $650 is 30% more than 500, but $500 is ~23% less than $650. Depends on which side you start from, but yeah, could be a bit confusing. Yes, it'd be more accurate to say the last build was 30% more.
 

pacioli

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Just for fun I'd like to see you run the same benchies on this rig with different procs. I'd like to see where the sweet spot is when this system will perform like last quarters budget build. I mean is a pentium G6XX, G8XX or an i3 2XXX enough to bring it to parity with the i5 2400 of last quarter. If I could see what an extra $20 $40 or $60 would do for the performance it would be great!
 

Drooble

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I used the G530 myself for a few months before upgrading, and I'd like to add that even though the G530 is sold with a DDR3 1066 spec, it runs just fine at 1600 Mhz. In fact I ran it with the BCLK at 105 Mhz (on an Asus z68 v-pro), with no stability problems. However, I might have just gotten lucky with my sample.

It would be interesting to see what changes in the benchmarks when equipping this build with 1600 Mhz RAM (which should be achievable within budget, given the current ridiculously low memory prices).
That said, thanks for yet another great budget build!
 

internetlad

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You know, I originally looked at this build and said "Whoever paired a 50 dollar celeron proc with a 210 dollar 560ti is friggin retarded"

I still would smooth out the bump between the proc and the GFX, personally, but to be honest I was pretty impressed with what you got out of this. Good job.
 


Aren't H61 motherboards limited to DDR3-1333?
 

pauldh

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[citation][nom]f-14[/nom]$650/5=$130=20%$650/4= $162.5=25%somebody was either very tired when writing this or is asking for their benchmark numbers to not be respected.[/citation]
Good catch; that’s an inaccuracy that appeared after (my own) style edits. My bad.

This machine had 77% of last quarter’s budget, or we reduced the budget by 23%, or the last machine benefiting from 30% more budget, etc.

”Tired”, that was so the truth! But it’s no excuse. I (we) always aim to be 100% accurate. Sad you would discredit unrelated benchmark data though. I missed this one, but check the slew of other percentages and I think you’ll find the text worded accurately. We're a lot more fresh while running numbers, than wrapping up text near deadline.

@RedJaron - Correct, Thx for jumping in there to clarify.
 

pauldh

Illustrious
[citation][nom]RedJaron[/nom]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. )[/citation]
AH, yes. Which is exactly why I brought up the slot 1's that rocked my home LAN parties for a couple years. Many here rememeber when Celeron's were mighty (once overclocked).
 

pauldh

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[citation][nom]pacioli[/nom]Just for fun I'd like to see you run the same benchies on this rig with different procs. [/citation]
+1, SO WOULD I (and many others who have commented). In fact, it's right there in my SBM notes. Those who know me well, know I'm all too eager to forfeit a night's sleep to explore such data. Unfortunately, it's just not somehting I can pull off now or in the near furture.
 

pauldh

Illustrious
[citation][nom]Drooble[/nom]I used the G530 myself for a few months before upgrading, and I'd like to add that even though the G530 is sold with a DDR3 1066 spec, it runs just fine at 1600 Mhz. In fact I ran it with the BCLK at 105 Mhz (on an Asus z68 v-pro), with no stability problems. However, I might have just gotten lucky with my sample.It would be interesting to see what changes in the benchmarks when equipping this build with 1600 Mhz RAM (which should be achievable within budget, given the current ridiculously low memory prices). That said, thanks for yet another great budget build![/citation]
Interesting. Thank your Asus Z68 for that possibility. These budget builds have all relied on H61 mobos, with no such abilities.
 

louiecog

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I'd just like to say these types of experiments are the reason I love the SBMs. Trying something even when you know it will probably hamper a part of the test just to see if you could do it. If I had the money, I'd try things like this so I could recommend it to friends. I loved this build, even if it's made only for gaming at 1080P or lower. It's right up there with the quad crossfire 4850s build. Give me more experiments like these every single time.

Maybe create a restriction for each level that has to be adhered to besides just the budget. More please and well done!
 
I understand the point you were trying to make in this build but doesn't that defeat the purpose of what these build were suppose to represent in the 1st place. I thought these builds were supposed to show ways to build the best gaming rig for the budget you had specified. Not see how good a gaming rig you could build using a parts you would never use in a gaming rig in the 1st place like this Celeron. That would have been best for another article exploring the gaming potential of low-end Sandybridge CPUs and other non gaming parts.

All 3 builds seem to lack the fire and excitement of previous builds. It was like you were just going through the motions. I didn't feel any real desire to do best you could with the different budgets. Maybe I'm wrong but that was the vibe I got. Still it was interesting article, but not what I was looking for. I think you could done much better, just didn't feel the same as in past builds.
 

pauldh

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[citation][nom]internetlad[/nom]You know, I originally looked at this build and said "Whoever paired a 50 dollar celeron proc with a 210 dollar 560ti is friggin retarded"I still would smooth out the bump between the proc and the GFX, personally, but to be honest I was pretty impressed with what you got out of this. Good job.[/citation]

I expected (others with) your same initial thoughts, to post rash criticisms within seconds of seeing the parts list. Yet, it was still the build I most wanted to compare to the March PC.

However, instead you guys (and gals?) have made it a pleasure to present a risky/experimental SBM build. Whether for the build, or madly against it, the comments have been well-presented after giving consideration to the builds intentions as I explained it in the text. I understand there are other configurations folks would like to see tested, yet that didn't stop you from jumping aboard this ride for now.

Anyway, Thanks ALL! The appreciation is mutual.

Fascinating how many here have already gone this path, one even paired with more GPU. Thanks for sharing. I'm a fellow G530 owner myself and despite little time to play around on mine so far, the chip has already exceeded my expectations.
 

pauldh

Illustrious
[citation][nom]littleleo[/nom]I understand the point you were trying to make in this build but doesn't that defeat the purpose of what these build were suppose to represent in the 1st place. I thought these builds were supposed to show ways to build the best gaming rig for the budget you had specified. Not see how good a gaming rig you could build using a parts you would never use in a gaming rig in the 1st place like this Celeron. That would have been best for another article exploring the gaming potential of low-end Sandybridge CPUs and other non gaming parts. All 3 builds seem to lack the fire and excitement of previous builds. It was like you were just going through the motions. I didn't feel any real desire to do best you could with the different budgets. Maybe I'm wrong but that was the vibe I got. Still it was interesting article, but not what I was looking for. I think you could done much better, just didn't feel the same as in past builds.[/citation]
Just saw this after posting. Guess I have time for one mroe response.

I'll speak for myself only, as the one who has "The Budget Gaming PC". This quarter, at the request of readers, we dropped back down to a $500 budget. As it turns out, the last $650 rig went huge on graphics to tackle 1920x1080. So I had to decide which $500 config I wanted to build first... which one do I MOST want to compare to the last build?

So rather than 1) dump most of the money into the CPU and easily win the overall performance per $ score (at the expense of some unplayable game settings) or 2) build the rig I would most recommend A GAMER on this budget, I decided to aim for the same 1920x1080 resolution again, by focusing on Graphics goodness.

While we very often target the most overall bang for the budget, sometimes it's more fun to tackle a specific goal. And as the "Gaming PC" name implies, sometime I like the budget build to ignore "winning an SBM" to focus purely on it's intended purpose. The past two machines have done just that, at $650 and now $500. Otherwise, there would be far too similar rigs being built, time after time.
 

LuckyDucky7

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Some notes:

Though the Gigabyte H61 board is 60 bucks currently, it's far from the best option- because H61 sucks!

B75 is much better; at a price point (i.e. 70 dollars) where the suggested Gigabyte H61 board started you can get a far better board, with features you expect from a new computer- especially one based on Sandy/Ivy Bridge (native SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0 ports).

Or, actual name-brand RAM. Mind you, the Celeron processor runs RAM at 1066MHz max so that's not much of an issue, but worth saying nevertheless.
 
[citation][nom]LuckyDucky7[/nom]Some notes:Though the Gigabyte H61 board is 60 bucks currently, it's far from the best option- because H61 sucks!B75 is much better; at a price point (i.e. 70 dollars) where the suggested Gigabyte H61 board started you can get a far better board, with features you expect from a new computer- especially one based on Sandy/Ivy Bridge (native SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0 ports).Or, actual name-brand RAM. Mind you, the Celeron processor runs RAM at 1066MHz max so that's not much of an issue, but worth saying nevertheless.[/citation]

I can understand the sentiments about the RAM not being top-brand, but the B75 was almost definitely not an option when they ordered parts for these builds and they spent a lot less than $70 on this build's motherboard. $20 in a $500 machine is an extra 4% of the intended budget and they cut it close enough as is.
 
[citation][nom]tourist[/nom]Still avoiding the liano, inquiring minds want to know ?[/citation]

Llano A8s plus a 6670 can't touch this build in gaming performance. That's why Llano isn't being used. If Trinity can change that, then it will probably be tried sometime.
 
I have my G530 paired with a GTX460 with low expectations and I was completely blown away by the performance it delivers at a $50 price point. It totally demolishes the 2.4GHz Athlon X2 4600+ rig I still have running.
 
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