System Builder Marathon Q1 2015: Budget Gaming PC

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cmi86

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Over all I like it. I am glad to see that you went with the superior R9 280 over the thoroughly underwhelming GTX 960, which I thought you may have felt obligated to include in the budget build. Only minor gripe I have is that I am sure you could have saved five dollars somewhere to get that SSD in there, case maybe ?
 

TechyInAZ

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I disagree, eventually windows 10 preview will stop working when windows 10 is officially out. And for people viewing and building a duplicate rig off this post half to a year later, they would be out of luck.

Nice computer! I personally would have chosen a gigabyte mobo instead.
 

Onus

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I didn't like it. I can't help but think I'll get lots of downvotes, but it looks like a hodgepodge of throwaway parts. By that I mean every choice was an example of "settling" for less than what was probably wanted. On a tight budget, with limited or no future upgrade possibilities, maybe it is the best that can be done. Throw in some possible future upgrades though, and I would have made some sacrifices for the benefit of future growth. For example, I'd rather see a more competent mobo (e.g. to allow a data RAID1), PSU, and storage (i.e. including a SSD), and would have lowered the CPU and/or graphics card (depending on benchmarks) in order to get there. As good as most modern games look even on a mix of "high" and "medium" settings, this would create a system with much longer-lasting core components, and snappier "home-user" performance (because of the SSD). Future GPU and/or CPU upgrades in a year or so would keep the whole system humming right along.
 
This is the best Budget Gaming PC I've seen on this site. Love the choices. Did not skimp and no overkill on one component while weak other components. For a build under $600 you could not have done better. This will max out 1080p gaming!
 

MerryLane

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Why not buy an AIO cooler with these 100 dollars and overclock the hell out of the pentium?
After all the i3 has only two cores too ... and no overclocking possible.

I'm pretty sure that 50% overclocking is greater than 2 extra threads that give at best 30%.

There are also great bundles everywhere, G3258 + motherboard for cheaper.

The GTX 960 also seem more future proof than a 280 and barely more expansive.
 

TNT27

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Are you serious in saying that you belive a gtx 960 is more future proof? The r9 280 is on par or better than the 960, and its cheaper. When overclocked the 280 can reach into gtx 770 territory. Its also go a wider bus, and a extra gig of vram= much better performance in higher resolutions, and newer games that are starting to use that gig of vram.
 

dstarr3

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I've built with that case before, and it is really surprisingly good for it's cost. But I got it for $35 at my local computer parts store. Regular price. If you're paying $50 for it, you're mad.
 

turkey3_scratch

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I don't see why SSDs are being considered a necessity. With Windows 8 and the fast startup you don't even need to worry about waiting a minute, and on a budget I don't see why it's worth the extra money just to calm one's impatience for 10 seconds of loading.
 

TNT27

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Its more than just boot times, the system as a whole is a lot more snappier, and faster. That windows 8 fast boot is just like putting win 7 in sleep mode.
 


So buy the license before it runs out, duh. That's what every cheap bastard did with the Windows 7 RTM if you recall. An extra $100 for a small budget goes a very long way. It's totally worth it.



I upvoted you. The crap PSU and motherboard really turned me off. I would always include an SSD in ALL builds at this point even if it means temporarily leaving out a HDD. You can always add a HDD later if needed. A lot of people don't even need legacy hardware like ODDs or HDDs anymore thanks to the cloud. I could have built a much better rig for that nealy $700 budget:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.47 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock H97M Anniversary Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($68.98 @ OutletPC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($104.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: HIS Radeon R9 280 3GB IceQ OC Video Card ($172.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cougar MX300 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Directron)
Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Other: Windows 10 Preview ($0.00)
Total: $665.39
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-02-24 21:31 EST-0500

 

turkey3_scratch

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EVGA makes some of the best power supplies for a low cost. A $75 Seasonic of XFX is not going to cut it for this build, it's too much money. EVGA PSUs are a better option than the Corsair CX lineup and are great for low-budget and high-budget builds. As for the motherboard, getting any more expensive of a board would not have improved performance with his components. You guys always assume that everyone is looking to "future-proof" and such stuff but the truth is that everyone does not want to futureproof, they want the best they can get at the time and worry about that in the years to come. I think he was wise in choosing all his components. An expensive motherboard on a budget is a no-no IMO. H81 is perfect for budget.
 


LMAO Turkey, EVGA does not MAKE these PSUs. The crap one in the OP is an FSP Raider. The one I linked is a much superior Superflower Golden Green.

That H81 board in the OP with the 1+1 phase VRM must be out of a nightmare. I've not even seen anything that bad in a PC at Walmart.

 

ykki

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I think they should do away with the support components costs because they are eating into the performance components. Like a $50 case jst doesn't make any sense. A $30 one will do and that will enable the OP to get a h97 mobo.

Can't we just do a simple $700 build WITH OS and see what develops from there.
 

turkey3_scratch

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According to http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-1804779/power-supply-unit-tier-list.html the EVGA 500W the OP selected is Tier 3 out of 5 so I think calling it "crap" may be a bit off.
 


Actually, I was wrong. Those aren't even as good as the crap FSP Raiders. Those are extremely bad HEC units.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1500086/why-you-should-not-buy-an-evga-430-500-500b-600b-psu

BTW that tier list is a completely inaccurate repost of a repost of a repost that originated in god knows where noob forum.
 

pauldh

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A reminder to all ..... we follow a set of rules on these, so it's useless to post system configs which do not adhere to those rules.

The important number was staying within a $550 performance platform budget. (up $100 from last quarter). We are then allowed some wiggle room for enclosure and optical desires. And a transparent OS cost was a long time reader request. You can leave all those expenses out if need be and just focus on the $550.

Next, we purchase our parts from Newegg, using their in-cart pricing only. So promo codes and mail-in rebates do not count. And we do not shop Newegg's bundle's or combos, which will be gone by the time our stories are published. The idea here is to build a machine you can still duplicate for the same or at a lower cost. Example; Rebates alone would have lowered this machine to under $500 in performance parts back when we ordered.

Robbing funds from the OS, case, or optical drive to pad the performance budget, is a cheat. It would just result in a far more expensive system once those other costs were figured in.
 

shrapnel_indie

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LMAO Turkey, EVGA does not MAKE these PSUs. The crap one in the OP is an FSP Raider. The one I linked is a much superior Superflower Golden Green.

That H81 board in the OP with the 1+1 phase VRM must be out of a nightmare. I've not even seen anything that bad in a PC at Walmart.



Actually, I was wrong. Those aren't even as good as the crap FSP Raiders. Those are extremely bad HEC units.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1500086/why-you-should-not-buy-an-evga-430-500-500b-600b-psu

BTW that tier list is a completely inaccurate repost of a repost of a repost that originated in god knows where noob forum.
Of course EVGA doesn't make their own PSUs, neither does Corsair (The CS/CSM series is considered tier 3, but MANY say avoid due to a high failure rate at the end of warranty period.)

Looks like the EVGA W1 500W is a tier 3 (EVGA 100-W1-500) But it also seems people would say avoid tier 3 unless you have no other option.

As to the list, The Tom's Hardware copy does seem outdated and a bit of a mess, but this version of it has had some upkeep and updates:

https://community.newegg.com/eggxpert/computer_hardware/f/135081/t/45344.aspx
 

pauldh

Illustrious
@ damric, Your 750W PSU is a $100 unit, on sale for $75 in the cart, with an additional $25 rebate. Not a bad deal, but overkill for such a system as this. I'd have preferred a 450W Rosewill Capstone 80 Plus Gold for less money (in cart).

This budget EVGA unit is about as good as you can get in a $40 PSU offering a pair of PCI Express leads. I'd prefer the Bronze series, but those run $10 higher.

My go-to budget (gaming) unit is usually Antec's VP-450. That would have been fine, as long as the graphics card is bundled with a Molex adaptor.

 

ykki

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Hey damric voting up your posts much?:lol:

 

turkey3_scratch

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Well your "tutorial" from 20 days ago linked to it soo... Why are you putting outdated copied info links into your tutorial?

Plus your "better build" above is way over his budget. With the later $100 OS that's $750 instead of a $600 build. So you ignored his budget because you assumed he would spend more on components.
 

wtfxxxgp

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People tend to forget the rules that THW follows for these types of builds and articles/reviews.

Completely pointless to go and compare your 5-minute-ago build on pcpartpicker with what they've managed to achieved. You didn't order your parts, get them, set them up, run a host of benchmarks and comparative analysis and then throw it all together into an article. If you approach these articles with some sort of respect for what they have to actually achieve to give these to us to review then you'd probably all be a whole lot more impressed.
 
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