Gaming computer, $400 budget

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Guild McCommunist, Jun 18, 2011.

Jun 18, 2011
  1. Guild McCommunist
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    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    A while ago I was looking into buying a gaming computer but that kinda fell through. My budget wasn't adequate and I had other things to buy. I mean I still have other things to buy but I really would like a decent gaming computer. I'm guessing my budget will end up being $400, but the lower the better. Some info...

    - I don't need a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. I just basically need the tower and cables.
    - Hard drive size isn't a huge factor, so don't go blowing most of the money on a big hard drive. I would at least want like 250GB.
    - Some games I'm interested on running would be like Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead (both of them), Fallout (3 and New Vegas), Oblivion, Borderlands, maybe APB. I'd like high settings for the Source games and medium for most other things.
    - I'd also like it to be upgradable rather easily. If I ever run into a bit more cash it'd be nice to build on it.
    - You could probably cut out things like a CD/DVD reader/writer (I have another computer for that and most games and what not would be on Steam or pirated). I would at least want USB ports though since most of my electronics run off that.
    - I wouldn't particularly want to go over budget. $400 is a bit of a stretch in itself, and with the summer coming, I won't be getting much work (since all my work is during the school year). If you can go cheaper (but still fulfill the requirements) that'd be lovely.

    I don't expect this rig to be god-tier but I just want something that'll keep me somewhat in the PC gaming loop from the last couple of years. Plus I haven't played TF2 since literally Christmas Day since I'm kinda sick of running it on such a crap PC and it'd be nice to get back into it.
     
  2. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Not needing keyboard, mouse, monitor or operating system (I'm assuming you'll just pirate Windows like so many others) makes it easier to focus on the actual parts of the computer.
    - HDDs are cheap these days. 500GB, 1TB, even 1.5TB are very cheap compared to how it was a few years ago. That's why, when selecting parts, the HDD is one of the parts you only get with leftover budget.
    - Basically your gaming needs aren't very high, which is better for you on a budget since you don't need to get a powerful CPU/GPU, and could actually get by with Intel HD2000/3000 graphics from Sandy Bridge. EDIT: To elaborate, just about any graphics card in the last 3 years will have no trouble playing any of those games, and those games don't take all that much CPU power either, so even AMD CPUs (which aren't as good at gaming) won't have any problems playing those games.
    - Upgradablity is determined by certain parts that you have to get first. The power supply and the case are most important, with the motherboard being third (technically you could just get a budget motherboard then later replace it when you've got the money, but I see that as being wasteful when you're limiting yourself to budget components that won't have a very good lifespan anyway). A good case will last you a lifetime, and a good PSU should last 5-15 years. Budget PSUs blow up easily and budget cases will not have a proper ventilation system for hot components.
    - DVD burner for $18? That's not really something worth cutting considering a DVD drive makes it much easier to install Windows. Also, all computers will have USB ports. USB has been around for so long that it'd be senseless not to include USB ports.
    - $400 really isn't much of a budget, but at least you will be able to satisfy your needs based off that. Refer to the following spoiler tag/image for a chart of part suggestions and price ranges, and you can start deciding on what parts you want.
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Once you picked out your parts (presumably with newegg links to the ones you find), post it here and we can give advice on any tweaks you can make to your build (e.g. choosing between a 500GB Seagate drive or a 500GB Western Digital drive... not a hard choice, but some people don't know the difference).
     
  3. Chhotu uttam

    Member Chhotu uttam DOH HO HO HO

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    $400 is quite good budget.
    Well every time time i upgraded my it was under $250 [​IMG]
    CPU-Well.. Amd is almost the best for cheap computing.In my opinion AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz would be the best.
    IT almost costs around 75$(rs 3400)here.You can get it for almost 70$ [​IMG] .If you want to add some more money to CPU then you can get X4,i3 or core 2 duo.
    Mobo-For amd's i'd prefer GIGABYTE GA-M68MT-S2 AM3 or ASUS M4N68T-M AM3.Quite good and cheap too.
    HDD-A 500gb is enough i guess.Western Digital Caviar Blue
    Ram-CORSAIR 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM.It's a 2gb ram for 20$ [​IMG]
    Rom-Any cheap DvD/Rw you can get.I love this one Sony 24X Internal Sata High Speed DVD RW - DRU-880S-ZR.

    Almost 200$ here.
    next.
    PSU -PSU of 400-450 watt would be enough.I can't give any examples coz My PSU of 450W is free.(my old one was gone for repairing,for a replacement till it is repaired the shop gave a 450W PSU.But after 1 week the shop caught fire and everything was burnt and the PSU was left with me [​IMG]).Cooler master or Corsair would be good but can cost 50$.
    Cabinet-Well its totally your choice.Buy a good one that suits you.($50-70)

    Now its $300/320.
    If you want a graphics card you can get nvidia 9xxx series or Ati/Amd 5xxx series.
    Almost everything in your budget [​IMG]
     
  4. Scorpei

    Member Scorpei GBAtemp Maniac

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    [offtopic]
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    [/offtopic]

    Anyway, to carry on ontopic [​IMG]. Budget build:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813138179 50USD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDet...st=Combo.662129 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDet...st=Combo.662130
    The more expensive of the 2 by 5 bucks is the most attractive (better case, but that's a preference). 60usd
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231421 34USD 4 gig memory (you could opt for 2 of 2 for 6USD more, performance gain debatable)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814121363 5770 for 110USD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16822145304 1Tbyte for 50USD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819103808 Phenom X4 3.2Ghz 114USD
    Totalling: 414USD.

    That requires you only to have keyboard and etc.. Granted it's a brand motherboard I'm not fond of, but aside from that it's an okay system. You could opt for
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...ce-_-14-162-052
    And lower your cpu for example to a dual core phenom (or quad core atlon II, though for gaming the phenom is better):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819103846

    But all in all it's a nice system which was quite nice a year ago or so. Personally using a similar system as my workstation (the Athlon II x4 unlock system with ddr2@1333MHz and a 5770) which has yet to fail me in most games or simply working. This should set you up for the next 2 years easy (most stuff at medium, a few like the ones you name on high settings) and 3-4 (medium - low). Assuming you are not a high end grafics whore of course [​IMG]. The CPU is also good enough to have a grafics card replacement in somewhere say 2 years along the road to get those 3-4 years back to solid medium settings and extending the life with a year or so.
     
  5. Guild McCommunist
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    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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  6. I2aven's_Sag

    Member I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    It looks fine Guild, it'll run pretty much everything you want at really nice settings. It's cool to see that the 5770 has fallen in price so dramatically, I think it used to be in the $150.00 range. It's a great card. It's not as if you need a CD drive, unless you, well want to burn CD's, you could just boot an OS off of a USB drive if you have one lying around in the 4GB-8GB range.
     
  7. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    There are always combos available for the motherboard, CPU and/or graphics card. The problem is finding the combo that's right for you.

    If you need to save money, you can cut back slightly on the CPU or graphics card by getting slightly cheaper alternatives (do you really need a quad core CPU?). You can also take out the DVD drive, but that could cause hassles down the line when you need to install things from the CD/DVD (Windows included), and you'll only be saving $17.

    You could also sell some of the rarer MtG cards you have to increase your budget if needed. MtG can be an expensive hobby, but sometimes you get certain cards from boosters that can sell for a lot ($600-1000 for a Black Lotus card).
     
  8. kaz_abdin

    Newcomer kaz_abdin Advanced Member

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    Since the mobo you are after supports ACC, you can always purchase a dual core AMD phenom II such as the 555 and unlock the hidden cores making it into a fully functional quad core to cut down on price (I am currently doing this) However, there are risk involved as one or both of the hidden cores may be defective.
     
  9. Scorpei

    Member Scorpei GBAtemp Maniac

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    Also the price difference is about 5-6%. Meaning for 6% more spending he gets 2 cores more on the same speed which is effectivly (though not in practice) twice the speed for peanuts. The thing is, it's always a saving's game. He has set a budget for 400USD and is roughly hitting that mark. You can also get a lower grafics card (40), or harddisk (10) and save a few percent off there, reaching in at about 350 if you really get a worse GPU. The problem is that that also, in the long run, criples the system mainly on gpu performance (as that is the most expensive part next to the cpu, the biggest saving can be achieved). The rest doesn't get much cheaper. I have personally found that grafics cards at around the 100-130 euro's mark are worth it, and also worth the upgrade in a year to two years. Bang for buck those are the most interesting if you want to game as those aren't 40 euro's and suck, or 200-250 and drop in price within 3 months as performance doesn't match up. I bought my 5770 for 150 euro's about a year and a half ago and I still don't really feel the need to replace it. It currently runs for about 100.

    One suggestion btw: second hand parts usually don't suck hard, you can try and see if you can get a supported motherboard secondhand (which is much easier for AMD) (say 25-30USD), or a 5770 second hand which goes for roughly 70 bucks I suppose. Ram I also bought secondhand saving about 30% but that's here in the Netherlands. All in all that would save you 50-60-70 bucks (10-15%).

    Oh by the by, currently running that x3 of mine in x4 mode and 3,3GHz --> meaning higher tdp, together with 3 harddisks and the 5770 on a Nexus Value 430W. So the power supply in the case should be sufficient.
     
  10. Guild McCommunist
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    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I'm just gonna necrobump this instead of starting a new thread.

    So my paycheck was more than I thought so it seems like this is in the cards again. The budget still seems to be $400 but I probably can't go a penny more.

    I may need to cut down on the graphics card. I'd want something in the $60-$70 range. I know it won't be great, but it'll probably play what I'm looking for and I, of course, am gonna upgrade when I get the cash.
     
  11. EJames2100

    Member EJames2100 GBAtemp Fan

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    A 520 or a GDDR5 6450 ? Both within budget on newegg and that's my limit of knowledge on those 2 [​IMG]

    Personally I'd buy the PC and keep the change and save up separately for a GPU, you don't wanna buy a sub standard one and then be regretting it, the 5770 is a good card and it is only a little extra, worth the wait.
     
  12. overslept

    Member overslept WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WORLD

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    Did you refer to the latest version of Falcon's guide?

    If not, it appears that your budget can squeeze in a tier 3 build for $395.

    That includes:
    500GB Hard Drive
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    NZXT Gamma
    Antec EarthWatts EA-430D 430W
    ATI 5670
    AMD Athlon II X3 445
    MSI 870-G45

    Now it doesn't say anywhere in the guide what this will run, but I can almost guarantee that it'll do what you want and more.
     
  13. Guild McCommunist
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    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I've looked at it several times but never set up anything by it. But following it, here's my current build. Side note, I chose a cheaper case to keep the cost under $400 (the total price is about $380 but I have to pay for shipping on a few things too).

    - Case ($36)
    - Hard drive ($40)
    - Mobo ($70)
    - Graphics card ($70)
    - Power supply ($55)
    - CPU ($75)
    - RAM ($35)

    Total: $381 + $24 shipping = $405 (approximately). That should be fine for my price range (although it may leave me flat broke).
     
  14. overslept

    Member overslept WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WORLD

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    That's laptop memory buddy [​IMG]

    Also, with that build, I think that PSU might be a little overkill. Maybe go for a cheaper option and use the remaining money to get some better RAM?

    EDIT: Found this great deal going on right now at Newegg. For the same price you'll be paying for the 5670, you can get a Zotac GTS 450, which is much more powerful.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUBMIw7Xs3c&feature=related[/youtube]
     
  15. Scorpei

    Member Scorpei GBAtemp Maniac

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    The reason I don't agree with that build is because it cuts corners in places I would not want to. The CPU, though cheaper is really much less in performance then the one I selected. You will however keep that thing for the next 2-3 years which means money spent now makes you happy down the line (difference is roughly 30 bucks). The motherboard is more expensive though which you will never use (and I don't like MSI, that makes up for 20 bucks spent on the cpu). Hard drive is debatable but picking whatever is in your budget and big enough for you is never bad, those prices drop tremendously and if you need bigger space in a year a new disk will be much cheaper per gigabyte. For now that makes 10 USD on my build, but you can easily switch hard drives in mine so that is comparable.

    My build also included a CPU+case combo which saves you a few bucks btw.... granted the PSU was slighly less powerfull but more then enough for the system.

    The grafics card is pretty much where you win in comparison to my suggestion when it comes to price: 114 versus 70 usd --> 44 USD difference which is pretty much the build difference (mybuild: 435 versus this: 405). You will get worse performance out of it but you can upgrade down the line and it will probably not matter all that much. Friend of mine has the 5670 and it still runs okay with most games we play.

    I truly feel that my build with your 5670 /GTS450 instead of the suggested 5770 would be the best way to go for you. You will get a better CPU (1 core extra, level 3 cache and 100MHz more of baseclock) for the same cash [​IMG].
     
  16. Guild McCommunist
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    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Issue is that I can't swing $435. I've calculated what my income will be and it'd not gonna do this. It's already gonna essentially break my bank (and I do enjoy keeping money in my account for random things like food and the occasional pack of Magic cards). I kinda need to cut corner or I won't be able to get a computer. It's already running dangerously close.

    All the combo deals for the case/PSU in yours are also gone and I haven't been able to find a deal as good as that was. So I've been forced to cut down elsewhere to compensate for a case and PSU.

    I also don't see any CPU/case combos that you mentioned.

    Really, the matter is not "Oh, it's a $400 budget, so there's some leeway there". It's not. It's a $400 budget and I'm not able to go a penny more. My current build, with shipping, is already costing me about $407, which isn't comfortable for me. I can't swing $435. If you're able to get me a build you like that's A) better than the one I put up and B) costs $400 (at most) with shipping included, than be my guest.
     
  17. Pado

    Member Pado GBAtemp Regular

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    As said by Arwing, you got laptop ram there, so you can get this instead:

    Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996586 ($35). 2x2GB is simply better, because of dual-channel.

    For the motherboard you might consider: ASRock 870iCafe AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard ($70) instead.
    1) It has a better chipset than the MSI. 2) It supports SATA3, which should give your SATA3 HDD a little speed boost. 3) It has free-shipping.

    For the power supply you can cut down a bit by going for a Corsair CX430 V2 ($45 and after rebate $25 + free shipping) Power Supply instead. 430W is more than enough to power your whole PC. It's also 80 PLUS certified as the Antec 550W you've chosen. However, it has only 1x PCI-E 6-pin cable for video cards, so if you ever gonna upgrade to a more powerful video card that needs 2x 6/8-pin, you would have to use converter cables instead. Or you can go for the Corsair CX500 V2 ($60 and $40 after rebate + free shipping), if you want, it has 2x PCI-E cables.
     
  18. Scorpei

    Member Scorpei GBAtemp Maniac

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    Guild, try thinking a bit with me here. Picking a cheaper case like you already did and a cheaper PSU then you had selected (550 is way too much for your system) already amped it down a bit fixing the combo deal troubles you are having. Next the 44 USD the grafics card swap you chose made my build suggestion roughly 390. You could then still get a cheaper hard drive (say 320 gigs / 500 gigs) getting you to 370-380ish. Cutting it even more is pretty much impossible unless you go and select a different CPU, however we're already below your 400 mark. That could get the build down to 330 USD though if you want. That rana 3 core you selected isn't bad, running an x3 450 unlocked and @ 3.3GHz myself, it just doesn't keep up with a phenom (x3 / x4), which is why I selected one for you as you will be keeping that CPU for a while.

    Aside from waiting a bit untill you have a bit more cash (computer hardware gets cheaper fast and your bank, unless you keep buying magic cards and such, should contain more money over time --> win win), you can always try and see if you can get a few of the components (if not pretty much all, I see such setups come by often) second hand saving 20-35% on your build price.

    [edit] Love it when they agree with you [​IMG]. You can pretty much read euro=dollar there if you are interested.
     
  19. Pado

    Member Pado GBAtemp Regular

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    Selling some wanted rare Magic Cards which you don't use can get you some money back [​IMG].
     

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