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Thread: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

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    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    Looking to build a capable gaming system for a friend. His budget is £500. Prefer it to be a microATX build he prefers things simple and minimalist.

    This is what I've got so far:

    http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/cptw...d/#view=KV7cCJ

    This leaves me a budget of £170 for the graphics card (maybe upto £235 if I pair down the SSD and RAM), so will hopefully will be able to pick up the RX 480 once released.

    The motherboard doesn't have any USB3 header, but seems like an otherwise solid choice. Would like a better option that wouldn't cause me issues with the processor needing a BIOS update (want this to be a straight forward build without complications).

    Also looking for suggestions on the best sub £25 CPU cooler

    I believe the 860K benefits from faster 2400Mhz RAM, so I've selected that, but am I better going to pair modules or a single stock (in case I opt to cut it down to 8Gb total).

    Any suggestions for other improvements?
    Last edited by cptwhite_uk; 13-06-2016 at 03:26 PM.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    The Athlon 845 comes with a silent cooler, so should mean the aftermarket one isn't necessary saving a chunk of money?

  3. #3
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    It might be worth delaying the build a bit longer for some of the parts - Polaris will be released in just over two weeks and we are starting to get some noise about Bristol Ridge too.

    I was also consider the X4 845 as stated earlier.


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    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    The 860K can currently be picked up for £40 on Amazon +£15-25 cooler, so that negates much of the saving a 845 would offer which is £50. If you look at my cutting list CAT I've left a hole where the RX 490 will go in the cutting list

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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    The 860K can currently be picked up for £40 on Amazon +£15-25 cooler, so that negates much of the saving a 845 would offer which is £50. If you look at my cutting list CAT I've left a hole where the RX 490 will go in the cutting list
    I would probably drop down to 8GB of RAM,and a better motherboard so it leaves some room for overclocking the chip.


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  6. #6
    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    Sounds like a good idea, but I won't be overclocking it. Stability and good (enough) performance are the goals here. He's currently playing Elite on an iMac which crashes every 5 minutes. The CPU turbos to 4Ghz anyway and I read a review that said 4.5Ghz is probably the best you can hope for...so 12.5% overclock isn't really worth the effort and potential instability. Still, a better motherboard is probably a good call, although this ASrock gets good reviews as a budget option.
    Last edited by cptwhite_uk; 13-06-2016 at 07:34 PM.

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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    Definitely wait until the end of this month given that the RX 480 is out in 2 weeks and is exactly at your mates price point.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    The build is now going ahead. Having looked at some gaming benchmarks (and the preference for a quiet system) I've switched to an i3 6100 and GTX1060. The build is currently as follows. I will be ordering over the weekend so any final adjustments to consider before I push the button?

    https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/cpt...d/#view=dk3FTW

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    Any good reason for going DDR3 rather than DDR4?

    Given the processor isn't overclockable is a £20 after market cooler really necessary? My experience of Intel stock coolers is admittedly old, but back in the day they were reasonably quiet.

    A single 250GB SSD isn't a right lot of storage - I'm always surprised with how much space gets eaten up nowadays. If this is a gaming rig I'd be looking to stick a beefy data drive in there for game installs.

    Has the budget changed since your OP? This list is up to £620 already...

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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    The build is now going ahead. Having looked at some gaming benchmarks (and the preference for a quiet system) I've switched to an i3 6100 and GTX1060. The build is currently as follows. I will be ordering over the weekend so any final adjustments to consider before I push the button?
    What's the screen situation? The biggest difference between the 480 and 1060 is that you save a lot on a variable refresh rate monitor with the RX 480 because G-sync screens still carry and £80+ premium like for like (and a £200 more expensive starting price).

    Unless he's gaming on a TV/Projector or has bought a brand new non-VRR monitor recently then I'd definitely be going for a 480 over a 1060.

  11. #11
    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    • cptwhite_uk's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb DDR3 Corsair Vengeance LP 1600Mhz
      • Storage:
      • SanDisk Ultra II 960Gb SSD / 750Gb Samsung F1
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      • MSI Gaming X GTX1080 8Gb
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      • Corsair 550W VX
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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    The GTX 1060 has gone up overnight It was £601 when posted

    With regards to your points:

    I can switch to DDR4 if there is a real world benefit / cost saving? Assume this would mean an alternate motherboard, any suggestions?

    This was originally an AMD 860k build, so I wanted a quieter cooler than the AMD stock. Maybe it isn't necessary for an Intel build using a 43W CPU...benchmarks suggest the i3 6100 would be a better choice for a gaming rig over a slower quad core AMD set up hence the reason I changed.

    To be fair it's a 275Gb drive, but the friend is adamant this will be ample space. Like me he's the kind of person only likely to have 4 or 5 core games installed, and nothing else. He uses an iMac for everything else.

    There isn't an actual limit on cost, but he's asked for it to be kept in check and to use a level head to provide "good enough" performance for 1440p medium / 1080p max settings...aiming for 60fps

  12. #12
    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    • cptwhite_uk's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb DDR3 Corsair Vengeance LP 1600Mhz
      • Storage:
      • SanDisk Ultra II 960Gb SSD / 750Gb Samsung F1
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI Gaming X GTX1080 8Gb
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 550W VX
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      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Home
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      • Virgin Media 200Mbps

    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    It will be a 1080p 60Hz monitor, not g sync / free sync.

    I've switched to a Zotac graphics card and removed the CPU cooler. Price is now £573

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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    The Core i3 6100 has a stock date of 1 to 2 months!! Novatech have it in stock for £105:

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/c...paign=products

    It might be worth considering getting a secondhand Haswell Core i3 from CEX as they have a warranty too:

    https://uk.webuy.com/product.php?sku=SCPUINTI34330

    You will be need to get a heatsink too,and you can a copper cored Intel cooler for a Core i5 for £8:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/INTEL-COPP...4AAOSwpLNX9rXa

    Elite Dangerous is meant to be CPU heavy though,so maybe getting a Core i5 or a Core i7 at a later date might be a good upgrade.

    This motherboard should do the trick:

    https://www.cclonline.com/product/17...PjkhoClrzw_wcB

    This RAM should be fine:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ballistix-P...words=8gb+ddr3

    I would drop the aftermarket cooler and get a better case too:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/601856-aerocoo...lcsdscubeblack

    There is a windowed version for a bit more:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/601861-aerocoo...sdscubeblackwi

    If you remove the card reader bay,the case can take 32CM long graphics cards!! Also,HDD access is pretty easy in the case too:

    http://www.aerocool.us/ds/ds_black.html

    I would also probably replace the SSD with a 1TB or 2TB normal 7200RPM HDD - games can be quite huge and take up loads of space. You can always add an SSD later and clone the Windows install onto it.

    If the card needs to last I would consider a RX480 8GB TBH. AMD seems to maintain performance over time better when it comes to its midrange cards(not that the GTX1060 is a bad performer or anything).

    I would look at this one:

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/c...paign=products
    http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/c...aming-8gd.html

    This RX480 is pretty decent too:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/754193-powerco...CM5hoCCpvw_wcB

    It should fit fine in the Aerocool case,although you will need to check if the backplate interferes with the RAM slots or not.

    Interestingly,it consumes about the same power as a GTX1060 too,so not sure why the cooler is so massive.

    The PSU you suggested will be fine,but you might want to look at the latest Corsair CX 550M PSUs. They apparently use a reasonably modern design(DC-DC conversion) and are semi-modular.


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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    I wouldn't go with a dual core, Pascal card and 8gb of memory unless your friend is prepared to do some costly upgrades pretty soon.

    You can just about get an i5 quad core, 16gb of RAM and RX 480 polaris card for about the same price.
    http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/7KLrGf

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    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    Some food for thought, especially going for a true quad core from CEX. Will re-evaluate tonight and come back with my finalised list.

    Thanks for all the suggestions!

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    Re: Low budget gaming rig with mid-range ambitions

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    I can switch to DDR4 if there is a real world benefit / cost saving? Assume this would mean an alternate motherboard, any suggestions?
    The benefit is that soon LGA 1150 will be the new LGA 1155, with spare parts just not available at sane prices.

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