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Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Old 05-21-13, 09:29 PM
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Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

I was just gifted a quad-core Intel i7 3770K desktop processor at work. I don't have a need for it due to the fact I have an iMac and everything else Apple related. However, with the news of gaming consoles as of late, maybe it's time to build a gaming PC.

Now I have two options, I can either:
  1. Sell it to a friend who's been looking to update his PC. Spend the cash on things I actually need.
  2. Convince my wife that I can spend money to build a PC desktop.
Obviously by having the processor already in my hands, I just need to buy the remainder of the core components (casing, power supply, motherboard, graphics card, and hard drive). If I go through with this, I don't want to spend too much money as I'm planning on buying a new laptop for my wife for her birthday.

I've helped build PCs with friends before, but nothing for myself personally. With the processor already in hand, what would you end up buying if your budget was under $500? The accessories (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc) aren't necessary, I just need something that could kick ass for next-to-nothing. Obviously, the cheaper, the better. Smaller might also be a necessity if I decide to use my TV rather than spare monitor instead.
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Old 05-21-13, 11:03 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Maybe a blu-ray drive if you prefer playing movies on the PC. Might be a plus for your friend, too.
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Old 05-21-13, 11:33 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Does that budget need to buy a copy of Windows as well?
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Old 05-21-13, 11:43 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Originally Posted by wmansir View Post
Does that budget need to buy a copy of Windows as well?
The budget would be only for hardware.
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Old 05-22-13, 06:54 AM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Do you already have the ram?
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Old 05-22-13, 07:57 AM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Decent case $30 ar

http://m.slickdeals.net/f/6043738-Co...alid-5-22-Only
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Old 05-22-13, 09:02 AM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Under $500. Most probably not.

If you need a kick-ass GAMING PC you need a powerful videocard. That's at least $300. Any decent motherboard should cost at least $100.

Yes, you can build a gaminc pc under $500, but it won't be as powerful.

If you really want something powerful:

- Videocard: Nvidia: 660 ti and up, AMD: 7870 and up
- Motherboard: Just get a known brand. With a good brand, even the basic model should be fine.
- hard drive: Get an SSD. Specially if you won't store pictures and videos in this PC.
- Memory: get as much as you can/your motherboard supports. This is cheap.
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Old 05-22-13, 10:29 AM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Originally Posted by Raul3 View Post
- hard drive: Get an SSD. Specially if you won't store pictures and videos in this PC.
- Memory: get as much as you can/your motherboard supports. This is cheap.
If you go with a SSD, two drives may be required, the SSD and a conventional hard drive. The SSD for the OS and apps, and the hard drive to hold the game data which can take up a lot of space.

Memory isn't really cheap anymore.
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Old 05-22-13, 11:05 AM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

You should be able to build a really good rig for that if you don't mind shopping for a month and watching deal sites. (and don't mind rebates)
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Old 05-22-13, 11:17 AM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Originally Posted by starman9000 View Post
You should be able to build a really good rig for that if you don't mind shopping for a month and watching deal sites. (and don't mind rebates)


The folks who go around saying how cheap it is to build your own PC, this is what they do. Buying components at regular prices doesn't save you much vs. a prebuilt machine.

It's nice you already have a good processor, saves you a lot of cash, but $500 is still not much for the rest of the system. A good video card will eat up more than half your remaining budget. If you're willing to go up to $750, I think that would give you the extra room you need to build a good system. That's all I will say, since I don't build my own computers.

Also, don't skimp out on the power supply.
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Old 05-22-13, 01:01 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

I think you guys are being a little pessimistic. Matt said he wanted a gaming PC, not an God box. You don't need a $300+ GPU to play PC games. $200-ish is usually the high end of the sweet spot when it comes to bang for buck.

I haven't followed the market closely enough to make specific recommendations at this time, but here's a budget guideline.

GPU: $170-230, GTX 660
Memory: $50-70, for 8GB
Case/PSU: $100-150
MB: $80+
HDD: $75+, 500GB WD Black

You might want to try posting @ http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc to get some specific part recommendations.

Originally Posted by Nausicaa View Post


The folks who go around saying how cheap it is to build your own PC, this is what they do. Buying components at regular prices doesn't save you much vs. a prebuilt machine.
That's certainly true for a regular machine, but unless things have dramatically changed "gaming" prebuilts are overpriced even compared to individual parts at regular pricing.
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Old 05-22-13, 01:13 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Originally Posted by X View Post
If you go with a SSD, two drives may be required, the SSD and a conventional hard drive. The SSD for the OS and apps, and the hard drive to hold the game data which can take up a lot of space.

Memory isn't really cheap anymore.
Because Steam makes it so easy to uninstall/reinstall I think I could get by with a single 256GB SSD for a pure gaming rig.
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Old 05-22-13, 01:15 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Originally Posted by wmansir View Post
Because Steam makes it so easy to uninstall/reinstall I think I could get by with a single 256GB SSD for a pure gaming rig.
That's going to be more expensive than a 128GB (or smaller) SSD plus a fast hard drive.
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Old 05-22-13, 05:47 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

If I decide to build this PC (and not sell the processor to a friend), I was thinking about going with a Mini ITX case in the situation I decide I want to hook it up to a TV.

For a decent motherboard and memory, I'm already looking at $200 out the door right now. If I go this route, I might just start price tracking and grab the parts when they go on sale like starman9000 suggest. This isn't a necessity as I already have a machine with a quad-core i7 (and runs fine), but it would be nice to have a machine I can just swap parts with every few years.
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Old 05-22-13, 06:14 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

You could need a lot of cooling for a gaming machine so a Mini-ITX might not be the best choice. And a Mini-ITX board wouldn't allow you to combine video cards using SLI or CrossFireX.
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Old 05-22-13, 06:18 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Originally Posted by X View Post
You could need a lot of cooling for a gaming machine so a Mini-ITX might not be the best choice. And a Mini-ITX board wouldn't allow you to combine video cards using SLI or CrossFireX.
I'm assuming I'll run into the same issue if I go Micro-ATX, right?

Do you have any personal recommendations on a cooling system that's not liquid-based?
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Old 05-22-13, 06:46 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Micro-ATX is a larger form factor with larger cases so you can have better ventilation and Micro_ATX motherboards can have multiple video cards using SLI/CrossFireX. So that seems like a pretty good way to go.

I generally use fairly large enclosures with several fans and large CPU heatsinks if I'm overclocking. Never had a need for liquid-cooling.
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Old 05-22-13, 07:28 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Given the budget, or even thinking about a lower budget, seems weird to even be thinking about SLI/Crossfire. I think single card solutions are fine, although the form factor makes it harder to buy some high end stuff. Asus came out with a new GTX 670 card for a small form factor though.

https://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/GTX670DCMOC2GD5/
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Old 05-22-13, 07:32 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
Given the budget, or even thinking about a lower budget, seems weird to even be thinking about SLI/Crossfire. I think single card solutions are fine, although the form factor makes it harder to buy some high end stuff.
The idea is that you can buy a less than top-end card now and then have the ability to add another one if the gaming requirements and budget warrant it.
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Old 05-22-13, 07:39 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Originally Posted by X View Post
The idea is that you can buy a less than top-end card now and then have the ability to add another one if the gaming requirements and budget warrant it.
Sure, i just think there are decent options out there to make a decent ITX gaming system without worrying about dual cards, if that size and form factor is desired.
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Old 05-22-13, 07:53 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

I have some ITX systems and find the expansion abilities to be quite restrictive. If you add a video card you can't even add a TV tuner card.

I do like them for some specific purposes, such as HTPC or a fileserver, but the enclosure I have for a small HTPC is too low profile to even add any of the TV tuners I already have. And I use low-power CPUs in them due to the restricted space and not much fan flexibility. So I just don't recommend the form factor for gaming.
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Old 05-24-13, 09:59 AM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Crucial 8gb stick of ram is $40

http://m.slickdeals.net/f/6049020-Cr...9#post59654910
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Old 05-24-13, 10:27 AM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

I might do this now as well with the next gen gaming systems starting to look like ass.
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Old 05-24-13, 11:57 AM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

What kind of monitor do you have? I had to upgrade my monitor when I built my new pc because the ~9 year old lcd I had looked like crap.
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Old 05-24-13, 12:00 PM
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Re: Building a Gaming PC for Under $500

Originally Posted by Tarantino View Post
I might do this now as well with the next gen gaming systems starting to look like ass.
Elaborate
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