1. #1
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Chazus' Homeless Budget Gaming Build

    You can't afford this month's rent, but you DO have enough to upgrade that old HP Pavilion with the Pentium 4 @ 1.4ghz (What's a Willamette, anyway?).

    Seriously though, this is for the people who have a neice/nephew who wants to play wow, or some other older games. Budget is tight, and you just want something with the absolute bare minimum. Corner cutting, cheaping out, and generally being a penny pinching bastard, this is what we're looking at. But don't think that Scrooge McDucking your way through life means you have to get crap. The posts I'll make on here are an effort to be both quality parts, and also the best bang for what few bucks you have.

    Systems posted on here may have specials, promotions, and coupons, and may not be as cheap weeks from now. I'll try to update stuff as I see deals.

    PCPartPicker part list

    CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($72.74 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: MSI 880GMS-E41 (FX) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($19.00 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card ($56.97 @ Newegg)
    Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.21 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $295.88

    The CPU is probably the most cost efficient CPU there is, at the lower tier. 4gb of ram is really all you need to play WoW. Multitasking is really not a big focus here. A 500gb drive is more than enough for anyone without a movie collection, however any smaller is almost the same price. The 6670 GPU is weak, but certainly strong enough to run WoW pleasantly on medium settings. The case and power supply are nothing special, but still good quality build. The Corsair CX series is usually nose thumbed at, however the power requirements of the system are so low it doesn't matter. There is currently a sale to knock it down to $15. No DVD drive. Make an ISO of your OS and use a $5 flash drive to install windows.

    CAN IT GO CHEAPER?

    Certainly, however cheaping out any further on certain parts would drop the system's performance more than it's worth. I bet I could shave another $50 off this, but it's usability as a game system would drop faster than the hamiltons.

    EDIT: I actually put together pretty much a Bottom of the Barrel system. I wouldn't really recommend it for gaming, but I SUPPOSE it could play wow. It could certainly do normal internet stuff and act as a business machine, and flash games and stuff. It'll set you back about $210 without the OS.
    Last edited by chazus; 2013-02-03 at 08:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    NZXT Gamma Classic - $34 May not be the prettiest case but it's definitely one of the best cases you can get around $35.
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1080MHz/1700MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: LG 237L-BN IPS
    Current build! ||Old Build || Bitdefender Total Security 2014 || AV-TEST Jan/Feb 2013

  3. #3
    Great job op! As a poor student, this is helpful for me ^^

  4. #4
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarget View Post
    NZXT Gamma Classic - $34 May not be the prettiest case but it's definitely one of the best cases you can get around $35.
    I actually considered it, but it was literally too ugly to be worth saving $5. >.>

  5. #5
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    I actually considered it, but it was literally too ugly to be worth saving $5. >.>
    Wasn't just for the $5 but also quite a good performing case and it's really not THAT ugly when you see it

    I guess they're both decent budget cases. Cm comes with one intake fan front. NZXT comes with an exhaust fan on the back. Maybe a little better cable management on the NZXT but nothing major. Air filter for PSU intake on the NZXT, not sure about the CM case. Just nitpicking here of course.
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1080MHz/1700MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: LG 237L-BN IPS
    Current build! ||Old Build || Bitdefender Total Security 2014 || AV-TEST Jan/Feb 2013

  6. #6
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Thats all true. I looked closer and it's not terrible, just... Makes my eye twitch. Notably though, that $5 knocks the build below 300 (without an os), which is sort of a milestone? >.>

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    Amd a10 is cheaper than the cpu+gpu in the list. Good idea
    Good call on that. The 5800K is as good as the Athlon II X4 640, and a bit cheaper... but do you think the APU is better than the 6670 GPU?

    EDIT: I did some poking around, and the 6670 GPU handily beats the A10 IGP in gaming benchmarks, by a good 40% as far as I can see. It's cheaper, yes, but I wouldn't call it 'worth it' for the $10 you'd save, considering this is still technically a low end gaming system.
    Last edited by chazus; 2013-02-03 at 08:34 AM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    but do you think the APU is better than the 6670 GPU?
    It's between 6570 and 6670 in performance. Closer to 6670 with very fast overclocked RAM. RAM speed makes huge difference for A10.


    In the super low budget gaming I'd be looking into something like these...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834312242
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834131444

    Comes with OS, monitor, keyboard and few other perks self-built desktop can't do. And you don't even need a home to keep it
    Last edited by vesseblah; 2013-02-03 at 08:50 AM.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

  10. #10
    If you clock the RAM and the iGPU in CCC, you should see about the same results, making 1080p on medium settings playable in WoW. I got this in my bedroom computer so can confirm this to be true. The benchmarks on various sites are focusing on settings no one would want to use anyway, making them useless imo. I have tested this chip with RAM @2400+ and full overclock on the iGPU and it does actually work quite nice.

  11. #11
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Closer to 6670 with very fast overclocked RAM. RAM speed makes huge difference for A10.
    I have tested this chip with RAM @2400+ and full overclock on the iGPU and it does actually work quite nice.
    So the next question is... Is there CHEAP ram that can overclock easily to that?

  12. #12
    Kingston HyperX and Mushkin will do that quite easily. I have Kingston HyperX 4GB in my bedroom computer OC @2133 at this very moment, but I have had it @2800+ but that wasn't 100% stable. The 2133 is 100% stable, never had a single crash or boot failure, nothing. There are lots of perfectly good alternatives to corsair tbh, we gamers buy RAM mostly based on looks. That's the very reason for me purchasing the Dominator Platinum or many people getting Ripjaws. Not because they are better, but because they like the looks of them. BallistiX RAM is also supposed to be very good for overclocking.

    edit: if you recommend this setup you should write a tutorial for people on how to overclock the RAM/iGPU as most people don't know how to it or why they should.
    Last edited by Lemmiwink; 2013-02-03 at 09:22 AM. Reason: forgot to add something

  13. #13
    Great to see the good old X4 640 still knocking around in recommended budget builds. Thats a nice build.

    I'd be tempted to go for the A10 5800K solution with fast RAM however, only because it would be fun to see how well it could play triple AAA titles at 720p. Also 4GB/8GB 1600MHz RAM is hardly any cheaper than 1866Mhz/2133Mhz where i'm based.
    Last edited by Drudgery; 2013-02-03 at 10:35 AM.

  14. #14
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    I have Kingston HyperX 4GB in my bedroom computer OC @2133 at this very moment
    Can you link the one you have? Would this one be able to overclock well? I admit, I don't know which ram is good at overclocking, or what might determine that.
    There are lots of perfectly good alternatives to corsair tbh
    Honestly, I picked it because it was the cheapest 4gb module that fit, which at the time of writing was pretty much the criteria ram-wise. But since it's an AMD build, faster ram might be a better choice.
    edit: if you recommend this setup you should write a tutorial for people on how to overclock the RAM/iGPU as most people don't know how to it or why they should.
    I'll be honest, I'm not super familiar with overclocking RAM/IGP. I simply haven't had a chance or need to do it, nor have I done much research on it (as most systems use Intel, and just don't benefit from it). I'm not 100% comfortable advising on something I'm not familiar with, but it's certainly something I can look into.

    Despite all that, the overclocking at the A10 seem like a lot of work for people to save (literally) a few bucks, and end up with about the same performance as the 6670. CPU wise, the 5800K and 640 come out about even. GPU wise, as said, with OC'ing, it comes out to about the 6670, but I feel the 6670 would still be a better choice overall. I definitely want to look into these thought, to see if there is a more optimal build. I'm still tweaking things.

  15. #15
    It's true that they are about equal in power and if you can't save more than a few bucks on it I don't know if it's much point to it. For RAM you should be looking at modules that have been approved for 1600MHZ. http://www.komplett.no/k/ki.aspx?sku=614191 are easy to overclock

  16. #16
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Wouldnt the 1600 Corsair that is there now be good then for overclocking, or is that model specific not so great?

    But yeah, I'm finding that better ram costs about 5-8 bucks more... and you end up with an A10 that is 5-8 bucks cheaper without the GPU... So. Six of one, half dozen of another?

    Notably though, I'm looking at benchmarks, and it looks like the A8-5600K performs pretty close to the A10-5800K, and is about $20 cheaper. That might well be worth looking into.

  17. #17
    Could be. I haven't seen the 5600K's performance in real life but it does have a weaker iGPU and the benchmarks usually don't focus so much on testing the iGPU running at extremely low resolutions/settings. I'm not gonna say the 5600K isn't a viable option as a gaming alternative, but looking at the iGPU it is quite a bit weaker than on the 5800K, making the first setup you had more viable. The Corsair RAM's voltage might not be enough to push it to the desired clock level. I don't really know as I never use 1.5V RAM myself and have never attempted an overclock on 1.5V for others, just assuming it won't make the desired speed.

  18. #18
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Yeah, it does look like the A10 gets about 15-20% better results for the IGP. It's still a thought. The A8 I think could be playable...? But perhaps on a budget system not 'worth' saving 20 bucks on as low as it is. You can only scrape so much of the bottom.

    The Corsair RAM's voltage might not be enough to push it to the desired clock level.
    Soo... Should I be looking for like 1.6v ram, and downvolting it, and kicking up clock speed? Or just upping clock speed? Or... maybe you can just point me in a reliable resource to just learn about this properly.

    Also, since it's 2:30am here... I googled overclocking ram and the first hit was this. I seriously have some 100, 133, and 166s right here.

  19. #19
    Stood in the Fire slasher0161's Avatar
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    Chaz for overclocking ram i've heard nothing but songs of praise about Samsung 1600MHz ram ($25/4gb) capable of 2800MHz, while it is a bit more expensive its the most reliable way I could foresee being able to beef up a A10.

    ------------------------------------------
    Edit
    ------------------------------------------

    Until I noticed that its not in stock bloody anywhere apparently, so there goes that one out the window.
    Last edited by slasher0161; 2013-02-03 at 11:17 PM.

  20. #20
    Herald of the Titans RicardoZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    Now that's what I call some "hobo junction" style

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