Requesting advice for building a budget gaming PC


What's the most important thing when it comes to gaming?

  1. Graphics Card

  2. Ram

    0 vote(s)
  3. Monitor

    0 vote(s)
  4. Sound card

    0 vote(s)
By ETF Soldier · 68 replies
Jul 29, 2012
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  1. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    Would the GTX 660 Ti be worth it for most people? Because although it boasts a 3500 passmark, wouldn't it's potential be limited to that of the monitor?
  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    No, its potential would only be limited if it was pulling well over 60fps in every game at max settings, which is not quite the case. But it would probably be bottlenecked by that FX-4100 though. Speaking of the FX-4100, I think you'll find that CPU will get outdated very quickly, if you're going for an AMD build then get the FX-6100 at least.

    No, like I said in an earlier post you need a mini-ITX motherboard for that case. You might also want to change the RAM to a low profile version if you're thinking of getting that case. Personally I wouldn't get a mini-ITX case unless you're really want a small footprint, the cooling will be pretty bad and you stated earlier that was one of your concerns. There's lots of micro-ATX cases around for £50.

    What PSU is that? If it's just a generic 250-300W one then I highly recommend you change it.
  3. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 231   +17

    :/ why so much hate for the FX series. I myself own a 6100 overclocked to 4.1GHz and it performs admirably. for $140, forget intel. the bang for buck is much better with AMD at that price range. if you can afford $220+ on a CPU though, then intel is the way to go.
    and I know I'm gonna cop some flak for this, 'AMD fanboy bla bla bla' and tbh, I've only ever used intel my whole life previously.
    in fact, I'm writing this on my intel laptop right now. However, when I built my rig, I threw caution to the wind and took the plunge with AMD. why? I had my reasons, the most notable being:
    - It was very cheap, and I was on a tight budget. much like the OP
    - I wanted to try something different (see last point)
    - It had gotten very positive reviews (despite all the intel fanboy hate)
    - I was willing to try something different, despite all the talk about the low end i3's destroying the FX-6100.

    Well, I built my rig and haven't looked back.
    for the curious, the temps are 28-30 idle and 40-48 load (never gone above 48, even when OC'ed and doing a CPU burn test)
    this is sitting under a $25 Coolermaster CPU cooler too, and the ambient room temp is something like 24 degrees.
    To be absolutely clear, I am neither an AMD fanboy, nor an Intel fanboy.
    I have used both extensively, and yes I agree they both have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day,
    my 'shitty' FX CPU and 550Ti can max out Skyrim, MW3, and play BF3 and Crysis on High, never dipping below 40 FPS.
    and for a total of $840 AUD, I'm very content with my build.

    So, to be perfectly clear, this is my opinion. You may consider my thoughts incorrect, and I'm not going to argue.
    I however have learnt firsthand that AMD aren't just some low-end knockoff that 'deluded fanboys' buy, they are a decent contender, especially in budget builds. plus their higher end CPU's aren't bad either.
    OP, as for your build, I'm not gonna force this upon you, but it may be worth it to at least consider the FX series.

    FX isn't as bad as everyone says. tight budget builds = AMD, higher end = intel.

    Hope I brought some clarity. feel free to disregard this completely though if you wish, since not everyone will appreciate my opinion.
    good luck OP ;) you're in safe hands with the rest of the TS crew.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,714   +3,695

    Seeing how most people are probably using a single monitor/TV at HD resolutions or less, the GTX 660 Ti would allow for gaming at max settings with 30+ FPS. Even though your not likely to see 60 frames per second on max settings, I would say yes this card is worth it. However anyone playing at higher resolutions than 1920x1080 or uses multiple monitors for gaming, would more than likely want a more powerful graphics card.
  5. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    I don't think that we're going to go with that case anyway, I don't want to be limited when it comes to future upgrading.
    Honestly, when I was looking around, I didn't see the FX6100 around, but now that I have, and seen that it's only £15 to go up to a Hex-core then I think it's a bargain.
    I don't know what PSU we have at the moment, I'm not allowed to take my PC apart at the moment and my Dad's in Scotland for 2 nights. Why wouldn't a generic 250-300W suffice?
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    From your Amazon list I gather that you're going for the HD 6870. The power draw of the entire system with the 6870 at full load will be anywhere between 300-315W with the GPU itself drawing around 130. It is recommended that you buy a decent unit of around 500W to power your rig.
  7. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    Dad just replied, he thinks it's between 600W and 650W, that's plenty.
  8. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Whether it's plenty would also depend on the amperage rating of the 12V rail. Just open up the system when you get time and check on the PSU for the current rating on the 12V line. The system would require around 35 Amps on that rail (safe estimate). Also make sure there are 2 PCI-E molex connectors to power the card.
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The wattage of the power supply isn't nearly as important as its brand; a generic/no-name brand can and will cause problems in a gaming rig. Make sure your current one is of a decent brand (Corsair, Enermax, OCZ, Antec, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic are some examples) and that it's not too old (power supplies tend to slowly lose their power-delivery capability over the years).

    The FX series under-perform in gaming compared to the Phenom II series.

    I also tend not to like micro-ATX motherboards for quad-core CPUs; I've seen too many heating issues to recommend them.

    The HD 6870 is getting kinda old in the tooth; a newer generation card would be a better buy. The GTX 660Ti is the best price-vs-performance buy right now; for a reference, consider that it matches the performance of the GTX 580.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,714   +3,695

    How could a Micro-ATX motherboard be directly responsible for heating issues? I've not noticed any difference in Micro-ATX vs ATX where heat is concerned when using the same hardware configuration and only swapping motherboards.
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The northbridge, RAM, GPU and CPU usually tend to be lumped too close together, which I've seen to result in hot-spots where heat tends to build up. Of course, case airflow plays a big part in this, but I haven't had good experiences with them in general.

    Also, micro-ATX mobos tend to be limited in terms of expansion slots.

    Lastly, I'd not recommend Passmark's benchmarks as being a very accurate way to measure the worth of a components, seeing as their CPU benchmarks indicate the FX-6200 to be superior (!!!) to the i5-2300, which is utter nonsense.
  12. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    I see a lot of you all giving criticisms to what I and others have suggested, and while I'm open to criticism and am not taking it personally, it seems that your criticisms are worthless unless you provide a viable alternative. I've told you all that I have a limited budget. I can't afford a lot of the high range things that many of you are suggesting.

    Like PC Nerd and Rage_3K_ Moiz have done, can you post a rig that not only works well, but are compatible with each other as well, and isn't that expensive.
    Sorry for my rant, but it's kind of important.
  13. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    So yeah, do any of you have rigs taht are compatible?
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Sorry it might be because we're busy. Please don't take them harshly it is because would not want you to make a poor choice and have to spend extra money with returns or new purchases to rectify it. That's something we've (I've anyway) seen pretty often where people think that they have things all chosen nicely and order something inferior.
    Just to set things straight most of the things people here have "criticized" are things that you yourself suggested :)
    (ex. mini-itx case, reusing the power supply, fx processor...)

    It's well worth it to be patient and get things right the first time.

    The first step for you is to figure out what this "generic power supply" is if you can. Take a look at the brand and the amperage figures that are on the power supply somewhere.
    Then we can talk if you'll be able to reuse it and we'll have a better budget estimate (something other than "not that expensive".

    After that we can just adjust the graphics card to fit your budget. I think the other parts are pretty solid choices.

    Also, we are giving you good recommendations given our best knowledge of your situation. There's not much point in asking us if it is worth it for you. You decide if you want to pay that much, but I'll tell you that the 660Ti has excellent performance, and a great value at that price.

    It has been a while since I have seen any postings from you Rage_3K_Moiz.
    ETF Soldier and cliffordcooley like this.
  15. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    As much as I really do want the 660 Ti, the cheapest I've seen it is £225, which is £100 more than I'm willing to spend on a Graphics Card :/ Thank you though!
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Yeah, I was on a bit of a hiatus. It's nice to be back. :)

    The graphics card is THE most important component in a gaming PC. Rest assured that most of the time, the more expensive it is, the better performance you will get out of it. Of course, a good buy would take into account not only price but other factors such as the maximum resolution of the screen you'd like to use, and whether or not you can afford a power supply.

    Regardless, restate your budget range, and what parts you'd like to re-use from your current system, along with details on these parts (posting pictures may help, if you're unable to find any model numbers or the like).

    That'll allow us to give you better recommendations.
  17. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,714   +3,695

    I'm not sure how I would compare an older generation 4 core vs a newer generation 6 core. To me the FX-6100 would be the winner of that comparison.
  19. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    New budget:
    Currently:£250 (I have another £100, but that's only if something's JUST out of price range, and for personal spending shizz)
    +£40 September - £290
    +£40 October - £330
    +£40 November - £370
    +£40 December - £ 410
    (-£60 GF's present)
    • Christmas (Max - £200)
    Maximum by Christmas : £550
    + My Dad would probably help pay for some things, but that doesn't add anything to the total as it would only counter balance me going out at several points.
  20. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    Yes, but I looked at a review, and realised that it's not true Hex-Core, it uses SMT doesn't it? And compared to it's older generation partner the Phenom II X6, it's beaten on all benchmarks, and I find SMT to be less capable than physical cores, I'm currently using the Intel i5 M460, using HyperThreading instead of the extra 2 physical cores, and even just hosting a private server on Minecraft via Hamachi has actually put all 4 'cores' at 100% and required me to turn my laptop off. I don't know if that's the reason or if my laptop is just crap, but they don't seem as capable from observation.
  21. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    The FX 6100 Black Edition review I found here comes last in every benchmark test they tried. Whereas the Phenom II X6 is almost an even match for the FX 8150. And in gaming terms, the Phenom II X6 was far ahead compared to the FX's. The price on amazon is also good, so this is a very plausible option!
  22. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    I have what I (In my 16 year old amature opinion) I think is a good list, still trying to find a motherboard, I'm trying not to go over £400, but what I'm hoping is that my dad will fill in what I can't, so our budget is now tied in with getting a motherboard and a case for £95.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,714   +3,695

    Were you comparing the FX-6100 to Phenom II X4 or Phenom II X6? The Phenom II X4 is going to be roughly 66% the performance of the Phenom II X6. This is not to mention the power consumption differences between the two generations.
  24. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 463   +136

    I was comparing it to the Phenom II X4, but considering the Phenom II X6 is only a few pounds more, I think I'll just go with it. I now have a rig in that amazon list, coming a few pounds over £400. Just a question - could I take RAM out of my old XP running PC and put it into my new one? I think it's 2 GB, so if I keep that and then then get 4GB then that'd be plenty, because I think 8 is good but not needed.
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,714   +3,695

    If that is what you want, I am more than happy for you. :)
    That depends on whether or not you old machine uses the same memory standard of the new one you are building. Personally, I highly doubt they will be the same standard. DDR, DDR2, and DDR3 memory standards are not compatible with each other. More than likely your new machine will be DDR3 dependent and your old system uses DDR or DDR2.

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