$425 League of Legends Budget Gaming PC Build - November, 2013

Written by  Wednesday, 13 November 2013 03:27
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Additional Info

  • Price: 425
  • Physical Size: Mid-Tower
  • Purpose: Desktop Gaming
  • CPU Preference: AMD

It's been a while since we've done an ultra-budget gaming PC build, and never have we done one for so little. At just over $400, we've got a PC that's perfect for the casual gamer -- someone who plays games like League of Legends, Path of Exile, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, or FORCED. For less than the MSRP of the highly-anticipated console that is launching later this month, you not only get a PC, but a modest gaming system as well.

LoL-PC

This Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build stands at less than $500, making a great DIY gaming computer for League of Legends, Path of Exile, Skyrim, and DOTA 2 players. With the powerful A10 APU and Zalman Z9 case, this PC not only looks ready to go into battle, but ready for you to summon your champion and decimate whomever crosses your lane.

$425 Cheap Bastard's LoL Gaming PC Build

Gaming Parts List Name Price Rebates/etc. Total
APU AMD A10-6800K (COMBO 1) $140 -$15, 2 Free Games
Free Shipping
$125
Memory Mushkin 2x4GB 2400MHZ RAM $75 Free Shipping $75
Motherboard ASUS A85XM-A (COMBO 1) $77 -$15
Free Shipping
$62
Power Supply Thermaltake TR2 TR-600W $45 -$15
Free Shipping
$30
HDD WD Blue 1TB HDD @ 7200RPM $70 Free Shipping $70
Optical Drive Lite-On Optical Drive $18 Free Shipping $18
Case Zalman Z9 U3 $70 -$25
Free Shipping
$45
Total   $495 -$70 $425

OS & Optional Extras

Add-on Parts List Name Price Rebates/etc. Total
Video Card AMD RADEON 7750 1GB $85 -$10
Free Shipping
$75
Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit $100 Free Shipping $100
SSD 120GB Kingston HyperX SSD $100 - $100
CPU Cooler NZXT Respire T20 Cooler $30 Free Shipping $30

APU

AMD A10-6800K APU ($140): Since we're trying to get the best performance for the lowest price, it was a no-brainer to include an APU from AMD. AMD still holds the lead in the integrated graphics game, with slight performance gains over the newer Haswell IGPs from Intel. This AMD A10-6800k boasts a 4.1GHz clock (4.4GHz in Turbo) and since it is an AMD chip, it'll overclock pretty well with a proper cooler.

The HD 8670D Integrated Graphics chip is clocked at 844MHz and hosts 384 cores—small in comparison to a discrete card—but will enable it to play most games out without a problem. For games like League of Legends and SimCity, this APU won't have any trouble at all. It'll struggle with games like Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4, but most games that are optimized for average to mid-range graphics processors will run just fine. If you plan on overclocking this APU, we strongly suggest you pick up an aftermarket heatsink, as the stock heatsink isn't very good. Even if you don't plan on over clocking, I still suggest you pick one up to not only keep the noise levels down, but also to increase the longevity of the APU.

If you have $25 more, I would suggest purchasing this NZXT T20 heatsink. Use this combo to save $15 with the ASUS motherboard I paired it with.

(Optional) Video Card

Sapphire HD 7750 1GB GPU ($75): When paired with the A10-6800k, you have the option to utilize AMD's Dual Graphics mode. Dual Graphics, once referred to as Hybrid CrossfireX, allows you to utilize the integrated HD 8670D graphics in the A10-6800k with this HD 7750 to boost your graphics capabilities, kind of  like using NOS in an automobile. They work in conjunction to deliver better performance. You can read this article that goes into more detail and offer benchmarking of different games to show the benefits.

The Sapphire HD 7750 has an 1125MHz Memory Clock with 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit interface. 1GB of memory will struggle if you're doing extreme mods to Skyrim or playing Battlefield 4, but it's just fine for most other games, especially League of Legends. The GPU has an 800MHz core clock with 512 Stream Processors, so it's a good deal more powerful than just the APU. This video card includes one HDMI and DVI port. Paired with the A10-6800k, this Dual Graphics setup will play most mainstream games out at medium to high settings.

This isn't a necessary addition if you just need a cheap League of Legends PC, but if you're planning on playing anything higher-end with decent graphics, this will be just enough to push you in that direction.

Memory

Mushkin Enhanced 8GB 2400MHz RAM ($75): When building an APU-powered rig, it's important to utilize higher-speed memory since there's no on-board video RAM (like on a video card). This is because on-card RAM operates at significantly higher speeds than system RAM, but we can remedy much of this speed difference with a high-frequency kit.

The memory we've chosen here will help gaming tremendously. While the APU I linked only supports up to 2133MHz RAM, this memory is cheap enough to pick up even in spite of the frequency drop (the RAM will have a capped usable frequency by the APU). If you decide to overclock this, the Frostbyte heat spreader will help keep temps down. Mushkin is a trusted name in Memory, and this particular memory gets great reviews. In a build like this, 8GB should be more than enough memory for you.

Motherboard

ASUS A85XM-A FM2 Motherboard ($62): Here I found a great deal on a solid motherboard from ASUS. This ASUS A85XM-A motherboard comes with all the bells and whistles you should look for in a budget gaming motherboard. Our guide on picking the best gaming motherboard can be found here.

This is a smaller motherboard, being mATX, but you get 8 SATA 6Gb/s (or SATA III) connections, support for up to 32GB of RAM, on-board DVI and HDMI compatibility, and USB 2.0 and 3.0 ready. You also get one PCIe x16 slot if you ever decide to put a discrete video card in this setup. Keep in mind it only natively supports 1600MHz memory, but BIOS will allow you to overclock the RAM bus to higher frequencies. Make sure you pop into BIOS and modify the memory frequency in order to get the full speeds. For only $62, it's pretty hard to find a better deal, especially if you pick up the combo deal with the APU, saving you $15 in doing so.

Have an extra $34? If you have an extra $34 to spend, you should consider selecting this motherboard instead. The A85XA-G43 is a larger form factor ATX motherboard that offers you more than the ASUS board I linked above. While it is also an A85X chipset, you get four memory slots, as opposed to only two with the ASUS board. This motherboard also natively supports up to 1866MHz memory, but the UEFI BIOS can easily overclock the bus and memory to higher speeds. With the A85XA-G43, you also get 2xPCIe 2,0 clots, in case you decide to go with the dual graphics setup (though it'll be throttled by the x4 setup, the overall performance will still exceed a single card configuration). You get 8xSATA 6Gb/s connections, DVI and HDMI ports, as well as four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports.

Power Supply

Thermaltake TR2 600W PSU ($30): We've gone with a Thermaltake TR2 power supply. Though it isn't 80-Plus Certified for efficiency, it performs well enough for a non-Haswell, pure gaming build and has overall good reviews. The TR2 boasts long cables and isn't modular, so cable management will be more difficult, but at $30 for 600W, you're in good shape for this build. 600W is way more than we need for the APU -- and even more than we need for the APU + GPU -- so you've got plenty of expansion options going forward.

Have an extra $35? Corsair CXM 500W PSU is good if you're looking for a power supply that is not only modular, but also 80-Plus Certified, this is a great entry-level option. Corsair is a trusted name in computer hardware, and this power supply is up to 85% energy efficient, and runs on a dedicated single +12V rail with over-voltage, over-power, under-voltage, and short-circuit protection. Along with the TR2, the CXM offers extra long cables, but is modular, so you only use the cables that you need, helping air-flow in the case. For only $10 more, it's worth selecting this power supply over the TR2, sacrificing 100W by doing so. The APU and APU + GPU configurations will both perform adequately on a 500W PSU.

HDD

Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200RPM HDD ($70): Every PC needs a storage device, and for the budget-minded builder, getting an SSD is out of the question. So here, we paired an ample sized 1TB HDD from Western Digital that does everything needed and gets good reviews. While it isn't blazing fast like its SSD cousin, it is a faster HDD at 7200RPM on a SATA 6Gb/s interface.

Have an extra $90? If so, you might want to consider picking up this Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD. We advocate getting an SSD in our builds because they are invaluable in decreasing in-game load times and boot-up time. Since it is only 120GB, it will fill up fast. So only put the operating system and a few games on it.

Optical Drive

Lite-On DVD-Writer ($18): Unless you have an older one lying around, you might need an optical drive. There is no science to picking one out. Just find a cheap one that is not for a laptop (5.25"), has 24X speeds, and is capable of burning. This fits that requirement.

Case

Zalman Z9 U3 ($45): We decided to go back to this tried-and-true case that we've recommended many times in the past. The Zalman Z9 U3 is a great budget case. First off, the exterior has a cool look to it, which is pretty important seeing how this is the component you'll look at every day. The clear side panel is another plus -- it's nice to admire your components without opening up the system.

The Z9 supports both mATX and ATX form factor motherboards, includes 3x5.25" drive bays, 6x3.5" drive bays, and 7x expansion slots. You also get quite a few added features not readily seen in most budget cases. These include a tool free installing design, a dust filter, additional 2.5" storage bay for an SSD, liquid cooling support, and a fan controller with a temperature indicator. You also have plenty room for fans; the case itself includes four blue LED 120mm fans and a couple of empty expansion slots.

For right around $400, you get a solid DIY gaming PC that should play games like League of Legends, Path of Exile, and SimCity at high settings or Skyrim at mid-to-high settings, but more demanding games like Crysis and Battlefield will be difficult to enjoy even at lowest settings. If you decide to go with the Dual Graphics option, you would be able to play most games out at medium to highest settings, like Bioshock Infinite, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Company of Heroes 2, to name a few.

Please visit our forums for any questions or concerns or post a quick question below! Until next time!

- Michael "Mikagmann2" Mann.

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 04:35

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