$462 Cheap Bastard's Gaming PC Build - January, 2015

By Published January 19, 2015 at 12:00 am
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Additional Info

  • Price: 462
  • Physical Size: Mid-Tower
  • Purpose: Desktop Gaming
  • CPU Preference: AMD

Now that we're well into a new year and still feeling the lingering effects of all the epic components we saw at CES, what better time to do the first budget gaming PC build of the year. As usual, we scoured the internet for the best components at the lowest price range, piecing together a PC that will be great for an entry-level gaming rig.

For less than the price of a current-gen console, we assembled a PC that can play most games out at medium to high settings. This budget gaming PC uses a do-it-yourself approach, landing the price at under $500 for an entry-level system.

DIY Cheap Gaming PC Build For $462

Gaming Parts List Name Price Rebates/etc. Total
CPU AMD A8-7600 APU $98 Free Shipping $98
Video Card Sapphire R7 265 $150 -$20 MIR $130
Memory Apotop 8GB 1600MHz $65 Free Shipping $65
Motherboard ASUS A88XM-E $69 -$15,
Free Shipping
$54
Power Supply Rosewill Green 630W $60 -$25 $35
HDD WD Blue 1TB 7200RPM HDD $55 Free Shipping $55
Case Enermax Thorex $25 - $25
Total   $522 -$30 $462

OS & Recommended Extras

Add-on Parts List Name Price Rebates/etc. Total
CPU Cooler SilverStone Argon AR02 $28 Free Shipping $28
SSD Crucial MX100 128GB SSD $72 Free Shipping $72
Optical Drive Generic ODD $20 -$6 $14
Operating System (Disc)
Windows 8.1 Disc $100 Free Shipping $100
Gaming Headset HyperX Cloud Headset $80 - $80
Mechanical Keyboard Thermaltake Poseidon Z $70 - $70
Gaming Mouse Logitech G500s $50 - $50

How to Build a Gaming Computer - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Video Card

Sapphire Dual-X Radeon R7 265 ($130): This Sapphire R7 265 fits perfectly in this price-focused build, offering moderate graphics performance for an affordable $130 price-point. AMD shines at this price range, beating out the nearby GTX 750 Ti in terms of cost-to-performance. With 1024 Stream Processors and 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit interface, the R7 265 is capable of pushing medium settings on most current major titles, but easily powers high graphics settings for more modest indie games.

Sapphire's dual-fan heatsink does a great job of cooling the GPU during intense gaming sessions, keeping overall system temperatures down in return. Some newer games that are more graphics-intensive, like Far Cry 4, may tax this GPU beyond playability.

CPU

AMD A8-7600 FM2+ APU ($98): For an ultra-budget build, we don't have room for the luxuries afforded by higher-end CPUs. You can buy a processor for less than $100 -- like this A8-7600 or the forthcoming A8-7650K -- and get a good motherboard for cheap, allowing you to have more to spend on the video card.

The A8-7600 has quickly become a go-to processor for these low-budget builds, and for good reason: With a 3.1GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) operating frequency on a quad-core (dual module) processor with four threads, and with a relatively low 65W thermal design, you get a fast processor that will not require a large power supply. We were tempted to use an Athlon X4 860k here, but the integrated R7 graphics make life easier for possible trouble-shooting or just as a back-up option. This processor is not going to give you the same performance as an i5-4690k, but it's not nearly as expensive, either.

While the A8-7600 does come with a cooler, you would do better by purchasing an aftermarket option. The SilverStone Argon AR02 is on sale for only $28 and would provide much better cooling to extend the lifespan of the CPU.

Memory

Apotop 8GB DDR3 1600MHz ($65): With DDR4 still not readily available for the mainstream, we found 2x4GB of DDR3 memory available at $65. Apotop isn't one of the known manufacturers of memory, but at this price, taking liberties with newer companies is a necessity. This kit of 1600MHz RAM gets great reviews thus far and is available cheaper than the competition. Since this build uses a video card that has its own memory, we don't really need the higher speed memory required by an IGP. For the purpose of this build, 8GB of 1600MHz RAM will do great.

Motherboard

ASUS A88XM-E FM2+ ($54): One of the benefits enjoyed by AMD CPU users is the wide-open motherboard selection. Even at the lowest budgets, you can purchase a quality motherboard.

This ASUS A88XM board is one of those. Based on the Bolton D4 chipset, you get full USB 3.0 support as well as PCIe 3.0 (as long as you're using a Kaveri CPU). Since it is a micro-ATX board, it only has room for two sticks of DDR3 RAM at 2400MHz. There is only one PCIe 3.0 slot and just one PCIe x 1 slot; however, you do get 6xSATA 6Gb/s ports, DVI and HDMI video connections, 2 x USB 2.0, and 2xUSB 3.0 connections alongside on-board USB 3.0.

Power Supply

Rosewill Green Series 630W ($35): Rosewill is selling off their older designs and, by doing so, we can take advantage of the more affordable prices. The Rosewill Green 630W PSU is a great, dependable power supply, with more than enough power for this build. You get all of the cables you'll need, but it's not modular, making cable management more of a chore. The PSU is 80 Plus Bronze, so you get an efficient power supply that will help save a little with the power bill as well. Use promo code EMCAKKT35 at checkout to save $10.

HDD

Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD ($55): Although not nearly as fast as an SSD, this 7200RPM HDD fits well in this low-budget build. If you're looking for something with faster read/write times and have a little more to spend, consider an SSD -- this PNY Optima 240GB SSD would be great in this build for only $90. That said, we'd generally recommend investing that extra $100 toward a better CPU or GPU in the case of a budget build.

Case

Enermax Thorex Black Mid-Tower ($25): We included a newer case from Enermax, sporting a plastic-heavy design that will appeal to those seeking a “gamer” aesthetic in a case. With room for 6x120mm fans total, the Thorex will provide ample cooling for your gaming rig when outfitted using aftermarket units.

The Thorex offers room for two external 5.25" drive bays, three 3.5" drive bays, four 2.5" drive bays, and six expansion slots. On the front, you get two USB 2.0 ports and the usual audio/video jacks; if you want a case that has USB 3.0, ports on the front, this isn't the case for you. The

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

- Michael "Mikagmann2" Mann.

Last modified on January 20, 2015 at 12:00 am

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