Cheap Bastard's Gaming PC Build for $455 - i3 CPU & GTX 950

By Published April 18, 2016 at 7:05 pm
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Additional Info

  • Price: 455
  • Physical Size: Mid-Tower
  • Purpose: Desktop Gaming
  • CPU Preference: Intel

It sometimes seems that gaming PCs have to use high-end components and, subsequently, be expensive. These high-end PCs may provide a pretty looking picture and high FPS, but a PC capable of a decent gaming experience at 1080p can actually be built fairly cheaply.

Today's "Cheap Bastard" build totals about $455, and uses an nVidia GTX 950 along with an i3-6100 to enable a decent gaming experience at 1080p for most games using medium settings.

PC build list follows!

$455 Cheap Bastard Gaming PC Build Using i3-6100 and GTX 950

 

Gaming Parts List Name Price Rebates, Promos, etc. Total
CPU Intel i3-6100 3.7GHz $125 $1 shipping $126
Motherboard Asus H110M-K $57 Free shipping $57
Video Card EVGA GTX 950 2GB $125 Free shipping $125
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB 1x8GB $28 Free shipping $28
Power Supply EVGA 500B $35 Free shipping $35
HDD Seagate Barracuda 1TB $48 Free shipping $48
Case Silverstone PS08B $35 Free shipping $35
Total       $455

OS & Optional Extras

Add-on Parts List Name Price Rebates, Promos, etc. Total
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Home $87 Free shipping $87

How to Build a Gaming PC (Tutorial & Walkthrough)

Graphics Card

EVGA GTX 950 2GB ($125): The GPU is one of the most important components in providing solid performance for gaming. In this case, we've chosen a EVGA GTX 950 due to its low price and known-good performance. The EVGA 950 comes with a single-fan cooler, but since it only has a 90W TDP, a simple and small cooler is sufficient. The 950 comes with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM on a 128-bit bus, a 1025MHz core clock, and an 1190MHz boost clock. The 950 provides a solid gaming experience at 1080p using medium settings for most games, and some – generally older – games are even playable at high settings. EVGA provides a 3-year warranty for this GTX 950.

Currently, this EVGA 950 comes with the game Bombshell for free.

CPU

Intel i3-6100 ($125): Despite Intel's newest Skylake architecture only having moderate improvements over previous architectures, it is still the newest release and is helping bring new technologies like DDR4, M.2, and SATAe into ubiquity. The i3-6100 features two cores clocked at 3.7GHz with hyperthreading, which allows it to function as if it had 4 to the OS and games. Recently in an Ask GN video, GN's Steve explained hyperthreading and simultaneous multithreading (SMT) for those interested.

Intel's locked CPUs still come with stock CPU coolers (which is no longer the case for Intel's unlocked CPUs), so in this PC build, a CPU cooler is unneeded.

Motherboard

Asus H110M-K ($57): We've chosen the ASUS H110M-K motherboard as our platform. This motherboard is fairly standard and offers no crazy features, but it'll do its job sufficiently. The ASUS H110M-K comes with 2xDDR4 slots, 1xPCIe x16 slot, 1xPCIe x1 slot (PCIe 2.0), 4xSATA 6Gb/s ports, 1xUSB 3.0 connector, and 1xUSB 2.0 connector. For its I/O it has 6xUSB 2.0, 4xUSB 3.0, 1xPS/2, 1xDVI-D, 1xD-Sub, 1xEthernet, and audio out ports. The ASUS H110M-K is a fairly basic mATX motherboard, but it has the connectors needed for this PC build. ASUS provides a 3-year warranty for the H110M-K.

Memory

Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-2400MT/s ($28): Skylake has brought DDR4 into the consumer market, and for this build we've chosen the Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-2400 RAM. Like the motherboard, this RAM is fairly simple. It's clocked at 2400MT/s – a reasonable speed, is low profile, has as fairly plain black heatspreader, and has a CAS latency of 16. Nothing exciting; but then again, there's not much to be excited about with gaming-grade memory. The low profile allows for future aftermarket cooler upgrades with no fit concerns. Like many other RAM manufacturers, Corsair provides a lifetime warranty on this RAM kit.

HDD

Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM ($48): In our high-end PC builds, we typically include an SSD for OS and game storage, but in lower-priced PC builds – like this one – an SSD doesn't fit well in the budget. In this case, we've chosen the Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM HDD. This hard drive comes with 64MB of cache, 1TB of storage, and a two-year warranty. This hard drive won't win any speed records, but it will do acceptably for gaming. Dipping below 1TB in size can help save money, but storage space decreases disproportionately to price, so for hard drives – SSDs not included – we don't suggest buying sizes below 1TB. It is somewhat accurate to say that manufacturers have an easier time making a 1TB platter than a 500GB platter, these days.

Power Supply

EVGA 500B 500W ($35): In order to power the components in this build, we've chosen the EVGA 500B power supply. Since this is a 500W power supply and comes with 2x6+2 PCIe power pins, it allows for the ability to upgrade to higher-end GPUs down the road. The 500B is rated for 50C and has OVP (Over Voltage Protection), UVP (Under Voltage Protection), OCP (Over Current Protection), OPP (Over Power Protection), SCP (Short Circuit Protection), and OTP (Over Temp. Protection). The 500B is 80 Plus Bronze certified so it is fairly efficient. It also supports Intel's latest low-power C-states that were introduced in Haswell, Intel's 4th generation Core processors. The 500B is not modular, but at this price point, modularity is uncommon. EVGA also provides a 3-year warranty for the 500B.

Case

Silverstone PS08B ($35): To house all of these components we've chosen the Silverstone PS08B. It is a simple, barebones mATX case with a minimalistic black aesthetic. The PS08B features removable dust filters, 2x5.25" bays, 4x3.5" bays, and 1x2.5" cage. Its front I/O includes 2xUSB 3.0 and 3.5mm audio in and out ports. The case comes with 1x120mm front fan, and uses a top-mounted PSU placement. GPUs support spans up to 358mm long, so GPUs fitting won't be a problem -- especially with smaller graphics cards like the 950 used in this PC build. Silverstone provides a 1-year warranty for the PS08B.

Post a comment below for quick help or questions! For more in-depth, one-on-one support, feel free to check out our PC build forums.

- Michael "The Bear" Kerns

Last modified on April 18, 2016 at 7:05 pm
Michael Kerns

Michael Kerns first found us when GN's Editor-in-Chief was tirelessly answering questions on reddit pertaining to a new product launch, likely after the Editor had stayed up all night writing the news post. Michael offered a tired Editor reprieve, taking over the role of questions-answerer-extraordinaire when it was most needed. These days, Michael can be found pulling his mechanical keyboard collection apart and building Frankenstein's Monster-like monsters of keyboards. Michael wrote the vast majority of our mechanical keyboard dictionary and is an expert in keyboards.

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