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Building Budget Gaming PC

TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member

So I have a old gaming PC I have been playing on for quite a long time now.

Its a old: Phenom II 720 BE - ATI 4870 512mb OCed - 8gb ddr3 1333mhz.

Basically it runs every game I have including Skyrim at mostly high settings without much lag to speak of. So its a good pc for me. Screaming fast framerates aren't my goal. My screen resolution is very low at 1360x1024. My goal is basically to save the ram and upgrade the mobo, cpu and maybe a gpu when I have the money. My budget is around 260 bucks max. Since I have the case, ram, 700w psu and all the other goodies, I just need a idea of parts to upgrade my pc to current lower-mid end gaming. Nothing mind blowing. I was considering a getting a AMD A10-6800k with a decent mobo as a stop gap until I can get a decent GPU later in october. Any advice guys, especially you Quizzical :D?





  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 5,551Member Rare

    I'm not Quizical, but I would say:

    Save your money. 3 reasons.

    1) Your going to want to get a new PSU and probably HD anyway, ignoring that really risks having them go out sooner than later and you're entire upgrade plan is busted. Not ignoring it really blows out your budget.

    2) Your current computer is worth more as a whole, working unit.

    3) $260 isn't going to get you a lot over what you have. $70 for a budget motherboard, $100 for a budget CPU, and $100 for a budget video card is doable, but it's all exactly as I described: budget. Very budget. And it won't really do much more than what you have already.

    What you could do is go ahead and Ebay/Craigslist the computer you have now. Odds are you could skim $500+ out of it. Combine that with your $260 and your talking a whole different ballgame.

  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member

     Good points! However the PSU and HD are a non-issue since I have multiple replacements. 

    I probably could afford a bit more for parts, but I need this pc operational for a project in a few weeks to cooperate with some folks. Time matters this time. I need a dx11 capacity, preferably with a 1gb GPU. Then a quad core cpu.

    I just did the math. Could probably get a bit closer to 350 bucks. So I need to really mash numbers here.

    I know its a peculiar situation, usually Id be saving up about 500 and doing exactly what you said.


    Managed to find a 7850 2gb , decent fm2 mobo and a A10 6800k for 350 exactly. Hows that pan out ? I could go for a different CPU mobo architecture, but seems like I see a pretty hefty gain in price too.

  • syntax42syntax42 USAPosts: 1,374Member Uncommon

    If you're going to upgrade your motherboard, I would suggest getting a CPU socket which supports desktop processors.  The A-series processors are basically for laptops, integrated systems, and low-end (not really gaming) desktop systems.  If you find a decent AM3+ motherboard, you can install a FX-4100 ($99) or FX-4300 ($120) for now and have the option to upgrade to a FX-8350 later if the motherboard supports it.


    If budget is your main concern, get the A10 and skip the video card purchase.  The A10's integrated GPU would likely be better than your current card, and any games you play would likely be CPU-limited by the A10 so badly that the 7850 wouldn't help much.


    I could be wrong and the A10-6800K could be much better than I expect, but based on the A10-5800K, it probably won't be good for desktop gaming.

  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member

    You hit it right on the nose. I put in some time to study the parts landscape and I am definitely looking more into the AM3+ Motherboards and parts to go with it. Seems to me for the price its a easier set to upgrade , more powerful and just about the same cost. 

    However some more input would greatly be appreciated. It should be noted I have all the ram and psu's I could possibly want so those aren't parts Im worried about. The PSU's I have around are all 600w, 800w and all antecs of good quality I trust a lot.

    As for Ram, well I can just get that from a friend who has every kind imaginable. Hehe, just wanted to clarify why I said I didn't need those parts.

    As for what I am looking at now, ill get back to you :D

  • dadante666dadante666 buford, GAPosts: 402Member Uncommon

    ican sadly tell you to wait for ps4 or xbox one knowing lot of pc game will be launch there and fk us our pc gamers, theres not point of spending 700$+ when it will only cost 400$ ps4 and 500$xbox one ;/ your choice



  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member Common
    Don't buy the fx4100 (or any where 2nd number is a 1) they are the duff bulldozer chips.

    Get a 6300 or if desparate a 4300, but never a bulldozer.
  • VerenathVerenath Houston, TXPosts: 38Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by dadante666
    ican sadly tell you to wait for ps4 or xbox one knowing lot of pc game will be launch there and fk us our pc gamers, theres not point of spending 700$+ when it will only cost 400$ ps4 and 500$xbox one ;/ your choice  


    Can you please exit these forums? 


  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member
    The consoles don't do what I need. I need the PC for a PC related project. Not just for gaming. Particularly a simulation on what PC's can do in relation to a variety of graphical projects.
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member Common

    Get the fx6300 or 4300, then get a cheaper card like the 7770 or 650gtx

    You can always put a better card in later. 7770 will let you play everything still. And its the same as the new xbox gpu.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,391Member Epic

    It sounds like you have some unusual needs, and aren't just looking for a simple gaming upgrade.  What do you need DirectX 11 capability for?  And why do you need a quad core processor?

    You might want to think about picking up a new video card and buying a Phenom II X6 that fits that motherboard, though you'd likely have to get the latter used rather than new.

  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member

    Yeah very unusual needs. We are running a simulation which basically is testing some quirks with Dx11. 

    The Quad Core and Dx11 limitations are more a specification of the project leader. Any Gpu would be fix as long as its about as fast as a 7770 or a 650ti 1gb. The Cpu is a bit more important and the more powerful the better. I of course have my budget issues. Thus about a 400 dollar Budget at the moment. Though thats flexible. 

    Basically I am just looking for the best CPU and GPU for the buck. Nothing specifically brandwise is needed. Since multiple brands of CPUs would actually help the project :D

    PS Wouldnt hurt if its good for gaming LOL. I mean I do game with this PC :D

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,391Member Epic

    You may want to try your program on your current CPU just to see if it works fine.  If it doesn't but your program scales well to many CPU cores, then a FX-6300 would probably be suitable for your needs.  Unfortunately, that means you need a new Socket AM3+ motherboard, and a new motherboard means you need a new Windows license, too.  That eats up most of your whole budget right there.

  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member

    I forgot about the Windows  license! Gosh darn it. I usually have a spare Windows 7 around but not right now. Ok that really buggers my plans.

    So with the limitation of my current Mobo being Am3, what would be the best option and what sort of GPU would couple well with that? AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz would work for this project. I am not sure what sort of GPU would match that without being overkill. The plus side though is if I get a overkill GPU I could later next year get a new Mobo and CPU.. 


    PS.. AH! I forgot the Phenm II x6 series. Yeah ok, ideas?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,391Member Epic

    Exactly what motherboard do you have?  And while we're at it, exactly which power supply and case?

    While the Phenom II X6 is discontinued, you can probably still find one used.  That's Socket AM3, so your motherboard probably supports it, though it may require a BIOS update.

  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member

    I have right now in the PC a Antec EA-500 Watt in the pc, though I have a 800 Watt Antec as well. 

    As for the Motherboard, its a Asus M4A78T-E

    Well I found a :

    AMD HDT35TWFK6DGR Phenom II X6 1035T for $106 and a AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition for $94

    Its really close between the two as to which Id pick however the fact the 965 is in the box, brand new, it makes me a whole lot less nervous and gives me some wiggle room for a better GPU, even if its not the key goal. Sigh. Tricky choice. 

  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member
    Well just to conclude, I managed to get a 7870 XT from Saphire for 230 bucks and a AMD Phenom II 965 BE and the difference is just amazing. Perfect fit for the project. The GPU is the really surprising thing for me. Its out preforming a lot of the 7950 and 680s in the simulation task. VERY solid cooling. Anywho thanks for your guys advice :D
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