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Holiday Budget Build- advice

GrubbsGradyGrubbsGrady Member UncommonPosts: 371

I know the rule of thumb is to wait until I am ready to buy the parts before I put together a build. I just wanted to get some opinions and advice since I will be ordering parts in about 2 weeks. 

I want to see how much I would need to spend to build a computer for playing dota 2 and world of Warcraft for the next year or two. I don't need anything fancy, don't plan to overclock, and will need Windows. I would probably be okay with a 256gb SSD since I don't plan on keeping a library of games on this thing. 

I would like to play the games at high settings without much problem. Please give me your advice and opinions on what my options are for my needs in this case. I truly appreciate any tips, opinions, or advice.

Comments

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060

    My very rough and general advice, with general prices in USD:

    With an unspecified budget, I'll go ahead and start around an Intel build, the final budget would run somewhere in the $800-1200 range (depending mostly on what video card you pick):

    A Core i5 4690 (K is optional) - around $200
    A decent Socket 1150 Motherboard (Asus/Gigabyte/MSI are my 3 go-to brands, you don't need anything super high end or super expensive here) - around $150
    Your 250G SSD - around $120
    Decent PSU - around $60

    Case of your preference - $50-100
    Aftermarket heat sink - $30
    Optical Drive - $20
    Windows License (7 or 8.1, your preference) - $100

    That adds up to around $750 right there, and you still need a GPU of your choice. A good graphics card starts around $120 -- although if your looking at $120 GPUs here, you may want to consider dropping from the Intel to the AMD CPU (see below), and then putting that savings back toward the GPU -- and then graphics cards run all the way up to as much as you want to pay for it. Around $200-250 is usually the sweet spot for price vs performance (although there are some very compelling cards at the $350 range right now, which is a bit unusual)

    You can bargain shop on some of these parts, and maybe get better deals (both Black Friday, and just generic sales in general - I just listed some average prices).

    You could drop a good bit by going with an AMD FX6300 CPU (save maybe $150 total between the CPU and motherboard, the graphics card still up in the air), and then if the budget is still tight, you could drop to an AMD APU (A10-7850) - that will run DOTA/WoW well on Medium, but save you on having to buy a seperate graphics card and could probably get it down in the $600 budget area.

  • DeathreatDeathreat Member UncommonPosts: 143
    I agree with everything he said except the APU, if your going to run any games even a 50~ dollar GPU is better than on the board and APU graphics. But really with out your max budget and how awesome you want games to look and what games they are makes it hard to make a proper build. Both of the games you mentioned are easy to run, so you might like ur PC and then you try to run a newer game and get pissed that your PC cant handle it.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,096
    Originally posted by Deathreat
    I agree with everything he said except the APU, if your going to run any games even a 50~ dollar GPU is better than on the board and APU graphics. But really with out your max budget and how awesome you want games to look and what games they are makes it hard to make a proper build. Both of the games you mentioned are easy to run, so you might like ur PC and then you try to run a newer game and get pissed that your PC cant handle it.

    You need to spend a fair bit more than $50 on a discrete video card to keep pace with integrated graphics.  I tried looking on New Egg just now, which offers 184 choices in the $25-$50 range.  Your best options there would be:

    1)  A Radeon HD 6450, the bottom of the line from the Radeon HD 6000 series.  It offers 160 shaders and a 64-bit DDR3 memory bus.  Lots of choices for this, some of which rename it as a Radeon HD 7470 or Radeon R5 230.

    2)  A GeForce GT 430, the bottom of the line from the GeForce 400 series.  It offers 96 shaders and a DDR3 memory bus that is sometimes 64-bit and sometimes 128-bit.  Given the choice, you want 128-bit, of course.  Lots of choices for this, too, some of which rename it as a GeForce GT 620 or GeForce GT 630.

    3)  A GeForce GT 720, an semi-official salvage part card that isn't normally sold at retail.  You could kind of think of it as the bottom of the line Kepler (GeForce 600/700 series) card.  It offers 192 shaders and a 64-bit DDR3 memory bus.  Adding the cost of shipping also pushes this over $50.

    4)  A GeForce GT 630, which is totally different from the one above in spite of having the same name.  This offers 384 shaders, but still only a 64-bit DDR3 memory bus.  There are only two options on this, one of which is refurbished.

    5)  A Radeon R5 240, probably the fastest card on this list.  It offers 320 shaders and a 128-bit DDR3 memory bus.  The only wya to get it for $50 is refurbished, however.

    -----

    For comparison, if you go with AMD's latest integrated graphics, you get 512 shaders and a 128-bit DDR3 memory bus.  You can get the memory clocked at 2133 MHz, too, which is considerably higher than most (probably all, but I don't want to verify that by hand) of the cards listed above.  That bandwidth is shared with the CPU, but you're rpobably getting about as much bandwidth to the GPU as a dedicated 128-bit DDR3 memory bus on a typical discrete card that offers that.

    Most of the cards that you can find for $50 won't offer half of that performance.  The only cards above that wouldn't obviously get completely destroyed by integrated graphics are the 384-shader Kepler version of the GeForce GT 630 and the Radeon R5 240.  But the GT 630 will get completely destroyed in anything heavy on memory bandwidth usage, and the Radeon R5 240 will reliably lose to integrated graphics, but just not by embarrassing margins.

  • GrubbsGradyGrubbsGrady Member UncommonPosts: 371
    Thanks for those part suggestions Ridelynn, I'll keep those in mind when I start shopping!
    As for the games I want to play, literally just those two and then some smaller indie games. I recently moved and have been playing console games a lot until I get back to my rig at home. This one I want to build is just to hold me over in the mean time- I won't be playing anything more demanding than WoW and DOTA on it. Max price would probably be $700 if it will cost that much to run those games on high, but the lower the better since this isn't going to be permanent.
  • GrubbsGradyGrubbsGrady Member UncommonPosts: 371
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Deathreat
    I agree with everything he said except the APU, if your going to run any games even a 50~ dollar GPU is better than on the board and APU graphics. But really with out your max budget and how awesome you want games to look and what games they are makes it hard to make a proper build. Both of the games you mentioned are easy to run, so you might like ur PC and then you try to run a newer game and get pissed that your PC cant handle it.

    You need to spend a fair bit more than $50 on a discrete video card to keep pace with integrated graphics.  I tried looking on New Egg just now, which offers 184 choices in the $25-$50 range.  Your best options there would be:

    1)  A Radeon HD 6450, the bottom of the line from the Radeon HD 6000 series.  It offers 160 shaders and a 64-bit DDR3 memory bus.  Lots of choices for this, some of which rename it as a Radeon HD 7470 or Radeon R5 230.

    2)  A GeForce GT 430, the bottom of the line from the GeForce 400 series.  It offers 96 shaders and a DDR3 memory bus that is sometimes 64-bit and sometimes 128-bit.  Given the choice, you want 128-bit, of course.  Lots of choices for this, too, some of which rename it as a GeForce GT 620 or GeForce GT 630.

    3)  A GeForce GT 720, an semi-official salvage part card that isn't normally sold at retail.  You could kind of think of it as the bottom of the line Kepler (GeForce 600/700 series) card.  It offers 192 shaders and a 64-bit DDR3 memory bus.  Adding the cost of shipping also pushes this over $50.

    4)  A GeForce GT 630, which is totally different from the one above in spite of having the same name.  This offers 384 shaders, but still only a 64-bit DDR3 memory bus.  There are only two options on this, one of which is refurbished.

    5)  A Radeon R5 240, probably the fastest card on this list.  It offers 320 shaders and a 128-bit DDR3 memory bus.  The only wya to get it for $50 is refurbished, however.

    -----

    For comparison, if you go with AMD's latest integrated graphics, you get 512 shaders and a 128-bit DDR3 memory bus.  You can get the memory clocked at 2133 MHz, too, which is considerably higher than most (probably all, but I don't want to verify that by hand) of the cards listed above.  That bandwidth is shared with the CPU, but you're rpobably getting about as much bandwidth to the GPU as a dedicated 128-bit DDR3 memory bus on a typical discrete card that offers that.

    Most of the cards that you can find for $50 won't offer half of that performance.  The only cards above that wouldn't obviously get completely destroyed by integrated graphics are the 384-shader Kepler version of the GeForce GT 630 and the Radeon R5 240.  But the GT 630 will get completely destroyed in anything heavy on memory bandwidth usage, and the Radeon R5 240 will reliably lose to integrated graphics, but just not by embarrassing margins.

    So from what you have said I think the question is going with the APU option or spending more on a GPU that is going to perform better that those available in that $50.00 range?

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060


    Originally posted by Deathreat
    I agree with everything he said except the APU, if your going to run any games even a 50~ dollar GPU is better than on the board and APU graphics. But really with out your max budget and how awesome you want games to look and what games they are makes it hard to make a proper build. Both of the games you mentioned are easy to run, so you might like ur PC and then you try to run a newer game and get pissed that your PC cant handle it.

    The top-end APU has graphics roughly equal to the $100 price point (The A10 7850 is roughly between a R7 250 and 250X - you can run the prices on those two units).

    So an A10-7850 gets you roughly an $80 CPU and a $100 graphics card, for around $150 total.

    They aren't awful. They are definitely a budget option, and still to be avoided if you can afford it, but it's not like Intel discrete graphics at all (which are totally awful).

    The top-level APU will run ~most~ games at 1080p on Medium. Some older titles on High (I wouldn't hold my breath on every title). There may be some very current titles you need to drop to Medium/Low, but they should still be playable.

    As far as WoW/DOTA - I don't really know. There are probably people playing those titles on APUs though that could relate their experience.

    But yeah, to get GPU performance that beats an AMD APU, you need to look at getting up into the $100+ tiers (R7 250X and above for AMD, or nVidia 750 and up).

  • PerramasPerramas Member UncommonPosts: 83
    I would get an R9 270 GPU + FX6300 CPU  they are both getting pretty cheap.  The FX 6300 in down to $85 on amazon and you can get an R9 270 Asus on new egg for $110 after a $40 mail in rebate.  You should be able to get a build under $600 after the mail in rebates.

    FUncom putting the FU in fun since 1993.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060


    Originally posted by Perramas
    I would get an R9 270 GPU + FX6300 CPU  they are both getting pretty cheap.  The FX 6300 in down to $85 on amazon and you can get an R9 270 Asus on new egg for $110 after a $40 mail in rebate.  You should be able to get a build under $600 after the mail in rebates.

    If your budget is $700 the FX6300 is an excellent starting point, and would be the spot in between the Intel i5 and the AMD APU.

    Video card prices fluctuate so much day to day, and especially around this time of the year - but something in the area of the 270 would be in the right ballpark depending on whatever the sale of the day is. On a budget, the GPU tends to be the last thing I pick, and that's where I take all that left over money and then see what the best I can get is. If that GPU isn't fast enough for the purpose, then I look at where I can save money further to allocate it back toward the GPU.

    Some people take into account rebates because they can convince their wife/significant other they will get the money back eventually, others their budget is a hard number in the bank and they can't afford to go over, and some people just ignore them all together because they are just more hoops to jump through and pay back weeks/months later.

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