The Cheapest PC I Would Build: August 2014

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The Cheapest PC I Would Build: August 2014

The best bargain gaming PC that we could convince Escapist tech guru Devin Connors to build without giving him an aneurysm.

Read Full Article

Devin Connors:
The Cheapest PC I Would Build: August 2014

The best bargain gaming PC that we could convince Escapist tech guru Devin Connors to build without giving him an aneurysm.

Read Full Article

I read through the article, and it seems solid to me. I have a question for you or anyone who can answer. Is there an article either that you did or someplace on line I can look at to get an idea of what all the stuff in the article means? I won't mince words, I'm a moron when it comes to PC parts and a lot of the stuff you said in the article made no sense except for the fact that if I get all these parts, I can have a decent PC for a certain price range.

I will also accept a reply that I'm stupid for not understanding any of the stuff, and that I am not worthy to be part of the PC master race if I don't understand a simple article like this. I would prefer a link and/or suggestions on how to learn the stuff.

Super Cyborg:

I will also accept a reply that I'm stupid for not understanding any of the stuff, and that I am not worthy to be part of the PC master race if I don't understand a simple article like this. I would prefer a link and/or suggestions on how to learn the stuff.

if you google "how to build a gaming PC" there are a bazillion guides out there....a lot of them start with what does what

I'm not totally tech savvy and couldn't tell you the details but I do know the basics

Case- this is obvious...its the case/box/tower where everything goes, some are really fancy, some aren't you want one thats compatable with your Motherboard (or Mobo I belive is the shorthand)

Motherboard - this is where all the parts "plug in" the base of the PC, the kind you get determines how much you can upgrade...and of coarse compatability

CPU- this stands for "Central Processing Unit" its basically the comptuers brain, most have like....is it 8 or 4 cores?

RAM- this stands for "random access memory" I always envisioned it as a workbench for the comptuer to do taks on (if remember from my highschool AIT classes) 8GB is generally standard now...probably 16GB...this is as I understand the more simple part to get/upgrade

Graphics card/ GPU- I think when its called a "GPU" that means "graphics porcessing unit" which obviously might get mixed up with CPU....in this build in the article I think the writer is going for "on board" graphics? as in the capabilities that already come with the motherboard, I'm not sure why but theres some technical stuff I don't understand. Basic comptuers don't have a dedicated graphics card...a gaming computer needs one. Mine is an Nvida GTX 680 which is...ok by "now" standards...I don't know the numbering systm for AMD cards

hardrive- storage...a HDD is a "hard disk drive" meaning the thing is a mechanical thing with a disk on it, an SSD is a "soldi dtate drive" so theres no/less moving parts...its faster

I'm not entirly sure what "numbers" you need for each

pcpartpicker.com is a handy tool where you can check the price and the compatibility of parts, I didn't build my first gamign rig but I did look at and see what parts I wanted/needed which allowed me to get one custom built at a price which I knew was fair

How long is it reasonable to expect a PC to last, these days?

I mean, most of my computer I put together around 2008 or so. It's held together pretty well; I got a new video card when the old one started glitching badly, and put some more RAM into it, but it can still play everything I throw at it, even if the auto-detection system did set Watch Dogs to "medium".

It's a good article, and all, but I suppose for my purposes I'm more curious how much one should expect to spend on a PC that won't shame one for at least a console generation.

Callate:
How long is it reasonable to expect a PC to last, these days?

I mean, most of my computer I put together around 2008 or so. It's held together pretty well; I got a new video card when the old one started glitching badly, and put some more RAM into it, but it can still play everything I throw at it, even if the auto-detection system did set Watch Dogs to "medium".

It's a good article, and all, but I suppose for my purposes I'm more curious how much one should expect to spend on a PC that won't shame one for at least a console generation.

You won't get a PC to last a console generation. Not well, anyway. Personally the last two machines I've built clocked in between $800 and $1200 (IIRC), and both were solid machines for a good five years, and still held up for a few more after a video card upgrade. (My current machine *still* uses the Geforce 560Ti I built it with. Man that card is amazing.)

The real key to getting value out of a computer is to make sure you have room to improve - future-proof as much as you can. When I built my current computer, Intel's i3, i5, and i7 chips were just hitting the markets, and motherboards could be found that supported i3, i3-i5, or i5-i7. I knew I wanted an i5 (best gaming value), but I made sure to get a motherboard that would support an i7 in case I wanted to upgrade down the road. Similarly, this article mentions upgrading the PSU to one with two six-pin connectors - not because this build needs it, but because you might want to get a higher-end graphics card down the road that does.

In my experience, the most important things to future proof are:
1) Motherboard-CPU compatibility. Make sure you'll be able to upgrade the CPU down the road.
2) Motherboard-RAM compatibility. Don't get an old motherboard that can only support three-year-old RAM.
3) PSU power and connections. Make sure the PSU you get has the juice and the wiring to support not just the card you're buying now, but the NEXT card you'll buy.

Nice-to-haves: USB 3.0 and 6gpbs SATA connections on the motherboard.

My only other caveat on building a PC: make sure the tower you buy is big enough for your graphics card. (:

Heres the ultimate cheapo recipe:

- Go on ebay, find an old office PC with an Intel core CPU or newer. Make sure it has:
- a PCI-e x16 slot with at least 4 lanes available
- dont get an SFF model unless you feel like getting creative with a saw
- a spare sata connector
- at least 300 watts of PSU power (250 would be enough but specifications on these can be dodgy, get some headroom).
- Use a reputable seller, dont get a no-name brand (get HP, Dell or such). Pay around $100 or €80.

- Add a 750ti GPU, MX100 SSD and stir (dont shake!). Might have to ducttape the SSD, these likely wont have a 2.5in slot (adapters cost money!). They also dont have a case window so its not like anyone will see. Should run you about $275 or €230.

Et voila, cheaper than a console, gaming at full HD and 256 gigs of decilious solid state storage. Though you can be an even bigger cheapo by leaving out the SSD, beware that older office PCs have utterly garbage storage speeds.

Why does this even work? Well, office PCs are made to last and generaly dont get used for heavy work. The 750ti is a low-power card that doesnt require any extra power connectors. The CPU wont be fast but just about everyone badly over-specs CPUs for gaming anyway.*

Down sides? Plenty! Allmost zero upgradability, no fancy USB3.0 or sata-600, wont look fancy either and the 750ti wont hold up at high resolutions or detail.

Still its a good solution for getting into PC gaming for when you realy dont have money to spare and you can still use your GPU and SSD for when you save up some more to build a proper PC around them.

* A quick refence: You dont need a i5-4670k/Z87 unless you have a HIGH end card, mid range can make do with a i5-4440 or fx-6300 with a basic motherboard chipset, low end you could run of a bay trail or AM1 CPU.

Steam OS is a free operating system... that'll save ya some

The problem with using a weak psu and a mini mother board is that it's hard to upgrade. Can't run high end graphics cards on less than 500 watts so you would have to buy a new one. Then that's assuming they fit in the first place. It's better in my opinion to not skip out on these parts for when you save up to upgrade.

This is my budget build I've been looking to save for:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vWMLFT

W/o monitor and windows I'm right about $600 after rebates.

Suggestions?

Your recommendation for the AMD APU got me interested... Could this be a perfect CPU for a HTPC?.. I looked at the price in the UK and it was 126.99

That's a hefty chunk for a budget PC - Would you not get better performance by spitting the 120 between a CPU and GPU... Say a AMD FX-4130 (60) and a Sapphire R7 250 1GB GDDR5 (63). Exactly the same price but surely better performance - Not as scalable though :D

Also - you can get slower(but still fast) 128GB SSDs for the price of a 4GB 2333 RAM chip you specced.... Knock off a DIMM and get a lovely SDD. After all, it's much easier to throw another RAM chip in after pay day than it is rebuilding your PC to a new drive.

And I'd just like to finish by saying thank you for a very interesting article, takes a brave man to suggest PC components on the internet ;)

:: EDIT ::

Also, This, but perhaps just flat Ubuntu -->

Zacharious-khan:
Steam OS is a free operating system... that'll save ya some

INB4 YOU CAN ONLY GET A PC TO PLAY GAMES FOR $2999

Worst article ever get ready for a beating! kidding..mostly. I'll not price hunt to be fair.

First off you openly admitted the first thing anyones gonna do is buy a videocard so why bother with this APU nonsense? Now if i were building a PC for a friend this is what I'd do. (intel is roughly the same price but amd was still more bang for the buck.)

CPU

fx 6300 $119

http://www.amazon.com/AMD-FD6300WMHKBOX-FX-6300-6-Core-Processor/dp/B009O7YORK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1406926639&sr=1-1&keywords=fx+6300

Motherboard

MSI A55M-E33 FM2+ / FM2 AMD A55 $45

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HGLX81O/?tag=extension-kb-20

Memory
Lets dial it back a tiny bit on the ram and get this vulcan team 8gb. Speed is negligible on a PC this cheap and were not overclocking so this'll be fine.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313344 $70

you can get a amd 260x or a nvidia 750 ti for between $110-130 on newegg. My suggestion would be to forget the optical drive and put that money into a GPU

SAPPHIRE 100366-2L Radeon R7 260X $109.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202081&cm_re=amd_260x-_-14-202-081-_-Product

+ 2 free games off never settle

http://sites.amd.com/us/promo/never-settle/Pages/nsreloadedforever.aspx

Total $586 vs 557

Heres my main PCbuild if anyone is curious

I5 4690K stock $200 new
Corsair H50 2x120 Mod $50 new
W7 U 64bit($tehe)
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK $120
2x8GB 1866 vengence $140 new
2x Asus 280x OC $350 used you can get a gtx760 new for $180 right now the same speed
3x 27" Acer G276 $450 used
2x1TB Raid-0 $100 new
2x1TB $100 new,
2x120GB Agility 4 $100 new
NZXT H440 (Limited orange) $130 New
CORSAIR CX750M PSU $60-80 new

If you scroll through the last couple days of slickdeals you can find a lot of this stuff on sale right now

http://slickdeals.net/

But you don't need a permanent dvd drive after installing the OS, unless you have a usb drive with the OS on it and the mobo supports usb booting, which is on most new ones, but you might want one later. Buying old PC games and used music CDs from the local CD shop or wanting to burn a disc for any reason (Linux ISOs for your friends?, Steam OS might actually be successful.) will make you want one. Better at least get a case that has a 5.25" bay (screw those slot loaders and their highway robbery prices) for future proofing.

Another thing people forget is your can use parts (case, HDDs, optical drives, GPU if your new mobo has the slot for it(PCI Express 3.0 is backwards compatible with older versions of PCI Express, big help there.), memory IF the sticks match the ratings on the new mobo, even PSU if it has the wattage and connections for the new hardware) from an old PC, unlike consoles where most of the time the controllers won't even work in the next iteration and woe be you if something like the disk drive craps out.[1]The only things that have to change is the motherboard and CPU[2]

I built my mom's new pc by getting a great new egg deal and reusing stuff like the DVD drive, HDD (for back up, the Newegg deal came with one) and externals like keyboard, mouse, and monitor. I could have even used the case but wanted to use the remaining guts for other stuff (It eventually became my CNC comp!), so got an uber cheap case, too. It cost around $400 after buying a sealed copy of Window 7 Pro on eBay, and runs well 4 years later. That's far better than her spending $600+ on some QVC POS that would be bogged down with crapware from the get go and have something crappy like a celeron in it.(I'd bet if I slap my old GTX9800+ in it I could run Portal 2 on decently high settings.)

I'm also planning on my own super water-cooled build, and if this PC I'm typing on gives out or I just get impatient (still haven't decided on a color theme, if I want to make my own res, or how to lay out everything in my TJ-07), I might just move the 750watt PSU (with black octopus tentacles!), HDD, bluray drive, and GTX465 over the the new parts I've yet to decide on. That will at least last for a bit until I get the money for a new GPU and PSU.

Sorry for all the parentheses. I just had a lot of info and rants to give. :P

[1] [sarcasm]Fond[/sarcasm] memories of having to find the right bluray drive for my particular model of PS3 on Amazon and eBay, hoping the info I was using to find the right drive was correct, and having to tear the bastard apart to it replace the drive just rushed bask to me. That doesn't happen with standard PC components.
[2] You could keep an old CPU and get a new mobo that matches it, but that board will probably be anemic unless you were parting out a pretty powerful, more recent rig. So it's almost aways in your best interest to upgrade both of those at the same time.

I'll say what I always say - go on Logical Increments and check your bank balance, and remember to add 120 (because fuck Britain) for Windows and an ODD (it'll always be worth having - you can cop out and get a USB one, but that's expense for no reason on a desktop).

The main note from there (you're roughly on balance for the most part, running the Entry to Good steps) is that as soon as you get past a $300 budget, a separate GPU solution will dominate the cheaping out on the A10. Maybe go X4-750K and the GTX 750. I get the thinking, I really do - if you can possibly get by without one temporarily then adding a GPU to a setup without one will present a larger gain than replacing one with - but I'm not quite buying it.

Of course, I'm writing this on a machine that ran me 1400 last year, so I'm not in the best position to speak for the low end (I'm aware that that does sometimes hamper my knowledge as a PC builder - I can throw money at the machine, but if there's a budget then I'm not quite as strong)...

Devin Connors:
but don't be shocked if you find yourself saying "How 'bout that R7 265?"

thats my card (upgrade from a 7770 HD), could really not be happier for price:power at 1080p gaming

Kinitawowi:
I'll say what I always say - go on Logical Increments and check your bank balance, and remember to add 120 (because fuck Britain) for Windows and an ODD (it'll always be worth having - you can cop out and get a USB one, but that's expense for no reason on a desktop).

Thanks for the link. I love how that site's lowest and highest ratings are Destitute and Monstrous. Really hammers home what you're paying for.

If someone is really on a budget, they could get the OEM versions of Win 7 or 8 (Good luck finding retail Win 7 anywhere but ebay, though.) for about 70/$100. Just remember, budget builders out there, OEM copies are tied to the hardware (usually just the mobo) and you install it on, so no using that copy on your next build. And there's sometimes issues with upgrading simple things like GPUs, because "Windows was designed with quality in mind".

It still sucks they charge 10-30 extra for no good reason. The UK must have better beaches just like Yahtzee said Australia had.

I'm amazed that the build only costs 455$. Some of these pieces like the Corsair CX430 (I can't find it under 70) are a lot more expensive here in Canada. The two things I don't agree with are the CPU and the RAM. I would go for an A8-6600k for 110$. I also think that, for now, 2133 RAM is just unnecessarily expensive and some 1600 will do just fine anyway. I actually keep a parts list for different tiers of performance (cheap, normal and super) and if it wasn't for the RAM prices fvcking exploding recently, I'd be able to keep it under 500$, hardware only.

Super Cyborg:

Devin Connors:
The Cheapest PC I Would Build: August 2014

The best bargain gaming PC that we could convince Escapist tech guru Devin Connors to build without giving him an aneurysm.

Read Full Article

I read through the article, and it seems solid to me. I have a question for you or anyone who can answer. Is there an article either that you did or someplace on line I can look at to get an idea of what all the stuff in the article means? I won't mince words, I'm a moron when it comes to PC parts and a lot of the stuff you said in the article made no sense except for the fact that if I get all these parts, I can have a decent PC for a certain price range.

I will also accept a reply that I'm stupid for not understanding any of the stuff, and that I am not worthy to be part of the PC master race if I don't understand a simple article like this. I would prefer a link and/or suggestions on how to learn the stuff.

Techquickie teaches tech in less than 5 minutes per video.

There is also Linus:

This is a big one:

You can go to logical increments and PC part picker. Or go to the guide section of /r/PCmasterrace which has multiple cheap builds for multiple purposes.

You can go to future mark to see the graphics cards. pass mark works too.

The only things that matter is Graphics card, Motherboard, and CPU.

graphics card and CPu are easy to understand. Motherboards only matter to see if it supports overclocking.

Gotta get to reading this when I'm not at work, I need to upgrade my rig for Star Citizen's release...

hmm... very nearly my rig, only "crossfired" (dual graphics is the accepted term, actually... but doesn't parse well) with an R7-250 (the 265 doesn't work alongside it, you'd be wasting over 50% of the APU's power by running one), tossed into a 7-year-old first-run Antec 900 with a hodgepodge of hard drives adding up to just over 4TB... and a BD/DVD/CD-R drive. I still use optical media for a lot of things... all running on a gold-rated cooler master 650 I've had for years.

Still waiting on Mantle and more OpenCL support to start blowing more expensive systems away... but for now it runs at about the level of an older i5 quad and slightly above the best the radeon 7700 series can accomplish. Considering my taste in games (CPU-heavy strategy, mostly... games were more than pretty enough for me 7 years ago. I tend to turn off many graphical effects anyway because they can obscure a game's UI), it's actually overkill for me in the GPU department.

So... good enough build. I personally wouldn't be caught dead using that case, I require a full ATX motherboard with more SATA ports than you can shake a stick at (I'm using 9) and the possible video upgrade recommendation at the end was a little off for the APU you're using... but not bad. Still, moral of the story is that APUs aren't for your average core gamer whose biggest concern is GPU power. An APU plus an enthusiast GPU is a waste, at least until HSA support blurs the lines between CPU and GPU (not happening soon, methinks). Most people are better off with a cheap dual core CPU and half their budget dumped into the video card. Most games are still single-thread affairs anyway... which I find sad.

Redlin5:
Gotta get to reading this when I'm not at work, I need to upgrade my rig for Star Citizen's release...

the A10-7850k falls between their minimum and recommended specs. Expect it to run smoothly on low. Medium would be a maybe. Star Citizen is going to be a very GPU-heavy game. CPU-heaviness will be above average, but not prohibitive. Better off with a quad-core i3 and as much video card as you can afford.

I'm about to build one myself (for the first time), and I have been looking at a variety of builds. Could some one savvy enough tell me how this build stacks up to one I found on /r/pcmasterrace?

CPU AMD Athlon X4 750K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $79.49 @ OutletPC
Motherboard ASRock FM2A55M-VG3+ Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard $45.99 @ Mwave
Memory Patriot Viper 3 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $42.99 @ Newegg
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $52.91 @ OutletPC
Video Card XFX Radeon R9 270 2GB Core Edition Video Card $149.99 @ NCIX US
Case Rosewill RANGER-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case $29.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA 430W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply $27.99 @ Micro Center
Total $429.35

I would only upgrade the ram to 8gbs since I'll get that close to the same amount.

Devin Connors:
The Cheapest PC I Would Build: August 2014

The best bargain gaming PC that we could convince Escapist tech guru Devin Connors to build without giving him an aneurysm.

Read Full Article

What heat readings do you get on the APU when gaming? Cause with my A10 6800k i get around 80degrees, with a different heatsink, and i read over in Toms hardware that it was normal for a APU to run hot, since it had the CPU, and GPU all on one die.

although it's from march, I generally check out this site for parts on budget hardware

http://www.hardware-revolution.com/best-budget-gaming-pc-march-2014/

750 bucks? really?

Those CPUs that also work as a GPU are prone to overheating.

OverEZ:
Those CPUs that also work as a GPU are prone to overheating.

Yes and no... the AMD stock cooler is fine for the A4 through A8 series, but the higher-performance ones do heat up if you don't go in for a decent heatsink. I initially used the stock cooler on my A10-7850K, and it would heat up to near 80C with "Turbo" (factory overclock to 4.1GHz) enabled while maxed out playing a demanding game. With turbo disabled, it stayed around 70. Then I spent $30 on an aftermarket heatsink (CM Hyper 212 Evo, for the curious), and now it stays under 60C at all times... this is actually fairly consistent with midrange GPUs on cheap video cards (ever seen somebody shove an old video card in the oven for an hour to re-seat some solders? I'm that guy... I've pushed some old 7000, 8000 and 9000 series Nvidia cards long past their expiration dates... in fact. the linux box I visit this site on is running a re-baked 7-year-old 7950GT... used to run it at 85C for extended periods when it was my main gaming rig), though it is hotter than you'd normally see on CPUs.

So yeah, with that in mind... you've changed my mind about this build. If you disable the factory overclock in the BIOS first thing (it defaults to on with every board I've encountered), it will most likely be... marginally acceptable for heat dissipation. With turbo on, it's more than likely going to overheat. Worse, you won't be able to fit a decent heatsink into that Micro ATX case. I had to remove my side fan bracket to fit one into my old mid tower. I guess with the Kaveri, it's Full ATX or bust.

So you'd need to add whatever it costs for a mid tower (I recommend the HAF912. $50-$60 depending on where you look) and a $30 heatsink... or more, if you want to keep that case and go the liquid cooling route. Also, for anyone who doesn't keep a stock of Arctic Silver 5 laying around... some of that.

47_Ronin:
I'm about to build one myself (for the first time), and I have been looking at a variety of builds. Could some one savvy enough tell me how this build stacks up to one I found on /r/pcmasterrace?

CPU AMD Athlon X4 750K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $79.49 @ OutletPC
Motherboard ASRock FM2A55M-VG3+ Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard $45.99 @ Mwave
Memory Patriot Viper 3 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $42.99 @ Newegg
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $52.91 @ OutletPC
Video Card XFX Radeon R9 270 2GB Core Edition Video Card $149.99 @ NCIX US
Case Rosewill RANGER-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case $29.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA 430W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply $27.99 @ Micro Center
Total $429.35

I would only upgrade the ram to 8gbs since I'll get that close to the same amount.

The Athlon X4 750K will be a major issue, in my opinion, because it lacks level 3 cache. However, it depends on what games you want to play and what you will use the PC for. The FM series of processors don't offer any decent upgrade paths to explore further down the line.

Case in point, this PC has an Athlon II X4 620 @ 2.6ghz and a lot of games that came out in the last 5/6 years make this thing crawl on it's knees.

If you can get an AM3+ CPU similar to the FM 750K, like the Athlon II X4 640/645, you'll be able to keep your AM3+ motherboard if and when you choose to upgrade, instead of having to to change your CPU and motherboard wit the FM series.

I'd also consider getting a bigger power supply as it's always a good idea to have a bit of leeway, even if the CPU and GPU won't suffer.

You can save a little money, buy not buying an optical drive. Do you really need one. Just use a USB

I could feel the happiness pour from the pages I read. The joy that came with it to go on such a deep search for what one definitely must find a delight to do. And to think that people belief that gaming pc's are expensive.

Happy gaming all

There are a lot of people who game on APUs. They're called Console Peasants.

joking aside, The APU is a feasable gaming option that, as this article pointed out, is crossfire compatible. From what I've seen of reviews, the 7850k offers performance similar to XB1/PS4: 900p, 30fps, medium/low graphics settings so it is by no means unplayable.

Using an APU is a like getting a starter deck. It is good enough to get your feet wet, but you will find that there are things you can do to make it better.

piscian:
Worst article ever get ready for a beating! kidding..mostly. I'll not price hunt to be fair.

First off you openly admitted the first thing anyones gonna do is buy a videocard so why bother with this APU nonsense? Now if i were building a PC for a friend this is what I'd do. (intel is roughly the same price but amd was still more bang for the buck.)

CPU

fx 6300 $119

http://www.amazon.com/AMD-FD6300WMHKBOX-FX-6300-6-Core-Processor/dp/B009O7YORK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1406926639&sr=1-1&keywords=fx+6300

Motherboard

MSI A55M-E33 FM2+ / FM2 AMD A55 $45

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HGLX81O/?tag=extension-kb-20

I agree with going for the 6300, but in that case you're going to need an AM3+ Motherboard, not an FM2.

This build is fine for a general purpose PC, but for a gaming PC the APU will only let you play new games at 720p on medium settings. Save some money on the CPU by getting the Athlon X4 750k and get a discrete GPU like the GTX750ti or HD7870 at least if you want to game on high settings.

Crysis 3 @ 1080p High settings
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7764/the-nvidia-geforce-gtx-750-ti-and-gtx-750-review-maxwell/15

A gaming PC without a GPU. Riiiight, I'll take that with a couple of buckets of salt.

A gaming pc that slower than the current crop of consoles is not doing PC gaming any favours; you are basically recommending people to buy what is in essence unsuitable for it's intended purpose. Not cool.

If your buying low budget pc for gaming I wouldn't even bother. Just too many sacrifices to be made, now ifyour a "pc gamer" who just does some MMO's and some tf2 an APU build might be good enough.

ToastyMozart:

piscian:
Worst article ever get ready for a beating! kidding..mostly. I'll not price hunt to be fair.

First off you openly admitted the first thing anyones gonna do is buy a videocard so why bother with this APU nonsense? Now if i were building a PC for a friend this is what I'd do. (intel is roughly the same price but amd was still more bang for the buck.)

CPU

fx 6300 $119

http://www.amazon.com/AMD-FD6300WMHKBOX-FX-6300-6-Core-Processor/dp/B009O7YORK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1406926639&sr=1-1&keywords=fx+6300

Motherboard

MSI A55M-E33 FM2+ / FM2 AMD A55 $45

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HGLX81O/?tag=extension-kb-20

I agree with going for the 6300, but in that case you're going to need an AM3+ Motherboard, not an FM2.

Oh I didn't see that I was just judging from reviews of the proc itself in relative value based on Tom's article he linked. I didn't want to be a jerk and hardcore shop for a build to counter his points. Personally I would just stay with intel though I'm not a fanboy. I had a friend look at me like I was crazy for going crossfire *shrug*.

Idk I kinda feel like the article is a wasted exercise. The author seems inexperienced in system building and needs to understand his audience is going to be potential PC gamers. It's confusing to recommend an APU combo and then to immediately admit its going to be a purchase you'll regret but he chose it for the sake of winning a price argument.

If I were to give any advice to the author ask yourself - why are you writing this? Whos your target? The best practice I think is to pick a game you want to play om medium to high settings @ xresolution. Then do some research and put together a system to recommend. You said Bioshock Infinite. Thats a fine choice start there OP.

so you built an APU (why would you ever do that for a gaming PC? APUs only good as media centers, at least untill they actually make them powerful anyway) and still came out to such prices?
http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/wiki/builds
here is a list of builds that will perform better than a console, cheaper than a console and actually has a GPU.

Callate:
How long is it reasonable to expect a PC to last, these days?

depends on what you want it to do. i can still browse web perfectly fine on my 11 year old PC. i can still use my laptop from 2008 as a processing unit. and i can use my new PC for gaming.

If you want to always play on max settings, its going to last 3-5 years. if "console quality" is enough - buying one now will last you a console generation. Most PC gamers dont accept "console quality" though. for one almost everyone uses higher resolutions for a decade now.

Zacharious-khan:
Steam OS is a free operating system... that'll save ya some

now, if it only would actually work......

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