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$741.28 Black November Budget Gaming Tower (i5-4570, HD 7970 GE, 8GB DDR3, 840 EVO 250 GB)
by yutenglei
Permalink:   (44 comments)
Description

The main idea of this build is to have pretty high gaming performance while keeping the cost as low as possible.

CPU: I called Staples and got them to price match Microcenter's 159.99 + tax since a trip to Microcenter would have taken about 5 hours round trip for me.

Motherboard: Cheapest micro ATX motherboard I could find that has PCIe 3.0 and 4 DIMM slots in case I need to more than 8GB RAM in the future.

Memory: Cheapest DDR3-1600 during the time frame I was ordering the parts.

Video Card: I was one of the lucky ones to have grabbed this before it sold out. I was originally looking at a GTX 760 but I'm glad I picked this one up. It is a bit noisy and runs hotter than all of the other 7970 GE but I still love it!

Storage: Bought at Newegg for $189.99 with 10% mobile checkout discount. Reused my HDD from a six year old build.

Case: I really wanted a cheap and small case (that can house a large video card) to fit under my desk. The main problem with this case is the complete lack of cable management features.

Power Supply: Cheapest 80PLUS Bronze certified PSU I could find. It doesn't go well with this case because of all the extra cables.

Optical Drive: I needed one...

Postmortem Thoughts: I wasn't able to spot a deal on a modular PSU and I really wanted to complete the build before Thanksgiving Holiday (more free time to game!). But I really should have spent more and grabbed a modular PSU to go with this case. I know the cables are very messy but please be kind about it. The 4th picture a size comparison with the Centurion 5.

Final Cost: Total upfront cost came out to $806.28 with $40 MIR. I also bought everything with my Discover Card so I'm expecting another $39.60 Cash Back. I'm thinking about selling my Radeon Gold Reward for $20 which should drop the final cost down to $706.68.

Thanks for reading!

Part List
Details
Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.2GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle33.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load49.0° C
Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.05Ghz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate6.0GHz
GPU Temperature While Idle33.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load67.0° C
3DMark 11 Benchmark Results
Performance Preset ScoreP10125
Comments
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
 
 
Firecrackers [1 Build] 7 points 10 months ago

I think the i5 was a good choice if you won't be overclocking. I got an 8350 personally but both are good CPUs. Love the 250gb ssd in a budget build +1.

 
 
fnapoli [1 Build] 5 points 10 months ago

those are some seriously good deals.

 
 
l13199l [1 Build] 5 points 10 months ago

just wow. If only we could get deals like that in Canada, this thing is powerful

 
 
KevinP 4 points 10 months ago

I live in Canada, and when they say "Black Friday Canada Deals", that's code for $20 or so

 
 
ImElkay [1 Build] 5 points 10 months ago

This is probably one of the best budget build I have ever seen. Some people pay double for about the same performance. How is the Team Vulcan RAM? Are they a new company or something?

 
 
HerpaLerpaDerpo 3 points 10 months ago

It's just Team. Vulcan is just the name.

 
 
yutenglei [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 10 months ago

As some people in the newegg reviews stated, the memory defaulted to 1333. I changed it in the BIOS back to 1600 9-9-9-24 and no problems so far (knock on wood)

 
 
scalise [1 Build] 5 points 10 months ago

First off, screw you for being one of the few to pick up that 7970 for $220. :P

In all seriousness, I'd suggest picking up at least a TB HDD, you'll fill up that 250 in no time.

Aside from that, great little build you got there. What kind of monitor are you pairing this with?

 
 
yutenglei [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 10 months ago

Thanks! :P

I'll eventually get another HDD when I'm running low on space. I'm just using a 1080p TV right now. I was only expecting to get a GTX 760 but I just couldn't pass up on this 7970. If I could find a deal on some monitors I might go with dual monitors.

 
 
iiLeGiT101 [1 Build] 2 points 10 months ago

Dayummmmmmmmm these deals are insane! You got yourself quite a darn good build for the price! Enjoy gaming with it man!

 
 
BudLightHereWeGo [1 Build] 2 points 10 months ago

Are we competing for best deals here? I got my Asrock pro 3 w/ a thermaltake level 10 gts snow edition for only $90. Then got my gtx 670 at newegg for $200, which is still going on now for Black Friday

 
 
malcar11 [3 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Amazing and pretty! nice PC. Congrats!

Caroline.

 
 
Gooberdad [2 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Nice prices. I didn't realize staples would price match the Microcenter.

 
 
TheSLSAMG 2 points 8 months ago

Very nice. You should sell that 7970 now. I'd bet you could get around $350 for it, and spend this with some extra cash on a better card. cough GTX 780 cough ;)

 
 
ryman [3 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

If you were trying to keep the price as low as possible why would you get an i5? when you can get the same performance for 1/2 the price if you had gotten an AMD processor.

 
 
yutenglei [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

I was considering it, but I needed the extra single-threaded performance from the i5.

 
 
ThePCguy2013 1 point 10 months ago

Actually the amd cpus run hot, have higher tdp, and have an older 32nm architechture.

 
 
l13199l [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

also unless he was getting an 8320 or 8350 for $100 (dunno if that would happen) his choices would have been the athlon 760k and the fx-6300 for a little more which don't offer the same performance and are more comparable to i3 cpu's

EDIT: just looked, athlon 760k is $79 USD, but point remains the same

 
 
LeMonarque [3 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

The FX-6300 is usually around $110 and games much better than an i3. i5's are damn good for gaming (and don't make sense to go past for gaming) but the FX-6300 is the best bang for the buck without considering sales.

 
 
l13199l [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

best bank for the buck is correct. But that isn't the point here, the point was identical performance at half the price, the other who got his 8320 on a combo, ok he gets some more capabilities like better streaming and other stuff this guy isn't even doing.

 
 
Vainslay [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

Actually....Sorry to say this, but I got my AMD FX 8320 and 990FX Mobo as a combo at microcenter for $180. ;)

 
 
ThePCguy2013 1 point 10 months ago

true.

 
 
LeMonarque [3 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

They do have a higher TDP and they do have an older architecture, but they do not run hotter except for the FX-9000 series (which is stupid anyways). Ivy Bridge and Haswell are much hotter than Vishera. Partly due to crappy TIM and glue application on the IHS.

 
 
ThePCguy2013 1 point 10 months ago

I should have mentioned intel's ivb-e has great temps.

 
 
LeMonarque [3 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

True, though it's in a whole different league lol - and uses fluxless solder instead of TIM and glue.

 
 
ThePCguy2013 1 point 10 months ago

I'm currently using sb-e i7 3930k

 
 
LeMonarque [3 Builds] 0 points 10 months ago

Thanks for sharing? /shrugs

 
 
jchamb49 [1 Build] -3 points 10 months ago

how could you even say that?! AMD is dirt-cheap because it is dirt-quality. I know several regular experienced builders including my brother and dad, and they all say intel is tremendously better! amd isnt as powerful, it isnt as reliable, and runs into lots of compatibility issues.

always go with intel

 
 
Matryoshka [2 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

Speaking as a Spike owner, you really should have gone with a modular power supply. Then you could have tucked away some of the cables in the drive bay space. Also, what are you using as intake?

 
 
yutenglei [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

Yeah I quickly realized it when I took the PSU out of the box. I am currently not using any intake fans yet. I'm planning on getting three cheap ones in the near future with some fan filters.

 
 
Matryoshka [2 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

I see. Just a heads up, you wont be able to go aftermarket air cooling (unless it's low profile) if you put two fans on the side panel unless you plan on leaving it off. Didn't want you to waste a little money like I did.

 
 
yutenglei [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

Thanks for the information. I was planning to keep the stock CPU cooler since I'm not overclocking and it works well enough as it is.

 
 
zlogs [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

I love the cougar spike, it is a great case for the price (got it for 9.99). If only it had cable management and a place for a dual 120mm radiator besides the side panel. Great build!

 
 
JaggerPT 1 point 9 months ago

If it isn't too inconvinient to you, can you measure the distance between the side grills to the back of the case. I want to know because I want to know if I can install a h80i in a pysh-pull configuration as well as two fans on the side grills....

 
 
HyperBloxs 1 point 2 months ago

Pretty good :P , I have bout the case and it is a pretty solid case for 50$.