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$450 Beginner Gaming Build

by rmaddox55


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

April 13, 2014

Date Built

April 4, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.8 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

42.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.05 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6 GHz


Alas, I have been looking at parts for a couple of weeks, and was having a hard time staying within my budget. I had a $450 budget, and I had to pay for everything myself. I finally found a list of parts I was happy with, and my first gaming PC was born. This is my first build, well, PC. Before, I always have had laptops, but I needed more performance for gaming. Coming from a 13 year-old who didn't know ANYTHING about computer not even 3 months before this build, I have to say it was really simple. Hopefully this will become a future career. My reasons for the parts I chose are below.

CPU: I'm on a budget, so AMD is obviously my choice. Runs really fast for not that much, and has 4 cores. It also can overclock which I will probably do in the future when I get better cooling.

Motherboard: I needed a MOBO with USB 3.0 support. I went with MSI because of the good things I heard about them. It also supports overclocking which I expect to do later on.

RAM: Went with this because it matches my case, 8 GB is plenty and its not at a bad speed. 8 GB for 50 bucks seemed excellent to me.

Hard Drive: I've heard good things about the Caviar Blue series, and it runs at 7200 rpm.

Graphics Card: I simply do not know why I chose the R7 260. I should have gone with a GTX 650, as it is the same price with better performance. The R7 260 still runs nice though, as I'm getting about 50-65 fps on most games.

Case: I wanted a case to match my keyboard that I bought a couple weeks before. Also had a USB 3.0 front panel port.

Power Supply: I've heard alot of good reviews of Corsair's PSUs, and it was also 80+ Bronze Certified.

Optical Drive: Just needed something to install Windows on, worked well.

Operating System: Decided to go with Windows 8.1 because it would be more future-proof than Windows 7, because I am probably going to keep upgrading this PC for a long time. Also got it at WalMart because I had $75 in gift cards, which helped alot with the budget. I know I could have pirated it online for free, but I decided not to.

Headset: I needed one to use Skype with. Good quality and very comfortable. Got these at Best Buy because I had a $35 gift card, which covered them.

Keyboard: I wanted a keyboard with red WASD keys. I didn't care if it was backlight or mechanical, and got it for cheap off Ebay.

Mouse: An old mouse laying around from one of my parents PCs forever ago. Didn't feel like buying one, and it works perfectly fine.

Monitor: An old T.V. from my parents room. It was laying around because they got a new one. Works good for the most part, but shuts off unexpectedly about once a month.

NOTE: Sorry for the crappy/sideways pictures. I took them with my phone and didnt know they would be sideways. And anyways, my PC isn't much to look at. Thanks for viewing.

Update: Now that I have used this for a couple of months and gotten some games, I thought I would share some results.

Battlefield 3: Ultra 60fps

Battlefield 4: High 50fps

Call of Duty Ghosts: High 30 fps

GTA IV: High 30 fps

Comments Sorted by:

gammin1234 1 Build 9 points 61 months ago

+1 for not pirating windows

katjust 3 Builds 2 points 61 months ago

Looks like a good job for the price, but how did you get 8.1 for $25? Also, get rid of that photo showing your Windows Product Key. In the future you can upgrade the GPU if you want, and the CPU will probably still be okay for awhile. Perhaps the new Maxwell architecture will allow you to keep the PSU for awhile if Nvidia comes out with low power high performance cards beyond the 750ti (which they obviously will), otherwise you will probably have to upgrade that if you do ever get a new GPU.

Were there no ATX mobos in your budget that would do what you wanted?

187flatliner 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

Theres people in my area that sell their extra keys for about that much.

rmaddox55 submitter 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

I got windows for $25 because of gift cards, and I do plan on upgrading. I didn't get an ATX motherboard though because I don't need many features.

katjust 3 Builds 1 point 61 months ago

Once again I like your build for the price, so don't take this as extreme criticism.

Your response is fair enough on the extra features, but my philosophy would be to get all the features you can if there is no significant difference in price.

If it costs more, that is one thing. For example, I don't really care about an in-car DVD player, but if you offer me the same model car, one with it and one without, for the same price, I'll take the one with it. Unless for some reason the feature would be a detriment.

Also, cool that you had the gift cards, but that didn't actually reduce the cost of your build. When you use the gift cards for Windows, you can't then use them for something else. So, if I wanted replicate your build I couldn't do it for $458. I'd have to spend about $525 (unless I found a good deal). You didn't actually save money by using gift cards (coupons on the other hand are a different story). The point is, the price of the Windows was not $25, that is just how much you paid using one form of trade (cash).

U78Khoso 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

You could have gotten 2×4gb ram for more cheaper price and you could also have used 750 for this build as it crushes the 260

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philip staff 10 Builds 1 point 61 months ago

Please do not advocate that subreddit or the use of license keys that violate their terms of use.

Vainslay 1 Build 2 points 61 months ago

Don't pirate windows. pfft viruses? most have crazier things then that.

anyway this build seems nice for the price paid.

Jwood013 1 Build 2 points 61 months ago

Really digging this build. You did really well with the price on the memory. Normally 8gb of 1600mhz is around the $80 mark. I wanna see some benchamrks with that Athlon, to see how it holds up with modern games.

Unlike these guys, I don't care about how people obtain their copy of Windows. As long as you don't pay an absurd amount for it that is.

Knight_07 2 Builds 2 points 58 months ago

Nice rig you could have gone for more, sorry you should have and also you don't get a windows for $25 maybe you got the gift cards but you should post the market prices

JJnotstrike 3 Builds 1 point 61 months ago

Very good build on a budget! I'm still not sold on the R7 260, I would've invested slightly more and picked up at least a 750 TI or something in that range. Overall, great job!

ThatsPoorlyDrawn 3 Builds 1 point 61 months ago

Nice, your story seems to match me a bit, except a lot of my parts were gifts, and to be honest, you'll realize you will need a mouse with more controls, like DPI control and extra buttons, I wouldn't ever go back to a basic mouse. +1

username22 1 point 61 months ago

really solid, inexpensive build. +1

8BitPhoenix 4 Builds 1 point 61 months ago

You said in your write-up that you got an R7 260X and you should have gone with a GTX 650. The R7 260X I was sent performed about as well as a 650Ti Boost. Unfortunately, you got a 1GB, R6 260, non X model. So this might be why you are disappointed, as there is quite a big difference between them.

JayHuff4346 1 point 57 months ago

Should've just dished out 40-60 extra bucks to get a r7 265, better then a r7 260, and a r7 260x, and a GTX 650, while still maintaining a nice price point.

piratepete5 1 point 39 months ago

Good idea for using an APU plus AMD GPU so you can use them both for epic fps.

Bigmerrix16 1 point 36 months ago

Does the case come with fans?

rmaddox55 submitter 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

It came with one rear mounted 120 mm fan that is black.

catarino_ 1 point 35 months ago

Did the case come with built in standoffs?

rmaddox55 submitter 1 Build 1 point 34 months ago

Yes, but it didn't have enough for me.

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manirelli staff 8 Builds 1 point 61 months ago

That sub is not allowed on our site. They are illegally selling copies of Windows and break Microsoft ToS. Do not link it again.

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