Forum Thread

Budget build, just getting into PC gaming. Advice?

Chance_P 276 78 February 1, 2016 at 07:33 PM
Hey guys hows it going? I have been a console gamer for about 14 years, but just recently picked up a few titles on PC. While I enjoy hopping on my XB1 and linking up with friends to play Battlefront, I have figured out that it is much more relaxing to sit down at my PC and play through the campaign of a game like Half-Life.

The problem is, my PC isn't a "gaming rig", and I know I am going to be picking up some newer titles for PC eventually. (X4 750k, 4gb ddr3, $50 graphics card I bought 2 years ago.. you get the idea.) Which means its time to build a new PC.

The only parts I plan to reuse on this build are my 840 evo ssd and my 4tb hdd. I am (hopefully) picking up a used EVGA GTX960 2gb locally as well. I only plan on gaming at 1080, so that should be enough to run some newer games (right?).

I want to go mini-ITX form factor, preferably a board with wifi built in (not interested in a USB wifi adapter and hard wiring isnt an option for me) This has lead me to look at a few z170 boards, as they seem to be feature rich and still affordable. The idea of being able to OC is also enticing.

So here are a few questions I have..
-Will a GTX 960 be enough for 1080p gaming?
-I3 6100 or I5 6400?
-Can I get by with 8gb of ram gaming?
-How big of a PSU do I need?

15 Comments

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#2
Why look at only onboard wifi? This limits your options. Lots more options to go USB or stand alone card if you want. PRobably a better card in the long run too.

8gb of ram should be fine. Just don't expect to have 40 tabs open and play your most taxing game. 8 should be fine.
I am a little out of the GPU race but I would think a GTX 960 would be enough for 1080p. Planning on playing on a TV?
As far as PSU decide that after you nail down your processor and GPU. Buy quality over numbers.
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#3
I agree with LiquidRetro. Welcome to a whole different world of gaming. They say that the difference between a kid and an adult is the cost of the toys. Its true.

I would recommend that you get at least an i5 CPU and if you choose the GTX 960 video card you now have enough info to look at power supplies. A 450 watt supply should work fine but my philosophy is to shoot for overkill, so in this case I would get a 550 watt supply. The price difference is minimal.

8Gigs of RAM should do you well.

Does your router at home support G, N, & AC protocols? If you have a router that supports AC make sure the wireless you get for the PC also supports it.

Does your monitor support the GTX 960 resolutions? Will you need to get a different monitor?
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#4
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Why look at only onboard wifi? This limits your options. Lots more options to go USB or stand alone card if you want. PRobably a better card in the long run too.

8gb of ram should be fine. Just don't expect to have 40 tabs open and play your most taxing game. 8 should be fine.
I am a little out of the GPU race but I would think a GTX 960 would be enough for 1080p. Planning on playing on a TV?
As far as PSU decide that after you nail down your processor and GPU. Buy quality over numbers.
The reason for wanting onboard wifi is silly, I just simply don't want to run a USB wifi adapter. Can't go with a card if I do mini ITX. I'll have to do some more looking and see whats out there if I can get over my senseless hatred of USB adapters.

Quote from dale_101798 View Post :
I agree with LiquidRetro. Welcome to a whole different world of gaming. They say that the difference between a kid and an adult is the cost of the toys. Its true.

I would recommend that you get at least an i5 CPU and if you choose the GTX 960 video card you now have enough info to look at power supplies. A 450 watt supply should work fine but my philosophy is to shoot for overkill, so in this case I would get a 550 watt supply. The price difference is minimal.

8Gigs of RAM should do you well.

Does your router at home support G, N, & AC protocols? If you have a router that supports AC make sure the wireless you get for the PC also supports it.

Does your monitor support the GTX 960 resolutions? Will you need to get a different monitor?
Right now I can pick up an i3 6100 for $110, i5 6400 for $167. Do you think the i3 limit my gaming? If the i3 will do fine for 99% of games then I will save the $ there so I can splurge on a nice monitor.

550 watt PSU it is. Hoping to get a deal on something seasonic as I have read good things. Using a corsair cx450 currently but I would like something of better quality.

8 gb it is

My "router" is actually my Nexus 6p on Verizon LTE. Speeds average 70D 20U 50ms

My current monitor is a Dell S2340M, but like I said I'd really like to upgrade. Probably end up with a 29" ultrawide 2560x1080. Do you think I would need to step up to a 970 to run that resolution?
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Last edited by Chance_P February 1, 2016 at 10:40 PM
#5
Quote from Chance_P View Post :
So here are a few questions I have..
-Will a GTX 960 be enough for 1080p gaming?
-I3 6100 or I5 6400?
-Can I get by with 8gb of ram gaming?
-How big of a PSU do I need?
GTX960 is enough for 1080p gaming. You get a plethora of advanced graphics options/settings to choose from in PC games. With a GTX960 you may not be able to run ULTRA settings on ALL games but there will be a few that you could. IMO get a GTX970. Youtube has plenty of reviews and comparisons. Check those out.

A future question you will have is: Does my video card have enough ram? The answer is 2GB-4GB will provide you with enough performance for everything 1080p. When you go 4K gaming, get a card with more RAM.

Go i5 or i7 for gaming. Might be able to save money if you go back to 2nd generation i5 or i7. I've been using the i7-2600k for 5 years now and it won't ever be the bottleneck of my rig. The later gens don't make that much difference for video games. Just makes sure your MOBO (motherboard) supports your choice of processor.

8GB is probably the sweet spot for gaming; that is enough to run win7/win10 OS and a load of other software in the background. Be wary of future upgrades; you might want 1x 8GB stick to save those precious slots for more RAM later.

For PSUs, make sure to cover the wattage of your video card. The GTX960 only uses like 120W. Then your processor and other hardware uses additional wattage. For your rig I would say 500W is enough but MAKE SURE YOU BUY FROM A QUALITY PSU MANUFACTURER. A shitty PSU will destroy your rig. Make sure to get a surge protector also, not just a powerstrip (its like $10-15)!!!
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Last edited by HookerPuncher February 1, 2016 at 11:00 PM
#6
There a lot of good info in this article series from a Slickdealer, but he's not really building a "budget" PC per say. Might still have some good pointers for you, though.
http://slickdeals.net/article/buying-guide/build-a-gaming-pc-with-slickdeals-part-1/
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#7
Go i5. As a budget pc i would go LGA 1150 instead, 1151 will be kinda pricey and you want the beefiest graphics card you can afford.. i5 4690k which is unlocked. 960 4gb - 970 if u have the $.

Get 16gb ram, its $70 for 2x 8gb sticks... thats pretty cheap, and you wont have to worry about it. Get one stick per channel.

If you are looking to overclock, you want an intel processor with a 'K'
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#8
Quote from bcotran View Post :
Go i5. As a budget pc i would go LGA 1150 instead, 1151 will be kinda pricey and you want the beefiest graphics card you can afford.. i5 4690k which is unlocked. 960 4gb - 970 if u have the $.

Get 16gb ram, its $70 for 2x 8gb sticks... thats pretty cheap, and you wont have to worry about it. Get one stick per channel.

If you are looking to overclock, you want an intel processor with a 'K'
While I agree $70 for 16gb is a pretty good price thats just overkill for just about any gamer. Once your over probably 6gb for gaming you really don't see any speed benefits out of it during game play. You see it if you have 100 tabs open while gaming but not 10 more fps. OP gets more bang for the buck out of a GPU and SSD.
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#9
don't know what your range is for "budget" but there's lots of deals on SD for prebuilt, you can choose to upgrade ram/video card
I now feel that it's simpler to buy these than to build your own. OS, hardware, wait time, shipping, warranty, etc

SSD's are also getting really cheap. Lots of FP deals on these + RAM lately

http://slickdeals.net/f/8478085-asus-desktop-m32cd-us014t-core-i7-6700-16gb-ddr3-2tb-hdd-r9-370-500w-usb-3-1-win-10-750-in-newegg?src=SiteSearch

http://slickdeals.net/f/8452625-hp-envy-750se-desktop-i7-6700-2tb-hdd-16gb-ddr4-6gb-gtx-980-ti-win-7-pro-1135-39-taxes?src=SiteSearch

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Edit: This is live
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Availability and pricing vary while a promotion like this is running.

As an example, with 35% off you could get this for $610:
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8 GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz (2x 4GB) Non-ECC
Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)
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Last edited by aznboicn February 5, 2016 at 04:15 AM
#10
Bought a I5-Ivy bridge quad core workstation on ebay for $200, gtx960 $155 jet, 8gb ram $45 and 850evo SSD for $67 all 2 weeks ago for budget game rig around $470. Problem with the the prebuilt pcs (HP/DELL) on ebay are the power supplys are generally weak. Its hard to find one with 400+ watt and 6pin connector for gtx 960 slim. Then again, my friend put together i3-6100 with z170 mobo(for overclocking) gtx960, 8gb ram and slickdeals $15 case for around same price. I gave him a HD until he finds a good deal on a samsung ssd.

Id go with the i3 if i could do it again, didnt realize they could be overclocked plus you future proof with ddr4, overclocking, and much better motherboard in z170
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#11
Quote from HussamB View Post :
Bought a I5-Ivy bridge quad core workstation on ebay for $200, gtx960 $155 jet, 8gb ram $45 and 850evo SSD for $67 all 2 weeks ago for budget game rig around $470. Problem with the the prebuilt pcs (HP/DELL) on ebay are the power supplys are generally weak. Its hard to find one with 400+ watt and 6pin connector for gtx 960 slim. Then again, my friend put together i3-6100 with z170 mobo(for overclocking) gtx960, 8gb ram and slickdeals $15 case for around same price. I gave him a HD until he finds a good deal on a samsung ssd.

Id go with the i3 if i could do it again, didnt realize they could be overclocked plus you future proof with ddr4, overclocking, and much better motherboard in z170
The i3 is a perfectly good gaming chip, but I think you probably future proofed yourself better going quad core over dual core. There are already games that run a lot better on a quad core than a dual core, and with the multi core chips in the ps4/xb1 that's only going to become more common. DDR 4 really isn't a huge upgrade over DDR 3 in terms of real world performance. The motherboard is an issue, but mostly for better ssd connectivity, which doesn't matter much for games.
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Last edited by quotidian February 10, 2016 at 04:30 PM
#12
i7 and 16 gb ram
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#13
Quote from jakask77 View Post :
i7 and 16 gb ram
Sounds like overkill for a budget build. There's no game out today that doesn't play well on an i5 (and most games play great on even an i3). On a budget, you're better reinvesting the extra $100 you'd spend on an i7 on a better graphics card.
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#14
People here have given some decent advice, one thing I want to point out is how terribly hard it is to work with the Mini ITX form factor. Make sure of what you are dealing with first since there are some cpu coolers that simply don't fit in them with the power supply eating most of the space.

I have a build with one and you are hard pressed to fit multiple drives in there as well. I am running a water loop as well which is just nightmarish for cable management.

If you can deal with a larger case, do so.
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#15
Quote from Chance_P View Post :
Hey guys hows it going? I have been a console gamer for about 14 years, but just recently picked up a few titles on PC. While I enjoy hopping on my XB1 and linking up with friends to play Battlefront, I have figured out that it is much more relaxing to sit down at my PC and play through the campaign of a game like Half-Life.
Best advice - go to pcpartpickers.com. Look at the variety of completed builds and build guides.

You can use their parts list function to build a parts list and it will tell you if there are compatibility issues, e.g., tell you that you cant mix an intel cpu with an amd motherboard or that a cpu cooler won't fit in the case you've selected.
That site also provide up-to-date prices from a variety of retailers like amazon, newegg, and other less-known places like ncix. I just used that site to build out my first pc. While it started out as a budget build ($500), I ended up at about $800.

Once you have a parts list together, you can post it in a specific forum to get reviews or suggestions.

Two other tips - when you're ready to start buying:

Use newegg mobile to get their premier membership for 90 days for free shipping and, more importantly, free returns.

Also, if you have an amex card, go to shoprunner and sign up for a year of their service for free and you also free shipping and free returns from a lot of retailers.

Lastly, if you're at all interested in saving money on a gpu, try gpushack - you get refurbished units with warranty for quite a savings.

Good luck!
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