Description

For the past seven years I had told myself I'd build a computer one day. Last year I completed my first Frankenstein build with my brother. We used what was available, what was cheap, and threw it all together in a classic vintage Compaq tower from ~2006. That was going to be my plan here too.

The plan: $400 computer (parts only). [I did need a monitor but I knew that had to be priced separate]. Games I play include League of Legends, Rocket League, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. I know, I'm a huge spender. So at $400, I needed to play all of those games (Overwatch being the most intense I suppose.) at 1080p 60 FPS. That was the goal. All I needed, all I wanted. I had an old eMachines tower from ~2005 that these parts would fall into.

I can confidently say that I'm pretty sure I would have met my goal. My original build had a 1050 instead of a 1050 Ti (thanks to my friends for egging me on to upgrade!) and after enough... backlash about the eMachines case, I decided to splurge and get a case that I was actually interested in. Anyway, these parts can run Overwatch on Epic settings @1080p 144 FPS (no shadows, fog on low). I've been playing them like that for a couple of weeks and zero hiccups. My monitor is actually 60hz so I know it's not a true 144 FPS, but the in-game stats tell me it doesn't waver. If something is intense, it might go down to 120-130 FPS briefly, but it's always over 100.

Having said that, let's dive in, shall we?

Processor: Intel - Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual-Core

This thing is amazing. I actually originally had the G4600 on my to-buy list, however a buddy of mine pointed out that the G4560 is basically the same thing minus 0.1GHz, but it saved me ~$10. Absolutely worth it, would definitely buy this Kaby Lake over and over again for budget builds.

Motherboard: MSI - B250M PRO-VD Micro ATX LGA1151

Great MOBO I feel - it has some LEDs that light up. Very classy. I have no issues with the RAM slots and there's plenty of room for my big ol' hands. There's only two fan headers though (CPU and SYS). If you want more fans, you'll need to get a splitter like I did or some other alternative. $15 MIR.

RAM: Crucial - Ballistix Sport LT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400

RAM got expensive this year, didn't it? Either way, it looks great, it was the cheapest at the time, matches my silvery-black color scheme, and has heat spreader.

HDD: Western Digital - Caviar Blue 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM

Here's where I cut back and saved some cash. I originally wanted an SSD for speeds, but as pointed out to me, at this budget you simply don't get an SSD. Having said that, this thing loads does load fast. I've used an SSD before and had no one told me, I would have been fooled. A lot of people need 1TB or something larger. I've been living on a 100GB SSD (Surface Pro 1) for the past 3-4 years, so 320GB is more than I need.

GPU: Asus - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Phoenix

This thing dominates. I was expecting 60 FPS across all my games. This delivers 144 FPS at least and max settings for everything at 1080p. Huge props to my friends for having me bust the budget by about $20 to go from a 1050 to a 1050 ti, because I'm not sure I could live with anything less. Snagged it with a $10 MIR.

Case: Thermaltake - Core V21 MicroATX Mini Tower

This case. This. Case. I love this thing! Like I mentioned, I was going to save the $30 and use an old eMachines case. Thank goodness I have friends to show me the way. This case is fully modular and as you can tell from the pictures, I could flip, spin, and move this case any way I needed to for cable management, building, upgrading, etc. 200mm fan in the front that comes with it, room in the back for a 140mm fan, as well as like six more should you choose. Look it up on their website, I have maximum praise for this. $20 MIR put this in a great price range for what I was getting out of it.

PSU: Corsair - CX (2017) 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX

Works great! I got it with a $20 MIR, so super cheap for what it's worth.

Wi-Fi: TP-Link - TL-WN725N USB 2.0 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi Adapter

I actually bought this last year for my brother's computer but he didn't use it in favor of a different set up. I never drop internet, only compromise about 5 MB/s, so all-in-all, a great solution for non-Ethernet users.

Fan: BitFenix - Spectre LED 47.7 CFM 140mm

In addition to the 200mm case fan, this thing is great as an exhaust fan. The LEDs aren't super bright, which is perfect for me, but if you want a star in your case, this might not be the fan for you.

Monitor: AOC - I2379VHE 23.0" 1920x1080 60Hz

This monitor is beautiful. Great colors, huge (I'm used to an 11" screen), no light bleed, and is wonderful in every way of the word. For $100, I got everything I needed in this thing.

I hope this guide helps you with you budget building, as I'm a huge fan. Yet another shoutout to my friends who helped me pick along the way.

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Comments

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

"Staying in budget is one of those goals unattainable, forever unreachable behind abarrier of FPS. The frames are your enemy and you must conquer them." - Sun Tzu, The Art of Gaming

Okay but in all seriousness, you managed to conjure up a good value rig that'll serve you well. I think you made a great choice in picking the Ti version as well as a case that you actually like. After all you'll be living with it!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

I did a 526$ gets 1060 6gb and Pentium4600 with monitor too, whole entire pc. food job mate

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh nice, the 6GB is a great card. That video memory gets you far!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

I was really impressed by the G4560 too, got it for a friends budget pc to play PUBG, hit a consistent 60+ fps at medium and low with a GTX 1050 even in the game's unoptimised state.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

I like how you used the Pentium and i love the 200mm intake on the case +1

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

In my HTPC I spent that extra amount for the G4600 over the G4560 because the integrated GPU is stronger too. Has the 630 instead of 610 graphics. Cant wait till March when yearly work bonuses go out so I can look into a GPU upgrade on my main PC to drop my current rx 470 in my HTPC. If you want to use OBS and use the Intel Quick Sync option for streaming you can use the igpu to livestream your game even though you have a dedicated GPU. Outside of that the igpu has no value when you install a GPU.

For future upgrades you might want to look into a SSD. It will make a huge difference in quality of life using the PC. I know it won't help FPS at all but much faster boot/loading times and a much more responsive system feels good.

Cable management looks fine and you have more than ample cooling for the hardware you have so I would have zero worries about your PC overheating even on a hot day after the AC breaks down. Those pentiums hardly generate any heat at all.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

New to building a PC. Every time I make a build I get to pricey. I think I am going to copy your budget build here. I like playing a little more demanding games sometimes like the Total War Series but I don't need ultra graphics for those. How up-gradable is this build?

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

New York Excelsior > London Spitfire KappaRoss But seriously, good build! The G4560 does too well for the price!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

I love these budget builds, it takes a lot more creativity and careful planning than the blown out ones.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Great budget PC! +1

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Great job! My nephew has the same case. It was great to build in. We went with the G4620 in his build because it was cheaper than the G4560.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome Budget Build!

  • 27 months ago
  • 0 points

I would make your first upgrade of making the processor an i3 and up. It only has 2 cores correct?

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

I'm not sure an i3 would add that much performance. The first thing to upgrade would probably be an SSD, should I decide I need that performance boost.

The G4560 is, indeed, dual core. However, it does have 4 logical cores thanks to hyper threading. That might seem like a consolation prize, but that's plenty for me.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

I actually love the way this is used. I am trying to build a pc under the 500 budget and I found the perfect source. I have always had trouble trying to do this without cutting too many corners. This build is great.

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