Description

2018 Edit: Due to still getting comments on this build by people asking why or saying this is a terrible waste of money, etc, I am adding this at the top. These were built in February 2014 and I posted the build in March 2014. Of course in 2018 you can build a much better PC and by no stretch of the imagination would I recommend any of the parts today. The prices listed were the cheapest at the time! Now, on to the archaeological post below!

After trying to play multiplayer Minecraft, Terraria, and Starbound with my sons on their aging computers, I decided new machines were in order. I had a very strict budget, so I set out to get the most performance I could get for around $500 including the OS. The boys are 7 and 8, so the games they play would run perfect on 720p resolutions. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance I was able to get with this build. Of course they wanted machines like mine which runs at 5760x1080 on three 23" IPS LED panels, but that wasn't in the cards for my dudes. Let's break this build down!

Processor: For a $59.99 quad-core, I can't complain much. I know people will say it isn't the best processor for gaming, but for what they play, it's plenty fast!

CPU Cooler: This tiny beast is the lil' bro to my EVO 212. It keeps this hot headed CPU at about 28-30°C on idle. I haven't really pushed it with very demanding games to see how hot it gets yet. Club Penguin just isn't that demanding folks! The hottest I have seen so far is 37°C while playing the games listed at the top.

Motherboard: This is where I slipped up! When I was checking out boards, I forgot to click the option for onboard USB 3 header! SO, I ended up with this board. The layout on it is nice, high speed RAM and SATA 3Gbps & 6Gbps. I should have went with the MSI 760GMA-P34(FX)!

Memory: For budget purposes, I split the RAM between the two machines. I will add another kit later. I liked the low clearance of this RAM, as that allowed it to fit perfectly below the CPU cooler.

Storage: I wanted the machines to have dual drives for quick boot time with the SSD and a quality HDD for their Steam catalogs.

Video Card: I wanted something that didn't require much power and could push the games they play very, very well. This little baby does the trick! I believe there are two different models of this card though. The one I have selected through this site, is not the one I purchased. The one I purchased has the model#11216-00-20G. The card listed on this site has model#100369-2GL. I searched on the web and the difference seems to be in the PCIe. The 2GL says PCIe Gen 3, while the 20G says PCIex16 Gen 3. These cards also have a price difference of about $30.

Case: I love this case! It has a ton of room inside to make a really powerful single card rig. Of course for my purpose it was more than adequate. But if you want a micro ATX case you can go wild with, this is your beast. It can handle a ton of fans, large CPU Coolers, water cooling, long graphics cards, and a lot of drives! I also liked the look of the case and how sturdy it feels.

Case fans: The case came with two preinstalled 120mm fans to which I added a blue fan to one and a green fan to the other. The boys loved that I made their machines their favorite colors.

Power supply: Nothing too exciting about the power supply. I wanted a modular one since I wasn't installing to many things in the case and didn't want a nest of unused wires laying around! I like the reputation of Corsair, so I got this one. It will also have plenty of headroom for a graphics card upgrade in the future if that is needed.

Well, that's the build! Nothing too fancy, just some nice, clean little machines for my boys. I already had a few LCD monitors, keyboards and mice, so that saved me quite a bit on the builds. I don't own any benchmarking software, so I can't tell you what it scores. Minecraft at the settings pictured above ran at 174-180FPS. If I max out all of the sliders, it runs at 65FPS. Path of Exile runs at 180FPS. I don't know what Terraria and Starbound run at, but they don't lag at all! These numbers are running on a 19" Samsung SyncMaster at 1280x1024. At 1080P these numbers would decrease I am sure.

Let me know what you guys think!

5-20-14: Added Steelseries Diablo 3 mouse to help kids play D3, POE and Marvel Heroes much easier! This is a great mouse and the price was too good to pass on. I got one for $25. 99 and the other for $5.99 after using rebates from PSU and case.

Comments

  • 70 months ago
  • 86 points

Adopt me pls.

  • 70 months ago
  • 23 points

LOL

  • 59 months ago
  • 6 points

Me too, pl0x.

  • 70 months ago
  • 12 points

Great builds. I like those cases a lot . People who play minecraft need to realize they don't need 780s to play they just need a simple cheap card like what you have. Love the extra touch of an ssd, made the build for me. +1

  • 70 months ago
  • 9 points

Pssh, you obviously need quad titans in order to play minecraft these days! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uguebq5EEQ). :p

  • 61 months ago
  • 5 points

dude my 200 way SLI 980s can only run Minecraft at .0001FPS with a render distance of 1 block and vsync off

  • 70 months ago
  • 4 points

Definitely dont wanna run shaders on minecraft with a GT

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  • 65 months ago
  • 3 points

The reason being is that shaders for minecraft are made by the community and almost always not optimized very well.

  • 70 months ago
  • 0 points

Thanks!

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  • 70 months ago
  • 10 points

Father of the year award goes to!

  • 70 months ago
  • 5 points

Oww, you got some pretty good deals there. :D

Really like that you got an SSD even on a tight budget. The cable management is also really good. Everything looks super clean.

As you mentioned, you should have went with the MSI 760GMA P34 but that's not a big deal. You also have 2 USB 3.0 on your motherboard and you have plenty of space to access the back of the PC

Those names are great and I really like the two different LED fans. I'm sure it made a huge difference and now your kids know which computer's which. :D

Damn.. I wish I had a dad like you. =/

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Glad you liked the builds.

  • 70 months ago
  • 4 points

My buddy in the office is the same way, keeping his son involved in his hobby and making sure the little guy actually enjoys his own pc and understands some of the tech as well. May not seem like much to some, but my father couldn't have cared less and certainly wouldn't have put this much effort and consideration in something like this.

They are great purpose built systems, especially for the money spent and especially considering they can grow with your boys.

You're a good dad.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the kind words! I wanted to build something for them that removed the frustration factor and could take a few upgrades down the road.

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  • 70 months ago
  • 4 points

THIS...IS...AWESOME!!! What a great dad, I wish my dad is a computer type of person (I'm 14). I just ordered my parts. When you were thinking about the parts, did you think about a hybrid drive?

  • 70 months ago
  • 3 points

No, I like the idea of separate drives. If one fails the entire system isn't sunk this way.

  • 70 months ago
  • 3 points

Have you considered dual-booting Windows with Ubuntu (Linux)? Minecraft runs on Java, so it's compatible with Linux, Windows and OSX. Ubuntu gets considerably higher frame rates than Windows can ever dream of.

  • 70 months ago
  • 5 points

No, since the machines are for 7 & 8 year old boys. I don't need any thing complicated for them and have personally never been a fan of Linux.

  • 68 months ago
  • 3 points

Gorespiller do never put computers on carpet. The power supply will struggle for air.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

They were only on carpet for pictures. They are raised off the carpet, lol.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

I see 174 fps, you might as well be running MC at 1080p with 2gb of vram and considering my friend ran MC perfectly fine at 1080p on a GT620, yeah you prbably can too.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

Wish i had a father like you are.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Where'd you get the CPUs? You got a great deal when compared with current prices.

  • 70 months ago
  • 3 points

I bought them at Microcenter. I dont know how they sell them so cheap, but it was worth the 30min drive to grab them!

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet builds, hope you guys enjoy them.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you ever consider going the route of the APU?

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

I did toy around with an APU build originally, but the cost of the A10-7850k just wasn't an option. I wanted max performance on a budget, and at $180 for it, I was basically able to buy more performance with a CPU/GPU combo. I like what AMD is doing with the new chips, but for scalability, your best bet is CPU+GPU seperately. I didn't want the headache of trying to do dual graphics down the road either.

  • 70 months ago
  • 0 points

What about the A10-5800K at $110? Also, you don't have to do dual-graphics later on. You can just disable the on-board graphics and pop in any video card of your choosing.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Going for any APU build in my opinion is a waste of money. Why spend the extra money for the integrated graphics when a seperate card will always perform better? That APU is more than what I paid for CPU and GPU, and I'm hitting 170+FPS. Even if you disable the onboard, you essentially wasted money on a feature you don't need. I would rather save a little more money and look at better parts than settle for an APU. Another con on that route is the need for faster RAM as well to make good use of the onboard graphics. Do a search on RAM speeds needed for APU's and you will soon see how this isn't a very cost effective build.

  • 70 months ago
  • 0 points

A dedicated card won't always perform better. Also, yup, definitely more expensive.

Have you thought about what you're going to do with the R7 240's when your kids need more horsepower? Sure you can throw in (almost) any new video card, but then you'll have those two cards just laying around. Now that sounds like a waste of money.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Well bud, on your list you left out a CPU cooler and a graphics card to get you to the 170+ FPS I am able to achieve with my build. I will give you kudos for trying though! But hey man, if that's the build for you, go for it! Everyone has different needs when it comes time to build their systems. Oh and I can always sell the cards, and considering how much less I paid than what most sites are asking, even $20-30 bucks each wouldn't be bad! I'd like to see you uncouple your GPU and sell it. Have a good day.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

GPU is on the low end spectrum, but Minecraft works well with almost anything, even intergrated graphics. This is a decent PC at the price point.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Amazing build for the budget, it leaves room to upgrade to a FX6300+ and change out the gpu later on down the line! I will state this though, if you went for the SSD to be a BOOT drive, you could have saved money by going for a 30/32gb SSD as the OS only takes 20gb (partition)

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't really see how a 30-32gb SSD is of any real value. They are $39+, and I was able to buy a 60gb for $49. Double the space for an additional $10 seemed like a no brainer for me! Saving $10 dollars just isn't worth it.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, besides it being a time saver when booting the OS there isnt much use for it.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

Except for the additional space maybe? I guess I am missing the point of saving $10 and getting half the gigs. Plus the few games they play regularly are installed on the SSD. But if saving money is more important, go for it! I personally would and did spend the extra few bucks.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Good two smaller build and the blue seems to be more visible then the green, anyway enjoy your builds :) +1

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

why get a r7 240, you can hardly play any high end games later on, i have seen people getting 9 fps on farcry, that isnt all too good, you should've gotten a 7770 or something else, which gets 15-20 fps on farcry on high, and i use farcry as an example here because it is pretty intensive

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

also pci-e and pci-e x16 are exactly the same, pci-e x16 is referring to the exact slot it uses, the x16 slot, awhile pci-e doesnt do that, it is a gpu, and it requires the x16 slot anyway, pci-e without x16 usually means a x1 slot

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I just want to say that this was really cute :)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the build! I've been thinking I need something similar for my kiddos.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Good budget builds, good games, good result. The fact these are "twin" builds help eliminate any disparity between the two children which is good parenting. Good Job!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

How quiet are the case fans (the CoolerMaster one)? Nice budget build!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The case fans are extremely quiet. The only fan that is noticeable is the CPU cooler fan for the most part.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Alright. I may go with these fans then. Is there any way to control the speed? (3PIN or 4PIN?)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I believe they are 3 pin, mother board controls speed. They will be noticeable at full speed for sure.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you control the speed through the BIOS? What do you mean by "noticeable?"

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I personally wouldve gone with a APU and crossfired it with the 240. But anyways we all have a opinion and yours turned out to be a good one

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

$600 build with and ssd in it? +1

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Would you recommend this case to a beginner?

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

Yes, very nice case!

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Club penguin XD

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I think I'm the only person in the world that prefers non-1440p monitors I like anything below :\

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Wouldn't have at all fit in your budget, but Intel's Iris interigated graphics are looking pretty good. I don't think anyone should make a build with it, not worth what it will cost. It's mostly for companies trying to make pcs the size of a Roku.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

How loud is the cooler?

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

just get an adaptor for usb 3.0 to usb 2.0 headers. problem solved.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

If you want to be able to use USB 3 connectivity, get a USB 3 to USB 2 header adaptor. It will make the port function, but not as fast as USB 3 can go.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

This build is really cool, I even might adopt (HINT, HINT) some parts from this. Srsly.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

try running minecraft with 6gb of ram thats what i do with my pc (i have 8gb) fps seems to go up!

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Both machines have 8gb ram now. They are running great!

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Great thats awesome news!!!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Those cpus Are probaly only gonna hit like 25 percent load MAX.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

You could have gotten cheaper RAM... 16G on a little lower-end would have costed you the same price as the G.Skill RAM. Just a little tip if your kids' PCs need a ram upgrade ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

You do realize the prices listed were from 2014 right? That's when these were built. I'm sure RAM is cheaper now, lol.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh. :P silly me! Well I sure hope that your kids like(d if upgraded) it

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you build this with your children or were they completely gone from the build process? If you didn't at least have them watch then you've made a mistake.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I built them as a surprise for them based on the colors they wished their PC's would be. I appreciate your attempt at telling me I lack parenting skills. Anyone can build a PC, so them needing to watch at the age they were at the time is irrelevant.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

lol I literally typed in 'minecraft' and looked for some idiot who spent $4000 on a pc to play minecraft. great build tho!

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm sure there are a few, lol. I've put Sapphire RX 560 2GB cards in them and they are still running like a champ!

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Now adaus you could build sonething much better cheaper lol but for the times looks nice

  • 29 months ago
  • 2 points

Ahhhh, the cycle of technology. I really like where AMD is going with their new lineup for the budget builder. I have since put Sapphire RX 560 2GB cards in and they are still going strong!!

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

How much did you pay for the processor? It won't give us the price

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

I paid $60 when I built this in 2014.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Why would you only have one case fan though

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I clearly stated that the case came with two preinstalled fans and I added another LED one to each case.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

My bad I didn’t read all that xd

  • 67 months ago
  • 0 points

hmm... I may ask my own dad for a new computer... oh wait, i did. Annoyingly I have to have much better stuffs coz i edit & render & stuff. ;( cool build though :-)

  • 66 months ago
  • 0 points

Can I just state a word of warning. In future do not put your motherboard on the outside of the anti-static bag. It's only antistatic on the inside they are conductive on the outside.

  • 66 months ago
  • 2 points

I had it on a piece of pink foam that was on top of the bag.

  • 60 months ago
  • 0 points

-1 & +1 Nice awesome choice on all hardware, but I would've taken an i5 or something Intel

I've heard the R7 240 is a piece of junk. I really think you should've went for a better GPU. If you are gaming, at least go for a GTX 750 or higher. For my rig i went with the R9 270X

Everything else though is pretty nice. Cheers

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

The card plays every game they have just fine. The cost of a 750 would have added an additional $110 per PC. Sure it would add more performance, but they boys arent playing games that require it. At their ages they play Lego games, Minecraft and stuff. I had a budget of $500-550 including OS and the machines run well for the money I spent. An i5 was not in the budget, hard to beat a $60 quad core. They both have 1080p monitors now and all games they play run perfectly at that res.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for your feedback. Check out this build I'm building:

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/ThatComputerEnthusiast/saved/czLfrH

It just so happens that my uncle works at Intel and the i7 got a 50% discount. Hope you like it

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Can I buy an i7 from Ya..I'll pay 200 :D

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  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Budget :P Lol

  • 70 months ago
  • -1 points

Good build but you are waisting the RAM right now since it's made to be running together. It's a 8gb not 2x4gb. And, when you'll get another 8gb dont forget to put in the same machine and get the older 8gb together.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

I am planning on getting another kit once the PC fund has a little more coin in it. Then I will pair back up the original chips! Had a budget to stick to and didn't want to buy single channel knowing I would do that later.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Single channel ram isn't a huge deal. Most you will see is a lag spike more often than with dual channel ram (literally a negletable amount)

4GB is enough to run Minecraft, and dare I say that the graphics card is overkill. These computers have the balls to run AAA titles on low/med @720p.

I think you have exceeded expectations. :P

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Glad you liked it! I was just concerned when I saw that Minecraft used practically all 4 megs! Might be able to max draw distance with 8. The boys won't notice, but I will. They are just so excited that these don't overheat and shut down like their old ones.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Minecraft takes close to 2.2GB memory at max draw distance with no mods/texture packs. Add in your OS and startup stuff and browser tabs, those 4GBs are long gone. 8GB would run minecraft flawlessly and smooth out AAA titles.

  • 70 months ago
  • -1 points

Hehe. I like that windows score (6.9).

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

...

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL

  • 23 months ago
  • -1 points

why

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Are you daft? This build was done in February of 2014!!!! Of course it's not relevant in 2018 genius!

  • 69 months ago
  • -3 points

The r7-240 is a really low end card, it would've been better of you spent a little more and got a radeon 7770 or a r7-250. You would also get a lot more preformance.

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Got them for about $38 each.

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  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Taking a peek at "this", I couldn't justify the i3. Would be good enough for minecraft, yes. But the 4130 has two more cores at a cheaper price.

If you only have the budget for an i3, do yourself a favor and get a matching price FX proc. Performance to dollar is just higher.

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  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Try pushing a AAA title on an i3. Just saying if you're going best bang for buck, an FX is usually better. An i3 is still faster in a few ways compared to FX chips, so they do have their uses.

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  • 70 months ago
  • 4 points

I also started a build with an i3 but decided that for the price, I wasn't getting a very good return. I went with AMD over the i3 for a number of reasons. First the price, I knew I could build a decent setup for the cost of an i3 on its own. For the $130 of a dual core, I was able to buy the CPU, graphics card and the CPU cooler. Second it's a quad core that can be overclocked very easily if needed. Also since my boys are 7-8, by the time they are allowed to play the games you listed (when they are old enough to drive), I will have probably built them new machines that are way more capable than this build. I liked the speed of the i3, but for the price of what AMD is offering, I went that route. At 130 for a CPU alone, I didn't really consider that a "budget" build.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Right now, the number of titles that support multiple cores (more than 4) is small. But since the next gen consoles are running a modified Bulldozer (codenamed Jaguar) 8 core CPU, the number of titles that will support all 8 cores will come, possibly making the current i5 4XXX series obsolete. I think within a year we will start seeing more FX processors (or maybe a whole new architecture... anytime now AMD...). I think there will be a time where cores will be more important than clock speed, compared to right now, where if you have a wicked dual core, it can still run everything.

Baaaaaack to minecraft.... :D

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