Frugal Power v1.0
I just finished building a new computer on a very limited budget thanks to gift cards from Christmas and my birthday. After frugally searching for over two months, I managed to pay just a little less than $400 for everything and less than $50 of that was out of pocket. The drawback is that I was forced to recycle my GPU and PSU, but they can be easily replaced in the future.
CPU/Mobo - This was an awesome combo deal from Micro Center. It was $99.99 and came with a $10 rebate card from MSI. Let's see if I can overclock as well as everybody else.
RAM - Nice deal from Amazon. The specs are great and it looks sexy, too.
SSD - One of the best SSDs on the market and I managed to catch it on sale. The price dipped even further while it was being shipped, so I contacted Amazon who credited my account with the difference.
Case - Supply and demand, how I despise thee. I received a notification from camelcamelcamel when it was finally restocked at Amazon, then it was out of stock an hour later. I plan to use this case for several years, so I wanted it to have the quality to last. It's so quiet that I had to look inside the window to make sure the fans were spinning. SO QUIET!
Optical - On sale at Micro Center. Useful for installing the OS. Kind of loud when it spins up.
GPU - Recycled from old computer. This video card is quite bad, but it replaced an XFX GeForce 7800GT for no cost in 2012.
PSU - Recycled from old computer. The cables were way too short, but hopefully it lasts.
HDD - Recycled from a WD external enclosure that died. This is the most noisy component in the entire system.
- Heroes of the Storm (very low quality) - 84.9 avg, 100 max, 47 min
- SWTOR (very low quality) - 82.3 avg, 102 max, 53 min
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark (low quality) - 13.9 avg, 21.5 max, 6.3 min, 351 score
What's it replacing?
I built my first system back in 2005. It was upgraded a couple times, but it was still a dinosaur at its core using DDR1 and an AMD 939 socket. Currently I play Star Wars: The Old Republic, StarCraft II, and Heroes of the Storm. I have two 1080p monitors and typically game in 1920x1080 fullscreen windowed mode with graphics turned down as low as possible. Every game I played throttled the CPU and RAM to ~90% while I managed 5-30 FPS. I grabbed this data from Windows 7 gadgets and FRAPS, respectively.
EDIT Added another image to show off the improved cable management.