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Bang for Your Buck Build

by deathfromup



CPU Clock Rate

4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

50.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.05 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

4.8 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

45.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C



The idea behind the build was to get the most power out of a $500 budget gaming build by sacrificing anywhere I could.

Ill go through my though process here:

I started by choosing the GPU. I went with the 7870 because it had the best price per benchmark performance in my price range. I thought 200 for the GPU would be the most i could spend in a 500 dollar build and that was pushing it. I looked around and Sapphire had some of the cheapest cards but still has a decent warranty and cooling set up.

The CPU comes next. I wanted something that would be fast enough to not bottleneck the 7870 but still cheap. Again i decided on the 6300 because it had good price per benchmarks and it is fast enuf to not bottleneck the GPU.

The motherboard prices lead me to go with a microATX board and case because they were significantly cheaper than the ATXmid prices. There weren't many choices when it came to Mobo for microATX. Ive always been partial to ASUS and the mobo had a USB3.0 which i really wanted to squeeze into this build.

The case was a shell shocker deal on newegg and was literally the cheapest case i could find. This is where i could cut corners because Case has the least impact on performance so i went with the cheapest one i could find. I do regret this a little but after i put it together its not so bad.

The RAM is standard 8GB 1600Mhz at the cheapest sale price i could find that still had heat spreaders.

PSU was a tough one to find for a good price, with a good wattage and quality. corsair is just fine especially for a budget build.

Harddrive i went with the seagate barracuda which is pretty standard fast harddrive with decent size and cost. Found a sale for about 10 dollars off.

Case fans are there because cooler parts last longer and perform better. Case fans are cheap and worth it in my opinion.


Next up would be a second seagate barracuda to set up RAID0. I want faster speeds but i still don't want to have to worry about running out of space on any drive so the RAID 0 setup is a good compromise.

Coolermaster hyper 212 EVO for a mild overclock. Nothing that will draw too much power because my PSU is only 500W. But again cooler parts are happier parts.

Comments Sorted by:

Bones 6 Builds 11 points 67 months ago

This is a great $500 build. As for your cables, yes you cant route them anywhere, but you could have bundled the ones you dont use and part of your 24 pin to the case so it takes up less space.

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 3 points 67 months ago

Thanks! As for the cable bundling i do have a couple chords zip tied and tucked away. The mobo power cord was left kinda out there so that i could keep the fan power cables from resting on the mobo heat sinks. You can kinda see it in the first picture. I do agree that i could have done better with the bundling.

voodoomike69 1 Build 10 points 67 months ago

+1 for doing what I keep telling myself I'm going to do for my wife.

ReDnAx1991 7 Builds 4 points 67 months ago

Very very nice build you got there, great job +2 if I could.

Little tip: try to bind all cabbles togheter which you are not using, try to stuff them inside of the HDD/Optical drive bay on top of the HDD (you are not using an Optical drive, so you should have some space there). I know you are looking for a second HDD for raid 0 configuration, but most of the time you can mount a HDD under the HDD bay (so that you still have a storage place for the unused cables in the HDD bay).

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 1 point 67 months ago

I thought about stuffing some in the HDD bay. Is that bad at all for ur HDD to have lots of cables resting around it?

ReDnAx1991 7 Builds 2 points 67 months ago

When you have a decent airflow in your case it shouldn't have any influence, otherwise it could get 2 - 5 degrees hotter than normal. The increased temperature shouldn't be a big issue, unless the HDD already runs at 60 degrees Celsius (always try to stay below 60 degrees Celsius with HDDs).

You can download software to see what temperatures you are getting in your system such as: piriform speccy (temps of HDD, motherboard and so on) when you want to overclock I suggest that you use Coretemp this program shows all CPU temps.


I found the Seagate data sheet for Seagate HDDs go to this website http://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/product-content/barracuda-fam/desktop-hdd/barracuda-7200-14/en-gb/docs/desktop-hdd-data-sheet-ds1770-1-1212gb.pdf

When you are in the PDF file press "ctrl F" and type "temperature" there you will find the max. operating temperature of 60 degrees Celsius I mentioned.

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 2 points 67 months ago

Ahh i c. Thankss for the Advice. i do use CPUID for temps currently and the HDD stays around 45C usually nothing too hot so maybe ill pack them away in the bay and keep tabs the temps for a week or so.

jvagle875 4 points 67 months ago

Why the hate on that case? I adore the core 1000. Amazing case for the price.

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 3 points 67 months ago

I agree it is an amazing case for the price, but as a first time builder the cramped space made for a couple frustrations. If i had to do another build i wouldn't be afraid of it again.

LegoPC 1 Build 3 points 67 months ago

With some well placed zip ties and some strategic positioning I think you can clean up some of the cables. Just don't place them directly in front of a fan and you're fine.

xclypto 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago


cyberbrutus 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/EKo You got an excellent deal on the case.

PickItApart 4 points 67 months ago

$500. Gotta upvote this even if cabling sucks.

Mattkx4 2 points 67 months ago

Great build, although if you're ever showing your friends don't show then the inside :P great job

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 1 point 67 months ago

haha yeah ill keep it closed.

Highwlaker 1 Build 2 points 67 months ago

Will it beat the next generation consoles? Probably.


deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 2 points 67 months ago

I prefer mouse and board over a controller any day. Also dual monitors is something that consoles arent looking at any time soon. so even if it doesn't beat next gen I would rather have this lol.

Highwlaker 1 Build 4 points 67 months ago

not to mention endless possible upgrades :)

CopicSketchLover 1 point 8 months ago

The Super Nintendo and the NES were the first and only true "consoles" before video game companies started turning them into mini-PC's and haphazardly slapped the word "console" on it as a selling point!

Anything that requires an optical disc to run a "disc-game" is technically no longer a "console", which is why I still have my Retro Duo game console that can fit a NES and SNES cartridge separately, yet not both!

My comments on this build, to be polite, Asus is highly overrated and so is Samsung as a brand, yet having dual-monitors is a great suggestion, but I would have them identical in brand and model and size, for consistency and cool-factor sake!

Gooberdad 10 Builds 2 points 65 months ago

Good cheap build man!

emjp4 1 point 67 months ago

Reviving a great budget build with a question. Did you get a free copy of an OS from school or the like? Otherwise my version of this build will be 20% higher. :/

S5eRK3C 3 points 67 months ago

He might have downloaded it without a key, and through a strange glitch he has no idea about, windows might have decided that it was a legit copy.

MySong 1 point 66 months ago

how's that mobo to cpu work. I mean does the mobo bottleneck the 6300?

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

works fine for now. I havet tried to overclock past 4.0 because of my power supply. Im afraid 500 isnt enough to turn up the voltages. Ive got a new tx650 coming on Thursday and then ill crank it up and see if the mobo is the new limiting factor. So far so good tho no complaints.

MySong 1 point 66 months ago

Oh man thanks :D

noob2pcz 1 point 64 months ago

Can this build play any high-end games?

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 1 point 64 months ago

i could play everything out currently. Not on ultra at 60 fps, but 60 frames on medium in every game. give or take.

EcoMCG 1 Build 1 point 64 months ago

Hows the mobo I'm thinking of getting it I need more info about it then the description one. I am also on a tight budget aswell :D

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 1 point 64 months ago

The motherboard is ok. its not the best for overclocking, partly bc the bios is not UEFI. And i did have one problem with plugging in multiple HDD, but that may be a unique issue.

Overall i would still suggest it for a tight budget build.

If your looking for a step up, for 15 more dollar you could get http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-motherboard-970ag43

Better chipset, more features.

StarkLax 1 Build 1 point 64 months ago

What games can this handle? it seems like it could handle some higher end games at at least low graphics settings

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 2 points 64 months ago

yeah BF4 recommended specs are a 7870. You could play it on high at above 30 fps.


IntergratedGamer 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

How good does the 7870 do on some games? I am thinking of buy it

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

I have since sold the build but when i had it, it performed quite well for the price.


Holydog23 1 point 59 months ago

Lol this build is very based off of Gamespot's challenge for a 500 dollar PC. other than that how'd you connect the two extra fans becasue the motherboard you have only has one fan header, did you use the PSU connectors?

hxcdsal 1 point 58 months ago

Hey I have the same mobo, powersupply, and case. My pc wont turn on though. I have no idea why. Can you please help!

SketzInc 1 point 47 months ago

Does the MOBO come with integrated sound????

2Noobish4you 1 point 47 months ago

How many fan headers does the motherboard have?

Lenny211 1 point 47 months ago

Where does the hdd go in this case?

Jonilo5 1 point 45 months ago

Did you need to upgrade the motherboards bios? I am thinking about getting the same motherboard and CPU, so I was wondering how do you upgrade the bios without another cpu...Can I upgrade with usb-flashdrive?

and one more thing, isn't there performance and compatibility issues?

deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 2 points 45 months ago

you shouldnt need to upgrade the bios for that mobo, and there are no compatibility problems

KingGazz 1 point 42 months ago

Hey Im looking at the MB is it good

Tyler2525 1 point 31 months ago

Hey I know it's been a while since this build but I just wanted to make sure you had enough clearance for the cpu cooler . Specs on case say 135 mm cooler and tx3 is 139mm.... Just wondering I have the case and cooler will be here tomorrow

timwcam 0 points 62 months ago

I was wondering about this too. I have an older power supply antec earth 500w, and i wanted to update my older sonata III the usb 2.0 version. Seems like its more trouble, and should've just bought a new case and power supply! but i already have a fractal design r4 and wanted a smaller something..researched cases for days, besides the point, wasn't that impressed with the whole lot. mini itx- matx- full atx.

I am kind of disappointed in this mobo, but like you said not many options going the AM3 route and i have a full atx asus in my r4. The fans, i didn't think would be a problem, coming from a guy who never upgraded any fan or cpu cooler (until recently).

First, no ethernet driver on fresh windows installation - just annoying using the slow usb wireless until i can find the driver.

Not sure about the usb 3.0 power supply connection? i saw this on my full atx asus mobo - with a usb 3.0 power and my seasonic 750w had that power connection? im guessing my old antec 500w crap was too old...so no usb 3.0? buy an adapter? new power supply? i was thinking about upgrading it anyway, and then why not a new case? the stoc antec case fan is "controlled" and molex connection..very nice! these new fans are the 3 pin whatevers (noctua)...1 cpu fan connection... on mobo. i used the provided y splitter...and i get the beep error cpu on bootup..but it still lets me through...not sure i should be continuing, maybe the voltage is split? would've been nice if they included a molex adapter..i see they are like $5 on amazon or newegg...but...buy a new psu? return mobo to microcenter? go full atx with more options? New case? or just one $5 adapter and call it a day? as you can see im quite perplexed and kind of a noob, but know enough and can read and figure things out! :)

I'd be happy for any suggestions.


deathfromup submitter 6 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

Im a little confused by the question. I dont think there is such thing as a usb 3.0 power supply connection that is needed. And as far as fan headers, if you need more i would say get a splitter or fan controller, no need for a new mobo or psu.

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StarkLax 1 Build 1 point 64 months ago

but the parts inside this build is probably better than your $200 build. and read the disclaimer he states that he could have done better with the cable management