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Custom build for less than an Alienware Steam?

The_baron

33 months ago

Hi guys, I'm brand new here on the forums. I'll try to keep this as short as possible. For the past 10 years, I've been strictly a console gamer, but now my 10 year old son is really interested in playing some PC games that aren't available on PS4. I figure if I'm dropping the money on a gaming machine, I might as well get something that will run the games I play as great as possible. I've decided to either buy an Alienware Steam machine or build one if I can save some money. However, it's been 9 years since I've built a PC and I am not up to date on the latest components. Plus, every time I put anything together on the parts picker, I wind up waaaay over budget.

Here's the specs on the Alienware Steam machine I'm looking at:

6th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 6400T

8GB DDR4 at 2133MHz - 1 DIMM

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX960 GPU 4GB GDDR5

With current promotions on Dell, this model is going for $585 + tax. I already own a copy of Windows 10, so I'd just install that and run Steam in big picture.

Finally, my question: Is it possible to build something as good, or even more powerful, as the Alienware i5 for cheaper? If so, can someone help me find parts to come in at, or under, this budget ($585)? I'm just looking for the most bang for the buck and I miss building PCs. Thanks for your time. I know that was long winded. Joe

Comments

  • 33 months ago
  • 2 points

This is gonna give you the best gaming performance so far, as I was able to fit in the RX 480, which will get you 60+ FPS max settings on most well optimized games. Four logical cores on the Pentium G4560 and you're all set for Steam.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor $59.88 @ OutletPC
Motherboard MSI B250I PRO Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard $81.98 @ Newegg
Memory Avexir Core Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $39.90 @ Amazon
Storage Zotac Premium Edition 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $69.63 @ Amazon
Video Card Asus Radeon RX 480 4GB Dual Video Card $179.98 @ Newegg
Case Fractal Design Node 202 HTPC Case w/450W Power Supply $139.90 @ SuperBiiz
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $601.27
Mail-in rebates -$30.00
Total $571.27
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-03-03 12:05 EST-0500
  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I like this one, I'd recommend yours

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Would this be Steam friendly? I've read that the Radeon RX470/480 don't play well with Steam? Not sure how much this matters since I'll be running Steam within Windows 10.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I've never heard of any problems with Steam. It has the best performance/$ on the SteamVR benchmark, that's all I saw from googling.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Also, I forgot to mention I'm strictly looking at very small HTPC type case builds so this can fit in my entertainment system under the TV.

  • 33 months ago
  • 0 points

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $189.99 @ SuperBiiz
Motherboard ASRock H110M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard $61.98 @ Newegg
Memory Avexir Core Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $47.92 @ Amazon
Storage Toshiba 1TB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $51.99 @ Newegg
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB ACX 2.0 Video Card $129.99 @ Newegg
Case Fractal Design Node 202 HTPC Case w/450W Power Supply $139.90 @ SuperBiiz
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $631.77
Mail-in rebates -$10.00
Total $621.77
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-03-03 11:29 EST-0500

Sadly, it's a bit more, but packs better perf. The 1050 ti scores equivalently to the 960, and the 6500 has a higher IPC due to MUCH higher TDP and clock speed. So it should net you max 10fps boosts. It has a fractal node 202 so it's quite small but can still fit full size GPUs. It's not all that upgradeable, but with some luck you could get a 1070 in there later on. Happy building!

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

This is fantastic. Thank you for the help!!

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

And that case is really nice too. Thank you for the help!

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Hard drive is terrible though. 5400 RPM is very slow and you'd benefit from a better one or even an SSD.

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  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Definitely like the price, but sadly I don't think I could fit the case in my entertainment center. :(

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  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

better take the node 202 with a 450W included PSU. That only costs 138$ and have a nice performance with 3 years warranty.

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  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks jsoutherland89! Is an i3 sufficient? I've heard some games won't even run without 4 cores?

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  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

That's definitely good to know. Thanks.

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  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

They totally are. It seems Dell has a pretty competitive price, but I had a feeling it was still more than a custom build.

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