Author Topic: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?  (Read 3479 times)

StartingEarly

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How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« on: August 16, 2016, 03:18:13 PM »
My current computer is getting a little long in the tooth. I am upgrading the graphics card for now and might add some ram, but soon it will probably need a new motherboard and power supply to be decent.

Currently have an s5520sc motherboard which the fastest processor it will take is a 5677 xeon quad core at 3.46ghz but with 12mb of cache. I could put in a hex core with the same specs, but I would have to flash the bios and I also don't think a hex core lends itself to gaming.

Graphics card I'm picking up today for 140 is a gtx970 and I have 6gb of ram and a 2ghz quad core xeon 5504.

Is the current build worth putting a 5677 in it for $60 to possibly stretch it out a bit or is the 5677 too old to run most new games properly and will it bottleneck the 970?

Charger

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 03:26:29 PM »
My current computer is getting a little long in the tooth. I am upgrading the graphics card for now and might add some ram, but soon it will probably need a new motherboard and power supply to be decent.

Currently have an s5520sc motherboard which the fastest processor it will take is a 5677 xeon quad core at 3.46ghz but with 12mb of cache. I could put in a hex core with the same specs, but I would have to flash the bios and I also don't think a hex core lends itself to gaming.

Graphics card I'm picking up today for 140 is a gtx970 and I have 6gb of ram and a 2ghz quad core xeon 5504.

Is the current build worth putting a 5677 in it for $60 to possibly stretch it out a bit or is the 5677 too old to run most new games properly and will it bottleneck the 970?

Do you have a budget and timeline in mind? Will this include a monitor and OS upgrade as well?

You could always give https://pcpartpicker.com/ a look and just throw together some of your own builds. It should take most of the guesswork out of part compatibility and you can then compare it so some of the community highlighted builds.

I'm still using a launch GTX680 (2gig) and for the most part can play all of the usual titles (sans Witcher 3) at 1440p/60fps as long as I'm not sliding those bars to Ultra.

Interest Compound

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 03:28:29 PM »
If you're already getting the 970, just try it out with your current CPU. Sure for some uses the CPU will bottleneck things, but it all depends on which games your playing and what settings/FPS you're used to. Go, try it, and let us know the results :)

StartingEarly

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 03:32:07 PM »
Budget is basically as low as needed and timeline is probably just to have the system be decent by the winter. I mainly just don't want to throw too much money at a bad board. My main concern is the max processor available for this board. They stopped making them around 2010, so they're not lightning fast even in top trim. The graphics card I'm picking up just happened to be a 970. I have limited options with my power supply only having 2 six pin connectors, no 8 pin and one 4 pin leftover. The card is a very good price and I figure I am better off spending the 140 on that card that still has a year and a half of warranty and is only one generation and one level below top end than getting other used cards that are midrange and replacing them more frequently and not being as happy with performance.

Mainly I'm worried about if games start using more CPU power that I will have to scrap the entire system and will have wasted $60 on a processor that was already dated.

StartingEarly

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 03:33:20 PM »
I'm going to install the 970 in the current setup for sure, probably add some ram too. Is DDR3 new enough that I don't have to worry about it being obsolete soon or is DDR4 really taking off?

Interest Compound

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 03:38:57 PM »
I'm going to install the 970 in the current setup for sure, probably add some ram too. Is DDR3 new enough that I don't have to worry about it being obsolete soon or is DDR4 really taking off?

Again, it depends on what games you're trying to play, what resolution you're running them at...etc. If you're trying to play any VR games for example, your setup is a no-go. Just trying to play Overwatch? You'll be fine!

StartingEarly

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 03:45:21 PM »
I'm not planning on doing anything with VR, just 1080p desktop gaming maybe someday 1440p. 4k is not ready for primetime and is obscenely expensive as is VR.

chesebert

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 03:47:22 PM »
Here you go. Select the parts and buy from Amazon/Newegg etc.

https://pchound.com/1VDV3h/

StartingEarly

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2016, 03:59:46 PM »
I'm more of a salvage PC guy. Frankenputer it six years old running strong from scrap parts my buddy that does IT scraped together.

To give you an idea the 970 I am buying today is about 370 new and I'm getting it for 140. I don't see the value in brand new computer parts when many people that buy them use them lightly then sell them cheap. I'm also not afraid to overclock the processor if I have to, if it kills the board I already got 6 years out of it and it was on its way out anyways. As long as it doesn't kill the graphics card I'm good.

chesebert

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2016, 04:41:36 PM »
My current computer is getting a little long in the tooth. I am upgrading the graphics card for now and might add some ram, but soon it will probably need a new motherboard and power supply to be decent.

Currently have an s5520sc motherboard which the fastest processor it will take is a 5677 xeon quad core at 3.46ghz but with 12mb of cache. I could put in a hex core with the same specs, but I would have to flash the bios and I also don't think a hex core lends itself to gaming.

Graphics card I'm picking up today for 140 is a gtx970 and I have 6gb of ram and a 2ghz quad core xeon 5504.

Is the current build worth putting a 5677 in it for $60 to possibly stretch it out a bit or is the 5677 too old to run most new games properly and will it bottleneck the 970?
My bad...didn't read the OP.

Absolutely yes, get the hex core, clock it to 4Ghz (or 4.2Ghz on water) and you will be at > 4790K easily. Your hex core will easily drive 1070 (and will definitely not bottleneck 970). Also the arrival of  DX12/Vulkan will enhance CPU efficiency and you can expect the hex core to give you many years of fine gaming.

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 04:46:06 PM by chesebert »

StartingEarly

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2016, 04:48:14 PM »
I'm kinda sketched out about getting a hex core since I have to flash the bios for my motherboard to accept it. I am also cutting it close on the power supply as it is (465 watts). I figure an overclocked quad core will be able to get up to higher stable operating speeds than a hex core and do it with less wattage. I heard that most games don't do much with more than 4 cores as it is and a decent hex core is more like 120 instead of 60. I am looking at some used power supplies potentially. I could get another sunmicro (current power supply) that has more like 800 watts for about 50 bucks used, they seem like very long lasting supplies, mine was used when I got it and has offered no trouble in 7 years even with power outages and lightning strikes it didn't let any components get damaged.

chesebert

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2016, 05:00:13 PM »
I'm kinda sketched out about getting a hex core since I have to flash the bios for my motherboard to accept it. I am also cutting it close on the power supply as it is (465 watts). I figure an overclocked quad core will be able to get up to higher stable operating speeds than a hex core and do it with less wattage. I heard that most games don't do much with more than 4 cores as it is and a decent hex core is more like 120 instead of 60. I am looking at some used power supplies potentially. I could get another sunmicro (current power supply) that has more like 800 watts for about 50 bucks used, they seem like very long lasting supplies, mine was used when I got it and has offered no trouble in 7 years even with power outages and lightning strikes it didn't let any components get damaged.
Flashing bios should be pretty easy. Just follow the instructions.

Your psu is problematic. I would recommend at least 600+ watts and if you are buying used go with 800+ watts as psu degrades over time (the one you mentioned should be fine, but I use Corsair personally)

Older games use single core or dual core but newer games (especially multiplayer) use quad core or more. Yes your IPC is probably 30% + slower than Skylake but any Skylake quad core is overkill for games.

StartingEarly

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2016, 05:09:08 PM »
When I switch to a higher end processor the forums are showing that they're overclockable to about 4.2 as a minimum on air.

chesebert

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2016, 05:24:26 PM »
Well, YMMV.

Goldielocks

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2016, 05:39:24 PM »
The absolute best way is to not fall into the trap of playing new games.  Stick to games that are 4 years old.   

If you don't adhere to getting and playing the latest games, a few things will happen:

1)  going to a friend's house to play a game or two will be simply amazing and fun.
2)  as you play out the games from e.g., 2012, the 2013 games will be new.
3) you can avoid bad games because you can ask people which have the best playability.
4) you can acquire them for lower cost through STEAM or purchasing used, a few years after the release.

Alternatively, pick up and play games that are low of graphics... e.g., 8 bit armies or something, to tide you over.


The only other advice, which you like already do -- ADD COOLING!   what can you do to help it out?  Take cover off and point three fans at it?  Vacuum?  Other?  play in a cool room?

JeffS

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2016, 04:37:36 PM »
That's about half price on the GTX 970, given that everyone is trying to get rid of them to push the 1070s out. You could pick up a relatively cheap L1151 board and find a used Core i5 or i3 processor and take advantage of ddr4. I saw a used i5 on my local Craigslist for $125ish

MoonLiteNite

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2016, 12:05:55 AM »
One of the best tips to save on a PC.
Everything you buy should be at least 1 year old, nothing needs to be even close to top of the line.
Cheap mobo, cheap CPU and cheap RAM and SSD/HHD can all be had for under 300$. Then if you are into games that need a good GPU, you can go with the 3rd tier or 2nd tier flagship video card, and play the latest and great games.

I see people dumping 1000$ into mobo/CPU when you can get bottom end ones. Neither one of those are bottle neck for gaming these days, yes some games do need some CPU power, but even a cheap i5 on a 80$ mobo will support that.

StartingEarly

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2016, 04:19:17 AM »
DDR4 is kinda overrated for most applications, it's kinda how quad channel is, better but not by much. I have a x5677 on the way for about $46, turns out I could have had the slightly faster x5687, but that would require a bios flash which sucks on a server workstation board. I am currently trying to find ram. Looking at 6gbx4 to keep triple channel and trying to keep it 1333mhz to max out this board, it isn't spec'd to take the higher end ddr3 since it's a server. That should end up being about $30 or so.

StartingEarly

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Re: How do you make a cheap gaming PC?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2016, 04:23:41 AM »
We tested the power consumption of the rig set up with Uningine Heaven running and found power consumption of the tower at the wall to peak around 300 watts, I would guess that means the power supply itself is putting out approximately 260 watts. I have plenty of headroom at 465. Hardware makers always set high power supply requirements because of poorly made power supplies.