Building a Marginal Gaming Rig

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Petro Dawg
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Building a Marginal Gaming Rig

Post by Petro Dawg » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:27 pm

I wanted to try some Linux gaming with Steam, but my current computer doesn't come close to the system requirements of some of the better games. My current rig is getting pretty old; a Dell "Dimension 3100" I saved from a trash heap a few years back. I'm thinking about building a new rig from scratch with a target budget around $400, but would like to get some opinions on my hardware selections as this is the first time I've gone down this road.

So far I'm looking at...
CPU: $109 - AMD FX-6300 Vishera 6-Core 3.5GHz (4.1GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Desktop Processor Update

MB: $70 - GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3P AM3+/AM3 AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

RAM: $74 - Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

GPU: $70 - GIGABYTE GV-R677D5-1GD Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

PSU: $30 - CORSAIR CX series CX500 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

CASE: $35 - NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

WiFi: $15 - Rosewill RNX-N250PCe, Wireless N300 Wi-Fi Adapter, IEEE 802.11b/11g/11n, Up to 300Mbps(2.4GHz) Wireless Data Rates, PCI E interface
(I could probably just re-use the WiFi card I have now to save a bit, but would need a new antenna anyway if I do)

Prices include any shipping charge or rebates for the items and so far comes to a total of $403. I plan to re-use some spare hard drives, optical drives, speakers, and monitor that I have laying around for now to save what I can and update those at a later date. Of course, I will use either Mint17 or Ubuntu14.04 as my OS.

I've tried to make sure there were no Linux compatibility issues with the hardware I picked, but any personal knowledge of any known issues would be appreciated. Overall, I want to make sure I'm getting a good system for the money and I'm open to any suggestions for improvement to the build.
Last edited by Petro Dawg on Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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kyphi
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Re: Building a Marginal Gaming Rig

Post by kyphi » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:54 pm

You may have to revise your power supply - the CPU you have chosen can use up to 125 Watts, which is quite a lot and will generate a lot of heat. You forgot to include a CPU cooler in your list - this CPU does not come with a cooler.

I would not use left-over pieces when assembling a new computer. Technology is constantly changing. Buy a new optical drive and fit SSDs.

Good luck.
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Petro Dawg
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Re: Building a Marginal Gaming Rig

Post by Petro Dawg » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:41 am

kyphi wrote:You may have to revise your power supply - the CPU you have chosen can use up to 125 Watts, which is quite a lot and will generate a lot of heat. You forgot to include a CPU cooler in your list - this CPU does not come with a cooler.

I would not use left-over pieces when assembling a new computer. Technology is constantly changing. Buy a new optical drive and fit SSDs.

Good luck.
Thanks for looking it over.

I may very well upgrade to an SSD someday, but I think a 250GB SATA drive should do the trick for now. Additionally, if I'm gaming on Steam, I probably won't even need an optical drive at all.

I originally had a 6 core CPU selected for which I confirmed that a heat sink was included, and then changed to the 4 core with out checking it. Good catch, thanks for the help. I'll update my CPU or Cooler selection shortly and look into a slightly better PSU.

Update

I decided to scrap the faster 4 core to go back to the slightly slower 6 core with the included heat sink and slightly lower power consumption. Using the NewEgg power supply calculator, the total expected draw on this system is around 400W as a worst case scenario, so the 500W I selected should allow a little room for upgrades later on if required.
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Re: Building a Marginal Gaming Rig

Post by SeriesOfTubes » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:11 pm

Since you are looking to save money, I say check out Craigslist and nearby thrift stores for custom built computers. I've seen some for just over 20 dollars with nice looking ATX cases and high watt power supplies. You can buy one of these, vacuum out the dust bunnies, and upgrade it as you see fit. I also circle my neighborhood on the morning of trash day and have found dozens of machines with good parts in them.

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Re: Building a Marginal Gaming Rig

Post by Petro Dawg » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:40 pm

That has been my mode of operation for many years now. I have 3 working WinXP era PCs (not to mention a couple I've given away) and 1 Vista era PC that were all rescued from the garbage bin, cleaned, and maxed out on RAM. But I have yet to find a rig with a decent processor or power supply over 250 Watts with which someone is willing to part.

I have to admit, I haven't checked Craigslist in a long time, so perhaps I'll give that a shot before making any final decisions. I also noticed NewEgg occasionally has some relatively decent bundle deals for under $400. The bundles seem to rely on integrated CPU/GPU chips, which might be getting me by for a while, but would probably need to upgrade to a discrete GPU eventually.

This one might not be too bad... AMD A10-7850K Kaveri 3.7GHz Quad-Core APU with Radeon R7, but may need to upgrade power supply if I ever add a graphics card and/or upgrade the processor.
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austin.texas
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Re: Building a Marginal Gaming Rig

Post by austin.texas » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:00 pm

Here is one close to what you listed that comes out at $300
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... 0&CatId=31
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