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Old 05-07-2019, 01:38 PM   #1
PatrickRes9
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Ultra Budget Machine for 1080p Gaming

Now that the mining craze has calmed down a bit, and prices are starting to normalize, I tasked myself with building a budget machine for $500 or less capable of running Ultra 1080p 60fps on most current games.

I was surprisingly able to get there through "team red" AMD, who is slaughtered the budget build market right now.

Here's what I put together and at what cost:

Motherboard: Gigabyte B450M DS3H
This is a great board IF you temper your expectations vs what you're paying. It's a no frills small board with 4 SATA plugs, 4 RAM slots, and a couple of PCIe slots. It's biggest downfall is that it only supports one extra case fan. AMD Ryzen ready, It's perfect for my budget AMD build.

CPU/APU: Ryzen 3 2200g
This APU comes with Radeon Vega graphics! Which I hear isn't actually half bad, but we're not going to use that. So why did I go with this CPU if I'm not going to take advantage of the integrated graphics? The Ryzen 3 2200g actually performs and benchmarks quite well on its own, and being that it's a successor chip, the price has come down quite a bit on it. The Ryzen 5 only sees a bump of 23% effective speed, and the Ryzen 7 a bump of only 31% effective speed over the Ryzen 3. The Ryzen 3 will do what I need it to with my budget.

The stock cooling fan works fine and you can easily overclock the 2200g cores from 3500 to at 3750mhz with the stock fan. AMD's Ryzen Master app makes it easy.

$145 for the motherboard/cpu combo above.

GPU: Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580
Not much to say here. The Radeon RX 580 is THE budget card to purchase right now. You can find it for $200 or less. It won't get you into VR or 4K gaming obviously, but you'll be playing most games on Ultra settings 1080p and hitting 55-60fps easy.

The reason I went with Sapphire is they're an AMD only manufacturer, and I just like their products. The Sapphire card benches just a TICK above MSI as well. I went with the Pulse over the Nitro+ because it lacks RGB and other unnecessary features, and saves me $30 on my build. The Pulse is essentially a no frills version of the 580. The card outperforms the 1060 6gb for less money.

The only real downside I can see with this card is it has almost no overhead for overclocking.

I paid $199 for the card.

RAM: Geil Evo Spear DDR4 2x4gb
I didn't do anything special here, and I stuck with 8gb to keep the cost of the build down. I actually picked up this RAM for 2 reasons. The first reason was the price. I paid $45 for it. The second is that, and ive never seen this before, the manufacturer claims that the AMD Edition I purchased, is verified by combinations of AM4 motherboards and the latest AMD Ryzen processors. I have no idea what that means. It sounds like marketing speak to me. Anyway, I THINK what the implication is, is that this RAM has been tested for compatibility with with Ryzen chipsets? I don't know. It was cheap, and it works.

I paid $45 for it 3 weeks ago.

PSU: Rosewill Hive Series 1000w Bronze
You can get by with a 750w on this build, but JUST in case you ever want to set up crossfire.

I paid $90.

Total: $479.


So. $479. I realize the SSD and case is unaccounted for, as well as the monitor. I already had those things. So, yah I cheated a little. But after having this build for a bit and getting to play around with it, you can't really beat it for the money. I've been enjoying Wolfenstein II and Division 2 on Ultra just fine for a $479 pricetag. Can't beat it for 1080p gaming on the cheap.

I hope this helps anyone looking to put together a cheap and painless budget PC. It's a little beast.
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:38 PM   #2
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I may have to go with that Sapphire card for a friend. I was going to get him a 1060 for his birthday but if this thing benches better I may go for it instead.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:31 PM   #3
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I may have to go with that Sapphire card for a friend. I was going to get him a 1060 for his birthday but if this thing benches better I may go for it instead.
Yah, personally I'd go with the RX 580. It benches better and it's currently about $30 cheaper.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:34 PM   #4
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OS
HDD or SSD
Case
Monitor

A lot cheaper when you don't have to factor those in. Not so cheap with them added onto the bill. :shrugs:
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:56 PM   #5
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OS
HDD or SSD
Case
Monitor

A lot cheaper when you don't have to factor those in. Not so cheap with them added onto the bill. :shrugs:
True. Though, OS you can get...for free

I always know someone who has an extra hard drive kicking around, and I already had a monitor and case. But yah, if you're starting with absolutely nothing, it's going to cost even more. I had an extra keyboard and mouse kicking around as well.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:32 AM   #6
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Most of us have a case and monitor we can use in a pinch so not including those isn't a cheat in my opinion. The same is probably true for an OS drive but if you're not working off of an SSD for at least the OS, I do consider that a must have. My SSD was the biggest noticeable upgrade I've probably ever made to my computer. But thanks for putting this list together Pat. I'm not currently in the market for a new machine but I like to see people's builds just in case I do find myself in the market.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:05 AM   #7
RAV
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Nice setup, will sure carry you some. Currently AMD is probably the best option in the affordable PC with great bang for buck space.

It also depends on what exactly you plan on playing. There are people that just play Counterstrike, Starcraft, League of Legends, Diablo3, Path of Exile, Minecraft, Rocket League and a bunch of indie titles. For that you can cut out the graphics card and just rely on the built-in graphics of the 2200g/2400g CPU for even 1080p gaming.

The money you save on this is enough for buying the rest of the PC. Additionally, Ubuntu Linux is free and the Wine project allows you to play many games for Windows. Steam even runs on it native with a selection of neat titles. So if you really are looking to get some PC gaming done as cheap as possible, and don't care for the latest and greatest, you can give this a shot. Saving money usually means a little more work setting things up. That's why people buy finished computers or Laptops, to save time by spending more money.

Here a couple more considerations:
the RX 570 graphics card is even cheaper, while being almost as fast as the 580. The saved money on that can also go into other things, or upgrading your CPU into a R5 2600, which has 6 cores and 12 threads. The 2200g has 4 cores and 4 threads, the 2400g has 4 cores / 8 threads. Usually graphics cards are more important for gaming, but by now we have reached a point where low core/thread count can actually be a noticeable bottleneck in performance. I suspect that a R5 2600 + RX570 gives you better performance overall in modern titles than a R3 2200G + RX580 while the cost is similar.

Anyway, since you got a B450 chipset mainboard, you can do easy upgrades later, thanks to the long term commitment of AMD to the AM4 platform across several generations of CPUs.

Couple more things:
I especially like how small form factor you can get with 2200G or 2400G for light gaming.

The Ryzen CPUs so far are more sensitive to RAM quality, better RAM with better timings gives quite some boost in performance, especially for APUs, if you don't wanna use dedicated graphics cards and just rely on what the CPU provides. usually the money people save on mainboards/CPU from AMD goes into buying better ram instead. 3200 mhz with 14-14-14-34 timing like the X-Flare series, are popular for that.

And right now is a bit of an awkward time to buy new components, since the next generation of AMD processors and graphics cards are very near release, with a significantly better performance and price. Which also means that the current things on sale will have a massive price cut as well.

But well, even as is, this setup will do you good for a long enough time still, and this isn't supposed to be a huge investment anyway, you will probably be able to upgrade sooner with going for cheaper setups. And frankly, buying a computer "to last" doesn't really work that well. They never really do. You should go for the price bracket you are comfortable with and plan with more regular upgrades, that's more efficient on the money.

edit: I forgot to mention that I think the 1000w power supply or even a 750w are just too much for this sort of build. You only need more if you want to get top of the line gpu and cpu, but not if you upgrade from mid tier to mid tier from generation to generation. I personally have a 500w, that's fully sufficient. If you cut the gfx card you can go even lower, with just a little power brick instead of fully fledged power supply. Saves a couple bucks still on the build and is more energy efficient. You shouldn't account for Crossfire, since it's pretty much obsolete now, has terrible support and is just plain worse than upgrading a single card.

Last edited by RAV; 05-08-2019 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:25 PM   #8
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That RX580 is kind of a bad choice. For $220 you can grab a 1660 which tends to be faster than the 590, or if you want to save money the RX 570 is about as close to the 580 as the 580 is to the 1660 but is $60 less expensive($140 for the 8GB 570).

Whomever said the 580 is the card to get right now... The 1660 launch and the price drops on the 570 have made the 580 pretty pointless.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenSkywlkr View Post
That RX580 is kind of a bad choice. For $220 you can grab a 1660 which tends to be faster than the 590, or if you want to save money the RX 570 is about as close to the 580 as the 580 is to the 1660 but is $60 less expensive($140 for the 8GB 570).

Whomever said the 580 is the card to get right now... The 1660 launch and the price drops on the 570 have made the 580 pretty pointless.
The price has already dropped on the RX580. I can get a powercolor for $180.

The 1660 for $220.

So $40 for a 7 percent uptick in bench

Not worth it, IMO. Though maybe the 570 is a better choice than the 580.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAV View Post
Nice setup, will sure carry you some. Currently AMD is probably the best option in the affordable PC with great bang for buck space.

It also depends on what exactly you plan on playing. There are people that just play Counterstrike, Starcraft, League of Legends, Diablo3, Path of Exile, Minecraft, Rocket League and a bunch of indie titles. For that you can cut out the graphics card and just rely on the built-in graphics of the 2200g/2400g CPU for even 1080p gaming.

The money you save on this is enough for buying the rest of the PC. Additionally, Ubuntu Linux is free and the Wine project allows you to play many games for Windows. Steam even runs on it native with a selection of neat titles. So if you really are looking to get some PC gaming done as cheap as possible, and don't care for the latest and greatest, you can give this a shot. Saving money usually means a little more work setting things up. That's why people buy finished computers or Laptops, to save time by spending more money.

Here a couple more considerations:
the RX 570 graphics card is even cheaper, while being almost as fast as the 580. The saved money on that can also go into other things, or upgrading your CPU into a R5 2600, which has 6 cores and 12 threads. The 2200g has 4 cores and 4 threads, the 2400g has 4 cores / 8 threads. Usually graphics cards are more important for gaming, but by now we have reached a point where low core/thread count can actually be a noticeable bottleneck in performance. I suspect that a R5 2600 + RX570 gives you better performance overall in modern titles than a R3 2200G + RX580 while the cost is similar.

Anyway, since you got a B450 chipset mainboard, you can do easy upgrades later, thanks to the long term commitment of AMD to the AM4 platform across several generations of CPUs.

Couple more things:
I especially like how small form factor you can get with 2200G or 2400G for light gaming.

The Ryzen CPUs so far are more sensitive to RAM quality, better RAM with better timings gives quite some boost in performance, especially for APUs, if you don't wanna use dedicated graphics cards and just rely on what the CPU provides. usually the money people save on mainboards/CPU from AMD goes into buying better ram instead. 3200 mhz with 14-14-14-34 timing like the X-Flare series, are popular for that.

And right now is a bit of an awkward time to buy new components, since the next generation of AMD processors and graphics cards are very near release, with a significantly better performance and price. Which also means that the current things on sale will have a massive price cut as well.

But well, even as is, this setup will do you good for a long enough time still, and this isn't supposed to be a huge investment anyway, you will probably be able to upgrade sooner with going for cheaper setups. And frankly, buying a computer "to last" doesn't really work that well. They never really do. You should go for the price bracket you are comfortable with and plan with more regular upgrades, that's more efficient on the money.

edit: I forgot to mention that I think the 1000w power supply or even a 750w are just too much for this sort of build. You only need more if you want to get top of the line gpu and cpu, but not if you upgrade from mid tier to mid tier from generation to generation. I personally have a 500w, that's fully sufficient. If you cut the gfx card you can go even lower, with just a little power brick instead of fully fledged power supply. Saves a couple bucks still on the build and is more energy efficient. You shouldn't account for Crossfire, since it's pretty much obsolete now, has terrible support and is just plain worse than upgrading a single card.
Thanks RAV! Great insight here. Good point in that it certainly depends on what you're playing. The APU on its own for games like Rocket League pretty much WOULD negate the need to even buy a separate GPU.

Between your input here and benskywalker, it sounds like the 570 is a better choice than the 580. I didnt actually know they benched so close.

I do like the upgradability of the build I just put together, but I hadn't considered the next generation of cards and processors right around the corner.

Based on the build I threw at you, do you think I could drop a Ryzen 7 in that board eventually? Or is it even worth it?
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:17 PM   #11
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The one thing I've learned over the years about computer hardware is you need a fucking flow chart to figure out all the varying components' respective power rankings and interoperability, and by the time you've filled that flow chart out the shit's already out of date and you need to revise it.

So, I've learned two things.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:30 AM   #12
RAV
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Originally Posted by PatrickRes9
Based on the build I threw at you, do you think I could drop a Ryzen 7 in that board eventually? Or is it even worth it?
You probably could, but I'd suggest you stay on the midrange R5 line, and just upgrade there from generation to generation. Even for high end gaming, nothing more is needed.
(don't forget to update the Bios of your mainboard before you put in a cpu from a new generation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terran
The one thing I've learned over the years about computer hardware is you need a fucking flow chart to figure out all the varying components' respective power rankings and interoperability, and by the time you've filled that flow chart out the shit's already out of date and you need to revise it.

So, I've learned two things.
Yeah, I don't actually keep track of things like I used to, just when I am close to making an upgrade, but channels like Hardware Unboxed help me with that.

There are channels that are more technical or more consumer oriented, but I like the healthy mix of this channel. It helps best with figuring what you want to buy and how to put it together.
Basically putting together a PC is a better experience today than it ever has been. Not saying it is completely fool-proof, but I definitely noticed how things have become more convenient over the years of upgrades.
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