Budget PC Build Guide ($500 - $1200 builds)

spirit

Moderator
Staff member
I still have my i7 920 lying around... now that I replaced it with the W3690 (Xeon version of the 990X). Apart from PCIE gen3, USB 3.1, sata express, sata 3, and nvme support... these things are still fast enough to make AMD sweat.
Hahaha yeah! I owned an i5 760 for a year before I upgraded to an i5 2500K but for a short time I had my i5 760 in an ASUS P7P55D-E which had a (third-party, admittedly) SATA 6GBps controller and USB 3.0 controller. I could have used the 760 for far longer I think before I would have needed to upgrade.
 

Intel_man

VIP Member
My sister's computer still rocks an i5 760. I might grab a decommissioned Xeon for like $80 and some more RAM for her though. Although she only uses the PC for web browsing stuff... so she doesn't really need a brand new rig or justify spending that much money on a new PC.
 
So there's always a bunch of new members coming on here to ask for a budget build help, and I think there should be a guide to help these people. So I'm going to start it off. Feel free to help me out here to create more diverse builds. Also, be sure to include in the build a copy of Windows 10 and a dvd writer when you create a parts list.

Goal of this guide
The goal to this guide is to provide people who are new or relatively new to building computers with an idea what components you can get with the budget they have. Feel free to modify any of the builds listed below to suit your needs and as necessary due to price changes.


Disclaimer
  1. The following builds will primarily be based in US purchases and US pricing.
  2. Prices of components may change over time due to availability and/or other unforeseen circumstances.
  3. Use this as a general guide only.
  4. If you would like to add or replace parts with different components and is unsure about compatibility with the rest of the system, feel free to create a separate thread, ask the question and refer to this Guide.
  5. Prices are based off of the dates in brackets
$500 Builds

1. $473.50 (Prices @ June 23, 2016)
  • i3 6100, 8gb ram, z170 mobo, 1tb hdd, corsair CX500

$600 Builds

1. $583.49 after $20 MIR (Prices @ June 23, 2016)
  • i3 6100, 8gb ram, z170 mobo, R7 370, 1tb hdd, corsair CX500

$700 Builds

1. $682.37 after $10 MIR (Prices @ June 23, 2016)
  • i3 6100, 8gb ram, z170 mobo, RX 480 4G*, 1tb hdd, corsair CX500

$800 Builds

1. $772.37 after $10 MIR (Prices @ June 23, 2016)
  • i5 6500, 8gb ram, z170 mobo, RX 480 4G*, 1tb hdd, corsair CX500

$900 Builds

1. $901.87 after $45 MIR (Prices @ June 23, 2016)
  • i5 6600k, 16gb ram, z170 mobo, RX 480 4G*, 250gb ssd, corsair CX650M

$1000 Builds

1. $1001.36 after $45 MIR (Prices @ June 23, 2016)
  • i5 6600k, 16gb ram, z170 mobo, RX 480 8G*, 250gb ssd, 1tb hdd, corsair CX650M

$1200 Builds

1. $1211.35 after $45 MIR (Prices @ June 23, 2016)
  • i7 6700k, H80i GT AIO, 16gb ram, z170 mobo, RX 480 8G*, 250gb ssd, 1tb hdd, corsair CX650M
2. $1197.34 after $60 MIR (Prices @ June 23, 2016)
  • i5 6600k, 16gb ram, z170 mobo, GTX 1070, 250gb ssd, 1tb hdd, corsair CX650M
*RX480 at the time this build was created is very close to being released, and prices are based on AMD announcements. Prices are subjected to change.
Shouldn't this be a "Sticky" ???
 

Darren

Moderator
Staff member
@Intel_man or anyone else that wants to work on this PM me. I'd be happy to assist in any way I can and help format it even. I think a guide like this would be worthwhile to keep on top of, especially since there's a lot of new stuff this year and a lot of people are here for build lists.
 

Intel_man

VIP Member
Well I just need people to post builds that would be good suggestions to new members. I don't mind keeping it updated, just no one has really put the time to doing so.

I spent a couple of hours on and off organizing, creating builds, and formatting that initial post.
 

C4C

Well-Known Member
Well I just need people to post builds that would be good suggestions to new members. I don't mind keeping it updated, just no one has really put the time to doing so.

I spent a couple of hours on and off organizing, creating builds, and formatting that initial post.
I created one just like this last year I believe... Took quite a bit of time, and I didn't have any time to update it. Props to you :p

I'll definitely help out because I love creating PCPartPicker lists.

Kam tried it: http://www.computerforum.com/threads/low-mid-high-ultra-end-builds-guide.235420/#post-1976984
Ninjabubbles3 tried it: http://www.computerforum.com/threads/gaming-builds-300-through-800.231876/
and I can't find my thread on trying, but we all failed. Best of luck hehe :D
 

C4C

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure how you feel about OEM licenses, but I love saving people some money... I've used Kinguin.net for a few computer builds... Win 10 Pro is only $30 on there, sometimes less. Saves about $50 for you to add to other components!
 

AMD_man

Member
May I suggest a few additions?

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Deepcool GAMMAXX 400 74.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z170 PRO GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($110.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($58.97 @ Jet)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($79.99 @ B&H)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($48.89 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB Dual Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill NIGHTHAWK 117 ATX Full Tower Case ($69.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair RM 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $833.77 ($922.79 without MIR)

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/AMD_man/saved/G6dD3C

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($74.93 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI 970 GAMING ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($66.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($47.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow UV400 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($40.88 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($36.00 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair SPEC-01 RED ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($16.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $438.63 ($476.66 without MIR)

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/AMD_man/saved/DVVcf7

I´ve noticed you are not fond of using AMD CPUs so you can just swap that for something more Intelish.
 

AMD_man

Member
Lists look good for the most part.

AMD CPU's are a foolish buy at this point except at maybe the very low end, if even that.
Yes that's why I included it only on the low budget build. I wanted to keep it under $500 and the Skylake I3s start at $100, while this one is $70.

Also what did you mean by "for the most part"? What would you change?
 
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AMD_man

Member
Making sure the 8-core CPU just about matches the performance of a 5-year old i5 2500K at stock, yes...
Funny thing is, Intel has been struggling with the same thing. Single thread performance from a brand new 6600k is not that different from the one of the 2500k.

Also, speaking of multi-core performance, the FX-8350 destroys the 6600k. Granted, it´s double amount of cores, almost no software can use them all, but still...
 
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