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Budget Gaming PC Thread v2 - Post your builds to help other players!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > New Player Help
Budget Gaming PC Thread v2 - Post your builds to help other players!

Wreckcenter's Avatar

01.10.2012 , 02:19 PM | #1
Edit: Updated for March 2012!
Edit: Added DVD and HDD to the total price.
Edit: Added Windows 7 64-bit special deal at bottom.

This is a challenge to all other SWTOR players to help put together the best budget gaming PC capable of playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. I've put this thread together for budget conscious players. The economy is really tough right now, so I thought that a thread about building the best performing PC for the lowest dollar might be really helpful. My suggestions assume you're a U.S. resident and that you have a Microcenter computer store (or at least a store that will match their price.) They have a killer deal if you buy both a motherboard and CPU as a bundle.

This PC is the best price to performance ratio I could come up with. It includes an Intel i5 2500K microprocessor. This CPU has the BUS multiplier unlocked so it can be overclocked. The bundle also includes a Radeon HD 6770, and for the price, it is the best budget video card on the market. This machine should (conservative estimate) let you play Star Wars: The Old Republic at high settings on a typical 1080p display. With two video cards in a Crossfire configuration, you should be able to play at maximum settings on a typical 1080p display. Now includes ASUS GEN3 Motherboard; supports Ivy Bridge CPU and PCIe 3.0!

Don't forget that mail in rebates expire on the postmarked date. So you have up to and including the date of the expiration to mail out any rebates. As far as prices are concerned, I've put the earliest rebate expiration date as the cutoff. So these prices are valid until posted date.

I've included two prices. One is how much you pay to buy each item, and the second is how much it will cost you in end after you get all your rebates. Keep in mind rebates can take anywhere between 1 and 6 weeks, so don't spend any money you don't have.


Local: Yes. [Any Microcenter location]
Region: United States
Valid: 03/14/2012


Now for the details:

* GEN3 Motherboard, Supports Ivy Bridge and PCIe 3.0
* DDR3 2200 Dual Channel, 32GB Max
* SATA 6Gb/s
* Quad-GPU SLI & Quad-GUP CrossFireX
* PCIe 3.0 x16 [2]
* PCIe 2.0 x16 [1]
* PCIe 1.0 x1 [2]
* PCI [2]
* USB 3.0
* 10/100/1000 Ethernet
* Digital Optical Audio
* $50 instant rebate with CPU purchase

129.99 [$179.99 - $50 IR; exp 03/31/2012]

Intel Core i5 2500K
* 3.3 GHz; 3.7 GHz Turbo
* 4 Cores
* 6MB L3 Cache
* Unlocked BUS Multiplier; Overclock


XFX HD-667X-ZWF4 Radeon HD 6670
* 1GB 128-bit GDDR5; 1200MHz [4.8Gbps]
* 800MHz Core Clock
* PCIe 2.1 x16
* Eyefinity
* Crossfire

$74.99 [$99.99 - $25 MIR; exp 03/15/2012]

Pareema 8GB [2x4GB]
* DDR3 1333 PC3 10600
* Dual Channel


OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W
* Modular
* SLI & Crossfire Certified

$39.99 [$74.99 - $10 IR - $25 MIR; exp 3/14/12]

Cooler Master Elite 430 Case
* Mid Height ATX
* 6 Fan Mounts


Samsung 24X SATA DVD+/-RW
* 24x DVD
* 48x CD


Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM
* 500GB
* SATA 6.0Gb/s



Total Price for the PC before Rebates: $662.14 [$60 in Instant Rebates]
Total Price for the PC after Rebates: $612.14 [$60 in Instant Rebates, $50 in Mail In Rebates]


Windows 7 Professional 64-bt $82.99! - Free shipping, No Tax.

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit


Kytea's Avatar

01.10.2012 , 05:29 PM | #2
great suggestion. Sticky-worthy

Val_Silverfall's Avatar

01.10.2012 , 06:12 PM | #3
This was something I got into until tax season hits. It was a last minute build due to an electrical system blowing out my gaming computer system.

AMD A8-Series Quad-Core A8-3850 APU - 2.9GHz, Socket FM1, Radeon HD 6550D (400 Cores)

Tiger Direct Price: $134.99
Newegg Price: $139.99

GIGABYTE GA-A75M-UD2H AMD A Series Motherboard - Micro ATX, Socket FM1, AMD A75 Chipset

Tiger Direct Price: $84.99 (after $10 rebate and $15.00 Instant Savings)
Newegg Price: $84.99 (after $10 rebate)

Kingston HyperX Genesis 8GB (2 x 4GB), PC3-12800, DDR3-1600MHz, 9-9-9-27 CAS

Tiger Direct Price: $49.99
Newegg Price: $49.99

Totals: $269.97 at Tiger with rebates......$274.97 at Newegg with rebates

I did not include shipping as with some states you have tax to pay which your shipping is also taxable in some states (like FL).

Now what most people are going to do is finish off the system with the rest of the components which will add about 400 bucks to this "budget" system. AMD as also just released the BE's for thes APU's just last week, so they're unlocked as compared to their original generations. Don't be fooled by the on-die video. Unlike the Sandybridge comparible, these 6000 series on die video chipsets are pretty decent and do quite well considering what they are. Recommended RAM for these chips is 1600 MHz, anything more doesn't garner much more improvement on the "speed" of the video (less than 2%).

To complete this system (as if you were building the rest and needed the rest of the components):

Aerocool Qx-2000 Computer Case - MicroATX ($89.99)

Coolmax M-500B ATX Power Supply - 500W, 120mm Fan ($34.99)

Western Digital WD2500AAKX Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 250GB, 3.5", SATA 6Gbps, 7200 RPM, 16MB (79.99)

(OPTIONAL DRIVE) Corsair CSSD-F120GBGT-BK Force GT Series Solid State Drive - 120GB, 2.5", SATA III, 6Gbps (166.99 after $30.00 rebate)

Lite-On IHAS124-04 Internal DVD Writer ($17.99)

(OPTIONAL DVD) Lite-On iHBS112-29 12X 3D Internal Blu-Ray Writer ($99.99)

(OPTIONAL Discreet) XFX HD-667X-ZWF4 Radeon HD 6670 Video Card - 1GB, DDR5 ($74.99 after $25 rebate and $10 instant savings) This card is the highest you can pair with the on-die graphics before you're going into running from the discreet card itself.

And I'm not pricing in keyboard/mouse combo's because everyone has different needs. Also didn't price in a monitor as you may have one or plan to upgrade to whatever size.
I'm seeing 40FPS average in SWTOR (across the board, populated and non-populated areas) with no shadows and grass turned off (who needs grass), everything else is set to high.

Total system build minus KB/Mouse/Monitor: $492.93

Total optional system build minus KB/Mouse/Monitor: $736.92

Tiger Direct Prices.

I'm sure between Tiger, Newegg, and Amazon, you could undercut these prices, but this gives you an idea. No, you're not going to see 120 FPS with this system, and you may not ever break 50 FPS, but 40 FPS avg is a decent enough playable setting for this game and many more.
The Watchmen (Rep) - Khoonda Militia - US EAST PvE

Wreckcenter's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:51 AM | #4
Excellent, keep the suggestions coming. If anyone is outside the U.S. and has suggestions, that would be helpful.

I didn't include a hard disk drive or copy of Windows in my build, or a display. Often these are things you can transfer over from your old computer. Also, a new hard disk drive right now is pretty expensive because of the flooding in Thailand, so be wary of the prices.

If you want to upgrade to a new copy of Windows, your best bet is an OEM copy of 64-bit Windows 7 Home from the usual places (NewEgg, TigerDirect, etc.) You probably don't need Windows 7 Professional.

paul_preib's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 04:23 PM | #5
I think Val has it locked in more, the one issue I found with the first setup was the lack of accounting for a hard drive and dvd drive (yes I know for swtor specifically you don't need one, but it's still 30-40 bucks you should account for).

Doesn't bump things up tremendously, but figure an extra $100-$150 for the two items.

Built one myself just after Christmas that had the hard drive and power supply pirated out of an old machine, but when I accounted for the equivalents I could find online made the total price about $400.

AMD Phenom II 3.2 Mhz Dual Core Unlocked to four (admittedly from everything I've read you really only have about a 60% chance of success getting both additional cores succesfully unlocked) ($70-$80)

Asus HD 5450 (radeon 5450 with 1 gig ddr3-- Yes a weak point but at the mercy of the power supply I used and figure I'll upgrade both later on down the road ($40)

Foxconn A88GMV Motherboard (fairly run of the mill budget atx mobo but still had the core unlock capacity) ($68)

500 watt power supply (a bit low for any significant graphics card but suits this setup) ($30)

250 GIG Sata Hard drive (pirated off an old machine, but $70ish for equivlant)

2X 4gig Kingston HyperX Blu ddr3 1333 mhz Ram (19.99 each or $40 total)

I don't really think cases warrant listing because for these I would say 'the best case that happens to be on sale at the time". I happened upon an $80 case that was being clearanced down for $29.97 from tigerdirect (mid-tower atx with 4 built in case fans, three front usb slots, a front esata connector, four 5.25'' drive bays, six 3.5'' drive bays).

DVD ROM-- Pretty Generic Asus brand DVDRW for $32

That one isn't there anymore but a bit of digging and several similar equivalents can be found.

Also bear in mind if you will be able to hardline your machine or need a wifi card/adapter for it, which will run you $25-$30.

This machine would probably run crying from a seriously heavy-duty graphic-intensive game, but after a week of playing with my unlocked cores proving stable and my overclocked GPU (650 mhz up to 750) running consistently between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius I can play the game with mostly high settings (shadows turned down) with no framerate issues (not necessarily the full 60 but averages about 52 fps in low traffic areas, somewhere in the 30's in higher traffic spots).

The initial outlay of the machine was kept modest (hard to justify a big outlay when we also picked up a new TV during the after christmas sale-ing) but it functions just fine for the game now, with plenty of modality to improve the weaker points like power supply and GPU down the road perhaps come tax-return time.

paul_preib's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 04:35 PM | #6
Wanted to add one other thing-- sometimes it also pays to look at a package deal before jumping because they won't always be of best value.

You can sometimes see a case/Power supply combo for $100 where if you purchased basically those same two pieces by themselves would run $60-$80

The two four gig sticks of RAM I purchased individually because tigerdirect had them for $19.99 each or an "8 gig" package that was just the same two sticks for $44.99, just five bucks but still cheaper is cheaper.

Wreckcenter's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 04:59 PM | #7
Good tips. If I could offer one regarding power supplies, it's that you should never skimp on the power supply. Stick to major brands. There's an important difference between "cheap" and "good value." A cheap power supply can cause your entire investment to literally go up in smoke. Motherboard, CPU, video card, memory... kiss it all good bye.

Wreckcenter's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 05:04 PM | #8
I'd also like to recommend for any adapters, cables, or mounts that you might need. Their prices are unbelievable and the quality is pretty darn good. Also, if you live in California like I do, their overnight shipping is only $5 (might also be available for Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.)

Order an HDMI cable, get it tomorrow for super cheap. It's crazy.

Wreckcenter's Avatar

01.12.2012 , 11:52 AM | #9
Edit: now included in the 1st post.

[s]I thought I'd update the prices a little bit on some deals I've found. These are decent prices for a had disk drive, Blu-Ray drive, and Windows 7 OEM to round out my budget PC. I'll keep my eye out on a better deal on Windows, sometimes you can find it for as cheap as $70. Blu-Ray is a bit excessive, especially for a budget PC. You'd do better with a generic DVD drive for under $20.


LG N1A1DD1 3.5" Network Attached Storage - 1TB
* 1TB

With the instant rebate, it's cheaper than a HDD by itself. Think of it as a free networked storage case with your HDD.

$89.97 [$149.99 - $60.02 Instant Rebate]

* Blu-Ray and DVD read, write, and playback.

$64.99 [$6.99 shipping]

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
* Includes free Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 GMF-00046 Gold


paul_preib's Avatar

01.12.2012 , 03:09 PM | #10
Great pickup, my desktop is out in my living room with the computer desk literally 5 feet from the T.V. so I had been debating picking up a blu-ray writeable drive since already set up audio and video cables to go into the receiver and TV anyway.

Had just assumed I'd be dropping a touch over $100 when it came time to get the drive.