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Budget Build
Mashard4 commented on 17 April 2017 at 9:09 pm UTC

Me and my roommate for next semester are splitting the price to build a gaming pc. We intend to put Windows on it so he can play League of Legends and his games and so I can play games like Umvc3, Tales of Berseria, FFXIII, etc. Howver, for games that support Linux, I'll play them on Linux(Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite, Rocket League, Hyperlight Drifter, etc.).

What distribution would be good here? We're getting a Nvidia GPU, have at least 8GB RAM, 150 GB storage AT LEAST, and intel processor. I'm thinking about Antergos with the GNOME desktop, but also considering Manjaro and Ubuntu. Manjaro/Antergos i prefer over Ubuntu, but i've only had laptops up until this point, so rolling releases will probably be better than Ubuntu, even if it has less of a chance to break than Manjaro/Antergos. I'm considering the GNOME desktop because it looks the best on a 1080p monitor to me and it uses less resources than KDE.

also, any general recommendations?

Avehicle7887 commented on 18 April 2017 at 7:19 pm UTC

Judging by your Steam account I see you're in the US so I'll base my suggestion to around 450-500$.

Case - This is probably one of the least components you have to worry about, as a personal preference I always look for one with the PSU on bottom, cheap versions of these kind exist today. I don't really like dangling wires and you also get better CPU ventilation.

CPU - Intel G4560 Kaby Lake, 3.5GHZ Dual Core with HyperThreading, performs more or less very close to an i3 at half the price.

Ram - For a budget build 2133MHZ will do, personally I don't have much preference towards brands, although what I always look for are the ones with Lifetime Warranty. I have 5 systems at home and believe it or not, each have different memory brands, one of them is even 6 years old and works wonderful.

Motherboard - The basic Kaby-Lake boards come with the B250 chipset, however you can also use an H110 Chipset (Skylake Era) one, these boards are generally cheaper and with a bios update they also support Kaby-Lake. Just so you know, some of these boards don't support Kaby out of the box and may need the bios update so if you can find a store that will do it for you (for a small fee usually) that might save you some money.

Graphics - a GTX 1050 / Ti is probably your best choice here, My favorite brands are Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA, Asus and to a lesser extent Gainward.

Power Supply - Not an expert on these but I've read on many sites that EVGA are good for budget builds. On my builds I run Corsair and Antec, both good quality PSU's. There are many good PSU's for a budget build.

Hard Disk - I would go with a 1TB on this, there is little price difference compared to a 500GB that it's not worth it. My best recommendation goes to Western Digital (Just make sure it has 64MB Cache).

If you have any questions or links send away, I'd be happy to help. :-)

Mashard4 commented on 18 April 2017 at 7:46 pm UTC

Thanks for the reply, man. Really appreciate it. Gave us some valuable input about some hardware, especially the Graphics Card, which was really the main piece we were thinking about.

I just have two questions and I'll be straight: What distro should I go with: Antergos or Ubuntu? Using the Gnome desktop either way. Also, what is your experience using a lot of Logitech equipment? Their controllers and headphones work great for me on my Manjaro Xfce laptop, but I've never heard much noise about their wireless keyboards, mice, or speakers in regards to Linux.

Xpander commented on 18 April 2017 at 8:27 pm UTC

i wouldn't buy i3 or anything with 2 cores these days really, if you want to get along with this computer for 3+ years.

i5 or a ryzen R5 would be pretty good and pretty cheap also combined with some B350 motherboard for ryzen or B250 for intel. If you get a cheaper intel, make sure it is the K version so you can give it some OC later if needed.
I'd still go with R5 1500 for example. Comes with pretty decent cooler and can be OC'd to 3.7-3.8ghz easily with few clicks in UEFI.

With i5 you will probably get better fps on many games, but with Ryzen you will get much more smoother experience as it has more cores and minimum framerates tend to be much more stable with it. But if you go with cheaper GPU you will be GPU limited anyway.

1050Ti is pretty good but if you have a bit more money then 1060 6GB variant would be really good for 1080p gaming

also consider getting an SSD for few games and the OS, it will boost the experience quite a bit.

i would go with:

Ryzen R5 1500X CPU - $189

MSI B350 Mobo - $79.99

Nvidia EVGA GTX 1060 GPU - $230.39

Corsair DDR4 Memory - $125.00

EVGA 600W PSU - $48.35

Adata 128GB SSD - $53.30

Seagate 2TB Storage Drive - $66.99

Bitfenix Case - $51.02

Total $844

Without SSD and with 8GB of ram it would be $735
Quite cheap and pretty powerfull for the next 3+ years

g000h commented on 19 April 2017 at 1:10 am UTC

Adding my own comments regarding 'cheap pc builds', because I make lots of them and it is good to have a number of perspectives.

First thing is - The guys so far have mentioned absolute latest generation processors, RAM, and motherboards.

Unless you are planning to do the cutting edge of gaming, there is no need to get latest generation kit, which generally attracts a premium in terms of cost.

However, if you do buy a latest gen motherboard, RAM, and low-end CPU, then at least you can take out the CPU later and put in a higher-end one. Also in terms of future potential, more future games are likely to run Vulkan graphics, and Vulkan tends to perform better with more CPU cores. (More so than older non-Vulkan games, which tend to favour a fast single core.)

There is little performance difference between any of the last few years of Intel chips. i.e. a fast Haswell Core i5 chip is practically the same performance as a Kaby-Lake Core i5 chip. The primary difference is in the power usage.

This isn't necessarily a fair fight, but you see there isn't much between these two processors:

i5-7640K Kaby Lake-X 4-core, 4-thread Mar 2017 release 4.3GHz turbo, 3.9GHz typical = 18720 benchmark

i5-4690K Haswell 4-core, 4-thread Jun 2014 release 3.9GHz turbo, 3.5GHz typical = 15680 benchmark

Obviously, if you overclocked the older 4690K to match the speed of the 7640K then it would be almost the same benchmark.
What I'm saying is that you're getting very little benefit for forking out more to pay for a newer Intel chip. With the Kaby Lake example above, you'd pay more for the DDR4 RAM (versus DDR3) and more for the motherboard.

If you are primarily doing a cost cutting exercise, then you'll probably handle more demanding games better, IF you focus on optimising the graphics card side.

I very much like what AMD are doing with their latest GPUs and the open-source AMDGPU driver. Also I like AMD's performance versus cost of their cards too. Particularly the RX480 8GB card which is about £230 or $230. The Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB card is similar in terms of performance, but costs about £140 / $140 MORE. However, NVidia cards tend to work better across the plethora of games on the market, whereas sometimes AMD cards have major issues. (Paying about £230/$230 gets you an Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB card, somewhat inferior in performance to the RX 480 8GB.)

The new AMD RyZen processors are interesting - fast and lots of cores. But they're too expensive for my tastes. I'm still a big fan of the older AMD FX generation processors, which can be picked up nice and cheap. Generally they have a lot of cores compared to a similar price Intel (good for Vulkan). They overclock too, so put on a semi-decent CPU cooler and you're away.

I'm using an AMD FX8350 4GHz system with Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB to cope with 4K gaming. Okay, the most demanding titles I can't run well enough at 4K but typically - that system manages pretty well. Dying Light (Linux), Doom (Windows + Vulkan), Grid Autosport (Linux), Watch Dogs 2 (Windows), Mad Max (Linux), Serious Sam 3 BFE (Linux), Rocket League (Linux), Shadow Warrior 2013 (Linux), 7 Days To Die (Linux) ---> All those working fine at 4K for my *old* CPU. Doom using Vulkan runs amazingly fast (4K ~ 100fps).

Here's a quick calc for a PC built using FX processor:

£100 AMD FX 8-core clocked to 4GHz or higher (or maybe a 4-core / 6-core)
£20 Coolermaster TX3 Evo cpu cooler
£50 8GB DDR3 RAM
£100 480GB Sandisk Ultra II SSD (or something cheaper. 1TB mechanical drive ~ £40)
£25 Aerocool VS1 case
£30 500W PSU
£230 AMD RX 480 8GB or GTX 1060 3GB graphics
£55 970A motherboard

TOTAL £610 (In USA, probably the same price in Dollars)

Note - The graphics and SSD cost a BIG chunk of the total.

Mashard4 commented on 20 April 2017 at 10:48 pm UTC

Thanks again for your suggestions. Especially about the Ryzen CPU!

chancho_zombie commented on 21 April 2017 at 11:35 am UTC

@g000h interesting so you say that an fx8350 paired with a high end card can cope with 4k most of the time?

I say go with ryzen Xpander build is ok maybe with 8gb of ram and 1050 4gb if you want to save some bucks.

I don't know the price of the pound but the AMD FX build doesn't make sense to me 610 pounds are 782 usd so it 's actually more expensive than the ryzen build with 8gb ram and without ssd . Even if it's cheaper in the US (which probably is) it doesn't make sense to me saving 100 usd for a really old setup and less future proof. If you want to save some bucks I 'd say go with a Ryzen 1400 that's 4 core and 8 threads and 169 usd and then you could upgrade. And go with 8gb of ram and then you could upgrade. And about the ssd it really doesn't improve the frames of the games it will make them load faster and the OS will boot faster and some tasks will execute faster (like searching for files) but IMHO it's not crucial for gaming.
And instead of the MSI b350 I 'd go with a gigabyte GA-AB350M-D3H that's essentially the same but it has 4 ram slots
or an ASUS b350 Prime B350M-A/CSM
they cost 10 usd more but it will be easier to upgrade the ram the other way you will have to throw away both 4gb sticks if you want to upgrade to 16gb of ram.

Solar commented on 23 April 2017 at 2:55 pm UTC

chancho_zombie@g000h interesting so you say that an fx8350 paired with a high end card can cope with 4k most of the time?
I am very surprised at that too.
I have the FX8350 and a 1060, using Dirt as a benchmark, @ 1920x1080 I get roughly the same FPS on very low and ultra high settings, which means the 8350 is a massive bottleneck to the 1060.
So I don't know how he is managing to game comfortably at 4k with a much bigger bottleneck.

Xpander commented on 23 April 2017 at 3:05 pm UTC

with 4K GPU will probably bottleneck first, so theres no big difference between cpu's cause it kills the GPU at that resolution.

i had fx 8320 before OC'd to 4.5ghz and while it was fine enough for some games it was really bad with most games, couldnt even get the perf of some other people got with i3, thanks to opengl games being singlethreaded mostly.
FX cpus are power hungry and not really good to buy right now. Ryzen R5 is really good in terms of price and performance and should be fairly future proof with the core count when more vulkan titles will be available that utilize more cores.

bintsmok commented on 30 April 2017 at 12:22 pm UTC

Back2Gaming, one of the few online publications that promotes Linux gaming, did a few benchmarks on Pentium G4560 + GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.

But as Xpander have mentioned, Core i5 7400 or Ryzen 1400 are the better CPU options for a new PC in 2017. Get a quad-core CPU if budget allows.


Ultrawide Gaming on a Tight Budget


JessieWalker commented on 2 May 2017 at 7:10 am UTC

These are great. I'm stealing these ideas next time I build a PC.

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