April 28, 2014
This month our aim was to provide a modest gaming system at a $700 price point. The Core-i3 paired with the R9 270 provides good performance for the cost. Some may debate that we should have used an FX-6300 instead; such changes can easily be made to the part list while retaining the same budget.
We opted to save money by reusing components from previous builds that we already had on hand. As a result, the price ended up slightly over our budgeted amount. Prices fluctuate hourly, so by carefully choosing similar spec components it should be possible to come in under $700 for this build (at least, at the time of writing this).
|CPU||Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor||$124.99 @ Newegg|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-H81.Amp-UP ATX LGA1150 Motherboard||$75.36 @ Newegg|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory||$79.99 @ Newegg|
|Storage||Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk||$80.99 @ Amazon|
|Storage||Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive||$54.98 @ OutletPC|
|Video Card||MSI Radeon R9 270 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card||$179.99 @ Newegg|
|Case||BitFenix Comrade ATX Mid Tower Case||$49.00 @ Amazon|
|Power Supply||Corsair CSM 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply||$79.99 @ Micro Center|
|Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.||$710.29|
|Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-28 15:12 EDT-0400|
BitFenix kindly provided the Comrade case for this build. I'm a fan of its simple and clean styling, and overall it was straight-forward to work with. At $50, it fits well for budget builds.
Inside is plenty of room for storage - three 2.5" and three 3.5" drive bays. The case comes with one 120mm fan in the rear, with space for two additional 120mm fans in front. Note that the only option for a radiator mount in this case is the rear 120mm fan mount. The front 120mm mounts will not accommodate a radiator.
Cable management is possible but tricky. There's only 1/4" of depth to work with behind the motherboard tray, so everything should be routed to the side or below to allow the side panel to fit back on. If you want to keep things clean, a modular or semi-modular power supply is a must.
While filming the build, I didn't take advantage of the top cable hole for the CPU power connector. After filming was over I rerouted the cables to use it as it kept the cables much cleaner. There isn't enough room to run the cable through with the motherboard installed, so to do this I had to remove the video card and motherboard, route the wire, then reinstall everything.
Overall the build came out fairly clean. I'm happy with the cable routing, though some aspects like the length of the HD audio cable made it somewhat challenging. For $50 (at the time of filming), I think this case has a place for budget builds.