$400 Upgradeable Budget Build

Hey Guys,

I have finally gotten enough guts to sign up onto the website, after watching 'The Tek' for nearly 1 and a bit years now I think! Anyway Ive sort of got an idea about what I want, and I definitely know how to put a custom build together so there's no worries in that department. Ive always been a laptop guy, but I think its time to get to the roots and finally get a decent desktop that can do what I want.

The specs I have in mind are as of the current and I haven't made any changes. I'm looking for change though, as I am willing to spend either through the $400 - $500 dollar range. I'm just strangely confused as to what parts I should be looking at and simple Google searches don't seem to show off results I intended.

I live in Australia and it seems that hardware tends to be a bit on the expensive side of things and I just don't know where a good deal is, a few guys that I know of use this site. It seems okay, just some of the things listed in these builds tend to not show up on the site.

I have a mouse and keyboard and I am not picky with displays and have two monitors ready to go, I have a power outlet nearby and Ethernet at my disposal. The PC would mainly be used for an array of different things, School Work, Using programs such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver etc and also playing games on a regular basis such as Battlefield and some of the next gen titles coming to PC. I wouldn't mind overclocking the machine, but I want it to last and don't want to over do it. I would consider water-cooling in the near future after building the system but I just don't see it happening right away. I also have Windows 7 already and that wont be an issue.

I want this system to be upgradeable sort of like how you can modify your vehicle by adding a turbo or an supercharger. I don't want to have to get a fresh motherboard to fit my rocking new ram because I wanted to upgrade. I want it to sort of last, but I want a decent computer to last me until I have some more money to spend on the system.

Appreciate your help and advice, thanks Ex!

The parts you want to be static and that can be "recycled" in a pc are mainly PSU, Storage, Case and RAM. If these are good and solid parts they can be recycled into a next build, motherboard not so much.

The parts you want to be solid are those 4 parts. A good motherboard and a CPU can last for 2 builds if you wanna stay on top of things.

When building a PC, thinking long term will get you off cheaper than buying something now, and upgrading it later 100% of the times and unless you're willing to spend more, i'd wait and save some more money before getting a proper build.

*Edit* I removed a 250 words here, i felt it didn't answer your question.

Didn't read the whole thing. I just went ahead and configured something for $400 after rebates:


It's $455 before those discounts/rebates. If you're happy to save up that extra $50 to cover the cost before rebates, this would do a good job of playing BF4 on at least medium settings. A GPU like a 7850 would be preferable in place of the 7790. That will set you back $40 in addition to that, around $500.


Newegg doesn't ship to australia.  And while the build is decent for the money it won't be upgradeable. If you want to get a good CPU later on you'd have to get a new motherboard as well, as well as a new PSU for a better graphics card a good 550w supply would be enough for most single gpu cards.

But as i said in my previous build, long term thinking is much cheaper in the end. let's say you'd spend 500$ now, you'd have to spend at least another 700$ later on, or you can spend 800-900 dollars from the start and save a lot of money, and that is to get a great gaming experience. 


Thank-you for your contribution, you seem to me minded pretty well at these things. I understand about the cpu and that and I don't mind buying a different motherboard etc. I could even do without a graphics card for a little while if I wanted to really go all out and get a really nice CPU. Its just at the moment, im running on a fairly old laptop and she's about to go kaput. I need something urgent If you get what I mean.


Thanks for your contribution, I had a look at the specs and they seem nice. But it just wasn't what I was looking for (unfortunetly). Thanks though :)

I just couldn't leave the last post as it was, and i was short on time :/

Here's a build that would give you a great gaming experience from the start. 

Final build

No upgrades needed! It is expensive within that 800-900 dollar range. But i'll give you another option closer to your current budget. I put in an expensive graphics card there, you could get a gtx 660 for 249$ and get away 80$ cheaper, and the gtx 660 does still "deliver" in games to this day. The reason i want you to get a powerful CPU is so that you won't have to replace motherboard and CPU later on for several hundred dollars.

Upgradeable build

Now for the next build is probably something you're looking for. I know it's 550 dollars but trust me it'll give you every last bit of performance in dollars, the 2133 mhz ram will GREATLY help your APU graphics performance, as it uses the RAM as a graphics card would use V-RAM.

This build costs 550$ or 530$ depending on APU(CPU). The only thing that i would consider changing here would be the APU itself from the 172$ A10-6800K to a  149$ A10 5800K.  The 20 $ might not justify the performance difference in games varies between 1-8 average fps increase in these benchmarks

If you're planning on getting an SSD in the future i'd get the 20$ more expensive ASUS motherboard as it has SATA 6 Gb/s connectors instead of the 3 Gb/s i've got in the cart. While 3 Gb/s works fine with any standard HDD, an SSD needs the 6Gb/s for it's full potential. (The data transfer cable (SATA) from the HDD is plugged into SATA connectors on the motherboard)

You can run this build until you can afford a GPU like gtx 660/760 or HD 7870 /R9 280

I'm actually gonna throw in a third option, since the APU sacrifice processing power for the intergrated graphics. This build has a dedicated graphics card and lies between the two in pricing. This one features an FX-6300 and a Radeon HD 7770 graphics card.

2nd Build

This benchmark should explain a lot and it sits at 600$ in the end to run games at good quality you can spend another 150$ for a gtx 660 and get a nice gaming pc.

The choice is yours and we'll help you consider it, personally i'd stick to the first build since it'll give most performance / $ when the pc is complete. :P


the 7850 plays battlefield 4 very well on ultra setting at least 40fps averaging about 55fps

pc case gear is good but if you cant find somthing there has a look at msy.com.au they have a lot of hardware most of it is a bit cheaper than pc case gear but shiping for individual items is more and they have stores all over australia


Thankyou so very much for this! Really appreciate it and I will take all your ideas into consideration! The link for the second build unfortunetly doesn't work? (EDIT: I think I've decided that I will probably spend $900 dollars on a decent system like the first one you recommended. Thankyou a lot for your help, i also read up and my CPU can support faster ram would that be in any way beneficial ? Or could I just leave it be)


Thanks mate, I also have a Hardware store in town which I guess I can go have a quick look. Cheers!

Game framerate is not very dependent of RAM speeds, i would not get any faster speeds than 2133 but even then the difference between 1600mhz is only a very few fps, around 0-5% when you're lucky and doesn't really justify the price increase and is mostly useful for professional RAM intensive applications.

I noticed on the other hand that the build is missing an optical drive ^^, you might wanna add one of those if you know you'll need one, or haven't got one lying around.

the 2nd build was basically a gtx 660 card and 4 gb of memory compared to the final build.


Thankyou heaps for this. I think this will be the system I go with the first one you linked. I will definitely upload a picture of the completed build ;) Thankyou for your time!