$500 PC for light gaming/CUDA

Hi Everyone,

First post here, I'm a regular viewer of Tek Syndicate's youtube channel. 

I'm a PhD student looking to upgrade to a decent desktop from my Lenovo t420i. I've been hooked to dota2 recently and the HD3000 sucks.

Additionally for my research I'm learning CUDA so would like a Nvidia Card. I'm planning to put in $500. 

This is my build so far.  


If you can't open the link here are the details.

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 760K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($84.74 @ Amazon) 

Motherboard: MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($57.78 @ Newegg)

Memory: Kingston Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($68.99 @ SuperBiiz)

Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Amazon)

Case: Apevia X-SNIPER2-GN ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Mwave)

Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $496.47

I don't need a big hard drive as the 500gb on my laptop suffices. Any suggestions?

I live in Los Angeles, so all purchases in USD.

Many Thanks.

I have updated it to 


as I would prefer a very compact case and convinced my sister to buy the processor as an early bday present :)

I'm going to assume that you already have all of the peripherals and an OS already.

The motherboard on your current partlist is using the dead FM2 socket which would limit your ability to upgrade, so I changed it out for an FM2+ motherboard which would give you the option to upgrade your CPU in a few years.  The SSD that I chose is considerably better than one that you chose and it only costs a few dollars more and finally, the case that I chose has better airflow than the Apevia one and it also has USB 3.0


EDIT: I modified the build to meet your new criteria, the best thing about the build is that I squeezed in a GTX 760

Thanks a lot. 

What's your take on microATX vs mini-ITX for such a system?  

I personally believe that Mini ITX is too restrictive to be used in a primary PC, but it works amazingly for secondary PCs that are used for LAN parties and stuff like that.

Unless you really need the extra mobility, I would recommend using Micro ATX or ATX.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3i1uy The 6300 is slightly stronger than the 760k with 2 extra cores. I also really like the Asus M5A97 for a motherboard because of its 4+2 vrm design which allows for some good overclocking. 

Here's a $530 ish build. If you swap out the fx 6 chip for yours, it becomes about $515 for the build.


Also, please suggest alternatives if you can think of any, I've only really done low budget Intel builds.

The 760K has already been bought, so I must now build around it

I recommend two changes that aren't just aesthetic: at least find a motherboard that puts some heatsinks on the VRMs and upgrade the GPU to the EVGA GTX 750 Ti FTW Edition. It's about $173, but it is the absolute best version of the card that you can buy. Other than that, it looks fine. And by looks fine, I mean that I don't like any of your case choices, but it should produce a functional PC with decent specs anyway.

I'm fine with OP's build.  I use Mini-ITX for my main rig, and if you don't need multiple GPUs or expansion slots, it's pretty good.

I had the same thinking - that I'm not going to put anything else in it, and it just has to lie under my desk. So the smaller it is the better, right?