Building a fast budget computer

After watching Logan's new video today about the budget build, he brought up the XFX 7850 which I had never really given any thought to, since I was primarily looking at a 7870. I obviously have kind of a tight budget but I want to build a computer that will last me for the next 3-4 years, and by that point hopefully be able to play those game fine at medium settings while playing current ones such as FC3 on very high(not important to have ultra).

This worked well for the system that I have now, but with graphics and CPUs making such an advance to keep up with what developers are making, I'm not sure this gamble would play out so well this time. I checked some benchmarks for the XFX 7850 and in VH, it seems it can barely produce smooth frame rates in uber intense games such as FC3. I would rather pocket the extra $50 and not go for the 7870, but I have also heard that GPUs are much more important that CPUs these days. I obviously wouldn't know since I made my current build in 2009. :P

Another thing I have been looking at is ditching Windows completely and switching to Linux. Obviously, I have been doing quite a bit of testing and will continue to do so, to determine if it really fits my needs and wants, but it seems that most of my games run pretty good using Wine. Game speeds and grahpics drivers are a bit of a pain sometimes. I am not even concerned as far as productivity, since Linux has that base covered very well. This is a very serious question though. Would you recommend someone to use just Linux for their gaming rig, or is this a pipe dream?

Yet another question is about the GPU in general. Right now I am running a GTX 260 Core 216. It has become quite a turd with modern games, but I have read some very, very promising things with the Radeon 8000 series, I am very tempted to hold off for another 6 months until their release. I can;t find anywhere that nails down even an approximate release date on the 8000 series, with some placing it at the end of 2013. I personally don't want to wait that long, but could if my new parts were enough to get my GTX through until then.

As for parts, here is what I have planned. And I don't want to hear a bunch of bullshit from Intel fanboys. Keep that shit to yourself.

As for HDD and Optical drive, I can pull those from the build that I have right now.

If I do go with the XFX 7000, I have noticed that they have the Double D(two fans) and Core edition(one fan) for their GPUs. The DD has a higher clock but for the 7850 for instance, the Core is $190 while the DD is $230, as much as a 7870 Core edition. Is the extra fan and that extra 100mhz clock really worth it or do they just try to boast that crap up too much?

Well, with the advent of Steam on linux, it's slowly becoming more viable to game. But no, It still isn't the year of the Linux Desktop yet. Give it 2 more years before we don't have to look at GRUB's hideous menu and decide if we want to play games or do somthing productive. Also, can you validate getting a 2gb card, as in are you using a multi monitor setup?

Yes the other hardware would carry your 260 to some degree, I threw an X1950 in with a 2500k while I was waiting for a 6870 to ship and it could max league of draven, diablo 3, and did alright.


OK, I just edited the parts a little bit and trimmed several hundred dollars from the cost by downgrading a couple parts. First, is the modular PSU even a necessity since it is going to be in a decent size case or can I save the money and just have everything attached? The reason I want to get a 2 GB card is because my GTX has 896MB, and GPU memory hogs like heavily texture modded ArmA and GTA 4 murder it and it only costs $10 more for the extra GB. I like my texture packs a lot. :) As far as Linux, I may end up dual-booting for a while because while my GTX works well under it, I have heard quite a few negative reviews with AMD cards since AMD doesn't have as much focus with Linux.

I also picked out a sound card for 2 reasons. First is because I have seen a number of reviews of the ASrock 970 that onbaord sound has a tendancy to crap out, and I don't want to spend the time and money to RMA it for that, and also because I run some pretty decent 5.1 speakers now. I have heard that SCs are good if you want to have HQ sound from good speakers.

It's really a crap shoot for both Nvidia and AMD linux drivers. It's best to read what other people are saying about the specific card you're looking at. I've had bad luck with Nvidia linux drivers so I'm biased but the AMD linux drivers aren't particularly good either I hear.

Well, I suppose its the sort of thing that will just involve a lot of testing once I have all my new parts but I like to play a couple odd ball games that aren't even listed and aren't listed in Wine's game list. They will probably crash and run like shit, since they are my favorites and I play them more than other games. :P

Try that,it's more bang for your buck,and it's cheaper!

Here is yet another revised list. I would hope that going down to the 6300 won't hurt FPS too much, but it did trim $50 from the build. As for video card, is a ASUS 7870 really worth $75 more? It looks like it wont add much for FPS although that is a card I would OC. That would probably also mean a 650W PSU and another $40 though, I would imagine.