Console n00b building a steam gaming machine to beat the Alienware Alpha. PC Master race experts please advise

I have an AMD and really like their value but they are coming up on 3 years old. Buy intel. You can get a decent 1150 motherboard an a cheap dual core Pentium. Games will play better on the pentium and you can eventually upgrade the cpu to an i5 or something. They run cooler and use less power which means the stock cooler will work better.

I wish someone would have guided me toward intel. I have an 8350 and it is hard to cool.

Do this: 

Intel Pentium G3258 $70

ASRock Z97 Anniversary LGA 1150 $75 after $10 rebate

I use rebates and if you're broke or on a tight budget you should too. $10 adds up over a whole computer build. If you leave off the dvd drive that bumps you to $30 saved ($20 for the drive and $10 so far in rebates) 

I feel I have a great deal of knowlege regarding what you need, i'm a self aclaimed part guru ;) and I sell pc parts on Ebay regularly, this rig will hold its value the best. 

When planning to resell a rig you ALWAYS go as cheap as you can on the parts that don't affect performance without affecting build quality. AMD cpus are out of the question when considering resale value 2-3 years down the road, AMD will have no value as fx is already very aged.

here's what I came up with. It's a bit outside what I would normally reccomend but it will hold value and game well and that's what matters. it's a bit over budget but to fit your criteria it honestly has to be. Don't underestimate an i3 it's a dual core with hyperthreading so it acts like 4 cores with near 4 core performance. I'd also suggest getting the operating system through questionable means if you know what I mean.



Thanks Murda. I actually really like your newest build even though the article said it's not the most ideal for gaming (strange that they said it handles games very well). I realized my latest build didn't have the motherboard price displayed for some reason so unfortunately that build is out of the question now. =|

I may look into slightly altering your latest build and seeing what I come up with. 

the pentium is only worth it if you overclock the living balls out of it, he doesn't want to overclock

7 or 8 should not matter as you will upgrade to ten for free. Ten will have access to direct X 12 (think AMD's mantle).

Edit. If you upgrade to ten it acts as an OEM install.

It's true, but dirt cheap. Some games utilize the processor better than others. The future will be more geared toward making use of raw cpu power.  

Holy crap this build looks baaaaad.

I'd elaborate more but I'm on my phone. OP's build is leaps better.

For games it will work, most games work better with a strong single core than on an AMD. 

Do rebates, 

EVGA 02G-P4-2963-KR GeForce GTX 960 2GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready SLI Support ACX 2.0+ Video Card $199 after $10 rebate

Otherwise you'd be stuck with a basic Zotac card instead of the Bar, which is Evga. 

This is my favorite build so far.

I thought an i3 might be out of budget since he was considering the FX 4100 which was going for $59. But yeah, an i3 is more better than a Pentium dual core but it's also more expensive by $50.  

Yeah, I didn't know what to say about the OS bit either.

I'd buy which ever is cheaper (7 or 8) through a legit source and wait for the 10 update. I bought 8 and love it but if you can save a few bucks with Win7, might as well.  

So many great suggestions here! Soulfallen thanks for the post, since you sell parts then you know exactly what predicament I'll be when I go to sell it. I'm overclocking just thinking about all the different choices here lol, bad joke! So it seems like either way ChromeFinch and SoulFallen have agreed that AMD is out of the question so I'll scrap that CPU/MOBO combo.

You know originally I was under the belief that four cores is just better in general than two cores so thanks for explaining that to me. I watched a video on the alienware alpha and the guy was going on about how i3 is already outdated since it's just two cores and new games will be requiring four.. Good to know it's still a good performer. Doesn't matter much to me as long as it lasts till at least sometime next year, maybe black friday 2016 will be a good time to build a new computer.

Thanks again for the link. I'll check it out and report back.


EDIT: Also here is the link for the questionable windows lol. I think this is who I may go with unless there are better suggestions =P

Also I just read your last post Soul. Do you think your build can handle BF4 online reliably? And if so how many FPS do you estimate it would have. Many thanks as I am still a complete noob with PCs in many aspects. However I do like your build. I may delete the hard drive and go with the 128gb SSD since I'd rather have the speed as opposed to memory. 

I'll modify it a bit and report back! =)

I'm surprised by the lack of Athlon X4 860K builds.  It seems appropriate for this price range.

While I admire Intels last attempt to make a dual core relevant it simply isn't worth it unless if you get it over 5 ghz by some miracle of overclocking. modern games absolutely need 4 cores or you're going to bounce between 15-60 fps so often you're going to have one hell of a migraine, this is especially true for battlefield, it is a very cpu heavy game a pentium will be utterly brought to its knees.

4 cores is indeed better than 2 that's the magic of the i3, while it is a 2 core it has something called hyperthreading which gives each core 2 threads allowing it to act like a 4 core. I'm not sure why that guy would claim it's outdated.. he too must have no idea what hyper threading is.

here's what i'm talking about. the pentium has massive frame time variance in a game which utilizes more than 2 cores. the i3 and athalon are within the margin of error of each other, and I went with the I3 for the resale value of the intel platform. 

I don't have that much intel experience. 

If I had to choose between an FX 4100 and a dual core Pentium, I'd go for the Pentium. If I had $120 to spend I'd still lean toward i3 but I'd rather spend my budget on a better gpu and get the Pentium for now.,3888-3.html

With that said, $60 isn't going to get you that much better a gpu so, if you have it in your budget, get the i3. What GPU were you thinking? 


So I ended up typing a few paragraphs only to accidentally leave the page. Great lol.

Those are some good articles there. It seems like I'm gonna end up going with the R9 280 GPU.

This is the build from SoulFallen with my tweaks with SSD (for speed rather than storage) instead of HDD (I won't need much more than the SSD for awhile) and adding mouse, OS and keyboard but unfortunately it ends up going much higher than I anticipated. Will the stock CPU fan be fine for the i3 for regular online gaming?

Here is the $638 question. Would I be able to make at least half of my money back next year if I go to sell the parts to upgrade to a nicer rig? Or am I better off building something around $400 and selling it on craigslist as a cheapo computer for $200? I know this is a crazy question to ask and I'm probably getting on your nerves but this is the biggest purchase I've ever made besides a PS4! lol And if I do spend the $638 I'll be so broke and money comes by slow for me because of school.

Going back to murda's budget build. I know it won't be able to handle a game like BF4 on high settings, but do you think it could handle the game on medium settings with good FPS? Since I'm playing competitively I guess I won't be taking advantage of the better graphics anyway (it sucks to say that but thinking realistically)

This is a tough predicament but exciting at the same time. I need to catch some sleep but I'll be sure to come back and read more suggestions and opinions. You've all been of great help, hopefully someday I can help someone in the same position I'm in.

Here is another thought. Why not look on craigslist for someones old build. You can get a pretty powerful machine and add a SSD for a decent price.

That's a good thought too! I can benefit from someone else's loss. Great idea man. I'd imagine there would be some risk involved buying used but it would have to be a calculated risk.

be very careful buying a used build, if you aren't sure link it here i'll be happy to give my 2 cents.