Helping friend build a 550$ Budget Gaming PC

I'm helping my somewhat tech illiterate friend build a gaming PC and I'm in charge of deciding what his build will consist of. I've built around 4 PCs so far and I'm getting okay at making a build but I would love your help with what I've come up with.

Keep in mind my friend wants to play games like Diablo 3, CS:GO, and GMod at 1080p 60 fps on hopefully the highest settings.We are also buying these parts in the state of California, where there is a 8% tax on all electronic goods so make sure that your total price * 1.08 = less than around 600. The builds I've made already factor tax.

Also note when it comes to the CPU and GPU, he will most likely not be doing any overclocking.

Here are the 2 builds up for consideration:



We're looking forward to hearing about your constructive criticism and changes to one or both builds. Or just helping us decide which one out of the two.

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both builds seem fine to me. I dont know about Raidmax's power supplys though.
I would get an i3 4170 and the 2gb r9 280. It wont even sweat in those games.
And use the freed up budget to get a SSD

Those power supplies are fire hazzards

here, save up a bit more, or live without a case, get an i3 if you really need to get the price down

You'd only want the FX 8 core CPU if he's doing a lot of various productivity stuff as well as gaming

PCPartPicker part list:
Price breakdown by merchant:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($174.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Asus H87M-E Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($73.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($32.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 380 4GB Video Card ($208.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($28.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($38.47 @ OutletPC)
Total: $608.40
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-12-21 19:01 EST-0500


Don't know if it would come out any cheaper as I am not going to bother to check, but the skylake i3 (6100 maybe?) is supposedly amazing for the price. But if it doesn't get the price down any, then the locked i5 is definitely the way to go.

CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($174.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI H81M-P33 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($45.98 @ OutletPC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($45.88 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon R9 380 2GB IceQ X² OC Video Card ($169.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($28.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($38.47 @ OutletPC)
Total: $534.29

Do not go with the AMD build. You will need a beefy motherboard to run the FX 8 Core and that motherboard does not cut out for it due to outdated chipset and lack of VRMS.

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Raidmax was just the cheapest semi-modular power supply. I can easily switch it out with an EVGA SuperNOVA NEX750B for only 10$ more, but would a 750w power supply for a 300w computer cause any damages?

Only a bad power supply can cause damages, you don't really want to cheap out on your power supply, also the NEX power supplies are reportedly bad

Got it on the AMD build, I didn't like it much myself anyway. So just switch out the power supply. Your build seems better but why did you switch out the motherboard?

costs, its cheaper.

I'm definitely not going to use the Raidmax power supply then.

I agree with your power supply change since its not only cheaper, but apparently won't blow up either. However is it worth it to spend 40$ more on 2 more GB of VRAM?

Depends, more games will probably make use of it in the future, it's more important for gaming at higher resolutions, you could probably live without it

Why hate on the Raidmax :O.My 500AF serves me well.

My friend isn't going to be playing the newest triple AAA shooters so I don't think VRAM is going to be that big of a deal. Plus my friend doesn't think he can afford any games for a while if he spends more than 600$ on his PC.

My build so far is going to be:

I switched out the MSI motherboard for the ASUS because its just 3$ more and I have a lot more experience with ASUS motherboards. Sorry MrChumps.

It's cheap junk thrown together, generally has bad reviews all around.

That motherboard has what looks to be a tiny power phase, might not be enough for an i5, generally speaking the H87/97 boards and above are better built, like in my build

I don't know what a power phase is so I'm going to trust you on the motherboard, when I switched out the motherboards here was the result:

It matters much more for AM3+ boards then it does for intel boards due to the power requirement on most AM3+ chips, but still.


Thanks for the video, really helped explain why I shouldn't always pick the cheapest motherboard all the time like I usually do

because 90% of Andyson's units are complete garbage.

Raidmax is basically all Andyson.

Although I'll just add that I've put a i5-4690 into the B85 board which has one of the whimpiest looking power deliveries I've seen on LGA1150 and it's been rock solid. No real need to stress about stuff like this on the Intel side, especially with locked CPUs.,%20LLC-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=