My friend's $850 Gaming Rig

So this morning out of the blue my friend hits me up on Twitter and tells me that I have convinced him to buy a Gaming PC, which was strange to me because I only remember having one quick discussion with him about PC gaming and my intentions were not to convert him.

However, being a PC building enthusiast I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work on a new project without spending my own money, so I offered to help him. He said his budget was around $850, I went on Micro Center and configured this list...

I skimped out on a few details to make sure he had the 660 Ti...

I originally recommended 8 GBs of RAM but I lowered it to 4 GBs of RAM. I went from the motherboard used in Logan's honeybadger to the one listed, I went from a TB hard drive to the 500 GB hard drive, and I opted for a 500 watt power supply instead of my original 750 watt.

He isn't going to buy anything until mid July, so obviously some parts may be upgraded to ther succesors with the condition that they are similarily priced.

Thoughts, opinions, suggestions?

Well, I think you should have ATLEAST 6GB of RAM, 4Gb gets filled up pretty easily. I dont know what games he's gona play, but a 650Ti boost works wonders, and replacing that with more RAM is a better idea (atleast I think so). All in all the other parts looks good, maybe wanna change the processor to a 2500k or non k, since for the most part, only experienced pc users use overclocking and that much power

No, that is load of bull shiskie.

I got 16GB of RAM for my recent build (half a year ago, ish), and haven't seen more than 4GB used unless I push it by allocating, manually, more than 4GB to a specific program. Sure, there are times, running Skyrim with 150+ mods, that I've passed 9GB of RAM used, but that is anextreme situation.

As for overclocking, it is a terrible idea to get a locked CPU; overclocking is not for hardcore, experienced enthusiats; it is so easy and safe, at low voltages and frequencies (as in, not running LN2 and a 6gHz+ OC), that it is a way to get essentially "free" performance. If you are going to recommend something that will put huge limitations on the use of the rig, then back it up with a valid argument.

I'd personally consider an AMD 6350 hex-core CPU; great performance for the value, on par with the 2500k in most situations, but cheaper.

Well, lets think that this is a console boy converting to PC's, quite frankly I doubt he will need to overclock or upgrade in a while. I have a locked 2500 (because my dad tought the K was a typo when he ordered my pc parts, thank you DAD), and I have never got it in full load running probably the most CPU demanding games out there. 

For the RAM, I will guess he wants this computer to last for a couple of years before upgrading, and games does demand more and more every year, I have not been able to play for example planetside 2 for more than 15 minutes with my 4GB media PC without closing everything in the background.

I hope you understand what I mean, because with a budget of 850$, he will probably not demand the pc to max out every game out there. And a 2500 will take a while to go 100% load on normal games

You can fit 16GB of RAM, an 120GB SSD, a 2TB HDD, and a 7870 XT in there, along with the 6350.

Going for 8GB is a great option, as well, and gives OP an opportunity to get a better motherboard, an aftermarket heatsink for overclocking, and avoid the terrible option of getting 2GB sticks of RAM, which limits his friend to 8GB total, instead of 16 or 32GB with 4GB or 8GB sticks.

I really.. Just... nidpancho use this list instead, WAAAY better

I did originally opt for a configuration simliar to what you listed, however he was set on the Honey Badger as his case, so I had to go with Mini-ITX on LGA 1155.

I will show him these pc picker links though, perhaps he could live without a overly stylish case. Thank you for the responses :)


Are you, or is your friend, close to a Microcenter? You can really only take advantage of their pricing if you walk in the door. 

I recently built my first rig in the Prodigy case and I love it. 

I know the ASRock mITX board is solid (I have it); as is the ASUS version. I believe the Gigabyte version has had some iffy reviews. I'd personally recommend the ASRock board.

July is going to be a bit of a different animal with Haswell etc. being out. We might also see the new AMD APUs (CPU + GPU) out around that time, and I believe they're going to use the same socket as the current APUs. Those are offered in a mITX board, so that could be an option if your friend really wants to stick with the Prodigy case for the build.

Going back to Microcenter - do your homework on the PSUs they have in stock. I went with a PC Silencer and Cooling Semi-Modular 600W PSU they had in stock because it was a Seasonic PSU with a different label. Don't settle for a CX Series or the like.