Student PC Build for $700: Matching productivity and occasional gaming? Help please!

Hi Glorious PC Master Race,

this is my first attempt at a build and a cry for help to those with more experience and knowledge (which is probably the majority at tek syndicate). I'm starting my electrical engineering studies soon and have recently developed a passion for gaming. Ultimately, I am going to need a PC for 1. Studies and 2. Gaming, because my laptop is... insufficient.

The Build

  • CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core
  • Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 R2.0 ATX AM3+
  • Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600
  • Storage
    • SSD: Crucial BX100 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
    • HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal
  • GPU: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Dual-X
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R5 (Black) ATX Mid Tower
  • PSU: be quiet! 530W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply

Currently I have an Acer H236HL bid 23-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor and am planning to get myself another one sometime in the future. I also do not plan on doing any overclocking. I would be grateful for comments and suggestions ;)


I replaced the motherboard with a more reliable one and a bit stronger psu and ram for the FX , other than that its a very nice build :)

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For $900 I'd do this:

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at least put a nvidia card on a SLI motherboard xD


An R9 280 for 150 is better than anything else around that price point...

it was a joke hence the xD, mobos got SLI in the name

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You could also try and stretch an extra $50 and get an MSI R9 380 that matches the board in the build I posted:

Thanks alot ;) You also changed the memory. Why? Is it that much faster?

Here's something to consider.

Considering you are a student. maybe you don't want to go around carrying a massive desktop. or whatever the reason i made an ITX build. Wifi and bluetooth are built on. and i threw in a brand new R9-380. it's faster than the 280. faster than the 270x. and it comes with the glory of 4GiBs for all your gaming goodness. plus you get support for ALL the new features and goodies coming.

I threw in a Overclockable CPU just IN CASE you change your mind about overclocking. cause it will help performance. realistically i could of threw in the 4690 instead of the 4690k but it was 5 bucks less. so it's fine. but in all honesty. there's no reason to really grab the FX parts anymore. they are horribly outdated. and the lack of motherboard options is not good.

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I am sorry for the confusion, but I got the exchange rates wrong. My price limit is around 800 €, but hardware seems to be cheaper in the US, so it would be around $700. I like Zippy_Parmesian's and Kat Leader's suggestion with the i5, but that is going to cost me too much. Any other alternatives?

yeah i can't help you there. i'm from america. sorry :/ but the build i recommended would of been impeccable if you could of gotten it for the equivalent price in europe.

The ram is not much faster but its the max cpu supported so why not, costs the same :)

As for the other builds I agree the Intel i5 are faster cpus but imo the 8350 is an amazing cpu for the price and multicore support is only getting better

I'm from EU as well, everything costs about 25% more compared to US :'(

Here you go:

Pick up an HDD when you can afford it.

Kat Leader, I did my homework and looked it up and your's would cost me € 972, which is waaaay to much :D Why can't I be rich....

it wouldn't matter. yours and my build recommendation which is pretty good is overpriced in Europe.

Whats up with everyone and the fat ITX cases? If its the carrying you're worried about I'd rather have a mid ATX with a handle than carry a brick around :D Or put a low profile card in a slim microATX

It's $34 here ;)

I am not so worried about the size of the case but the sound. I have very sensitive ears and even my laptop drives me crazy although my friends claim to not "hear" it. I am going to check out Zippy's build now.

If you can step up to a AMD 280/285 it will be worth it. Also good choice on the 8350

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