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Build Guide

Entry Level Gaming Build

by ThoughtA

NOTE: A more recent version of this guide is available here.


Our CPU of choice for this budget is the i3-4160. While it features only two cores, the 4160 also employs hyperthreading to help close the gap between it and a 4-core i5. Hyperthreading adds an additional logical core for each physical core, which is handy for streaming, video editing, and multi-tasking CPU-intensive tasks.

We're using the Gigabyte GA-B85M-DS3H as our motherboard. This motherboard is confirmed to be compatible with the i3-4160 out of the box - no BIOS is update required. It supports up to 32GB of DDR3 RAM, four SATA 6 GB/s devices, two SATA 3 GB/s devices, and it has extra DIMM slots if we ever want to increase our total memory. We're using a parametric filter to choose the best priced 8GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications while leaving open DIMM slots for a potential memory increase down the word. Additionally, we're using a parametric filter to select the best priced 2TB 7200 RPM mechanical hard drive. For a similar price, a 240-256GB SSD could be swapped out.

In this budget build, we manage to squeeze in an AMD R9 380X. This is a very powerful GPU for our budget, and with it, we can game at 1080p admirably.

The Corsair 200R is a mid tower case that can fit all of our components. It offers decent cable management, which can sometimes be a problem at our budget, and there's quite a bit of room to expand with hard drives or a solid state drive. It also has two front panel USB 3.0 ports. We're using a parametric selection of a few well-reviewed budget semi-modular units, which are all rated for good efficiency and can provide plenty of power for this build.


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Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i3-6100 3.7 GHz Dual-Core Processor 6W - 51W
Kingston - HyperX Fury 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4-2666 Memory 5W
Toshiba - X300 4 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Gigabyte - Radeon R9 380X 4 GB WINDFORCE 2X Video Card 47W - 190W
Total: 266W