My 730€ gaming PC build

context 2 detail 1 detail 2On a Thursday in June, I ordered 457,11€ worth of PC parts online. As soon as they were delivered on the following Friday, I grabbed my camera and filmed as I opened the boxes and assembled my first self-built gaming PC! Enjoy!

After a few weeks of waiting, AMD finally launched its latest RX 480 GPU. I went ahead and ordered the model with 8 GB of VRAM (for future-proofing reasons):

Here’s a complete list of the parts used in the build:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 (4x 3,2 GHz)
  • Motherboard: MSI H110M GAMING
  • GPU: HIS Radeon RX 480 (8GB VRAM)
  • RAM: 16 GB Crucial DDR4 Memory Kit
  • Hard drive: 1 TB WD Blue HD (SATA 6 GB/s; 64 MB cache)
  • Power supply: Corsair VS550 (Non-Modular 80+)
  • Case: Corsair Carbide Series 88R (black with window)

Here’s a screenshot of my shopping cart on mindfactory.de. The total cost without the GPU was 457,11€ (incl. shipping). Gaming PC shopping cart

Gaming PC without a Graphics Card?!

As you might have noticed, I initially didn’t order any GPU for my gaming PC – why, you ask? The answer is simple: AMD introduced their new RX series graphics cards last month as I was putting together my build, and released the cards on June 29th. The new cards are quite affordable and still powerful enough for 1080p and 1440p gaming – in other words: just what I’m looking for.

This was my plan: I waited until the new cards were available to order. If one of the models fell within my budget range of around 220€, I’d hit buy the second it became available to order. If the new cards hadn’t lived up to my performance/price expectations, other ones like the R9 280X or 380 would’ve been a backup option (might have looked at Nvidia as well).

Gaming without a discrete GPU is terrible

I had to play most of my games on low settings and 720p for the time being. You have to consider that I’ve been “gaming” on a 2014 Mac Mini without a discrete GPU for one full year now. The i5-6500 is a noticeable upgrade from that – even graphics-wise. I ran a few benchmarks to test this hypothesis:

Gaming PC 6500 GRID 2 Benchmark
GRID 2 Benchmark in 1080p with “LOW” preset.
Just Cause 2 6500 Benchmark 1080p
Just Cause 2 6500 Benchmark 1080p: not playable at 11 FPS

As you can see, two of my favourite games are not really playable in 1080p. However, these games wouldn’t even have run in 1080p on the Mac Mini.

I did think twice about buying the RX 480

However, after looking at lots of benchmarks and comparing the price/performance value to all the other cards currently on the market, the decision was simple: I went with the most bang-for-your-buck card available! (and I don’t regret it)

That’s it for this initial gaming PC post! If you want me to run some more benchmarks, simply leave a comment below. Also, stay tuned for some Windows 8.1 to 10 upgrade coverage very soon…