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Compact Gaming Rig

Josey Wales

Evil Poptart
I am trying to build myself another rig for gaming - the idea here is to replace my use of a console for a PC, but to place it near and use it with my TV (more on this below).

My budget is under $600, but this is negotiable depending on whether my appetite is bigger than my budget. So far these are the parts I have picked over the past few days for starters.http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HNHRA6

Main Components
MSI 760GM-P23 Motherboard (AM3+ CPU Socket Type, DDR3 2-Slot RAM)
AMD Phenom II X6 2.7GHz (AM3 Socket)
CORSAIR 8GB DDR3 RAM (2x4GB 240-pin)
CORSAIR 500 Watt Modular Power Supply

Sub Components (optional or relative)
ASUS CD/DVD RW and Blu-Ray Reader Optical Drive
HP Wireless Keyboard

The important things I would like some help on is, 1. Would all of the main components jive together? and 2. I still need a GFX card, would a 500 watt PSU support moderate gaming?

By moderate gaming let me explain my situation. I am not a hardcore gamer but above casual. I want this rig to be able to Crysis 1, even if it needs to be overclocked - ONLY because I am using and have always used in recent years Crysis as a sort of benchmark for GFX cards.

To be more specific game I would play or would need the ability to run the engines of are games like Aion, Tera, Diablo 3, Portal, Elder Scrolls, etc. A lot of more casual and smaller gaming as well but I wouldn't worry about those benchmarks.

The only other caveat is this, I want to essentially replace my use of gaming consoles - that is why I'm opting for a Blu-Ray reader as well since my PS3 has that luxury and I don't want to give that up. I need to get a case that will fit all the parts and have enough space and airflow for a moderate GFX Card.

So... I know thats a lot to take in but, any and all ideas and feedback will be muchly appreciated.


Justin B / Supp. Editor
Enforcer Team
I absolutely hate configuring budget builds!

A few things:

If you are going with a cheaper processor (an older AMD AM3 processor), you'll need a AM3+ motherboard. As a result you are limited to PCI Express 2.0 x16 which is a generation behind in terms of current graphics cards - not really a problem but it just limits your expand-ability in the future if you wanted to upgrade the GPU. The parts you have selected will work together.

Any reason why you are going for a SSD in your build though? Could get a lot more storage for a lot cheaper and save money in the process. I guess if you are shutting down your computer completely each time you are done using it that might make the most sense - but otherwsie a standard HDD using the sleep function will work just fine.

Also you say you want a "compact" build - well that would be fine if you didn't necessarily want to game on it (Diablo 3, Elder Scrolls). As a result you're looking to get a larger case. I looked at some HTPC cases that would fit more in the living room setting / decor.

Here's a build I configured. http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=19299891

If someone else could go over the build that would be good as well (but it all should be compatible in that list)


Staff member
Enforcer Team
If you want to stick with Micro ATX this case is a good one, fits even a GTX670: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112316

Will 120GB be enough space? I used to have an 80GB SSD and pretty much filled it just with a few apps and Windows (mostly because with all the updates installed, it can take up to 20-30GB).

You can find deals for 256GB SSDs around the $150 mark, which is far better bang for your buck. But if you don't need that kind of space, then not worth it.

Josey Wales

Evil Poptart
The case can wait - Im buying parts piece-by-piece to cross-check with other parts that I have already that might be broken.

As far as storage goes, its optional and more of a placeholder item. I have a HHD here to work with but in the future I definitely want a SSD standard, the reasoning is simple - reliability (maybe thats subjective but I trust non-moving parts more than I trust moving parts), noise level and reduced heat factor. Realistically I would love to have something closer to 256GB for a storage unit.

As a result you are limited to PCI Express 2.0 x16 which is a generation behind in terms of current graphics cards
Can you explain this more?


Justin B / Supp. Editor
Enforcer Team
Get a 660Ti.
Was going to put that in the build but then he would have to upgrade his CPU and Mobo to take full advantage of it (I did do up a build with a 660 Ti already). If he had a slightly bigger budget of around $800 I could see a 660 Ti being put in but for a budget build it's a little too pricey.

EDIT: Well I guess he could put a 660 Ti with PCI-E 2.0 and he'll be fine - it's just a bit too much for his budget though ($120 more)

As a result you are limited to PCI Express 2.0 x16 which is a generation behind in terms of current graphics cards
Can you explain this more?
In regards to PCI-E 2.0 it actually won't matter much in our case now that I think about it. PCI-E just has lower bandwidth throughput but for anything other than a high-end GPU it shouldn't be limited. You can get a PCI-E 3.0 card and put it in a PCI-E 2.0 slot, it's just there's less bandwidth available (although from what I just read the performance won't be impacted on a card like the 660ti - although that's all word of mouth, I didn't see any numbers)