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Old September 23, 2011, 11:12 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Québec, Canada
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Default 250$ gaming rig (well sorta)

Recently a friend wanted to know if it was possible to play SC2 smoothly at 1080p with a 250$ budget (regardless of graphics quality). The answer as it turns out is YES!

To give you some background information SC2 is terribly flawed by design as unlike most games it requires loads and loads of CPU power while being a breeze on most GPUs most builders would associate with adequate CPUs. To make matters worse, it can only use 2 cores! You could have the beefiest AMD quad crossfire setup with a 1100T @ 4ghz+ and the 2core bottleneck could bring the fps down to single digits.

Sandy bridge is pretty much the only logical way to go for an SC2 gamer. Most of whom use either the G620, 2100 or 2500k...but now there is a new even cheaper kid on the block, the G530. And as far as GPUs go, bankrupt players at low graphics or resolution can do fine with a GT430 and very rarely do SC2 optimized builds go past GTX460s as even the SE version can do 1080p with eye candy just as well as SLI/xfire...

So here is the build (note that the PSU is of very low quality but will be enough to power the rig, doubt someone who is on such a tight budget would care much if the PSU died within a year or two anyways...same with the 100GB notebook HDrive to hold SC2 OS and just a few other things):

CPU: Sandy Bridge Celeron 2.4GHz @ 49$ NCIX pricematch

MOBO: MSI H61 mATX @ 42$ after MIR

HDD: Seagate Momentus 7200RPM 100GB @ 25$ NCIX pricematch

NCIX shipping: 7$

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 2X2GB @ 24$

Case+PSU: Logisys CS-51WBK + 480W PSU @ 35$

since over 50$ from directcanada.com, shipping is free!

GPU: Sapphire 5670 @ 42$ after MIR and COLLEGETOUR11 promo code

Newegg shipping: 7$

Total: 231$+tax after MIR (30$)/shipping(14$)
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Old September 23, 2011, 11:36 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tillsonburg, Ontario
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Be careful with a cheap non branded PSU, it may not matter to your friend if that one component dies but as I mentioned before in other threads PSU's rarely go by themselves they like company so they usually take something else with them be it RAM, the MOBO, HD, etc.. pretty much a 7/10 chance something is gonna get zapped when the PSU makes its death bed.

Other then that best of luck on the build :)
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Comp1 (Mine) : ASUS P9X79 LE, 3960X, 16GB Corsair Vengence 1333, PNY 770 4GB, OCZ Vertex3 240GB, OCZ Vertex3 480GB, 600GB VelociRaptor, Corsair 1000HX, Cool Master Cosmos 2

Comp2 (Wife's) : ASUS Sabertooth P67, i7 2700K, 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1866, 1TB HD, 2TB HD, EVGA 660, Corsair 1000HX, HAF 922

Comp3 (Kids) : ASUS P8P67 Pro, i7 2700K, 8GB 1866 GSkill, Gigabyte 770, Crucial M4 120GB, OCZ Vertex3 240GB,1TB WD Black, Antec 850W, Antec 120
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Old September 23, 2011, 12:06 PM
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As mentioned b4 this is not my build, just a challenge my friend got himself to make the cheapest possible build to run SC2 decently. I guess for this challenge it doesn't matter if it starts puffing out smoke within a week as long as cost is kept low (makes me wonder why not go with an open test bed then, but guess not). pretty sure if a few cents could have been saved with going with a cheapo PSU from the 1990s, that would have been the case!
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Old September 24, 2011, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tillsonburg, Ontario
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Another thought (hope this doesnt get me in trouble but I picked up one of these recently just to have around and its decent.

Canada Computers | Power Supplies | Thermaltake TR2 500W Power Supply ATX12V V2.2 IntelCoreTM i5 i7 (W0379RU)

The 25MIR not sure how long that will take to get but a decent 500W PSU for $25 dollars is pretty good :)
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Comp1 (Mine) : ASUS P9X79 LE, 3960X, 16GB Corsair Vengence 1333, PNY 770 4GB, OCZ Vertex3 240GB, OCZ Vertex3 480GB, 600GB VelociRaptor, Corsair 1000HX, Cool Master Cosmos 2

Comp2 (Wife's) : ASUS Sabertooth P67, i7 2700K, 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1866, 1TB HD, 2TB HD, EVGA 660, Corsair 1000HX, HAF 922

Comp3 (Kids) : ASUS P8P67 Pro, i7 2700K, 8GB 1866 GSkill, Gigabyte 770, Crucial M4 120GB, OCZ Vertex3 240GB,1TB WD Black, Antec 850W, Antec 120
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Old September 26, 2011, 05:15 PM
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Location: Montreal
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why not go Core i3 540 and ovc the hell out of it? you can't ovc Sandy bridge CPUs unless they are the k version, the unlocked ones. you could also consider a Phenom II X555 BE and ovc to 4 GHz but I guess the i3 would be the better gamer in this case. i think you will need the H55 chipset for overclocking.
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Old September 28, 2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARSTG View Post
why not go Core i3 540 and ovc the hell out of it? you can't ovc Sandy bridge CPUs unless they are the k version, the unlocked ones. you could also consider a Phenom II X555 BE and ovc to 4 GHz but I guess the i3 would be the better gamer in this case. i think you will need the H55 chipset for overclocking.
SC2 is an odd game...lets just say I wont run decently on any prebulldozer AMD system. Your H55 idea isn't bad but you see its much more expensive (same price as sandy i3 more or less actually). now to get performance on par with a 2100 you need to push it past 4ghz on a semi decent motherboard with good cooling...that all just adds to the price and you would be looking at a 400$ rig...
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