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I'm looking for a desktop which runs recent games at medium to high settings and costs about 600$. The specs should be like something along the lines of the following:

CPU: 3GHz Quad Core
GPU: 1GHz
VRAM: 2GB
RAM: 8GB
DISK: 500GB+

Furthermore, since I don't want to spend too much money on power, I would like it to be quite efficient, preferably with a wattage lower than 250/300W if this is possible, given my other requirements. I found this excellent 600$ build online but the wattage was far too high (400W-ish). Any suggestions?

  • @Andy I have found an excellent choice for gaming purposes (pcpartpicker.com/user/LifehackerPC/saved/LJv7YJ a low wattage adaption of this one) of 204W. If I clarify the question a bit, could I answer it myself Q/A style? – tbvanderwoude Jan 11 '16 at 20:34
  • How much do have to spend on a PSU? I mean, you could find a modular 350w PSU or the same price tag on a 750w regular PSU. – Roke Jan 12 '16 at 20:57
  • @thomw2o0o yes, you could answer it yourself if you've found what you're looking for – ArtOfCode Jan 12 '16 at 22:12
  • @RookieTEC9 it isn't about the PSU, it's about the electricity bill :P – tbvanderwoude Jan 13 '16 at 18:31
  • There was an article out there that said that there are no downsides to buying a higher wattage PSU as not all power will be consumed. – Roke Jan 17 '16 at 22:40
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It has been a while since I asked this question and requested whether I could answer it myself but here's a link to what I've come up with which matches the specs, budget and power consumption I was looking for. It's a pcpartpicker part list (please notify me if you can't access it for some reason). While I crossed the original budget marginally ($80), I believe this would be a good choice for anyone looking for a 256W machine capable of running the latest games. It's a Skylake build featuring a GTX 950, 1 TB of HDD memory and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. I will be using this for (graphics) programming, gaming and probably quite a bit more of the latter.

Any feedback would be appreciated since I'm planning on building it and I'm not really confident about my motherboard and case.

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  • I'd be careful with the head parking function of Caviar Blue, some have it, some don't, I don't remember the specifics. – Jan Dorniak Apr 2 '16 at 14:17
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    But for both programming and gaming an SSD would be a huge improvenet - faster build times (compiling software takes a lot of file writing and reading) and faster game load times. But that's another 50 USD to your budget for a 500GB one :/ – Jan Dorniak Apr 2 '16 at 14:22
  • @JanDorniak I've considered going SSD but that would indeed exceed my budget. I could use a small 128GB SSD as a boot-up drive however, but given the fact that this will be my first build I should try to keep it simple. – tbvanderwoude Apr 2 '16 at 14:42
  • just another drive to plug in. Although you would need something to hold that 2.5" in a 3.5" bay (extenders or something). – Jan Dorniak Apr 2 '16 at 15:16
  • As for the case, it's a regular one, although there are cheaper ones. I've picked some filters and reputable companies: pcpartpicker.com/parts/case/… so you can save a few bucks. You don't really need to worry about cooling in low power build (yeah, almost all that power goes to heat in the end). Apart from connectors on the fron panel (like USB 3.0) the most important factor is weight: say, around 4kg (that's 9lbs) or more. Basically the heavier the case the quitere it is. Windowed ones are obviously an exception. – Jan Dorniak Apr 2 '16 at 15:19

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