It’s the Cheapest but Will it Run? The Third Build of the Challenge!

Components

As the Third Build we decided to go with something a little risky… the obvious options would be to use one of the AMD FM2 processors that combine a solid CPU and 3D graphics bits on a single chip, or use a lower end Intel CPU with a separate 3D graphics card. Intel HD graphics are not powerful enough to play Ryse or Sniper Elite 3 well – two of the most demanding GameSessions titles!

Last year I read a few articles like this one  about pairing a mid range discrete graphics card to AMD’s AM1 platform. If you could get away with having such a low power CPU, combined with a low end discrete card, gaming on a PC can be ridiculously cheap! I mean you can buy a AM1 CPU and Motherboard for around £60.

Third Build

The fastest AM1 CPU is the ATHLON 5350 which, at a very rough comparison, is half a Xbox One or PS4 CPU (without the cool graphics bits) so it’s a bit of a gamble if it will be able to run Ryse and Sniper Eilite 3 at the required 720p.

Using such a low power CPU also means  we can fit everything in a small funky case, as long as we select other low power components.

 

Components (with approximate pricing)

 

Technical Details Price
AMD Athlon 5350 2.05GHz Socket AM1 2MB cache. £45.00
Biostar Mini-itx AM1MH Motherboard. £21.00
4GB DDR3 1333MHz Kingston Memory. £26.00
500GB 2.5” Seagate Momentus Hard Drive. £35.00
Gigabyte GT 730 2GB GDDR5 Graphics card. £57.00
CIT Micro ATX 300W Power Supply. £15.00
Wireless N150 USB adapter. £8.00
Cooltek Coolcube Aluminium Silver Mini-ITX Case. £42.00
Wireless N150 USB adapter. £8.00
Total Cost £249.00

 The Build

For once everything went according to plan. The small PSU and carefully selected components were fairly easy to get inside the small case even with large clumsy hands. Extra mention should also go to the case for being nice and shiny.

Third Build

Prospects for the Third Build?

We’re in with a good chance of our build being the cheapest PC of the challenge, even though we didn’t really shop around for the individual components (the case was from QuietPC and everything else was from Ebuyer) and we spent a lot on a fancy case. Our biggest concern is its ability to play the games but we’re quite confident

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Third Build   Third Build

Third Build   Third Build

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