Larian Studios managed to release an amazing RPG gem just a few days ago. The company behind the Divinity Series has spent the entirety of last week atop Steam's best-selling games list, and that's out of the company's full catalog. We originally wrote about Divinity: Original Sin here, giving an overview of the game's tabletop-like RPG elements. To celebrate Divinity: Original Sin, we decided to do an ultra-budget "Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build" for right around $400.
With a minimalistic build like this, it obviously won't be able to play everything on max settings; however, it will be able to play most games on min-med graphics -- including LoL, DOTA2, Skyrim, Divinity, Banished, StarCraft 2, and others. You won't even need to wear a bucket on your head... but feel free to. We won't judge.
$393 DIY Budget Gaming PC for Divinity: Original Sin - July, 2014
OS & Recommended Extras
How to Build a Gaming Computer - Step-by-Step Tutorial
AMD A10-7700K Kaveri ($160): This higher-end APU has four CPU cores with a native 3.5 GHz operating frequency, turbo boosted up to 3.8 GHZ. The A10-7700K also features 6 Radeon R7 graphics cores for the IGP. This isn't the most powerful of the Kaveri APU line, but the 7700K does a good job of allowing builders on a very tight budget join in on a good range of games. The 7700K will play mid-range games on moderate settings; Banished won't be a problem, League of Legends and DOTA2 will both run near max at 1080p readily, Skyrim will run without much issue, and Divinity: Original Sin will also be playable on reasonable settings. You'll experience issues if trying to run modern games (especially AAA-class) on high or better settings, but our $686 gaming PC will resolve all of that.
Have an extra $15? The A10-7850K ($175) sports a higher-end IGP for better gaming capabilities and slightly boosted clocks.
Team Zeus Yellow 2133MHz 8GB ($70): Team's ZEUS RAM comes with a native 2133MHz frequency and CAS latency of 11 -- and, bonus, a yellow heat spreader to match the color scheme of the motherboard. RAM speed and capacity are the biggest restrictions to the performance of an APU. This is because an APU does not have on-device RAM, like a video card, and thus relies on slower system memory to handle all video transactions. Team's RAM is able to be overclocked slightly, if desired, to improve APU performance without having to purchase faster RAM.
ASUS A78M-A ($60): For those not familiar with the break-down of AMD's naming scheme, our recent AMD Chipset Comparison is a great refresher. This Micro-ATX board sits comfortably in the mid-range for Kaveri's boards, and is the first to utilize 6xSATA III and 2xUSB 3.0 connections as part of the standard (native) design. The board can utilize up to 64 GB of 2400MHz RAM, though if you've got that much, it's probably best to look into an A88x motherboard (or just an Intel CPU, since you'd probably be doing professional tasks). In addition to the RAM support, ASUS' A78M-A comes with the company's Fan Xpert and an enhanced UEFI BIOS to improve the control over your entire build, hopefully assisting new builders in BIOS tweaking.
CORSAIR CX series 430W ($20): At 80+ Bronze, this non-modular 430W PSU will provide more than enough power for this entry-level gaming PC build while still offering reasonable efficiency to save money on the power bill. One of the best features of this PSU is its focus on minimal sound, with a large diameter fan to maximize airflow while minimizing spin dBA. Corsair's CX430 also has enough connections to handle any initial upgrades desired for this system, including PCI-e enabled GPUs. Top it all off with the current rebate card and the CX430 is one of the least expensive quality PSUs on the market.
Have an extra $30? If you have a spare $30, the CORSAIR CSM Series 450W 80+ Gold will not only provide better efficiency, but also offers full modularity to reduce the cables in your case, as this build requires very few power connectors.
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM ($55): Hard drives provide exceptional storage capacity at moderate speeds, though they tend to be the primary bottle neck for a system. Although the boot times and game load times won't be amazing compared to an SSD, this should be more than enough for almost all storage needs for normal use.
Have an extra $70? As always, if there is one thing to purchase to see an instant improvement in a system, it would be an SSD for the primary drive. Although prices are still constantly dropping, it seems the new normal is between $0.45-0.55/GB. PNY's Optima 240 GB SSD is currently $90, which brings the price to $0.375/GB. Our most recent SSD article has this drive listed as one of the better options for a gaming system due to capacity and quality.
Cooler Master Elite 430 ($28): Although this mid-size tower only comes with one fan initially—a blue LED fan—it has space for up to 7 total fans to provide tornado-like airflow. More fans doesn't equate better cooling, of course, but smarter placement does -- and there are a lot of placement options with the CM Elite case. The case also features a tool-free design to make it easier to initially build and maintain the system. I/O includes 2xUSB 2.0 and headset/mic ports on the front. A large side panel window is present for viewing the completed system.
Note that you will need to install an OS via USB, unless opting for an optical drive and CD.
As always, if you need help with this build or any other, leave a comment or post in our forum.
- Scott "Abibiliboop" Griffin.