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101
The Minecrafters (MeanGreen) and (BlueIce)
by GoreSpiller
Permalink:   (66 comments)
Description

After trying to play multiplayer Minecraft, Terraria, and Starbound with my sons on their aging computers, I decided new machines were in order. I had a very strict budget, so I set out to get the most performance I could get for around $500 including the OS. The boys are 7 and 8, so the games they play would run perfect on 720p resolutions. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance I was able to get with this build. Of course they wanted machines like mine which runs at 5760x1080 on three 23" IPS LED panels, but that wasn't in the cards for my dudes. Let's break this build down!

Processor: For a $59.99 quad-core, I can't complain much. I know people will say it isn't the best processor for gaming, but for what they play, it's plenty fast!

CPU Cooler: This tiny beast is the lil' bro to my EVO 212. It keeps this hot headed CPU at about 28-30°C on idle. I haven't really pushed it with very demanding games to see how hot it gets yet. Club Penguin just isn't that demanding folks! The hottest I have seen so far is 37°C while playing the games listed at the top.

Motherboard: This is where I slipped up! When I was checking out boards, I forgot to click the option for onboard USB 3 header! SO, I ended up with this board. The layout on it is nice, high speed RAM and SATA 3Gbps & 6Gbps. I should have went with the MSI 760GMA-P34(FX)!

Memory: For budget purposes, I split the RAM between the two machines. I will add another kit later. I liked the low clearance of this RAM, as that allowed it to fit perfectly below the CPU cooler.

Storage: I wanted the machines to have dual drives for quick boot time with the SSD and a quality HDD for their Steam catalogs.

Video Card: I wanted something that didn't require much power and could push the games they play very, very well. This little baby does the trick! I believe there are two different models of this card though. The one I have selected through this site, is not the one I purchased. The one I purchased has the model#11216-00-20G. The card listed on this site has model#100369-2GL. I searched on the web and the difference seems to be in the PCIe. The 2GL says PCIe Gen 3, while the 20G says PCIex16 Gen 3. These cards also have a price difference of about $30.

Case: I love this case! It has a ton of room inside to make a really powerful single card rig. Of course for my purpose it was more than adequate. But if you want a micro ATX case you can go wild with, this is your beast. It can handle a ton of fans, large CPU Coolers, water cooling, long graphics cards, and a lot of drives! I also liked the look of the case and how sturdy it feels.

Case fans: The case came with two preinstalled 120mm fans to which I added a blue fan to one and a green fan to the other. The boys loved that I made their machines their favorite colors.

Power supply: Nothing too exciting about the power supply. I wanted a modular one since I wasn't installing to many things in the case and didn't want a nest of unused wires laying around! I like the reputation of Corsair, so I got this one. It will also have plenty of headroom for a graphics card upgrade in the future if that is needed.

Well, that's the build! Nothing too fancy, just some nice, clean little machines for my boys. I already had a few LCD monitors, keyboards and mice, so that saved me quite a bit on the builds. I don't own any benchmarking software, so I can't tell you what it scores. Minecraft at the settings pictured above ran at 174-180FPS. If I max out all of the sliders, it runs at 65FPS. Path of Exile runs at 180FPS. I don't know what Terraria and Starbound run at, but they don't lag at all! These numbers are running on a 19" Samsung SyncMaster at 1280x1024. At 1080P these numbers would decrease I am sure.

Let me know what you guys think!

5-20-14: Added Steelseries Diablo 3 mouse to help kids play D3, POE and Marvel Heroes much easier! This is a great mouse and the price was too good to pass on. I got one for $25. 99 and the other for $5.99 after using rebates from PSU and case.

Part List
Details
Date BuiltMarch 1, 2014
AMD FX-4130 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.8GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle28.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load37.0° C
Sapphire Radeon R7 240 2GB Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate730MHz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate1.8GHz
GPU Temperature While Idle-
GPU Temperature Under Load-
Comments
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Sorted by:
 
 
jai127 41 points 8 months ago

Adopt me pls.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 9 points 8 months ago

LOL

 
 
AIien_Ant_Farm [1 Build] 6 points 8 months ago

Great builds. I like those cases a lot . People who play minecraft need to realize they don't need 780s to play they just need a simple cheap card like what you have. Love the extra touch of an ssd, made the build for me. +1

 
 
Uehm [1 Build] 4 points 8 months ago

Pssh, you obviously need quad titans in order to play minecraft these days! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uguebq5EEQ). :p

 
 
YourLocalPCNoob [1 Build] 4 points 8 months ago

Definitely dont wanna run shaders on minecraft with a GT

 
 
mrluckypants96 2 points 3 months ago

I can confirm this. My GT640 runs MC maxed out (plus the extra graphics stuff from Optifine) with SEUS Shaders at about 20fps. To add to that, running MC with shaders was the only time my GPU's fan kicked up to full speed (think "miniature helicopter"). Seriously, far more intensive games run fine, but Minecraft with Shaders causes my GPU to massively heat up... Makes sense, right?

 
 
swimmer1929 0 points 2 months ago

The reason being is that shaders for minecraft are made by the community and almost always not optimized very well.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Thanks!

 
 
samonsite 1 point 8 months ago

They're not going to know the difference between a $40 and $700 graphics card. lol.

 
 
GuessWhat [1 Build] 4 points 8 months ago

Oww, you got some pretty good deals there. :D

Really like that you got an SSD even on a tight budget. The cable management is also really good. Everything looks super clean.

As you mentioned, you should have went with the MSI 760GMA P34 but that's not a big deal. You also have 2 USB 3.0 on your motherboard and you have plenty of space to access the back of the PC

Those names are great and I really like the two different LED fans. I'm sure it made a huge difference and now your kids know which computer's which. :D

Damn.. I wish I had a dad like you. =/

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Thanks! Glad you liked the builds.

 
 
leftyrojas430 [1 Build] 3 points 8 months ago

THIS...IS...AWESOME!!! What a great dad, I wish my dad is a computer type of person (I'm 14). I just ordered my parts. When you were thinking about the parts, did you think about a hybrid drive?

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

No, I like the idea of separate drives. If one fails the entire system isn't sunk this way.

 
 
Coroff 2 points 8 months ago

Have you considered dual-booting Windows with Ubuntu (Linux)? Minecraft runs on Java, so it's compatible with Linux, Windows and OSX. Ubuntu gets considerably higher frame rates than Windows can ever dream of.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 3 points 8 months ago

No, since the machines are for 7 & 8 year old boys. I don't need any thing complicated for them and have personally never been a fan of Linux.

 
 
Str8jakt 2 points 8 months ago

Father of the year award goes to!

 
 
zabb74 [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Where'd you get the CPUs? You got a great deal when compared with current prices.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

I bought them at Microcenter. I dont know how they sell them so cheap, but it was worth the 30min drive to grab them!

 
 
Kartexa [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

I see 174 fps, you might as well be running MC at 1080p with 2gb of vram and considering my friend ran MC perfectly fine at 1080p on a GT620, yeah you prbably can too.

 
 
Aaron2096 [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Sweet builds, hope you guys enjoy them.

 
 
talby [9 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

+1 awesome builds, my kids usually get my leftovers :) I did upgrade my yougest kid's pc recently and after a good review of what he runs decided the i3 was the way to go.

Since I work about 20mins away from a Microcenter, if I had to build from scratch I probably would have went with something like this.

cheers!

 
 
Akut [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

Taking a peek at "this", I couldn't justify the i3. Would be good enough for minecraft, yes. But the 4130 has two more cores at a cheaper price.

If you only have the budget for an i3, do yourself a favor and get a matching price FX proc. Performance to dollar is just higher.

 
 
talby [9 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

in all honesty, the i3 rocks for what my son uses it for, and he plays a lot more than just minecraft. He will start up a standalone multiplayer gmod server as well as his client to join in, has had over 20 players, never any lag. No regrets on that i3 at all, at least in my case (or my son's case)

 
 
Akut [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Try pushing a AAA title on an i3. Just saying if you're going best bang for buck, an FX is usually better. An i3 is still faster in a few ways compared to FX chips, so they do have their uses.

 
 
talby [9 Builds] 2 points 8 months ago

In BF4 multiplayer the i3-4340 actually beats the fx-6300 and the fx-8350. Sure you can OC the FX, but then the cooler and VRM mobo required kind of hurts the cost benefit to do so.

I am sure there are a few titles that have multicore-win hands down, but it's a pretty short list...

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

I also started a build with an i3 but decided that for the price, I wasn't getting a very good return. I went with AMD over the i3 for a number of reasons. First the price, I knew I could build a decent setup for the cost of an i3 on its own. For the $130 of a dual core, I was able to buy the CPU, graphics card and the CPU cooler. Second it's a quad core that can be overclocked very easily if needed. Also since my boys are 7-8, by the time they are allowed to play the games you listed (when they are old enough to drive), I will have probably built them new machines that are way more capable than this build. I liked the speed of the i3, but for the price of what AMD is offering, I went that route. At 130 for a CPU alone, I didn't really consider that a "budget" build.

 
 
Akut [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Right now, the number of titles that support multiple cores (more than 4) is small. But since the next gen consoles are running a modified Bulldozer (codenamed Jaguar) 8 core CPU, the number of titles that will support all 8 cores will come, possibly making the current i5 4XXX series obsolete. I think within a year we will start seeing more FX processors (or maybe a whole new architecture... anytime now AMD...). I think there will be a time where cores will be more important than clock speed, compared to right now, where if you have a wicked dual core, it can still run everything.

Baaaaaack to minecraft.... :D

 
 
nightbirddesigns [2 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

My buddy in the office is the same way, keeping his son involved in his hobby and making sure the little guy actually enjoys his own pc and understands some of the tech as well. May not seem like much to some, but my father couldn't have cared less and certainly wouldn't have put this much effort and consideration in something like this.

They are great purpose built systems, especially for the money spent and especially considering they can grow with your boys.

You're a good dad.

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GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Thanks for the kind words! I wanted to build something for them that removed the frustration factor and could take a few upgrades down the road.

 
 
xBlood_Monkey [9 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

Did you ever consider going the route of the APU?

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

I did toy around with an APU build originally, but the cost of the A10-7850k just wasn't an option. I wanted max performance on a budget, and at $180 for it, I was basically able to buy more performance with a CPU/GPU combo. I like what AMD is doing with the new chips, but for scalability, your best bet is CPU+GPU seperately. I didn't want the headache of trying to do dual graphics down the road either.

 
 
xBlood_Monkey [9 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

What about the A10-5800K at $110? Also, you don't have to do dual-graphics later on. You can just disable the on-board graphics and pop in any video card of your choosing.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Going for any APU build in my opinion is a waste of money. Why spend the extra money for the integrated graphics when a seperate card will always perform better? That APU is more than what I paid for CPU and GPU, and I'm hitting 170+FPS. Even if you disable the onboard, you essentially wasted money on a feature you don't need. I would rather save a little more money and look at better parts than settle for an APU. Another con on that route is the need for faster RAM as well to make good use of the onboard graphics. Do a search on RAM speeds needed for APU's and you will soon see how this isn't a very cost effective build.

 
 
xBlood_Monkey [9 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

A dedicated card won't always perform better. Also, yup, definitely more expensive.

Have you thought about what you're going to do with the R7 240's when your kids need more horsepower? Sure you can throw in (almost) any new video card, but then you'll have those two cards just laying around. Now that sounds like a waste of money.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 0 points 8 months ago

Well bud, on your list you left out a CPU cooler and a graphics card to get you to the 170+ FPS I am able to achieve with my build. I will give you kudos for trying though! But hey man, if that's the build for you, go for it! Everyone has different needs when it comes time to build their systems. Oh and I can always sell the cards, and considering how much less I paid than what most sites are asking, even $20-30 bucks each wouldn't be bad! I'd like to see you uncouple your GPU and sell it. Have a good day.

 
 
username22 1 point 6 months ago

GPU is on the low end spectrum, but Minecraft works well with almost anything, even intergrated graphics. This is a decent PC at the price point.

 
 
biobasher 1 point 6 months ago

Amazing build for the budget, it leaves room to upgrade to a FX6300+ and change out the gpu later on down the line! I will state this though, if you went for the SSD to be a BOOT drive, you could have saved money by going for a 30/32gb SSD as the OS only takes 20gb (partition)

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

I don't really see how a 30-32gb SSD is of any real value. They are $39+, and I was able to buy a 60gb for $49. Double the space for an additional $10 seemed like a no brainer for me! Saving $10 dollars just isn't worth it.

 
 
biobasher 1 point 6 months ago

Well, besides it being a time saver when booting the OS there isnt much use for it.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

Except for the additional space maybe? I guess I am missing the point of saving $10 and getting half the gigs. Plus the few games they play regularly are installed on the SSD. But if saving money is more important, go for it! I personally would and did spend the extra few bucks.

 
 
Kacper_Kosowski 1 point 6 months ago

Gorespiller do never put computers on carpet. The power supply will struggle for air.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 4 months ago

They were only on carpet for pictures. They are raised off the carpet, lol.

 
 
ImYourChrist 1 point 5 months ago

Wish i had a father like you are.

 
 
Lia642on01 1 point 5 months ago

Good two smaller build and the blue seems to be more visible then the green, anyway enjoy your builds :) +1

 
 
Ninjadudewhat 1 point 5 months ago

hmm... I may ask my own dad for a new computer... oh wait, i did. Annoyingly I have to have much better stuffs coz i edit & render & stuff. ;( cool build though :-)

 
 
Pit 1 point 2 months ago

I just want to say that this was really cute :)

 
 
Architor [1 Build] 1 point 1 month ago

Love the build! I've been thinking I need something similar for my kiddos.

 
 
NovicePCBuild 1 point 1 month ago

The PC I have can play minecraft on the lowest settings and can dip to 30 fps

 
 
LAWolves 1 point 21 days ago

Good budget builds, good games, good result. The fact these are "twin" builds help eliminate any disparity between the two children which is good parenting. Good Job!

 
 
Variable.variables 1 point 5 days ago

How quiet are the case fans (the CoolerMaster one)? Nice budget build!

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 3 days ago

The case fans are extremely quiet. The only fan that is noticeable is the CPU cooler fan for the most part.

 
 
Variable.variables 1 point 3 days ago

Alright. I may go with these fans then. Is there any way to control the speed? (3PIN or 4PIN?)

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 2 days ago

I believe they are 3 pin, mother board controls speed. They will be noticeable at full speed for sure.

 
 
Variable.variables 1 point 2 days ago

Can you control the speed through the BIOS? What do you mean by "noticeable?"

 
 
Brodzster 1 point 5 days ago

I personally wouldve gone with a APU and crossfired it with the 240. But anyways we all have a opinion and yours turned out to be a good one

 
 
Bando [3 Builds] 0 points 4 months ago

Can I just state a word of warning. In future do not put your motherboard on the outside of the anti-static bag. It's only antistatic on the inside they are conductive on the outside.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 4 months ago

I had it on a piece of pink foam that was on top of the bag.

 
 
mathieubel -1 points 8 months ago

Good build but you are waisting the RAM right now since it's made to be running together. It's a 8gb not 2x4gb. And, when you'll get another 8gb dont forget to put in the same machine and get the older 8gb together.

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

I am planning on getting another kit once the PC fund has a little more coin in it. Then I will pair back up the original chips! Had a budget to stick to and didn't want to buy single channel knowing I would do that later.

 
 
Akut [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

Single channel ram isn't a huge deal. Most you will see is a lag spike more often than with dual channel ram (literally a negletable amount)

4GB is enough to run Minecraft, and dare I say that the graphics card is overkill. These computers have the balls to run AAA titles on low/med @720p.

I think you have exceeded expectations. :P

 
 
GoreSpiller [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Glad you liked it! I was just concerned when I saw that Minecraft used practically all 4 megs! Might be able to max draw distance with 8. The boys won't notice, but I will. They are just so excited that these don't overheat and shut down like their old ones.

 
 
Akut [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

Minecraft takes close to 2.2GB memory at max draw distance with no mods/texture packs. Add in your OS and startup stuff and browser tabs, those 4GBs are long gone. 8GB would run minecraft flawlessly and smooth out AAA titles.

 
 
leftyrojas430 [1 Build] -1 points 8 months ago

Hehe. I like that windows score (6.9).

 
 
DragonFireXY 1 point 3 months ago

...

 
 
EpicGrass -1 points 7 months ago

The r7-240 is a really low end card, it would've been better of you spent a little more and got a radeon 7770 or a r7-250. You would also get a lot more preformance.

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