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Looking to make a "Potato Masher"-esque PC. Wanted guidance on which build to use

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I'm looking for a computer within the $300 - $350 range with same or higher specs presented in those Potato Masher videos so far (e.g. looking for Witcher 3 running at 30 fps on 1080p at high settings, runs GTA V at 60 fps on 1080p at the highest settings). Unfortunately, the parts for the Potato Masher are not as cheap as initially stated in the video introducing the rig right now. Here's a link to the video:


Luckily, I've found a few builds for the same price or cheaper on YT and PC Part Picker which look to have similar parts comparable to the Potato Masher (PM) build, but I'm not sure about how they would run compared to the PM. 


I also wanted to dabble around with some game recording to archive some moments in game design I liked in specific games for future reference. Note: I'm not looking to stream games, low- or high-end games included. 


I have a TV I'm using for a makeshift monitor which runs up to 1080p, so I can generally run most games at a good framerate at that resolution based on the PM specs. I also have a basic keyboard and mouse for use in other games.


For reference, I'll post the PM parts here: 

-Case: Cooler Master Wavemaster

-CPU: Intel i5 750

-Cooler: Arctic Silver 11 GT

-Motherboard: Asus P7H55

-Power: EVGA 430w

-Memory: 4gb OCZ DDR3

-HDD: 320gb Samsung Spinpoint



Below are some builds for similarly priced builds that I want to know are closed to the PM. All of the builds' prices have been vetted for: if they say "$300" or "$350" they are currently around that price. Some of these builds were initially advertized as costing $350, but the parts are currently dramatically lowered - some down to under $250! Some of the builds only use an AMD APU for all the grpahics processing, but I kept them on here just to get some feedback on them.


-$300 build 1


-$300 build 2


-$300 build 3


-$300 build 4


-$300 build 5


Which one should I get for a similar or better PM experience? I'll be buying them during the weekend to get started on the build some time next week.

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Those builds and prices are incredibly unrealistic and/or misleading. Most of those Partpicker builds don't match your listed totals as many of them don't have pricing for the GPU.


I also can't imagine the Witcher 2 running on integrated graphics, let alone Witcher 3.

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Yeah, those partpicker builds are basically meaningless if they don't list GPU price.


I'm not surprised that the build in that video is more expensive than advertised. Every budget-minded build I've seen written up in an article or shown in a video seems to cost at least $100 more than the guide says, often much more. I think these "challenges" that they set up for themselves are met mostly by finding good deals and working around them. It ends up being pretty misleading, since you probably can't immediately buy every item in their list at whatever sale price (or good used price) they got them for.


So if you really want a build with the kind of value that these guys seem to get, you have to be patient. Set up price alerts on partpicker or wherever. I'm sure you can get even better deals used/refurbished, but checking for those periodically can get labor intensive.


EDIT: yeah, watching the beginning of the video now, it's a lot of boasting about what great deals they got on components that usually cost way more. How is that helpful at all?

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Yeah, this is part of why I don't really care of building PCs lately. If you're really trying to crunch on budget, you're going to be checking Newegg every day for their daily deals, you're going to be checking PC Part Picker every day for price alerts, you'll be checking Slickdeals daily, etc. And the secret cost of all those machines listed is a lack of a Windows license, which is expensive in its own right. Sure, a lot of people who post these builds say they just have a key lying around or they just pirate it, but if you're a normal human being that's probably not going to be the case for you. And even if you do manage to build something that is functional and has specs you like, it'll probably be underwhelming. I currently have a budget Pentium in my machine because I was intending to at some point upgrade to a Core i5, which I haven't really been able to afford yet. That chip, even with overclocking and what not, really can't measure up to a decent quad-core chip when it comes to gaming performance. Sure things will run, but not at medium-high settings at 1080p. And forget trying to capture if you want to get decent performance, a dual-core just can't multitask on that level.


So my suggestion would be if you can possibly manage it, get a Core i3. Even if that means you skimp a little on the video card, do it. I'd take a Core i3 + AMD 250/260x over a Pentium + GTX 750 any day, particularly if that's going to be the spec for that machine for the foreseeable future.


(Before anyone corrects me, I'm aware that Core i3 chips are also dual-core, but the hyperthreading makes a measurable, significant difference.)

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