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[$650]Helping a friend put together a new system, any advice on part selection?

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June 13, 2013 12:01:22 PM

Hey guys,

Im currently attempting to help a friend put together a new build to replace his aging generic HP laptop. As of now, I have an older build that I put together that we can salvage for parts (it no longer POST's, so the motherboard or CPU is most likely fried), but since it has been about three years since i've followed the parts scene, im not quite sure what is current/what to stay away from, AMD/Intel, that sort of thing.

As per the sticky, here is the basic info:

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the month

Budget Range: $650 before rebates and after shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (ie. Rift, WoW, League of Legends, Minecraft, Battlefield 3, Starcraft 2, etc.), Movies, Schoolwork, and general tasks.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade:

I currently have:
a Radeon 5850 graphics card
Storm Scout case
750watt Corsair psu (non-modular)
8gb of G.Skill Dual Channel RAM (built in heatsinks)
a basic DVDROM drive
a Corsair H60 AiO watercooled heatsink

We're looking to purchase:
A motherboard
CPU
Hardrive
Monitor
a new graphics card

Additionally if budget allows:
Mouse
Keyboard

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, or whichever is currently cheapest

Location: Denver, CO USA

Parts Preferences: I have had poor experience with ATI video cards (see the radeon 5850 listed above) as far as driver support goes (random blue screens, etc) but I am aware some of this can vary/improve over time. I am looking for the best performance within the given budget that is stable (ie. wont die in a week)

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Perhaps in the future

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 or higher
June 13, 2013 12:06:01 PM

For a gaming machine, looking at the current GPU, a new GPU should be in the "What you're looking to purchase" list; not "Additional if budget allows"
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June 13, 2013 12:11:48 PM

Has the performance difference really increased that much? Or are cards legitimately cheap enough that its warranted?
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June 13, 2013 12:15:09 PM

Yes, it has. That card, when compared to a 670 or 79xx is about half the performance
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June 13, 2013 12:16:09 PM

Impressive. I appreciate the input. :)  Updated the main post.
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June 13, 2013 12:40:53 PM

rex4235 said:
Yes, it has. That card, when compared to a 670 or 79xx is about half the performance


Well those cards cost a bunch more too. Maybe a 7850 is more in his budget (650)
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June 13, 2013 2:26:28 PM

jinayhvora said:
here you go http://pcpartpicker.com/p/164Df a little over budget but i would recommend u get the new RAM (i believe ur old one might be slower)


I would go with AMD or an i3 to stay in budget.
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June 13, 2013 6:43:23 PM

csf60 said:
jinayhvora said:
here you go http://pcpartpicker.com/p/164Df a little over budget but i would recommend u get the new RAM (i believe ur old one might be slower)


I would go with AMD or an i3 to stay in budget.


I would also be interested in seeing an AMD version.

As far as the RAM goes, it is also 1600 MHZ dual channel, 4 sticks of 2 gb though versus 2 sticks of 4gb.
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June 14, 2013 12:12:14 AM

why would u go with an i3 when the i5 easily fits the budget (if u remove the RAM)
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June 14, 2013 12:36:40 AM

Riizu said:
I would also be interested in seeing an AMD version.
As far as the RAM goes, it is also 1600 MHZ dual channel, 4 sticks of 2 gb though versus 2 sticks of 4gb.

Here is your AMD version using that RAM you have. Just add monitor.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($58.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V200 Series 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($146.97 @ Newegg)
Total: $523.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-14 03:36 EDT-0400)
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June 19, 2013 9:45:03 AM

Sorry for the late response, its been a bit of a busy week. For fun, I have taken your build csf60, and included the components we already have. Please let me know if their are any issues you see with this, or if there is anything that could be improved upon. Also, do you have any recommendations for a monitor? We are looking for something within the 15"-20" range, preferably closest to 18". I was hoping to find something with HDMI, but it seems that isnt quite possible without going past about $150. Ideal budget would be $100, but there is leeway depending on changes to the build (ie. removing the SSD, etc.)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.97 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (Purchased For $0.00)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V200 Series 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($65.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($171.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased For $0.00)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (Purchased For $0.00)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (Purchased For $0.00)
Total: $540.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-19 12:45 EDT-0400)
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June 19, 2013 2:20:00 PM

Riizu said:
Sorry for the late response, its been a bit of a busy week. For fun, I have taken your build csf60, and included the components we already have. Please let me know if their are any issues you see with this, or if there is anything that could be improved upon. Also, do you have any recommendations for a monitor? We are looking for something within the 15"-20" range, preferably closest to 18". I was hoping to find something with HDMI, but it seems that isnt quite possible without going past about $150. Ideal budget would be $100, but there is leeway depending on changes to the build (ie. removing the SSD, etc.)


First are you sure you want HDMI? HDMI is exactly the same as DVI but with audio. If you are going to have separate speakers HDMI makes no sense. If you however want the speakers to be built into the monitor, you need an HDMI monitor, and that's why they are more expensive.
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June 19, 2013 11:19:05 PM

Ah, I had actually thought that HDMI had better video performance than DVI. Learn something new every day :p 
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June 19, 2013 11:47:57 PM

Riizu said:
Ah, I had actually thought that HDMI had better video performance than DVI. Learn something new every day :p 


No, it's the same video quality. In fact DVI can be better in some cases but probably not yours. The only reason HDTVs use HDMI is because TVs have built in speakers.

Ok so I take you don't mind getting DVI then. You say you want a 18-20 inch monitor but actually I would go with a 21.5 inch because it's the smallest size that can be full HD (1920x1080). They are almost the same price as smaller monitors but these smaller ones are limited to 1366x768-1600x900 depending on size. That being said, I can recommend http://www.microcenter.com/product/414317/S22B300B_22_W... or
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MA9OWA/?tag=pcpapi-20
as budget options, but if you can spend a little more, an IPS monitor has better colors, contrast and a crisper image like http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-monitor-vs229hp

If after I said you still would like a smaller monitor, this 19 inch one looks pretty good http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-monitor-vs198dp

EDIT: just read your budget is 100$ so forget the IPS one, unless you want to remove the SSD. That's your choice really, it depends if you want a better monitor or a more responsive system with faster boot ups.
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