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Budget build for under $600

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July 18, 2013 3:59:03 PM

Hi,

I am new to custom/homebuilt computing, and after lurking the Internet for a while I still could not find what I was looking for. Thus, I am resorting to forums, which I am also new at (besides 4chan). In a nutshell, I am looking for a starter budget computer build for under $600. I am looking for a parts list (maybe via PCPartPicker.com), with a brief description of its advantages (if that's not too much to ask). One thing I would like included would be an SSD. I am not sure of capacity, but I would like something large enough to hold Windows 7 on, and maybe Photoshop and MS Office. Another thing that I would like, but is optional, would be a discrete video card. I think I would only need this if the motherboard is not capable of handling two 17" screens (widescreen not necessary). Please note that I will not be using this for gaming, but mostly for light photo editing and web browsing. I just need something a little more powerful than a Dell desktop from 2005.

One thing to note:

-I do not have a preference to either AMD or Intel.

Thank you very much!


Sam

More about : budget build 600

July 18, 2013 4:21:16 PM

Here's something that I put together that follows Tom's $650 Mini-ITX gaming build.

Here's the part list at PCPartPicker:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1i8e1

I dropped the AMD 7870 LE (Tahiti) for the less powerful 650 Ti Boost 2GB. That gave us another $100 to add a SSD and an optical drive. The old Samsung 830 had great reviews and you get a 120 GB drive for 60 GB prices.

The SFF of that case with a Mini-ITX board will make for a small footprint as well. An upgrade to a modular power supply would help out with cabling during assembly as well. If you want something bigger I can provide.
July 18, 2013 4:32:33 PM

OcelotRex said:
Here's something that I put together that follows Tom's $650 Mini-ITX gaming build.

Here's the part list at PCPartPicker:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1i8e1

I dropped the AMD 7870 LE (Tahiti) for the less powerful 650 Ti Boost 2GB. That gave us another $100 to add a SSD and an optical drive. The old Samsung 830 had great reviews and you get a 120 GB drive for 60 GB prices.

The SFF of that case with a Mini-ITX board will make for a small footprint as well. An upgrade to a modular power supply would help out with cabling during assembly as well. If you want something bigger I can provide.


First of all, thank you.

But I forgot to mention, I already have a disc drive. And I could spare the mechanical hard drive for a 2TB one I have at home. Sorry about that. So with that $77 saved, could you possibly implement a better CPU or a modular power supply, or would that be pushing it?

Thanks.

PS: What is the SFF?
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July 18, 2013 4:54:02 PM

sguzinski said:
OcelotRex said:
Here's something that I put together that follows Tom's $650 Mini-ITX gaming build.

Here's the part list at PCPartPicker:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1i8e1

I dropped the AMD 7870 LE (Tahiti) for the less powerful 650 Ti Boost 2GB. That gave us another $100 to add a SSD and an optical drive. The old Samsung 830 had great reviews and you get a 120 GB drive for 60 GB prices.

The SFF of that case with a Mini-ITX board will make for a small footprint as well. An upgrade to a modular power supply would help out with cabling during assembly as well. If you want something bigger I can provide.


First of all, thank you.

But I forgot to mention, I already have a disc drive. And I could spare the mechanical hard drive for a 2TB one I have at home. Sorry about that. So with that $77 saved, could you possibly implement a better CPU or a modular power supply, or would that be pushing it?

Thanks.

PS: What is the SFF?


SFF = Small Form Factor. What size were you looking for with your case? ATX Full/Mid Tower? Micro-ATX mini/full tower or desktop? Maybe a testbench style Cooler Master HAF XB?
July 18, 2013 5:07:46 PM

OcelotRex said:
sguzinski said:
OcelotRex said:
Here's something that I put together that follows Tom's $650 Mini-ITX gaming build.

Here's the part list at PCPartPicker:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1i8e1

I dropped the AMD 7870 LE (Tahiti) for the less powerful 650 Ti Boost 2GB. That gave us another $100 to add a SSD and an optical drive. The old Samsung 830 had great reviews and you get a 120 GB drive for 60 GB prices.

The SFF of that case with a Mini-ITX board will make for a small footprint as well. An upgrade to a modular power supply would help out with cabling during assembly as well. If you want something bigger I can provide.


First of all, thank you.

But I forgot to mention, I already have a disc drive. And I could spare the mechanical hard drive for a 2TB one I have at home. Sorry about that. So with that $77 saved, could you possibly implement a better CPU or a modular power supply, or would that be pushing it?

Thanks.

PS: What is the SFF?


SFF = Small Form Factor. What size were you looking for with your case? ATX Full/Mid Tower? Micro-ATX mini/full tower or desktop? Maybe a testbench style Cooler Master HAF XB?


I like the one you had picked out already. I like the compact size of it.

Best solution

July 18, 2013 5:26:17 PM
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With no storage drive or optical drive necessary here's what I have:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($95.38 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($44.97 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $602.30
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-18 20:14 EDT-0400)

That Samsung 830 120GB drive for 69.99 is already gone. It was a great deal. The 840 has good reviews in the 120 GB model but you can pick up any other brand you feel comfortable with. I own the ballistic sport 8 GB kit and it was stable after stressing and worked perfectly. You can always throw more money into RAM, either more GBs or faster RAM with better latency.

The Core i5 is recommended by Tom's and matches well with the B75 chipset as it is not unlocked to overclock. There's a SATA 6 GB/s slot for the new SSD, though only 1. Matched all together you should be able to play games at 1080p on medium settings without AA. It should slaughter MS Office and Photoshop - if you pick up Premiere Elements you should be good to handle editing HD video as well.

The small size of Mini-ITX gives it a small footprint while the Cooler Master Elite 120 has space for full height video cards. Cooler Master makes a small aftermarket cooler as well if you find that you need more cooling for the CPU. That MSI 650 Ti Boost 2 GB should run cool and quite with Twin Frozr cooling. There's also some extra overhead to overclock the GPU.
July 18, 2013 5:38:57 PM

OcelotRex said:
With no storage drive or optical drive necessary here's what I have:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($95.38 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($44.97 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $602.30
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-18 20:14 EDT-0400)

That Samsung 830 120GB drive for 69.99 is already gone. It was a great deal. The 840 has good reviews in the 120 GB model but you can pick up any other brand you feel comfortable with. I own the ballistic sport 8 GB kit and it was stable after stressing and worked perfectly. You can always throw more money into RAM, either more GBs or faster RAM with better latency.

The Core i5 is recommended by Tom's and matches well with the B75 chipset as it is not unlocked to overclock. There's a SATA 6 GB/s slot for the new SSD, though only 1. Matched all together you should be able to play games at 1080p on medium settings without AA. It should slaughter MS Office and Photoshop - if you pick up Premiere Elements you should be good to handle editing HD video as well.

The small size of Mini-ITX gives it a small footprint while the Cooler Master Elite 120 has space for full height video cards. Cooler Master makes a small aftermarket cooler as well if you find that you need more cooling for the CPU. That MSI 650 Ti Boost 2 GB should run cool and quite with Twin Frozr cooling. There's also some extra overhead to overclock the GPU.


Thanks, I really appreciate it. I will definitely use this as a future reference.
July 18, 2013 6:06:54 PM

sguzinski said:

Thanks, I really appreciate it. I will definitely use this as a future reference.


It was my pleasure. Admittedly, that build sacrifices 8GB of RAM or faster 4GB RAM (like crucial tracer for $50 with CAS timings of 8) for the better GPU. That MSI 650 Ti Boost is on crazy sale right now at $135. If you care nothing about gaming you can drop down to a AMD 7750 which is cited as the fastest GPU that does not need an external power supply. It would handle 2 17" monitors just fine and save you $40-50 dollars which you could use to get more or better RAM or upgrade the motherboard to an H77 chipset.

Just remember that the Core i5 that is in that build does no have a built in GPU unlike the i3-3220 from the first build. In theory the on-board graphics from a second generation Ivy Bridge Core processor should run 2 monitors on a supported motherboard. I prefer a dedicated GPU though; a core i5-3570k while unlocked can run $50 more than the 3550p. That's only $30-50 more to get to the AMD 7750 which is a much better option for light gaming.

Also if you don't mind a bigger ATX Mid tower like the Corsair Carbide 200R you can get a motherboard with more features for the same price. I prefer Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX enclosures because most of my PC's end up hooked up to my TV's as HTPC/Gaming Rigs :lol: .
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