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Non-gaming PC Build for Locally Purchased Parts ($400)

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  • Build
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
August 3, 2013 10:08:52 AM

Hey everyone,

I recently built myself a gaming rig with the information found in these forums, which I found pretty fun. I'm now looking into building a non-gaming pc for my sister that is fast and will be reliable for a few years (ie. not need to be replaced 2-3 yrs down the road). My target budget is roughly $400. She mostly surfs the web, stores tons of pictures, and uses word/excel.

She already has a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I have Windows 7 for her as well. She would like to have an hdmi port to connect it to her tv for watching her blue-ray dvds. I would need everything else.

Are there any pros to having an ssd over an hdd for a build like this? I was considering ssd/hdd combo in case she ever gets a virus I can wipe Windows on the ssd while keeping her pictures safe in the hdd. Any thoughts on that?

Lastly, the possibly challenging part, I would like to buy all my pieces from http://microcenter.com/. This is simply because there is one near me, and I like the convenience of picking it up immediately or getting a same day exchange on any defective parts. I realize I may pay a bit more than I should on some pieces, but I at least save a few bucks on shipping.

Thank you all in advance for your help!

More about : gaming build locally purchased parts 400

August 3, 2013 10:16:59 AM

It is hard to throw together a whole computer for $400 (not impossible, just takes lots of hunting)
And unless you HAD an SSD, there is virtually no way to fit one into your $400 budget =[

Possibly someone who has more experience building budget PCs might be able to help with a parts list, but all I can say is maybe check the building marathons, they usually have a <$500 pc if I remember correctly, that would at least give you a good place to start.
The other (worse) option is to go buy a prebuilt system, with plans to upgrade it in future if needed.

Hope I helped a little bit
-Connor
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August 3, 2013 10:57:43 AM

Thanks for your answer cdburner. Why would the build be impossible? Is it because of the place I'm buying it from as opposed to ordering the pieces from the cheapest seller online, or because of the budget? I'm willing to consider alternatives such as raising the budget to $500 if I must and/or ordering online. This was just the most ideal situation for me since my sister's computer crapped out recently, and she needed a new one. Otherwise, I'll have to forgo building another computer and stick with a prebuilt.
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Related resources
August 3, 2013 11:37:09 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($72.97 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($63.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $402.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-03 14:36 EDT-0400)

if u can raise ur budget to 500 u can fit an i5 in there
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August 3, 2013 11:47:06 AM

infamousflaco said:
Thanks for your answer cdburner. Why would the build be impossible? Is it because of the place I'm buying it from as opposed to ordering the pieces from the cheapest seller online, or because of the budget? I'm willing to consider alternatives such as raising the budget to $500 if I must and/or ordering online. This was just the most ideal situation for me since my sister's computer crapped out recently, and she needed a new one. Otherwise, I'll have to forgo building another computer and stick with a prebuilt.


It certainly isn't impossible, it is just hard to find all the components for cheap enough.

jinayhvora said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($72.97 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($63.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $402.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-03 14:36 EDT-0400)

if u can raise ur budget to 500 u can fit an i5 in there


This is a pretty good build! you possibly be able to find something close to this at your local store, although I have not checked the prices. If you had to you could get a lower end processor to compensate for any raised prices. And if you NEED you could get away with 4GB of ram likely, but I cant imagine there will be that big of a price difference between 4gb and 8gb
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August 3, 2013 1:40:06 PM

Thanks for the great build jinayhvora! I searched the in-stock items of the store near me. I found everything on your list except for the psu and the ram.

Is the CX Series CX430M 430 Watt ATX Modular Power Supply a viable psu replacement? It's $49.99 (39.99 after rebate) and also a 80 Plus bronze certified psu.
http://www.microcenter.com/product/406086/CX_Series_CX4...

I don't trust their website reviews. Do you happen to know which of these 8gb memory sticks would be the most reliable option for me?
http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?N...

@cdburner5911, I originally had in mind 4gb of ram for this build when I made this post. However, if that psu I found is ok, I'll be at $341.34 (including tax). That means I'll only be about $20 over my $400 goal with 8gb of ram installed. Granted in this particular store the price difference between 4gb and 8gb is roughly $30-40.
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August 3, 2013 3:24:12 PM

infamousflaco said:
Thanks for the great build jinayhvora! I searched the in-stock items of the store near me. I found everything on your list except for the psu and the ram.

Is the CX Series CX430M 430 Watt ATX Modular Power Supply a viable psu replacement? It's $49.99 (39.99 after rebate) and also a 80 Plus bronze certified psu.
http://www.microcenter.com/product/406086/CX_Series_CX4...

I don't trust their website reviews. Do you happen to know which of these 8gb memory sticks would be the most reliable option for me?
http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?N...

@cdburner5911, I originally had in mind 4gb of ram for this build when I made this post. However, if that psu I found is ok, I'll be at $341.34 (including tax). That means I'll only be about $20 over my $400 goal with 8gb of ram installed. Granted in this particular store the price difference between 4gb and 8gb is roughly $30-40.

That power supply would probably be more than adequate for a non gaming PC

Honestly, you would likely never notice any difference in the the different brands for ram, as long as you get 2x4gb as opposed to 1x8gb you will be fine. I mean, I know there is a difference in brands, but they would all probably be fine.
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August 3, 2013 3:44:27 PM

im pretty sure microcenter has all these parts available but i rather buy online since all the rebates save money

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1nSzo
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1nSzo/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1nSzo/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($177.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI B75MA-E33 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($50.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $406.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-03 18:41 EDT-0400)

The build above will definitely be good for you sister. With an intel i5 quadcore, 1tb of storage and 8gb of ram.
Keep in mind the price above includes rebates and sale which may not be available at microcenter

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August 3, 2013 11:26:29 PM

@Hexacore, ur build has a problem, that CPU does not have an iGPU so u will need a discrete video card which puts it over budget, i would go with a 3470
@OP did u say u lived near a MicroCenter? then u can get really good deals in In-store Pickups, please give ur ZIP Code so i can build another with it
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August 4, 2013 10:16:47 AM

jinayhvora said:

@OP did u say u lived near a MicroCenter? then u can get really good deals in In-store Pickups, please give ur ZIP Code so i can build another with it


I'm near the NY - Westchester County/Yonkers location.
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August 4, 2013 10:29:17 AM

i'm not an American, so i would not know, please give the ZIP Code
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August 4, 2013 10:42:06 AM

jinayhvora said:
i'm not an American, so i would not know, please give the ZIP Code


The zip code is 10704 . Just got from the Google Maps. Let's plan a build for him. Let's see who plans better. :D 

(Just for fun :D  )
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August 4, 2013 10:52:41 AM

Anyways, here is the best build for the price. It is just 30 dollars over the budget but it is totally worth it. I mean it is very good build for your needs.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($159.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $432.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-04 13:51 EDT-0400)

I hope this helps. Would soon post a build that is inside your budget.
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Best solution

August 4, 2013 10:55:20 AM

For under that budget. This is a good build :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3240 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-HD3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $350.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-04 13:54 EDT-0400)

I hope this helps. Is there anything else I can do for you?
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August 4, 2013 10:56:27 AM

if she wants to watch blue rays with her pc, she need to get a blueray optical drive, but the other builds dont include one

complete build from microcenter only with blueray optical drive:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1o97J

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3240 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-HD3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: LG UH12NS30 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($54.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $442.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-04 14:03 EDT-0400)
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August 4, 2013 10:58:46 AM

jinayhvora said:
@Hexacore, ur build has a problem, that CPU does not have an iGPU so u will need a discrete video card which puts it over budget, i would go with a 3470
@OP did u say u lived near a MicroCenter? then u can get really good deals in In-store Pickups, please give ur ZIP Code so i can build another with it


jinayhvora said:
i'm not an American, so i would not know, please give the ZIP Code


*facepalm, i would go with Sangeet's build since that was what i was aiming for
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August 4, 2013 10:59:37 AM

sure :D 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($159.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($61.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($63.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $467.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-04 13:58 EDT-0400)

went over budget trying to put a newer gen i5 in but this will be a very good build
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August 4, 2013 5:46:09 PM

First off, thank you all so very much for your excellent help.

@jinayhvora - I was unable to find that motherboard and psu in microcenter. Plus that optical drive was unfortunately not a blue ray reader. The i5 with a blue-ray would bring the price way over $500.

@Sangeet Khatri and @guggi4 - both your builds are amazing for what I need. After rebate, guggi's beats Sangeets by less than $2 ($472.22 vs $473.89). However, I will go with Sangeet's build since I've used Corsair memory before and have had no issues with it. Also, I couldn't find many reviews for the LG UH12-NS30, so I stuck with the Asus optical drive.

Sangeet, could you edit your original build post to include the optical drive so whoever looks at this in the future can have everything in one place?
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