Poll: What is a midrange price for a build?

I'm compiling a quick survey of every "rate my build" and "this is my build" thread for the past year or two. I also wanted to put up a direct poll. This will be up for only a few weeks.

If you were building a midrange system, about how much would you spend? This is not a spending "cap".

This price does not include monitor, or OS. Just parts cost.
142 answers Last reply
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  1. My short answer is 1200-1500, but a more detailed non-numerical answer is below.

    I take the existence of this poll as a sign that a lot of loyal THG readers were as confused as I was about a mid-range system that uses a $540 cpu!

    I'm still thinking that I must be confused about the aim of this build guide. It must be substantially different from past build guides that were done to advise the non-billionaire computer enthusiast as to what certain price points will get you. Low cost systems were always good for office work and some minor gaming needs, mid-range systems would satisfy all gaming needs, and high-price systems were only for those who didn't mind spending huge amounts to be on the bleeding edge.

    But with an old AMD X2 4200 being able to run TF2 and BF2 very well indeed, why would anyone pay $540 for a mid-range cpu? I'm all for advocating Intel dual-cores, but this is a bit crazy. Perhaps the 'mid-range' moniker doesn't refer to cost/performance sweet spots, but rather to performance-only.

    Regardless, this situation has me questioning for the first time what is going on with these guides. THG has always been a great place for reviews, so don't get me wrong there. I'm just trying to figure out how to view these new guide-standards vis-a-vis past ones and all the other ones out there in the tech community.
  2. I say 1000-1200.
  3. Ya I would consider cheap to be 500 to 700, midrange to be 700 to 900, really good to be 900 to 1100, and 1100 to 1500 being out right gaming goodness, and 1500+ in the watercooled and extreme GFX range. So I consider the top end of midrage to be $900 which so I vote $950 since it's the closest to "my opinion" of midrange
  4. Well to do that, I'd have to define the range....so

    Case - $200
    PSU - $300
    MoBo - $300
    CPU - $1000
    4 GB DDR3 1600 - $900
    Twin Vid Cards - $900
    Twin 1 TB HD's - $500
    Cooling - $150
    Floppy / Card Reader - $40
    Twin Optical Drives - $70

    So round that out to say $4500.....for dream machines.

    So given that, I'd put the hi end at about $2,800 - $3,200

    That would put the mid range at about $$1,500 - $1850

    And budget at about $900 - $1200

    I wouldn't bother building below $900.
  5. Based on performance, $1250. Depending on where you spend it, there's quite a bit of flexibility there. Someone also interested in aesthetics, e.g. a really nice case, may need to go $1400.
  6. I say 1850$
    For a Futureproof decent one with 4g DDR2 1066+Asus Formula Rampage Mobo+E8500 Proc+Cooling+3870X2+850W PSU
  7. I think the meaning of midrange system is a best buy system. Not too weak, not too expensive but best buy.
    For example : I think the mid range CPU are E8400, and Xeon E3110, etc.
    If youpay more, it is than only natural if you get more.
    Get it?
  8. kad said:
    I say 1850$
    For a Futureproof decent one with 4g DDR2 1066+Asus Formula Rampage Mobo+E8500 Proc+Cooling+3870X2+850W PSU

    over kill. esp. since Nehalm will be out end of yer/mid next year.
  9. To : Shadow703793
    Agreed! and $1850 seems already a high cost system to me.
  10. Look at the broader market. You guys are all "cheap", probably because you build it yourself rather than paying someone else to build it.

    Mid-priced systems are around $1k-$2k. High-end systems are $2k and above. Add up the parts and see for yourself, a Q6600, 2GB of good RAM, a high-quality (not super-high end) motherboard such as the Gigabyte EP35-DS4, a 750GB drive, $80 case, $70 power supply, $200 graphics card, etc.
  11. If you spend time to look in the right places, and are patient enough to wait for a good deal to pop up, you can save a lot of money in building a midrange PC. For me, the PC I'm building will cost around $950 or so, and it should last me a number of years before I will need to look into any upgrades.
  12. JoeRoss578 said:
    If you spend time to look in the right places, and are patient enough to wait for a good deal to pop up, you can save a lot of money in building a midrange PC. For me, the PC I'm building will cost around $950 or so, and it should last me a number of years before I will need to look into any upgrades.

    Agreed
  13. JoeRoss578 said:
    If you spend time to look in the right places, and are patient enough to wait for a good deal to pop up, you can save a lot of money in building a midrange PC. For me, the PC I'm building will cost around $950 or so, and it should last me a number of years before I will need to look into any upgrades.

    Agreed. Also factoring in OCing also saves money, esp. on the CPU.
  14. A system I'm currently thinking of building (here in greece):
    (already owned)
    90 euros psu zalman 600w
    80 euros thermaltake case
    45 euros zalman fan controler
    50 euros optical drives

    (possible buys- estimated prices)
    150e intel 8200
    145e asus p5k wifi deluxe
    260e MSI 8800gts stock O/c
    60e RAM 800Mhz 4-4-4-12
    60e HDD sata 250-320GB

    so far it's up to 940 euros (about 1500$)

    the zalman fan controler is optional of course (saves 45e =70$)
    U could save 120e (190-200$) if you go for a 9600GT
    and 45e (70$) if you switch to a simple P35+ICH9R board
    so about 1150$ is the sweet spot (a build I'd recommend to friends BUT NOT 4 ME!!!)
  15. I just built a rig for $1200 including a new 20" monitor and I even managed to snag a E8400, so I'd say $900 - $1200 for midrange depending on what you already have. Such as a monitor or good case etc.
  16. I said 1550, I presume that's in USD, you should make it a little more clear.
  17. Shadow703793 said:
    over kill. esp. since Nehalm will be out end of yer/mid next year.


    Agreed shadows
    Thats why I stopped any attempt to build new system
    and decided to wait for Nehalem
    If I'm going to spend 1850$ on 775 rig
    better to spend it on Nehalem one
    Though my 5 years old rig still running very well
    Asus P4G8X Delux mobo
    2G DDR memory
    Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition (AGP8X Graphic CARD)
    Crysis Ran OK on Med. settings and no AA
    COD4 Ran OK
    HL2 Ran OK
    Doom3 OK
    Fear OK
    Battlefield 2142 OK
    UT3 Did not try
    Bioshock Did not run
    What more I need ??
    I can wait for 2009
    Not in a hurry
  18. I assume you mean a midrange gaming system. In that case, I'd say 1100-1200 USD. If not gaming, I'm building an excellent HTPC for $400.
  19. Here is my future PC build. It lacks a case and fans, because i will use an old one. I will likely go to 4G memory.

    GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS4 Rev. 2.0 LGA 775 Intel P35          $170.00			
    E8400                                                   $210.00			
    Crucial Ballistic 2GB                                   $99.00			
    WD Raptor                                               $164.00			
    SAPPHIRE Toxic Radeon HD 3870                           $193.00			
    SB X-Fi                                                 $61.00			
    PHILIPS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner                            $33.00			
    Antec Earthwatts	500W PS                                $80.00			
    Anti-virus for Vista                                    TBD	
    TOTAL                                                   $1,010.00
  20. Budget build: $400-$600
    Mid build: $600-$800
    High build: $800-$1200

    For the most part this would include a single GPU solution over any SLI/Xfire setup. If you get around a 19" monitor 1440x900 resolution you really don't need SLI/Xfire, IMHO. My Mid-range build above would have a $70-$125 CPU (plenty for most), $150-$200 GPU, $60-90 PSU (quality one), $50-$75 Case, $35-80 (2gb - 4gb's CAS 4 stuff), $70-$100 Mobo, & $35 DVD Burner. This would put it just under $600 before any shipping/taxes (if you have taxes). Here's the example:

    CPU - $70 Easily OC'd later to 2.8-3 gHz on stock cooling!
    Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116036

    Mobo - $97 shipped. Can be found for less, but just using Newegg for example.
    GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059

    Memory - $29!!! Best CAS 4 DDR2 800mHz!
    Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146565

    GPU - $177 - $20 MIR = $157!! Not the cheapest 9600gt, but definately a good GPU!
    EVGA 512-P3-N861-AR GeForce 9600GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130334

    Case/PSU combo - $120 - $30 MIR = $90!! Not the greatest, but definately no slouch. Has 34A on 12V rails Earthwatts PSU!
    Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129024

    DVD Burner - $37 shipped! Retail version, so will have all of the software included!!
    LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106057

    Total for Mid ranged build ~$545.13 - $75 = $470.13!!! Now just add another $100 for a 8800gts and you have a NICE Mid build for $570!!! I'm sure that this build would do as good if not better than the $1k build that TH just did for their budget build!!
  21. If high end builds are going to be under a grand, where does that put the $2,800 box, the $3,500 box, the $4,500 box ?
  22. In most cases I'd say your paying too much for the build, unless you are doing SLI/Xfire builds. My point is that you shouldn't have to pay $2k for a high end build (single GPU). I would be willing to bet if you spend $1k on a system now and in 1 year you spend $1k on another, the 2nd $1k system will be better overall than a $2k build now (assuming your just using a single GPU solution). You could even spend $500-$700 on faster GPU/CPU combo in 1 year and still be better off over the $2k build now. Just my whole thought on it. Yes if your spending $2k-$3k on a build your doing SLI/Xfire or something like that. I don't see the point to doing that, so 95% of people are going to go with a $1k build now and upgrade in 1-2 years anyway. Their gaming experience isn't going to be bad and the $1k-$2k in savings isn't going to hurt either.
  23. Personally I think for a home built box:

    Low= under 600
    Mid= 600-1200
    High= 1200-2000
    Ultra High= over 2000

    (and anything over 3,000 better be for specialized use or else it's a waste of money...)
  24. Ah, Tom's Hardware Guide Forum fights inflation!
  25. Hey guys, first post on toms hardware forums. Anyway i am from aussie so the prices i give you will obviously be in australian. Anyway i just read the article on the $2000 budget system. So i decided to put my own system together using a fairly popular australian online store which has good prices. The site is www.computeralliance.com.au if anyone was wondering. Anyway this is what i came up with and just like in the article there is no monitor or mouse keyboard included.

    Intel S775 Core 2 Q6600 Quad-Core CPU $289
    2x Albatron 8800GTS 512M PCIe Video Card $698
    ASUS S775 P5KC Core 2 Motherboard $164
    Thermaltake Soprano Case Silver X-Type Window $139
    Pioneer DVR-215BK 20x DVD DL Burner SATA Black $45
    Thermaltake 750 Watt Toughpower ATX Power Supply $209
    320GB Seagate 7200rpm 16M Serial ATA HDD $105
    2x DDR2 4GB Geil 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 Kit $338
    Onboard sound $0

    Total: $1987 AUS or $1814 USD
  26. I said 1250, but I was including cost of monitor and OS because I didn't read the thread first ^^..

    If you already had Monitor/OS I'd say around 900-950 would be good value.
  27. 1250usd (I usually work in GBP, which would be approx £650)

    1 video card, no raid & no fancy platinum PSU... and no SSD either lol
  28. Personally, I'd say right at or under $1k (if you aren't including monitor, speakers, keyboard or mouse). My current rig is well under that, and is still fine for me.....

    Antec Sonata 3 w/ 500w EarthWatts PSU - $90
    Asus P5K-E WIFI - $124
    Intel E2160 w/ Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro OC'ed to 3.o Ghz - $100
    2 GB Corsair XMS DDR2 800 - $29
    x2 Seagate 7200.11 320 GB HDs in RAID 0 (black friday deal) - $120 for both
    1 Samsung DVD-RW, 1 Lite-On DVD-ROM - $55
    Vista Home Ultimate EOM - $99
    Front Bay card reader - $11

    Right now I'm at $628 total, and all had free shipping. Since I don't game much, I got an 8600GT XXX from XFX last year for right at $100 (also free shipping). I'm up to $728. If you want more gaming performance, step it up to a 8800GS or 9600GT and still be under $800 total. Even with a decent upgrade to the CPU, and nice speakers, keyboard and mouse, you're still only at $1k.
  29. JackNaylorPE said:
    If high end builds are going to be under a grand, where does that put the $2,800 box, the $3,500 box, the $4,500 box ?


    That put's the $2800, $3500, and $4500 boxes in the "Too much money and don't know any better" category. :pt1cable: :kaola:
  30. chunkymonster said:
    That put's the $2800, $3500, and $4500 boxes in the "Too much money and don't know any better" category. :pt1cable: :kaola:


    So anyone building a solid highly overclockable SLI DDR3 box doesn't know any better ?

    Decent Case - $150
    Decent 850 watt PSU - $275
    790i MoBo - $300
    CPU - $450
    Hi End DDR3 - $45- - $850 (depending on how much ya want)
    Twin OC'd Vid Cards - $900 (or 3)
    Twin 1 TB HD's - $500
    Cooling - $150
    Floppy / Card Reader - $40
    Twin Optical Drives - $70

    To my mind, if it can be beat, it's not hi end and the 790i / DDR3 boxes are beating the X38/780i DDR2 boxes. The bang for the buck goes down but that doesn't stop people from buying Bugatti Barons and Porsches if they want the best.
  31. JackNaylorPE said:
    So anyone building a solid highly overclockable SLI DDR3 box doesn't know any better ?

    Decent Case - $150
    Decent 850 watt PSU - $275
    790i MoBo - $300
    CPU - $450
    Hi End DDR3 - $45- - $850 (depending on how much ya want)
    Twin OC'd Vid Cards - $900 (or 3)
    Twin 1 TB HD's - $500
    Cooling - $150
    Floppy / Card Reader - $40
    Twin Optical Drives - $70

    To my mind, if it can be beat, it's not hi end and the 790i / DDR3 boxes are beating the X38/780i DDR2 boxes. The bang for the buck goes down but that doesn't stop people from buying Bugatti Barons and Porsches if they want the best.
    I'm not implying anyone doesn't know anything, so just relax...sheesh. Some folks believe that in order to get something good, you need to spend money, but the fact is a P4 with DDR400 can print a word document and load a web page just as fast as an QX9650 with DDR31800. If anything, this thread shows that the price of mid-range machine varies based on what each poster believes to be a mid-range build and mid-range price.

    What I will say though is; the "best" is very subjective. Porsche and Bugatti? Porsche and Bugatti are very nice cars, but they are not the "best" when it comes to mpg, comfort, or maintenance costs.
  32. chunkymonster said:
    What I will say though is; the "best" is very subjective. Porsche and Bugatti? Porsche and Bugatti are very nice cars, but they are not the "best" when it comes to mpg, comfort, or maintenance costs.


    But they certainly do constitute the "hi end" which was the subject at hand. And for people buying them "mpg and maintenance costs" don't appear on the list of criteria that matter. As for comfort, I have never driven a Baron but I find the Porsche among the most comfortable cars "to drive" that I have ever owned.

    Quote:
    Some folks believe that in order to get something good, you need to spend money, but the fact is a P4 with DDR400 can print a word document and load a web page just as fast as an QX9650 with DDR31800.


    If we were to take the analogy further, "printing a word document and loading a web page" is comparable to "taking the kids to soccer practice" and "running over to Subway for a quick bite", I can do that with a Taurus but few would ever call a Taurus "hi end".
  33. I say around 1500 that seems to be what I always end up paying for systems (thank the government for a little more this time) I say below 1000 is low cost 1000 to 2000 is mid cost and 2000k to 3500 is high cost above high cost is dream machine

    The reason i say 1500 is because the base parts cost about 1200 and you can afford to get a few extras that make your system better like a sound card tv tuner stuff like that.

    Personally i try to keep my builds to around 1500 that seems to be the sweet spot for me.
  34. My last round of builds (Nos. 65-68)....nothing super special but quite respectable were about $1700.....last bunch of machines been laptops so I missed the fun.....but things have gotten cheaper since then.....I remember routinely paying > $100 for a good burner....and RAM prices (DDR2) now are ridiculous). But I have built a few $6k boxes in my day.

    Heck I remember paying $1,000 for the 1st 1 GB SCSI drive in 1993 .... Plextor burners were $200+ then. The box behind me (running since last millenium and now regulated as backup storage) has a TBU that was $894 when I first built it....when it died, I bought the same exact model for $215.
  35. If I wanna be honest to you....hmmm...I have 2 computers and each one costs about 950 euro, I don't know how much that is in US dollars. But I thinks that is about mid price.
  36. ^ 950 euro is ~ 1480 USD.
  37. Computers do buck inflation.....all my builds for personal use 1985 - 1993 were between $5,000 and $6,000. My P2P server was $6k also but that had 2 SCSI 15k HD's at about $890 each (2 more added later), 2 SCSI optical drives and the SCSI TBU referenced above. But most desktops before year 2,000. Between 1993 and 1998, the other builds I did averaged $2,500 - $3,500.

    All my laptops prior to 1996 were $5,000 - $6,000.

    Since then, everything has gone down. My last laptop (custom built by ODM) was $3,194 but was $4,700 at retail vendor (WidowPC.com) The last four desktops I built were in the $1,700 - $2,100 range.
  38. Mid-Range is about $1100-1300, $1200 would be the best number. imo
  39. Mid System Total 1 070,58 $

    Processor Intel E8400 213,20 $

    Memory Mushkin HP2-6400 2X1GB 996533 49,91 $

    Motherboard Gigabyte P35-DS3L 86,05 $

    Hard Drive Disk Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB 88,99 $

    DVD Writer Samsung SH-S203B 25,88 $

    Case Antec Nine Hundred 95,99 $

    Power Supply OCZ GameXStream 600W 95,63 $

    Graphic Card BFG Geforce 8800GTS 512mb 308,88 $

    CPU Cooler Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro 18,38 $

    Case Optional Fan Antec TriCool 120mm BLUE LED 10,81 $

    that is a good MID range build ( total include tax and shipping )
  40. Gigabyte P35-DS3L is low class to me, I say Gigabyte X38-DS5 is the mid range.
  41. Midrange $600, with atleast 12,000 3dmark06 score.
  42. US$
    Budget < 600
    Value < 1000
    Mid < 1500
    High < 2500
    Extreme > 2500

    At the moment budget and value are dual core only. Budget could be integrated graphics (780G) or low discrete. Value is 3850 or NV equiv.
    Mid+ is personal choice.
  43. my idea of midrange is cutting edge, but cheap. so $600-900. I consider crap components with integrated graphics or slightly outdated systems and platforms to be "low end". an intel with gma3100 or AMD 690 are new low end. old tech like a good single core with a 7600 - 7900 video is now what I'd call the top of low end.

    vid cards like 8800gs or 9600gt are the absolute top of my "midrange"

    anything with a good dual or any quad with 3800 or 8800 video gets into the higher end.

    in less than a year, the bar changes.
  44. Well I measure it by the purpose. If it can play any game on high/maxed settings, its high end. For a 2k computer that plays crysis at 60 fps instead of 50 fps, yea, thats overkill. Just because something is "higher end", doesn't mean a comp that can do anything but slightly slower isn't high end. In your car example, just because a bugatti is obscenely expensive doesn't mean a bmw isn't high end.

    I just built my new gaming/workstation comp about a month ago for about $1200. Quad core, 8800gt, 4 gigs of memory, 500gb hard drive, lian li case, and high quality 750w psu. I can play any game out there on max settings, except crysis, which I can play on high at 1900x1200. Thats upper mid - high end for me, there really isn't any point for me to spend more than that for dimishing returns when I can play everything maxed at 1900x1200.

    For people doing crazy overclocking and sli, no they aren't stupid, they just choose to spend their money differently, but going to extremely high end doesn't make the high end any less high.

    So if 1200 is high end for me, you can build a decent gaming rig that can play any modern game on mid-high settings on a 24" monitor for ~800-900. So that would be midrange for me. Thats not including the monitor, which I think we are all assuming this price doesn't include.

    I think a game/monitor resolution based metric would be better than an arbitrary low-mid-high label. Thats how I've always built my rigs. Something like:
    Low: Can play any game on medium-high settings on a 19" LCD (1280x1024)
    Mid: Can play any game on medium-high settings on a 22" LCD (1680x1050)
    High: Can play any game on maxed settings on a 24" LCD (1900x1200)
    Very High: Can play any game on maxed settings on a 30" LCD (2560x1600)
    Highest: If you're going any higher, you know what you're doing anyway.

    As long as you treat Crysis as an exception, you should be able to keep reasonable prices for all of this.
  45. Most likely they don't include that stuff because it is pretty much subjective, you can spend as much or as little money as you can afford on those things. Many people already have some or all of those things from previous systems as well. It is enough trouble to put together a guide for a tower without all the other stuff that is mainly personal preference.

    Btw, you forgot the graphics card in your build. Kinda important.
  46. In correspond to zpyrd :

    Why does no-one include the following in a new system build.
    (a few people do include the following):
    ..........

    O yeah I do forget to tell you guys. Wenn I write that 950 euro is about my midrange. I do included :
    A monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, a headset and a mousepad.
    The rest of the softwares, I have most of them already, I'm still satisfied with my old winXP, ms office 2000, etc. and I am a freeware freak (not pirated, I do appriciate other peoples hardwork). Vista will have to wait, because I am kinda runout of cash right now.
  47. JackNaylorPE said:
    So anyone building a solid highly overclockable SLI DDR3 box doesn't know any better ?

    Decent Case - $150
    Decent 850 watt PSU - $275
    790i MoBo - $300
    CPU - $450
    Hi End DDR3 - $45- - $850 (depending on how much ya want)
    Twin OC'd Vid Cards - $900 (or 3)
    Twin 1 TB HD's - $500
    Cooling - $150
    Floppy / Card Reader - $40
    Twin Optical Drives - $70

    To my mind, if it can be beat, it's not hi end and the 790i / DDR3 boxes are beating the X38/780i DDR2 boxes. The bang for the buck goes down but that doesn't stop people from buying Bugatti Barons and Porsches if they want the best.


    Actually the title of the thread is "What is a midrange price for a build?" Therefore high end should not be your vote.
  48. That was the point as was specifically stated in you read the whole thread:

    Definition: Midrange - The sum of the minimum and maximum values, divided by two.

    So, to define the midrange, it is quite necessary to define the maximum value in order to "do the math"
  49. BTW, definition was from the National Institute of Standards and Testing
    http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/midrange.html

    If you have $600 for the low range and $1200 for the mid range, that means a high end build is only $1,800. Hi End should be close to SOTA (state of the art) and you are not going to build anything close to that, as shown by my component cost list, for $1,800
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