Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$840 Budget, Omfg herlp!

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 21, 2009 10:18:44 PM

Okay, so here's the deal. My cat decided that he didn't like my computer the way it was and decided to splammajam a cold one all over my computer. Given there shouldn't have been a drink next to it, but that is neither here nor there. There are some parts I can and will save from the old computer. I got 2 hard drives w/XP on it already, one wd raptor 74GB 10,00rpm and a Hitachi 160GB 7200. The mobo got fried, I'm hoping it didn't get the power supply too (the led lights will come on, but comp won't boot), so I'm moving my Antec True Power 550W SLI ready psu over, as well as my x-fi soundcard, and dvd burner. My case is actually fairly nice, but very business like Lian Li Alum mid tower. I want something uber, my wife wants a small form factor. This is the compromise. She gave me a budget of $840.

This first option uses every bit of my budget and is a complete build, I'll probably still bring over the psu and the raptor HD, but there's no room for the Hitachi. All parts and prices are picked via Newegg.

1 APEVIA X-QPACK2-BL/500 Black/ Blue Aluminum Body/ Front Mask MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 500W Power Supply
$88.99

1 MSI G31M3-F LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
$49.99

1 SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
$199.99

1 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 $282.99

1 G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
$39.99

1 Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

$49.99 $49.99
1 LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30

$24.99 $24.99
1 Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders

$99.99
Subtotal: $836.92

The other option I have assumes I use the two old hdd's, os, dvd burner, psu, and sound card. It doesn't have as good a video card and it's not the small form factor my wife wanted, but the Core i7 makes up for it in my eyes.

1 Recertified: EVGA 512-P3-N871-RX GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
$129.99

1 Vigor Monsoon III LT Dual 120mm Fan CPU Cooler Socket 1366 Ready
$59.99

1 NZXT Apollo Black SECC Steel Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$69.99

1 GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
$199.99

1 Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920
$289.99

1 Patriot Viper 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PVT33G1333ELK
$89.99

Subtotal: $839.94

So what do I do? Do I please the wife and get her a complete build that's not shabby and is small like she wants? Or do I get the processor that'll last for a long time to come, but will be in a bulky mid tower ATX (bulky in her eyes anyway)? Or, even better, can someone come up with a better solution for my dilemma? Thanks in advance.

More about : 840 budget omfg herlp

January 21, 2009 10:25:40 PM

I'd try to look for a gtx260+, you might get a better deal and they are comparable.

For the case/psu, you can potentially find a combo deal at newegg. Last time I checked, there were a couple different ones.

If you are strapped for cash, you could trade the 9550 for a 8400-8500 and spend the extra on a nice p45 board like a p5q. You could also keep the old drives and save another 50$ (which you could still get at a later point and easily add-in).
January 21, 2009 10:50:37 PM

Ok, so I looked it up.

1. Couldn't find a gtx 260+ for less than $240.00 Sparkle brand. Don't know too much about them. Also, the charts i've seen show the Radeon 4870 512mb only a couple steps back from the 260. At 40 bucks less than the gtx 260, isn't it the better deal?

2. The Apevia is about as good as I could find, fits a standard ATX psu, allowing me to keep the True Power 2.0 550w PSU and I've seen plenty of people with builds that have full size video cards using the case (assuming no mods were made), including the gtx260. (If you can find a decent one for a decent price, like maybe 220, lemme know)

3. Ok so I traded it in my wishlist on the small form factor build to look like this.

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500
$188.99

1 DFI LP JR P45-T2RS LGA 775 Intel P45 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
$149.99

Putting it right at $840 again. Better than the 9550 with the less than feature rich G31 board?
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
January 21, 2009 10:55:46 PM

The P45 boards are very good overclockers. I personally can attest to that.

If you get the E8500, you can push it to 4ghz which is pretty good by any standards. Of course, you might want to sneak in a decent air cooler for the very high OC.

The difference in today's world of quad vs duo is not that large. Of course you might get a couple of seconds difference in extracting or encoding movies but it'll give you equivalent performance in games which aren't really optimized for quads yet.
January 22, 2009 1:22:37 AM

I find that the particular mATX p45 mobo that i chose (which happens to be the only one on newegg) has problems with the 9.5x multiplier associated with the E8500, so i stepped down to the 8400 with a Zalman CNPS8000 92mm Fan/Heatsink, which once again, puts it at $839. Part of me says go with the Core i7 though. I suppose I know that most of today's games only use dual core, it's more the future I'm worried about.
January 22, 2009 2:22:11 AM

Okay, so I think I got it now. I dropped Windows Vista 64-bit for an upgrade to the video card. I think the final Small Form Factor build will look something like this.

Apevia X-QPack 2 Blue Alum Micro ATX case
Antec True Power 2.0 550W PSU
DFI P45 LGA 775 mATX mobo
Intel E8400 Core 2 Duo proc
eVGA GeForce 280 video card
G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800 RAM
WD Raptor 74GB 10,000rpm HDD
WD Caviar 7200 320GB HDD
Creative X-Fi Platinum Sound Card
LG 22 DVD+-RW Dual Layer Burner
19-1 Memory Card reader
Zalman CNPS8000 CPU Fan/Heatsink
2 120mm case fans
1 80mm case fan
Logitech Cordless Desktop
Envision 22" monitor
Microsoft XP Professional

Good enough for now?
January 22, 2009 2:43:03 AM

Could go the amd path and get a athlon 7750x2 and a gtx 280 and 8gb ram.
January 22, 2009 2:47:01 AM

1st whats wrong with your Lian Li case that you think you need to replace it? Neither of the cases you are looking at are even close to the craftsmanship of the Lian Li.

2nd if your gonna do i7 pick a better motherboard then the GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R....it lacks SLI and only has 4 sockets for your triple channel DDR3. Most of the i7 motherboards have 6 sockets for memory. Given that your only buying 3 x1 GB the only upgrade path you have with this motherboard is to replace the memory if you want to run more then 3 GBs in triple channel mode.

3rd What size monitor are you running? No use buying a massive video card if you don't have the resolution to display it with. Especially if your gonna stuff it into a small form factor case with reduced airflow. Consider looking at the 4850, those 4870s are notorious for running hot 80-90 Degrees C.

4th What is the goal of your small form factor? Some people want them because they are unobtrusive, some want them to cart off to lan parties, others want something they can put in their living room that doesn't look like a computer ie HTPC.

5th What do you expect to do with the computer......games(which ones)? video transcoding? HTPC? websurfing?
January 22, 2009 2:58:38 AM

Found this review of that case
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2007/12/05/apevi...


I wouldnt bother with a sound card unless you dont have any other way to play music. On board sound is fine for general use .

Make sure the motherboard you have selected has a pci-e 2 x16 slot that runs at x16 . Lots of manufacturers make m-atx board that have x16 sockets that run at x4 . Usually those models have HDMI onboard , but not always

Why use XP pro ? Its the same OS as XP home but its less convenient to use .

Keep a floppy drive handy for installing the XP sata drivers . You can disconnect it later and install the card reader
January 22, 2009 3:14:45 AM

"Ultimately, the case is poor even by the poorest of standards and is the type of thing you should only really use if you need to build a small and discrete PC for somebody you know, but don’t like all that much."

LMAO!!!

Maybe you should consider a Silverstone case.
SILVERSTONE SG01-BW Black Aluminum MicroATX Desktop $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or thermaltake....
Thermaltake VF1000BWS Black Aluminum Front Panel/ SECC Chassis MicroATX $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 22, 2009 7:34:34 AM

Ok, in order!

1. Yes the Lian Li case is fairly awesome, however it was a major thing for my wife that this case be small. Stepping down to the sff was about the only choice I had. Choosing such a weaksauce case was due to the fact I had to compromise somewhere, however that Thermaltake you mentioned did catch my eye and I'll probably go with that on your suggestion and maybe just bring both HDDs over, forgoing the new one. Maybe this case instead?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Once again, working on the budget of this, it was the absolute cheapest board available. I won't be running SLI in the near future and honestly, if I did upgrade to 6GB of RAM, that'd be overkill for most everything anyway. However, upon your suggestion, I switched it out for this MSI board.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. I'm using an Envision H22W 22" monitor right now, max reso is 1680x1050. I wish it would push the higher 1920 resolution, but I figure I'd upgrade the monitor eventually, but enjoy the increase FPS on the lower resolutions for now, so that's why I picked the GTX 280. Your suggestion of the 4850 makes sense though, given the small nature of the case.

4. The only goal of the SFF is acheived once it is purchased, it is smaller than the ATX Mid-Tower Lian Li case that I have currently. Trust me, it breaks my heart to let it go, it has some of the best air cooling I've seen and it's plenty sturdy, but when you're working with a wife who has given you a budget, you choose between your computer and sex. I choose the latter.

5. My wife will be using it for her functions as a teacher. Mostly web surfing and simple apps. I, however, will be gaming as usual. Me and my stepson both enjoy FPS's (Call of Duty). I'll pop into some MMORPG's every now and then, WoW. Strategy games, Starcraft III, etc...

For Mr. Outlander

I already have the X-Fi soundcard. I suppose I just have trouble letting it go due to the fact I already have paid so much for it. For the sake of air flow in a small case I can let it go, though. The mATX board I picked is the only p45 mobo available via Newegg and it does have dual pci-e 2.0 slots, however they run at x8 when paired. As mentioned earlier, I don't plan on using dual video cards anytime soon though. As for the OS, it's already on the WD Raptor I'm moving over from the old computer.

Gimme some more info, this is working out great guys. I really appreciate the help.
January 22, 2009 3:19:35 PM

Another quick question, should I go economy with the small form factor? I'm not going to get top end speed with it anyway, I'd just prefer better because I know another upgrade isn't coming anytime soon
January 22, 2009 3:58:39 PM

Economy? Not sure what you mean...pretty much try to do as much as we can within a specific budget. You will get the most bang for your buck if you put the majority of your money into a GPU.

Well it looks like making the wife happy with SFF trumps the i7. So.....
I would consider using the coolest chips you can get your hands on for your SFF build...45nm Core 2 Duo Wolfsdale, 55 nm Nvidia GPU. And since you can't run SLI on a P45 Chipset, you should go with the orignal G31 Chipset you were planning.
Something like this....
Intel E8400 Wolfsdale 3.0Ghz CPU $165
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4gb 2x2 Gskill Pi Black DDR2 800 (better timings and has a heat sink)$50 (-$10 with E8400 combo deal)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI G31M3-F LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WD 640GB HD $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Elite 341 RC-341C-KKN1-GP Black Steel MicroATX Mid Tower$41
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 01G-P3-1281-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 $385 ($365 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SILVERSTONE ST70F 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $125 ($99 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $881 ($836 after rebates) Happy wife.........Priceless!

Re-use your DVD burner, replace with a Blu-ray drive after prices drop. The case is a more traditional design and should enable you to reuse your sound card while adhereing to SFF. The power supply is a modular (for better air flow) 700watt beast with enough power to fuel the 55nm 285 GTX.
January 22, 2009 4:48:30 PM

No problem using a sound card you already have . I was trying to trim your budget and get you a happy wife .

The thermaltake case is a much better option .


The motherboard is a beast . All p45 mb's split bandwidth to pci-e x 16 slots when there are two on the mb . But this wont be a problem . The second slot can be used with shorter pci-e cards anyway .


The only thing that would bother me about this build is that it will be fairly noisy
January 22, 2009 6:35:57 PM

Thanks for the build there. Definitely like the way you worked in the GTX 285 1GB video card. One smallish issue is the Coolermaster case isn't that smaller than my current case, less than an inch in any direction actually. While it is smaller, I don't think it's what my wife had in mind. I honestly think she either wants a slim mATX desktop or a LAN party cube, so I may have to go with your Thermaltake VF1000BWS Black Aluminum Front Panel/ SECC Chassis MicroATX $129.99 and maybe drop the new HDD and not bring over my X-Fi Plat. Only thing that bothers me is they say you have to remove the HDD cage in order to get a full size graphics card, not to mention with such a small case, we didn't add an aftermarket cpu cooler/heatsink. Something for me to mull over.
January 22, 2009 9:38:25 PM

Take your wife for a nice dinner, and convince her that you need to keep the Lian-Li. Lian-Li makes great cases, and it'll save you quite a bit of money to reuse the old case. Also, don't you need a smaller power supply for the SFF cases?
January 22, 2009 9:56:43 PM

I may be able to convince her if I go Core i7, using the excuse it has to be a mid-tower ATX and there's no point in spending money on a new case. In which case I pose the question.

High end CPU (Core i7) and middling GPU (9800 GTX+) or...
High end GPU (GTX 285) and middling CPU (E8400)

It's a pretty huge improvement in either direction. It's been several years since I built my comp. I'm coming from an Athlon 64 Single Core 4000+ with a Radeon X850XT PE
January 22, 2009 11:19:35 PM

Ok, so she's not digging the idea of keeping the Lian Li. Here's what my mind has concocted now:

1 NZXT ROGUE Crafted Series BLACK ROGUE w. BLUE LED Black Aluminum MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99

1 CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

1 MSI G31M3-F LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99

1 EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $164.99

1 G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99

1 SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

1 Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

Subtotal: $849.92

Ok, now, slap me around and call me Susan!
January 22, 2009 11:20:20 PM

rolgof said:
Thanks for the build there. Definitely like the way you worked in the GTX 285 1GB video card. One smallish issue is the Coolermaster case isn't that smaller than my current case, less than an inch in any direction actually. While it is smaller, I don't think it's what my wife had in mind. I honestly think she either wants a slim mATX desktop or a LAN party cube, so I may have to go with your Thermaltake VF1000BWS Black Aluminum Front Panel/ SECC Chassis MicroATX $129.99 and maybe drop the new HDD and not bring over my X-Fi Plat. Only thing that bothers me is they say you have to remove the HDD cage in order to get a full size graphics card, not to mention with such a small case, we didn't add an aftermarket cpu cooler/heatsink. Something for me to mull over.



I like m-atx cases. Its the challenge of fitting stuff in LOL

I have a Silverstone TJ 08
http://techgage.com/article/silverstone_tj08/

Modular PSU is highly recommended .

Cooling is better than many full tower cases thanks to the two 120 mm fans , and there's room for the biggest gfx card . I even squeezed a scythe ninja cpu cooler in to mine .

If you wanted to move it around get a harness made out of webbing
January 23, 2009 1:48:56 AM

rolgof said:
Ok, so she's not digging the idea of keeping the Lian Li. Here's what my mind has concocted now:

1 NZXT ROGUE Crafted Series BLACK ROGUE w. BLUE LED Black Aluminum MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99

1 CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

1 MSI G31M3-F LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99

1 EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $164.99

1 G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99

1 SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

1 Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

Subtotal: $849.92

Ok, now, slap me around and call me Susan!



Now go back in the kitchen, Susan.
!