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Advice for a relative novice on my second build

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March 5, 2009 4:47:59 PM

I want to build a new system to replace my original build. I don't have a lot of money to work with, but I'd like it to last a few years, so I dont want to go cheap.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP
BUDGET: ~ $600
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet Surfing, Moderate Gaming applications (flight simulators, kids games, etc.)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: DVD drive, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NewEgg, Tiger Direct or Mwave (open to others)
PARTS PREFERENCES: None.
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: unknown
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The case does not need to be fancy... form over function.

I have a Freezer 7 Pro heatsink, so a socket 775 would save me money on buying a different heatsink, as long as I'm not sacrificing speed.

Thanks for your help. You guys give out a lot of great advice!
March 5, 2009 5:03:49 PM

Check out the $625 System Builder Marathon article on the home page.
March 5, 2009 6:34:25 PM
Related resources
March 5, 2009 6:47:37 PM

jcknouse said:
Parts for a $600 system:

Case: APEVIA X-SUPRA G-Type X-SUPRAG-BL Black / Blue SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail (nice size case...20" deep) $59.99 - $20.00 MIR = $39.99

PSU: RAIDMAX QUANTUM RX-700 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC SLI Power Supply - Retail $99.99 - $30.00 MIR = $69.99

mobo: ASRock G31M-S LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $47.99

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E7400 - Retail $119.99

Memory: Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PDC24G8500ELKR2 - Retail $69.99 - $25.00MIR = $44.99

HSF: XIGMATEK XP-S964 92mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $27.99 - $5.00 MIR = $22.99

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $64.99

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $164.99 - $15.00 = $149.99

Total: $560.92 (which leaves money for Shipping) after MIRs

BTW...I have never built an Intel system in my life. If anyone sees issues with my build, please say so. I tried matching memory to FSB and all to make sure it would all be good.

Lots of problems...back to the drawing board.
March 5, 2009 6:54:59 PM

Here is my suggestion:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
You can combo the PSU and Case for $20 off. The PSU you could go cheaper on if you wouldn't upgrade this build later on and just get a 380w Antec, which also comes in the same combo. The reason I chose the 500w is because it will allow you to upgrade to a more powerful GPU that needs 2x6 pin connectors if you decide later on that you need more graphics power.
March 5, 2009 6:59:31 PM

$60 COOLER MASTER Centurion Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$60 Seagate 500 GB HD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$90 Powercooler HD 4830
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$70 Corsair 450 Watt PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$45 GSkill 4 GB DD2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$95 Asus P5Q SE PLUS Mobo (P45)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$120 Intel Core2 Duo E7400 2.8 CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$100 Vista 64 OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total: $640 +Shipping -Rebates

You can overclock with your current cooler and you'll be set for a while. Probably want to upgrade the GPU at some point down the road, but this build will do what you need.
March 5, 2009 7:00:15 PM

jcknouse said:
Help a brother out...tell me what's wrong? Only thing I see is maybe the micro-ATX board.

Hm. Man, do I feel stupid now. :( 

Ok so the PSU you chose is garbage (best used as a doorstop)...very low quality and fails often. Failing PSU=Big Problems. Mobo you chose is low quality (ASRock is not a good mobo company) and cheap...Its not a component I would skimp on because everything goes through it. Seagate 7200.11 drives have huge firmware problems which causes failures constantly. The CPU you chose is nice, but is more expensive than the E5200 and the differences in the two can be made up easily by overclocking. The GPU is good, but the only way you can afford it is to go cheap on other more essential components. Since gaming is a secondary priority and he has a $600 budget, an HD 4830 is plenty.
March 5, 2009 7:06:39 PM

xthekidx said:
Ok so the PSU you chose is garbage...very low quality and fails often. Failing PSU=Big Problems. Mobo you chose is low quality (ASRock is not a good mobo company) and cheap...Its not a component I would skimp on because everything goes through it. Seagate 7200.11 drives have huge firmware problems which causes failures constantly. The CPU you chose is nice, but is more expensive than the E5200 and the differences in the two can be made up easily by overclocking. The GPU is good, but the only way you can afford it is to go cheap on other more essential components. Since gaming is a secondary priority and he has a $600 budget, an HD 4830 is plenty.



Hm...okay.

I have used ASRock in AMD and they have worked fine. Never had an issue with them. Didn't know they were considered bad.

The Raidmax PSU had 3/4 5 egg reviews. Figured it was pretty good for the money and had plenty of power that it wouldn't be stressed by that CPU and single GPU.

I thought the 7200.11 issues were with the 1TB and bigger drives. My bad I guess.

I thought about suggesting a low-end (sapphire 4850) and getting a little better PSU, but I figured he didn't want a bottle neck.

I get what you mean tho. Thanks for letting me know. :) 


P.S.- I gotta check my drives in the machine I just built. Can't remember if I went Seagate or WD 500GBers. :( 
March 6, 2009 3:01:03 AM

Thanks guys, those are great suggestions!
March 25, 2009 12:16:19 AM

I just built a system to replace my wife's rig that was about 10 years old and on its last leg. I didn't have a huge budget either. In fact, I was trying to spend only between $300 and $400.

My wife uses her computer to browse the internet and edit digital images in Photoshop, so I was able to cut a lot of corners. I already had a keyboard, mouse, and monitor too. Like you, I also tend to stay away from flashy cases--and being that I wasn't planning on using this rig for heavy apps or gaming, I didn't bother buying a noisy case with 4 fans.

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.aspx?ID=6532389

Total Cost w/ S&H+Tax = $392.55

So far it's run great. My only complaint is that I skimped on the power supply and while it runs the system fine, it definitely is not shielded very well and it seems to interfere with my wife's cheap set of speakers. They now emit an annoying buzzing sound whenever the computer is on whether they are plugged into it or not. I'm buying her a new pair of quality shielded speakers because she is a music fanatic and her old pair are probably older than her ~10 year old computer.

If you already have quality speakers then go for it, if not you could dish out more money and buy a good PSU and case seperately. Th3Sm0kingM's suggestions are aesthetically pleasing, good quality, and inexpensive--however they cost more than twice as much as the case/psu combo I picked.

Hope this helps (if you haven't built it yet).
!