Need help on very budget build - from the case up.

Basically this is the position I am in right now. I'm beginning to get in to digital photography and will be getting a new dlsr in the next few weeks. I plan on learning out to edit with RAW format and what I understand is the PC needs to likely be a quad core to manage this. A dual core would work but quad core would do this much better.

Right now I have a 5 year old p4 3.2ghz(i think) dimension 9100 from dell. It's a single core and with basic photog hangs for like 12 seconds before being able to display pics. If I tried to do RAW images on this PC, I'm certain it would keel over and die.

I also play a few mmo's on the side from time to time such as WAR and WoW so would like to be able to get by on those, even if at minimal settings. My current PC can do it on minimal settings with about 20fps but the moment more than 20 people are on the screen I dip down to 5-10fps.


Anything is going to be an upgrade at this point, understand that.
I plan on upgrading to a much nicer PC next year, but with the amount of money Im spending on the camera right now, I'm left with about 400-500$ to build a PC.

I appreciate any help.
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  1. teqvet said:
    Basically this is the position I am in right now. I'm beginning to get in to digital photography and will be getting a new dlsr in the next few weeks. I plan on learning out to edit with RAW format and what I understand is the PC needs to likely be a quad core to manage this. A dual core would work but quad core would do this much better.

    Right now I have a 5 year old p4 3.2ghz(i think) dimension 9100 from dell. It's a single core and with basic photog hangs for like 12 seconds before being able to display pics. If I tried to do RAW images on this PC, I'm certain it would keel over and die.

    I also play a few mmo's on the side from time to time such as WAR and WoW so would like to be able to get by on those, even if at minimal settings. My current PC can do it on minimal settings with about 20fps but the moment more than 20 people are on the screen I dip down to 5-10fps.


    Anything is going to be an upgrade at this point, understand that.
    I plan on upgrading to a much nicer PC next year, but with the amount of money Im spending on the camera right now, I'm left with about 400-500$ to build a PC.

    I appreciate any help.



    This is what I have come up with so far, but it's still; over budget. Any assistance getting it to fall in the 400-500 range would be awesome. I do have an ati 3850 512mb pci-e card that I will continue to use until I can afford more cash on a gpu.

    OS $99.99 Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488

    case $39.99 COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119115

    HDD $74.99 Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

    PSU $69.99 COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power RP-600-PCAR 600W ATX from factor 12V V2.01 Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171013

    RAM $46.99 Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148160

    MOBO $119.99 ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131299

    CPU $119.99 Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115206

    DVD/ $23.99 LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model
    CD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152


    Am I missing anything glaringly obvious that can be trimmed down or anywhere I can get more power for less cost or similar power for substantially less cost?

    This build total has me at 627.75 after shipping. I could maybe skate by if it was 527.75 but 600+ is just out of my budget range. Thanks for any help/assistance.
  2. I don't know dude. I wouldn't settle for anything less than what you just posted and even then you won't be really happy. The only thing I can figure would help you is if you had your own OS and didn't need Vista but without a 64 bit OS you won't get to use the whole 4 gigs of Ram.
  3. I'm working with a 5 year old computer right now.. p4 3.0 ghz with 2gigs of ram. I'd be happy with anything over what I'm working with currently.
  4. I'm a noob here, but I just built a budget system with the help of this forum. I am also getting into photography, but haven't had a chance to do any editing on my new build. I have played some WoW (1440x900 res on highest settings; running 25 man naxx at 30+ fps during boss fights using the ATI 3870). As you know, you're not going to get anything amazing at this price, but IMO, for just over $500, it's not bad. Here is the best I could come up with for the price:

    (This is where my wish list should be...sorry about links...having issues at work.)

    My thoughts on the changes (remember, everything's an upgrade for you):

    *Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E5200 - Retail: $72.99 excellent card for overclocking, but you'll need to get another cooler. One of the vets can recommend one if you're interested in OC'ing. I haven't messed with it yet...still running stock.

    *GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard: $98.99 Save you $20.

    *OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply - Retail: $59.99 Same one I bought. Should be plenty of power for what you're running. $10 cheaper, plus free shipping, as well as MIR. Based on reviews, only complaints are the rebates not coming through. OCZ seems to be on top of the problems though.

    *Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM: $49.99 Decent space for now and $25 cheaper. As you accumulate pictures, you'll want some sort of external hard drive to store your images anyway, so for now, if you're trying to save money...

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail: $39.99 good memory, better price.


    Subtotal: $485.92


    * = parts I used in my build. I got the G Skill Pi RAM before the price went back up :D
  5. +1 to dirtmountain's build. You'll be hard-pressed to find better performance/$.
  6. dirtmountain said:


    What intel chip would that 'compare' to if any? thanks.
  7. http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/product_info.php?products_id=82&osCsid=4e0cb1d9be43020f066e3b6c95eb1ddb $19.99
    Centurion 532 Black Mid Tower, W/O window, W/O PSU - Refurbished

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341022 $79.99 ($59.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128380 $84.99
    GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116072 $72.99
    Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

    http://www.buy.com/prod/ocz-vanquisher-cpu-cooler-ocz-technology-vanquisher-cpu-cooler-92mm/q/loc/101/206152497.html $26.31 Free Shipping*
    OCZ Technology Vanquisher CPU Cooler - OCZTVANQ

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150357 $129.99
    XFX GS250XYDFC GeForce GTS 250 512MB Core Edition 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231209 $44.99 Free Shipping*
    G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136074 $54.99 Free Shipping*
    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152 $23.99 Free Shipping*
    LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM0

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488 $99.99 Free Shipping*
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

    Total: $638.22 (not includind shipping and rebates)
  8. The E8400 is the chip that the Phenom II 720 competes against.
  9. shortstuff_mt said:
    The E8400 is the chip that the Phenom II 720 competes against.


    Thanks! Assuming I go with Dirts suggestion, what can I expect in regards to photo editing and gaming with something like WAR.
  10. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811124118 Enermax case and 400W PSU $20 after MIR
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184 2x2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800 $20 after MIR
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165025 $198 after MIR
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152 LG DVD Burner $25
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136074 WD 320GB AAKS $55
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488 Vista Home Premium 64-bit $99

    Base total $428

    Upgrade the HD to 640GB for $25
    Upgrade the CPU to a quadcore Phenom II 910 $62

    The motherboard has good built in video and sound. The case and PSU is on the cheap side but it should be since the system shouldn't draw more than 200W underload.

    Whats WAR?
  11. WAR is warhammer online, produced by Mythic Entertainment (mmo)

    Seems to be a fair bit of MIR's associated with that build. I have never had good luck with MIR's as in out of the 12 various ones I have mailed off for phones, pc equipment or home entertainment hardware I have never gotten one rebate check back from them. I shy from them at all costs.

    Would that psu do ok if I plugged in my 3850 512mb card?
  12. For the most part I've always recieved my MIRs I guess thats why I don't shy away from them. With that said, its iffy on whether the 3850 would boot in the new PC. Enermax makes quality PSU but there isn't enough info the PSU in the combo. AMD says the min requirements are 450W but normally as long as your AMPs on the PSU are good then your good. Is the 3850 a PCIe or AGP card?

    http://ati.amd.com/products/Radeonhd3800/requirements.html AMD 3850 requirements

    Do you know what the PSU is in your old PC? Do you have plans for your old PC? Can you use its PSU?
  13. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153052
    Thermaltake Purepower W0100RU 500W ATX 12V 2.0 Power Supply

    That's the current PSU I am using, however I was planning on giving this PC to my father inlaw as they do not currently have one at all. I could dig around for the old PSU that came with it I suppose. Not sure if I have it available though.
  14. Well maybe you could swap the PSU with the one you'll get with the case and the one in your current system if its worth the touble.

    Its a tough build, the 3850 is definitely worth keeping though.
  15. which camera are you getting and how much are you going to spend on it?
  16. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116072 LGA 775 E5200 $75
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128357 Giga G31 mATX $55
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184 Corsair DDR2 800 $20 after MIR
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152 LG DVD Burner $25
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136074 WD 320GB AAKS $55
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488 Vista Home Premium 64-bit $99
    You have a ATI 3850 which is what you'll use for video card.

    $330 without the case and PSU. Leaves $70-$170 to figure that out. The CPU is significant step down from the Phenom II 720 though, but it will fall with in your budget.

    Upgrade:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115206 LGA 775 E7400 $45
  17. Thanks for the suggestions MykC. I'm currently looking at both your and Dirts suggestions. Assuming I went with the 7400 cpu upgrade you listed in the last build, how would that compare in performance to Dirts build with the Phenom II? If I keep my 500wt psu, that would save me 55$ on Dirts build putting me at a smidge over 500$ which I could work with ($510ish).

    Would it be worth the power upgrade to go that route or is the power upgrade not substantial over the 7400wolfdale?

    thanks.
  18. The e7400 doesn't quite match up to the Phenom II 720:
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3512&p=5 This is a review that has the e5200, e7400, 720 and the E8400 on the charts that will give you a better idea where you stand. Keep in mind you can always go with the cheapest intel and upgrade to a quad core in a year for about $100.
  19. I also suggest trying to pick up the case locally as shipping cases is normally expensive, unless you find a case that has free shipping and you live an area that qualifies for free shipping.
  20. MykC said:
    I also suggest trying to pick up the case locally as shipping cases is normally expensive, unless you find a case that has free shipping and you live an area that qualifies for free shipping.



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147114

    This was the case Dirt recommended and it includes free shipping and runs $35 after entering the promo code by the 31st.
  21. MykC said:
    The e7400 doesn't quite match up to the Phenom II 720:
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3512&p=5 This is a review that has the e5200, e7400, 720 and the E8400 on the charts that will give you a better idea where you stand. Keep in mind you can always go with the cheapest intel and upgrade to a quad core in a year for about $100.



    Did I mis the 7400 in that chart? it doesn't appear to be listed. I see the 7200 and 7500 but no 7400.
  22. Sorry, the e7400 isn't on the list you can use the 7200 and 7500 as reference though.
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