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Challenge: Cheapest, "Future-proof" Build Possible

Last response: in Systems
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July 10, 2009 10:25:17 PM

Hi all,

I know the term future-proof is kind of a joke, but I'm looking to build a desktop to use in conjunction with my laptop. I want it mainly for playing lossless music through my Klipsch speakers, so audio and storage are both important. I don't care about gaming, but 720p playback is required at minimum. The main thing is that I'd like a solid mobo/case combination so that the CPU/memory/video card/etc can be upgraded in the future. I came up with this build, but I'm open to anything to cut costs further while ensuring it'll be capable to do what I want.

So here's the important stuff:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: July-August
BUDGET RANGE: <$450

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: playback of lossless music, watching 720p (occasional 1080p), basic multitasking.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, speakers, keyboard.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've used newegg.com for my builds, but I have no preference.

PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: Open to suggestions

My build so far:

Cooler Master Elite NV Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus RS-460 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Biostar TA790GXE Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X3 710
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB DDR2 1066 RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

The total cost comes out to $488 shipped, but I'd like to cut the cost by about $100 at least. The challenge is to get it as cheap as possible without sacrificing what I want from it.

Thanks!
July 10, 2009 10:46:13 PM

The cheapest future proof build is to

buy a second hand two - 3 year old computer . Its old now so in another 3 years it will still just be old and not much will have changed
July 10, 2009 11:11:54 PM

If music is your priority, you might want to get a cheaper processor and buy a sound card.
Related resources
July 10, 2009 11:27:46 PM

GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-US2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Green WD7500AADS 750GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Saves about $50. You will get good enough onboard graphics from a 780g. No need for 1066 memory for your usage. No need for 3 cores either, though there are slightly cheaper dual core cpu's from amd than the athlon 250, but none of them are as efficient, or as fast. No need for caviar black given what you want out of your system... its barely faster anyways, green wil suffice.

I do not like that psu, but another one will mean more money.
July 10, 2009 11:46:03 PM

I'm going to take these items point by point. I'm afraid you won't like it much... sometimes it's better I think if folks don't post a list at all :( 

Quote:
Cooler Master Elite NV Case

This is not a bad case, but it has this big Nvidia logo in the front and you aren't using an Nvidia GPU. It's not a real upgrader case. That would be the CM 690:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus RS-460 Power Supply

Most CM PSUs are poor and this one is junk. Here is a nice PSU with all the power you seem to need:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
BIOSTAR TA790GXE

If you really want future upgrade potential get an AM3 board
ASRock 780G AM3 full ATX board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB Hard Drive

Because of platter density, the 640GB or the 1TB versions are faster
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


None of this is particularly appropriate for your usage however. You say you don't care about gaming, and just need 720p playback. That's easy.

ASRock 780G AM2+ board
AMD 5050e
OCZ 4GB 1066
Antec 300 case and EA380 combo
WD 320GB drive
+ your LG SATA DVD burner











July 10, 2009 11:46:22 PM

If you want to be the most future-proof, you need to change to an AM3 mobo with DDR3 RAM.

Also change the PSU to Corsair VX450 or 550, the CM is a poor choice for a current system.
July 11, 2009 12:03:27 AM

Quote:
If music is your priority, you might want to get a cheaper processor and buy a sound card.


Could you recommend a decent sound card? I haven't really read too much about them.

Thanks kevin1212 and Proximon for the replies. I'll check out AMD 5050 processor, but I would like to have an AM3 mobo for the future. I would prefer to have Intel, but I've been going with AMD because the integrated graphics seem to be better. Would it be possible to reduce the cost by switching to Intel and a cheap dedicated video card?
!