Challenge: Cheapest, "Future-proof" Build Possible

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:


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 for my builds, but I have no preference.


OVERCLOCKING: Open to suggestions

My build so far:

Cooler Master Elite NV Case

Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus RS-460 Power Supply

Biostar TA790GXE Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X3 710

Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB DDR2 1066 RAM

Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB Hard Drive

LG DVD Burner

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.

6 answers Last reply
More about challenge cheapest future proof build possible
  1. 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
  2. If music is your priority, you might want to get a cheaper processor and buy a sound card.

    OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

    AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz

    Western Digital Caviar Green WD7500AADS 750GB

    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.
  4. 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 :(

    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:

    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:


    If you really want future upgrade potential get an AM3 board
    ASRock 780G AM3 full ATX board

    Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB Hard Drive

    Because of platter density, the 640GB or the 1TB versions are faster

    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
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
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