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Budget build advise

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September 22, 2009 3:17:15 AM

Hello, I'm ready to replace my old computer, either with a new build or simply by chucking it out the damn window. It's about to push me over the brink. I built a box around 15 years ago (when TomsHardware was just getting popular!) and thought I'd give it a go again. Things have changed alot, so I'm seeking advise from those in the know.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 2 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: around 500 usd

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing web, MS office, google sketchup, photo and video editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, media card reader, CD/DVD. I have the existing case, but it's not atx, so I think I'll need a new one

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com or other reputable vendors... tigerdirect.com?? they have 10% bing cashback

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel chips. I also seem to like gigabyte, asus, and msi MBs.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, why not right?

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably not, I'm not much of a gamer

MONITOR RESOLUTION: currently have 1280x1024, but might need to go higher when the current monitor fries and we replace with a wide screen LCD

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
- a quiet fan would be a nice to have
- I tend to keep things for as long as possible, so ram expansion on the MB is needed, atleast 8 but probalby 16 would be good. I'd like 4GB to start with.
- Question of ram, since ddr3 has come down recently, would it make sense to use that over ddr2, even on a budget build?
- I'm going to go straight to windows7, as MS is offering it for $30 to anyone with a student id
- as far as video, I'm wondering if (ducking down) on-board video would suite my needs, as we're not into the game scene. If the onboard aren't viable for even ordinary use, a minimal video card would probably due

Many thanks

More about : budget build advise

September 22, 2009 6:40:56 AM

Intels onboard gfx are ok but not good

amd's onbard gfx are the best available , by a decent margin . There processors are also generally better value right now , and with your budget are worth considering .

DDR2 is right on the edge of becoming legacy stock . Go with DDR3 if possible

The only intel socket that is in your budget is socket 775 and thats just been replaced so if you MUST have intel you might as well go with DDR2 anyway

Are you OK with the AMD option?
September 22, 2009 6:44:57 AM

with 500 budget, you're better off with amd because you can get a triple core, but intel you can only get dual core for that budget.

take a look around other threads, there was a amd build.
Related resources
September 22, 2009 11:27:53 AM

This build is over the $500 budget, but if you want Intel and want some type of decent upgrade path you'll need to go i5/P55.

$575 before shipping and the rebate.

CPU/case/PSU combo deal - $285 i5 750 and the Antec Sonata case with the 500w Earthwatts power supply. Decent case that leans towards quiet, excellent power supply and the budget i5 CPU that has excellent performance
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

motherboard/RAM combo - $180 a P55 micro ATX mobo and good 2x2 GB DDR3 RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HD - $50 500 GB SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - $60 9600GSO before a $20 rebate, decent card if you're not a gamer and the P55 doesn't come with integrated graphics.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

September 22, 2009 1:02:31 PM

hey thanks for all the input. I know 500 is a pretty tight budget, unfortunately I'm on a tight budget :) 

I'd really rather just stick with the intel chips over the amd, so I'll bite the bullet and budet in a gpx card.

dirtmountain, that's a good point about the upgrade path. The socket for the i5 is the same as the i7 right? so down the road when i7s are dirt cheap, I can drop that in without any major reconfiguration.

Does anyone deal with tigerdirect? everyone seems to quote newegg for prices..... just wondering


thanks again for the input.


September 22, 2009 1:08:05 PM

Dirtmountain posted a great build, if you cans swing $575, go with this build because it will offer much better performance over a comparable AMD offering, and the new socket will allow for future upgrades.
September 22, 2009 1:10:14 PM

lowpine said:
hey thanks for all the input. I know 500 is a pretty tight budget, unfortunately I'm on a tight budget :) 

I'd really rather just stick with the intel chips over the amd, so I'll bite the bullet and budet in a gpx card.

dirtmountain, that's a good point about the upgrade path. The socket for the i5 is the same as the i7 right? so down the road when i7s are dirt cheap, I can drop that in without any major reconfiguration.

Does anyone deal with tigerdirect? everyone seems to quote newegg for prices..... just wondering


thanks again for the input.


The i7 920 uses socket 1366

The new i5 750 and i7 860/870 use socket 1156

Down the road you pick up one of the new i7 chips, but by that time there may be new better chips for the 1156 socket.

Newegg has a better selection, lower prices, great customer support, and they ship things fast. However if you can save a few bucks at tigerdirect with the bing discount, then go for it.
September 23, 2009 7:59:23 PM

OK, I think I'm settled on the i5 processor.

I've pecked around a bit more and found similar items around the same price points and wanted to ask about thier quality vs what was specified above:
PSU & case
APEVIA X-SUPRA G-Type X-SUPRAG-BL Black / Blue SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and
Rosewill Green Series RG430-2 430W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS Certified,Active PFC "Compatible with Core i7" Power Supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
vs
(from above)
Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the rosewill psu is in a combo with the asus video card. I know the antec is 500w and the rosewill is 420w, given the setup as specified above will 420 cut the mustard?

thanks
September 23, 2009 8:03:59 PM

While 420W is enough, I would try to avoid Rosewill PSUs. The Antec Sonata III case comes with a very reputable Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU. I would go this route, or if you want to stick with the Apevia case, then you can pick up a seperate PSU. The Corsair 450VX is a great choice, anything really around 500W from brands like Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Antec, OCZ, and Seasonic.

But yes, anything in the 400-500W arena will be plenty sufficient for a 9600GSO.
September 23, 2009 9:06:16 PM

^ agree, i usually avoid Rosewill power supplies unless you really HAVE to make a budget.
September 24, 2009 1:55:01 PM

another question on compatibility between components here

it looks like the MB is a microATX and the case is labeled ATX:
CPU/case/PSU combo deal - $285 i5 750 and the Antec Sonata case with the 500w Earthwatts power supply. Decent case that leans towards quiet, excellent power supply and the budget i5 CPU that has excellent performance
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.258673

motherboard/RAM combo - $180 a P55 micro ATX mobo and good 2x2 GB DDR3 RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.257215

are the mounting holes on ATX and microATX the same? ie will this MB mount in this case? It looks like some cases are made specifically for microATX boards

thanks
September 24, 2009 2:12:22 PM

Yes, a mATX motherboard will fit into an ATX case. The only problems you may face are spacing related, as things are packed closely on the smaller motherboard.

Great combo there with the CPU/Case/PSU
September 26, 2009 5:35:31 PM

thanks for all the input, it's really appreciated.

before I get started with the system I landed on, do I need a heatsink/fan for this chip? or does one come with it, i can't find anything that says a fan is included.

So, I just realized that I am going to need a cd/dvd burner, as the one I have is IDE and I won't likely find an IDE port on any of the MBs for the 1156 chipset... so here's what I've come up with. I've juggled a few things around to cut down on the shipping......

CPU & case combo: $284
Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail -http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mother Board & memory: $189
GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9D-4GBRH - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

video card: $34 after rebate
ASUS EN9600GSO/DI/512MD3/V2 GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

hdd: $49
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

dvd: $39
PLEXTOR 24X DVD/CD Writer Black SATA Model PX-880SA LightScribe Support - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like this MB slightly more than the ASrock, they have nearly identical features, but it has good ratings, where as the ASRock isn't rated at all. Either one is probably as good as the other, for all I know. But the Gigabyte has a combo with the DDR3 2000 ram.... for only $10 over the ASRock combo.

I could have gotten other dvd burners slightly cheaper around $30, but this on has free shipping and plextor seems to have better than avg ratings, so it's like $2 more when factoring in shipping.

Free shipping on everything and only one rebate to worry about, after rebate price is a whisker under $600, $599.93 exactly

what do you think?

September 26, 2009 9:44:39 PM

That motherboard does have a PATA port good for 2 devices, so your IDE burner would work(comes with an included ribbon cable). The i5 750 ships with a stock cooler and it has thermal material on it. It's a solid build, everything looks good to me. Your motherboard link includes a combo deal, double check before you order.
September 28, 2009 6:42:26 AM

my opportunity to get the antec sonota III case in the combo (or at all) has passed, that was a good deal for a good case. So I had to regroup and found some other good combo items.

Any opinions on the ECS mb compared to the Gigabyte? There aren't any ratings on newegg, but I found a couple of favorable reviews, the most indepth on guru3d. I hadn't even considered ECS before.

Do I really need the mombo cpu fan, I'm not even sure if I'm going to overclock. Would the included cpu fan cut the mustard if I were to OC? This rig will be soooo much better than my current POS, I might just go with standard settings. By dropping the fan out of the group, I could bump up the hdd to 1T, something I'm more interested in.

One more queston about the ram, is the DDR3 2000 over the top, could I get away with slightly slower/cheaper ram? If I'm not going to OC and the mb memory is set to 1600, the system wouldn't be any faster with DDR3 2000 ram rather than DDR3 1600 ram, right? and a decent quality DDR3 1600 ram can OC higher, right? I think I may be wasting money here on capabilities I'm likely not going to use.

I'm looking at

CPU & fan combo: $214
Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU ... - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mother Board & memory: $179 AR
ECS P55H-A(1.0) LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

video card: $34 after rebate
ASUS EN9600GSO/DI/512MD3/V2 GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

hdd: $49
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

case : $59 - free shipping promo code
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total after rebate $587

comments welcome
September 28, 2009 7:33:15 AM

Not sure about the ECS... But Gigabyte is tried and true - I don't put anything other than Gigabyte boards in my builds.
September 28, 2009 7:36:18 AM

And don't worry about the ram.. Toms recently did a comparison and the DDR3 2000 might gain you one or two FPS in games but you won't notice the difference in the real world.
Some people may use the potential of 12 gigs of the fastest stuff available, but I can assure you 9.9 out of 10 people do not :D 
I would buy a slower ram of a good make than a faster, more expensive ram any day.
!