Budget build advise

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
17 answers Last reply
More about budget build advise
  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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?ItemList=Combo.258673

    motherboard/RAM combo - $180 a P55 micro ATX mobo and good 2x2 GB DDR3 RAM.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.257215

    HD - $50 500 GB SATA
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181

    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=N82E16814121320
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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=N82E16811144218
    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=N82E16817182159
    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=N82E16811129024

    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
  8. 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.
  9. ^ agree, i usually avoid Rosewill power supplies unless you really HAVE to make a budget.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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?ItemList=Combo.258673
    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?ItemList=Combo.258673

    Mother Board & memory: $189
    GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.259687
    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?ItemList=Combo.262096

    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=N82E16814121320

    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=N82E16822152181

    dvd: $39
    PLEXTOR 24X DVD/CD Writer Black SATA Model PX-880SA LightScribe Support - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827249054

    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?
  13. 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.
  14. thanks for the heads-up on the pata port and pointing out the erroroneous link. here's the right one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.262096


    you set me on the right path for this build!
  15. 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?ItemList=Combo.259666

    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?ItemList=Combo.258626

    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=N82E16814121320

    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=N82E16822152181

    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=N82E16811129066

    total after rebate $587

    comments welcome
  16. Not sure about the ECS... But Gigabyte is tried and true - I don't put anything other than Gigabyte boards in my builds.
  17. 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.
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