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$1,500 to spend on a PC...

Last response: in Systems
September 30, 2009 7:08:57 PM

So I was able to engage my father in discussion and he agreed to give me $1,500 to a computer. I need your advice on what I should get. I am 20 years old, a college student who is a Business Major and has 2+ years left to complete the degree (not including Graduate studies). I live in a small town house so space is limited.

I know for the same amount of money, a desktop would be a great choice. But a laptop has mobility, which would be immensely nice to have.

I do the basic internet (e-mail, social networking, etc.) and watch video/music. I may dabble in coding and picture editing, or anything else that strikes me as fun.

I would love to get an i7 920, as it would be technologically relevant for the next 3-5 years. I am an Intel fan, so unless it's magical, AMD is an unfavorable choice. Oh, and before you ask, I am not open to OS X.

So... What do you think? If you find a good choice, please link me.

More about : 500 spend

September 30, 2009 7:46:00 PM

Are you going to build it yourself?
September 30, 2009 7:54:22 PM

Are you looking at a desktop or a laptop? For that price, you'd have a very nice desktop, but they do have i7 laptops out now as well.
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September 30, 2009 10:06:33 PM

the only problem with the "mobility" of laptops ... is that the "desktop replacers" are like super thick and when they are unplugged they will run out of battery in a matter of minutes... so it's kinda pointless ( to me ) to get a laptop w/ that money.

You can get a beastly system w/ $1500 .

But if you're only going to do a little bit of picture editing, watching videos, and internet surfing, you might not have to spend $1500 i think.

But as said before, are you building this yourself? If not, DON'T get alienware... biggest rip off ever.

October 1, 2009 2:44:14 PM

You can get a great desktop for 1200 and put the other 300 on a netbook
October 1, 2009 3:16:34 PM

wimcle said:
You can get a great desktop for 1200 and put the other 300 on a netbook

+1. I recently got an Asus Eee netbook and it's great. It was only about $450CDN. It's extraordinarily portable and easy to work on. Then you get a desktop and even with $1000 you could build yourself a fairly decent gaming rig.
October 1, 2009 3:28:00 PM

Build your own have some fun

case: cm590 $60
ps: corsair 550 or 650 $70/90
mobo: p7p55d or ex58-ud3r $135/175
cpu: i5 750 or i7 920 $200/280
mem: ocz 3 or 6Gb ddr3-1600 $80/110
hd: wd6401aals $75
video: radeon 4870 or 5870 $170/380

This is pretty much top of the line (and still in your budget)

this is just prices off newegg w/o shopping around.
for example i7-920 is $199 at microcenter if you live near one
you could save $120 by going i5 instead of i7
If you arent interesting in gaming get a 4890 (which is still very good, or a 4870 even) instead of a 5870

Don't forget os, win7 is $30 with a .edu email addr, win2008r2 is free :) 
Monitors get cheaper everyday, currently 1920x1080 can be found at $130
October 1, 2009 4:56:01 PM

wimcle said:
win7 is $30 with a .edu email addr,

Where can we go to find that deal??!!
October 2, 2009 1:18:09 AM

It will be a desktop build... I have a smartphone (HTC Touch Pro2) for my non-home web access and while on-campus I have access to computers..

I have no experience in building a PC so probably not going to DIY..

What system builders out there are good? I see Alienware got a bad reply, so where else?

What Graphics Card should I get? A ATI 5850?

I should point out that I am planning to put all $1,500 into this build.. I have to present a bill and will get reimbursed for it.. So might as well go big..
October 2, 2009 12:30:20 PM

Well then, I suggest going to a computer store near you, tell them your needs and they will generally put one together for you.
October 3, 2009 9:06:11 PM

I found a buddy to help me build it.. Below is a list of components.. Good choice?

CPU- Core i7 920- $279.99

Motherboard- ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard- $169.99 (-$10.00 w/ mail-in rebate)

RAM- OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK- $129.99 (-20.00 w/ mail-in rebate)

Graphics Card-

ATI 5850- SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail - $259.99

ATI 5870- XFX HD-587A-ZNF9 Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity – Retail- $379.99

PSU- CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply – Retail- $99.99 (-10.00 w/ mail-in rebate)

Hard Drive-

Boot Drive- 64 GB SSD- Kingston SSDNow V-Series SNV125-S2BD/64GB 2.5" 64GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) Desktop bundled accessory kit- $129.99 (-30.00 w/ mail-in rebate)

Data Drive- 640 GB HDD- Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive – OEM- $69.99

DVD Drive- LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW SATA CD/DVD Burner - Bulk – OEM- $29.99

CPU Cooler- Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
Free Scythe fan w/ purchase, while supplies last- $36.99

Case- Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case – Retail- $134.99

Monitor- ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail
SPDIF out connector- $199.99 (-10 w/ mail-in rebate)
October 3, 2009 9:29:54 PM

Operating system, keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer, surge protector and of course software programs.
If you are not a serious gamer the video cards you list are way overkill.
If you are not going to overclock the system, the stock cooler is fine.
Consider Patriot Torq x SSD instead of the Kingston.
WD Black 640 hard drive (WD6401AALS) is better and has 5 yr warranty.
I would look at a 2TB drive instead.
October 5, 2009 7:34:03 PM

Thank you Newf and KageRyu... I will supplement my current selections with what you guys pointed out...

@Newf.. Would it not be prudent to get a great Graphics Card while I have the opportunity to? I may possibly game in the future, so I might as well future proof myself.. I understand what you mean though!
October 16, 2009 3:39:02 PM

Honestly, it wouldn't make sends to buy a card now because you "may possibly game in the future." By that point, better cards will be out there and you could purchase one of those. If you know that you will game soon, get a decent card, if not, go with something more budget-oriented.