Barebones i3 system for $400--built to last!

i'm putting together a system with a target price of around $400-500. system should include mb, cpu, ram, and gpu. i already ordered a hd 5750 1gb for $100 (after rebate).

goal: create a system that will last as long as possible for as little $$$ as possible. i don't see myself upgrading for 4 years or so, at which point I will do the same thing, throw the guts out and start afresh.

cpu: thinking i3 530. good overclocking potential, not too expensive.

mb: looking at the p55 chipset. let me know if i'm in the wrong ball park. i don't want crossfire because in 3 years i'm assuming it would be cheaper and better to just get a new card for ~$150 then spend ~$50-70 (an estimate) for a 70% speed gain on what will be outdated dx11 technology.

Things like usb 3.0 and sata 3.0 are more important as I can see myself throwing in a new hard drive or using a new ipod with usb 3.0.

Know this, it looks like:
GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
would be the best mb choice as far as I can tell. $119 after rebate isn't too bad either.

Let me know your thoughts!
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  1. Looks good to me. Just did the same thing as you. Build a new system to last 4-5 years. Spent more on my CPU than motherboard, something I may regret later on but got an i5-750 instead of USB3 with a Gigabyte H55 mobo. I think 2Gb RAM is sufficient for me. Got a 5750 too. This model is quite powerful and runs games well. The Gigabyte mobo comes with a number of utilities to help in overclocking and making your system faster. The Smart6 utility even reduces boot times.
  2. I think 4 years is reasonable, beyond that we will just have to wait and see.

    I kept my last home system for 7 years and even though I had upgraded the hard drives and OS it was still very slow. I don't think my current home system will last 7 years, if it lasts 3 or 4 or 5 years then I'm happy. I don't have a specific lifetime in mind. I think I'm better off to just upgrade it when it needs it.
  3. A dual core won't last too long but that depends on what you're doing on your PC - I suppose you do some gaming since you bought that video card. You can get a quad AMD in your budget.

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB

  4. I changed my plans a bit. Decided to go even cheaper on the CPU and make this computer as inexpensive as possible at the expense of longevity. I think I succeeded due to some incredible combos at newegg; what luck!

    GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

    MSI R5750-MD1G Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

    AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX435WFGIBOX

    OCZ AMD Black Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3BE1600C8LV4GK

    Total after rebates came to $320!

    I will be using this for some light gaming, but my monitor is 1440x900 so higher resolution gaming is out from the get go. The main purpose is to be able to play SCII, and thats not a system stressor by any means. I won't be sure until I put everything together, but this system looks to be an incredible value. In my mind, it makes more sense to spend $320 today and $320 in 3-4 years when you need it rather than $640 today. Net performance will be higher, and in the end you'll have 2 computers rather than 1.
  5. If you get to frys tomorrow, you can get the 530 with biostar board for $99.99 after rebate. The board works great; overclocks easily, and biostar has already sent me two emails about a technical question. Got my keyboard turning on my system now by changing a jumper on the board. This board is micro atx, has 4 ram slots, dual video capable, and an hdmi port. It's almost free after the rebate.
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