SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Watching Video, Netflix
PARTS NOT REQUIRED:Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Hard Drives, DVD Burner
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, TigerDirect.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: No preferences
OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: In the Future
MONITOR RESOLUTION: NA
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: PC Games such as Batman Arkhum Asylum, Netflix, lots of music and video.
Looking to build a PC for my son for his birthday. I've got a lot of experience in the area, but I honestly haven't had time to research.
I want a wide open upgrade path, but I'm going to go cheap on the system and let him upgrade. I want to start off with a good core, and let him do odd jobs around the neighborhood to earn money to upgrade the HDD, Video Card etc.
This will be the first PC he builds for himself, like I said we have DVD Burners, HDD's, some video cards sitting around that can serve the purpose for now - which also will give him an incentive to work and upgrade. He may teach himself to overclock, but it probably won't be happening on this particular machine.
You know I'm going to get bonus points on looks - so the cool cases are a plus.
Definitely won't skimp on the power supply, I have built using Antec cases in the past exclusively. I like the 200 and 300. The video card will be his first purchase I am sure - what are you're thoughts on a good upgrade path on the Intel side?
I agree on the DDR3, I don't see the reason to go with anything that uses DDR2 at this point. I am not familiar with Seasonic on the PS, or Gigabyte on the motherboard. I know the Gigabyte name, but have always used Asus, MSI for my motherboards.
Perhaps the 5770 will drop in price by the time he's had a few months to save up. Mowing season is sneaking up on us in the South pretty soon, so he should be able to make some money there.
For Intel, even with the new i3s and i5s, you're still pretty limited. If the budget was a little higher, you could possibly get an i5-750 for ~$200, but then a decent motherboard is at least $100, plus case, power, etc.
For most sub-$500 builds, AMD is the way to go, and the AM3 motherboard has a much clearer upgrade path right now than the Intel 1156 board which is supposedly nearing end of life (but is probably not actually EOL).
Intel has change architecture and you really cant build one for less than $500; the good thing is you can get top of the line intel for less than $200 more than that. They are pretty flat at a performance level ranging near the top of AMD to faster.
The CPU is upgradeable to the i5 750 (which is good thing)
I have an ultra LP750. Ultra is a decent power supply maker (they invented modular PSUs) but the LS and LP are a bit older designs that dont have as much amperage commited to the 12V rails as newer designs. As a comparison, the LS 500 has 28 amps on the 12V rails whereas a Corsair 450 has 33 amps. It could probably handle a 5770 or 5750/GTS 250, but I would hesistate to put anything more powerful. It only has one PCIE cable so yeah those are the only two decent GPUs it will handle.
Its probably minimum spec RAM, OCZ has a couple different grades. Its likely Cas9 and 1066 or 1333 speed, Cas7 and 1600 would be better.
The case has a top mounted PSU, heat goes up and makes it hotter so it spins faster and is noisier. Cables fall down acrosss the motherboard. All antec gaming cases have bottom PSUs and top vents for a reason. Also that case doesnt come with fans so you may have to spend $20-30 extra on a couple of those.
The seagate 750 has got to be three 250GB platters, they run far slower than the new 500gb platter drives. I just replace a noisy seagate 7200.10 400GB with a Samsung F3 500GB (a couple hours ago). Its dead quiet and noticebly faster on bootup.
I dont see a graphics card. Cant run without some video. The new intel H57 motherboards have onboard video and that might be an option.
I wouldnt choose that CPU, its the slowest of all quad cores. For a gaming system you will get generally better performance from fewer faster cores. A cheaper faster 2 or 3 core would be a stronger starting point and leave the uprgade path to a fast quad later.
If yo ucan get Cas 7 or 8 ram for the same price, that would be preferable. Not a big deal as RAM is generally only a few percent performance difference.