Building a Budget PC with NEEDS

I have built numerous PC's back in my college days, but its been a few years since I have read or messed around with anything. Currently have a older system I built many years ago.

AMD 3000+ Barton
1.5 Gig of DDR
200 Gig HD IDE
120 Gig HD IDE
80 Gig HD IDE
ATI 92xx AGP Card
Windows XP

The systems has been giving me issues over the last few months and its coming down to motherboard. At this point I am ready to upgrade. I have been happy with the performance, but as with anything I would like more. The problem is most of my components are older and outdated.

I am looking to build a budget system around $300 or less. The main programs I use are Photoshop CS3, but the majority of the work I do in it is simple color correction or cropping, nothing extensive. I have and listen to alot of MP3s, but again nothing extensive as far as processing. I do run so photo and video software, but this is rare. I work at a office that uses AutoCAD ALL DAY and I sometimes have to bring work home. But the old PC did everything I wanted find, so I dont feel speed will be a issue.

Looking for recommendations on what to use for a budget build. I have been thinking of a Intel E5400, but my coworkers say go with the AMD AM3 series. I have always built AMD systems, but would be interested in doing a intel is the $$ is right.

KEY thing is I want a rock solid stable system. Dont mind buying older technology as long as it does the job. The last system has served me well and I hope the next will do the same.

Beening looking at
Intell E5400
Basic board with onboard graphics/audio
4 gigs of DDR2 1060 (some say I should stay with 3)
Sata HD in the 200-400 gig range
maybe a big heatsink to keep it cool and quite
Same software (Windows XP)
13 answers Last reply
More about building budget needs
  1. $284 and a warp speed move from DDR to DDR3 platforms o la la :P This IGP is fine for PS and even HD DVD/Blu Ray capable as well
  2. you don't want to upgrade him to an X3 440 for another $8? :)
  3. Ya its up to TS if he/she has no plans for other buys like case fans, etc ^^
  4. Thanks for the cheat sheet... I have been away from processors and boards for a while and have no clue what is the best bang for your buck in a budget system.

    I feel any of these systems will be a step up. I have a good antec case and antec power supply (plug may have changes), so I have hopes of reusing them.

    Not to worried about a graphics card and the rest I need is standard on-board items now days.

    Just wondering on a 32bit windows OS, would I find it bentifical to upgrade to the 3 or 4 gig of ram. My co workers keep saying I will not see a difference for what I use my system for. But the did recommend to get some decent ram and not the cheap stuff.
  5. Well i suppose for photo/video editing 2 GB more RAM if u can afford it would serve u better but as for your mates' advice: if you aren't looking at record clocks no reason to splash on premium/enthusiast RAMs hehe
  6. Any recommendations on a heatsink to keep this baby cool and quite? I want it almost silent, as long as is rock stable and not crashing...

    The system I have now runs warm and is VERY load even after swapping out numerous fans.
  7. Built a lot of rigs just like these and if u running at stock it's all good actually but also depends on your threshold i guess ^^
  8. larger case fans (120mm+) + no GPU + quiet HD (like the spinpoint f3) + stock speeds = pretty damn quiet
  9. Hi

    If you want to build an Intel System then I would go for this ( Newegg )

    Amd is well known for being the best when building a budget system.
    Batuchka's system is abit faster and it is cheaper.

    But if you want Intel, then this is what I advise.
    You have good headroom for upgrades at a later stage given its socket 1156 vs going for an e5400 which is socket 775.
  10. I'm sorry Dirk, that's an awful build. The PSU is fecal (not one offering high hopes of stability, never mind its claimed wattage), the mobo is from a rather dicey brand, you've got a single RAM stick which loses even the small benefit of running in dual channel mode, you're missing an optical drive, and the CPU is a real cripple. It would take closer to $500 to come up with a reasonable Intel build.
    The only thing not to like about Batuchka's is the single RAM stick, but stretching the budget a little will allow for another one. It may be worth noting that the otherwise excellent Antec Earthwatts PSU in it does not include a power cord, but as this is replacing an existing system, I doubt that's a problem.

    Edit: After review, I see he's got a case. That can probably be re-used, but the old Antec PSU should probably go. A few of their older models (e.g. Smartpower) developed the bad capacitor problem, so I don't think it's worth keeping.
  11. If you're going to stick with a 32-bit OS, you're better off with 3-gig of memory because you won't use all of the 4-gig, only about 3.2 of it.

    Just curious if you've looked at barebones systems. I've bought a couple and have been pleased. You don't have the part selection like you do with a total self-build, but you can usually get a pretty good deal.
  12. Oh well was looking to get the best out of $300 and still be Intel.
    That is why I went with 1 Ram stick and that cpu.

    If jcw3 can afford $377 then I think this would be a much better build.
    Tell me what do you think.

    I agree that batucka have a good budget AMD build.
    Just trying to find an alternative Intel build.

    Thank you for your honesty jtt283
  13. That was MUCH better. Long term, I'd still go for the AMD build, unless 1) few or no future upgrades would be done, and 2) specific benchmarks showed that, for the intended purposes, the Intel build was notably faster.
    The $500 figure I mentioned would have involved adding a HD5570 to the Intel build, and probably upping the CPU to a Core-i5 to gain Turboboost; but for $377 I can't see any reason to complain, especially since playing games was not mentioned (which would need the better GPU).
    Nice save!
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