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$500-$600 Multimedia PC, need parts help.

Last response: in Systems
July 20, 2010 8:19:45 AM

I'm pretty new to homebuilding and would appreciate some help getting started on parts. :)  Thanks.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next month. The sooner the better, haha.

BUDGET RANGE: $500 - $600 Before rebates. I'm willing to go slightly higher (e.g. 50 dollars or so.), though I suppose the lower the better.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Media/Movies, Gaming, Music (I use Sony ACID; I'd like to be able to play through my computer, though if too expensive I'll just purchase a mic.)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, and Monitor are not required, though I would like suggestions on a decent speaker system.



PARTS PREFERENCES: I don't have any particular preferences. Though I'm having trouble deciding on a processor. A friend of mine swears by AMD, but I've been hearing some good reviews on Intel's i-series chips. Also, I'm thinking 6 GB of RAM and a 1 TB Hard drive. I like knowing I have the space, even if I won't use it immediately.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe...I honestly don't know too much about overclocking.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Is it absolutely necessary to run two graphics cards?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Most likely a 17'' (1280 x 1024?)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This will be my first homebuilt PC, though I'll have help. The new semester for university starts in the fall, and I'd like to have this as my reliable desktop. I have an old Macbook that I'm keeping solely for portability and video editing...but if this PC can handle that too, fantastic! I'm an avid gamer, as well. It doesn't need to be able to run Crysis on full settings or anything, but you know enough so that I don't have 9 FPS all the time.

As I said before, I'd like to be able to run my keyboard and/or my bass directly into the computer as well as a wacom tablet.


Thank you all in advance for helping. I'm doing my research to the best of my ability but, having a community to ask questions directly to is much easier. If I need to provide anymore information, let me know!
July 20, 2010 8:58:13 AM

At that price range I'm not sure we could do it. Let me just lay out some minimal parts and we'll see where that gets us. You are going with AMD at that budget, you have no choice.

Athlon II X3 CPU and Rosewill PSU combo
Most Rosewill PSUs are not to be used, this one is an exception.

Board and RAM combo

Case and OS

Seagate 500Gb drive

DVD burner

Video card

Sound card - optional - your MB will have basic sound
Related resources
July 20, 2010 8:59:21 AM

One of those rare times when batuchka and I actually see similar builds ;) 
July 20, 2010 9:00:06 AM

Here's my crack at it, but I'm sure someone else will come and make better suggestions if needed.

CPU/GPU:Athlon II X3 440 and Radeon 5670

Mobo/OS:Gigabyte GA-770T--USB3 AM3 and Windows 7 Home Premium

Optical Drive/PSU:Sony Optiarc and Antec Basiq BP430

HDD:Spinpoint F3 1TB


Case:Rosewill R230-P-BK

Total is ~$585. This is assuming you don't have an OS already for it, but if you do you can put a bit more money into a more powerful graphics card.
July 20, 2010 9:01:21 AM

I would even go with an 80+ certified with my sub $320 builds so no reason to cheap out * that much* hehe
July 20, 2010 9:02:12 AM

Dang.. either I'm slow or you guys are really fast.... when I started typing in mine there were no replies...
July 20, 2010 9:03:57 AM

All three of us chose the same CPU independently. Interesting.
July 20, 2010 9:05:17 AM

Lol yeah really, guess it's really just the best choice for him at his budget then.
July 20, 2010 5:25:23 PM

Wow, thank you all for the prompt responses! Out of curiosity, Proximon, why is that Rosewill PSU an exception?

As I said, I'm willing to go a little higher. The 1 TB hard drive is imperative, so I think I'd spend a little more money on that and a decent video card.

Thanks again, I'm looking at all the options right now.
July 20, 2010 9:04:29 PM

Explaining why the Rosewill would take a bit... That's why the PSU guide is linked in my sig.

Here's a short answer: That particular unit is built by ATNG and should perform well. The slightly stronger RG630 was reviewed here:
They are the same platform and a quick poll over at the johnnyguru forums last month convinced me that they were a solid budget choice.
July 20, 2010 9:49:53 PM

Ah, alright thank you. I wanted to run this build by you guys, after looking at all the suggestions given.

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185

M-AUDIO Audiophile 2496 PCI Interface 4-In-4-Out Professional Audio Card with MIDI
Item #: N82E16829121120
-$5.00 Instant

Rosewill Wind Knight Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with pre-installed 2x 120mm Fan, Support up to 1x 140mm top fan, ...
Item #: N82E16811147135
AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX440WFGIBOX
Item #: N82E16819103843
-$35.00 Instant
-$12.00 Combo

GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128443
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT
Item #: N82E16820231253
-$39.00 Combo

GIGABYTE GV-R485OC-1GH Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814125236
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ...
Item #: N82E16817341017
-$50.00 Instant
-$25.00 Combo
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

Total: $596.91


That puts me about four dollars under budget, which I guess is good...but I seem to have omitted the operating system. I'm not sure if there were any parts that a different combo deal would've been beneficial. For example, I picked the casing based on aesthetics, but if there was a more economical way to get the processor I would do that also. I unfortunately didn't see any OS/Processor combos :/ 

Thanks again for all your input.
July 21, 2010 12:23:40 AM

Very nice build. Just lacks an OS but hopefully you have that covered.
July 21, 2010 6:12:13 AM

I jut found out that I do! My friend is helping me out with Windows XP Professional x64, so that should work out fine. Thanks again for all of your help, everyone. I'll be sure to post a picture when it's all done :) 
July 21, 2010 10:20:04 AM

Happy shopping/building and u are welcomed ^^
June 26, 2013 11:40:59 AM

Let's see what i can do

CPU- Intel core i5 3470-$180 depending on where you get it
MOBO- AsRock pro 4 lga1155-$100
Ram-Corsair 8gb vengeance-$70
GPU- PNY GeForce GT 620 Graphics card-$60
Hard drive-WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive-$60
PSU-Sea Sonic SS-550HT-$60
Case- Apevia X-Plorer case -$60

GRAND TOTAL-$590 without shipping or rebates I picked a low end GPU that if you like you have some wiggle room in price to upgrade to a better one in the future or now