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$500-$600 PC for Business Mostly

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 25, 2010 8:35:45 AM

Hi guys, first post. :) 

I haven’t built a computer in 12 years, but think I can still do it if needed. I also thought about buying something prebuilt (seems like this still sucks though), but don't know. Seeing as I'm lost, thought I'd ask you.

USE:

I’ve been a Mac only guy for about 10 years now, but I’m slowly being forced to upgrade my PPC Macs to Intel ones. However, even used a 3 or 4 year old Mac is like $1,200ish and new ones are a lot more. As much as I love the OS, I just can’t drop the coin anymore.

I work in the creative field, so I will be using Adobe’s Indesign, Photoshop and Dreamweaver mostly (along with normal Internet stuff any computer can do). All of these are running just fine on an old Mac G5 1.8ghz w/ 4 gigs ram right now, so I'm not doing anything that's absolutely ridiculous.

Games are very, very rare. In fact, the only game I plan on playing is Civilization V when it comes out. :) 

Don't care if the system last for years or not. I'm fine with spending less right now and building a new system in 12 months or so.

More info . . .

System OS: I'm going to use Windows 7 64-bit

Purchase Date: Within the coming 7-10 days

Budget Range: I want to stay within $500 - $600 (excluding OS if needed)

Parts Not Required: Monitors, keyboard, mouse

Preferred Sites for Parts: NewEgg.com, Amazon.com, Frys (live by one) or anything highly reputable.

Country: USA

Parts Prefs: None really. I'd like to do Intel, but I'm open to AMD I think.

Overclocking: Never messed with it, so no clue.

Display:
*I use dual monitors*
First one is using 1360x768 right now.
Second is using 1680 x 1050

I have no idea where to start. I did see the Radeon 5770 graphics card, which looked good as I’d like DVI out (HDMI would be cool too). Don’t know what model to buy either.

Would like the MoBo to be as good as possible since that's the toughest thing to upgrade (got to take apart the computer) and it's important. As a side note, I want to install a card reader. :) 





More about : 500 600 business

July 25, 2010 9:12:24 AM

WEll you are in luck my friend.

I just finished a Intel e3300 overclocked to 3.5 with 4G ddr2 ram and 2 500G hard drives. It has a Nvidia 9500GT in a cooler master centurion case.

Hard drive 1 has Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit.

Hard drive 2 has Snow Leopard 10.6.4

Send me a PM if you want to check it out and see pictures or connect to it via team viewer and look it over.

The good news is you can have it for $600 via ebay. And you can buy a square trade warranty for 3 years for like $60 and I will give lifetime tech support free.

Here is a video of one I built for another customer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3Qjrq6xKV4

I build them in i7 series also.


And you get to use your mac software :)  This PC will smoke a imac.
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Related resources
July 25, 2010 9:57:35 AM

I just ran Geekbench and it got 4711, thats better then a 3.33 imac.
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July 25, 2010 10:07:19 AM

@daship: No offense man but the e3300 is an old processor on a dead socket. Also it's only a dual core and the 9500GT sucks compared to the 5770.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 25, 2010 1:37:40 PM

I'm about to head out, but my initial thoughts would be to check out an i5/650 with a HD5570 and see if it can be done in the budget. I'll mark this thread and see if I can come back to it. Any other constraints?
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July 25, 2010 6:10:59 PM

fharper said:
@daship: No offense man but the e3300 is an old processor on a dead socket. Also it's only a dual core and the 9500GT sucks compared to the 5770.



I didnt ask for input, I saw the guys needs and budget, and I happen to have just built one that would be perfect for him.

A slower Imac costs $1599 and you get no Windows 7. Plus the CPU is fully upgradeable to any 775 CPU. The video card can be upgraded also, but the guy has a budget and this is what you get in his budget. I can build an i7 980x with a 480 also, but its not in the budget is it.

The 9500gt is plenty for a business Pc and hes a Mac guy so hes obviously not a hardcore gamer.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 25, 2010 7:31:05 PM

Thanks for the replies. I'm kind of leaning toward the AMD build. After doing some reading, it seems like I get a lot for the money for the sub-$200 level. Still researching though.

If I eventually wanted to add a Blu-ray player, could I just put it in with the graphics card I want (Radeon HD 5770)?

And no, I'm not a hardcore computer gamer. When I play games, I do it on the consoles (PS3, etc). For computer games, I've only really played Civilization and WoW. I think I can play both of the them if I wanted on these machines.

Thanks!
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July 25, 2010 8:50:25 PM

The AMD build is a lot more balanced for your budget while still giving you very good upgrade options in the future. You could put in a blu-ray but IMO it's not really worth it, especially since you have a PS3 that does blu-ray anyways.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 25, 2010 9:59:05 PM

Thanks for the reply fharper.

I have a HDTV in the office and even though I have the PS3 downstairs, sometimes my wife is watching a movie, so I was thinking that a BLU drive in the computer would let me enjoy a movie in the office rather than just waiting around. :) 

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July 25, 2010 10:39:30 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the reply fharper.

I have a HDTV in the office and even though I have the PS3 downstairs, sometimes my wife is watching a movie, so I was thinking that a BLU drive in the computer would let me enjoy a movie in the office rather than just waiting around. :) 


Ah well yeah that makes things a little different! Wouldn't be a bad choice, especially since you would be able to burn blu-rays on the computer if you got the drive for it as well.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 25, 2010 10:46:28 PM

fharper,

I think I like your build. It's about $600 including the OS, which is great.

Let me ask you though. If you had say $100 more, what would you change? I know I can get 4 gigs more ram for that price, but not sure if that's the best overall bang for the buck.

I also looked at the AMD Phenom II X4 945 ($140 at Frys), but I have no clue is it's money well spent.

Sad that I get all this for not much. My Mac G5 would sometimes have issues in Northrend in WoW on lower settings and it costed a ton more. :)  Might not be a hardcore computer gamer, but when you spend that much coin, you expect to be able to play a game that isn't supposed to be extremely demanding.
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July 25, 2010 11:34:41 PM

I would probably just upgrade the processor to a good quad core. Switch the CPU/Case combo to this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

It would be ~$60 more and for the apps/programs you run would make a pretty good difference. I'm not too sure how demanding WoW is for graphics but the 5770 should run it nice on at least high settings and would allow you to try out games for the PC if you want and enjoy playing most of them on high/max settings.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 1:10:33 AM

Ok. I was thinking of going with the AMD 945. It's about $685 shipped at this point if I go that route.

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 4:57:00 AM

I was wondering what the difference between card builds was. I type in 5770 in NewEgg and see many versions.

As an example, fharper's build uses the Asus one, but here's one from Sapphire.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A bit confused. :) 

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July 26, 2010 5:18:38 AM

They're pretty much the same as far as performance. Some will be more expensive because of factory overclocking or what type of cooler they have on them. The CuCore cards from Asus provide very good cooling and could overclock better than that Sapphire because it has voltage control
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 5:29:15 AM

Ok. You can tell it's been a bit since I've built computers. With Macs it's simple. Want a Mac? Yes please. Done. Only choice is overpriced ram upgrade or not. :) 

I see the GX 460 is just a few bucks more and looks to be more powerful. Decisions, decisions. Just want to make sure I can run WoW and Civ 5 just fine.

Sold on the initial build you did with the 945 upgrade though. Looks pretty good.
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July 26, 2010 5:47:06 AM

Quote:
Ok. You can tell it's been a bit since I've built computers. With Macs it's simple. Want a Mac? Yes please. Done. Only choice is overpriced ram upgrade or not. :) 

I see the GTX 460 is just a few bucks more and looks to be more powerful. Decisions, decisions. Just want to make sure I can run WoW and Civ 5 just fine.

Sold on the initial build you did with the 945 upgrade though. Looks pretty good.


Haha yeah, I hear ya about the Mac thing. The GTX 460 is quite a bit more powerful than the 5770. There was a thread that shows a comparison of the two here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/293259-33-5770-benchm...

I think that the 5770 should be more than enough to handle those games though. If you wanted to try out more demanding games I would probably suggest the 460 but the 5770 should be fine and would save you some money.


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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 6:11:18 AM

Adding a EVGA GTX 460 1 gig model will mean about $80 more in my budget, so about $760 total (before any rebate cards).

But the performance difference of a few bucks from your original build (adding this card and the 945 chip) is probably pretty big.

Got to stop here or I'll keep tinkering until I'm over $1,000. It's also easy to stay away from computer games when you don't have many viable options to begin with. :) 

Either way, the rig concept is looking pretty good I think.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 6:32:03 AM

On second thought, I'm going with the 5770 to save the $80 or so. If Civ V comes out and doesn't play well, I'll be surprised. I can always upgrade later.

And instead, I'll put some extra in the CPU.

THIS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Unless you think it's a waste from the 945. This one is just a few bucks more and looks better.
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July 26, 2010 6:35:36 AM

Quote:
On second thought, I'm going with the 5770 to save the $80 or so. If Civ V comes out and doesn't play well, I'll be surprised. I can always upgrade later.

And instead, I'll put some extra in the CPU.

THIS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Unless you think it's a waste from the 945. This one is just a few bucks more and looks better.

I dont get why you need such a big gaming card if its only for business
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 6:48:51 AM

ipenguins said:
I dont get why you need such a big gaming card if its only for business


I do some light gaming as mentioned above. I do plan to enjoy a little StarCraft II too. And as mentioned, I've been away from PCs for a good while, so not sure what I need and don't need. :) 

The 5770 looks to be just right, but maybe I'm wrong. If you have a better card idea, let me know. My only thing is I don't want to "just get by." I'd like a little room in case I do desire to fire something up. But, it seems like my demands aren't that much anyway (resolution, etc).

It's easy to get caught up in the moment. :D 

I did look at the GTS 250 here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's a little cheaper (actually, about $50 after the rebate comes back). Maybe that will work.

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July 26, 2010 6:49:42 AM

ipenguins said:
I dont get why you need such a big gaming card if its only for business


Lol well he does play some games and would like to be able to play WoW and Civ V comfortably. Also would allow him to play more games on higher settings because it sounds like that is something that he would potentially be interested in!

And @RebelRed, I wouldn't get that processor, if you're looking at a black edition I would just get the 955 and up the multiplier 1 if you wanted the same performance.
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July 26, 2010 7:04:50 AM

fharper said:
Lol well he does play some games and would like to be able to play WoW and Civ V comfortably. Also would allow him to play more games on higher settings because it sounds like that is something that he would potentially be interested in!

And @RebelRed, I wouldn't get that processor, if you're looking at a black edition I would just get the 955 and up the multiplier 1 if you wanted the same performance.

Well my ATi 4670 can maxed it out perfectly , to save money i would get alittle lower
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 7:13:49 AM

fharper, ok. So the 945 might be best then. Sigh. Not used to all the choices. :) 

Honestly, no clue what the 955 will bring in value, so perhaps just keeping with the 945 is simple enough.

Right now the XFX GTS 250 512mb has a $40 rebate, so that brings the card down to like $90.

XFX: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My cart is now at $659 with $60 coming back in rebates, so $599 final cost shipped.

This might be the ticket. I'll gamble the $80 on the graphics card. Can use the rebate to buy more ram if needed when it comes in.
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July 26, 2010 7:17:41 AM

Quote:
fharper, ok. So the 945 might be best then. Sigh. Not used to all the choices. :) 

Honestly, no clue what the 955 will bring in value, so perhaps just keeping with the 945 is simple enough.

Right now the XFX GTS 250 512mb has a $40 rebate, so that brings the card down to like $90.

XFX: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My cart is now at $659 with $60 coming back in rebates, so $599 final cost shipped.

This might be the ticket. I'll gamble the $80 on the graphics card. Can use the rebate to buy more ram if needed when it comes in.


Sounds good, will be a very solid build. Enjoy your computer!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 5:16:39 PM

Ok. For business applications, the following build, within budget, will notably outperform an AMD 955 (you've spec'ed a slower 945 so far), as shown here: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=109
I made no attempt to optimize pricing or look for combo deals, which could bring it down further. My goal was to create a superior-performing machine, within budget, and that's all this is.

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I5750
Model #:BX80605I5750
Item #:N82E16819115215
$199.99 -$5.00 Instant $194.99
Personally, I am not a fan of this CPU. If this much performance is needed, I'd probably favor an i7; but for the money, there's no arguing with the benchmarks. It's less than $20 more than an i5/650, but its two additional real cores should make a difference.

GIGABYTE GA-H55M-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:GA-H55M-USB3
Item #:N82E16813128429
$109.99 $109.99
There are cheaper options, but I chose a board with USB 3.0 support. I don't think you need the features a full-ATX board may offer, so this is a smaller, space-saving micro.

GeIL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model GV34GB1066C7DC
Model #:GV34GB1066C7DC
Item #:N82E16820144262
$82.99 $82.99
Meh. Nothing special here, but is CAS 7, and only needs 1.5V.

Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:R101-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147112
$29.99 $29.99
Nice little case, with decent cooling and the stock fan is not loud. I sent one with my wife to El Salvador, and it made the trip without incident.

HIS H557FS1G Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card
Model #:H557FS1G
Item #:N82E16814161345
$89.99 -$8.00 Instant $81.99
For the stated games, this is all the GPU that is needed. Deals abound though, so if you think you might want something stronger, you may find a HD4850 or HD5750 for not too much more.

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
Model #:EA-380D Green
Item #:N82E16817371033
$59.99 -$20.00 Instant $39.99
Solid, quiet, efficient, and enough for this build, with any of the GPUs listed; would also handle a HD5770. For another $10, you can get the 430W model for a little more head room.

Subtotal: $539.94

...and there are some rebates, if you play that game and win.

This wasn't meant as a be-all. If AMD offers "good enough" performance, then that would almost certainly be cheaper. If you were building a gamer, where the bottleneck is generally the GPU, an AMD X3 440 would make a great budget choice. For business uses, however, if time is money or you do need better performance, at this point Intel is the better way to go, and you can have it in your budget.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 5:21:34 PM

Egads, I see I left out the HDD and ODD...those two together will be another $75; with the various rebates that might be stretching your budget just a few $$...
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 8:39:07 PM

I'd like to come up with a Intel rig concept so I can compare the two.

Also, I've decided that my budget is sub $800 now (shipped and before mail-in rebates that I hate). I'll just wait a week and spend a little more. So, that also changes things a little with my AMD build too.

I'll use the Intel build above as a start, but the card only has 1 DVI and not sure if I want to do the micro ATX. I think the G.skill ram is better too, but maybe I'm wrong.

Also, I gave it more thought and here's the games I'm likely to play:

1. Civ IV and V

2. World of Warcraft (not much, but I found a couple prepaid cards in my office that I forgot to use)

3. Starcraft II

4. Fallout or Oblivion maybe. Totally forgot about mods and stuff. Fallout is my favorite game of all time probably (completed Fallout 3 on both PS3 and 360 because I'm nuts).

And if I play anything else, it's probably going to fall under the specs of one of the above games.


Current Intel Build:

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power/Optical Combo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Graphics/OS (XFX GTS 250): http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Ram/Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU/MoBo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Price: $860 before rebates, so I need to trim $60 (maybe just a different case gets me close enough)
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 10:35:49 PM

Thanks, fharper. Still leaning towards the AMD build. Maybe it's my hate toward Apple going to Intel chips shinning through. :) 

If I go with the 945, what is the best ram to get for it? I saw this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Want to make sure I get solid ram so I don't have issues and it runs well.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 10:47:08 PM

The focus of this build seems to be shifting toward gaming, rather than being a business machine that can also play. In your first post, you said the mobo was one part you did not want to have to replace; I really think you should get a board that has USB 3.0, and possibly even SATA 6Gb/sec.
Be aware that Windows Home Premium cannot join a domain; I see you have that in your combo with the GPU.
I would highly doubt you're going for a mad overclock, especially since no aftermarket cooler is included. As a result, unless you plan on specific expansions you know can't be done on a micro-ATX board, there's no reason to avoid it.
With a budget of $800, you can start with mine, add the ODD and HDD (possibly switching to the OCZ PSU; not in the same league as Antec or Corsair but more powerful and still decent), then still have plenty left to up the video card and likely the RAM as well.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 10:59:27 PM

jtt283,

Yes, I'm slightly confused. :) 

As to overclocking, it's not on my list of things to do, because I've never done it. So I have no clue what's involved.

I just went over some benchmarks again and that i5-750 does perform much better.

As you can see, my main problem (being away from PCs for so long) is understanding what I need and don't need.

I'm not worried about doing my job on either of the 2 main builds here, because I do it now on an old Mac G5 (1.86 ghz, 4 gig ram) machine. And they are like $300 on eBay. :) 

And that's why I'm looking at possible gaming options now. Don't think my games are too demanding though at the resolutions I have.

So, I'm going back over your Intel build again since I obvious misunderstood something.

BTW, I don't mind upgrading the MoBo or anything. Just don't want to do it 3-4 months from now.

The benefit of the Intel machine is I could tinker with it to get a Win/Hackintosh/Ubuntu boot option going at some point.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2010 12:53:10 AM

Well, as you say, considering what you have now, anything would be a noteworthy improvement. Going AMD would let you put more of your budget into the GPU, which is more important for gaming. Still, I'm going from your original post, in which you say you are building this machine primarily for business. There are some things you don't want to omit from most business machines, and not being able to be part of a domain seems like one of them. Of course, if you're a one-man shop (or other small business), that may not matter; I just thought it needed to be pointed out. USB 3.0 is a tougher call, and could be added by a PCI card; same for SATA 6.0 Gb/sec.
As competent components have gotten smaller, the advantages of a full ATX-size mobo have dwindled. I can think of: more easily handling multiple GPUs, and having better thermal characteristics for overclocking, but neither of those seems to apply here. Quite frankly, the business machines I've used over the last dozen years could all be mini-ITX for all the expansion they never needed.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2010 1:55:10 AM

I don't have any use for domain joining, so that's not an issue. I work from home for myself. :) 

I run dual displays. One is a 36" (Samsung 720P TV with DVI in) and other is a Samsung 22" 226BW. I'm guessing I just need the one video card. Both are using DVI, but the 36" can use HDMI too.

I would like to eventually add a Blu-ray drive so I can watch movies in the office from time to time, so not sure what GPU I need. Right now I'm looking at the XFX GTS 250 512meg and the HD5770 1gig if required. Looks like the 250 will run any of the games I play and handle normal biz operations and after rebate it's a nice deal.

Still looking around to figure out if the jump from the AMD 945 to the 955 Black is worth the $20.

BTW, for performance, if I go AMD, should I go ATI as well (or Intel/nVidia)?
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2010 7:32:39 AM

Ok, got my final rig build. Hope there are no issues. :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3

Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3

Ram: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-R577SO-1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX

OS: Win 64-bit

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified

Optical: Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B - OEM

Total shipped: $685

Rebates: $30

Final: $655
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2010 9:47:54 AM

That's a nice PC. I think you will be pleased with it.
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