First Build - I5 Home PC

Appreciate feedback on my choices of hardware for my first build. This is not intended to be a gaming machine, but a robust home PC.

I am a video card neophyte, so help in that area is especially welcome. I would like to have a card that supports dual monitors if possible. The Radeon HD 5570 appears to be a good “budget” GPU choice. The Shappire brand was selected due to its current price on Newegg.



BUDGET RANGE: $700-ish before rebates.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Mostly MS Office applications and web surfing. Occasionally, I deal with very large spreadsheets and large, complex Visio diagrams. I would like to do some Hi8mm video tape capture & burning to DVD. Mostly, I’m just tired of waiting on my 5 year old HP machine to do almost everything! Needs lots of USB ports for 3 printers, scanner, wireless mouse, keyboard, thumb drives and iPhone.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor 2 x Acer X223W 22” 1680 x 1050 DVI-D/VGA inputs, speakers, Optical Drive, Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB (x 2), Windows 7

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:, but will search for price prior to buying

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but not a priority

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: This will be a single GPU machine

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Acer X223W 22” 1680 x 1050 (I have two of these and would like to have a single video card drive both monitors)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is my first attempt at a PC build, but I have upgraded PCs before (hard drives, memory, optical drives, add-in cards). I don’t plan on running any level of RAID. The second disk is for backups.

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz


Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100293DP Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 -or- SAPPHIRE 100293L Radeon HD 5570 1GB

PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM

Case: COOLER MASTER CM690 II ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CPU Heatsink/Fan: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus


Thanks for the help!
4 answers Last reply
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  1. There really isn't any use I see that would require an i5, aftermarket HSF or really good GPU.

    To be honest you'd be fine with:

    Athlon II x3 $75

    Ga 770 UD3 $80

    G SKill Eco $99

    You can swap the PSU to the XFX 650, which is $65 after promo code and rebate

    Current Case is fine.

    5550 $50 after rebate

    $375 after rebates, $410 before.
  2. What you have built there is a mid-range gaming machine. Since you don't game, I feel it is completely inappropriate for you. If you dont overclock, the i5 isnt a great computation CPU. I recommend you go with a cheaper AMD system with onboard video.

    Phenom IIx4 955 ($150) Stock cooler is fine since you are not overclocking.
    I chose this over the Athlon IIx3 because you do some large computational functions.

    ASRock 890GM PRO3 Motherboard with USB3/SATA3 and 4290 onboard video ($110). Has 5 rear USB2 and one rear USB3. Has plugs for up to 8 more USB2 ports. Given your usage, I think USB3 is something that will very likely benefit you very soon and should be a requirement.

    Rosewill Smart One case ($50). Has 4 front/top USB ports, most cases only have 2.

    Antec EA380 PSU ($40)

    Gskill Eco RAM ($98) Lower voltage than Ripjaws so its cooler, less power and you wont have to mess with bios power settings to get them to work.
  3. dndhatcher & banthracis

    Thanks for your insight!

    I knew the I7 was too much for what my needs and I had thought the I5 was a better choice. Oh well, time to do some more research on the AMD side of the street.

    A couple of thoughts/questions:

    1) Does the ASRock 890GM PRO3 support mutilple montiors. I see it has DVI, VGA and HDMI, but it's not obvious to me if you can drive multilple montior at the same time. Any motherboard alternatives that are ATX sized? I may not be all thumbs, but I do have fat fingers!

    2) Can you recommend a modular power supply (I hate all those non-used cable just hanging inside the case)

    3) Since the setup dndhatcher listed is about $200 less than what I had spec'd out, I could use that difference to add in a SSD for faster startup/program lauch. Any thoughts on this?

    Again, thanks for your help! Tom's Hardware Forums are wonderful!
  4. 1> Older motherboards with a DVI and a Dsub connector were able to run one monitor from each type of connector. With HDMI added on, I think there is still a 2 monitor limit, but I am not sure.

    2> If you get a case (like the one I recommended) that has the PSU mounted at the bottom, then the cables just lay in front of the PSU out of the way and dont require lots of labor to neatly tie down away from the airflow paths.

    The cheapest good modular thing I can see is the Antec BP550 ($60) which is "semi-modular". About half of the cables are modular.

    3> Be very careful. $200 is a bit low for an SSD right now, it is likely to either be small (below 80GB) or slow (old controller) at that price. $250-300 seems to be where the really good ones are priced right now. Someone who keeps more in touch with the SSD market may have suggestions at the $200 price point. Make sure you read reviews of any SSD before you buy it to be sure it has one of the newer controllers that supports TRIM and is a good performer.
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