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$500 All-around Build

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January 5, 2011 10:13:41 PM

I've been a Mac guy for as long as I can remember. However, I recently installed Windows 7 on my Mac, and I'm loving it. I have no plans to ditch my Macbook, but I'd like to build a somewhat cheap gaming/workstation PC in addition.
I do know how to build, but I really have no idea as far as purchasing the components.



Approximate Purchase Date: Possibly this week


Budget Range: $400-$500


System Usage from Most to Least Important: A bit of everything. Some light to moderate gaming, editing, and possibly home theater usage


Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor (I'm using an HDTV), Windows 7 Professional, speakers


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg is great, Amazon is fine also


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: I don't know. I'm not partial to AMD or Intel, so anything's fine.


Overclocking: Maybe, if I knew how. ;) 


SLI or Crossfire: No


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Additional Comments: I HAVE to have a Blu-ray burner. I had my eye on this one, but I'm open to anything.
I'd also like at least a 640GB HD, because I have a lot of media.

More about : 500 build

January 6, 2011 4:06:11 AM

Sorry to hear you have been living in the land of overpriced under performing hardware for so long, Lol im just giving you a hard time I'd be happy to help you put together a build. I do not cut corners and only use quality components at the best prices in my builds.

MotherBoard & CPU Combo-$129.98@Newegg.com
Motherboad is a nice AMD 770 based full ATX Gigabyte
CPU is an AMD PhenomII X2(dual core)@3.GhZ (can be unlocked to a quad core and overclocks quite easily aswell)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

System Memory (RAM)-47.99@Newegg.com
This G-SKILL DDR3 1600Mhz 4GB Kit(2GBx2) is alot of bang for a little buck. Dont let the price fool you this stuff is top shelf, I have never had an issue with it in any of my builds.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card -94.99
The ATI Radeon HD 5670 Is designed specifally to be used with AMD CPU's, It sports 1GB of GDDR5 through a 128bit interface and an 800Mhz core clock with 400 shader cores coming in at 800Mhz aswell. DX11 based technology means you are compatible with all the new games and software coming out. This card wont break any speed records but definitly packs a ton of features for the price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive-$99.99@Newegg.com
LG Blu-Ray combo drive will Read and Write BluRay,CD and DVD
Again not going to set world records but still a solid unit from a reputable company.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage (Hard drives)-$52.99@newegg.com
This 1TB Caviar Green series 7200RPM drive from western digital Packs a 64MB cache for excellent performance while saving a couple bucks on your electric bill aswell.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply Unit-$29.99@Newegg.com
This Coolermaster 460 watt unit packs plenty of punch for this build while having a little extra grunt for future upgrades too, I run these PSUs religiously in my mainstream builds as they combine great performance and reliability at an even better price point.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case-$24.99@newegg.com
This case from Gigabyte has a nice sleek black finish, very aesthetic while still getting down to business on the inside, plenty of room for upgrades.Includes 80mm rear exhaust fan.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intake Fan-$3.99@Newegg.com
Run of the mill 120mm front intake fan, no lights. tried to pick something quiet since it sounds like you plan to be running movies off this machine.

68 in one Micro Card reader-$10.99@newegg.com
Will accomodate almost every micro card known to man without the hassle of tracking down cords and installing device drivers.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $489.99 + S&H

This is the best you are going to get for the price point. It is a very nice blend of performance, value and quality.

Hope this helps
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January 6, 2011 4:12:05 AM

Check the Fry's Electronics website for Friday sales. I got my AMD Athlon II 635 and MSI 785GM-E51 in a bundle for ~$100, essentially half-price.
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January 6, 2011 6:04:46 PM

jedi940 said:
For gaming at 1080p, you are going to want at least a 5770.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
only $115 after rebate

Also, for the PSU, grab something from Antec, seasonic, corsair, or even the Rosewill green series. I would stay away from coolermaster.


Good find on the GPU, i didnt see that one last night,for the price difference i would definitly swap out the one i suggested for this. Try and keep in mind The 500 dollar cap on this project and the 100 dollar Bluray burner really takes away from that as it is not a performance enhancing part in any way, I cant agree with the statement on the CM PSU's tho. I currently have 8 of these unitis operating in mainstream builds some of which are going on 3 years old and I have yet to see a failure, They just need to be used for what the are " a budget mainstream PSU " Its when people Oc to 4GHz@1.5 VCORE ,pushing 1.8Volts across 4 dimms and have 2 power hogs in CF or SLI not to mention more LED 120's than they know what to do with then try and skimp with a budget PSU and it blows up, that is why CM PSU's have a bad name. When used properly they are as solid as any other.

Not to say that the brands you have mentioned are not better makers because they are, I just do not see them as cost effective to further take away from the performance profile of a build that has already suffered greatly in the way of a $100 dollar accessory
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January 6, 2011 6:38:07 PM

For the graphics card, I would like to think that he has an extra $20 to grab some significant performance. If he only has $500 and not a penny more, perhaps he shouldn't be buying a computer right now. I would like to think there might be a slight amount of flexibility there.

As for the PSU, I know that sub par units can last for years. I have a computer that I put a Coolmax PSU in 3.5 years ago and it is still doing fine. However, while the psu may not break, the power being output by that psu may not be very good. efficiency may not be what it is rated and ripple may be out of specification. I like to stick with quality components that output quality power. Again, this is just my preference. If coolermaster PSU's always blew up and took computers with them, they would not still be on the market.

Options I would look at are

Xigmatek 400W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$35


Corsair Builder series 400W (This would be my choice)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45 -$20 MIR = $25

Look HERE for a review
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January 6, 2011 7:13:09 PM

I would go with the corsair aswell, If a better product can be used for the same price then by all means use it. I totally agree on boning up for the 5770 aswell, $20 for 400 shader cores sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
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