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$600 Media/light gaming/work PC

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January 21, 2011 2:42:17 PM

Looking to upgrade my 4 year old inspiron 9300 laptop guys. I would like to build a system that will be upgradeable in the future. Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: End of Jan.

Budget Range: ~600 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: light gaming, media center, AUTOCAD 3D

Parts Not Required: OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: AMD for budget, ~23inch LCD , 1TB HDD

Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe

SLI or Crossfire:Maybe

Monitor Resolution: not sure on this, something good for Autocad and light gaming.

Additional Comments: Basically I need a computer to play HD movies flawlessly, Play games like HoN and WoW, and be able to run AutoCad 3D.
January 21, 2011 3:35:12 PM



$565 with rebates, MINUS the OS.

The HD 5670 is a pretty decent video card for the price, while not a all out gaming card, it will do a great job with light to moderate gaming, flawless HD video (plus it has an HDMI port), and rendering.

If you want to spend a little more, I would recommended the Phenom II x4 925, which is $125 on Newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However with the extra L3 cache and it being a quad-core it will really help with rendering.



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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
January 21, 2011 3:50:24 PM

AMD is a no go!

Sandy bridge is the best choice to go with right now, it came out last week, an 1155 Motherboard is definitely the best choice!

The Sandy bridge processors are cheaper than the AMDs

The above recommendation is bad and the 5670 is garbage!

Do you know about the new i3\i5\i7 second generation which came out last week along with the 1155 socket?
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January 21, 2011 4:40:45 PM

I'd take the blanket statements with a large grain of salt.

Performance of the Intel HD3000 GPU, included with the K-series Sandy Bridge CPUs slots in somewhere between the AMD HD5450 and HD5570, neither of which is suitable for more than multimedia tasks and certainly not gaming of any kind. You'll still need a discrete GPU to play games.

As far as SNB processors being cheaper than AMD, the cheapest SNB part on NewEgg, the i5-2300 (2.8Ghz, 3.1Ghz turbo), comes in at $185. There are 10 AMD quad-core processors for less than this price. That's still not a bad price for a quad-core processor but consider that the H67 or P67 motherboard required to go with it also comes at premium above last week's technology.

Sure, you'll get better performance but you'll pay for it and that performance isn't going to make that much of a difference for the tasks you want to perform. I also doubt you'll find a fully-spec'd Sandy Bridge system that performs your tasks fitting into a $600 budget.

Though, maybe mn96 will post one for you to back up all those statements and satisfy your task and budget requirements.
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January 21, 2011 5:17:57 PM

yeah mn96, SB would be awesome, but not in the price range. That would be more like a $1000 build.
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January 22, 2011 7:42:19 PM

hey mattius thanks for the help... if i went with the phenom 2, could I still use the same mobo you suggested?>
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January 22, 2011 9:43:02 PM

that samsung HDD is $60 on amazon if you want to save a quick $5 bucks. ;]
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January 23, 2011 12:08:37 AM

thanks for the find azn :D 

...I was thinking about the build today and I forgot to mention that I would like play HD movies to my tv, and play a game like WoW and download all at once. Would the cpu/gpu sugggested be able perform these duties ?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 23, 2011 12:18:29 AM

Ermmm It'll play em at mid settings but defiantly not at ultra. It also depends on your resolution. If it is 1080P Like I assume, it might not handle at max but it'll be able to run WoW at medium or maybe a little better. HD movies is fine, the card'll run them easily.

If you do add a bit more for the Phenom 925 in the build, they yes it'd be able to multi task a bit better. However the Rana 450 should be fine.
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2011 12:57:54 PM

Dougie Fresh said:
I'd take the blanket statements with a large grain of salt.

Performance of the Intel HD3000 GPU, included with the K-series Sandy Bridge CPUs slots in somewhere between the AMD HD5450 and HD5570, neither of which is suitable for more than multimedia tasks and certainly not gaming of any kind. You'll still need a discrete GPU to play games.

As far as SNB processors being cheaper than AMD, the cheapest SNB part on NewEgg, the i5-2300 (2.8Ghz, 3.1Ghz turbo), comes in at $185. There are 10 AMD quad-core processors for less than this price. That's still not a bad price for a quad-core processor but consider that the H67 or P67 motherboard required to go with it also comes at premium above last week's technology.

Sure, you'll get better performance but you'll pay for it and that performance isn't going to make that much of a difference for the tasks you want to perform. I also doubt you'll find a fully-spec'd Sandy Bridge system that performs your tasks fitting into a $600 budget.

Though, maybe mn96 will post one for you to back up all those statements and satisfy your task and budget requirements.


I'm not gonna backup my statements because you are correct but at the same time I am.- I forgot to mention that I'm an AMD fanboy. AND I didn't mean he should use the integrated obviously discrete.

Buying AMD would save you money NOW but waste your money later because the AM3 socket is reaching the end of it's life giving you little path for upgrades in the future which means you would have to go for a whole new build instead of an upgrade.

Buying Intel now would go over your budget a bit but would save you money in the future as you would not need to upgrade soon having the latest processors and a socket (1155) that came out a bit over a week ago. When you decide to upgrade you won't need to change the motherboard which is a pain in the ass, just quick switch your graphics, processor and RAM

This is why an Intel build will be a smarter choice; why ruin a chance to buy a motherboard with a socket that just came out.

AMD is very soon releasing it's new 32nm processor bulldozing the AM3 socket.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2011 1:07:47 PM

^ Has a point.

AM3 mobos aren't compatible with AM3+ chips (won't be is what I mean)
AM3+ mobos WILL be compatible with AM3 chips.
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2011 1:24:39 PM

That's one point for Intel, the score is 1-0
Anyone else wanna vote?
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January 24, 2011 2:43:31 PM

I say go for Sandy Bridge. I mean damn, the i5 2500K nearly kills the 980X in many applications, and it's just 1/5 the price.

I would've jumped on it too, but I ended up going with 1156 thanks to the wonder that is eBay (found a tri-SLI board for $75).

Though about the GPU thing, I think you guys really overestimate WoW's graphics. That game is ugly as hell, yet people always go on about how they need great GPUs to run it. It really doesn't need much.

Let's put it into context. Vindictus, which is a free Source-based MMO from Nexon, looks infinitely better than WoW and can be maxed with a measly HD 4550 (which is weaker than both the 5450 and 5550). Is WoW's engine really that unoptimized?

HD 5570s and 5670s may not be 1080p 16XAA Crysis material, but they do a very respectable job otherwise.
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
January 24, 2011 2:54:48 PM

2-0 for Intel

AND yes WoW isn't a demanding game at high settings.
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January 24, 2011 4:13:31 PM

Hey, I'd rather drive a Lexus than a Hyundai but I can't afford the Lexus. The Hyundai will still get me to work though. Should I be walking the 60mi to work because I can't afford the Lexus only because it's better?

Unless you can show the OP a Intel SNB build he can afford, I don't think it matters what the score is.

He's got $600 to spend.
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January 24, 2011 7:11:41 PM

Dougie Fresh said:


Unless you can show the OP a Intel SNB build he can afford, I don't think it matters what the score is.

He's got $600 to spend.

Well, since you asked..

MOBO: ECS H67H2-M3 --
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... --$89.99

CPU: Core i5 2400 --
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSearch_v3.asp?px=FO&scrit... -- $189.99

RAM: Wintec AMPX 4GB DDR3 1333 --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -- $39.99

GPU: Powercolor AX5770 --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -- $119.99

CASE: PSI Soar 088 --
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=088UF-BK-SF-400... -- $29.99

PSU: Xigmatek 500 watt (80+ Bronze) --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -- $44.95

HDD: Hitachi 500GB 7200RPM --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -- $44.99

ODD: Asus Black DVD ROM --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -- $16.99

TOTAL: $531.53 (w/out tax+shipping)

TO OP:
The 2400 is about as fast as an i7 920, but costs about half as much. Only drawback is that you won't be able to do much overclocking with locked SB CPUs like this one. It's still pretty darn fast though.

Now I'm gonna go find parts for a good AM3 build just in case you don't like this one.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, this build really is major overkill for everything you'll be doing. On the plus side, you more than likely won't have to worry about upgrading for a good 4-5 years. Probably more, probably less.
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January 24, 2011 7:59:31 PM

Go AMD, unless you want to spend at least a grand on a system. While the build by sartorius isnt bad, is still lacks a monitor and OS, both will tack on about $240, so even if you want Sandy Bridge you will be look at around $850, and thats pushing it. Go AMD, spend $600, you will have a good system that will still last you a couple years.
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January 24, 2011 8:52:15 PM

^ I agree.
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January 25, 2011 4:48:18 AM

mattius92 said:
Go AMD, unless you want to spend at least a grand on a system. While the build by sartorius isnt bad, is still lacks a monitor and OS, both will tack on about $240, so even if you want Sandy Bridge you will be look at around $850, and thats pushing it. Go AMD, spend $600, you will have a good system that will still last you a couple years.

A 1080p monitor (21.5", sorry) and a 64-bit copy of Windows would add another $225.

Well, I tried.

Only way I can see a whole AM3 build costing under $600 would be if you're willing to go for a Biostar A770E3 ($49.99), an Athlon II X3 ($66.48), a Corsair 430 watt ($44.99) instead of the Antec, and an HD 5670 ($72.98) instead of a 5770. That would drop the price to $366.40; that's $591.40 with the monitor and OS, which may still be pushing it tax and shipping wise.

You can't really get much cheaper than that unless you're willing to use an Athlon II X2 255 ($49.99) and 2GB of RAM (Patriot, $20.99) with a 32-bit OEM Windows 7 copy. ($65.68) The total would then be $526.59; hopefully tax/shipping may not be too much.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2011 4:51:54 AM

Sounds like a plan? I don't know if it'll fit your wants. Autocad is kind of CPU intensive. You can try out the 450 build I did and see how the total works out?
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January 25, 2011 5:13:56 AM

aznshinobi said:
Autocad is kind of CPU intensive.
That's the whole reason I recommended the SB build in the first place.

Now I could understand a $600 budget for the computer itself, but adding a monitor with Windows hikes the price up significantly.

The HD 5670 will be just fine for many games out right now as well. I'm starting to think people are failing to realize that it's just a much more power efficient 9800GT.

aznshinobi said:
You can try out the 450 build I did and see how the total works out?
That build is roughly $90 more than the super special awesome budget build I suggested.
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January 25, 2011 5:03:38 PM

HOLD UP. WAIT A MINUTE, GUYS.

Did everyone miss that he doesn't need a new OS? This whole time I've been painstakingly trying to find cheap combinations and could've saved 60-70 dollars while making each build.
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January 25, 2011 5:07:48 PM

yeah, that why my build is actually $600, because I removed the OS from the total.
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January 25, 2011 6:06:51 PM

mattius92 said:
yeah, that why my build is actually $600, because I removed the OS from the total.

Well, now that I think about it, Microcenter sells i5 2400s for $149.99, they're in-store pickup only, though.

That would mean the SB build I posted would be totally doable if OP gets the following parts with it:

MOBO: Gigabyte GA-H67M-D2 -- $85.99

GPU: Radeon HD 5670 -- $72.98

PSU: Antec Neo Eco 430 watt -- $44.99

The good is that the price would then be $524.42 with this 19" 1440x900 monitor; the bad is that this is only doable if you actually live near a Microcenter for the Core i5.
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
January 26, 2011 3:08:00 AM

The AM3+ socket is about to come out soon!
WHY buy an AM3 at the end of it's life?!
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a b 4 Gaming
January 26, 2011 3:15:05 AM

Bulldozer isn't going to be THAT cheap. Plus the fact that he wants to buy his rig now.
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
January 26, 2011 5:55:29 AM

Which is exactly why he should go SandyBridge, I personally have no idea what could be the fate of the AM3 socket when AM3+ is released, it's been two years.
AND AMD is gonna get totally screwed if:

The new AM3+ processors can't compete with Intel's performance, because they would have to go extremely cheap as now Intel sells its processors that beat AMD's at a very low price.

OR

If they planned on prices that compared to the previous generation i3/i5/i7, because now they are less than half the price.
The Phenom II X6 1090T is $230, and the i7 2600k, almost double the performance is $320.

If they planned on a processor that beats the X6, they probably planned for a price around $320 so that it would be much cheaper than the 980x,

NOW an Intel equivalent to its own 980x is available for that price so...


AMD RiP
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January 26, 2011 1:09:28 PM

mn96: I think nate19 is waiting for you to send him an extra $400 to add to his $600 budget so he can afford what YOU want to build. :D 

No one disagrees that Sandybridge performs better than AMD's current offerings. We can all read the press and benchmarks. I just don't understand why it matters if the OP says his budget is $600 and a Sandybridge build with all the things the OP wants is more than $600.
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
January 26, 2011 1:26:25 PM

Well... go ahead and build it, I can't snap sense into you guys. But just remember... I warned you,

good luck running autocad, I'll be there for ya next week hen you start planning an SB build :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
January 26, 2011 7:56:38 PM

wow your just a party pooper mn96 why don't you leave your advice out of it when all your input is trololololing? The 32nm clearly gives the 2600 advantage and the difference is defiantly NOT how much you say it is. If the 1090T is 100% then the 2600 is probably 150% not 2x.

AMD already said that BD = the older i7s so we can assume that with the 32nm production. They'll be fairly equal (the 2500 is basically the 950 but with cooler and betteer OCs)
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
January 27, 2011 3:58:35 AM

Whatever, just go ahead and build it, forget what I said, if this guy literally has $600 only; I wonder how he can pay for internet and electricity.

About my previous statement, chances are; AMD was planning for something that beats their X6, their X6 cost $275 at that time, so what ever they planned for would have cost $300, now an Intel equivalent to the 980x which was still going to be faster than their new processor is available for $300, the 2600k. That doesn't concern you then just build AMD.


Forget everything that I said and build it, I'm not going to force you so whatever.
Stick to this thread during your build so I can help[ you if you have any issues, always find causes of problems and BSODs so yeah, just build it.
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February 6, 2011 5:28:54 PM

Waiting for my tax return at the moment so this build will be a couple weeks out. After reading the comments, I'm willing to shell out some extra for a mob/cpu combo that will allow for a cpu update in the future. I like sartorius build (thanks) with the 2400 but can that build work with a monitor for $700.. IDK.
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February 6, 2011 6:11:37 PM

It can totally work with a monitor for that much.

Remember in my second post that the total for the SB build I did would have been $531.53 without tax and shipping.

This 19 inch 1440x900 monitor would be $79.50

Total would then be $610.85. You'd be fine, man.
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February 6, 2011 7:13:26 PM

Just read about the SB issues so I'm going to have to go a different route now.
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2011 2:01:02 PM

aznshinobi said:
wow your just a party pooper mn96 why don't you leave your advice out of it when all your input is trololololing? The 32nm clearly gives the 2600 advantage and the difference is defiantly NOT how much you say it is. If the 1090T is 100% then the 2600 is probably 150% not 2x.

AMD already said that BD = the older i7s so we can assume that with the 32nm production. They'll be fairly equal (the 2500 is basically the 950 but with cooler and betteer OCs)



Hello!!!

How much would AMD's new processors cost???

The current 1100t is $260, for $300-320 you get armagedon 2600K.

SO their new processor will be around $320, and would their $320 processor be faster than the 2600k?

The same way right now the i5 2500k has a much better value than the 1100t; similar price, better performance, the AM3+ flagship will be like the 1100t is now.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2011 9:03:25 PM

Can I ask you where you get our price information?

You have that logic, but what makes you say that AMD will price it to what you say they will price it at?
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
February 9, 2011 12:42:09 PM

If their current flagship processor costs $260 would it's succeeder be anything lower than $300?

AMD was at least planning on that sort of price as it would be preferred over the previous generation i3/i/i7

I have made very accurate predictions in the past, I monitor this stuff 24/7, I always have my eyes on the market.
This is my prediction which I brought up from my first statement.

Their current flagship is $260, a $60 difference from the best IMO processor you can get right now (The 2600K is so close to the 980x yet so much cheaper)

So the succeeder to that flagship would be more expensive for sure or the same price, even if it were the same price, $60 is sooo worth it for the 2600k.

So the new processor has to be at least $260 in the worst cases (where AMD changed the cost due to the fact the SB beats them in both performance and value)

It's pretty obvious that the AM3+ flagship will cost more than their current flagship, unless they move to plan B.

A person who knows the past knows the future; though don't quote anything I say about these prices, even if the prices are different when AM3+ comes out, AMD probably went to plan B.

I have no idea what plan B is but their release wouldn't go as planned with the shocking price of the 2600k, so plan B is a change in prices.
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February 9, 2011 3:03:25 PM

Heres what I got



and 21.5inch LCD

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00413PHDM/

Newegg is currently out of the 640 propus so I'm going to wait a couple days for it.
Can anyone recommended a budget board with SLI support and easy OC

Do you guys think that GPU is overkill for my needs? The ones you guys recommended are out of stock and I thought this one was a good deal because of the rebate.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 9, 2011 7:28:25 PM

Well at that resolution the 5770 should be fine for light gaming (I think the res on that monitor is 1680x1080) but if you wanna play heavy gaming then it'd slack a bit.
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February 10, 2011 2:02:21 AM

aznshinobi said:
Well at that resolution the 5770 should be fine for light gaming (I think the res on that monitor is 1680x1080) but if you wanna play heavy gaming then it'd slack a bit.
You're kidding, right?
The only games I'd really imagine the 5770 performing sub par in would be Crysis and Metro maxed at 1080p with 4X+ AA.

It maxes most games with well over 50 frames with a good processor. I really don't see how that constitutes as slacking.
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February 10, 2011 4:26:49 AM

This is what I ended up with after hours of research today. Yes I went over the 600 limit but I felt like I wanted to build this rig right because I don't think I'll be updating for a few years.

For the case I ended up spending a little more than I wanted, but my thought process was that the case would be the one piece of equipment that would be sticking around after any upgrading. So I wasn't hesitant about shelling out an extra 50$ to have a quality chassis to build on. The COOLER MASTER HAF 922 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... This seems like a good quality case at an attractive price point of $99.

For the CPU I decided on the, Athlon II X4 640 3 GHz Processor http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSearch_v3.asp?px=PG&scrit... I felt like I wanted a little more umphh for encoding and multitasking over the rana 445, and at only 20$ more it was a "no brainer'.

For the mobo, I picked the ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I went with this board because it seemed like it was a popular, quality board, that allowed for easy overclocking and unlocking.

For the GPU I went with the SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This card ends up being $99 after rebates, and I thought it was a steal at the price and it fits anything I'll be doing as far as gaming and entertainment.

For a Display I went with the ASUS VE228H 21.5-Inch Wide (16:9) 5ms Response Time LED Monitor http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-VE228H-21-5-Inch-Wide-16/dp/... This was one of the cheapest 21.5 inch monitors I could find with HDMI and built in speakers.

To Power the rig I went for the Corsair CMPSU-450VX 450-Watt Power Supply http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... I really didn't do alot of research on this, but I do realize the quality of the brand and again for a low price of 39.99 after rebates I think this was a good price/value PSU.

For Ram I went for G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I didn't really put to much thought into this, the price seemed like a good value for 4gigs of ram.

For the Harddrive I went with the SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
At first I was going to get the 500gb but I decided that for another 15$ I get twice the space, so why not?

For a burner I went with the $20 ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD/RW drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a keyboard I went for the cheapest thing I could find and I liked the volume knob on this board GIGABYTE GK-K6800 Glossy Black http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Overall I'm happy with my build and I'm confident that I obtained good valued pieces for the 725$ total.
I'm no computer guru and just a week ago I was going to just buy a prebuilt Dell, so forgive me for any mishaps in the buid.

It's funny though, Stumbling onto this forum completely awakened me to the custom build option, and I can now see why this is a hobby.I think theres something special about saying " Yeah I built that" and I can't wait to say it myself. I have a feeling I'll be keeping close tabs on tracking numbers for the next week ;) 

P.S.

Thanks everyone that responded to this thread and helped me out. Any critiques are welcome.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 10, 2011 5:06:49 AM

Well you should get the 450 GTS as it performs a little better than the 5770 for the same price practically. The 5770 just is a meh card now because it's not a very good card at 110-130$ when the GTS 450 performs and OCs better.

This should prove to be cheaper, better and run cooler.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Want more performance, the next step up.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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February 10, 2011 5:19:29 AM

aznshinobi said:
Well you should get the 450 GTS as it performs a little better than the 5770 for the same price practically. The 5770 just is a meh card now because it's not a very good card at 110-130$ when the GTS 450 performs and OCs better.

This should prove to be cheaper, better and run cooler.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Want more performance, the next step up.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


will the 450 run on that motherboard with full capabilities?
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February 10, 2011 5:14:54 PM

The GTS 450 can barely even touch the 5770, dude.

The cards that match or surpassed it were very overclocked, like the GTS 450 FTW or the ASUS 450 TOP. Both of those are more expensive than the 5770. The Gigabyte 450 you suggested is roughly 8-9 frames slower in most titles. OP, any of these cards will be just fine on your motherboard.

By the way, there's a used eVGA GTX 460 selling for $135 on Newegg here.

A couple of new HD 6850s can be found for $140 here.

An HD 5850, which is faster than all of those cards, is going for $150 used on ebay here.

If you still want to go for the GTS 450, however, there's an open box one selling on Newegg for $96 here.
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February 10, 2011 8:09:17 PM

Whats the difference between the evga gtx460 and the msi one what was mentioned?
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