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New budget build, suggestions/cost cuts/compat. welcome!

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April 20, 2011 3:23:46 AM

Putting together a new "budget" non-OC Sandy Bridge build (if I can swing it). Under "additional comments" I've included my research thus far.
If I can swing any cuts w/o too much performance sacrifices, please don't hesitate to suggest! Also, any notice any incompatibilities?

Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $400-800 (would like to stay ~5-6 if possible)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Movies/Music/Games/Productivity

Parts Not Required: speakers, mouse, OS, monitor, keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Microcenter OC

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences:

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
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Additional Comments:

So far I've posited the following:

Case: Antec Three Hundred - or Antec NSK 4482B -

CPU: Core i5 2400

Heatsink/fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus (needed, or is stock sufficient?)

Motherboard : MSI P67A-C43 (B3)

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB

Power supply: Antec EarthWatts 550

RAM: 8GB - 2x4GB
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)


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April 20, 2011 4:59:05 AM

You won't need that hyper 212+. Everything looks good so far. What games do you play? Noticed there wasn't a GPU posted. How much is left in your budget?
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April 20, 2011 5:22:05 AM

I was going to try to scrape by on the IGP for a while until I can get swing something a bit better.
I've been out of the gaming world since college and my Radeon 9800 Pro :(  I've got a bunch of older games I've stored up that I want to play again..HL2, Stalker, Painkiller,Far Cry, etc but I'd also like give Crysis a go if it's not too far of a stretch. I was considering the ATI 5770...


nd_hunter said:
You won't need that hyper 212+. Everything looks good so far. What games do you play? Noticed there wasn't a GPU posted. How much is left in your budget?

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April 20, 2011 5:28:29 AM
April 20, 2011 5:30:04 AM

What is the general consensus between 4 and 8GB of RAM at this time? Obviously 8 is preferable, but how much longer will 4 suffice before becoming a bottleneck?
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April 20, 2011 11:34:35 AM

4 should last quite a while for gaming. But 8 can be had for about $80. Integrated graphics are weak compared to mid-range discrete cards. 5770 would allow you to play newer titles on medium settings, I would think.
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April 20, 2011 1:02:12 PM

fallout1 said:
What is the general consensus between 4 and 8GB of RAM at this time? Obviously 8 is preferable, but how much longer will 4 suffice before becoming a bottleneck?

8gb ram is a luxury when you are looking to save money, you will not notice a bottle neck in gaming whatsoever. You really should look into going for a better gpu than the 5770, as it is weak in 1080p.

I like imaurer269's build and would second what he put together. :D 
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April 20, 2011 2:30:40 PM

Imaurer's build is a solid one. Whatever you decide, I would jump on the case he suggested today. You won't find a better one for $40. Or $50 or $60 for that matter.

Edit: I'm not sure how well that HD 6850 will hold up for future releases. I'm thinking Battlefield 3 might be too much for it at 1080p with max settings, if that's a title you will get and if you "need" to play with all the eye candy enabled. I think BF3 will be the new standard for a while for benching graphics cards. For $100 more (still within the upper range of you budget, if going with Imaurer's suggestions) a 2GB 6950 can be had. My philosophy when buying computer parts is get the best you can afford. However, don't go eating Ramen noodles for a month because you spent too much, but I think you understand I mean.
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April 20, 2011 4:17:33 PM

What about switching to an H67 mobo. I don't need all the overclocking features of a P67, so aside from those, would this be a reasonable cut in price? Is ATX superior to microATX at all? or is it purely preference..?
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April 20, 2011 4:41:49 PM

Full ATX just offers greater expandibility for future upgrades, or if your build now were to utilize lots of expansion slots. A microATX H67 board will suit you just fine.

If you want to go with an H67 motherboard, take a look at this one. MSI H67MA-E45. It has 4 RAM slots, USB 3.0 (2 on the I/O panel, no headers for front), SATA III (6gb/s), EFI (click BIOS), and a price tag of $114.99. I don't think it can be beat as far as price/features are concerned. While you won't use all 4 ram slots now, it's an easy and inexpensive upgrade in the future to prolong the useful life of your rig.
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April 20, 2011 8:11:26 PM

^ Eww, not even worth it.

Get a MSI P67A-C43. ATX, you get all the functions that H67 board gets but you can upgrade more meaning if you wanted to eventually overclock, you could get the 2500K and just overclock. Your getting a dedicated card anyway so H67 would be a waste since your not using the APU in the chip.

120$ P67A-C43 I've always found ATX easier to work with, more space.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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April 20, 2011 8:44:20 PM

aznshinobi said:
^ Eww, not even worth it.

Get a MSI P67A-C43. ATX, you get all the functions that H67 board gets but you can upgrade more meaning if you wanted to eventually overclock, you could get the 2500K and just overclock. Your getting a dedicated card anyway so H67 would be a waste since your not using the APU in the chip.

tasia85 said:
I was going to try to scrape by on the IGP for a while until I can get swing something a bit better.... I was considering the ATI 5770...



I think it would be better for him to wait and get a better single card than go for a 5770 at this point. He has no desire to OC or SLI/Xfire. Why is that such a bad board? Is space really that big of a concern when his only add-on card will be a GPU?

aznshinobi said:
120$ P67A-C43 I've always found ATX easier to work with, more space.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That is a solid board, built my dad's rig with it. A good choice if he chooses to go with a discrete GPU now.
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April 20, 2011 8:55:23 PM

^ It's just 5 more and you get an ATX. Plus, even though he has no intention now, should he ever upgrade to say a Z68 (which is supposed to be backwards compatible with P67) he'd be able to OC if he wanted to since it is a P67 board. That's just me though, the E45 is a valid option.

BTW, calculating around, if he wants the build to reach that 800$ mark, he can afford 250$ GPUs. That being a 560 Ti or a 6950 2GB. If he follows my build guide in my siggy for 600$, swapping out the i3 2100 for an i5 2400, he has 130$ left before the 800$ limit. 130$+(6850)=400$ for a GPU. I'd say that's a pretty hefty amount left. Though I don't think he needs anything above a 560 Ti/6950 with the games he's listed.
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April 24, 2011 5:10:05 AM

Many thanks for the replies..
I was contemplating the ASrock H67M(B3) mobo, but if that P67 ATX is not too much more then I'm open to the possibility.. The only thing is that throwing down the cash for this rig is going to force to me to do some explaining to my fiancee, so the less I spend the less I need to justify :)  That's why I was thinking onboard graphics for now, better GPU in a few months. But if I follow the suggestions I may be able to stay at a reasonable price...If I go with a 2500k plus P67 I'm not able to use onboard graphics..But if I use a 2500k w/ an H67, it's a waste in most people's eyes it seems. But I'm really not interested in taking the time to OC, with the extra stress, cooling,etc.

A Core i5 2500 (non K) , and an H67 mobo is much cheaper...but if I'm not overclocking and not concerned with bleeding edge performance, am I still foolish to not go with a P67 and 2500k..? i.e. what kind of performance gap are we talking about here with regards to the CPU (GPU obviously plays a huge role)..

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April 24, 2011 6:28:51 AM

It wouldn't really be a huge difference in performance or at least you would not notice it. The H67 and i5 2400 would be a better deal because the 2500 is really no different from a 2400, but you save 10$.

Graphically, H67 and P67 both have boards running 8x/8x so it really won't take a hit.
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April 24, 2011 5:59:22 PM

Just ordered the MSI P67A-C43. ATX.

Trying to decide on RAM now. I see the MSI supports 1333 or 1600oc..How important would you deem this? So I can't just purchase DDR3 1600? I admit to not understanding RAM timings,etc very well.

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April 25, 2011 1:11:53 AM

Pretty sure I've seen people saying sandy bridge runs best with 1600 or faster ram. These ripjaws are a great deal for 1600 cas 7 ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

When you start up the PC for the first time the memory more than likely will be set as 1333. A couple simple bios settings will allow you to run it at 1600 speeds.
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April 25, 2011 5:00:41 AM

Those are nice also, used them in the last two builds I did.
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April 26, 2011 9:18:37 PM

aznshinobi said:
^ Eww, not even worth it.

Get a MSI P67A-C43. ATX, you get all the functions that H67 board gets but you can upgrade more meaning if you wanted to eventually overclock, you could get the 2500K and just overclock. Your getting a dedicated card anyway so H67 would be a waste since your not using the APU in the chip.

120$ P67A-C43 I've always found ATX easier to work with, more space.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



I ordered this board a few days back..Still waiting for it. Do you use this board? What has your experience been with it? Crossing my fingers for nothing DOA.
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April 26, 2011 11:16:33 PM

Haven't used it. I've used the 790FX-GD70 which is another MSI board and that has served me well. But I don't have enough money to afford upgrades every year or other year.
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April 27, 2011 1:39:45 AM

I just used this board a few weeks ago which looks pretty similar except this one has 2 pci-e 2.0 slots: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Was pretty easy to work with and everything worked great right out of the box and booted up just fine the 1st try. The new Bios screen is a lot different and for some reason the only readings I'm getting on CPUID HWmonitor are the 4 core temps, GPU temp and HDD temp. I paired the board with a i5-2500k and GTX 460
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April 27, 2011 3:56:52 PM

I have used that MSI P67A-C43 board and it works fine. The EFI (BIOS) is fine. A lot of people don't like it, simply because it looks different than what they were used to.

What are you looking at for a GPU?

If you haven't bought memory yet, look at this set
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 27, 2011 4:20:40 PM

Ok first of all I would advise you to spend $35 more and pick up the Intel® Core™ I5 2500K. For gaming you almost can’t get a better processor then the Intel Core I5 2500K, also it will allow you to overclock and with this processor it is a lot easier than ever before.
Now as far as which chipset to go with:
P67 chipset will allow you to overclock the core speed of the processor. Also with the P67 you must use an add-in video card as this board won’t take advantage of the on-processor graphics.
H67 and H61 series boards will allow you to overclock the graphics on the processor but not the core speed.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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April 27, 2011 9:50:42 PM

^ If OP Doesn't plan to overclock, then the 2500K doesn't make sense at all. Paying the extra is meh since the 2500K has almost no advantage over the 2400/2500 besides the fact that it can overclock. All I'm saying is if OP doesn't OC then the 2500K is useless.
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April 28, 2011 6:50:06 PM

aznshinobi said:
^ If OP Doesn't plan to overclock, then the 2500K doesn't make sense at all. Paying the extra is meh since the 2500K has almost no advantage over the 2400/2500 besides the fact that it can overclock. All I'm saying is if OP doesn't OC then the 2500K is useless.

100% correct.
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April 29, 2011 12:45:04 PM

Perhaps it will come down to price..I can see the logic in allowing oneself the benefit of overclocking down the road vs. buying new equipment. As of right now I can't decide on a power supply. I've decided a Radeon 6850 would be a good investment but I'm not sure if a Seasonic 520W PSU is enough breathing room or whether I need to step up to 600W+
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April 29, 2011 1:02:52 PM

That psu will be fine for a 6850.
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April 29, 2011 2:10:23 PM

zooted said:
That psu will be fine for a 6850.


I agree. Plus, that Seasonic probably puts out around 600w anyway.
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May 7, 2011 10:50:39 PM

imaurer269 said:
I just used this board a few weeks ago which looks pretty similar except this one has 2 pci-e 2.0 slots: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Was pretty easy to work with and everything worked great right out of the box and booted up just fine the 1st try. The new Bios screen is a lot different and for some reason the only readings I'm getting on CPUID HWmonitor are the 4 core temps, GPU temp and HDD temp. I paired the board with a i5-2500k and GTX 460


Did you ever figure out how to turn off the SuperCharger from notifying you EACH time you logon?
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May 8, 2011 12:46:37 AM

Pretty sure I just uninstalled the program.
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!