Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Advise Needed for < $700 Budget 3D Design / DAW / Gaming Rig

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 20, 2011 6:07:39 AM

A few months ago, I posted on here looking for advise on a new system build and most of the responses told me to wait for Sandy Bridge. Well, I waited, but it looks like the price for an i5-2500k Sandy Bridge system with a good graphics card is a few hundred dollars out of my price range. So, I'm back again to get some more advice. I've done a lot of research (probably too much actually) and am running out of ideas to get the most bang for the buck.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: < $700 after shipping and before any mail in rebates (don't trust most of them anyways)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Autodesk Inventor (with complex parts), Multiple VST Instruments, Ableton Live (or other DAW software), Games (would like to be able to play games like Crysis if I wanted to), basic web browsing, movies, and maybe a few other programs.

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com (ideally) but wouldn't mind suggestions from Amazon or Microcenter. Would like it if I could buy all the parts at the same time from the same vendor.

Country of Origin: U.S.

Parts Preferences: AMD Phenom II X4 or unlockable X2 CPU, ATX mobo, ATI Radeon GPU with dual DVI or vga ports and HDMI (from the benchmarks I've read, I'm definitely leaning toward an HD 6850)

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Not really important right now

Monitor Resolution: at least 2048x768 (using two 15" VGA touchscreens at 1024x768 each) and 1920x1080 when I hook up my 32" flat screen TV through HDMI

Additional Comments: Cool temperatures and quiet. USB 3.0, Firewire, and SATA 6gb is cool but not required since I don't have anything to exploit any of them.

I'll actually be building a custom case using the shell of the case that I buy, some wood, and an aluminum plate that will house the computer along with the touchscreen monitors in a box I'm building into the top of an old MIDI organ. I've uploaded a quick concept image that I worked up to my Picassa page. You can see it at the link below (it still needs a bit more work, but should give you the idea of what I'm trying to do). Eventually there will be knobs, buttons, and a gutted USB joystick worked into the area between the monitors and piano keys. I'll be making a board to go over the piano keys so that I can use a regular keyboard and mouse with the system when I'm not making music with it.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_RkLVQlI2ISo/Ta46SoO3...

Current Parts List:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE w/ Coolermaster GeminII Cooler Combo = $167.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound = $9.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI 870-G45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard = $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit = $42.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Bronze Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply = $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive = $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer = $22.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI R6850 Cyclone PE Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 = $174.99 (+$15.00 Mail-in Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sunbeam Quarterback IC-QB-SVBK Silver/ Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case = $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Zonet ZEW2590 IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 High Gain Wireless Adapter = $29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Current Cost: $688.88 + $21.51 (shipping) = $710.39

Shipping puts it a bit over the top end of the budget I set for myself for the computer parts themselves. Any ideas on ways to trim the fat or substitutions I could make? The Sunbeam case was the best rated inexpensive ATX case that I could find that came with 4x120mm fans. I figure that I'm going to need at least 4 120mm fans to cool the larger case I'm building and since the case includes them, it saves me the $14 it would cost to get a pack of 4 Coolermaster fans. I know that if I switched out the 955 BE with an X4 925, X2 555 BE, or X2 560 BE, I might be able to increase the RAM to 8gb and possibly still put the total cost below $700 after shipping. Is this worth it? Also, the monitors I'm getting have molex connectors on them to power them off an ATX power supply (30w max. power consumption per monitor). Do you guys think a 600w power supply will be big enough to power all of the computer parts I've selected and still have enough room for the 60w power draw of the monitors without reaching full capacity? Or should I get a smaller PSU for the computer and use a secondary power supply (I've got a couple old ones lying around) to power the monitors separately.

Any insight or assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
April 20, 2011 8:28:39 AM

I know you want to buy AMD, but they do not have any competitive processors on the market right now. Wait for Bulldozer if it must be AMD.

Either go with an i3-2100/H61 or i5-2500K/P67. They both outperform that CPU. I can provide benchmarks if you want.

For AutoCAD, get 8GB of RAM over graphics. For gaming, go for graphics over EVERYTHING else.

Don't they have $15 wireless USB adapters? Mine was $15 for Wireless G two years ago and works great.

PSU: go with Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone, or XFX only. Everything else is likely to be garbage or cost too much (like PC Power & Cooling).

Case: Since your budget's tight, consider this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
April 20, 2011 9:52:49 AM

here's my suggestion:

i5-2500 + Asus H67 motherboard: $288.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

G.Skill 8 GB: $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HEC Blitz Case + LG 24x DVD burner: $53.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

IPCQueen 120mm case fan: $5.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair CX430: $35.99 w/ Promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB Hard drive: $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PNY GTX 460 1 GB: $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total: $699.91
m
0
l
Related resources
April 20, 2011 11:03:20 AM

+1 for ScrewySqrl's build. You just can't touch the Intel SB CPUs for encoding and rendering and that sort of stuff. Yes even an overclocked Phenom II x4 can't touch an i5 SB. You definitely need 8GB RAM and an i5, but you can cheap out on the GPU and try to snag a 460gtx 768/1GB, sometimes you can catch one for ~$130 after rebate.
m
0
l
April 20, 2011 10:23:35 PM

If gaming is low on the priority list, I'd have to say a $140 5850 is a great option (coupon code: MWM27388): http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

It beats a GTX 460 1GB most of the time and loses some of the time, I'd put it a hair higher overall. Use that $40 to upgrade to an i5-2500K/P67.

Here, $322 for i5-2500K combo w/ Gigabyte P67 ATX: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

That Radeon 5850 & i5-2500K combo saved you $8 total. Put that towards a PSU and an extra $10 and you get a $53 (after 10% coupon & $10 rebate) Corsair CX600: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$10 higher, same gaming performance, much better overall.
m
0
l
April 20, 2011 10:51:13 PM

A good gaming system for $700 is somewhat of a challenge. I find Tom's systembuilder marathons interesting, and they have to search carefully for parts for their $500-600 machines. I would advise looking at their most recent system which was close to $500, and look at places where you could improve it with your slightly higher budget.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-gaming-pc-ph...
m
0
l
April 20, 2011 11:22:31 PM

@cadder--Conveniently, he's not looking for a good gaming system for $700. He's looking for a good workstation system, which 8GB RAM and an i5-2500K/P67 take care of. Also, we find better parts here than they do in Tom's System Builder Marathon because we know just as much about picking parts and use current deals and rebates.

In reference to my CX600 suggestion. The CX430 should get the job done for you just fine. But I prefer overkill on PSUs rather than being right at the borderline.
m
0
l
April 21, 2011 4:54:33 PM

Quote:
@cadder--Conveniently, he's not looking for a good gaming system for $700




But the OP does say this:
Quote:
like to be able to play games like Crysis


As for the parts that Toms picks. I see a lot of criticism of their parts, and sometimes they pick parts that can't be faulted. Maybe I should suggest to read Toms's build, look at how it worked and read their own criticism of the build, and then read the comments posted from readers.
m
0
l
April 21, 2011 11:22:54 PM

@cadder--You're right. He did say "Crysis". At $700, he can only meet his workstation needs and play Crysis on medium settings. You were entirely correct in your statement that it is somewhat of a challenge. That said, a 5850 can play Crysis at solid framerates (40fps) on "Gamer" settings w/ 4xAA.

And Tom's does pick good parts (although oddly slow RAM since 1600 cost about the same as 1333). But they don't use deals because they want the computer to be readily built right then or three weeks from then. So you can expect 10-15% savings using currently available deals.

@theideacan--If you haven't jumped on the $55 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB deal on Newegg.com right now, you should: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This deal comes back monthly so you'll waste $10 not to pull the trigger right now if you can't wait that long for your build.
m
0
l
April 22, 2011 3:22:53 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions so far guys. I just got done looking at some benchmark comparisons of different cpus and hadn't realized that an i3-2100 could outperform a stock 955 BE and costs about $15 less. I guess Sandy Bridge really is as good as people have been saying. So I did some adjustments to my parts list and I think I've come up with a better system for about $17 more than my previous design. It's still over the $700 budget, but not by enough to make my wallet hate me. BTW, thanks ScrewySqrl and dalauder for suggesting the 1TB Samsung F3. I hadn't noticed they were on sale when I made the parts list. I also checked out some NVidia cards and decided to switch from the HD 6850 to a GTX 460 SE and upped the power supply to an Antec 620w PSU to compensate for the increased power draw of the GPU.

So let's see if this is a better rig.

Processor = $124.99
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink = $29.99 ($14.99 after Mail-in Rebate)
ZALMAN CNPS5X SZ 92mm Hydraulic CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard/RAM/USB Flash Drive Combo = $179.98
MSI P67A-C43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory
Kingston DataTraveler G3 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Power Supply = $84.99
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive = $54.99
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive = $22.99
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card = $159.99 ($129.99 after Mail-in Rebate)
EVGA GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case = $39.99
Sunbeam Quarterback IC-QB-SVBK Silver/ Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (the 4 included 120mm fans really sell this case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wireless Adapter = $14.99
EDIMAX EW-7811Un IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wireless Nano USB Adapter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Cost = $712.90 + $14.83 Shipping = $727.73
And if the Mail-in Rebates are any good ($727.73 - $45.00 Rebates = $682.73), I'll actually be almost $20 below my budget.
m
0
l
April 22, 2011 4:30:26 AM

A GTX 460 SE is not a GTX 460. It is not even as good as a GTX 460 768MB in most tests. It's just to screw with you. It will get thoroughly owned by a 5850. You will be angry at yourself if you spend $130 to get a GTX 460 SE when you could've dropped just $10 more to get a 5850.

Regardless of what you do, even for a $2,500 build, you want to buy the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB at $55 right now.

I've got to look over your other parts now, just a sec...
m
0
l
April 22, 2011 5:20:40 AM

The case is alright, but $50 after shipping makes it nothing special. If you've got an old case sitting around, use that for now. The Antec 300 Illusion drops to $55 w/free shipping roughly every three weeks...

PSU: $59 XFX 650W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... Your choice is solid, but not as good of a deal.

That motherboard only has one PCI-e slot and that RAM is slow. It's a bad combo. Try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

i5-2500K & P67 8x/8x mobo for $320. That'll hit 4.5GHz.

To sum things up:

CPU/mobo: $320

RAM: $75 G.Skill 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: $140 Radeon 5850

HDD: $55 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

PSU: $59 XFX 650W

DVD: $22

Case: $55 in the future

TOTAL: $726

It costs a little more, but it's absolutely awesome and can overclock like a beast. Oh, and $15 for your CPU cooler.
EDIT: This includes a $10 rebate for the cpu/mobo combo and $20 rebate for the PSU. I still don't think you can beat an i5-2500K/P67 8x/8x for $726 w/8GB of RAM. You should buy the RAM and HDD immediately. I saw you used a rebate for your graphics, so I thought I'd include it.
m
0
l
April 22, 2011 11:37:41 AM

Thanks for all your help so far dalauder (and everybody else for that matter). I really appreciate getting advice from someone that knows more about building computers than myself, so please don't take any part of the rest of my post as me being ungrateful or stubborn. :) 

It seems that we're on slightly different wavelengths regarding what I should get. I readily agree that changing from a Phenom II X4 to Sandy Bridge is a good idea (the benchmarks prove it). With my budget, I have to make sacrifices. An i5-2500k would be fantastic, but the $225 cost would chop about a third of my budget away by itself. I can overshoot the budget a little bit, but not enough to spend $100 more on a processor and still have enough for everything else. Mail-in rebates are great, but I don't want to have to rely on them and wait for them to arrive, just to drop the price closer to my budget. I just included them in my last post in case someone was reading this and wanted to do a similar build.

Quote:
The case is alright, but $50 after shipping makes it nothing special. If you've got an old case sitting around, use that for now. The Antec 300 Illusion drops to $55 w/free shipping roughly every three weeks...


I don't have any old cases lying around. Otherwise I wouldn't even be looking for a new one since I'm planning to cannibalize the one I get once I get further along on building the new case on the top of my old MIDI organ (see linked photo in my original post). So a better, more expensive case isn't really going to do anything for me. In fact, if it didn't seem that most inexpensive cases tend to be made of Chinese apple cores and tin foil, have horribly noisy fans, and seem to be assembled by an army of blind mice using jackhammers, I'd just get a cheap $20 case. The Sunbeam seems to have decent build quality and it includes some quiet fans that I'll need for the custom case. I really just need the case for the parts it includes (fans, drive cages, motherboard plate, back panel, power/reset buttons, front side ports, etc...) and to hold everything while I make sure all the parts I get work and don't blow themselves up.

Quote:
PSU: $59 XFX 650W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] _-Product. Your choice is solid, but not as good of a deal.


While looking for an alternative to the Coolermaster that I had selected in my initial post to have a bit more breathing room for the GPU, I looked at the XFX 650w, but with all the reviews on Newegg complaining about early death of the PSU (sometimes as quick as a few days) and the sporadicly noisy clicking fan, I passed it up. One of the uses of the computer is going to be making music, so a loud PSU (or one that might randomly fail or reset in the middle of a recording session) isn't going to cut it. Maybe they just got one from a bad batch, but I'd rather not risk it.

Quote:
That motherboard only has one PCI-e slot and that RAM is slow. It's a bad combo. Try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.622006

RAM: $75 G.Skill 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 231428-L0A


I'm not planning to do SLi or Crossfire, so more than one x16 slot (especially when the 8x/8x when both are populated seems meant for two video cards), isn't necessary. It seems the only real difference between the two mobos is the addition of a second PCIe x16 in place of a standard PCI slot (and a few dollars). I'm just not a fan of the look of the red G.Skill Ripjaws RAM (though it's listed on Newegg as $99.99, not $75. Must have been a Shell Shocker deal or something). I should have more money to invest in the computer in a few months and if it looks like the i3-2100 isn't cutting it by then, I can always upgrade and put the i3 in a cheap mini-ITX HTPC or something. The real question I have is what's wrong with the 1333 Sniper RAM? Is it because it's 1333 or because it's Sniper? Would it be worth it to spend the extra $25 to upgrade from the Sniper combo to this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I just realized that I don't really need the SATA DVD burner. I've got a couple of USB DVD and CD burners that I use with my laptop that I could always hook up to the new computer to install software and stuff. That'll save me about $28 for the drive and shipping that I can apply toward getting the PNY GTX 460 ScrewySqrl suggested. The Radeon 5850 is a nice card, but I did some more research on the whole ATI/NVidia thing and it seems like NVidia is supported by 3D software that uses OpenGL a lot better than ATI. Plus I'm not sure how big of an effect the OpenGL version would have on software that uses it (OpenGL 3.2 for the Radeon 5850 vs. OpenGL 4.1 for the Radeon 6850 or GTX 460).

Of course the PNY GTX 460 OC also costs about $15 more than the Radeon 6850 I was originally looking at (that will perform better in games but may have questionable performance in non-DirectX 3D software). Would I be better off swapping the eVGA GTX 460 SE for the PNY GTX 460 OC and keeping the Sniper RAM or getting the MSi Radeon 6850 and upgrading the RAM to the 8-8-8-24 Ripjaws X?
m
0
l
April 22, 2011 1:59:57 PM

original post was a 2500, which is idenitcal to a 2500K, it just doesn't overclock. As such, you can also get a cheaper H61 motherboard (I like the very basic ASRock H61M-VS for $60, or if you want usb3/sata3, the H61M/U3S3 or H61Cafe at $80 and $83 respectively)

as for RAM, I see no point in getting higher timings or faster ram unless you want them for bragging rights. You won't see a difference in framerates outside benchmarks.
m
0
l
April 22, 2011 4:28:25 PM

Hey “Theidiacan”.

I got two options to fit your budget needs. Also on the plus side you they will both be I5 2500k Sandy Bridge CPU.

Build 1: No case:
CPU: $179.99 – Intel Core i5 2500k
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
(Get them while they are CHEAP I got 4.)

Motherboard: $129.99 - $10 MIR - BIOSTAR TP67B+
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
(Great budget board)

RAM:
Option 1: $84.99 - $20 MIR - Patriot Extreme Performance Sector 5 G Series 8GB
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
This way you can pick it up right away when you get your CPU and Board from Microcenter

Option 2: $84.99 - $20 MIR - PNY Optima 8GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
In your prior reply you didn’t like the red in the G.Skill RAM so to please your eyes are a pair of yellow sticks.(A little yellow makes your happy. Too much yellow makes you go crazy. Don’t believe me Google it)

DVD Burner: 17.99 - Lite-ON 24X SATA DVD Burner – OEM
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Hard-drive & Power supply: $119.99 - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB & Antec Earth Watts EA-650 GREEN 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
(Sweet deal two amazing product for a great price)

GPU: $169.99 - $40 MIR - Sparkle GeForce GTX 460 OverClocked Video Card - 1024MB
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
(They still have it in stock so other it NOW its dirt cheap. I have a 460 and I play Crysis on 1080p Very High, x4 AA. It plays at 50 to 70 FPS)

Case: None. – Because you are going destroy it, it is better if you go looking for a free one like the junk yard or the garbage dump. Trust me the *** you find they are amazing and they don’t charge anything. If you don’t want to do that than either go with option 2 or spend $20 more and get the case in option 2 build. The money you will receive from the MIR will cover the cost and more.

Total cost with the discount but BEFORE the MIR & Tax: $702.94
Total Cost w/Case & discount but BEFORE the MIR& Tax: $722.93
Total MIR:-$70
Total cost: $632.94
Total cost w/Case: $652.93




Build 2: No DVD Burner:
CPU: $179.99 – Intel Core i5 2500k
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Motherboard: $114.99 - GIGABYTE GA-P67A-D3-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:
Option 1: $84.99 - $20 MIR - Patriot Extreme Performance Sector 5 G Series 8GB
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
This way you can pick it up right away when you get your CPU and Board from Microcenter

Option 2: $84.99 - $20 MIR - PNY Optima 8GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner: None use the external one.

Hard-drive & Power supply: $119.99 - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB & Antec Earth Watts EA-650 GREEN 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
(Sweet deal two amazing product for a great price)

GPU: $169.99 - $40 MIR - Sparkle GeForce GTX 460 OverClocked Video Card - 1024MB
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Case: $19.99 - Gigabyte GZPH2A30 Mid-Tower Case
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
(it will fit the ATX board)

Total cost with the discount but BEFORE the MIR & Tax: $689.94
Total MIR:-$60
Budget saving: $10.06
Total cost: $629.94



DAMN THAT’S SWEET! Brag about that i5 2500k build under $700.

So there you have it you have three options
1. No DVD = $689.94
2. No Case = $702.94
3. Everything =$722.93

ENJOY building your new sweet rig. And when you get your MIR moneys buy an eternal DVD burner and a nice CPU cooler. You do not need a CPU cooler because the stock keeps it pretty cool.
m
0
l
April 22, 2011 4:32:43 PM

Hey also sorry that I did not add the tax. Its just that i do not know what is the tax rate becuase im from Canada. Will I hope that it will help.
m
0
l
April 23, 2011 1:24:09 AM

Thanks singhie. That Microcenter deal on the i5 2500k is nice. The only problem is that once I add in tax and the cost of gas to pick it up (closest Microcenter is about 50 miles away and my car is far from being a hybrid), it wouldn't be much cheaper than the price on Newegg. Though I did find a few guys on eBay selling NIB i5 2500ks starting around $210 with free shipping. The OverClocked Sparkle GTX 460 on TigerDirect seems to be definitely worth it.

I played around with the numbers and parts some more and I think I may have it worked out now. My wallet is going to hate me though (especially if the Sparkle Mail-in Rebate is garbage). I'm going to stick with the Sunbeam case for now. I need to talk to a friend and see if he has any old cases lying around with vents to hold a 120mm fan in the back. If I can score the case for free, it'll only cost me about $20 bucks after shipping for 4 Coolermaster 120mm fans and 3 wire grills. Much better than $50 for the Sunbeam with shipping.

Here's the updated parts list:

i5 2400 = $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-or-
i5-2500k = $208.99
ebay NIB w/ free shipping

MSI P67A-C43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Kingston DataTraveler G3 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive = $204.98 - $30 (25% off Promo Coupon for RAM) = $174.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply = $119.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Sparkle GeForce GTX 460 OverClocked Video Card - 1024MB GDDR5, PCI-Express 2.0, Dual DVI, Mini HDMI, SLI, DirectX 11, Fermi = $169.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

EDIMAX EW-7811Un IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wireless Nano USB Adapter = $14.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sunbeam Quarterback IC-QB-SVBK Silver/ Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case = $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total cost with i5 2400 = $709.92 + $17.49 shipping = $727.41 before Sparkle rebate / $687.41 after Sparkle rebate
Total cost with i5 2500k = $728.92 + $17.49 shipping = $746.41 before Sparkle rebate / $706.41 after Sparkle rebate

I could then use the money I get from the rebate plus a few dollars to get the Zalman aftermarket cooler and a SATA DVD burner. However, if I can score a case from my friend, I can go ahead and get the Zalman cooler along with the fans and grills and still be at about the same price.

So I guess the question of the day is (and I'm sure it's a stupid one), should I pay the extra $20 for the i5 2500k over the i5 2400?
m
0
l
April 23, 2011 2:52:08 AM

yes if you get the 2400 dont bother getting the cooler unless your in a really hot area cause the stock cooler is just fine as stock speeds.
m
0
l
April 25, 2011 12:26:48 AM

Should you get the K for $20? Yes!--If you think you might overclock at some point in the future. You stated in the start that you would, so it's easily worth it.

I don't know why you'd want to spend $30 more for a GTX 460 1GB that usually gets outperformed by a 5850, but go ahead.

A PCI slot is useless. A PCI-e slot allows you to get more graphics cards IF you ever decide you want them AND saves you money if you buy the combo I suggested. It also gives you PCI-e upgradability instead of PCI lack of usefulness. There was no downside.

You should have already bought the hard drive. I don't know why you're still putting it on your parts list.

I don't know why you want a 620W PSU since you're certain you'll never get a second graphics card. Get a 500W and save a little cash. That combo's just fine, btw.

That new mobo combo for cheaper with the better RAM is pretty good. I still think you want two PCI-e slots, but since you're certain about the future, it's a good choice.

If you really need to save money, just monitor your temps when you first OC the i5-2500K and only go to low OC's like 4.0GHz before you can afford a cooler.

Your computer's gonna be better than mine.
m
0
l
April 25, 2011 12:33:07 AM

^ Has a point.

Another thing is why would you do that and not get a 6850 when it ALSO performs better than the 460.

460 SE<460 768mb<460 1GB<6850<5850
m
0
l
April 25, 2011 9:13:17 AM

The main reason for going with the GTX 460 over either the 5850 or 6850 is because I'll be spending more time working with programs like Autodesk Inventor and Solidworks than playing games and can't afford a good workstation card. Plus most workstation cards don't do too well in games and I'd like an all around solution. From the research I've found, NVidia cards tend to play nicer with 3D design software than ATi cards. The GTX 460 may lose in games to the Radeons but bests them and even a number of the lower end ATi FirePro workstation cards in user benchmarks running Solidworks 2011 (http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/shareyourscore.htm). I'd imagine it's not too different with Inventor.

As for the power supply, I plan to use it to power the computer as well as two 15" touchscreens (with a power draw of about 30w max each) that get their power through 4 pin molex connectors (see my first post). According to this power supply calculator (http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine), the recommended power supply for the system I'm looking at needs to be at least 420 watts. With the additional 60w draw from the two monitors, I'd be pretty close to the max rated wattage of a 500w power supply with no real room for upgrades (like more RAM, extra PCI cards, fans, etc...) without also upgrading the PSU. That's why I was looking at getting a 600-650w PSU.

I realized that I missed out on the deal for the 1tb F3, but I think I'll be able to get a case from my friend. So the extra $10 for the hard drive isn't as big of a deal. I just have to make sure I place my order with Newegg before the 28th or I'll lose out on the $30 discount for the RAM as well.
m
0
l
April 25, 2011 11:45:10 PM

According to the link you gave, there was only 1 5850 tested and that was a mobile (laptop) version, which isn't a 5850 at all! Also, according to the link you gave, a GeForce 9600M outscores a GTX 470. Obviously, these tests don't reflect the performance of each graphics card in that application properly. I don't think those tests are standardized nearly enough to be used as any sort of purchasing reference.

If you're talking about spending an extra $30, you should find a better source or just save your money and be happy that $140 is a great deal for a 5850.

For your PSU, consider this 600W OCZ for $40: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
It got excellent reviews: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/OCZ-StealthXStre...
It's also the same unit as OCZ's 700W of the same series, just rebranded for 600W. That's why it performs admirably at 700W power draw.

$61 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB w/ free shipping: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-H...

$64 RAM: ($75 - 15% off code DM15AP11US = $64) G.Skill on sale 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: $40 free S&H http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is really a matter of personal opinion. But I don't think you're gonna find a better looking case for bottom mounting your PSU with a black interior for $40 w/ free shipping.
m
0
l
April 27, 2011 12:23:57 AM

Quote:
According to the link you gave, there was only 1 5850 tested and that was a mobile (laptop) version, which isn't a 5850 at all! Also, according to the link you gave, a GeForce 9600M outscores a GTX 470. Obviously, these tests don't reflect the performance of each graphics card in that application properly. I don't think those tests are standardized nearly enough to be used as any sort of purchasing reference.


I hadn't noticed that the 5850 tested was a mobile version. However, I didn't see anywhere where a GeForce 9600M outscored a GTX 470. The best 9600M score was 410.3. The worst GTX 470 score was 306.3. Lower total score is better in those benchmarks. The interesting thing to me was that the HD 5800 series and the HD 6800 series Radeons paired with an i7 950 barely beat out a GTX 460 paired with an i7 870 and that was mainly in CPU score and I/O. Which makes sense given the faster CPU. What truly fascinated me was a GTX 460 paired with an i5-2500k beat an HD 6800 paired with an i7-2600k by about 40 points. Sure the Quadro FX 380 beat the GTX 460 when paired with an i5-2500k, but the GTX 460 would trounce the 380 in games. There are also results where the old GeForce 8800 GT and 9800 GT cards beat the snot out of newer GeForce and Radeon cards. From what I understand looking at a few forums for 3D software, it has to do with how the card architecture has changed over the years. Sure the newer cards have more and faster RAM and faster processors, but the advances have been focused more on FPS than anything else. The benchmarks used were created by Solidworks, not a third party. The link below explains how it works better than I can.
https://forum.solidworks.com/community/administration/h...

Quote:
If you're talking about spending an extra $30, you should find a better source or just save your money and be happy that $140 is a great deal for a 5850.


Not sure why you're so intent on convincing me to get a Radeon HD 5850. I'll admit, it would be a fantastic card if all I were planning to do was play video games and maybe do some video editing and the Eyefinity of the HD 6850 would also be cool to use in games. However, games are lower on my needs for the computer than ability to handle 3D design software. Not low enough to shell out for a workstation GPU and suffer through games though. I'm looking more for a best of both worlds scenario. A gaming card means no RealView in Solidworks, but that's okay. At present, NVidia has spent a great deal more time and energy working with 3D software companies to provide better cards for workstation graphics than ATi has. That's why there are computers with 512MB DDR3 Quadro cards beating out 1GB DDR5 FireGL and FirePro workstation cards. ATi may have the edge in games, but with the exception of high-end workstation cards NVidia seems to have the edge in 3D design software.

Quote:
For your PSU, consider this 600W OCZ for $40: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] No=6491962
It got excellent reviews: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/art [...] ew/1058/10
It's also the same unit as OCZ's 700W of the same series, just rebranded for 600W. That's why it performs admirably at 700W power draw.


That OCZ looks like a good PSU, but with only 3 SATA and 5 molex connectors (vs 7 SATA and 5 molex with the Antec), I think I'd run into problems connecting 2 hard drives, a DVD-RW drive, 4 case fans, and two monitors without using a splitter or something. I think if I changed from the Antec Earthwatts PSU, I'd lean more toward the Antec TruePower TP-650 (9 SATA and 9 molex connectors and pretty highly reviewed) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
$61 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB w/ free shipping: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spin [...] 802&sr=8-1


$64 RAM: ($75 - 15% off code DM15AP11US = $64) G.Skill on sale 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231314

Case: $40 free S&H http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119227
This is really a matter of personal opinion. But I don't think you're gonna find a better looking case for bottom mounting your PSU with a black interior for $40 w/ free shipping.


That's not a bad deal on the Spinpoint drive if I decide to go with a different power supply. As for the RAM, it looks like I missed another Shellshocker deal because it's just listed as $99.99 + free shipping now. I looked at that Coolermaster case you linked to back when I was looking to find a case for my original parts list. It looks nice and would almost work (still only two fans though), but I'd actually feel kind of bad tearing it to pieces for parts. With the added cost of two more 120mm fans, I wouldn't be saving much after the rebate over the Sunbeam case.
m
0
l
April 27, 2011 1:37:17 PM

Quote:
The interesting thing to me was that the HD 5800 series and the HD 6800 series Radeons paired with an i7 950 barely beat out a GTX 460 paired with an i7 870 and that was mainly in CPU score and I/O



that isn't surprising. the 58xx series was replaced by the 69xx, while the 57xx was replaced by the 68xx.
m
0
l
April 28, 2011 12:42:23 AM

"However, I didn't see anywhere where a GeForce 9600M outscored a GTX 470. The best 9600M score was 410.3. The worst GTX 470 score was 306.3." I think you're looking at TOTAL scores. I was looking only at GRAPHICS scores since that at least partially ignores CPU discrepancies.

If NVidia works with Solidworks better, go with it over Radeon. I'm just saying those tests weren't standardized in any way well enough to get good results. And 8800/9800's used CUDA cores much like 400/500 series. They would only beat the new cards due to other hardware, I'm pretty sure--which highlights the non-standardized testing methods. Radeon has the best deals on GAMING cards now, but you're right--you aren't gaming. I'm intent on suggesting the best deal. But if the parts I recommend don't work for you, they don't work.

The OCZ is cheap because it lacks connectors. You'd have to use splitters to do much with it.

Oh, btw, 8GB DDR3 was $59 on Newegg yesterday and is $69 today. Go look for G.Skill Snipers or check on Tom's Hot Deals in this forum.

EDIT: $59 8GB G.Skill 1600CL9 DDR3: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2879713
m
0
l
!