Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Budget Developer PC

Last response: in Systems
Share
May 2, 2011 1:24:47 PM

I'm looking to put together a budget developer PC. The main use of this PC will be coding with Visual Studio 2010, with some SQL Server development and testing with a virtual machine. No gaming will be done, so onboard graphics, as long as they can handle Windows 7's Aero UI, is fine. I have an EVGA e-GeForce 8400GS and an Antec Basiq BP500U PSU that I can use if necessary.

I haven't been keeping up with the latest and greatest hardware, so I am unsure of what I should choose. I was thinking an Athlon II X4 640 along with 4GB of G.Skill DDR3 1333 would be a good choice for multi-tasking.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Approximate Purchase Date: this week / month

Budget Range: $450-500 max, before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Visual Studio 2010 (quite often 2 instances), VMWare Player running an XP VM, Firefox, office apps

Parts Not Required: keyboard , mouse, monitor, video card (EVGA GeForce 8400GS 1024MB)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: AMD, G.Skill

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024

Additional Comments: I am not against Intel if a nice rig can be put together for the budget above.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More about : budget developer

May 2, 2011 5:14:02 PM

Just noticed Newegg's shell shocker: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 for $40 Buy it now.

4 GB should be adequate for the moment, but would suggest leaving an option to upgrade to 8 GB, which means a motherboard with 4 memory slots - that is something to watch at this low budget.

Would like to put together a cheapie i3 Sandybridge build at that price, since the CPU is only $25 more the quad core AMD you selected, but wanted you to be aware of that very nice price on the memory.
m
0
l
May 2, 2011 5:53:36 PM

Okay, came up with 2 builds here. Don't really know which one I would pick. The AMD is very nicely priced, and should perform adequately. The Intel is a better performer and will have a longer useful life, but at an $85 premium, not sure it is worth the extra expenditure.

Here is the AMD build for $393:

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana for $80. Selected a triple core here. Saves $20 and you can most likely unlock the 4th core to get the same performance as the X4 640.

Motherboard: ASRock N68C-S UCC AM3/AM2+/AM2 for $45.

Graphics: None - use your old video card.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 for $40

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB for $70. Darn it if the price does not just keep rising.

PSU: None - the Antec 500 W is fine.

Case: Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel for $35 after promo code, purchase by 5/4

DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD for $23 ater promo code, purchase by 5/4

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit for $100



Here is the Sandybridge build for $478:

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 for $125

Motherboard: ASRock H61ICAFE LGA 1155 Intel H61 for $85

Graphics: None - use the onboard graphics or toss in the old video card, your choice.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 for $40

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB for $70. Darn it if the price does not just keep rising.

PSU: None - the Antec 500 W is fine.

Case: Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel for $35 after promo code, purchase by 5/4

DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD for $23 ater promo code, purchase by 5/4

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit for $100









m
0
l
Related resources
May 3, 2011 4:37:53 PM

Thank you for your suggestions eloric. I think that the AMD build would be fine for my purposes.

I need to use Windows 7 Pro, so I found a combo deal that bundles the Athlon II X3 450 with Windows 7 Pro 64-bit for $203.98:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I also forgot to mention that I can also reuse my current hard drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It seems that the mobo you suggested only has 2 DDR3 slots. I wouldn't mind spending a bit more to get 4 in case I want to upgrade in the future. I'm also a little leary of ASRock, as I have no experience with the brand. I've previously used DFI and Gigabyte without issue. Any suggestions?
m
0
l
May 4, 2011 4:00:20 AM

There is nothign wrong with an AMD build. Almost half of my builds have been with AMD. Good find on that combo - I was going to suggest it myself, since you need the OS upgrade.

The motherboard has four memory slots - two blue and two yellow. It is a very inexpensive board, but it has 4 eggs and over 90 reviews, which is what I would expect in a good board. I have only built one machine with an ASRock board; it unlocked the fourth core just fine. Yours should do the same. That is also a rocking chip for such little money.

You do not need to spend extra for power conditioning, more PCIe slots, fancy overclocking utilities or even SATA 6Gbs connections. This is a 2 to 3 year machine, so a $44 board is actually balanced.

If you want to put a bit of extra money upfront, consider a heat sink. You ought to be able to get a mild, stable overclock, and extend the useful life of the machine. Find a Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus for $30 or so. It even has thermal paste included so you don't have to pay extra.
m
0
l
May 5, 2011 2:52:24 PM

Unless I am misunderstanding the manual for that board, only 2 out of the 4 are DDR3 slots and you cannot use both DDR2 and DDR3 at the same time. I'd rather have 4 DDR3 slots in case I want to upgrade the memory in the future. What about the motherboard listed below? It is only $5 more, has 4 DDR3 slots and can also unlock cores. Since the board says it supports up to DDR3 1333, would the memory listed below work? It isn't listed in the supported memory list on Biostar's website.

Biostar A770E3 AM3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

m
0
l
May 5, 2011 3:02:22 PM

My apologies, you are correct. The Biostar board has the right number of DDR3 memory slots, and will also unlock the fourth core as well (using the ACC feature).

The memory should work on that board, even though it is not specifically certified.
m
0
l
May 5, 2011 4:32:25 PM

Once again, thank you for the suggestions. I think what I am going to go with is the following:

CPU: Athlon II X3 450 Rana
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Above combo for $204

MOBO: BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 for $50

CASE: Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic for $45

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) for $47

DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM for $21

PSU: reuse Antec Basiq 500W

Video card: resuse e-GeForce 8400GS

Total: $367 plus S&H
m
0
l
May 5, 2011 7:24:45 PM

Looks good
m
0
l
!