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Im a student super noob trying to build New budget PC

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June 2, 2011 1:27:42 PM

Hi all! So im trying to build a brand new PC from scratch all of my research tells me this is the best way to go but i have never done anything like this. Im a student and am not exactly on the rich side of the ladder with that said im kind of tight for a budget. Ill lay out what I want.



Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 2 weeks

Budget Range: 800 or less (Seriously if you can show me a build for 400 bucks that runs what i need ill take it) This includes software the operating system and home office. all after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important:Gaming- Starcraft 2, Sims 3, Civilization 5 at midto high level settings- I dont play shooters and games like that on PC I have an xbox for that stuff
Streaming- I watch alot of movies online through netflix and megavideo what ever the build is needs to be able work well at this.
Studying- Im in college I write papers I make powerpoint presentations and use excel alot. I think taht any PC that can do the Gaming and Streaming I want will be able to cover this without a problem.

Parts Not Required: I have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse-but thats all

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon.com, newegg and targetdirect are the only sites i trust to send me products

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: I Like to do alot of stuff on My 40 inch samsung TV so higher the resolution the better

Additional Comments:


Thanks in Advance for any help
June 2, 2011 2:08:06 PM

Thanks for the response, Ill keep that in mind about Dell but for that system you showed me after I add home office and student I am right at the tip of my budget I was hoping to not have to be that high on it. Any more opinions?
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2011 2:11:54 PM

Hello mdd1963;

You're right about the Gaming requirement being the item that will push your budget toward it's limit.

Both Streaming and Studying will get by very nicely indeed on a less expensive system.
Here's an example: Dell Inspiron 580 Desktop $500 If you're a relaxed gamer you could probably drop in a modest graphics card (~$125 or so). To get the best 'ultra quality' gaming experience you'll be looking at the $250 class graphics cards and the bigger power supplies/gaming cases that go with them.

If you want to think about building your own you can check over some DIY guides like these to gauge your comfort level going ahead with ordering your own parts.

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC

Look over the forum's "System won't boot" checklist to see some of the common build errors and how to avoid them.

-> The usual advice; read the manual / install guide; look at the parts, read the manual again and if everything makes sense and looks right - then go ahead with the install.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2011 2:16:25 PM

Personally i wouldn't go with a Dell, it is still cheaper to build it yourself.

Here is a cheap build that will easily manage everything you will want. (Prices from Newegg)

AMD Phenom II X4 955 - $114.99
MSI GF615M-P33 - $49.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws X (2 x 2GB) 1333Mhz - $44.99
ASUS CuCore Series HD 5770 1GB - $119.99
XFX Core Edition PRO450W - $54.99
Antec Three Hundred - $59.95
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $64.99
LG CD/DVD Burner - $19.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM - $99.99

Total - $629.87
Before rebates ($30) and shipping

One thing to mention, if youre going to be on 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 then you may want to consider a better GPU. Since you don't seem that bothered about ultra high settings though, i suggested the HD 5770 which is excellent bang for your buck. It will still blow away all the games you mentioned on ultra high settings even at high resolutions though i think, just that perhaps games like Crysis etc you will have to turn off some AA and AF.

EDIT: Oh wow, a lot of replies while i was writing this lol, 4 messages just popped up ahead of me :) 
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June 2, 2011 2:38:00 PM

Thanks a bunch guys ive been doing research on how to and mistakes for a lil while i think im ready to build it myself.

I meant $800 i'm in the US

Thanks for the build It looks pretty good. I really wont be trying to push my graphics too hard im used to playing on the very lowest settings for those games i mentioned and dont plan to even touch anything like Crysis.

jmsellars1- Thanks for the build it looks good and that a price that i can really get behind, $650. would anyone change anything to lower the price or without boosting the price too much otherwise i think I will just go with that.
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June 2, 2011 5:13:10 PM

A Intel SB build with a better GPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ASUS GTX 460 $150 with promo code EMCKDKH43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... i3-2100 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... MSI H61 mobo $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... G.skill 4GB $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... WD blue 500GB $44
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Xigmatek ASGARD II with promo EMCKDKH39 free shipping $30 or the case WR2 posted
The OCZ PSU in WR2 post $55
DVD/CD drive $20
Windows 7 $100

Should be right around or under $650 with $60 in rebates

Edit: If you do go the amd route my fav budget AM3 mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ASRock M3A770DE $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB faster 1600 memory for $45/35 after mir
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2011 8:40:29 PM

imaurer269 said:
A Intel SB build with a better GPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ASUS GTX 460 $150 with promo code EMCKDKH43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... i3-2100 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... MSI H61 mobo $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... G.skill 4GB $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... WD blue 500GB $44
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Xigmatek ASGARD II with promo EMCKDKH39 free shipping $30 or the case WR2 posted
The OCZ PSU in WR2 post $55
DVD/CD drive $20
Windows 7 $100

Should be right around or under $650 with $60 in rebates

Edit: If you do go the amd route my fav budget AM3 mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ASRock M3A770DE $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB faster 1600 memory for $45/35 after mir


Yeah that build looks pretty good too, dont think he needs any more than a 5770 though but as youve shown there is the option to get a cheaper hard drive and case if he wants to get the price down even more.
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June 3, 2011 1:57:44 PM

thanks for these builds guys they are both right around a great price. I noticed that in jmsellars1 he used AMD but imaurer used an intel i3 which CPU can anyone weigh in on which would be best
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 3, 2011 2:26:53 PM

Personally, I'd go with the AMD quad-core over the Intel dual-core, but that's just me.

One question for you, though. As a student, does your campus offer any type of discount for Windows and Office? That could significantly adjust your budget.

-Wolf sends
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June 3, 2011 2:33:57 PM

elmiminator2 said:
thanks for these builds guys they are both right around a great price. I noticed that in jmsellars1 he used AMD but imaurer used an intel i3 which CPU can anyone weigh in on which would be best


The new Intel sandy bridge cpu's really blow away all the amd cpu's atm. Here is the 955 vs i3-2100 http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=289

The i3 is a dual core vs the four core phenom so it's not gonna beat the phenom at everything but most would point you in the intel direction purely based on it being on a newer platform with more options to upgrade. You can't overclock the i3 where the phenom BE line is know for being great overclockers. Also the cheaper h61/h67 intel motherboards only support up to 1333 memory.

If you don't mind spending a little more I would pick up this combo: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=289 i5-2500k and a GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155

This will hands down eat all the current amd cpu's for lunch. You can overclock this new SB cpu and the motherboard will allow you to SLI/crossfire another gpu down the road.

This is gonna run around $775-800 if you use the gpu/case/hdd/psu I mentioned below along with the patriot g-series ram. If you think you might sli/crossfire its a good idea to just get a bigger psu also.
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June 3, 2011 9:30:52 PM

I dont think i need as much ower as the i5 would be kicking out and i will not be overclocking at all because i dont plan to do much more than starcraft 2 at mid settingsso i can just keep the lower price tag. I also checked into purchasing the operating system and microsoft office at my school i can get them each for $70 from our tech store.
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June 3, 2011 9:33:34 PM

one more quick question will i be in need of any cooling items? and should i take that into account with my case purchase?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 4, 2011 1:03:23 AM

If youre not going to be overclocking then no additional cooling should be necessary, especially if you have a decent case. With the CPU, i would be more comfortable with the quad core AMD but i'm sure the i3 is just as good. It's up to you.
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Best solution

June 4, 2011 4:49:08 AM

Check out this website:
http://www.hardware-revolution.com/computer-systems/gam...
I was so happy to stumble upon that website while i was searching for cheap gaming computer builds. They have those suggested builds but of course you can always put in your own ideas.
Share
June 4, 2011 5:08:09 AM

Read the guide to build a 500 dollar gaming pc on this site. It should have no prob runnin those games and if it does u can add-on better parts
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 4, 2011 12:51:27 PM

Quote:
http://www.microsoft.com/student/e [...] fault.aspx

Windows 7 for $30 all you need is a valid student email hope this helps


Note: That is the Windows 7 Professional UPGRADE version.

-Wolf sends
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 4, 2011 1:48:24 PM

Check with your Campus IT department. When I was in college, I used to be able to get Windows XP Pro for 20 bucks. Better yet, check the campus library. I think they even had a copy you could take and load onto your system without having to purchase or anything, you just checked it out. Was probably like a corporate version. Worth checking though.
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June 4, 2011 1:58:23 PM

If the cds are bought with that upgrade you cant load it onto a new computer? Im glad you caught that wolf
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June 4, 2011 2:24:30 PM

Again guys thanks for all of the replys that budget system is only 530 the budget system on that website that van13330gg showed me hs a build for a $530 computer and like i originally said the cheaper the better i just want to run those 3 games here is what was on the website should i change anything to match what i want or do you guys think this build is just fine.

AMD Athlon II X3 455 3.3GHz Triple-Core 95W AM3-----------$83
GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+ 760G M-ATX------------------$65
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333MHz-------------------------$40
GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850 1GB---------------------------------$170
WD Caviar Blue 500GB Sata III 6.0Gb/s-------------------------$41
ASUS SATA 24XDVD Burner---------------------------------------$21
Antec HCG 520W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified--------------------$60
Rosewill Challenger Mid-Tower 2 x 120mm, 1 x 140mm fans---$50
Tier 1: Budget Gaming PC with The Best Bang For Your Buck==$530

After I add windows 7 and office (total cost 140) im looking at a system that runs for only 670!!! that seems awesome to me. but you guys have more experience than I do Starcraft i hear is graphics heavy and playing on my tv at higher resolutions is not a minor thing. So will this new system work for what i want?? Thanks again guys
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 4, 2011 2:38:49 PM

Don't grab office yet, save a buck or two.

http://www.openoffice.org/

Download a copy of Open Office, totally legit and totally free, does about 85% of what MS office does without the price tag.

You may also want to consider a gtx 460 for the graphics, looks to be just a hair cheaper but close in performance to what you've got there. If you can save say 20 bucks, I think I would get a quad instead of that triple core.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 4, 2011 3:40:18 PM

That build looks good to me and it will play starcraft 2 on that tv assuming the CPU is up to it, i played Crysis on ultra high settings at 1920x1200 on a GTX 460 with no lag, probably ~30FPS and the performance on that is similar to the HD 6850. I do have a quad core though, i would reccommend one.
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June 4, 2011 5:38:16 PM

That office sweet seems interesting I just have to be sure that everything is compatable with the PC's my professors are using so im probably going to still go with MS office because my entire university uses it.

Thanks jables for the graphic card info definately will take advantage of every deal i can find.

The only questionable part of the system seems to be the CPU so ill upgrade that to a quadcore just to be sure that the system runs smoothly. do you think the AMD Phenom II X4 955 - $114.99 that jmsellars1 first recommended would fit well in this system or should i choose a different CPU?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 4, 2011 11:35:57 PM

Yeah i'd go with the quad because not only does it have the extra core, it's a Phenom over an Athlon which presumably means more advanced architecture. At only $30 more i'd definitely do that.
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June 5, 2011 7:37:18 PM

Allright then my full build is complete and is:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 - ---------------------------------------$114.99
GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+ 760G M-ATX------------------$65
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333MHz-------------------------$40
GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850 1GB---------------------------------$170
WD Caviar Blue 500GB Sata III 6.0Gb/s-------------------------$41
ASUS SATA 24XDVD Burner---------------------------------------$21
Antec HCG 520W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified--------------------$60
Rosewill Challenger Mid-Tower 2 x 120mm, 1 x 140mm fans---$50
Tier 1: Budget Gaming PC with The Best Bang For Your Buck==$562 ish

Adding the programs i need my OS and office $700 about thanks for everything guys!!!

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a b B Homebuilt system
June 5, 2011 8:19:14 PM

No problem :)  Looks like a good build.
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June 5, 2011 8:28:41 PM

Honestly for those games you dont need $300 graphics card. You could go with a HD5670 which is arguably the best budget graphics card out there and its around $100. Pair that with an AMD or even a lower end i7 or even the i5-2500k and you have a pretty good system that can handle pretty much whatever you throw at it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 6, 2011 1:17:45 AM

Wow. Didn't realize a 5670 was so cheap now.

Also, the GTS 450 is a great deal. I've seen them as low as 75 after rebates, which would kill a 5670. If you are really on a budget, look at a gtx 460, they can be had for around 150, last year's card true....but only 10-20% performance drop from a 560.


Looks like a 460 can be had for less cash, but is fairly close to the 6850. According to hardwareheaven.com on a review they did, an OC 460 actually was beating the 6850 in some things.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 6, 2011 11:13:18 AM

Haha i only built my PC a few months ago, right when SB came out and i already have last years CPU and GPU. But yeah the GTS 450 is worth a look, it's on par with the HD 5770
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 6, 2011 4:47:42 PM

Yeah, I'm looking into an Athlon II x4 to give my old system a final pick me up. But for an old AM2 box from about 2006 I can still probably get a couple of years out of....I'm happy. I do have an SLI board....maybe after getting the x4 another 450 for sli to put everything together.

Edit...OP if you look at the 450, I have one made by Galaxy. The thing I would suggest is using the EVGA Precision App to control the fan speed. My card was running like 40's at idle. I used that app to increase fan speed to 50% at all times, now it idles in the low 30's. A cool card is a happy card in my opinion.
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June 6, 2011 5:03:45 PM

I don't see anyone mentioning it on here, but on Tiger Direct Deals http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... there is a decent i5 2500k combo for cheap. The power supply isn't very good but other than that you are well on your way to a good system. You can probably round it out with a better PSU, dvd burner and graphics card for like 600...
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 6, 2011 7:15:47 PM

Nice setup, except for the Power supply....but it's still intel. Actually intel is good stuff, got some faster products than AMD, but I'm just not an Intel guy, just don't go for intel, I prefer AMD myself, probably always will.
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June 6, 2011 7:51:54 PM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
Nice setup, except for the Power supply....but it's still intel. Actually intel is good stuff, got some faster products than AMD, but I'm just not an Intel guy, just don't go for intel, I prefer AMD myself, probably always will.


Yeah I just built my first rig and I used amd, I really love the price, gives awesome performance too....plus the sticker looks sick lol. But in all seriousness try out amd, they make great CPU's.
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June 7, 2011 6:47:00 PM

tph15 said:
Yeah I just built my first rig and I used amd, I really love the price, gives awesome performance too....plus the sticker looks sick lol. But in all seriousness try out amd, they make great CPU's.

yeah I have been an AMD guy for 10+ years now, but the Sandybridge processors are just so much more advanced, granted for a much higher price as well. I didn't notice it until late last night but Newegg was running a hectacore AMD combo for $299. You will never find something like that with a comparable Intel. I'll never say stay away from AMD, but Intel deserves a glance if you can stomach the price.
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June 17, 2011 6:34:36 PM

Best answer selected by elmiminator2.
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