Budget Build ($500)

Approximate Purchase Date: Picking up parts within a week. Plan to finish the build in a Month

Budget Range: $500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photo Post-Processing, CAD, gaming (I've never had a good computer for gaming so I'd like to play some but I'm not sure how much), video editing (my friend wants to start posting gameplay on Youtube so we'll probably use this PC)

Parts Not Required: OS, keyboard, mouse. I plan to purchase the monitor separately so you don't need to add that to the cost

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Don't have a preferred website, but I have Microcenter and Frys near me.

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: No preference really, but I don't like the 2500k bc it seems more "future-proof" than AMD's offerings for not that much more.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 or 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I'd like it not super loud, but I'd understand if it needs to be.

So I plan to start picking up parts soon, but I'll probably pick up parts as I find good deals so I expect it t obe over the course of the month. Most of my difficulties is in deciding between AMD or Intel and what motherboard to go with it.
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More about budget build
  1. Is the CAD work and Photo-editing heavy?

    Here's build to suggest.
    Check how much your Microcenter sells the i5 2400 locally. I know the 2500K is $180 + Tax which is about $200. So... Just in case.

    2500K - $180
    GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 - $75
    Wintec 8GB DDR3 1333 - $65
    Corsair CX430 - $45 + $20 MIR
    NZXT Gamma - $36
    EVGA 450 GTS Superclocked - $110 + $20 MIR

    Total: $511

    The reason that board is so cheap is because of Microcenters combo:
  2. That was actually the cpu/mobo combo I was thinking about picking up. As for how heavy the CAD and Photo-editing is, the photo editing isn't much. Mostly just going through and doing post processing on RAW images shot with my camera and some panorama stitching from 10-20 shots; as for CAD, I actually don't do too much right now so I can't say how heavy it'll be, but I'm really looking forward to getting back into it. Most of it will be designing houses and floorplans.

    What's your opinion on this PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152028 ? It is SLI/Crossfire capable just in case I ever decide to do that. Also modular.
  3. I wouldn't trust that PSU to run a Crossfire or SLI system, but then I probably wouldn't trust it to run my system in the first place.

    If you want to be able to SLI the GTS450, grab a nice XFX Core Pro650W$59.99 after rebate from newegg.
  4. ^+1

    Ok well the build I suggested would work fine then for what you want to do.
  5. Is there any benefits from being able to use the on board graphics from the 2500k?
  6. Yes, with Virtu ( which is a piece of SW used with H67/Z68 boards ) you can harness the GPU on the 2500k to do transcoding of videos. It is highly optimized for that task.
    So basically for that task it will triple the performance of the CPU.
  7. It can be utilized even if their is a separate GPU such as the 450 GTS?
  8. Yes that is what Virtu enables. Here is an explanation of what it does. ( Virtu explained )
    In practice it creates a virtualization layer between the Windows DirectX and the Graphics cards. Directing some to the GPU on the 2500k and some to the 450 GTS.
  9. Thanks.

    I've been real tempted to go cheaper and build using AMD, but it seems like the 2500k is the way to go. I'll run by Microcenter on my way home from work Thursday adn check stuff out. Is the GB Z68 board posted earlier good for SLI? Also, what's a good cheap PSU that would work. Would like to stick to <$50 for a PSU.
  10. http://www.directron.com/ocz600mxspb.html

    Would that power supply work fine? I've never heard of Directron and I'm iffy on buying recertified.
  11. It'd be fine, don't buy it though. Recertified + OCZ don't go well with quality control.
    If you want to SLI in the future make sure the PSU is at least 600w.

    I honestly think the build I recommended in the 2nd post. Just change the PSU to the XFX 650w someone suggested.
  12. I would, but it kinda pushes my budget. I was allowing for $50 to go towards PSU. I pretty much was planning on going with the rest of the build though, there is no HDD in it.

    Also, what would be a problem with the OCZ? They have a test before ship option for $5.
  13. OCZ has moderate quality control from what I heard. That + recertification is kind of iffy.
  14. Guess I'll spend a little more time looking then. I'd like to have a PSU that can do SLI just in case I want to do it in the future.

    Do you recommend extra fans for the Gamma case?
  15. I would.
    I recommend this.
    $60 after Promo, and a $20 MIR
  16. Well, I'm at this package:

    i5 2500k/GB Z68 : $250

    HDD: Hitachi Deskstar $50

    PSU: Antec 620W $60 - $20 MIR
    (Though I am still kinda thinking about waiting for something cheaper or at least sans rebate as I don't trust them)

    Ram: No idea, but some 8gb package for $55 sounds about right (wait for some deal)

    Case: Either the Gamma posted earlier or this Sentey $36
    (The Sentey seems like it'd run cooler since it has more fans, but both are the same price so I'm not sure which si better)

    That's a total of ~$450 before rebate. I'd like to keep it at/under $500 so what would you recommend for the GPU. Would it be better to get 4gb of ram at a cheaper price and put more money into the GPU? Or even get a cheaper PSU and get a better single card GPU and not plan to SLI at a later date. Or would it be more beneficial for me to go with AMD and put more money into the GPU?

    Cowboom has the GT 240 DDR5 512mb GPU for $35, is that a good card? Could I buy 2 and run both SLI/Crossfire?
  17. That PSU is good.
    I like NZXT as a company, but that case seems OK.

    You honestly should go with what I suggested. I'm telling you spending that extra bit means everything. The 240 GT is crap compared to the 450 especially in SLI, the 240 is basically useless.
  18. If I had the money, I'd go with what you suggested, but I am working with something closer to $500 and yours didn't include a HDD>
  19. Oh I did forget that didn't I....

    In your case, then I'd stick to the 2500K's APU, then wait until you can actually afford the 450 GTS or a better dedicated card.
  20. Wouldn't be beneficial to pick up something like the 240 for now ($35 on Cowboom) and then pick up something like the 450 later?
  21. Since you have a Z68 motherboard selected you can use the video on the CPU until you can afford the dedicated graphics card.
  22. ^
    Until you can afford a better dedicated card.
  23. Do MIR usually go through?
  24. Depends mostly yes but takes time.
  25. http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3090577

    Should I pick up two sticks or are there better deals for memory? Running by Microcenter today and most likely picking up a i5 unless there are some amazing deals on an AMD.
  26. http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3090577

    Should I pick up two sticks or are there better deals for memory? Running by Microcenter today and most likely picking up a i5 unless there are some amazing deals on an AMD.
  27. You double posted.
    Looks like a good deal for your case.
  28. Yeah, have no idea why it double posted. Picked up the 2500k and gaz68ma today. Also will be ordering 8gb of Corsair Vengeance ram and the gamma case tomorrow. Saw a OCZ EliteXStream 800w PSU at Microcenter for $40. Almost picked it up. Know anything about it. Tempted at the price. Then all I'd need is a HDD for now. Probably wait a few weeks on a GPU. Thanks for the help do far.
  29. Looks OK, the 80+ makes it seem decent. But unsure about OCZ.
    So pick it up, it is cheap after all.
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