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<$800 long-term mid-high end tower replacement

Last response: in Systems
September 12, 2011 12:43:14 AM

The hard drive in my brother's aging (circa 2003) Dell tower finally gave up the ghost, and given that he just got his first full-time job and that the computer isn't really worth repairing at this point, he would like to replace it. Right now it seems he's torn between getting a laptop and my offer to build him a new tower (I've already built 2-3 systems already, so experience isn't really an issue here). He doesn't game on the PC all that much, but it sounds like he really wants a PC that is going to both be fast and responsive and last him several years, so we are looking mid-high end.

I've already managed to find a good sweet-spot in the laptop market for the thing (I think) he'd be looking for:
At $725, $75 under his $800 budget, that's a pretty compelling deal, but of course if at all possible I'd like to lean his decision towards my building him a new tower. :D 
Here's what I've come up with so far, and it seems to beat out the laptop heavy-handedly in price, quality of parts, and especially performance:

However, I haven't been keeping up too much with the last 6-12 month's advancement in the tech world, so feel free to suggest any changes to make this build even more compelling. Really the only four variables I don't want changed are the <$800 price, an Intel-branded processor, a NVIDIA-branded graphics card (tends to be much more reliable / compatible than ATI cards, in my experience) and a microatx form factor (space and noise constraints).
September 12, 2011 2:15:33 AM

Also, here's this form if you want to suggest a totally different build:

Approximate Purchase Date: next 1-3 months

Budget Range: $500-$800, before rebates, the cheaper while remaining reasonably powerful the better

System Usage from Most to Least Important: netflix / youtube, basic movie / photo editing, surfing the internet, moderate gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, NVIDIA graphics card, microatx mobo and case

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1600x900

Additional Comments: Needs to be reasonably future-proof.

Best solution

September 12, 2011 2:41:52 AM

Heres my $700 gaming build i will soon be buying, mine is a micro atx mobo build, because im incollege and i didnt wanna a big ass case in my dorm, i wanted a low profile simple looking one.

  • ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

  • Rosewill FBM-01 Dual Fans MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case

  • SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

  • SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

  • CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

  • G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Desktop Memory Model F3-8500CL7D-8GBRL

  • ASUS P8H67-M LE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

  • Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500

    TOTAL: $695.92

    Just a copy and paste of my other post for people asking for a $600-800 computer, but you coud probaly change the graphics card to a nvidia one, then assuming you need the OS that would get you to about $800

    Edit: Didnt really read the part where gaming will be the basically the last you could probaly just not buy a GPU and use the onboard graphics. But if you want a graphics card i found this NVIDIA card.

  • EVGA 01G-P3-1373-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    I mostly only use ATI video cards so im not to familiar with NVIDIA cards but that one looks pretty good.
    October 2, 2011 3:02:26 AM

    Best answer selected by Dragnerok X.