Budget sandy bridge under $500

Approximate Purchase Date: Soon; this week

Budget Range: <$500 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Internet, Productivity, Music/Movies, possibly some gaming, often times have alot open and working back and forth.

Parts Not Required: Already picked out monitor, I think I have a keyboard/mouse I can use.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Anywhere reputable

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: intel sandy bridge core processor

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Reliable. It would be good if it's quiet. Would like SSD if possible. Media card reader. Wireless N

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2400/Asus P8Z68-V LE Intel Core i5 2400 S1155
http://www.frys.com/product/6796515

Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory Model PXD38G1866ELK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-TechBargains&cm_mmc=AFC-TechBargains-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA&Item=N82E16820220562


I know I would have to increase the budget for this but if I get a Blu-Ray burner would I be able to copy my blu-rays and ps3 games?

LG Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 10X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Super Multi WH12LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-TechBargains&cm_mmc=AFC-TechBargains-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA&Item=N82E16827136226
13 answers Last reply
More about budget sandy bridge
  1. You could probably save yourself some money on the RAM by just getting 1600 RAM (putting some money to an i5 2500k which would give you great performance).
    If you change your mind about the RAM speed, you could go with this brand (unless you strictly prefer patriot) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231416
  2. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice

    I forgot to mention that you won't be able to get A blue ray burner with your budget and you won't be able to burn your ps3 games with it even if you had one.
  3. Quote:
    You could probably save yourself some money on the RAM by just getting 1600 RAM (putting some money to an i5 2500k which would give you great performance).
    If you change your mind about the RAM speed, you could go with this brand (unless you strictly prefer patriot) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231416


    The RAM you posted is $8 more than what I had. (There's a $20 coupon code and $20 rebate.)


    Any feedback on the mobo and processor? Should I be allocating half of the cost to the mobo and processor?


    My goal is to exceed the performance of a prebuilt $400 Gateway for about the same price.
    The Gateway has:
    Core i5-2300, 6gb DDR3-1333RAM, 1.5TB 5400RPM, media card reader, no video card, no wireless, 10
    USB 2.0

    If I can't come up with a winning combination I'm just going to buy the Gateway.

    The biggest obstacle I see is the OS. Windows 7 is left out of so many builds I see on here. But it costs about $100. That's a huge expense. Are people getting it for free somehow?
  4. If you are a student, you may get it for free from Microsoft. That's how I got it.
  5. For what you want to do, a dual core sandy bridge will be all you need.

    A $125 2100 would be fine. For $10 more, the 2105 has a faster graphics component.
    The 2100 is a surprisingly capable gaming cpu, read this article:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-core-i3-2100-phenom-ii-x6-1075t,2859.html

    A ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX is only $54:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157241

    Get a 8gb kit(2 x 4gb ) of ram for your multitasking. Speed is unimportant for sandy bridge:
    G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $42
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231424

    Antec 100 case, $40 after rebate:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129098

    Corsair 450w psu, $25 after rebate:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

    That totals about $280.
    Add in $100 or so for windows 7, and you have enough left over to eventyally buy and support a gaming graphics card.
  6. I appreciate the help and I don't mean to be rude but here's my criticisms:

    -What you posted comes to $286. It does not include a HDD, or an optical drive. I'm assuming those would cost about another $100.
    -The mobo and processor are $179 together. For only $70 more I could instead get what I think is a top of the line Asus mobo and an i5-2400.
    -The RAM you posted is the same price as the RAM I posted. I don't know why I would buy slower RAM if it doesn't save me any money. But I didn't know that RAM speed was unimportant on sandy bridge, why is that?

    So with the HDD and optical drive, let's say I'm at $390. Add in Windows and it's $490. If I go with the i5 it's $560.

    Not sure if this build is going to beat the value of the Gateway...

    As far as getting Windows 7 for free as a student I'm a couple years too late.
  7. Can you post a link to the specs of the gateway you are considering?
    The devil will be in the details.

    How much hard drive space do you need? A 5400rpm drive will be slow, 7200rpm is better.

    What kind of a psu is included? If it is the typical 300w unit, you will have to get a replacement psu before you can upgrade to a good graphics card.

    The sandy bridge(and nehalem) cpu's have an excellent integrated ram controller. It is able to keep the cpu fed with data from any speed ram.
    There is little difference in real application performance or FPS(vs. synthetic benchmarks that look wonderful) between the slowest and fastest ram. Perhaps a difference of 2-4%. It is not worth a big price premium for faster ram. Also, 1.5v ram does not need fancy heat spreaders which are mostly marketing.
  8. Here's a link to a pcmag review on the exact model with specs:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2383241,00.asp#fbid=7Fy-fCERc7l


    I certainly don't need 1.5 TB. I'd rather have a smaller & faster drive. I agree the 5400 rpm is slow. If I bought the Gateway I would like to eventually add a SSD to use as the main/boot drive and the 5400 rpm drive as a storage drive. Not sure if it's possible to change the boot drive on a prebuilt computer though..

    The PSU is weak but I was thinking I would just get a low power graphics card. I don't want to spend alot of money on a graphics card anyway.

    Thanks for the explanation on the RAM. So I'll just look for the cheapest DDR3 RAM I can find.
  9. geofelt said:
    For what you want to do, a dual core sandy bridge will be all you need.

    A $125 2100 would be fine. For $10 more, the 2105 has a faster graphics component.
    The 2100 is a surprisingly capable gaming cpu, read this article:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-core-i3-2100-phenom-ii-x6-1075t,2859.html

    A ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX is only $54:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157241

    Get a 8gb kit(2 x 4gb ) of ram for your multitasking. Speed is unimportant for sandy bridge:
    G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $42
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231424

    Antec 100 case, $40 after rebate:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129098

    Corsair 450w psu, $25 after rebate:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

    That totals about $280.
    Add in $100 or so for windows 7, and you have enough left over to eventyally buy and support a gaming graphics card.


    + $60 for a hard drive , and another $20 for a dvd drive
  10. let me offer a slightly different build, weaker CPu, but much stronger GPU:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.722621

    this is $466.


    add a card reader
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820192021

    and a USB wi-fi adapter (USB 2.0)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166037

    and an extra case fan:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200048

    total is $494.96

    the CPU is a weaker than sandy bridge, but the GPU is much more powerful, giving an overall more powerful build.
  11. Reliability will be higher in a non-OEM build due to better motherboard/PSU. But it's biggest benefit will come a few years down the road, when upgrading is possible, as opposed to a locked out BIOS on a OEM machine.
  12. Quote:
    Let me offer a slightly different build, weaker CPu, but much stronger GPU:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.722621

    this is $466.


    This is a very interesting build. I wasn't familiar with the AMD Llano. I just did some reading on it and it is a pretty cost effective option that in some ways compares favorably to the core i3. With that build I would still be allocating $240 to the processor and mobo. Whereas the i5/asus combo I had was $250. (Problem is that i5/asus combo appears to be sold out for internet sales.) You say the stronger GPU makes for a stronger build which is probably true but is that only for gamers? Also, what are my upgrade options from that? I know if I go sandy bridge I could always add a graphics card and upgrade to an i7 in the future.

    Quote:
    Reliability will be higher in a non-OEM build due to better motherboard/PSU. But it's biggest benefit will come a few years down the road, when upgrading is possible, as opposed to a locked out BIOS on a OEM machine.

    Two good points. As far as reliability goes for a non-OEM build, wouldn't there be some concern to the compatibility of the parts?

    And upgrading down the road. In 3 years is the most cost effective move going to be upgrading? I don't know much about this stuff but I feel like there will probably be a new processor family out that isn't compatible with my motherboard. SSDs will be the standard HDD, there will be a new type of RAM, crazy new video cards... I guess the best way to put it is, if I put together a similar build 3 years ago with the same budget, what kind of machine would I have and what would my upgrade options be?

    I think that would put me in a machine with a Core 2 Duo/Quad. What worthwhile upgrades could I do to a 3 year old machine with a Core 2 Duo?
  13. adrenaline435 said:


    And upgrading down the road. In 3 years is the most cost effective move going to be upgrading? I don't know much about this stuff but I feel like there will probably be a new processor family out that isn't compatible with my motherboard. SSDs will be the standard HDD, there will be a new type of RAM, crazy new video cards... I guess the best way to put it is, if I put together a similar build 3 years ago with the same budget, what kind of machine would I have and what would my upgrade options be?

    I think that would put me in a machine with a Core 2 Duo/Quad. What worthwhile upgrades could I do to a 3 year old machine with a Core 2 Duo?


    3 Years from now:
    DDR3 will still be mainstream
    SSD/HDD doesn't matter. SATA(1/2/3) is the standard and that won't change. All forward/reverse compatable
    Video cards will still be PCIe (1/2/3) and will all be forward/reverse compatable
    FM1 will likely still be around, I haven't seen this confirmed though (anyone have a link?)

    Worthwhile upgrades to a 775 system: SSD, new graphics card/CPU/Cooler.

    Until about 4 months ago I was running an older athlon64 from 2006. I am using the same CASE, PSU, SSD, and video card. I had to buy a new optical drive (dvd player was from 2002 and on an old IDE cable) CPU/motherboard and RAM.
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