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New Build, (Upgradable and Cheap).

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November 15, 2011 6:30:29 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This Month

Budget Range: $400 (Without OS)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, (Skyrim, BF3, SW:TOR Ect...)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Graphics Card (Link), Power Supply (Link)

Preferred Website for Parts: Newegg

Country: U.S.A.

Overclocking: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments: Budget is the main restriction for me, and upgrade-ability would be second. I'm going to recycle my old GPU and PSU for now to save costs, and upgrade them in the future. I can't often afford large purchases, but upgrading parts once and a while would be easy, so I'm looking for a build that's going to be easily upgradable into the future.

More about : build upgradable cheap

November 15, 2011 6:35:22 PM

What's your biggest priority for upgrading? Let's start there. Is it the CPU? RAM? Storage? Case? Optical drive?

If it's an older system you'll probably have to buy the motherboard, CPU, and RAM all at once just to make sure everything's compatible - or you could buy those one part at a time.

The 450 should be fine for now but when the AMD 7xxx series is out you'll definitely want to look at upgrading there.
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November 15, 2011 6:39:16 PM

I'm looking to build a new computer and just use my old GPU and PSU to save initial costs, title says 'upgradable build' not 'upgrading old build'. So I'd want a new CPU, RAM, Hard drive, Case... the works except for GPU and PSU.

Suppose I'll edit the title to stop the confusion.
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November 15, 2011 6:42:10 PM

That right now is not possible for $400 if you want to get a solid system - especially with the hard drive shortage right now and vendors jacking up the price of their inventory to unheard of levels. You could always go the buy-one-part-at-a-time route and take care of it that way - and then you'll get a much better system out of it. That's maybe what I'd recommend in your situation.
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November 15, 2011 6:49:41 PM

g-unit1111 said:
That right now is not possible for $400 if you want to get a solid system - especially with the hard drive shortage right now and vendors jacking up the price of their inventory to unheard of levels.


The 500$ system-builder marathon build would come to what, $300 without the GPU and PSU? Have the hard drive prices gone up over $100?

Also my current PC has a 750 GB SATA 3G (3.0 Gb/sec) 7200 rpm hard drive, that I can't find the model of off hand. Could I just re-use that too to save costs?
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November 15, 2011 6:54:15 PM

dreadloch said:
The 500$ system-builder marathon build would come to what, $300 without the GPU and PSU? Have the hard drive prices gone up over $100?

Also my current PC has a 750 GB SATA 3G (3.0 Gb/sec) 7200 rpm hard drive, that I can't find the model of off hand. Could I just re-use that too to save costs?


Oh absolutely that's not a bad way to go at all. The only thing I'd change with that build is a couple things - switch the case to a Cooler Master Elite 430 (better ventilation and expansion options), switch the PSU to a Corsair CX500 (you'll need a slightly higher PSU for that video card), and add a Cooler Master Hyper 212+ (they don't use a cooler to cut costs). It shouldn't cost that much more.

And yeah you can definitely reuse your HD on a new system - I do that all the time. Just make sure to do a clean format when you load Windows.
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November 15, 2011 6:58:25 PM

The area I'm ignorant in is compatibility and just general knowledge really. I'm looking for someone to suggest a case, a mother board, and a CPU and other accessories that will work with the PSU/GPU/HDD I already have (if possible), be open to easy upgrades in the future, and will allow me to play the games I listed comfortably at 1440x900 on my current monitor.
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Best solution

November 15, 2011 7:09:19 PM

dreadloch said:
The area I'm ignorant in is compatibility and just general knowledge really. I'm looking for someone to suggest a case, a mother board, and a CPU and other accessories that will work with the PSU/GPU/HDD I already have (if possible), be open to easy upgrades in the future, and will allow me to play the games I listed comfortably at 1440x900 on my current monitor.


Any video card made after 2007 will support 1440 x 900 without breaking a sweat. Actually they'll support full 1080p without breaking a sweat.

Try this build - I'm basing it off the $500 one.

Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 - $49.99
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX500 - $49.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61M-D2-B3 - $79.99
CPU: 3.10GHz Intel Core i3-2100 - $124.99
RAM: 8GB (2 x 4GB) Patriot Gamer 2 1333Mhz 1.5V - $37.99
Optical: Sony Optiarc - $19.99
Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $25.99

Total: $412.79
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November 15, 2011 7:17:08 PM

is that PSU really much better than the one I linked that I already have?

Is that H61m mobo going to be relevant into the future?

Also could I use an AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition instead of the i3 and the aftermarket cooler, with that H61m. Or would I have to switch to something else like they did in the most recent System Builder Marathon? (Link)
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November 15, 2011 8:34:06 PM

Quote:
Is it all compatible?


Yes. But I would stay away from Biostar motherboards if you can possibly help it at all. Go with Asrock or even Intel if you want a discount, no frills board. I'd suggest sticking with the i3-2100 over the AMD quad core - even the lowest end SB CPU will run circles around anything else you can find.

Quote:
Will the PSU support it?


It should as long as you dont plan to overclock or add any additional hardware.

Quote:
Is it easily upgraded in the future?


If you want to use SLI or Crossfire, no. I'd get a slightly better motherboard - Biostar is a terrible brand and there's way better ones you can get for the money that are far more feature packed. Like I said - try Asrock.

Quote:
Would it be easy to OC?


Lower end AMD CPUs are far easier to OC than a lot of SB CPUs are. But I'd be very cautious about trying it on a build that inexpensive. The motherboard is something you should HEAVILY research before buying, I wouldn't just pick one because it has the highest reviews on Newegg or is the cheapest you can afford - really research what you're going to be using it for, what you're going to connect to it, and what your future expansion possibilities are.

Quote:
Should I use a modular PSU instead in a Micro ATX case? If so any cheap-ish suggestions?


In all honesty? No. Smaller cases are really tightly cramped and make installing things like PSUs that much more difficult - it doesn't matter if it's modular or not. Big video cards are also a huge problem with smaller cases. If you want to go SLI or Crossfire it makes adding new cards that much more difficult.

Quote:
Is that H61m mobo going to be relevant into the future?


H61 is a new chipset. The AMD 770 and 870 have been around for years - they're getting very old and outdated. Unless you're going with a 990FX, I wouldn't bother with AMD. H61 is the lowest end of the Intel SB chipsets - and for the most part it's pretty easy to overclock, but you can only do so on a CPU like the i5-2500K (but if you're going that route I'd recommend Z68 or P67).
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November 15, 2011 9:25:22 PM

I couldn't load your links on the PSU or GPU.
WHY would you need a hyper 212 for an I3 which won't OC and doesn't even have Turbo?
Why $50 for a new case? You don't have an ATX case already?

ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Number of Memory Slots: 4×240pin
Memory Standard: DDR3 2133(OC) / 1866(OC) / 1600 / 1333 / 1066
$122.55 w/ shipping
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL $30
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus $25.99
Total $393.54 from Newegg.
MoBo can be SLI'ed or x-fired and the 2500K OC's like a Beast!
The GTS 450 will get you by for awhile but don't expect to be playing Ultra settings on BF3.
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November 15, 2011 9:38:58 PM

Took the advice on going the intel direction and threw this together:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=18842426

Looks pretty similar to the one posted but with a cheaper MoBo and a case. I would like to get a new case as the air flow on my current one is pretty terrible.

Also for reference here's the URL to my PSU since the link wont work for you:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W)

The PSU claims to support the i5/i7, also is an aftermarket cooler for the CPU required?

Will an ATX mid case fit a non-micro ATX MoBo?
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November 15, 2011 10:02:59 PM

Quote:
Took the advice on going the intel direction and threw this together:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Looks pretty similar to the one posted but with a cheaper MoBo and a case. I would like to get a new case as the air flow on my current one is pretty terrible.


Much much much better. Take a look at Cooler Master for cases - as far as inexpensive cases the Centurion 535, HAF 912, and Elite 430 are all excellent and all under $55.

Quote:
The PSU claims to support the i5/i7, also is an aftermarket cooler for the CPU required?


It's not required but if you want to OC, definitely get an inexpensive cooler like the Hyper 212 just to be on the safe side.

Quote:
Will an ATX mid case fit a non-micro ATX MoBo?


ATX cases will work with all ATX and micro ATX motherboards. The only ones they won't work with are mini-ITX and the EVGA Classified SR-2, but that motherboard is so big it requires its' own zip code. :lol: 
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November 15, 2011 10:10:06 PM

dread, nothing wrong with your build. Can't SLI but that's your choice. That case you show is really $45 when you include shipping. You might consider this: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan. $49.99 free shipping and has 3 fans. It's a bottom mount PSU but that won't be a problem. If you plan to overclock you might consider a CM 212+ for $26. They're a pain in the @ss to install after you've already set up your system. You could probably clock to 4.0 MHz with a stock HSF but I've never seen any figures on that.
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November 15, 2011 11:02:18 PM

Good call on the case and the shipping differences, Also if the cooler is a pain in the ass to install later I might as well just cough up the 26$ at the start. I imagine the airflow would be pretty great if I ran all 3 fans + the aftermarket cooler.

Comes to $450 including shipping for the whole thing which isn't TOO far over my budget, I was aiming for 400 on the assumption that Windows 7 was going to cost about $100, is there any way to get a copy of Windows 7 on the cheap?

Thanks to both of you for the help, wish I could choose 2 best answers. I've never actually built a PC from scratch before, I've only plugged in a new PSU and GPU to the old HP I have, I assume it'd be pretty much the same as those for the CPU and other components? just plug'em in?
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November 16, 2011 11:11:30 AM

NO, you can't get Win7 on the cheap. Just bite the bullet...
If you're thinking of borrowing a copy from someone it won't work after 30 days unless the have a 3 pack and have used only 2 installs and want to sell you the 3rd install.
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November 17, 2011 2:55:31 PM

Best answer selected by dreadloch.
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