BUILD FOR THE FUTURE under $500 DZ68DB LGA 1155
(With OS, SSD. w/o monitor, kbd, mouse)
I apologize for all the preliminaries. For the details, JUMP to sections: PRE-BUILD OVERVIEW, FOR STARTERS (followed by) AND, THE WINNERS ARE . . .
BIG THANKS TO: Forum PARTICIPANTS and Product Reviewers
Your input was invaluable.
HONESTLY, none of this would be possible without you.
SEEKING DESKTOP BUILD ADVICE
I’m waiting on delivery of components and ready to begin the next build stage. Hoping to avoid too many missteps– (too many more that is, as I’ve already purchased all components without much dialog) –tips, suggestions, warnings, and general assistance, etc., would be highly appreciated. Change is inevitable.
ME, ME, ME
This is my first build. I’m not a tech or a programmer but I’m competent. I’ve replaced/installed components (HDD, floppy, PSU, cards, etc., but not a mobo). In various roles, I've spent 20+ years working with technical folks in a mostly mainframe environment (a little micro, and midi, too). ~I should say –as I began the build process a couple/few weeks ago, purchasing build components before eliciting feedback seemed to pose less risk to my acumen, budget and objectives; where-as, I’m almost nervous about making one component connection without direction.
I’d been FRUSTRATED with the price/performance, not-so ready-for-prime-time TABLET market. The idea of buying components and building my own computer began as a whim. Suffice to say I started looking at a $700-$1000 system that (unlike my 1999 500mhz PIII Gateway Solo laptop) might be more relevant a decade from now. Then, as I analyzed my needs and whittled away my wants, viability emerged. Maybe I could build an affordable state-of-the-art machine.
PRE-BUILD TOPICAL THINKING
My build decisions where based on:
1) System longevity/enhancement/upgrade potential.
a. The Box and Board should offer broad future growth potential.
b. Components should last (quality) or be cheap enough to replace.
2) Budget. $500-$600
3) Immediate need(s).
a. To productively surf and/or edit a photo w/o waiting 3-10 min. for a cache swap.
4) Future build(s), re-build.
a. Today’s build may serve tomorrow’s (and vice-versa).
b. Possible convert to Home and/or Media Server or family Gaming System.
Purchase Date(s): December 12, 2011 - December 16, 2011 and beyond.
System Usage (Most to Least Important): Internet surfing, business office tools, photo editing, movies, videos, music, games (maybe).
Budget Range: $500-$600
Parts Included: OS, Case, Motherboard, CPU, RAM, SSD, PSU, DVD, Keyboard, Mouse, Internal Card Reader. I expect to take delivery of all components (except the PSU) before Dec 25, 2011.
Parts Preferences: Intel DZ68DB Motherboard LGA 1155 ATX
Honestly, I didn’t look much at AMD at all.
Intel’s Sandy Bridge micro-architecture was a no-brainer (for me). The architecture is current, and still new. The LGA 1155 (Socket H2) –all the CPUs and Motherboards are new this year (2011) – offers a range of (budget/performance) choices. The LGA 1155 was the logical choice. This base serves a broad mid-range budget.
LGA 1155 builds may cost $100s to $1000s; where-as, the “extreme” systems start around $2000. The “extreme” CPUs (just three so far, starting @ $300) fit the High-End LGA 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Bridge
At first, I wanted a mid to higher performance (priced) Socket H2 CPU. Patience prevailed. As it all came together –went with a lesser CPU and decided on a better board. The larger Form Factor (ATX vs. micro-ATX), and bigger case, would better suit this build newbie.
I have a monitor to use. Not going to use an HDD. Don’t need a graphics card. After the holidays– Will consider a moderately priced ($80) monitor or $150 or less for 23”-24” LED backlight monitor with HDTV, HDMI and/or DISPLAYPORT. No HDD with initial setup. Need to see prices come down. I have a 320g portable in the mean time. No graphics card. HD-GRAPHICS on the board AND the chip. For audio– I have a pretty good Altec Lansing 3.1 system.
AND, THE WINNERS ARE . . .
THE CASE: $44.99 (no tax) + $9.75 S&H = $54.74 - $10 MIR = $44.74
Cooler Master RC-430-KWN1 Elite 430 Mid Tower ATX Case - ATX/Micro-ATX, USB, Audio, 120mm Blue LED Fan, Black https://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/it...
I liked it from the start. What’s not to like?
THE PROCESSOR: $69.90 (no tax, free shipping) = $69.90
Intel Pentium G620 BX80623G620 Processor - Dual Core, 3MB L3 Smart Cache, 512KB L2 Cache, 2.60 GHz, Socket H2 (LGA1155), 65W, Fan, Intel HD Graphics, Retail http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
I was gaga over the I7-2600. Dreamed about the I5-2500K. Justified the I3-2100. Settled on the G620 after reasoning this is a good processor I could use in a not-to-distant future HTPC build.
RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY (RAM): $39.95 + $3.25 Tax = $43.20
Kingston Technology HyperX Blu 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 DIMM (Kit of 2) KHX1333C9D3B1K2/8G [8GB Kit (2x4GB modules)] Missed a Black Friday $10 MIR. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004DDI0IE/ref=oh_o00_...
I’m concerned I should be using 1066Mhz with the Pentium G620.
* Almost bought the CPU and Mobo from Amazon until I found (at checkout) Amazon collects New York State Sales Tax (new this past year, I think). No mas, Amazonos!
POWER SUPPLY UNIT: $49.99 (no tax, free shipping) - $20.00 MIR = $29.99
Cooler Master RS450-ACAAD3-US GX Series ATX Power Supply - 450W, 80+ Bronze, 120mm Fan, Active PFC http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Backordered. So noted after purchase. 60 Months Parts & Labor. $29.99. Grrr. I’ll wait.
THE OPERATING SYSTEM: $99.99 (no tax, free shipping) - $20.00 MIR = $79.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64BIT Operating System Software - OEM DVD, English http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
I'm considering the Win7 Professional version for XP support. [I’m bugged about this.]
What options are there for Windows 7 (offline) office tools?
SOLID STATE DRIVE (SSD): $104.99 - $5.00 (coupon code) = $99.99 - $25.00 MIR = $74.99
Patriot PP60GS25SSDR Pyro 2.5" Solid State Drive - 60GB, SATA III 6Gb/s http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
$1.25/gb!!! Thailand HDDs under water. Intel takes a dive. HDD out. SSD in.
INTERNAL CARD READER: $4.01 [not a typo] (no tax, free shipping) = $4.01
3.5" ALL IN 1 INTERNAL MEMORY CARD READER FOR SD/MICRO SD/MMC/MS/XD/CF http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004S9CT08/ref=oh_o00_...
$4.01, delivered. Why not? Waiting for a reasonably priced USB 3.0 option.
A product reviewer noted: Tight. Sand down rails to fit. Works great.
2) My PSU is backordered until mid-to-late January. This may be okay; I have a lot (reading, and such) to prepare for the build. I might find a temporary solution in a few older systems we have lying around. I’m guessing plugs won’t match. Suggestions?
3a) WINDOWS 7: Home Premium versus Professional
Current MS XP system; tools I use:
MS Outlook 2000 for Business (I like/use Excel, Word, Outlook Calendar/Mail)
Adobe Photoshop 7.0 (Would like to use; current system performance prohibits)
ACDSee 5.0 (Works well [fast] on my current system)
3b) Can’t run XP products on Windows 7 Home Premium.
What office, photo-edit tool options are out there?
I’m in the process of downloading, reading and organizing product guides and supporting doc.
1) TBD: Monitor/HDTV, CPU upgrade, more RAM, an HDD 3gb/s
2) New micro-ATX build, compatible components
3) Maybe, not: GPU card, Blue Ray
LAST QUESTIONS ARE RELATED
What are the/are there/Any good/suggested, (cheap/free, must-buy/borrow) guide/bible/websites I should look for/at?
IF YOU READ THIS FAR
Thank you, so very much!
Merry Christmas to me!!
And, Happy Holidays to ALL!!!
Some of the REBATES are AVAILABLE until December 31, 2011.