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Looking for parts to upgrade my PC under for under $500

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January 11, 2012 9:00:51 AM

I used my current pc as an old gaming computer, but now I need to upgrade. Now, I need more of a gaming/htpc build. I can salvage a 3.5" 7200RPM HDD, a CD/DVD Player/Burner, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and I have a Windows 7 retail cd.


Budget Range: 400-500 BEFORE rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching HD movies

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, Wireless Adapter, Hard Drive, CD/DVD Drive, RAM/Memory, and an Operating System

Preferred Website for Parts: Newegg, Tigerdirect, NCIX, eBay

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: I'd prefer a 6850, or a 6870 (Not a big fan of Nvidia products). I pretty much just need a good looking, small case, a motherboard, a video card, a processor, and a power supply.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920X1080, 720p

Additional Comments: I'd like it be fairly compact, small enough to be placed on a table. It has to look good, have nice cooling, and run modern games on Medium to High settings.

More about : parts upgrade 500

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a b 4 Gaming
January 11, 2012 9:37:50 AM
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January 11, 2012 9:51:11 AM

EDIT: Oops just noticed you said Country: US. I presumed you were in Canada due to TigerDirect and NCIX as preferred sites. Knock a few $ off the items below for US prices, and then that should leave you enough spare to fit a case in all for under $500

-----------------


i3-2100 $140 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 $150 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
6870 $170 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

$460 Total

+ 500w Corsair Builder PSU $60 ($40 after rebate) http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


There are cheaper motherboard options, however going with a Z68 board will give you more features, and will allow for better future upgrade on Socket 1155 should you wish to buy an IvyBridge CPU in the future, or an i5 or i7 SandyBridge.
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January 11, 2012 9:54:03 AM

AdrianPerry said:
EDIT: Oops just noticed you said Country: US. I presumed you were in Canada due to TigerDirect and NCIX as preferred sites. Knock a few $ off the items below for US prices, and then that should leave you enough spare to fit a case in all for under $500

-----------------


i3-2100 $140 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 $150 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
6870 $170 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

$460

500w Corsair Builder PSU $60 ($40 after rebate) http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


There are cheaper motherboard options, however going with a Z68 board will give you more features, and will allow for better future upgrade on Socket 1155 should you wish to buy an IvyBridge CPU in the future, or an i5 or i7 SandyBridge.


I'm not going to upgrade anytime soon, and I'm specifically looking for a compact gaming/htpc build, something like MicroATX or Mini-ITX
January 11, 2012 10:11:25 AM

xpeh said:
I'm not going to upgrade anytime soon, and I'm specifically looking for a compact gaming/htpc build, something like MicroATX or Mini-ITX


Swap the motherboard for a cheaper $70-ish H61 micro-atx motherboard and the rest of the above components still apply :) 

MSI H61M-P21 $60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 11, 2012 10:13:13 AM

Case: Rosewill MicroATX Mid Tower ($35)

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz ($125)

MB: ASRock Z68 PRO3-M HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX ($110)

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 ($173)

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Modular ($65)

Total: $508
That's after shipping, and without the $40 in mail-in rebates and $15 gift card. I broke your budget just a bit, but you'll get $55 back later.

You can save money by going with a cheaper motherboard, and then get one of these kinds of cases with the savings if you like. Sadly, this is out of your price range unless you want to compromise performance with an AMD chip.
January 11, 2012 10:28:56 AM

Some more cases to look at: this and these. I think those Apevia cases use standard size PSUs so you can just replace it if you like the way those look.
January 11, 2012 10:38:20 AM

erikalikesfire said:
Some more cases to look at: this and these. I think those Apevia cases use standard size PSUs so you can just replace it if you like the way those look.

Standard ATX power supplies would be much better
January 11, 2012 10:45:42 AM

Checking out Apevia's FAQ and some of their product pages, they do use standard ATX PSUs, so yeah if you like those they are an option.
January 11, 2012 11:20:01 AM

^I wouldn't trust the psu that comes with the second case. So I would look more at the rosewill.
January 11, 2012 11:22:00 AM

zooted said:
^I wouldn't trust the psu that comes with the second case. So I would look more at the rosewill.

I was planning to trash the PSU or put it into another computer.
January 11, 2012 1:47:00 PM



I think the cheap Biostar motherboard has surprisingly good reviews, and the i3-2100 is a cool, efficient processor that can handle living in a tiny case with poor ventilation. The graphics card, I'm not sure about, because (1) I just read some of the reviews and found that it's the kind that vents into the case instead of out the back and (2) the Apevia cases don't have side vents.

I think you should either look around and find a 6850 or 6870 that vents out the back for the Apevia, or choose a case with side vents like this one.

Cases are a personal choice. I think mid towers are the best, but then, I keep mine under my desk. If you want to put one on your desk, I think the small mid tower looks silly and you should get one of the boxy ones. It's all up to you though; you're the one who has to look at it every day. The smaller cases have worse cooling and cost more, but look better.
January 11, 2012 1:52:34 PM

erikalikesfire said:
I think the cheap Biostar motherboard has surprisingly good reviews, and the i3-2100 is a cool, efficient processor that can handle living in a tiny case with poor ventilation. The graphics card, I'm not sure about, because (1) I just read some of the reviews and found that it's the kind that vents into the case instead of out the back and (2) the Apevia cases don't have side vents.

I think you should either look around and find a 6850 or 6870 that vents out the back for the Apevia, or choose a case with side vents like this one.

Cases are a personal choice. I think mid towers are the best, but then, I keep mine under my desk. If you want to put one on your desk, I think the small mid tower looks silly and you should get one of the boxy ones. It's all up to you though; you're the one who has to look at it every day. The smaller cases have worse cooling and cost more, but look better.


The case you linked only has one 80mm, and you can't add more. Would that be enough ventilation?
January 11, 2012 2:11:24 PM

According to the reviews, you can (and should) add two more 80mm fans. Here's a review from a builder with a system very similar to yours.

Quote:
Pros: First let me say that I have a thing for Silverstone cases. I loved this case the moment I saw it but once my build was complete the fan noise, humming and echoing absolutely drove me crazy. This case is thin and is an echo chamber.
I added an additional cooler master 80mm silent fan
Item#: N82E16835103097
and a Scythe 3.5 fan controller
Item#: N82E16811998089
Now it is almost silent and I can turn the fans up only when I'm gaming. I'm very happy now and again this case looks really good and the fan controller only added to the looks.

Cons: Noise doesn't normally bother me so much but when such a large amount of it is coming from such a small package it really does.

Other Thoughts: Made a great portable gaming system that is now very quiet.

Intel i5 2500k - STOCK COOLER
ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155
HIS 2gb 6950
OCZ 500 ModXstream PSU
Corsair 8gb 1600 Ram

Can accommodate a large graphics card and it also looks really nice sitting next to a tv as an htpc.
January 11, 2012 9:32:58 PM

I'd like a shoebox case. The smaller the better, as I'd probably move the case from my room to the main living room from time to time. But the case has to be under 80, though.
February 6, 2012 8:43:00 PM

Best answer selected by XPEH.
a b 4 Gaming
February 6, 2012 9:28:28 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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