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Help with a $750 or less system.

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January 15, 2012 7:13:19 PM

Hey everyone. Im new to this forum but am impressed with all the details people put into the builds on here. I am desperately needing a new computer and am looking into the first time build. I am currently running a Windows Vista system with an AMD 5600 2.8 ghtz processer and 3.0 gigs of ram. This system has done well for about 3-4 years but it is getting incredibly slow. I havent been a heavy gamer for some time, my gaming days as a solid gamer were back during the Diablo 2 if that gives you an idea. Mainly nowadays we stream tv and movies from the computer, stream music and such but would also like to do a little bit more computer gaming(would love to tackle Skyrim and the upcoming Diablo 3) plus a few others. Would mainly like something that would suit my first needs for the next 2-3 years but with the ability to do some gaming if I wanted. Basic harddrive space isnt a big issue as I have a total of 6 TB external spread between 3 harddrives but would probably want atleast 500gig internal. Monitor is not an issue as I have my pc hooked up to our 47" lcd tv. I want to keep the price around $750 but could go a little over $800 if I had to. I have a dvd burner that is only about 3 months old in my current system that I could use but have thought of maybe upgrading it. One thing I have noticed on a lot of builds was I havent seen many soundcards listed? Well anyway thanks for any help that will point me in the right direction. Again I have no experience in what I would even need. At one point I thought of just getting an Acer Aspire Revo and making it into a media center (we have tons of movies and music) but in the end I felt that it had its limits beyond that so directed my attention to a custom build. Almost forgot, I have a copy of Windows 7 for the new build, was gonna upgrade my Vista to it but think Ill save it for the new pc. Thanks again.

- Mark

More about : 750 system

a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 12:12:19 AM

Hi there r0bbin! Let me answer your sound card question first:
You normally don't see a sound card in a build because the onboard motherboard sound card is normally enough for a normal gaming computer. The quality is good and there is no need for a discrete sound card.

I would recommend this setup if you don't plan on overclocking:
CPU: Intel i5 2400 $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: EVGA 012-P3-2066-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 448 Cores $290
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: ASRock H61M-VS $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: NZXT Gamma $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM HDD $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) $35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink+Fan: Stock $0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-ROM: Samsung 22X DVD burner $17

Total: $752
Explanation: The i5 2400 is a great CPU, it is on par performance wise as the i5 2500k but without the ability to overclock, it is also cheaper than the i5 2500k.The 560Ti 448Core is a weakened gtx 570, it is a great graphics card with the ability to play any modern game. The ASRock board is decently priced and is perfect for what we have.The 500W PSU is more than enough for the graphicsc and the computer components. The NZXT Gamma is a gaming case, it was designed for long graphics cards and such, so you should find no problem squeezing 10.5" gfx cards into the bay of the NZXT GAMMA. The 500GB HDD is for storage, I would not recommend any HDD with higher storage since HDD prices are though the roof. 8GB of RAM is more than enough for any gaming system, you'll almost never use all 8GB of the RAM. The DVD Burner is to watch DVDs and install Win7.

If you want to OC, then go with this system instead:
CPU: Intel i5 2500k $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: HIS H687FN1GD Radeon HD 6870 $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 $122
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: NZXT Gamma $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM HDD $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) $35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink+Fan: Stock $0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-ROM: Samsung 22X DVD burner $17

Total: $764
Explanation: The i5 2500k is more expensive, but can overclock. I had to make some cuts on the graphics card because of the budget, if you can afford, I would recommend you go with the gtx 560Ti:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The ASRock board supports the new PCIe 3.0 slots, and can support CF and SLI. The PSU is the same brand and model, but it is 600W instead of 500W. Everything else is the same
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January 16, 2012 2:56:50 AM

Thank you both for the replies. A note on the overclock issue, I doubt that I would do that unless there is a real benefit to doing so(dont know the pros and cons of it). Gaming would not be its main purpose but would want to be capable of doing so. Mainly media first, we are heavy internet users and do alot of streaming, but with kids and the looks of games nowadays, would definately want something that would do it if even at a lesser setting. I want something that will be able to keep up for a few years and look good doing it. You both have what seems to be good configs for the buck. Between your two roaringdragon, other than the overclocking is there more benefit of one over the other? Thanks.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 3:10:01 AM

There are minor differences, the i5 2500k allows for OCing but has a lower end gfx card. The i5 2400 set up will last longer than the i5 2500k set up, although the 2500k set up will allow you to OC
EDIT: The i5 2400 set up also will NOT allow you to SLI or CF the graphics card, meaning that it may potentially have a shorter life span the i5 2500k if you wish to upgrade later. You can mitigate the extra cost by going with the ASRock motherboard and going with a gtx 560 instead of the gtx 560Ti
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January 16, 2012 3:26:46 AM

Roaringdragon, if changing the video card on your second suggested build to the gtx 560ti (the 209.00 one) would that only add about 50 bucks to the build or would something else need to be added as well? I can go a little higher in price but just wanted to keep it around 750 or so. Could add around 100 more if needed, just seeing where I could get the most for my money.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 3:32:12 AM

^ Worth it, though you would need a motherboard that allows SLI, the cheapest being the Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The PSU that would work would probably be bought later, or it could be bought now, the cheapest being this one:
OCZ ZS 750w $100 ($25 MIR)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B005A2RJOI/ref=d...
Antec EA750 $95 but no power capable and no rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 16, 2012 3:53:13 AM

The Asrock Extreme3 Z68 is the same one listed in your build so that wouldnt need to be changed? Also the $25 difference between the 600w vs the 750w powersupply and the $50 difference between the 560Ti graphics card vs the Radeon 6870 only adds $75 to the build being that everything else is exactly the same unless something else needed changed. I also noticed alot of people running solid state drives or controllers and your build doesnt list one. Is that something that is only in higher builds or just something of a convenience factor? Thanks again for all the info. Im probably around a month away from building so prices may even come down some, but then again they could go up to. I saw another tower the Roswell Challenger and it was $54. I really liked the looks of it over the Gamma but dont know if it woulld accomodate. Thanks.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 4:15:07 AM

Pretty decent power supply, good find.

As for the SSD, the SSD is extras that isn't NECESSARY, but it's nice to have. A 60GB SSD to use to boot is about $85 which is quite a lot of money in terms of your budget. It's hard to fit it in, it's better to just spend the money on the parts that would most be relevant to your gaming experience.
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January 16, 2012 5:49:24 AM

Well I believe I might have just found my build then. Is the SSD something that can be added later or would it need to be done upfront. Would all these components be everything that I would need or would I get to a point and go, oh there is some other small item that needs to tie it together? Like I said Im new to building my own and wanting it to be complete. I would hate to be held up by some $5-$10 item like things normally go. A cheap $2 part halting the whole process..lol. I was impressed with your build aznshinobi but even though it was under budget I think this way Im bordering if not barely going over and even you give it a thumbs up. Thanks for your time and input.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 6:00:09 AM

Well, if you buy an OEM OS it's hard to say. I've not experimented with SSDs as an upgrade so I'm not sure. In my knowledge, it seems you can always add the SSD later and partion the OS over? I say that with a question mark since I'm not sure.

But no you look good to go. Just remember, work on something BESIDES rug, you don't want to get static discharge. You don't really need to ground yourself, though most say you should. I worked on my PC without a grounding and just off my wood floor and nothing happened. When working on the motherboard alone, I suggest using the static wrap that encases the mobo when you take it out. It's a good thing to work on so no static issues come.

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January 16, 2012 6:33:17 AM

I'm actually in the process of adding an SSD to my current computer--you can image the OS over, but I'm finding out it's a fairly complex process due to alignment issues and usually involves wiping the internal hard drive and then re-installing. So in short, it's doable to add the SSD later, but it's somewhat annoying (hence my procrastination).

Azn's build is very good :)  I will say from seeing my friends' computers with SSDs, it's a rather startling speed difference. If you're impatient with your computer, they're worth it, but if you can't afford it now it can wait
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 4:58:21 PM

Yes you can add another SSD in the future, however, it's kind of hard since you'll have to reinstall windows on the SSD and wipe windows from the HDD and set the SSD as a boot drive. As for OEM windows, you can still do it, you just have to inform Microsoft that you're upgrading part of your system so the license will work alright. It's a pain to upgrade anything storage devices imo, so personally, I would either go straight with an SSD in the beginning build if you want a faster boot time (10seconds MAX, probably closer to 5 seconds faster compared to HDD) or just not buy an SSD. In fact, I won't add an SSD to a system unless the system is $1000 or above
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January 16, 2012 6:06:40 PM

I may wait on the ssd then, my current computer stays on non stop unless there is a power outage or something like that. I have heard its better to leave them on but Ive also heard its not good on them. If it doesnt hurt to leave them on then boot times arent a problem, if that is the main pro for running an ssd. I have never dealt with one so dont know the benefits other than fast boot times.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 6:16:37 PM

It's not good for the computer to be constantly left on in my opinion. That kills the life of the PC, the SSD will not last more than 3 years if you continuously do that. That's one thing about SSDs, the life of them is shorter than HDDs but generally long enough to last a user until their upgrade.
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