Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Budget Build Help

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 1, 2012 12:53:09 AM

Hello, I am new to Tom's Hardware, I will be building my first PC soon. I need some advice about the PSU among other things. Here are my current plans:


Approximate Purchase Date: Within a few months (not very specific, but it's the best I can do)

Budget Range: 450-650 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies, Surfin' the Web

Parts Not Required: I like 'em new and shiny :D 

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg/Amazon/any other reputable dealer

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: AMD CPU, I would prefer Nvidia, but it's not that big of a deal

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1600 x 900 (Max res of the monitor I chose)

Additional Comments: I don't really mind a loud PC, as long as it's not a jet engine.

Above is what I need from a PC, below are my current specs. Although I mainly need help choosing a PSU, any other suggestions are wecome! I tried to best describe why I picked each part.

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX
Great price plus the option to unlock the 4th core - I'll be taking that!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103911&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Processors%20-%20Desktops-_-AMD-_-19103911&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

Motherboard: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
I choose this board for the price, plus a seemingly good reputation. Open to suggestions here.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138283&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Motherboards%20-%20AMD-_-Biostar-_-13138283&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series Division 2 Edition DDR3 8 GB PC3-10666 1333MHz 9-9-9-24
Great price, reputable manufacturer. Still open to suggestions though.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GUT330/?tag=pcpapi-20

Hard Drive: HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Not one of my strongest areas. I really just picked this one randomly. 500 GB is the minimum size I am looking for. I really need some help here.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145299&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Hard%20Drives-_-Hitachi%20Global%20Storage%20Technologies-_-22145299&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

GPU: Evga GeForce GT 430 1024 MB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 DVI/HDMI/VGA Graphics Card
The only reason I picked this card was price. If you can recommend a better card, with minimal cost increase, it would be great!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0046HAW7Y/?tag=pcpapi-20

Case: Rosewill FBM-01 Dual Fans MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Again, not my area of "expertise" (I use the term loosely). Nice price, again, anything better with little price increase is great.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147123&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Cases%20(Computer%20Cases%20-%20ATX%20Form)-_-Rosewill-_-11147123&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

PSU: I'm not even going to list my current choice, as it is not worth the embarrassment. I noticed that the GT 430 is recommended to be supplied 22 Amps on the 12 Volt rail. I have little experience with PSU's. If you suggest a new video card, please remember to suggest a proper PSU to go along with it. I am looking for a budget PSU, but not some $20 hunk-a-junk that will fry in 6 months. I am willing to spend up to $60 for a good one. 400-500 Watts sound about right to me, leaving plenty of room for expansion later.

Optical Drive: SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Really Long Name Here
Has LightScribe + Cheap = :sol: 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151252&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-CD/DVD%20Burners%20(RW%20Drives)-_-SAMSUNG-_-27151252&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

Monitor: Acer S201HLbd Black 20" 5ms LED-Backlight LCD monitor
Price, feel free to make suggestions.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009256&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Monitors%20-%20LCD%20Flat%20Panel-_-Acer%20America-_-24009256&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

Other Stuff: Windows 7 HP 64-bit. Feel free to suggest a cheap gaming mouse/keyboard.

Closing Notes: I tried to format this thread according to the rules. Thanks in advance for your help. I hope this thread is in the right forum area. Please forgive any grammatical areas, as it took me a while to type this up.

More about : budget build

February 1, 2012 1:03:51 AM

To be completely honest, I think that you are better off to watch for some shell shocker deal to come along in Newegg.

We don't usually spec out parts for computers to be purchased and built in 3 months because a lot of things can happen in that time.

A little over 3 months ago there were natural disasters in Asia that caused the prices of hard drives to double or triple. It could be in 3 months that the prices return to normal again.

In the last week, the i5-2500k processors went from available at will on Newegg to available only as part of a deal. That was everyone's favorite processor to suggest to others. It could be that 3 months from now the part is available stand alone again or they could be sold out.

Anyway, I would suggest you keep your eyes peeled for good deal builds for many parts together and then ask us how they look. If it gets to the point where you are 2 weeks out from wanting to build the system and no such deal has come along then we can go back over individual parts in this form.
February 1, 2012 1:07:53 AM

Raiddinn said:
To be completely honest, I think that you are better off to watch for some shell shocker deal to come along in Newegg.

We don't usually spec out parts for computers to be purchased and built in 3 months because a lot of things can happen in that time.

I understand that it is impossible to predict what will be happening in 3 months, however It would still be helpful to have a few suggestions/comments about where my choices stand today.
Related resources

Best solution

February 1, 2012 1:37:36 AM
Share

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-overclock...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-overclock-p...

Those are two articles out of a series that tries every few months to build a good computer in your budget range. They can give you a good idea of what sorts of things are appropriate for that budget range.

If you would really like some specific comments:
Processor - I think you can do better than this even if you intend to stay sub $100 (which I wouldn't suggest). In your budget range, I think that you could get away with spending $120 - $150 on a processor and it would be huge step up from the 455 Rana.

Biostar Motherboard - This is more of a newer brand with a much shorter track record than Asus or Gigabyte. I would get one of those two brands instead if it could be done cheaply since they have much longer track records of producing high quality boards.

RAM - I would rather see you use Crucial RAM instead, and 2x 4GBs if you are going to have a 64 bit OS. Only 2x 2GBs with a 32 bit OS if you have that since that is all they will recognize. Crucial and Kingston RAM have by far the lowest failure rates in the industry. Others like G.Skill, Patriot, Corsair, and so on are usually at least 5x higher.

Hard Drive - Hitachi quality is below the other major manufacturers, that is why they usually sell for less.

Graphics Card - A 6770 for $100ish is the lowest card that I can feel good suggesting someone use. Anything that costs less than that is usually much much worse in performance than this card.

Case - Top mount PSUs literally half the life of the PSU as compared to a bottom mount PSU. I would strongly suggest a better case. Additionally, good airflow goes a long way towards extending the life of the computer parts. I would rather see you get a HAF 912 instead. This is very close to the ideal low end case.

PSU - XFX 450w is what I would get for this computer


DVD Drive - Should be fine. The Asus 24x has a much better track record, but I don't think it has lightscribe.

Monitor - Probably good enough. Just make sure you have the right cables for it. Viewsonic monitors get really good reviews, but they aren't usually the cheapest around. I like DELL monitors because they can use soundbars myself. Soundbars are great.

OS - If, by "HP", you mean that this is an OEM cd, and if you are buying these parts and building the computer yourself for your own use then these CDs are not legal for this use.

If you are buying and building this yourself your two least expensive options are
1) Windows 7 64 bit Upgrade CD - Only usable if you already have a legal copy of XP or Vista.
2) Windows 7 64 bit Student version - Very cheap, but you have to have access to a student email address.

Otherwise, per the license agreements, you must use a Windows 7 full version retail CD which are not cheap.
February 1, 2012 10:43:42 AM

Raiddinn said:

OS - If, by "HP", you mean that this is an OEM cd, and if you are buying these parts and building the computer yourself for your own use then these CDs are not legal for this use.

If you are buying and building this yourself your two least expensive options are
1) Windows 7 64 bit Upgrade CD - Only usable if you already have a legal copy of XP or Vista.
2) Windows 7 64 bit Student version - Very cheap, but you have to have access to a student email address.


Thanks for all the help! When I said HP I meant Home Premium
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q0PT3I/?tag=pcpapi-20
However, it seem that this version locks in your Harware ID, and has fits when you try to upgrade :cry: 
February 1, 2012 12:49:08 PM

Regardless of the confusion, the System Builder license is the same thing as the OEM license.

It is not legal.

Those other people who bought it and commented about it are breaking the law.

According to this webpage on Microsoft.com

http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/p...

There is a growing market for "do-it-yourself" home PC hobbyists who assemble PCs from components for their own use. Microsoft retail software licenses are the appropriate licenses for the do-it-yourself market. OEM System Builder software is not intended for this use, unless the PC that is assembled is being resold to another party. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

As with most things, cheapest and most legal rarely are the same.
February 1, 2012 8:05:40 PM

Raiddinn said:
Regardless of the confusion, the System Builder license is the same thing as the OEM license.

It is not legal.

Those other people who bought it and commented about it are breaking the law.

According to this webpage on Microsoft.com

http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/p...

There is a growing market for "do-it-yourself" home PC hobbyists who assemble PCs from components for their own use. Microsoft retail software licenses are the appropriate licenses for the do-it-yourself market. OEM System Builder software is not intended for this use, unless the PC that is assembled is being resold to another party. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

As with most things, cheapest and most legal rarely are the same.

Ok, thanks for the clarification!
Also a big thanks on the hardware suggestions as well as the article links. I will try to post my revisions closer to my order date. Again, thanks for all the help!
February 1, 2012 8:05:57 PM

Best answer selected by LtDan.
February 1, 2012 10:30:36 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
!