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Need help with $450 budget PC

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February 18, 2012 10:35:20 AM

Hey guys, I plan on building a new PC to upgrade from my 6+ year old dino to hopefully have a better gaming experience. This is my first time building a PC so some things may not be compatible, but I've tried my best to understand the basics on what I need and tried to put together something that works.

I tried to make this computer as upgradeable friendly as possible as I do plan on upgrading the CPU and adding a GFX card later down the road, so getting a good mobo and case is a must. Anyways, onto the info!

Approximate Purchase Date: In a few days to a week.
Budget Range: $400-460 *including shipping*
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Watching movies/youtube, and browsing the web
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg
Country: U.S.A
Parts Preferences: Ivy Bridge ready mobo and stylish spacious Case
Overclocking: No / In the Future
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1024x768
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Case: RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEBP 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower + Power Supply
Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68
CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core
RAM: Kingston HyperX X2 Grey Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Optical Drive: LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner

And there you have it. I plan on using the integrated HD 2000 graphics from the CPU as my main graphics for now until I can get my hands on more cash to spend on a discrete GFX. All together it comes at less than $470 if I can buy everything before the end of Presidents day.

I guess what I need help with is if everything will be compatible and actually work? The mobo I chose doesn't have an onboard video chipset which has me a bit worried, but I heard most 1155 mobo's don't have onboard graphics since the 1155 processors all have Intel's HD graphics 2000/3000. I've made sure the RAM is compatible with the mobo. I realize I can save money if I get a cheaper case, but the Smilodon is too sexy and I can see myself not having to upgrade it later down the road. The Bare drive has me a bit worried a tad too, unless all I need to connect the drive is a SATA cable (which the mobo brings).

So I want to know if the computer will work with all the components I've chose. I plan to game, but only lightly until I can get a GFX card. I do hope to play at least Tribes:ascend with the integrated graphics on the i3 so please let me know if it can at most do that. I'm open to suggestions for different parts or even an entirely different build if it means I'm getting the most out of the $460 I have to spend. Feedback will be much appreciated! I know I can gimp the Mobo and Case to get a GFX card, but it will hurt my wallet later down the road, so I'm trying to plan ahead and would appreciate if you guys would do the same when suggesting anything!

More about : 450 budget

February 18, 2012 11:15:12 AM

ok, for your budget you need some less expensve components.


Here is a build that actually includes an actual video card, for under $470 including shipping.

i3-2100: $109.99 w/ promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V: $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it has USB 3, SATA 3, and PCIe 3.0

Wintec 8 GB DDR3-1333: $33.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec EarthWatts 430W: $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with a max 32a on the 12v rails, this will be adequate for any card that will fit in this case.

Rosewill R102 case: $29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a great little case. it can handle video cards up to 9.25" long. right now the most powerful card that fits in that space is a Zotac GTX 570 that is 8.5" long.
Some HD 7950s will be short enough in a few months as well.

Hitachi 500 GB HDD: $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS HD6670: $74.99 w/ $15 rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG 22x DVD burner: $15.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

shipping: $14.67

total: $469.59

if you can squeeze an extra $25 you could get a Sapphire HD 6770 for $99.99
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February 18, 2012 12:52:37 PM

+1 screwy. You can even drop down to the pentium g20 and fita 6770 in there, which would provide much better game performance.
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February 18, 2012 2:31:36 PM

Ok Ive come up with a build that might suit your needs a little better. Check it out:


Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4R1g
Part price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4R1g/by_merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($115.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Biostar TZ68A+RCH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($107.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($72.99 @ Compuvest)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 1GB Video Card ($96.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case ($27.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Raidmax 530W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($36.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $498.78
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)


You're a little over budget but you've upgraded the CPU, I know not by much but it helps, and the motherboard. I chose the Z68 chipset because it allows you to switch between the CPUs graphics and your GPU which is included in this build. I know you said you were set on your case but in my opinion, go with a less expensive case and put that money towards the mobo. Also I went with a 530W modular PSU since your GPU requires a 430W min. And if you notice I went with an full ATX mobo because you said you want the ability to upgrade in the future which the Z68 is fully upgradable and micro ATX, though less expensive, are limited.
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February 18, 2012 2:33:27 PM

Oh I forgot to mention that you get a DVD/CD drive with the case. Newegg is running a combo so thats why you dont see an optical drive listed. Hope this helps.
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February 18, 2012 7:20:50 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys, but I rather buy parts that I can still keep once I plan to upgrade later. This is not a build to last me years until I finally think I should upgrade, this is just to get started and make steady upgrades in the upcoming months without much of a loss in the long run. I'd also rather buy all the parts from one website so I don't have to pay multiple shipping fees.

Your suggestion Screwy was great, but down the line I would have to replace almost the entire computer. The case would have to go eventually because it's pretty ugly and the ventilation seems on the sub par side. The GFX would be replaced with the 6950 or even the 7000 series I would hope to get as soon as possible so that's $75 down the drain (spent on 6670/6770) once that time comes. The mobo might have to be replaced to a better quality one that supports Ivy bridges. CPU obviously is going to be replaced as well. Power supply would have to be replaced to a 650W once I get the video card.

So basically what I'm asking now is, what's a decent build WITHOUT a discrete GFX card (that will be able to run normally relying on the i3's HD graphics 2000) that has a Mobo that will be Ivy Bridge ready that cost under $467?? I would also prefer a good looking case but am willing to sacrifice it if it means I get better core components.
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February 18, 2012 8:23:38 PM

For the motherboard chipset you'll have to go with either H67 or Z68 if you are intending to upgrade to Ivy Bridge. H61 chipset (last I checked) was not going to be compatible with Ivy Bridge processors.

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February 18, 2012 8:53:14 PM

save more money and try again later, id build starting with an i52500k and z68 and go from there, i spent $600 on the CPU/MOBO/RAM/CASE and PSU in my sig and reused my HDD/ GPU / Monitor... you need to start with more and not just hope to upgrade everything down the line.
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February 18, 2012 11:32:01 PM

Hmm okay I decided to go with a build that serves for the here and now that included a GFX. I had to gimp the mobo and CPU, but at least I'll be able to play most games I suppose.

What do you guys think and do you know if it's all compatible?? I know the mobo and CPU along with the memory is compatible but I'm not sure if the bare drive and Case/Power supply have all the cables I need to plug things up. Also will the micro ATX form fit in the Smilodon?

Case
CPU
GPU
Mobo
RAM
HD
OD

Am I missing anything? If I put all these components together along with the monitor, OS, keyboard, mouse, and speakers, will the computer run? Let me know if this will at least last 6 months. Also if your going to suggest anything, factor in that exact case as I plan to at least keep the case as a permanent vessel for years to come.
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February 19, 2012 12:07:45 AM

You are missing a motherboard, and a good power supply. RAIDMAX power supplies are time bombs and are almost guaranteed to fail within a month, and if you are lucky it won't take out your motherboard, HDD and GPU with it. The cheapest that I would go for a power supply is this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371030 This one is made by seasonic for Antec, (which means good quality) and will also be able to take a 6950 GPU as a later upgrade.

Please also note: From the current rumours AMD Trinity fusion (their A10, A8 coming out in a month or two's time) will not be compatible with the old motherboard/chipset. If you are looking for a system with an upgrade path (for the CPU) Intel Sandy Bridge would be a better option at the moment, or waiting for the Trinity Fusion (FM2 Socket) to come out.

Finally, You can choose to drop an AMD 6950 into an AMD Fusion A6/A8/A10 if you want. This would disable the on-board graphics entirely but you could still use the onboard graphics for gaming on low settings until you can save up for the 6950 or 7800 series GPU.
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February 19, 2012 12:40:27 AM

ukee1593 said:
You are missing a motherboard, and a good power supply. RAIDMAX power supplies are time bombs and are almost guaranteed to fail within a month, and if you are lucky it won't take out your motherboard, HDD and GPU with it. The cheapest that I would go for a power supply is this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371030 This one is made by seasonic for Antec, (which means good quality) and will also be able to take a 6950 GPU as a later upgrade.

Please also note: From the current rumours AMD Trinity fusion (their A10, A8 coming out in a month or two's time) will not be compatible with the old motherboard/chipset. If you are looking for a system with an upgrade path (for the CPU) Intel Sandy Bridge would be a better option at the moment, or waiting for the Trinity Fusion (FM2 Socket) to come out.

Finally, You can choose to drop an AMD 6950 into an AMD Fusion A6/A8/A10 if you want. This would disable the on-board graphics entirely but you could still use the onboard graphics for gaming on low settings until you can save up for the 6950 or 7800 series GPU.


Ah thanks for pointing that out ^-^ Here's the Mobo

I decided to just settle with a build that has a GFX card. As far as I'm concerned the 6670 can run most of everything (not max/high settings but hey) and the games I'm interested in aren't necessarily demanding. I see your point on the PSU, but I absolutely want that case. I guess I can cough up a little extra to buy the case and PSU separately, but I will have to get a $30-40 PSU to stay on the safe side. The PSU also has to have a 4 Pin CPU connector (or whatever it's called) to match the mobo since it only has a 4 pin and not 8 like most others.

Will this PSU suffice? Will it be able to connect to the motherboard right?
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February 19, 2012 10:44:51 AM

Fangs said:
Thanks for the suggestions guys, but I rather buy parts that I can still keep once I plan to upgrade later. This is not a build to last me years until I finally think I should upgrade, this is just to get started and make steady upgrades in the upcoming months without much of a loss in the long run. I'd also rather buy all the parts from one website so I don't have to pay multiple shipping fees.

Your suggestion Screwy was great, but down the line I would have to replace almost the entire computer. The case would have to go eventually because it's pretty ugly and the ventilation seems on the sub par side. The GFX would be replaced with the 6950 or even the 7000 series I would hope to get as soon as possible so that's $75 down the drain (spent on 6670/6770) once that time comes. The mobo might have to be replaced to a better quality one that supports Ivy bridges. CPU obviously is going to be replaced as well. Power supply would have to be replaced to a 650W once I get the video card.

So basically what I'm asking now is, what's a decent build WITHOUT a discrete GFX card (that will be able to run normally relying on the i3's HD graphics 2000) that has a Mobo that will be Ivy Bridge ready that cost under $467?? I would also prefer a good looking case but am willing to sacrifice it if it means I get better core components.


First off: H61 is just as compatible with Ivy Bridge as Z68 is -- just a bios update.

The Case is actually very good with cooling, a 120mm fan is HUGE in a case this small (it's about 1/3 of the back panel). Add another on the front and its very frosty. I have this same case containing my 6850 and i5-2400. The cpu never exceeds 45C on the stock cooler. Nothing I can do about the aesthetics, but for airflow its very solid.

As for the GPU, yes you could drop the 6670, and put the $75 towards a i5-2400 and just use the HD2000, but its only really decent for basic web browsing, it won't game. the 6670 or 6770 cann game as low/medium.

The importance of a power supply is its 12v amperage. The 430W PSU I listed is plenty for a Hd 6780 (175W) or HD7950 (200W), thus also anything in the 7800 family as well. on the NVidia side, it'll take up to a GTX 560ti 448, but the new 600-series promises to be less power hungry.

you arent going to do much better without putting a lot more money in the power supply.
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