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Trying to build a Tower, low budget. Need Help!

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February 23, 2012 3:11:25 AM

Hey guys, I've been reading the past 10-20 pages here and putting bits and pieces together for a computer i'm trying to buy.
I don't have too large of a budget... students.. haha. But, I'm trying to keep within the 600$ range.
I don't do hard core gaming just simple things like DOTA, League of legends, but on low quality settings.
I would also like a build that can handle multitasking fairly well in terms of simple video converting/editing and mass downloading haha :o 

Sofar this is what i've got. I am up for lots of suggestions into what I should upgrade/downgrade etc. I do plan to do future upgrades, so if that means having to invest a bit more to last longer, that's fine!
Thanks guys!

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K, 209.69 @ http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD1527
Motherboard Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3, 149.99 @ b. http://ncix.com/products/?sku=61002&vpn=GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3&manufacture=Gigabyte&promoid=1315
RAM: Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B Vengeance Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB, 44.99 @ b. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=40739&CatId=4534
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 16MB Cache 7200RPM 3.5IN SATA Internal Hard Drive OEM, 97.98 @ b. http://ncix.com/products/?sku=58402&vpn=WD5000AAKX&manufacture=Western%20Digital%20WD
Video Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti FPB Video Card - 1024MB, GDDR5, PCI-Express 2.0 (x16), 2x Dual-Link DVI-I, 1x Mini-HDMI, DirectX 11, Dual-Slot, SLI Ready, 109.99 @ here
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W ATX 20/24PIN SLI Ready Modular Cables 135mm Fan 80PLUS Power Supply, 54.99 @ b. http://ncix.com/products/?sku=35456&vpn=OCZ700MXSP&manufacture=OCZ%20Technology
Case: Cooler Master RC-430-KWN1 Elite 430 Mid Tower ATX Case - ATX/Micro-ATX, USB, Audio, 120mm Blue LED Fan, Black, 39.99 @ here
CPU FAN: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA1155 LGA1156 120MM, 23.10 @ b. http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/218427/RR-B10-212P-G1/COOLERMASTER/

The total would be around 800$. Is there anything that is unnecessary for which I could probably settle with a downgrade?

Thanks guys! Being a noobie at building PC's, I really appreciate it!

More about : build tower low budget

February 23, 2012 3:28:07 AM

Consider a Radeon HD7750, newer 28nm tech at same 3D performance of 550 and lower power requirements. Price should be close.

You don't need a 700 watt psu, but a high quality smaller one may not save you $$$, especially in Canada.

You don't need an aftermarket cpu cooler.

There are cheaper motherboards, but you picked a good one.

I guess I really have to pick nits in order to come up with suggestions...
Good job!
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February 23, 2012 4:09:29 AM

Newf said:
Consider a Radeon HD7750, newer 28nm tech at same 3D performance of 550 and lower power requirements. Price should be close.

You don't need a 700 watt psu, but a high quality smaller one may not save you $$$, especially in Canada.

You don't need an aftermarket cpu cooler.

There are cheaper motherboards, but you picked a good one.

I guess I really have to pick nits in order to come up with suggestions...
Good job!


Hi I was wondering, would it make a big difference to swap motherboard with:
Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Z68 DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 HDMI DVI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard
$126.96\
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=61065
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February 23, 2012 4:53:10 AM

WillTran07 said:
Hi I was wondering, would it make a big difference to swap motherboard with:
Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Z68 DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 HDMI DVI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard
$126.96\
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=61065


If you ever plan to overclock your cpu you going to need a cooler. So i dont know why he told you not to get one. Stick with the hyper 212.

Any mobo is the 68 series is a good mobo. I personally prefer Asus and recommend them for there warranty and build quality compared to gigbaytes 2 year. Also there bios is great for beginners and has an auto overclock feature incase your weary about overclocking the i5 2500k.

The 550 is a decent card for light gaming. But a 560 is better, if you got the money. Plus if you ever decide to get into newer titles later on you could grab another for SLI and could pretty much play anything on the market today. Evga is the GPU brand i recommend.

Also get rid of that crappy PSU. Get a corsair or seasonic. It worth it to invest in a good brand to not run into any problems later.

The ram is fine just go for there low profile versions. The RAM with the tall heat sinks wont fit with the aftermarket cooler.

Everything else is fine.
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February 24, 2012 1:46:06 AM

WillTran07 said:
Hi I was wondering, would it make a big difference to swap motherboard with:
Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Z68 DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 HDMI DVI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard
$126.96\
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=61065

No, not a big difference. Besides fewer voltage regulator phases, less beefy/thinner board and the features you can read off the spec charts.
Since you did not mention any desire to overclock anything, the cheaper board will work just fine if the features match what you want.
Gigabyte makes good boards. As Neal0790 mentioned, so does Asus, and their UEFI/BIOS is more slick.
Then again, I would also recommend Asrock and MSI boards as well. Intel boards are boring but stable.
Other brands tend to be a calculated risk.

The fact that you don't mention overclocking is also precisely why I said you don't need an aftermarket cpu cooler.
Buy the cooler when you plan to overclock your processor, if ever.

Yes, Seasonic and others make good power supplies. This particular OCZ unit is made by FSP. Like OCZ, Corsair also markets power supplies made by others.
The one you picked out is a good unit that works just fine. It is not the best you can buy at any price but for $55 Canadian I don't know how you can do any better.
You really only need a good 500 watt unit though. Sometimes sales and rebates just work out in your favor. I think this is an example of that.
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February 24, 2012 6:04:33 AM

Thanks a lot for your helps guys!

I was doing a bit more research, there is a sale in Burlington this Saturday and I was wondering if it was worth it to pick up :

an Intel i7 2600 CPU for 249.99 at CC, would the extra 40$ be worth upgrading to i7? even if its not 2600k.

Also, for the video card, there is an option as well to get the Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.1 Graphics Card for 99.99$, which I hear is much better then the 550 i have selected above.

what are your inputs?

Also, how is the case I selected? would I need to get a better case?

Thanks!
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February 24, 2012 6:09:00 AM

Also, I noticed that there are mixed reviews on the OCZ PSU,

I have found a Cooler Master GX series 80PLUS certified series 650W for 59.99 (no MIR needed). Does this beat the OCZ PSU:?
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February 24, 2012 7:12:29 AM

Hey Will, its Asturias from RFD. I'm glad you found some answers!

Where did you found the cooler master GX? I'm also looking for a PSU, so I'd be interested. Thanks!
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February 24, 2012 2:28:26 PM

Asturias said:
Hey Will, its Asturias from RFD. I'm glad you found some answers!

Where did you found the cooler master GX? I'm also looking for a PSU, so I'd be interested. Thanks!


The cooler is actually going to be from the CC grand opening sale in Burlington.
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February 24, 2012 2:53:33 PM

Ah, too bad... i'm from quebec aha.

Thanks anyway.
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February 25, 2012 12:15:32 AM

Gee, the Coolermaster GX650 suffers from too low voltage and excessive ripple.
Please don't go there...You really don't have to.

Can you get as good a deal as the OCZ for these items:
OCZ ZS550W?
Corsair TX550M?
PC P&C Silencer 600?

If you can do better, then buy them instead.
Yes the OCZ ModXstream 700 is not perfect, but is a great bang for the buck and works just fine.

It's hard to keep up with the daily deals and factor in what is good and what's not.
That goes double when you are not in the U.S.

A 6850 for $100 is a great deal. Buy it.

For the extra $40 Can, the 2600 is better than the 2500K IF YOU DON'T PLAN TO OC.
The only other loss is in the integrated video, which for you is not an issue...
IF YOU PLAN TO OC, than the 2500K is the better move. BUT, YOU HAVE TO TAILOR YOUR WHOLE SYSTEM TO HANDLE OVERCLOCKING.

The issue is having a mission and building a system that balances the needs vs. available $$$.
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February 25, 2012 3:11:07 AM

Right on! Thanks Newf and others that have been helping me out so much!

I'm heading over to the store tomorrow to hopefully pick up the 6850 for 100$ and 8GB of Kingston ram for 30$.

I'm still not too sure if I should pick up the Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Z68 DDR3 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard for 129.99 yet. If you think its a good buy then maybe i'll consider!

thanks again:) !
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February 26, 2012 2:24:44 PM

Newf said:
Gee, the Coolermaster GX650 suffers from too low voltage and excessive ripple.
Please don't go there...You really don't have to.

Can you get as good a deal as the OCZ for these items:
OCZ ZS550W?
Corsair TX550M?
PC P&C Silencer 600?

If you can do better, then buy them instead.
Yes the OCZ ModXstream 700 is not perfect, but is a great bang for the buck and works just fine.

It's hard to keep up with the daily deals and factor in what is good and what's not.
That goes double when you are not in the U.S.

A 6850 for $100 is a great deal. Buy it.

For the extra $40 Can, the 2600 is better than the 2500K IF YOU DON'T PLAN TO OC.
The only other loss is in the integrated video, which for you is not an issue...
IF YOU PLAN TO OC, than the 2500K is the better move. BUT, YOU HAVE TO TAILOR YOUR WHOLE SYSTEM TO HANDLE OVERCLOCKING.

The issue is having a mission and building a system that balances the needs vs. available $$$.


Hey Newf!

So I went to the Canada Computer Grand opening sale yesterday and bought a bunch of stuff haha!

I was able to get my:

MOBO: Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Z68 DDR3 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850
Ram: Kingston 8 GB
Case: Antec ONE Mid ATX Tower

I just need to get the CPU, HDD and Power Supply now.
I was wondering if I can cheap out on the harddrive and spend maybe 50-60$ to still get a 7200 RPM but like 160GB capacity. Would that work? I tend to store media files etc on my external HD.

Also, I wanted to get a higher watt output PSU for future upgrades, what do you suggest?
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February 26, 2012 8:11:38 PM

Yes, 160 GB is plenty for Your OS and quite a few programs.
Let me spend a little time looking at what Canadian vendors have to offer. I may have a different approach.
I will get back to you shortly...
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February 26, 2012 8:19:50 PM

Newf said:
Yes, 160 GB is plenty for Your OS and quite a few programs.
Let me spend a little time looking at what Canadian vendors have to offer. I may have a different approach.
I will get back to you shortly...


Thank you so much!
I think i'll be getting the 2500k from FS if they allow me to do a PM with online vendors.
I'll wait for your input about the HD, hoping that I can save money on buying a cheaper HD with great performance just lower capacity (Since I use external hard drives for the majority of my storage).

In terms of the PSU, do you recommend me getting the OCZ 700W? I found that the cables are sometimes too short for the bottom of the case installment. Should I looking into like a 600W Corsair for the same price?

Thanks!
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Best solution

February 27, 2012 1:13:16 AM

OK.
Since you have external storage, consider getting a 60GB or so SSD for your C: drive. You can put win7, browsers and plenty of programs on it, just no data/music/videos.
This will speed up your system in real terms like you wont believe. Obviously the fastest ones are better, but even a drive like this one will be snappy as hell compared to any spinning HD; http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/239963/PTL1-25SAT3-64...
I am currently using an original Agility 120GB drive which today is quite old. It's fast. I will NEVER build a system again without an SSD. Not ever.
Even with a lot of extra junk on it, I'm only using 51GB. This is mainly because it's a 120 GB drive and I am not trying to keep usage down. A 60 GB SSD is plenty for your boot drive.
Otherwise you have to wait for prices to come down this summer to make spinning hard drives affordable.

As far as the psu, as long as it has 2 6pin PCI-E cables you are good to go.
600 watt Corsair psu is fine. Corsairs are all good regardless of output. So are PC P&Cooling and anything made by Seasonic or Enermax.
The OCZ is a great deal. Check the published cable lengths compared to your case. Look at where the 24 pin socket is. ATX boards are 12 tall.
I find it hard to believe that anyone makes a psu that wont stretch that far... I can't find a better deal on a power supply than the OCZ.

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March 4, 2012 11:32:18 PM

Best answer selected by WillTran07.
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