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Yet another Budget build

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March 2, 2012 7:20:59 PM

Hello everyone. I want to say thanks in advance for any suggestions and answers I might recieve.

I am looking to put together a cheap computer. I need it to be able to play CoH (my 58 y/o father plays and I want to play with him), SWtOR, and LotR.

I dont need it to be able to run everything at max. Just to be able to play with out lag on decent settings.

So far I am looking on New Egg and I have come up with this.

Intel i3-2100 3.1ghz
EVGA GeForce GTX 550
Seagate Barracida Green ST1500dl003 1.5TB 5900 RPM
G.Skill Ripjaw 2x 2gb DDR3 1600
Asus P8H6-M Le/CSM

I looks to be running be about $465 or so.

I have a 600w Bronze cert power supply that I inherited in a box of stuff from a friend lol.

As far as the case goes... I just need cheap and functional.

Is this ok? Am I wasting my money?

Thanks again

More about : budget build

March 2, 2012 7:47:38 PM

It seems like a nice system. I worked in a computer store over two summers (needed cash for upgrades, hehe), and this really came in line with a lot of systems I sold for different customers there.

Decent gaming processor, as Tom's hardware benchies will tell you,
very decent graphics card,
storage is really up to you how much you need, although 1.5 TB seems pretty good,
4GB ram: Really the absolute minimum, and at the same time the reccomended amount. More is better, but there is obviously a point where it becomes redundant, especially with that CPU and GPU, more than 4GB really isn't neccesary
Asus mobo, Good stuff, only stuff I've ever used and will ever reccomend as number 1 choice!

Can you tell us what brand and model that PSU is though? There are a lot of cheap PSU's out there. 600W Bronze certified usually is just fine though, especially for that config. Shouldn't be a problem, but let's just check to make sure!

In terms of case, just look for something that you like, most importantly the way it looks. Usually air flow is good enough to start out with, unless you run some kind of extreme system in there. For around 50-60 bucks you should be able to find something nice! :) 
Personally I reccomend an Antec case, they have some nice budget cases that are actually real good value for money. They might be slightly more expensive than others (a couples of 10's in worst case), but they do give you a lot of value and a damn long lifetime! (had my mini P180 from them, and still after 3-4 years have no interest at all in replacing it, and I'm the kinda guy that replaces most parts on a regular basis).

Have fun, it's a good build. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask!
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March 2, 2012 7:47:42 PM

This doesn't look bad. The only main recommendation I would make is to switch out that GTX 550 for a Radeon 6770 or even better a 6850. Even though you don't plan on gaming at max settings, the GPU is still the most important part of that setup, and nVidia at that price point is way more expensive than AMD and not worth the extra.

Do you know the specs of that power supply? The GPU is the most important part of gaming performance, but the PSU is the backbone of the whole thing. If you get an off-brand, you will almost certainly regret it.

With the money you save from the GPU, you might consider bumping the RAM up to 8GB. It's not that much more expensive and might come in handy, especially on SWTOR.
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March 2, 2012 7:55:47 PM

I agree with ringzero and perhaps also bumping up the processor to an Intel i3 2120 instead since the price is not really too much more (few bucks).
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March 2, 2012 7:56:15 PM

The Saphire 6850 is roughly the same price as the 550ti and will net you much better performance.

As far as the HD goes, Green drives are usually slower and not reccommended for a main drive, mostly for just storage. Try to find a drive with 7200rpm and you will find it much quicker to load.

Buy the i3-2120 for $3 more. You get a faster clocked processor for literally the same price.
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March 2, 2012 8:03:16 PM

OK changed to a Western Digital Caviar Blue 500gb @ 7200RPM
also changed to Saphire 6850 and i3-2120

Oh yeah and also went to 2x4gb for the ram. Still G.Skill Ripjaw ddr3 1600

Looking at about $509 incl shipping, before mail in rebates



This might work :) 

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March 2, 2012 8:13:44 PM

Whilst I do support 7200RPM drives, higher capacity, depending of course on the amount of platters, generally actually have higher transfer rates. They might have higher seek times as well though if they are "green" drives.

Higher capacity generally means higher transfer rates, obviously depending on ratio between platters, data density, RPM, and other undefinable variables,

RPM almost always = higher seek times.

Although these are just rules of thumb, there are many outliers.

Do also agree with the 6850 alternative, running a 6970 here and couldn't be happier. Also most of my good friends run AMD GPU's, and with good reason.

Have fun with the build mate! :) 
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March 2, 2012 8:17:46 PM

And may I mention at what a marginal increase in price across all these suggestions have actually led to a significantly better selection of hardware?

I miss the days of having financial constraints to building my PC. It's not that I don't have financial issues, I do, but I have allocated a fairly larger sum towards my PC.
I really miss the days of being presented with a challenge of building something nice with very little.... :( 
Reminds me of how much happier I actually was with my Intel P2 system, regardless of how much more reliable and high performing my system now is....
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March 2, 2012 8:20:02 PM

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Newegg $128 Free ship
ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $77 incl shipping.
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $85 free ship
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL $30 free ship
Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $45 w/ shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You will surely need a new Windows for a 2nd build $100
That totals $435 before the video card or a DVD burner and I reduced the 1.5TB HDD to a 500GB HDD.
That means you still need a video card and a 550 isn't much of a gaming card but, hey! You have a budget. It may be fine for your needs.
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