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Mid range PC

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March 24, 2012 9:52:36 PM

I'm looking to replace the CPU, mobo, GPU and RAM in my current computer for under $500.


Approximate Purchase Date: asap

Budget Range: sub $500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: General multitasking, moderate gaming (don't need to get extreme FPS)

Parts Not Required: Will be reusing PSU (Thermaltake Purepower 500W), 2 HDDs, case, keyboard, mouse, OS, etc.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: -

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Don't know, will buy a new medium sized monitor down the road



CPU

For the CPU I am thinking the i5-2400 ($190).

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GPU

I want to spend max. $150 on the GPU, so I was planning on a 6850 or cheap 6870.
However I found a combo deal which would give me a 550Ti for $100, worth it? I know the 6850 would be better, but as I don't do heavy gaming is a better card worth the $50 extra?

EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

If not, which GPU would be the best for the price?
Some options I found:

SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
$135 free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS EAH6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
$140 free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Double D HD-685X-ZDFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
$130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable VGA Series GV-R685OC-1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
$140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-685X-ZCFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$150
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS H685FN1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
$130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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Mobo

I want to spend around $100, this ASUS one seems good:

ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
$110 free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3(R2.0) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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RAM

Looking for 8gb (still on XP atm so can only use 4gb, but will upgrade soon).

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL
$42 free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL
$42 free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(What's the difference with the X series?)



Thanks for any input.

More about : mid range

March 24, 2012 10:01:22 PM

do you need an OS? for $500 cpu/ram/mobo/gpu/case? do able,
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March 24, 2012 10:07:14 PM

Ohmybad said:
do you need an OS? for $500 cpu/ram/mobo/gpu/case? do able,


No, The $500 is just for the CPU/RAM/Mobo/GPU. But I'd rather be a bit below $500.
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Best solution

March 24, 2012 10:12:39 PM

if not OCing or SLI then I would stick with a good h67 mobo (unless you absolutely need quicksink or SSD caching... both of which turn out to be more of gimmicks than being particularly useful). You should be able to find a decent one for $75 or less
$35 after rebate, and with good reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Check for a microcenter for your 2400, they are dirt cheap there.

4-8GB of ram is good. I use and do the occasional game on 1333 and it works quite well. Gaming is not the main purpose of my build, but it works quite well for it all the same. The X series is supposed to be better quality chips used, and as they are the same price I would jump on that, but in reality they are likely the same thing with a different heat spreader. XP will only see 3.6GB of ram, but like you said, you are planning on upgrading soon anyways which will get you the whole thing. Another thing to try is win8CP as it is free for the next several months. You can then use all of your hardware and then move to win7 or purchase win8 when the CP is over.

Throw the rest of the budget at the GPU; While you may be a light gamer like myself you still want a quality GPU so that it lasts longer before needing to be replaced. I'm not suggesting you go nuts with it or anything, but I think you would generally be happier with a 560/560ti or AMD equivilant rather than an entry level card if you can cram it in your budget.
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March 24, 2012 10:29:38 PM

Your picks are reasonable, here is my take:

All of the graphics cards you listed are reasonable, and are in the same performance category.
You might add GTX460 to the mix. Read this tom's article for what you can expect from each:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Because sandy bridge has integrated graphics, perhaps on a par with a $50 discrete card, why not defer the graphics purchase until you can better determine exactly what you need?

The 2400 is a good quad. But, is your workload really going to make use of 4 cores? It doesn't sound like it.
I think the chip is sort of neither fish nor fowl.
An extra $35 can buy you a 2500K @3.3 which can be overclocked to great effect to 4.0 and higher.
If you can walk in to a microcenter, they will sell you a 2500K for $180. A great deal.

Or... why not a higher clocked 2130 duo @3.4 with hyperthreading for $150?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you stick with the 2400, or go with the 2130, and no overclocking, you do not need a Z68 motherboard.
You can find an equally competent H61 based motherboard for $35 after rebate.
I have used ECS before, and was pleased:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

To answer your question on ram, there is no real difference, just the different style of heat spreaders. Actually, 1.5v ram does not even need heat spreaders. Here is the same kit without for a few bucks less:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With the savings, I highly recommend a SSD for the os and a few apps. It is one of the best performance purchases you can make. 60gb will do it.
Expect to spend $100 or so. Intel or samsung seem to make the best units today.
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March 24, 2012 10:30:51 PM

CaedenV said:
if not OCing or SLI then I would stick with a good h67 mobo (unless you absolutely need quicksink or SSD caching... both of which turn out to be more of gimmicks than being particularly useful). You should be able to find a decent one for $75 or less
$35 after rebate, and with good reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I need a PCI slot for my old TV-Tuner so the first 2 won't work, but the Intel one looks good.

Check for a microcenter for your 2400, they are dirt cheap there. said:
Check for a microcenter for your 2400, they are dirt cheap there.


Sadly I don't have one closeby and they don't ship. Very nice price though. :( 


4-8GB of ram is good. I use and do the occasional game on 1333 and it works quite well. Gaming is not the main purpose of my build, but it works quite well for it all the same. The X series is supposed to be better quality chips used, and as they are the same price I would jump on that, but in reality they are likely the same thing with a different heat spreader. XP will only see 3.6GB of ram, but like you said, you are planning on upgrading soon anyways which will get you the whole thing. Another thing to try is win8CP as it is free for the next several months. You can then use all of your hardware and then move to win7 or purchase win8 when the CP is over.

Throw the rest of the budget at the GPU; While you may be a light gamer like myself you still want a quality GPU so that it lasts longer before needing to be replaced. I'm not suggesting you go nuts with it or anything, but I think you would generally be happier with a 560/560ti or AMD equivilant rather than an entry level card if you can cram it in your budget. said:

4-8GB of ram is good. I use and do the occasional game on 1333 and it works quite well. Gaming is not the main purpose of my build, but it works quite well for it all the same. The X series is supposed to be better quality chips used, and as they are the same price I would jump on that, but in reality they are likely the same thing with a different heat spreader. XP will only see 3.6GB of ram, but like you said, you are planning on upgrading soon anyways which will get you the whole thing. Another thing to try is win8CP as it is free for the next several months. You can then use all of your hardware and then move to win7 or purchase win8 when the CP is over.

Throw the rest of the budget at the GPU; While you may be a light gamer like myself you still want a quality GPU so that it lasts longer before needing to be replaced. I'm not suggesting you go nuts with it or anything, but I think you would generally be happier with a 560/560ti or AMD equivilant rather than an entry level card if you can cram it in your budget.


I'll look into the Win8CP, should be a good bridge until I fully upgrade the OS.

With the savings in the mobo it doesn't make sense to go for the $100 GPU anymore.
Any GPU recommendations you can make in the $150 price range?
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March 25, 2012 2:28:41 AM

Again, I'm not a gamer. I have a 570 because it was the cheapest card that is supported by Adobe CS5 for CUDA rendering, so I am not that familiar with gaming cards in specific. But it depends on the specific games you play, what resolution/settings/fps you find acceptable, etc. You will need to do a little research to fins what would best fit your particular gaming needs.
You do want 1GB or more of ram, and generally speaking the latest gen cards are going to have the most longevity with newer games, but again, it depends on the specific res/settings/fps/games that you enjoy.
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March 25, 2012 2:34:11 AM

geofelt said:

I have used ECS before, and was pleased:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ya, my last budget build was an ECS and I find them highly under rated. Sure, they don't have a lot of perks, but the things they do have they get done right. That rig is now 5 years old and is by far the least troublesome board I have ever purchased. They are not exactly my first choice for a premium build (ASUS or ASRock), but if you are on a budget it is hard to do any better.
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March 25, 2012 5:18:46 PM

Ok, so I've changed it a bit and now plan to go with this:

Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52400
$190 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel BOXDH67CLB3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$90 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
$38 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




With the savings I'm going to upgrade the GPU to a 6870.
I have 2 to chose from:

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Double D HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

After MIR they are the same price (do Sapphire/XFX honor their MIR?). XFX has the lifetime warranty and two fans, but the Sapphire probably uses a bit less power because of that. If XFX honor their MIR I'm leaning towards the XFX because of the warranty.
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March 26, 2012 1:39:52 AM

they both look like great cards, but I would trust Sapphire over XFX when it comes to warranty and such. Still, either one would work great.
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March 26, 2012 2:47:39 AM

I decided to go with Sapphire, especially because I noticed the XFX one comes with no molex adapters and I only have one 6-pin connector. Didn't want to spend a few extra dollars just for that. And my current card is a Sapphire and never made any problems, so why not go Sapphire again.

Thanks for the help.
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