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~$500 Build For Art and Mid Level Gaming

Last response: in Systems
April 10, 2012 10:25:59 AM

I'm doing a bit of research into a future purchase but I seem to be a bit over my head in all this. Although I've shared PCs with siblings in the past I've only had one computer to call my own. My on-sale HP laptop has served me faithfully over the years, but alas, the battery has long since faded and I fear it won't last if I decide to return to college next fall. That said, I'd like to purchase a PC before I head back that will hopefully last through, and to a couple years after.

I can see that forums like this are gaming focused, but I know that if I'm going to school for animation that I should put the use of digital art programs first on my priority list. Art related forums seem to just spout out, "Get a mac," which really doesn't seem to be an option for me.

On to the copy-paste:

Approximate Purchase Date: 3-5 months. (I'll for sure be updating my plans along the way)

Budget Range: Around $500 After Rebates (+ monitor and other)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: The build will be used mostly in art programs such as Photoshop and Flash along with a drawing tablet. I would also like to be able to do some gaming as well, but I don't usually go for anything super graphically intensive. Current and future game interests are: TF2, Street Fighter X Tekken, Guild Wars 2, Half-Life 3 (if ever).

Parts Not Required: Everything will be required. This will be my first not-a-laptop.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have no idea, any suggestions? Something good for Canada. (Tiger Direct?)

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: No. Quite frankly, it scares the crap out of me.

Monitor Resolution: Widescreen for sure.

Additional Comments: Quiet would be nice as well as the possibility of getting a Cintiq monitor in the future. But I doubt this system will be relevant when I can afford something like that.

My needs seem fairly low, which is excellent considering my price range. In fact, if I could go cheaper that would help. I've not a clue as to what I need, so if my budget seems like a pipe dream, let me know.

Just please don't tell me that I should buy a ridiculous Mac.
April 10, 2012 4:50:57 PM

I hear you on the Dont my a Mac crap. LOL! but for 500 dollars INCLUDING a monitor is not going to get you a good computer for anything, put on top of that that prices in canada are a bit higher then those in the USA. 100 bucks would go to OS, 100-150 on a monitor, with that you would leave 250-300 bucks left for the actual rig. If you are wanting a system with good Rendering rates and multi tasking you will need to spend more around 800-100 if you think you could. I understand many are on a budget.

Closest to your price range would maybe be on this article:
take that rig and get a lower priced GPU like
April 10, 2012 8:28:22 PM

Oh yes, I didn't mean 500 including the monitor, I know that's not feasible, I meant $500 and then the monitor and other. Although, I completely forgot about needing to buy windows.

Thanks for the links, it defiantly helps.
Related resources
April 10, 2012 10:19:33 PM

Well hopefully someone from CA can help ya out. I tried to price out a good rig, however the problem seems to be on both newegg and tigerdirect up there. The prices there are more then USA and almost EVERYTHING has a shipping cost. A 550 dollar rig was 650 after shipping.

If you think you could add 100-150 more dollars to the budget, you could get a lot more for you money.

Good luck. sorry I could not help more with 500 bucks.
April 10, 2012 11:21:32 PM

What art programs are you wanting to run? Will you be doing 3D rendering etc., or are you just doing basic photoshop, indesign, etc.