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Entry-level PC, cheapo!

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May 5, 2012 2:28:58 PM

So I haven't built a PC since Socket 478, and I figured it's time! Pentium 4 just ain't doin it no more. I'm going to build a new pc, but I don't want to pay a lot. Eventually, yes, I would like to build an i5-3750k, but not today.

What do you guys think? I plan on exploring Windows 7, Linux, and FreeBSD. I will be watching movies, programming, and of course games as long as I can run them more than 40fps haha.

Intel Celeron G530 2.4GHz $ 34.99 (Micro Center)
ASRock H61M-HVS $ 49.99 (Micro Center)
G.SKILL RipJaws 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1600 $ 29.99 (Newegg)
OZC Agility 3 60GB $ 64.99 (Micro Center)
ASUS 24X DVD Burner $ 17.99 (Newegg)

I was thinking of going with an APEVIA 500W PSU for $49.99, and then a Rosewill case for $29.99.

TOTAL (without Windows): $267.93

Now I will be adding a GeForce 500 series card soon (for games of course), and possibly a i3-2100 processor in the long run.

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May 5, 2012 2:47:12 PM

MB says: 2 x DDR3 DIMM slots. So go with 1 4GB dimm, not 2X 2GB so you can upgrade later. Make sure the fins on ripjaw clear your (stock) cooler. (I avoid fins on memory, however some love them.)

MB gives you plenty of CPU upgrade options for future +1.

Power supply choice may be a problem: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2007/05/23/450w500w_psu_... FAIL FAIL FAIL "On the performance side of the load testing, the Apevia was a wreck. Neither unit would power up with any load greater than the Test #3 numbers which may be a good thing as the units were melting during Test #3. With only a 50% load the unit violated the ATX specification for output voltages, and during the 75% test the units 12v rails dropped as low as 11.08v. Output voltages at this level would most likely result in unstable systems if the systems would boot at all. To make matters worse the units efficiency was never good only peaking at 72.59% (50% load at 120v) while dropping as low as 65.37% (75% load at 100v). "

Suggest antec earthwatt 430w for $40, however I'm not a PSU expert and there are many other good units. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Interesting choice to buy an SSD vs. spinning disk. You will not be installing mnay games on that SSD. Do you have another disk? (Aside: hard drive prices are falling fast, supply is returning to normal after thailand flood, expect prices to fall another 30-50% over 6 months for spinnign disks, so SSD now, spinnning later may be excellent choice).

Edit: missed this "watching movies". Make sure the integrated graphics in the Celeron can handle the playback formats you use or fyou'll be getting a video card sooner than you planned.
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May 5, 2012 2:54:59 PM

Good point on the memory, will go with 4GB for 1 slot.

Good catch on the power supply!! Will not be getting an APEVIA. I will look into other ones, including the Earthwatt.

That's funny you mention the SSD. I was actually thinking about going with a Western Digital HDD. And if I do get The Old Republic, that's a 30GB game, which will be an interesting predicament. So are you saying to go with the HDD for now? I mean it makes sense to me. The price is low and I can get a 320GB to 500GB HDD no problemo.
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May 5, 2012 3:53:56 PM

Kenobial said:
...I was actually thinking about going with a Western Digital HDD. And if I do get The Old Republic, that's a 30GB game, which will be an interesting predicament. So are you saying to go with the HDD for now? I mean it makes sense to me. The price is low and I can get a 320GB to 500GB HDD no problem...


Yes! You'd spec'd the OZC Agility 3 60GB $ 64.99. 60GB is too small for your only disk. Some people use a mix of small SSD and large spinning, but I don't like that (you have to custom install everything to keep the install off the C drive. I did that once, never again. Amazing how many programs fail if not in the default directory on the default disk).

I'd guess you need a spinning disk. 500GB minimum for gaming, larger better otherwise you will be uninstalling games to make room for new games. yuk. Skip the 'green' drives. I bought two for some reason and then was surprised at how slow they were. Noticeably slow. wait all day for a level to load slow.

Aside disk prices have been crazy lately. My WD 1.5TB black was $90 when I bought it 1-2 years ago. Its price went to $240 when Thailand flooded, is now back to $120s. Price should fall another $30 or so if you can wait a few months. Disk production is back to normal.
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July 14, 2013 6:00:00 AM

Have you considered going AMD CPU? They give more for the money, and the motherboards tend to be a bit cheaper aswell
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