$800 budget build (SSD or not?)

Approximate Purchase Date: in around 2 weeks

Budget Range: $800 max before rebates, not including monitor and OS

System Usage from Most to Least Importance: gaming, doing schoolwork, surfing the Internet, possibly watching movies

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'd prefer that all parts come from Micro Center, as I'm a new builder and that would make the process a lot simpler.

Country: US

Parts Preferences: Intel processor, otherwise pretty flexible though I'd kinda prefer a Western Digital hard drive

Overclocking: No :'(

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: looking to buy a new monitor and mostly considering 1920x1080, assuming my graphics card can handle it; if not, I'm fine with something like 1680x1050 or 1600x900

Additional Comments: I'm trying to build a computer that will run modern games decently well for the next year, and that can also do other everyday computing tasks. I'd prefer an SSD for boots and a few important applications/games. If the PC was quiet and did not run up electricity bills too high, that would also be nice.

Here's what I have so far. I'm open to all suggestions.

Processor: Intel Core i3 2100 LGA 1155 3.1GHz Boxed Processor $89.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0359809

Motherboard: I'm stuck here...

Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $57.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0283272

RAM: Crucial 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules) $39.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0382101

Graphics Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1561-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.0 x16 Video Card $229.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0356463

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WDBAAX5000ENC $84.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0347353

SSD: Crucial m4 CT128M4SSD2 128GB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) with Marvell Controller $119.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0364545

Optical Drive: LG 22x DVD±RW Super Multi Dual Layer Burner - OEM $16.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0382272

Power Supply: OCZ Technology ModXStream Pro 600W Modular ATX Power Supply $74.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0301547

Total: $715 (no motherboard)

I'm confused at this point as to whether I should drop the SSD completely or get a 64GB one (and use that money to upgrade processor/graphics card and buy mobo). Also not sure what mobo to get. For the OS, I was planning on picking up a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and for the monitor I was looking for recommendations :kaola:
7 answers Last reply
More about budget build
  1. I'd personally say drop the SSD completely and use that money to upgrade your GPU to a Radeon 7870 or your CPU to the i5-2500K, that's where you will the most performance difference on any build.

    As for motherboard - if you're not going to overclock - go with an Intel H77, something along the lines of this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131826
  2. Thanks g-unit. I like the 7870, but it's a bit out of my price range. Would the 7850 work? And in terms of the i5-2500K, is it worth the extra $20 over the i5-3450 if I do not plan to overclock?

    This motherboard seems pretty similar to the one you suggested, though it is mATX: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0389358

    I agree that I'm probably going to have to drop the SSD, so I'm going to scrap this build. If somebody could suggest a build taking into account my preferences and going off the base of the i5 3450/7850, it would be much appreciated. I can stretch my budget to about $800-$900.
  3. Here are two options to choose from. I only included parts/prices from Newegg and Micro Center.

    Low Budget Option:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
    Power Supply: OCZ 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.64 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $748.55
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-08 09:20 EDT-0400)


    High Budget Option:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.12 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($419.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
    Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $945.04
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-08 09:26 EDT-0400)

    You could get away without the CPU cooler, use the stock fan and save $35. That would put you right at $900 and you get the GTX 670.

    And I guess there is a middle option. Get the Radeon 7850 and upgrade to the i5-2500k. Would put you right around $800.

    ***Here is that option. I went ahead and bumped it all the way up to the 3570k, just in case you ever think about doing some easy overclocking. Downgrade the CPU to save a little if that's not your thing.

    Mid Budget Option:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.12 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
    Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $825.04
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-08 09:33 EDT-0400)
  4. 7850 is actually a close match to the GTX 570, it will be plenty for any game, single screen, for at least the next 2-3 years.

    I'd try to keep the SSD, actually. here's my suggested $800 build:


    i5-2400: $189.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115074

    PNY 8 GB DDR3-1333: $38.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178333

    AS Rock H61M/U3S3: $66.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178333

    OCZ Agility 90 GB SATA III SSD: $79.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227757

    Western Digital 500 GB HDD: $64.99 w/ Promo code
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

    Corsair CX 430W PSU: $44.99 plus $10 Rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

    HIS HD 7850 w/ Free DiRT 3: $249.99 plus $10 rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161406

    (yes, the PSU will handle the 7850)

    LG DVD Burner: $17.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136247

    HEC 63R3BB computer case: $34.99 plus $5 rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121120
    space for up to 6 more fans

    Rosewill 4 pack of 120mm fans: $6.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200061
    (suggest 1 top, 1 back, 1 side, 1 bottom)


    total: $795.90 before $25 in rebates and before shipping.
  5. He has access to a Micro Center. For $20 more than your build he can get the i5-3450 and a Z77 Motherboard giving him better performance, but more importantly giving a slight edge in future proofing his system. I think that is well worth an extra $20.
  6. yeah, at micro center he coudl up to a i5-3450 and B75 or Z77 board with little issues
  7. Seeing a lot of build advice here. Here's mine that includes an SSD, good CPU, and same GPU as other. Have a look:

    CPU: $190- i5-3570K(Microcenter, will do fine even if you don't overclock)

    Motherboard: $90- Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (Microcenter, kind of cheap if you buy with the above CPU)

    HDD & PSU: $125- Seagate Barracuda 500GB & Corsair Builder CX500

    GPU & RAM: $287- HIS Radeon 7850 & Patriot Gamer 8GB

    SSD: $68- Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 64GB(Decent SSD, has instant $10 off with promo)

    Case: $40- NZXT Source(Or any other of your choice)

    Optical Drive: $17- Samsung

    Total(Excluding Rebates,promos): $817

    Rebates: 30 USD
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product