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Help with ~$550 first real build

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June 4, 2012 9:46:17 PM

Hello,

I am looking into building a PC for my house. I have upgraded RAM, HDD's and Graphics cards in computers I have bought prebuilt in the past but have never built one from scratch. I have a laptop but it has integrated graphics and I dont want to lug it back and forth to work every day like I do now.

I have done alot of research on here and I have the majority of the items I want nailed down (I think).

Approximate Purchase Date: Tonight/tomorrow. I would like to build it this weekend if possible. I can delay the purchase if a good deal would be coming in the next few weeks for a part.

Budget Range: I think $550 is reasonable lets say +/- $100, I'll spend a little more for long term benefit.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: The main reason for the build is to play Diablo 3, surf the internet, play dvd's, maybe some photo/video editing or 3-d CAD and basic office suite applications. It will be hooked to my 42" LCD 1080p TV, maybe in the future get a two monitor setup for at a desk?

Parts Not Required: I do not need a monitor and I think I can use my HDD from my OLD (2003?) desktop. I bought the HDD to replace a burnt up one and I think it was of OK size and 7200 rpm. I have a external HDD for big space storage (music, movies, ect...). DVD drive, I have an external one I can use when I need it.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'll use newegg to show what I have come up with but once I know what I am going after, pretty much wherever I can get the best deals.

Country: USA - Northeast

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1080p 42" LCD TV (pretty sure that is 1920x1080)

Additional Comments: Quiet would be nice.

CPU - Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500

From what I found I should go Ivy Bridge, I chose the i5 because I want something that if I want to upgrade down the line (in 3 years or so) I can just upgrade the graphics card and add some more RAM and hopefully be good. If I could do an i3 and be in the same arena I would, is it naive to think in 3 years these processors will still be capable? Seriously though, I haven't bought a video game since Diablo 2 so i dont see myself getting anything too crazy in the foreseeable future (i.e. I am not a big gamer).

PSU - CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

I think this is a little overpowered, but for future upgrading, I rather spend the extra $15 here and not worry about it. Worth it?

RAM - CORSAIR 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMV8GX3M2A1333C9

Cheapest 8GB of ram with a good brand name on the site...

GPU - XFX HD-677X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

For my application, I dont think I need a $200.00 card here. From the reviews on this site, this card should be able to play D3 max graphics on my TV, no issues. Something there better for the same price point?

MoBo - GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Honestly, I have no clue here. I think you would just need this to accommodate what I plan on putting in and have some room for expansion. This is where I really need some more insight.

CASE- TBD
I think this is the last thing to look at, just get one that everything will fit in? Going to be in the living room but could hide behind a speaker. Any suggestions?

Ok that is where I am at. Tear it apart and school me up. I'm going to take what I get here for suggestions and plug that into mcix, tigerdirect, newegg ect... and see where I get the best pricing. I'm OK with $550.00, below $500 would be great, $600+ if I have to. I could also use some recommendations for a good wireless keyboard and mouse since I will hopefully be using from my couch!

Awesome website here, I have learned a lot in the past few days (catching up on the past 8 years of hardware development). Most every post I see on here has good replies with constructive criticism. Hoping to get some of that here.

*edit - Fixing URL issues...

More about : 550 real build

June 4, 2012 11:52:29 PM

Well First of all For your Budget I Suggest going With an I3 2100, Diablo 3 is not that Cpu Demanding a I3 2100 Is Good For Diablo 3.

Now on the motherboard, you are reusing your old Hard Drive and you are on a tight budget, I would Go with a Cheap H61 Motherboard. It has Sata II for your Hard drive, 1 slot for your Gpu and have a good quality.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This memory from g-skill really stable and 1.5v .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This case is A Really Good Choice for budget builds, allows full size Video Cards, Big Heatsinks, 3 Fans and because of the mesh it has good airflow

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The psu Its Already a good choice , good to go with the corsair.

Now the gpu, you are gonna play in a 42 inch so u need full 1080p, that can max Diablo 3. I suggest This Card should be able to get above 35fps in High Quality Settings in Diablo 3.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Everything would be about 450 usd. you Can Always Invest More money if you want to get a better cpu but For gaming, Watching Movies and Office Work, The i3 2100 Is Good Enough, its the best bang for your money and The Sandy Bridge Line, Will Be Good Enough For About 3 years, besides, remember that ivy bridge its just a smaller sandy bridge you dont really get more than 20% performance.

Future Proof, Dont exist In Pc gaming World. You Get the Best you can Afford in that right momment and it often last 2 Years before you see things slowing down. The only Future Proof thing i Can see Is getting a Quality high power Psu, So you Can Re use it in your Next System. Psus, Case Fans and Hard Drives are the only things you Can Use again in the future.

June 5, 2012 1:00:24 AM

As far as this whole ivy bridge thing...ivy bridge is a tick,not a tock. It works like this...tick,tock,tick,tock ect. Tick= smaller manufacturing process,small changes. Tock=No Manufacturing change,bigger improvement in terms of performance.
Ivy bridge went from 32nm manufacturing process to 22nm(this is the tick).
The changes were the new HD 4000/2500 graphics, full pci 3.0 support and uses less power
HD 4000/2500 will not benefit you as you are using discrete graphics,unless you plan on transcoding alot of video or using lucid virtu mvp.
The pci 3.0 support will not benefit you as you are using a pci 2.0 card.
A slifght speed increase claimed as 5%-10%,but in testing it appeared to be a little under 5%

The cons with IB are that due to the more dies on the chip it tends to get much hotter when OC(probally won't affect you.

So really no big changes. You really won't see a noticeable performance jump between the two.
Hope I helped!
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June 5, 2012 2:45:57 AM

Alright, so what I am gathering is that i dont need to be too concerned with future upgrades because what I buy now will most likely need to be replaced within 3 years anyways. So I guess i'll go cheap.

Going to order this setup tomorrow around noon. Hopefully I get some more input before then.

MoBo- BIOSTAR H61MGC LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU - Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor

GPU - PowerColor AX6850 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

RAM- G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory

PSU- CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

CASE - Fractal Design Core 1000 Micro ATX Computer Case w/ 1 x 120mm fan

I cant think of anything else I would need. Anyone see any issues with going with this setup?
I could use a mouse/keyboard recommendation still. Looking to be right at $450 before shipping (all newegg havent shopped for pricing) yet.
June 5, 2012 2:49:23 AM

go down with the motherboard
June 5, 2012 11:12:49 AM

guerrero said:
go down with the motherboard


not sure what this means...
June 5, 2012 4:14:26 PM

Shopped for pricing, but didn't get anywhere really. I can save some $$ by buying the CPU local, here is what I have.

MoBo- BIOSTAR H61MGC LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $49.99

CPU - Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor $95.61

GPU - PowerColor AX6850 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $139.99

RAM- G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory $39.99

PSU- CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply $59.99 ($10 MIR)

CASE - Fractal Design Core 1000 Micro ATX Computer Case w/ 1 x 120mm fan $39.99

Total : $425.56 + $13.76 shipping = $439.32

Will someone double check the components and see that they are compatible? I am doing much better than I originally though (started with a $900 prebuilt laptop). I haven't had many replies and would appreciate some reassurance that I am not buying improper parts.
June 5, 2012 4:49:09 PM

Yea it looks fairly good. Everything is compatible.
I'd take this gigabyte mobo over yours. It has SATA III(6gbs), better audio,usb 3.0 and its only $60($50 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your build will be very small and you shouldn't hear much noise at all. I have a little beefier system(similar to yours) and I can hardly hear it.

You are coming really under budget. You could add an ssd and get incredible performance. A 60gb ssd will have your OS and core programs,while your HD will hold your media and all that stuff.
This one is cheap and awesome! $65($55 after MIR).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But your build will be pretty sweet! You have no compatibility problems,so thats good!
Good luck!
June 5, 2012 4:55:08 PM

One other thing...I'm assuming you have never built a pc berfore. I highly reccomend watching newegg's "how to build a computer"(it has 3 parts) on youtube.
This will really help you understand what you are doing and prevent any mistakes.
I've watched it like 5 times before building my pc...lol...
June 5, 2012 5:03:21 PM

andystanley said:
Yea it looks fairly good. Everything is compatible.
I'd take this gigabyte mobo over yours. It has SATA III(6gbs), better audio,usb 3.0 and its only $60($50 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for the info. Will my old HD work with SATA III?

If so I'm going to purchase this within a few hours!
June 5, 2012 5:19:20 PM

creature said:
Thanks for the info. Will my old HD work with SATA III?

If so I'm going to purchase this within a few hours!

Yes it will. I'm guessing its SATA II or SATA III. It should say on the hard drive. Or maybe it will say SATA 6gbs(III) or SATA 3Gbs(II). They have 6gbs and 3gbs ports on the motherboard. So if you find which one it is you'll plug it into the correct port. I doubt it is SATA I...but in the event that it is plug it in to the SATA II port(it is backwards compatible).
If you're HD is IDE,let me know,as you will unfortunately need a new HD.

Cheers!
June 6, 2012 3:03:43 PM

Sorry to drag this out, I had a quick thought last night. I want to be sure i'm making the correct choice in building a desktop. I did some laptop research and found this one..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=34-246-...

For ~$50 more I get a laptop vs a desktop. I'm still leaning toward the desktop because I dont need the mobility. I have a work laptop and an 2004 Dell laptop. The dell will suffice for boring stuff, and could be a desktop replacement (bought it for college).

What are some reasons to go with the desktop over a laptop?
June 6, 2012 6:25:23 PM

I own that laptop. It works all right. I'd still prefer my desktop any day. The power in it is just better. For the price (and the system you have set up) I think you'd be better off going with the desktop. I think the card you're planning on getting has a bit more umph and there is no reason to spend the extra 50 bucks if you aren't intending to move it around a lot. The only way I'd say go with the laptop would be if you wanted the mobility.
June 6, 2012 8:30:48 PM

eleptyx said:
I own that laptop. It works all right. I'd still prefer my desktop any day. The power in it is just better. For the price (and the system you have set up) I think you'd be better off going with the desktop. I think the card you're planning on getting has a bit more umph and there is no reason to spend the extra 50 bucks if you aren't intending to move it around a lot. The only way I'd say go with the laptop would be if you wanted the mobility.

+1 the desktop has much more power. The only thing the laptop has going for it is mobility.
!