$450-550 Partial Build.

Hi All,

My mom gave me a call this weekend to ask for my help in picking out a new computer for their house. They don't know anything about computers, and they had a Dell Inspiron 530 (3gb ddr2, old motherboard, intel core 2 duo, and an aftermarket graphics card) which blew up for unknown reasons. I found out that they purchased a new graphics card so my dad and brother could play games from best buy for like 70$. Well, it was an ATI Radeon HD 4350 and it turns out that that specific graphics card needs a recommended 650 watt psu. They were using a 300 watt stock power supply from dell. :non: Suffice it to say I'm pretty sure they have blown the PSU and since they've been running the system this way for a year and want a new computer, we're only going to be able to salvage the external peripherals such as monitor, keyboard, etc, and probably the only internal stuff we will be able to keep is the DVDRW and the Hard drive.

So they are pretty poor, but they do need the new computer. They want one they can play games on without blowing up (my dad and brother keep the computer on and in use like at least 10 hours a day) and need my expertise to help them build it. They will be purchasing the parts on Newegg, all together, and I will come to the house and install it for them and then install the OS/Etc.

They have 550$ total for this (final price) but would like to spend as little as possible, because money is tight. I don't care if it's AMD/ATI or Intel/Nvidia, we would just like the best price to performance we can get.

Do you think we will be able to salvage the hard drive and dvd drive? They were probably not running with enough power for about a year.

It seems I will need a Case, Motherboard, RAM, CPU, GPU, PSU, wiring + fans. I would appreciate any help you guys can give, because I don't know what the best/cheapest/most value route is nowadays.


Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP
Budget Range: $450-550 After Shipping and Tax
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Mid-range Gaming (Battlefield 3 is the best game they have), General Purpose (YouTube, Word Processing, Internet). The machine is the family-main computer and my father and brother fight over computer time. It is typically on all day.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Hard Drive, DVD-RW
Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: I do not have any parts preference, I am looking for the best price:performance/value as my parents do not have much money to spend on this project.
Overclocking: I would prefer to stay away from overclocking, as it’s for my parents and I don’t want to be responsible for overclocking issues.
SLI or Crossfire: If possible, probably not possible
Monitor Resolution: They have a 23 inch HP 2331 1920x1080 monitor.
Additional Comments: This computer will be used at least 12 hours a day, my brother and dad are on it 24-7. My dad comes home from work, gets on YouTube and plays FPSs, my brother will steal the computer as soon as he is done. My mom will use it to check email and do quickbooks or whatever budgeting software they have.
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about partial build
  1. first of all, what interface does the dvd drive and the hard drive use. if they are IDE, they cant be used since new motherboards just dont have those ports (unless its those fatal1ty branded boards)

    this should get you medium/high(ish) settings on BF3. i included the hard drive and dvd burner just incase the drives that you have are not SATA compatable.

    DVD+/-RW - Serial ATA
    1.0 x Standard - S-ATA - 7200.0 rpm

    Does this help?

    edit: and i'm unable to see your link!
  3. whoops sorry.

    the dvd drive and the hard drive will work fine

    at ,they have a promo where it costs 5 bucks to ship. i dont live in the US, so i wouldnt know how much tax they are charging for this stuff
  4. My mistake my man,

    I forgot to say, I already have a Windows 7 Pro License, and I'm gonna install it via USB.

    Will that change a lot of options? ***, I'm real sorry that I didn't say that before. That frees up an extra 100$!
  5. Best answer

    this would be better

    i upped the video card and increased the speed of the ram
  6. Awesome man.
    Do you know if I would need to buy cables, screws, fans, etc?

    This would be my first PC build but I think I can handle it, I just want to have everything ready before I go out and build the computer.

    Also if my brother and dad don't like that case we can buy a similar Micro ATX Case because the MOBO is a Micro ATX, correct?
  7. wait. if you dont mind a bigger case and spending a little more, the antec 302 is a higher quality case.

    no you dont really need more cables. the motherboard and the case provides those.

    remember to discharge static electricity away from you before you touch the components. to do that, just touch the side of the case before you start working. dont work on carpet
  8. I love you man. Please stand by for when I create this machine. :)
  9. Best answer selected by ahhyep.
  10. And I just noticed that motherboard you linked only supports 1333, not 1600 RAM. That's not a problem, I will buy the 1333 ram, it's cheaper anyways and my brother/dad won't know the diff.
  11. the case works as well. i actually didnt notice that the motherboard only supports 1333mhz ram.

    have fun building
  12. I'll show you what I bought:

    MOBO -
    CPU -
    GPU -
    CASE -
    RAM -
    PSU -

    These are all from newegg because we didn't want multiple websites. So we spent an extra couple bucks or so but they're all coming 3 days shipped so I can build it on Saturday.

    I just got home from helping them order and I noticed that the PSU is not enough to power the GPU. Is this true? WTF? Did I buy too low of wattage... CRAP.
  13. it works. 550w is the recommendation but you arent even connecting much to the power supply anyways. the 560ti sucks around 175w and since the cpu maximum is 65 (honestly someone ran a single i3 and it only took 45w), the max load on your PSU will only be 250w. 450 is more than you need
  14. TheBigTroll said:
    it works. 550w is the recommendation but you arent even connecting much to the power supply anyways. the 560ti sucks around 175w and since the cpu maximum is 65 (honestly someone ran a single i3 and it only took 45w), the max load on your PSU will only be 250w. 450 is more than you need

    Thank You!!
  15. Just a quick update, I built it yesterday for my dad and brother, it took 4 hours after installing all antivirus, windows 7, office, and battlefield 3 to test.

    THEY WERE BLOWN AWAY!!! It ran smoothly on high settings

    The case was a little cramped, but still good build quality.
    At first, I was a little scared of the power supply and GPU, the GPU required 2x 6 pin pci-e and the power supply only had 1x 6 pin pcie.

    Thankfully the graphics card came with 2x molec -> pcie 6 pin connectors.

    So I was able to use the 1x pci e and the 2x molec to get it set up.

    Windows experience index was 5.9 because of the hard drive we had left over from an older computer.

    They are going to buy a SSD when they have more money.

    Windows experience:
    7.1 processor
    7.5 memory
    7.8 graphics

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