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First time Build for ~$500

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July 9, 2012 5:50:11 PM

Hi,
I have helped some of my friends with setting up computers that they built, but this will be my first time actually going through the whole process myself. I was hoping someone could help me with a build that fits my needs without costing a ton.
Thanks for any help!

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: I plan on finishing the build before the end of the summer for the up coming semester of college. The sooner the better though.

Budget Range:I would like to keep the build very cheap under $500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: I use alot of software that is video intensive (Parametric Modeling software), I also need it to run long MatLab files. I like to play games as well, but mostly just web based ones that arent as intensive.

Are you buying a monitor: I have a Samsung HD TV That I have been using as a monitor with my Laptop (HDMI)



Parts to Upgrade: Full New Build

Do you need to buy OS: I can get widows 7 very cheap through the college software website

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I dont care that much. Newegg is always great, but no preference really.

Location: College Station, TX

Parts Preferences: I prefer Intel Processors to AMD

Overclocking: Probably not, unless advised otherwise

SLI or Crossfire: Dont know much about this so advice would be nice

Your Monitor Resolution: Im not sure, I dont have it with me right now. I can find out later if this is important.

Additional Comments: Here is a list of software I use: MatLab, SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, LS-PrePost, Altair Hypermesh.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Currently I have a really cheap gateway laptop that was not very good when I got it in '09 refurbished. Its basically useless for doing anything for school, and its becoming nessecary for an upgrade.


So far I think that I want to use the following, but I could be easily persuaded. I have been research to learn about what I should pick.

CPU: Intel i3 2120
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3

Any ideas on where I should go from here?

More about : time build 500

July 9, 2012 5:59:16 PM

Don't get Z68 unless you plan to overclock, go with H77 instead.

Try this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.00 @ Mac Connection)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77-DS3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($97.99 @ eCost)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GT 640 2GB Video Card ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $524.94
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
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Best solution

July 9, 2012 6:06:12 PM

Monitor size/rez will have an impact on what graphics to choose.

Since Matlab is CPU intensive, get the fastest CPU that you can afford. The more cores the better....and also, hyper-threading where possible. http://www.mathworks.com/products/matlab/choosing_hardw...

i5-2500K or i5-3570K? Use integrated or low end dedicated graphics to save $$....especially if you are not a gamer. Cheap nVidia? nVidia cards are better than AMD for Matlab. http://www.mathworks.com/discovery/matlab-gpu.html

Dave
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July 9, 2012 6:33:05 PM

Would you drive 2 hours to Houston and go to a Microcenter? lol
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July 9, 2012 7:51:36 PM

To Guerrero: Yes I was already planning on it. Microcenter has awesome deals

To Gunit: Could you explain the differences between H77 and Z68?

And David I was considering going with one of those as well, but I was wondering how well the built in 2000K card performs. The mathworks reference is very useful. I was unaware that nVidia and AMD would perform differently with Matlab
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July 9, 2012 7:57:19 PM

mat7043 said:
To Guerrero: Yes I was already planning on it. Microcenter has awesome deals

To Gunit: Could you explain the differences between H77 and Z68?

And David I was considering going with one of those as well, but I was wondering how well the built in 2000K card performs. The mathworks reference is very useful. I was unaware that nVidia and AMD would perform differently with Matlab


Z68 supports higher RAM capacities and gives you access to the multiplier, which you don't need if you're running an i3-2120.

Quote:
And David I was considering going with one of those as well, but I was wondering how well the built in 2000K card performs. The mathworks reference is very useful. I was unaware that nVidia and AMD would perform differently with Matlab


The integrated HD 2000 / 3000 graphics are not that great. The upgraded HD4000 graphics card that's found on the i5-3570K and i7-3770K are actually capable of more than just web browsing: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-benchmar...
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July 16, 2012 3:50:28 PM

Best answer selected by mat7043.
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