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Looking for suggestions on a full build at $700

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July 11, 2012 1:22:30 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: over the next 30 days

Budget Range: as little as possible ... but I know good stuff costs more

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Internet, Video (Netflix, Hulu, ESPN3), Music (WinAmp), Microsoft Office

Parts Not Required: have speakers, keyboard and mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any that delivers what they say, I also will be able to stop at a Microcenter in the next 30 days (drive by, not near by)

Country: USA (Michigan)

Parts Preferences: I would like quality reliable parts that last

Overclocking: Maybe ... only because it might be interesting to do

SLI or Crossfire: I wouldn't think so ( full disclosure ... I'm not a gamer but this forum has it together!)

Monitor Resolution: at least 1920x1080 with a 23"+ size ... if larger monitors need more than HD I would user higher resolution if I could



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So after several part specific threads and a buch of reading I think this could be a starting point ... thanks to everyone for all their toghts on my questions!

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bMSj

CPU: Intel Pentium G620 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($55.99 @ Newegg) ... this is way better than my current AMD Athlon 64 3500+ even though is is very low end ... I'm thinkining an i5-3570K in 1-3 years

Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($92.55 @ Newegg) ... I could see a GPU 3-4 years down the road if it made a big performance boost in general use but not two

Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg) ... I have no idea how to pick fast and compatiable memory ... it is something I would not throw aside so if there are better options

Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ Microcenter) ... SSD for Win7, Office and WinAmp but little else

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg) ... not using a lot of space now, this would be more than my 320 GB ... what I really want is a fast but small drive (320 GB would fit)

Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($51.98 @ Newegg) ... I'm after a quality PSU that could handle one GPU maybe ... reading that a PSU running at 50% ('ish) capacity is ideal

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)

Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($184.99 @ B&H) ... any ideas on a monitor this size (23" - 24") that would last ... I'm thinking LED and I probably would buy this at a MicroCenter after I see a bunch of choices ... maybe the name brands just aren't that different?

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $698.45 (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

The case is missing because I have no idea ... something that fits an ATX board, holds the parts (without being way oversized), looks more "understated" and keeps things cool ... but cheap.

Looking forward to improvements in the build and why things could be better ... I would be happy to spend less for similar quality ... and no problems would be a big plus, I don't get along with customer support usually.

July 11, 2012 8:47:16 PM

I don't think you will want to try running a 23 or 24 inch monitor on G620 built in graphics. Even if you are not doing any kind of gaming whatsoever, the G620 just has really bad graphics and I wouldn't want to try to run a large screen off of it.

A 6670 or something would be about the least I would want to trust even a bare bones system to. That is like 5x better than G620 graphics.

The best cheap case you are going to get is the Cooler Master Elite 430. You would get a whole lot more bang out of your buck by going with the Cooler Master HAF 912, but that will probably cost about 50% more bucks which may not be in the budget.

I would drop the SSD for those things if you have to. They are mostly a luxury for people with money to waste.

The Z75 motherboard is pretty overkill-ish unless you think you are really going to be doing the processor upgrade you mentioned at some later time. You wouldn't be getting any sort of "future proof" with this board, though, just fyi. The Ivy Bridge iX-3xxx's are the last sort of processors that are scheduled to use the 1155 slot.

The Corsair CX 430 is probably cheaper and just as fine for what you are likely to be doing as compared to the 500w of whatever model line.
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July 12, 2012 4:39:32 PM

Going old school because pc part picker appears to be having issues ... updated list ...

CPU: Intel Pentium G620 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($55.99 @ Newegg) ...

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($92.55 @ Newegg) ... with a plan of a i5-3570K in 1 - 2 years and a single GPU in 2 - 3 years ... would this board be a good choice? The Z75 is less than the Z77 and the differences don't seem to matter for single GPU systems.

Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ... if I put in 1866 memory now would it work with the Pentium CPU, in fact would 1600 work with that CPU initially (and then work better with the i5 later)?

Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ Microcenter) ... SSD for Win7, Office and WinAmp but little else ... I'm thinking do this now and get the OS loaded, a bit faster now and a lot faster with a new CPU

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg) ... not using a lot of space now, this would be more than my 320 GB ... what I really want is a fast but small drive (320 GB would fit)

Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ... simple and plain, exactly what I was thinking

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)

Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($184.99 @ B&H) ... any ideas on a monitor this size (23" - 24" ) that would last ... I'm thinking LED and I probably would buy this at a MicroCenter after I see a bunch of choices ... maybe the name brands just aren't that different?

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.98 @ Outlet PC)

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Power Supply: I have been reading that a 300w - 450w PSU would be about right but that oversizing a little will keep things cooler and quieter ... is 430w about double what I would need with a "mainstreme" GPU?

Video Card: Looking at the Tom's GPU list I see cards based on the 4350, 4550 and 5450 would be four tiers above the Pentium Graphics (the minimum jump recommended) ... 3650 and 3670 cards would be 8 tiers higher and the 6670 would be 14 tiers higher! I don't do games and I don't do video rendering/processing ... is a GPU really going to be a big difference? If so, would even the cheapest of cards (like a SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP ) make a big difference in video, DVD, ESPN3, etc. on the monitor I'm listing?

Are case fans something to consider ... maybe an extra 120mm

I feel like I'm getting closer to an answer ... but all ideas are welcome!!!
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July 13, 2012 2:15:45 AM

If you can live with an i5-2400 (which you almost certainly can) then you could do with a cheaper motherboard than a Z77.

A basic board like this one costs barely $50 shipped

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

and it will work with the Sandy Bridge i5s just fine.

The difference between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge isn't that big, and the scale back would let you bump up to a G850 or even an i3-2120.

You also don't need the Hyper 212 if you are not going to be OCing, which you aren't if you get the G series processor or an i3 or the i5-2400. Might as well just use the fan that comes with it in the box and save the $30 or $40 for that while you are at it.

I would, however, still spend the $50 to get a 6670. It would be able to handle a larger monitor and playing movies and stuff a whole lot better than the built in graphics or the low end cards like 4350 or 5450 can. Really, that is $50 that wouldn't be wasted at all.

To be quite honest I have a tough time suggesting anyone to have a computer with absolutely no video card with anything less than an AMD Llano chip and those are running the equivalent of a 6670.

Fans - I would max out the fans if I were you. Whatever the largest thing you can fit in each slot is. Cooler parts work better, longer, and they cause crashes a whole lot less often. There is really no substitute for a cold PC.

RAM - the G series chips can only use 1066 RAM and the i series chips can go quite high, but the benefits of going past 1333 are very limited. You might as well get a high quality set of 1333 and let the G series processor scale it back to 1066 and then when/if you get a new processor later it will just use it at the regular 1333 which is all you really need.
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July 14, 2012 2:52:58 AM

After thinking things over I'm liking this list based on a lot of build reviews ... no OC but IB support down the road, single GPU that may get swapped out at some point, OS not included (have Win7 box) ... Newegg prices (can't seem to get anywhere with the PCPartPicker site?!) ...

> Intel Celeron G530 Sandy Bridge 2.4GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics ... $49.99

> ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ... $84.99

> COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler ... $29.99

> Rosewill FUTURE Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with Four Fans - 2 x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1 x Top 120mm Fan,1 x Rear 120mm Fan ... $44.99

> Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX ... $49.99

> Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKX 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ... $69.99

> Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ... $74.99

> SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card ... $14.99

> CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply ... $44.99

> LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24NS90 ... $16.99

> ASUS VS Series VS247H-P Black 23.6" 2ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor ... $189.99

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Total system cost is under $700 (have, OS, keyboard, mouse, speakers). At this point I'm wanting the 7-series chipset and this ASRock board is less expensive than the cheapest Gigabyte H77 board.

I would appreciate any feedback ... and a clue on the PCPartPicker website (response is slow, like 10 minutes with no screen and CPU pegged at 100%)

A few specific questions ...

1) the board lists a 24 pin plug ... does a 20+4 pin PSU work or do I have to go with a 24-pin?

2) the listed memory is on the board's compatability list but is lower voltage better?

Thanks in advance for advice!

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July 14, 2012 1:58:48 PM

20+4 is the same as 24. That means 4 of the 24 are detachable if they need to be detached. That hasn't really needed to happen since like 2000, though.

Lower voltage RAM is better than higher voltage RAM. Older systems used primarily 1.65v RAM, but currently 1.35v and 1.5v are supported by most systems. The 1.5v is more common, but the 1.35v is preferred. 1.35v is very new, though, only a couple years old if that and there aren't many models like that on the market yet. That is the direction things are going, though.

PCPartpicker - I think it is a flash app. Flash apps only use 1 core regardless of how many you have and if they aren't designed well they can cause similar hangs. It sounds like something dependent on thing A tried to trigger before thing A was done processing, just a guess. Could easily happen like that if your current processor is pretty old.
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July 14, 2012 2:14:40 PM

PC Part Picker runs on this crappy 1.8 GHz single core Turon laptop from 2005 I'm using right now, so its requirements are probably a cpu that works
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July 14, 2012 6:12:09 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
PC Part Picker runs on this crappy 1.8 GHz single core Turon laptop from 2005 I'm using right now, so its requirements are probably a cpu that works


I wonder how that compares to my crappy AMD Athlon 64 3500+ PC from 2005 :o 

The curious thing is that since I started using my current PC to figure out how to build a new PC things have gotten worse it seems?!
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