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CPU/Mobo options, first build and can't decide!

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July 14, 2012 7:40:13 PM

I've been working on a PC build that is a low cost option ($500 without OS, keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor) but upgradeable ... used for ESPN3, Netflix/HuluPlus, Internet, WinAmp, MS Office, DVD movies ... replacing a tired 2005 AMD Athlon 64 3500+ PC (so it would not take much to be better).

Idea has been Celeron G530 CPU and ASRock Z75 Pro3 mobo ($135 combined) now and a i5-3570K w/ HD Graphics 4000 ($230) in 2-3 years ... total cost $365. I'm not going to have more than one GPU ever and not sure if I really need one at all, thinking the Celeron's HD Graphics is a big step-up from the ATI Graphics 200 I have now. The board ($80) works now and will run the i5 nicely when it comes and it has the features I need.

Looking at all the build I'm wondering if would be better to consider the CPU/Mobo together for upgrade. So right now I could get one of these combinations ...

a) Total cost $140 ... ASRock H77M ($75), Intel Celeron G530 w/ HD Graphics ($50), Shapphire Radeon HD5450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 ($15)

b) Total cost $163 ... ASRock H77M ($75), Intel Pentium G850 w/ HD 2000 Graphics ($88)

c) Total cost $180 ... ASRock H77M ($75), Intel Pentium G860 w/ HD Graphics ($90), Shapphire Radeon HD5450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 ($15)

d) Total cost $195 ... ASRock H77M ($75), Intel i3-2125 w/ HD 3000 Graphics ($120)

So instead of a planning on a CPU upgrade in 1-3 years I would spend a little more now and in 2-4 years replace the CPU and Mobo with current parts, like Haswell or what comes after ... a bigger leap forward. I think all the other parts would be reused.

This hardware is going to run an ASUS VS247H-P 23.6" monitor at 1920 x 1080.

My questions now are ...

1) The four options are about $20 jumps ... is there one that would be a clear choice above the others? I'm sure even option (a) would be way better than what I have now ... but if say option (b) would be 2-3 times faster than option (a) I would spend $20 to get that.

2) Is there another low cost combination of CPU/Mobo and (optionally) GPU I should be looking at? I would like to stick with the ASRock/Gigabyte/ASUS brands for mobo, need 2 SATA3 connections and want to use 8GB of DDR3 1600 that can (hopefully) move to a new mobo down the road.

Lots of great feedback here ... I'm hoping some comes my way!!!


a b à CPUs
July 14, 2012 8:03:58 PM

how about this for $500:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M/U3S3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Diamond Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($121.49 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec 380W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($37.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $499.38
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
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July 15, 2012 3:34:01 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
how about this for $500:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M/U3S3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Diamond Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($121.49 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec 380W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($37.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $499.38
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)



Holy crap ... working with PCPartPicker on my PC is torture ... it takes 5 minutes for a screen refresh and my CPU is 100% the whole time!

Your build really is what I'm thinking and there were lots of savings. Rolling it in with a full list I get to this ... am I making any big mistakes?!

PCPartPicker part list:

CPU: Intel Celeron G540 2.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.99 @ Mac Mall)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg) Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6450 1GB Video Card ($26.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Rosewill Future ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($184.99 @ B&H)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $723.85 (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

My questions/thoughts ...

1) I'm not sure if the budget can make a i3 CPU ... although I'm going to start this buy with a visit to a MicroCenter ... maybe I can score a deal. Would a CPU with HD 3000 Graphics mean I don't need a GPU at all?

2) The Gigabyte board has a PCI-E 3.0 slot so a GPU in this box could be used in a future build? Otherwise I love the price point you found and came down.

3) Will DDR3 1600 memory be better in a future build ... or 3 years from now will it all be different? If it is only good for this build then I would go with your choice.

4) The case I picked is low cost but it has 4 fans and is less than the Elite 431 recommended by a lot of folks. The 370 might be gone (newegg lists as unavailable)

5) I went with a little bigger PSU so I can use it with a rebuild ... I won't do more than 1 GPU and not likely to OC anything but a little extra seems wise

6) Looking at the Tom's GPU list it teels me that I should go up four tiers to see a meaningful difference in performance. My first thought is that I don't really need a GPU because I'm not gaming but would ESPN3 (football), video/DVD and a big screen be more than the HD Graphics can handle?

If I need a GPU (and not just because everyone has one) then the cheapest card on PCPartPicker is a 5450 ... 4 tiers (maybe more) above the Celeron, equal to HD Graphics 3000. The HD 6450 I listed is 9 tiers above and above HD Graphics 4000. The HD 7770 is 21 tiers above ... it seems way more than I need.

7) I'm on the fence with the SSD. I keep seeing how they make a big difference and I like the sound of that. If I dropped the SSD I could get the i3 CPU. I just can't seem to figure out which combonation is going to feel "faster".
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a b à CPUs
July 15, 2012 4:02:46 AM

Quote:
ESPN3, Netflix/HuluPlus, Internet, WinAmp, MS Office, DVD movies

for the above the latest integrated graphics solutions would suffice
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July 15, 2012 12:46:22 PM

batuchka said:
Quote:
ESPN3, Netflix/HuluPlus, Internet, WinAmp, MS Office, DVD movies

for the above the latest integrated graphics solutions would suffice


When you say the "latest integrated graphics solutions would suffice" and I'm using and Intel CPU does that mean the HD 4000 Graphics (an Ivy Bridge CPU), the HD 3000 Graphics (some Sandy Bridge CPUs like i5-2xxx, i3-2xx5), the HD 2000 Graphics (lesser Sandy Bridge CPUs like i3-2xx0 and a Pentium) or just HD Graphics???

The CPU I'm thinking (Celeron G540) had the lowest quality integrated graphics solution available. According to the Tom's GPU list the lowly HD 5450 cards would be 4 tiers about the graphics the Celeron G540 has. The HD 5450 GPUs are equal to HD 3000 Graphics.

I'm still stuck on whether I need a GPU at all (I'm looking for good enough performance ... no fuzzyness, no jerky video, etc.) a cheap GPU (HD 5450) or a little better GPU (HD 6450). I could bump up to a CPU with HD 3000 Graphics for only a little more than the CPU/GPU combo I have listed ... especially if I would get all around better performance.
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a b à CPUs
July 15, 2012 2:38:05 PM

for what you need, I'd say Hd 3000 (so a 2105) would suffice, for the celeron, I'd get a 5450 or 6450 with aty least DDR3 memory, my build above had the 7770 for gaming.

heres a couple options:


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Celeron G530 2.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($45.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: MSI H61M-P23 (B3) Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($47.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Mushkin Essentials 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex Plus 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($76.95 @ Amazon)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 6450 1GB Video Card ($37.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill R101-P-BK MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($25.50 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($27.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On ihes112-04 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($48.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $391.33
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2105 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($132.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M/U3S3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Mushkin Essentials 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Hard Drive: OCZ Agility 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($180.00 @ B&H)
Case: Rosewill R101-P-BK MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($25.50 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($27.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On ihes112-04 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($48.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $505.41
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
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July 15, 2012 3:19:13 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
for what you need, I'd say Hd 3000 (so a 2105) would suffice, for the celeron, I'd get a 5450 or 6450 with aty least DDR3 memory, my build above had the 7770 for gaming.

option a ... $84
CPU: Intel Celeron G530 2.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($45.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 6450 1GB Video Card ($37.98 @ Newegg)

option b ... $$133
CPU: Intel Core i3-2105 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($132.98 @ NCIX US)


Option (b) is $46 more than option (a). If I bought a Pentium G860 with the GPU in option (a) I would be close to the same price as (b) ... do you think this third option would be better overall than the i3?

Two more questions I wondering ...

1> I was thinking the mobo would be ASUS, ASRock or Gigabyte (which likely would cost more). The MSI board you list is an H61 chipset, microATX. So if you had to choose between these three boards without cost being important which you pick ...

> MSI H61M-P23 (B3)
> ASRock H61M/U3S3
> Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V

I thought the Gigabyte would be better because it has the PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot ... maybe the card doesn't work in this???

2> Is the 380w power supply something I could use with a new mobo and a new/faster CPU down the road? I was thinking a 430w or so would be more headroom for future upgrades ... CPU, mobo and/or a better GPU.

Thanks for all the info ... I'm liking the builds you are showing me, they get me a lot closer to what I need to do!


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Best solution

a b à CPUs
July 15, 2012 10:56:04 PM

jrau said:
Option (b) is $46 more than option (a). If I bought a Pentium G860 with the GPU in option (a) I would be close to the same price as (b) ... do you think this third option would be better overall than the i3?

Two more questions I wondering ...

1> I was thinking the mobo would be ASUS, ASRock or Gigabyte (which likely would cost more). The MSI board you list is an H61 chipset, microATX. So if you had to choose between these three boards without cost being important which you pick ...

> MSI H61M-P23 (B3)
> ASRock H61M/U3S3
> Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V

I thought the Gigabyte would be better because it has the PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot ... maybe the card doesn't work in this???

2> Is the 380w power supply something I could use with a new mobo and a new/faster CPU down the road? I was thinking a 430w or so would be more headroom for future upgrades ... CPU, mobo and/or a better GPU.

Thanks for all the info ... I'm liking the builds you are showing me, they get me a lot closer to what I need to do!



1) the 2105 is better

2) any mobo is fine.

3) the 380W has 30 amps on the 12v
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July 15, 2012 11:43:06 PM

Best answer selected by jrau.
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