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What is the best I can do with $500?

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August 1, 2012 2:36:22 PM

I have a little over $500 to spend to upgrade my computer. My PSU went out in my old one so I figured why not upgrade. The things I am looking to upgrade are-

Power Supply-
Motherboard-
CPU-
RAM-

And possibly get a SSD. I mostly use the computer for playing games but I don't need to be able to max the settings out until I can actually afford it. I will use my old case, monitor, video card (Radeon HD 6770), etc...

I have been looking around and I am leaning towards getting-

AMD FX-4170 4.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/amd-cpu-fd4170frgubox

ASRock 990FX Extreme4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-990fxex...

G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f314900cl9d8...

OCZ 700W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/ocz-power-supply-ocz700mxs...

Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-driv...

Those parts are going to cost me around $515. If anyone has any opinions or better ideas for me please let me know. I will be looking to upgrade the video card and a few other things in a couple of months, but for now I just want a fairly decent computer that will be easily upgradable.


More about : 500

August 1, 2012 2:40:20 PM

Drop the Solid State, I know its all flashy but in a 500$ build last thing you want to do is drop 130 on a SSD

AS for upgradability you would have to wait for Piledriver to come out for AMD, the one you have now is pretty decent, but if you can get a Phenom 2 965 BE do so. It is much better for gaming then the Bulldozer Chips
August 1, 2012 2:58:37 PM

If you are looking to upgrade down the line the CPU I might suggest going with Intel.

Get a decent Z68 or Z77 board with an i3 core or i5 cpu and build up from there.

You don't need that PSU to run this system, that's about 350-400w of wasted power. Unless you really plan on going SLI/XFire in the very near future you can go lower and be just fine.

Suggestions:

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU + RAM: Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge + CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total: $445

If you can swing it and get an upgrade to an i5 this combo with the same memory and an i5 2310:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

is only $70 more.

Related resources
August 1, 2012 3:11:58 PM

Forget about the solid state altogether. If you want an AMD CPU, the Phenom II 965 is a much better performing CPU than the FX-4170.

Cheaper AMD mobo thats good quality
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Buying an i3 and intending to upgrade to an i5 later is a waste of money, and just plain bad financial planning. Get the i5 NOW if you want it, and save up until you can afford it if you can't now and still want one.
August 1, 2012 3:23:10 PM

Get a core i3 2120, asus h61 Mobo, HD 6850, NO SSD, and a 500W PSU :p 
August 1, 2012 3:27:03 PM

Quote:
asus h61 Mobo,


You can have all the H61 boards as far as I'm concerned. They need to all be burned in a fire.
August 1, 2012 3:27:23 PM

look at the budget rig in my sig @ $506 it is just barely over your budget.

Edit: Ha scratch that, it is now sitting @ $491
August 1, 2012 3:33:06 PM

nekulturny said:
Quote:
asus h61 Mobo,


You can have all the H61 boards as far as I'm concerned. They need to all be burned in a fire.


I agree. If you don't plan on overclocking at all get an H77 or B75 chipset.
August 1, 2012 3:36:16 PM

"What is the best I can do with $500?


Send it to me.
August 1, 2012 3:36:44 PM

what do you have for an opsys and is it 32 or 64bit ?.......... and do you have the disc ?

what is your current HD and how old is it ?

what size motherboard can your case support ? atx/micro atx, etc.
August 1, 2012 3:39:16 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
look at the budget rig in my sig @ $506 it is just barely over your budget.

Edit: Ha scratch that, it is now sitting @ $491

Yea, but honestly for gaming you would have been better off dropping the 2500K in favor of an overclocked Phenom II or i3-2120. A 7850 with either of those CPUs is going to outgame your 2500K w/ 550 TI any day of the week.

amkronos said:
I agree. If you don't plan on overclocking at all get an H77 or B75 chipset.



Well there are a couple H61 boards that have SATA III and USB 3.0, but any of em that don't. Garbage.
August 1, 2012 3:46:07 PM

nekulturny said:
Yea, but honestly for gaming you would have been better off dropping the 2500K in favor of an overclocked Phenom II or i3-2120. A 7850 with either of those CPUs is going to outgame your 2500K w/ 550 TI any day of the week..


Intel Beats out AMD at...well everything. And the 7850 Should preform better than the 550 TI because it costs twice as much. It is a good few tiers higher, but on $500 bucks I wouldnt go over $100 on the GPU. The mobo/cpu will run $200 that leaves you with $200 to buy everything else you need.
August 1, 2012 3:52:22 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
Intel Beats out AMD at...well everything. And the 7850 Should preform better than the 550 TI because it costs twice as much. It is a good few tiers higher, but on $500 bucks I wouldnt go over $100 on the GPU. The mobo/cpu will run $200 that leaves you with $200 to buy everything else you need.

Phenom IIs perform just as well as i3s at gaming, and multithreading, the Phenom II will outperform the i3. In the most CPU intensive games Tom's could find to benchmark, the most difference they got was 1-5FPS, thats not a real difference. Thats not even considering the fact that most games aren't CPU intensive to begin with.

And thats not entirely accurate. i5-2300s, were a very shortlived model number at the $180 price point.. Why?



i3-2120 Cinebench Single threaded 1.33, 4 threads 3.23 (~25% less than a Phenom II at 4.0)
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1650/9/

You can keep your i3 at $125 lol. I'll take a Phenom II 965 for $110 with a $20 CoolerMaster 212 plus any day. :lol: 
August 1, 2012 3:59:08 PM

I'd like to ask what your current system is, and are you sure that upgrading your mobo/ram/CPU is what you want to do?

You may be able to get a lot better performance improvement from a PSU + GPU purchase. Typically, games are more likely to bottleneck on the GPU than the CPU, a good CPU from 3 years ago can still keep good framerates at any quality level for the majority of games (there are exceptions, CPU utilization is extremely game dependent).

August 1, 2012 4:08:51 PM

nekulturny said:
i3-2120 Cinebench Single threaded 1.33, 4 threads 3.23 (~25% less than a Phenom II at 4.0)
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1650/9/

You can keep your i3 at $125 lol. I'll take a Phenom II 965 for $110 with a $20 CoolerMaster 212 plus any day. :lol: 


Thats fine by me. Try playing Diablo 3, or look at the battle.net forums to see how bad AMD users got $*^% on. I trust quality over quantity. If that means buying a better CPU with slightly less performance for $5 less, so be it. :D  .27 mp/s is not something I would brag about since that AMD phenom is a quad core? and the i3 is a dual core?

Edit:
Unless I am looking at the wrong Phenom II 965, which I could be, Intel's dual core preforms at the same level as AMD's quad core...that kinda tells me right there AMD doesnt have it all together...
August 1, 2012 4:17:37 PM

Quote:
Thats fine by me. Try playing Diablo 3, or look at the battle.net forums to see how bad AMD users got $*^% on. I trust quality over quantity. If that means buying a better CPU with slightly less performance for $5 less, so be it.

Even heavily downclocked, the Phenom II manages to greatly exceed the 60FPS frame rate limitation of a computer monitor. Anyone complaining on Battlenet is a moron. Sorry, not trying to be abrasive, but thats just the facts.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/diablo-iii-performa...

Quote:
.27 mp/s is not something I would brag about since that AMD phenom is a quad core? and the i3 is a dual core?


Considering that the Phenom II is a 4 year old design, and the Sandy Bridge is a year old, I'd say the i3 has nothing to brag about personally. The i3 is a dual core with 4 threads. But I guess benches are open to interpretation. 4 threads vs 4 threads sounds perfectly fair to me.

Quote:
Unless I am looking at the wrong Phenom II 965, which I could be, Intel's dual core preforms at the same level as AMD's quad core...that kinda tells me right there AMD doesnt have it all together...

So what? Its a $110 CPU vs one that costs $125. Don't get me wrong, I'm not disputing that Intel makes better CPUs, but lets drop the fanboy crap shall we?
August 1, 2012 4:18:52 PM

CNET Review

Quote:
Intel's standard CPU performance superiority seems to give it the edge there and with programs that rely on more traditional CPU processing. If you regularly use a program designed to make use of multiple processing cores, the A8-3850 is a better choice.


And thats why we have the i5 and i7 for this. Since a game doesnt care about multiple processing cores...yeah...

OP, Intel is the way to go here. If you can afford the 2500k or 3750k, I would go with the i3.
August 1, 2012 4:20:39 PM

That CNET review is of an AMD Fusion, you really are being a fan boy, throwing up reviews that aren't even talking about the products in question.. LOL. Yes, there are some games that care about multiple cores. Skyrim, Battlefield 3, and Crysis, Metro 2033 to name a few.
August 1, 2012 4:23:58 PM

if you want to be able to upgrade go with the i3 if not stick with the Phenom II x4 965be this processor is an old one I LOVED MINE, did everything and anything but die
August 1, 2012 4:29:42 PM

nekulturny said:
i3-2120 Cinebench Single threaded 1.33, 4 threads 3.23 (~25% less than a Phenom II at 4.0)
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1650/9/

You can keep your i3 at $125 lol. I'll take a Phenom II 965 for $110 with a $20 CoolerMaster 212 plus any day. :lol: 



nekulturny said:
That CNET review is of an AMD Fusion, you really are being a fan boy, throwing up reviews that aren't even talking about the products in question.. LOL. Yes, there are some games that care about multiple cores. Skyrim, Battlefield 3, and Crysis, Metro 2033 to name a few.



Thats because this is the review he posted, the AMD A8-3850. Reguardless of the model, quality (intel) over quantity (amd).
August 1, 2012 4:33:14 PM

Quote:

Thats because this is the review he posted, the AMD A8-3850. Reguardless of the model, quality (intel) over quantity (amd).


Maybe I missed a post somewhere, but thats still not a reasonable comparison. An AMD Fusion is basically an Athlon II with an onboard graphics chip. Athlon IIs are basically Phenom IIs without an L3 cache. That lack of L3 cache can affect performance as heavily as 25%. Which puts you squarely back on.. err where we started. I put that link up to show the Cinebench scores of an i3. Since I don't own one myself to Cinebench. What review it happens to be part of is not going to change the Cinebench score of the i3.

Quote:


Thats because this is the review he posted, the AMD A8-3850. Reguardless of the model, quality (intel) over quantity (amd).


I show evidence that shows the Phenom II being superior and somehow Intel i3 still has better "quality".. Whatever makes you feel like you're winning. LOL, I don't actually care what CPU the OP goes with, but if you're going to give flawed and inaccurate information, you're going to run into a wall that is "Nekulturny".
August 1, 2012 4:38:44 PM

Ok here ya go OP. Under $500 for the parts you asked for:

Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU + RAM: Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge + CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$497




August 1, 2012 4:39:50 PM

amkronos said:
Ok here ya go OP. Under $500 for the parts you asked for:

Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU + RAM: Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge + CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$497

*claps* I am Nekulturny, and I approve of this configuration. Very, very nice find.
August 1, 2012 4:40:39 PM

Benchmarks


Not to mention that if the OP wants to upgrade the i3 to an i5 he will not need to buy a new motherboard.
August 1, 2012 4:43:09 PM

Quote:
Benchmarks


You haven't really been paying attention to a word I've said have you? Now, find one that shows a Phenom II @ 4.0 GHZ against the same CPU. If the i3 were overclockable, oh wait.. It isn't! Go away.


Quote:
Not to mention that if the OP wants to upgrade the i3 to an i5 he will not need to buy a new motherboard.



Let me quote myself from earlier in this thread:
Buying an i3 and intending to upgrade to an i5 later is a waste of money, and just plain bad financial planning. Get the i5 NOW if you want it, and save up until you can afford it if you can't now and still want one.
August 1, 2012 4:43:13 PM

The 965 and the i3 trade blows, where one is good in one thing, the other is better in another.
August 1, 2012 4:43:57 PM

Shockattackr said:
The 965 and the i3 trade blows, where one is good in one thing, the other is better in another.


I can agree with that.
August 1, 2012 4:45:58 PM

nekulturny said:
Quote:
Benchmarks
Buying an i3 and intending to upgrade to an i5 later is a waste of money, and just plain bad financial planning. Get the i5 NOW if you want it, and save up until you can afford it if you can't now and still want one.


I agree with that also. It is only what...a $70 difference if that? But tell me to keep it under $xxx.xx and thats what I'm going to do.
August 1, 2012 4:47:36 PM

It all comes down to which one you prefer at this point. If you want to upgrade in the future, stick with the intel chip, if not and you can wait another year stick with the AMD chip till Piledriver comes out
August 1, 2012 4:55:02 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
I agree with that also. It is only what...a $70 difference if that? But tell me to keep it under $xxx.xx and thats what I'm going to do.

Well, I'm glad we agree on something. I'd rather make friends here than enemies. But I'm still going to be blunt if I have to lol. :lol: 

I agree that the i5 is superior, you won't ever get an argument from me on that. But as far as the i3. Since I personally am more of a multitasker than a gamer, I'll gladly take the 1-5 less FPS for the superior multithreaded performance. Honest to god if I put an i3 machine in front of anyone and a Phenom II with the same video card, nobody would ever be able to honestly tell a difference between either one for gaming. An i5 rig, yes probably in some games there will be a difference. But honestly, I haven't come across any game or application that my Phenom II can't happily munch on.
August 1, 2012 5:21:16 PM

DarkOutlaw said:

Unless I am looking at the wrong Phenom II 965, which I could be, Intel's dual core preforms at the same level as AMD's quad core...that kinda tells me right there AMD doesnt have it all together...


Most games only fully utilize one thread (core), and maybe spawn off some small side processes that could occupy another core partially, so I don't quite understand what you are attempting to imply by saying that an AMD quadcore performs at the same level as an intel dual core.

I would still expect upgrading the GPU+PSU to be a much more beneficial and logical upgrade (depending on what the OP has of course) than the CPU/Mobo/RAM and the PSU anyhow.

edit: Was a little slow in typing this post out and submitting, I see the conversation has moved past that now :)  sorry.
August 1, 2012 9:19:42 PM

Thanks for the advice so far guys. I haven't really looked at Intel chips yet simply because of price, but I think I will do a little research on that side and see what I like the best. Also, is there any sites where I can see some Price to Performance Ratios for CPUs? Everything I have looked at seems to show that AMD chips will give solid performance when overclocked for a much better price which is why I was leaning towards them.
August 1, 2012 9:28:05 PM

Quote:
Most games only fully utilize one thread (core), and maybe spawn off some small side processes that could occupy another core partially, so I don't quite understand what you are attempting to imply by saying that an AMD quadcore performs at the same level as an intel dual core.


Because it does based on Tom's benches, and many other sites lol. Speculating about the architecture and programming only gets you so far before you have to start looking at the raw data on actual performance.
August 1, 2012 9:30:13 PM

gpalm05 said:
Thanks for the advice so far guys. I haven't really looked at Intel chips yet simply because of price, but I think I will do a little research on that side and see what I like the best. Also, is there any sites where I can see some Price to Performance Ratios for CPUs? Everything I have looked at seems to show that AMD chips will give solid performance when overclocked for a much better price which is why I was leaning towards them.


Price to performance ratios change pretty quickly and varies from store to store, but if you want a generalization, my advice would be to look at benchmarks and ask questions, as you've done here. I will tell you based on my knowledge, ( I am a second year tech student going for my Associate's Degree and made Dean's List- if thats worth anything to you) The FX-CPUs just have a very Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde nature to them. You'll get more consistent gaming performance at the 100-130 price level with either a Phenom II 965 or an i3-21xx than any FX CPU (including the expensive ones).
August 1, 2012 9:39:26 PM

I don't really like this article because in my opinion the guy who wrote it is a moron, you can read the commentary if you want, but mainly I'm linking it for the benchmarks, as far as the price points, they're all outdated as it was written in January but it has a bunch of CPUs on there:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

A note about Skyrim: Skyrim is one of those games thats inconsistent, and it absolutely will favor a quad core in certain parts of the game (particularly caves) as its a badly ported Console game which puts more burden on the CPU than it ought. I don't care what that guy says, unless he explains what hes actually doing in the game when he benches it (he doesn't), his results are worthless.

A few other games:

Diablo III
http://www.techspot.com/review/532-diablo-3-performance...

Max Payne
http://www.techspot.com/review/537-max-payne-3-performa...

Mass Effect 3
http://www.techspot.com/review/507-mass-effect-3-perfor...

Pretty much any Call of Duty Game is going to easily be maxed out on anything (they all use the same game engine) I can add that, but if you want a bench on it I'm sure I can dig one up.
August 1, 2012 11:01:43 PM

Ok, i did some shopping around for an Intel based build, and this is what I came up with-

Prices are all after rebates-

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor - $190.00
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler - $30.00
Biostar TZ77XE4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard - $75.00
Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory - $50.00
OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk - 80.00
OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply - $45.00

That puts the total at $470. I feel like this is a build that will decent for now with room for upgrading in the future. I would like to get a good graphics card now but that will have to wait until the end of this month. All the prices come from my local Micro Center. So I will have to pay some taxes that will probably put the total cost right around $500.

I do like this build better than my original AMD based build. I have to go work an overnight tonight, but hopefully tomorrow I can have enough information to make the purchase. Thanks for all the help so far guys.
August 1, 2012 11:13:55 PM

gpalm05 said:
Ok, i did some shopping around for an Intel based build, and this is what I came up with-

Prices are all after rebates-

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor - $190.00
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler - $30.00
Biostar TZ77XE4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard - $75.00
Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory - $50.00
OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk - 80.00
OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply - $45.00

That puts the total at $470. I feel like this is a build that will decent for now with room for upgrading in the future. I would like to get a good graphics card now but that will have to wait until the end of this month. All the prices come from my local Micro Center. So I will have to pay some taxes that will probably put the total cost right around $500.

I do like this build better than my original AMD based build. I have to go work an overnight tonight, but hopefully tomorrow I can have enough information to make the purchase. Thanks for all the help so far guys.



Thats not a bad build at all. I can probably save you a little bit of money on it though:

CPU cooler-212 Plus (Doesn't save you a lot, but it is $10 cheaper, and its practically just as good)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


For a Biosstar Motherboard, thats actually a decent one.

RAM- Theres no reason to get 1866mhz ram. Although I admit again this isn't going to be much cheaper, but cheaper nevertheless.

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

The CPU will run the RAM at 1333mhz by default anyway (even if its 1866mhz, as thats the highest number they guarantee it to be stable at, not what it will run at). It can be overclocked with XMP, but honestly there will be no discernible difference.
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