Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Questions on possibly building a computer ($500-$600 range)

Last response: in Systems
Share
August 6, 2012 7:06:58 PM

So before I post the information on the sticky, I have a few questions. I have never built a computer before, and I want to make sure it's something I can do. If not, I'll just be buying another desktop computer.

1. Other than putting the parts together, will I have to do anything else? I do not have any special tools. The most I have are screw drivers and hammers, lol.

2. If I do have to use special tools, then I will be buying a desktop PC in the $500 to $600 range (unless the special tools are something simple I can do). So if I cannot put together my own PC, could someone recommend me one?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's my information:

Approximate Purchase Date: August 20th (or maybe a tiny bit before)

Budget Range: $500 to $600. I MIGHT be able to squeeze $700. It's all going to depend on how much stuff I need for school. But around $550 to $600 total is what I'm aiming for. If I could do $500, that would be even better. But I know even $500 won't happen, lol.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Graphic editing programs (Photoshop and Paint Tool Sai), Gaming, watching movies, surfing internet.

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: Um...I have an an old 7 year old desktop computer. Will I be able to take the DVD drives from it? One is a DVD burner and one is a DVD reader. I highly doubt I could reuse anything else (maybe the hard drive, but I want something bigger than 200 GB, lol). The computer is a Gateway 506GR ( http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/3724/4367sp3.shtml )

Do you need to buy OS: Sort of. I have a copy of Windows XP I can use, and then I could upgrade to Windows 7 through a school discount. My school sells upgrade disks super cheap ($27.00). Could I do that?

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Uh, it doesn't really matter. Any trusted website with the cheapest prices is cool.

Location: United States, Indiana (sorry, not putting my city).

Parts Preferences: I prefer Intel, as I've had nothing but bad experiences with AMD stuff.

Overclocking: I've never overclocked before, so I don't know.

SLI or Crossfire: I don't know what this even is.

Your Monitor Resolution: I have no idea. It's a random flatscreen ViewSonic monitor I got from goodwill for $12.

Additional Comments: I really don't care what it looks like, or if it's loud. I'll be using the following programs and games: Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Paint Tool Sai, and Minecraft.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I would like to be able to play games and record the screen using a screen capture program at the same time. I can't really currently do this with my laptop without a ton of lag, and my desktop computer is way to old. That's my main purpose for getting a new computer. However, I'd also like to be able to play some newer games. I also do art with Photoshop and Paint Tool Sai. So it needs to be a computer that's good with both gaming and graphic editing programs.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, I have taken apart a super old computer before (a 1995 computer) to play around with it. I have also added ram to my Gateway 506GR. So I have opened up a computer before and messed with parts. So I'm not a complete noob, lol. I just need to make sure I don't need a special tools to put it together.

I also just want to see if putting a computer together would be the best option for me, or if buying a desktop computer would be better. I probably won't be doing to much gaming outside of recording stuff from emulators, and maybe minecraft. And I will be using it for art purposes too.
August 6, 2012 7:23:57 PM

ok, All you need to buld your own is a screwdriver, and the ability plus a card into a slot. the basics haven't changed since that 1995 system you took apart.

that old monitor is, well, old. we might be able to squeeze in a decent monitor and still keep you with a usuable systenm under $600. Grab that $27 copy of Windows 7. an update can be loaded onto a new machine via a neat and legal trick: install to a blank drive, when you get to the request to enter your purchase code, stop, power off the PC, and start the install again, this time saying you are upgrading windows. Use your code this time, and it will install. Remove 'Windows.old' folder when the install is complete. a $600 build with a monitor coming up in my next post
m
0
l

Best solution

August 6, 2012 7:39:12 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($116.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($35.09 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital RE2 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($53.78 @ Compuvest)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill R218-P-BK ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 380W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($40.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Samsung S22B150N 21.5" Monitor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $588.30
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-06 15:40 EDT-0400)


if you can push to $656, upgrade to an i5-2400
Share
Related resources
August 6, 2012 7:45:03 PM

No, upgrade it to a 7850 first. The i5 can wait.
m
0
l
August 6, 2012 7:46:48 PM

fpoon said:
No, upgrade it to a 7850 first. The i5 can wait.



I suspect Photoshop will like 4 real cores more than the difference between 7770 and 7850
m
0
l
August 7, 2012 11:11:04 PM

Best answer selected by eterniawolf.
m
0
l
August 7, 2012 11:15:15 PM

Thanks for the replies!

That set up looks pretty good, just a few more questions. Will I need to buy USB ports? And in the future, if I ever need to, will I be able to upgrade the Hard Drive to a 1TB Hard Drive?
m
0
l
August 8, 2012 2:31:23 AM

eterniawolf said:
Thanks for the replies!

That set up looks pretty good, just a few more questions. Will I need to buy USB ports? And in the future, if I ever need to, will I be able to upgrade the Hard Drive to a 1TB Hard Drive?


Yes.
m
0
l
August 8, 2012 4:31:22 AM

eterniawolf said:
Thanks for the replies!

That set up looks pretty good, just a few more questions. Will I need to buy USB ports? And in the future, if I ever need to, will I be able to upgrade the Hard Drive to a 1TB Hard Drive?



let me expand: Yes, you can add the 1TB drive if you need.


No, you probably wont need additional USB ports: there are 6x USB 2.0 ports and 2x USB 3.0 ports in the back, along with on-motherboard plugs for up to 4 front panel USB 2.0 ports... that's 8 USB ports, with a potential of 12 USB ports. you *probably* won't need more than that.
m
0
l
August 9, 2012 1:07:24 AM

Alright, thanks for the response! I just wanted to make sure there were enough USB ports. I think I'm good to go then for when I start building. :D 
m
0
l
!