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Help With a new, budget, system.

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August 22, 2012 8:44:19 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This Week to next week.

Budget Range: Under 400 if at all possible (as there is no need for a graphics card), but it is probably not.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video, programming (I am not very good so that requires nothing)

Are you buying a monitor: No, have 2 already.

Parts to Upgrade: The whole tower but my Nvidia GTX 560 Ti, which is doing pretty well.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes / No
No, luckily I have a full and expensive version of Win7 Pro

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon (I have prime) or New Egg (Good experiences)

Location: Washington State, Olympia

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Maybe, I have done it before, but I would need to be sure about cooling/saftey

SLI or Crossfire: No, budget issues.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: As you can see I don't need to pick up a graphics card, so I am hoping this will bring the price down quite a bit. I do not care about noise, but I want to make sure that is it stable, cooled and powered right. I also need a wireless card, as I can't run wires to where my pc is.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I am running on an intel core 2 duo atm, which was a very good chip, but is getting far too slow. But if I upgrade the chip, I need to upgrade my motherboard, my power supply, ect, ect.


Thank you for any responses, I don't have the brain power to dedicate to learning how to put something like this together right now, so it would be doing me a big favor.

More about : budget system

August 22, 2012 9:51:46 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Celeron G540 2.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M/U3S3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($77.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($21.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $367.92
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-22 17:50 EDT-0400)

Just add another $50 or so for a wireless card.
August 22, 2012 10:19:02 PM

Thank you for the help!

Another question, what would I be looking at if I upgraded that to a lower end i5? I play a lot of video games, most of them modern, and having a weak CPU is one of the major bottlenecks I am running into atm, so if I could get one that would last a while longer it would be nice. Second, I probably need at least 8 gigs of ram, due to me doing various things like running servers on my computer, while playing them, on windows 7.

I know both of these things will destroy my budget, but I am willing to go higher to get more time out of it. I don't want to have to upgrade in 6 months.
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August 22, 2012 10:29:39 PM

RAM (of the same kind) pretty much scales perfectly, so if 4GB is $25, then 8 will probably be $50.

A lower end i5 would be a very nice upgrade over the dual-core Celeron, but until you get up to the 2500K/3570K, you won't be able to overclock. Obviously though, getting any i5 will indeed blow the budget, especially since you'd need to dump the mobo as well if you were planning to OC.
August 22, 2012 10:30:24 PM

Are you able to reuse your computer case and hard drives? That would really alleviate a lot of budget issues right there. Otherwise, you're not going to get much of an upgrade, unless you're able to extend your budget some.

For example, you could get this with an extra $50:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($98.24 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($89.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.00 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($57.08 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $426.27
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-22 18:30 EDT-0400)
August 22, 2012 10:34:56 PM

caelinus said:
Thank you for the help!

Another question, what would I be looking at if I upgraded that to a lower end i5? I play a lot of video games, most of them modern, and having a weak CPU is one of the major bottlenecks I am running into atm, so if I could get one that would last a while longer it would be nice. Second, I probably need at least 8 gigs of ram, due to me doing various things like running servers on my computer, while playing them, on windows 7.

I know both of these things will destroy my budget, but I am willing to go higher to get more time out of it. I don't want to have to upgrade in 6 months.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($32.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.00 @ Amazon)
Total: $629.90
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-22 18:33 EDT-0400)

Here you go. I changed the build around a bit so it better suit your requests. I chose the last generation i5 2400 because I wanted to keep the MoBo cheap. If you wanted the latest i5 3540, we need to get a MoBo with the h77 chipset to fully utlize its capabilities. Sadly, that's gonna be another $60 or so. If you want it and you're willing to pay the price, then its going to be about $700 or so.
August 22, 2012 10:37:10 PM

Cant reuse hard drive, it is starting to make lots and lots of clicking noises when the computer is under no load, and half the time when I restart, I have to reseat the thing because the mobo cant see it anymore. It probably does not have a great deal of usable time left.

Case is a maybe, it is a somewhat old midtower, but its internal fans probably need to be replaced, so I am not sure how good of a deal that will be.

I can reuse my optical drive, it works fine the few times I actually use it, however that is not much of a price drop.

If 2500 is the earliest i5 that can be overclocked that does make it sound desirable, as that will extend the life of the computer significantly. What would I be looking at price wise for that?

@Mousseng: How does the Phenom II X4... compare in power to the i5 and others? That price line looks really nice for a quad core.
August 22, 2012 10:43:06 PM

l0v3rboi said:

Here you go. I changed the build around a bit so it better suit your requests. I chose the last generation i5 2400 because I wanted to keep the MoBo cheap. If you wanted the latest i5 3540, we need to get a MoBo with the h77 chipset to fully utlize its capabilities. Sadly, that's gonna be another $60 or so. If you want it and you're willing to pay the price, then its going to be about $700 or so.


Actually, that build looks pretty attractive, I already have a copy of windows that can be used, (2 actually, I bought one with a student discount years ago I forgot about) as well as an optical drive. I would like the SSD, but that can be something that I buy at a later date as it is not required for the function of the PC, which lowers the overall price by almost 200 dollars. At that point upgrading the mobo might actually work. I am going to look into that.
August 22, 2012 10:49:35 PM

caelinus said:
If 2500 is the earliest i5 that can be overclocked that does make it sound desirable, as that will extend the life of the computer significantly. What would I be looking at price wise for that?

@Mousseng: How does the Phenom II X4... compare in power to the i5 and others? That price line looks really nice for a quad core.


The 2500K/3570K will run around $220-$230. As far as the Phenom II X4, it is a good option, but it won't stand up to an i5. The advantage of the Phenom II X4 is the price.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=363
August 22, 2012 10:52:02 PM

caelinus said:
@Mousseng: How does the Phenom II X4... compare in power to the i5 and others? That price line looks really nice for a quad core.

The PhII would land around the i3-2100 in terms of gaming performance at stock clocks. If you invested $20 or $30 into a cooler and overclock it, it'd easily surpass the i3, but still trail behind an i5. It's still a reliable gaming chip, but it won't outperform a Sandy or Ivy quad-core (Lynnfield quad, sure, but that's a non-issue). If you're liking the i5 setup, here's something that might work for you:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.00 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($65.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $483.94
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-22 18:53 EDT-0400)

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August 22, 2012 11:36:43 PM
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caelinus said:
Actually, that build looks pretty attractive, I already have a copy of windows that can be used, (2 actually, I bought one with a student discount years ago I forgot about) as well as an optical drive. I would like the SSD, but that can be something that I buy at a later date as it is not required for the function of the PC, which lowers the overall price by almost 200 dollars. At that point upgrading the mobo might actually work. I am going to look into that.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($159.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $518.91
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-22 19:37 EDT-0400)

With the 2500k and a better, overclockable MoBo. Also better RAM and removed the OS. That's a pretty good price I would say.
August 23, 2012 12:01:24 AM

l0v3rboi said:
With the 2500k and a better, overclockable MoBo. Also better RAM and removed the OS. That's a pretty good price I would say.

That price also requires him to live near a Microcenter. Otherwise add another $40 onto that.
August 23, 2012 12:12:26 AM

mousseng said:
That price also requires him to live near a Microcenter. Otherwise add another $40 onto that.


good catch!
August 23, 2012 12:48:02 AM

l0v3rboi said:
good catch!

How can Micro Center sell those CPU's so cheap since they no longer live next door to Intel? Damn I miss that store
August 23, 2012 12:59:40 AM

Extra 40 is = extra 25 as I have a serviceable optical drive. Still a good deal, and with overclocking I may be able to make it last longer.
August 23, 2012 1:30:26 AM

Best answer selected by caelinus.
August 23, 2012 1:44:08 AM

Haha, it's kinda funny to look what an extra $150 got you over the very first post. c: Good deal mate, enjoy the new system.
August 23, 2012 1:55:21 AM

mousseng said:
Haha, it's kinda funny to look what an extra $150 got you over the very first post. c: Good deal mate, enjoy the new system.



It was totally worth it to spend that. A few sales that made it that good end tonight though, so I just ordered. Figure I can return them unopened if I realize something is wrong in the meantime.

Thank you all for your help, you made what is normally a very long process for me happen in a day. It was wonderful.
!