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$1500 Budget for a new PC to replace six year old PC

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September 1, 2012 7:45:33 PM

Hi guys! I'm new to Tom's. Found the forum while doing research. I just started a freelance design business and I am giving my 6 year old PC to the kids. I have a $1500 budget for a new PC. I currently have a configuration put together via HP because I can get a student discount there and because I'm not crafty enough to buy parts and put one together myself lol. I wanted to get opinions on the configuration based on my needs, and based on the ability of the configuration to last me a good five years without needing any major upgrades to run new software.

I typically have Adobe CS6 running illustrator and photoshop simultaneously with two to three active art boards each. In addition to that at any given time I also have outlook express open, with 10 or so browser windows open as well. My current computer runs pretty slow with all of this going on and often times things crash. My goal is to have a computer that can handle all above the above without any lag and especially no software or browser crashing. My current HP configuration is below, and the cost of it is at a Total of $1,433.77.

HP Pavilion HPE h8-1380t Desktop PC
B4J28AV#ABA

HP USB 3.0 500GB Pocket Media Drive
U0P78AA#AC3

HP 2511x 25 inch Diagonal LED Monitor
XP599AA#ABA

Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit]
2nd Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3820 processor [3.6GHz, 10MB Shared Cache]
FREE UPGRADE to 10GB DDR3-1600MHz SDRAM [3 DIMMs] from 8GB
FREE UPGRADE to 2TB 7200 rpm hard drive from 1TB
No secondary hard drive
Microsoft(R) Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook
No additional security software
2GB AMD Radeon HD 7770 [DVI, HDMI, DP & VGA via adapter]
460W Power supply
SuperMulti DVD Burner
Wireless-N LAN card (1x1)
15-in-1 memory card reader, 4 USB 2.0 (front), 2 USB 3.0 (top)
No TV Tuner
Beats Audio (tm) -- integrated studio quality sound
Premium HP keyboard and optical mouse
FREE Adobe(R) Premiere Elements & Photoshop 10 [$149 value]

Just for kicks this is what I am currently working with. This PC will be given to the kids.

Windows Vista Ultimate 32 bit
Intel Core 2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40 GHZ
500GB HD
3GB Ram
NVIDIA GeForce 210
September 1, 2012 8:08:22 PM

Have you considered building your own rig? It would be better price/performance wise :) 

That rig you listed up there isn't bad, however, for the price tag, it's not worth it.
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September 1, 2012 8:14:24 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.49 @ B&H)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($299.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1215.37
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-01 16:13 EDT-0400)

Here's a parts list to give you an idea of what you can accomplish with such a massive budget :) 

I would have preferred to get a different GPU, however, since you have mentioned working with CUDA acceleration ready programs, I will recommend the GTX660 Ti. If there are some preferences you would like (more RAM or more HDD space, for example) please tell me and I'll be more than happy to make those changes for you.
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September 1, 2012 8:42:43 PM

Drop anything AMD for CS6, you want CUDA acceleration. And you wanted 5 years so I am going with a MoBo w/ a 5 year warranty. Your budget is just a little tight for a smokin PC for your applications. I could hit that budget but with CS6, ya really want a large, tier 1 SSD along with a large, extremely fast HD.

As you said you could get student discounts, ya should be able to knock almost $100 buying the OS on campus for $10 or $20. Drop another $55 if ya go with the stick cooler. And if ya making money with this thing, I'd buy a 2nd set of RAM at some point to boost it up to 16GB.

This is $1,639.

Case - $100 - Corsair Carbide 500R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $65 - XFX Core Edition 550
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo - $240 - ASUS Z77 Sabertooth
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $590 - Intel Core i7-3570K w/ GFX Card Combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$20 off w/ promo code EMCNBGJ23, ends 9/3

Cooler - $50 - Hyper 612 PWM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - $52 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair LV RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GFX - Incl/ w/ MoBo Combo - EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-3662-KR GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Free Borderlands2 coupon w/ purchase, limited offer

HD - $200 - Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB 64MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - $190 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Writer - $47 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home Premium http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 1, 2012 8:44:54 PM

Hi Mocchan,

Thank you so much for your reply.

I actually thought about giving it a shot. I haven't built a PC in a very long time and have only done so once. On the first go round I caused some wires and parts to catch fire lol, and the second round I succeeded after replacing the parts that caught fire lol.

I'll also need a monitor included with my budget. Forgot to put that an HP 2511x 25 inch Diagonal LED Monitor XP599AA#ABA and an HP USB 3.0 500GB Pocket Media Drive
U0P78AA#AC3 is included with the $1,433.37


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September 1, 2012 9:12:09 PM

Hi Jack,

I also thank you for your reply. $1,600 may be out of my range. I would need a monitor as well and that would push me to the $1,800+ mark. Can you guys come up with something $1,500 or less that would include a monitor and allow me room to add to it as my budget allows? I am making a decent living freelancing and will be able to upgrade as my business continues to grow.

The $1,500 is actually a graduation gift from my Uncle. Initially I had a $1,700 configuration but we agreed to take it down a bit. He wants me to get what I need though and what would be best for me. In the same token I don't want to take advantage of his kindness and would like a configuration that will be enough to get me started that I can add my own money to eventually if upgrades are necessary.

I am way behind with the current technology. Jack can you explain the benefit/need for an SSD? I had to google to find out what that stood for lol. Is that something I could add to the PC if I were to buy a pre-made? I understand the need for a GFX with CUDA.

Thank you guys so much for your help! I truly appreciate it.
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September 1, 2012 9:20:57 PM

sonyadehart said:
Hi Mocchan,

Thank you so much for your reply.

I actually thought about giving it a shot. I haven't built a PC in a very long time and have only done so once. On the first go round I caused some wires and parts to catch fire lol, and the second round I succeeded after replacing the parts that caught fire lol.

I'll also need a monitor included with my budget. Forgot to put that an HP 2511x 25 inch Diagonal LED Monitor XP599AA#ABA and an HP USB 3.0 500GB Pocket Media Drive
U0P78AA#AC3 is included with the $1,433.37

If you could build something yourself, it is definitely worth it! :)  I'll see if I can integrate a monitor and the mentioned pocket drive within the budget :) 

However, even if I make compromises, it will yield more performance than the pre-made HP build! :) 
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September 8, 2012 2:36:58 AM

Best answer selected by sonyadehart.
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