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[New Build] $600 budget, input needed.

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September 6, 2012 7:53:52 PM

Hello, I'm planning on building a computer with a budget of around $600 USD including shipping and tax. Not going to be playing any real high end games, probably COD as highest. I've selected these parts after doing a bit of research. Can you guys please tell me if there's anything I should change to improve the build? I used Amazon because there's no tax and shipping is free. This comes to around $595

Case:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00243HHNY/ref=ox_sc_a...
Motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SRQ214/ref=ox_sc_a...
Memory:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QBUL1C/ref=ox_sc_a...
PSU:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2T2U6/ref=ox_sc_a...
or
http://www.amazon.com/Seasonic-ATX12V-S12II-430-BRONZE/...
HDD:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00461G3MS/ref=ox_sc_a...
GPU:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0047ZGIUK/ref=ox_sc_a...
CD/DVD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 6, 2012 8:22:07 PM

Generally, not a bad build, with the budget. In order for the Phenom to be a decent choice (an Intel i3 is a possible alternative approach), it needs to be overclocked, for which you need an aftermarket CPU cooler. In that case, I would recommend changing RAM to a low profile type. The high heatsinks of those Vengeance can clash, physically, with many coolers. For PSU, there's not a lot to choose but tend to favour the Corsair, as it gives you more "in hand".
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September 6, 2012 8:32:50 PM

I was thinking about the Intel i3 as an alternative actually, but I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to stay within my $600 budget. Does the i3 outperform the Phenom?
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September 6, 2012 8:40:49 PM

I'd choose the Seasonic PSU because it's...well, Seasonic. The V2 Corsair Builders are CWT, not Seasonic, and aren't as good.
Recent reviews and benchmarks have made it pretty clear that there is no longer any price point at which Intel does not outperform AMD. While the AMD CPU is probably unlocked, and can be overclocked to bring it to parity (or close) with an i3, you've spent another $30 minimum on the HSF, and will spend more every month on the higher power bill. Then, when you need more performance, you can put an i5 or i7 on the Intel board, or sit there and cry with the AMD build.
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September 6, 2012 8:44:59 PM

I3 will outperform Phenom in most games (except maybe MMO), however I believe that if you are willing to spend a little more you should change your tower with a cheaper one (like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) and choose a better GPU (idealy an HD 7850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... , but even a GTX 560: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or an HD6870 are better).

Also WD caviar black is much faster than the blue version, see if u can fit him in.

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September 6, 2012 8:53:03 PM

Change the mobo to an Asus M5A97 (better quality), the case to a CM Storm Enforcer (more room, and don't cheap out on a case, a good case will last throughout upgrades) and the GPU to a 6870. Also there is little noticeable difference between blue and black WD HDD's. Blue is fine. A solid gaming build.
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September 6, 2012 9:19:32 PM

@Smeg45 I agree that the case is important but the 300 is a fine case and the storm enforcer is $85. you cant spend $85 of a 600 build on a case. I personally don't like spending more then 10% of a budget on a case unless the budget is over 1k. The WD black HDs have a larger cache but at this budget I would go with a blue.
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September 6, 2012 9:53:23 PM

jackspeed said:
@Smeg45 I agree that the case is important but the 300 is a fine case and the storm enforcer is $85. you cant spend $85 of a 600 build on a case. I personally don't like spending more then 10% of a budget on a case unless the budget is over 1k. The WD black HDs have a larger cache but at this budget I would go with a blue.


300 does not have removable HDD bays or the versatility of the CM case. Its just easier to work in the CM. Which is why I was very pleased when I chucked my 200 for a Storm Enforcer. Well worth spending that bit extra.
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September 6, 2012 9:55:27 PM

What was your budget when you got that case? is that extra $40-50 worth not upgrading the gpu on a small budget? 15% of the budget is significant to spend on a case.
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September 6, 2012 11:36:19 PM

The WD Black is a much better choice because it has a five year warranty, unlike the mere two years on the Blue (or the disgraceful 1 year on most Seagate and Samsung). Because the company has been proven to be dishonest in competent technical reviews, I recommend against any product from Crappermaster, no matter how good. Rosewill is a good brand for cheap but decent cases. Antec is perhaps a step up in quality but a step down in features; your call.
Since the OP has stated he will NOT be playing high-end games, I don't think there needs to be an obsessive focus on the graphics card. In order of both power and cost, the HD7770, HD6870, or GTX560 should probably be the cards up for consideration.
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September 7, 2012 2:32:19 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. I was thinking about dropping down to 4gb of RAM and upgrading video card to a HD 6870, what do you guys think?
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September 7, 2012 5:35:31 AM

ashif2012 said:
Thanks for the replies guys. I was thinking about dropping down to 4gb of RAM and upgrading video card to a HD 6870, what do you guys think?


I would recommend that you take the funds from the case but you will want the better video card wherever the funds come from
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September 7, 2012 7:16:23 AM

Is the 6870 worth the extra $20?
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September 7, 2012 7:30:38 AM

ashif2012 said:
Is the 6870 worth the extra $20?


Yes. Every extra dollar of performance helps.
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September 7, 2012 9:59:54 AM

What will you be doing with this PC besides playing games? You say the titles you'll play won't be especially demanding; what graphical quality do you want? Obviously, everyone prefers the highest quality they can get, but what are the tradeoffs here? Is this to be a general purpose or work PC that can also play games? Does it need to host a media library? Will it be used in a dorm room or small office where space is at a premium? What is your monitor's native resolution?
It is very easy to say "Get the most powerful graphics card you can!" That's often the "right" choice, but not always. For example, if I'm going to use a PC for a variety of tasks, and the most demanding games at highest possible settings are not among them, I'd rather get a HD7770+SSD than a HD6870; but that's me. If games are the most important applications that will be run, yeah I'd want the HD6870 or maybe a HD7850 and a mechanical drive.

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September 7, 2012 2:51:06 PM

That's a very good point actually. This is gonna be my pc for everyday tasks, but I want something that could run a good amount of games, decently(nothing crazy high end though). As for the SSD, I was thinking maybe put one later on, its not a necessity right now. My resolution is 1680x1050
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September 7, 2012 3:48:47 PM

At the resolution, you don't need a "high-end" GPU, to play even fairly demanding games if you don't have to have "ultra" settings. Better to get good basics, and mid-range graphics. The GPU is probably the easiest thing to upgrade, later, provided you've got the basics right.
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September 7, 2012 10:14:32 PM

At that resolution, and not requiring everything to be maxed out, I think you'd be happy with a relatively inexpensive HD7770.
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September 7, 2012 11:22:26 PM

If a modest graphics card, gives scope in budget for i3, rather tham AMD, I'd go that way. Gives much more scope to upgrade, to something really good, when finances allow.
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September 8, 2012 12:09:30 AM

Agreed. The i3 may be enough for quite some time to come, but if and when it isn't, an upgrade is easily accomplished, with the only items being replace being the CPU and possibly a different cooler.
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