$1300 Budget Build for College

Approximate Purchase Date: Likely next week

Budget Range: $1100-$1300;

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Design programs(AutoCAD, solidworks, Chief Architect Premier, Mat lab, labview, little gaming, movies

Are you buying a monitor: 2 x monitors at least 21”

Parts to Upgrade: Everything except peripherals already got mouse, keyboard, headset, monitor and speakers.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg (free shipping expect cases), amazon (have prime membership)

Location: Alaska

Parts Preferences: Cpu intel; GPU Nvidia
Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Your Monitor Resolution:1920x1080


CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core - $309.99
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing - $19.99
MB: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 - $134.99
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 - $82.99
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM - $79.99
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB - $119.99
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower - $39.99
PSU: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V - $99.99
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer - $16.99
Monitor: 2x Asus VS228H-P 21.5" - $134.99
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) - $90.32

Total Cost $1260

Any recommendations for improving performance or reduce cost without hurting performance?
10 answers Last reply
More about 1300 budget build college
  1. The original HX650 is not that good of a buy in this day and age as there are newer, better, cheaper units available.
    Besides you don't need as much as 650W for a build with a GTX 550 Ti and no SLI or overclocking, now or in the future.

    Rosewill Capstone-450M ($70 @ Newegg)
  2. Something like this would suffice as well - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026&Tpk=cx430

    $44.99 at the moment with a $20 rebate, that's $24.99 after rebates!
  3. Seagate's HDDs are know for their unreliability, so you might want buy WD Caviar Blue/Black or Samsung SpingPoint F3 HDD instead. And the case you've picked is mainly aimed at the extremely low budget builds, which this obviously isn't. So I'd recommend you to invest a bit more on the case, as a quality case will last you many more years. Check out the Fractal Design, BitFenix, and Corsair's cases as well as the higher end CM cases.
    In addition, the PSU is overpowered, as that rig will hardly hit 200W power consumption under stress... A quality 400-500W PSU will be more than enough, leaving you room for a possible upgrade in the future. Also, I'd suggest you to grab a dual memory kit (2x8GB).
  4. I've been using Seagate drives for quite some time now and I've never had one fail on me while I've had numerous WD drives fail on me.

    Personal preference for the HDD, I would say it comes down to price and warranty.

    The Samsung Spinpoint F3's are nice, but they only provide a 1 year warranty, big no no for me unless you're on a VERY strict budget.
  5. For the PSU, I was trying to find something that was modular and I'm more familar with corsair brand, but would the antec work or should I just go with what mocchan recommended.

    Antec BP550 Plus 550W - $65

    Mocchan Recommended:
    CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 - $45 after rebate $25

    For the ram, mAzq_ , what is your reasoning for getting a 16GB(2 x8gb) unstead 16GB(4 x4gb). I don't really think I would upgrade my ram any farther than what I start with now.

    If I was to get a kit as you recommend what about this one:
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB

    For my case, I was looking for something that was sleek. This will be used in my office. Here are a couple cases that I like.

    Which one would be best



    Corsair Carbide Series 300R

    Antec Gaming Series One

    Antec Three Hundred

    A little more than what I want to spend but really like the look of it
  6. IMO, 4x4GB kit is more than you'll ever need, I don't think you'll exceed 16GB usage unless you do massive VM's along with editing videos.

    As for the PSU, I would prefer the Corsair PSU I provided over the Antec due to the price after rebates, it's a great value.

    My case preference will go to either the Antec Three Hundred(Two) or Corsair Carbide 300R .
  7. Since your a student make sure to look into getting the OS and the microsoft office sweet at a lower/reduced cost.

    For the case get which ever one you like the looks of best. The first case i ever built with was an antec, and i thought it was kind of shabby compared with other cases out there.

    If your not planning to overclock, the stock cooler will do fine.

    From my understanding of autocad and solidworks type programs, wouldnt he want a better video card with more vram?
  8. For CAD software, you need a decent amount of RAM and a also more VRAM.
    Specially if you're working in 3D.
  9. mocchan, thanks for your input those two case where my top two.

    velosteraptor, I cant find anything about a full student OS only upgrades if you know anything else please let me know.

    Crowz, what graphic card (nvidia or AMD) would you recommend with staying under $200?
  10. simonb530 said:
    mocchan, thanks for your input those two case where my top two.

    velosteraptor, I cant find anything about a full student OS only upgrades if you know anything else please let me know.

    Crowz, what graphic card (nvidia or AMD) would you recommend with staying under $200?

    1.28 GB VRAM and it's barely over $200. nVidia graphics cards are rather expensive nowadays.

    As you can see, AMD cards are cheaper. Yet it would be a good idea to go for an intel i5 3570K and spend the difference on a bigger graphics card.
    The price difference between the i5 3570k and the i7 3770k is about $100.

    Having about $300 to spend on a graphics card gives you a lot more possibilities.
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