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Building a new computer for a friend

Last response: in Systems
September 30, 2012 2:39:14 AM

hey guys, my friend decided he wants a new computer because his has aged a good 10 years.

i picked parts myself that i thought would benefit him the best. ive tried to get him into playing video games on the comp but he is a die hard xbox player so the most stressful things he will probably use his computer for are strategy games and music.

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core $214.99
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 $134.99
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 $34.99
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM $88.98
Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" SSD $72.16

Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower $99.99
Power Supply: Antec 550W ATX12V $49.99
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer $15.99
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) $90.99
Mouse: Logitech G500 Wired Laser $45.99

total: $849.06

he probably doesnt need some of the more harcore stuff i put in there like the 3570K. the case itself is overboard but he really likes the look of it so i may just change it to the more compact 410 version.

hes not really to worried about it costing to much but id like to bring it down a bit since hes not going to be doing much on it, any input on the topic for whats better, cheaper, and anything else would be greatly appreciated (:
September 30, 2012 2:49:04 AM

actually i just saw that the mid tower and full tower versions are the same price, so mine aswell keep it full tower to give me more room to work with
September 30, 2012 3:04:33 AM

Get the Z75 Pro 3 and a 500w PSU. Get the Haf 912 That will bring down the price. Even though he won't be gaming, I'd get a cheap GPU like the 7750 or 6770.
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September 30, 2012 3:06:47 AM

The only real issues I see are that
- you need an aftermarket CPU cooler (recommend Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, overclock that processor - even if you don't want to waste time screwing with it I all but guarantee you can set it to 4.2ghz, stock voltage 100% stable with an Evo
- don't waste $70+ on a 64gb SSD - you'll kick yourself later. Either wait for a sale on a decent 120GB for the same price +-$10, or buy the cheapest 32-64gb SSD you can find and use it for SSD caching - since your files are not actually *installed* on the drive you don't have to worry as much about it being quality and taking out your files. (
September 30, 2012 3:12:45 AM

Dude, if you take that view, with what hes doing with it he could buy an i3-3220, no SSD and an h77 board and save hundreds and still be satisfied. But in terms of bang for buck the $30 for the cooler + very mild overclock will improve performance the most over what he already has listed.
September 30, 2012 3:18:27 AM

He wants the build cheaper, not more expensive. Overclocking won't make a huge difference on this rig. Coming from a 10 year old computer, I'm sure he'll appreciate the speed of this rig, regardless of overclock.
September 30, 2012 4:18:54 AM

I agree with obsama. Such a powerful upgrade will be noticeable even without overclocking. I went from a Pentium 3 to an i5-2500k and even without OCing, the difference was... so big that the analogy of night and day is a big understatement.
September 30, 2012 5:35:58 AM

so what overall do you guys think i could change for best bang for buck kinda deal, or even downgrade some of the parts that wont be necessary, because i know if it was me i wouldn't want to pay 800 for something ill mainly be using for iTunes, age of empires and Facebook haha
September 30, 2012 12:49:06 PM

If you want back for the buck
For what you describe something like this would be way cheaper and do the same job:
CPU: I3-3220
stock cooler
Mobo: cheapest H77/B75/Z77 motherboard you can find
Case: Antec 300 (or go even cheaper, but Antec 300 is the cheapest good case I would recommend)
Graphics Card: Something like a 6670 ( - will still play lots of games at reduced resolutions/settings
Power Supply: ~300-400 watt will be plenty for a build like this - generally I would look a the cheapest decent 80plus I could find, something like (
Ram: 2x2gb or 2x4gb

Generally the best bank for your buck build for just general use like what you describe is something like the Toms hardware $500 build, but with a slightly better case and *way* less graphics card. You still can do some gaming and plenty of office work because this type of system is still way faster than an Xbox or PS3.
September 30, 2012 6:38:59 PM

heres a refinement to bring down the price a bit and give a bit better performance (:

PCPartPicker part list:
Price breakdown by merchant:

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.66 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card ($82.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.00 @ Amazon)
Mouse: Gigabyte GM-M6800 Wired Optical Mouse ($14.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $729.57
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

tell me what you guys think!
September 30, 2012 8:14:34 PM

That'd be fine for a build with future upgrading in mind (although no real need right now for a non-stock cooler in a not-overclockable processor). For pure price right now the motherboard & case would be overkill. Make sure you don't pay more than $60 after rebate or so for a 6670 (the one I linked was $50 after rebate if I remember correctly).