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New build for my dad ~$500

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October 28, 2012 12:07:40 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: the sooner the better, but I can wait a few weeks
Budget: $500 with the OS but without accessories
System Usage from Most to Least Important: just general everyday stuff, no gaming or rendering
Preferred websites: anything with good rep, I'll be picking up some stuff at a microcenter
Overclocking: most likely not
SLI: no
Why are you upgrading?: the current computer struggles when a browser and Skype are open at the same time

I've decided on most of the parts, but need some help with a few things.

1. I'm pretty set on an i3 3225 for $120 at microcenter with a motherboard $40 off combo, but I'm not sure which motherboard to get. At first, I was thinking the Asus p8z77-v LK with which the CPU/mobo total would be ~$185 after a $20 MIR. I though it would be nice for when my dad decides he needs some more speed, I can just throw in an i5. But I realized that by then, my own system is gonna need an upgrade too, which means I can just give him my 3770k with the p8z77-v pro. So now I think a simple motherboard with USB 3 and some SATA ports would be more than enough. What should I get?

2. Here is what I came up with for the other parts.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
If I go with the p8z77-v LK the total is around $410, which leaves $90 for the PSU and case, which are the parts I can't choose and need some suggestions. I'd like to get a 450-500w PSU just in case I add a gpu later, but the case doesn't really matter. I'd appreciate some help.

So what do you guys think? What motherboard, PSU, and case would you suggest? Should I change anything? I'll probably throw an SSD at it and maybe add an entry level gpu at some point in the future, but I think it should be pretty good even as it is. Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

More about : build dad 500

October 28, 2012 12:29:17 AM

If you are not thinking of putting an unlocked "K" processor in it, in the future, just get a H77 mobo. All you lose is the ability to overclock CPU, which you can't do anyway, with i3, and the ability to use TWO graphics cards. I understand you may not even have one.
You only need modest power supply, but suggest you use, perhaps Antec Basiq 430w, so you could add a modest graphics card, in the future, if you want (you don't save a lot of cash with a smaller PSU, anyway). For case, obviously you don't need a lot. The Antec 300 TWO, is probably a bit over the top, but nice quality. The CoolerMaster Elite range are perfectly adequate, although they don't have front USB 3.0 ports. For case, because you don't have any special need, it's more a case of what your father likes. You won't need an aftermarket cooler, with a locked processor.
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October 28, 2012 4:39:55 AM

Since you're going to microcenter, you might as well pick up the i5 3470. It's only 30 dollars more than the 3225, and you'll get much better performance. If you really need the graphics power of the 3225, you can always pick up a cheap Radeon 6450, which is one tier higher than the Intel HD 4000, and can be found every once in a while for 20 bucks (MIR) If you find out you really need it later, you can drop one in without spending a lot of money.

http://www.microcenter.com/product/400664/Core_i5_3470_...

If you need a simple motherboard, there is a B75 at newegg with the mail in rebate. It's only 50 dollars including the rebate, which is a steal on a budget. (B75's usually go for around 65 dollars)

Thats about $200 total for the CPU and MOBO, which is a good deal; you're getting i5 performance for only 15 dollars more.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/ecs-motherboard-b75h2m310
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October 28, 2012 8:00:35 AM

The Antec Earthwatts series makes some reliable cheap PSUs, I think they make a 430W model.
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October 28, 2012 9:59:22 AM

sonicers said:
Since you're going to microcenter, you might as well pick up the i5 3470. It's only 30 dollars more than the 3225, and you'll get much better performance. If you really need the graphics power of the 3225, you can always pick up a cheap Radeon 6450, which is one tier higher than the Intel HD 4000, and can be found every once in a while for 20 bucks (MIR) If you find out you really need it later, you can drop one in without spending a lot of money.

http://www.microcenter.com/product/400664/Core_i5_3470_...

If you need a simple motherboard, there is a B75 at newegg with the mail in rebate. It's only 50 dollars including the rebate, which is a steal on a budget. (B75's usually go for around 65 dollars)

Thats about $200 total for the CPU and MOBO, which is a good deal; you're getting i5 performance for only 15 dollars more.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/ecs-motherboard-b75h2m310

Had thought about i5, but presumed OP had specifically chosen the 3225, for its HD4000 graphics, so would need at least a modest GPU, with i5, to replace that. Am in UK, so not always aware of deals, from sources, like Microcentre.
If i5 can be got for only $30 over i3, sounds worth it, even when you add in cost of very modest GPU. Would suggest ASRock H77M mobo, unless there's a good deal on something else.
As there are no special requirements, for case, probably best for OP to pick a couple he, or perhaps should say, his father like, and we could advise if one is best. I mean, he doesn't even NEED a mid-tower, but that may feel more like a "proper PC"
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October 28, 2012 11:56:03 AM

malbluff said:
Had thought about i5, but presumed OP had specifically chosen the 3225, for its HD4000 graphics, so would need at least a modest GPU, with i5, to replace that. Am in UK, so not always aware of deals, from sources, like Microcentre.
If i5 can be got for only $30 over i3, sounds worth it, even when you add in cost of very modest GPU. Would suggest ASRock H77M mobo, unless there's a good deal on something else.
As there are no special requirements, for case, probably best for OP to pick a couple he, or perhaps should say, his father like, and we could advise if one is best. I mean, he doesn't even NEED a mid-tower, but that may feel more like a "proper PC"

I don't really think an i5 is needed. Is there any major benefits you can notice with everyday usage? I can get the asrock H77m-itx for $175 with the i3, but there are a few z77 boards for around the same price. Here is a link. Keep in mind that I can get $40 if I buy them with the 3225. And yeah, I can probably chose the case myself, I just need to know the total cost of everything else so I don't overspend on the case. Also, what do you guys think of this PSU? It's $54 shipped at ncix. Thanks
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October 28, 2012 12:33:46 PM

i got a good pc combination for you for 500$ used for gaming
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks


CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.99 @ Mac Mall)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($209.98 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill REDBONE ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($35.83 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $506.75

Everything is set in this spec i have it and its perfect
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October 28, 2012 12:49:48 PM

Penguinz said:
I don't really think an i5 is needed. Is there any major benefits you can notice with everyday usage? I can get the asrock H77m-itx for $175 with the i3, but there are a few z77 boards for around the same price. Here is a link. Keep in mind that I can get $40 if I buy them with the 3225. And yeah, I can probably chose the case myself, I just need to know the total cost of everything else so I don't overspend on the case. Also, what do you guys think of this PSU? It's $54 shipped at ncix. Thanks

I originally didn't suggest i5, because the relatively small performance gain, except in things like photo editing, doesn't justify a much higher cost, especially when compared, with i3-3225, which actually has better graphics. If, however, if the REAL add on cost is only around $30, it may be worth it. Depends on comparing ALL the deals available, not easy, from UK, where I am.
If your Dad wants a "mini" case, then you will need a suitable motherboard, which tend to be a lot dearer, than ATX, or mATX. You really need to decide, which way, at least, you want to go for case, BEFORE we can really advise on best components. A build, using a Mid-Tower case will be cheaper, than a mini. Small may be beautiful, but comes at a price.
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October 28, 2012 2:24:47 PM

malbluff said:
I originally didn't suggest i5, because the relatively small performance gain, except in things like photo editing, doesn't justify a much higher cost, especially when compared, with i3-3225, which actually has better graphics. If, however, if the REAL add on cost is only around $30, it may be worth it. Depends on comparing ALL the deals available, not easy, from UK, where I am.
If your Dad wants a "mini" case, then you will need a suitable motherboard, which tend to be a lot dearer, than ATX, or mATX. You really need to decide, which way, at least, you want to go for case, BEFORE we can really advise on best components. A build, using a Mid-Tower case will be cheaper, than a mini. Small may be beautiful, but comes at a price.

I don't need small form factor. The thing is, h77m-itx costs within $10 of the z77 boards I was looking at. Can you tell me which one of these would be good enough? Are they any better than the h77 one? As for the PSU I mentioned, I just came across it and it seemed pretty good for its size, comparable to regular ones,but Ill probably still go with a normal one. Thanks.
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October 28, 2012 3:04:39 PM

"Had thought about i5, but presumed OP had specifically chosen the 3225, for its HD4000 graphics, so would need at least a modest GPU, with i5, to replace that. Am in UK, so not always aware of deals, from sources, like Microcentre. " lol did I not just say you could get a 6450 later on, which has better performance than the Intel HD 4000, and is only $20 with MIR's occasionally?

The MOBO I suggested is just as good as an H77. Since you're not overclocking, there's no difference besides the fact that the H77 has more SATA III ports, which if you're getting one hard drive, there's no point in going for H77. the B75 would be better for the money than the H77. The Z77 boards will cost upwards of $40 more than a B75, which should be all you need at this price point.

If you need small form factor, you could get a MicroATX board, and then get a MicroATX Slim case, which is pretty much the same size as Mini-ITX.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GGUAUE/?tag=pcpapi-20

The case is Silverstone, which is one of the better case makers, and the plus side to this is you can go for a MicroATX MOBO, like the one I mentioned, for $40 less AND have the small form factor. The case has USB 3.0.

It's about the size of a DVD Player (for a TV, not a drive), that's what you wanted, right?



Here's a build including the case and an i3 3225, if you're dead set on that CPU.

Including the case, this is the best possible build you can get for the price point.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lHxo
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lHxo/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lHxo/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ECS B75H2-M3(1.0) Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($50.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($57.21 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($35.83 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $477.97
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

If you REALLY want a H77 MOBO

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lHwM
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lHwM/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lHwM/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($57.21 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($35.83 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $496.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)



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October 28, 2012 4:47:17 PM

With respect, if OP originally selected i3-3225, rather than i3-3220, he, presumably did so for its better graphics. There WAS no point in suggesting i5, with lesser graphics, at higher cost, and then having to add a separate GPU, to get good graphics back (even if then better than HD4000), at even more cost, if it wasn't giving him much performance gain, in what he wanted to do. I then went on to say, IF there were deals available on i5, of which I wasn't aware, THEN it MIGHT be worth considering the i5 route. I just don't see what's so strange about that!
B75 boards are OK, but they don't tend to have the connectivity, of H77, or fully support the features of Ivybridge, and have c**p sound. If you've got to add a sound card (OP's dad might like music, even if he doesn't want to game), then they aren't a real saving over H77.
I have no problem with HTPC (last build is nice), if that's what OP's dad wants. Personally, I'd prefer the flexibilty, and possibly lower cost, of a mid-tower, if space is not at a premium, but that's personal choice.
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October 28, 2012 5:31:27 PM

Eh, I was assuming it'd be for work, so I suggested the i5. (assuming his dad works)

W/e, i3 3225 is just as viable for web browsing and such.
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