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$700 New, First time build - going over budget :(

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November 6, 2012 5:03:41 AM

Hello everyone, I'm posting here with the hope of getting useful guidance on what path I should take, how should I go about building a pc to replace my current computer. A Dell Inspiron E1505 with a intel Core Duo running Vista on 2gbs of RAM. Acquired circa 2007. Money is low due to part-time job and helping parents with bills. I would really like to have the computer build and running before I return to full-time student next semester.

It's primary purpose will be for gaming. Focused in RTS > indie > free2play games. If possible the occasional Action/Adventure... maybe like Bioshock Infinite. Secondary and Important purpose is for AutoCaD 2012, sketch-up and light use of GIMP. Multi-tasking is a big Plus... or a need... Anyway, more detailed criteria below:

Approximate Purchase Date: Through out this month(November) and next.

Budget Range: $500; rebates or shipping not included. With Windows 7 & monitor & shipping no more than $700.
(assuming it's possible with trade-offs)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon.com, Frys.com, Newegg.com (Amazon & Frys- there will be no shipping costs)

Parts Preferences: I want to use and Radeon HD 7770. Also, just 500gbs of HDD will do. no SSD for now.
I was looking at SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
For Monitor: HP 2310e 23" Ultra-Thin WLED Backlit Monitor

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Perhaps if there is a benefit. If so will happen in the future anyway.

I've been doing some research, and attempted to got with an Intel i3-2220. Which is not working out... So far with a cpu, 'mobo', graphics card, and mid-tower case I have a total of $390.57 sans shipping cost, if any. I'm willing to go with AMD, except that I couldn't pick out a processor other than AMD FX-4170 4.2GHz Quad-Core Socket AM3+ CPU. The problem being I couldn't choose a motherboard for that processor. (I'm lost on the AMD chipsets) I know I still need to do more research, but its all so much. :sweat: 
I'm somewhat familiar with computers to the extent of how they work(concept), what are they composed of, how to use windows OS and "troubleshooting" errors in windows. All just good enough to maintain my own computer and to know when to ask for help when needed. :lol:  Also, I'm willing to learn more.

All useful help is much appreciated. :) 

More about : 700 time build budget

November 6, 2012 8:24:20 PM

I don't know what that monitor is like, but you can't argue with the price. Getting that leaves you $650 for the rest. IF you have a local Microcentre, there is a very good deal, at the moment, on i5's, which would be ideal, for your work, as well as gaming.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
Total: $655.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
November 7, 2012 4:30:46 AM

Thanks for the help. :D 
As I'm going through the list, review things, all I can this is that you're awesome.

I'm curious though, is MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card better than
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition? they look the same stats wise, including clock speed. Main difference is Sapphire is cheaper after rebate and comes with a free game.
I know this might sound stupid but, what are the advantages in overclocking the GPU?

Another thing, just to be clear, I can add and/or remove components of my PC when using the OEM Windows version. All I need to do is contact Microsoft.(bluntly said) Right? I don't mind the extra steps, if needed.
Related resources
November 7, 2012 9:38:06 AM

The cooling solution, on the MSI is really good, so, whilst it's not guaranteed, is likely to overclock better. "Likely" isn't necessarily worth a big price premium, but, even with Newegg deal, the total cost difference is small.
In theory, an OEM version of Windows is linked to motherboard. Change mobo, buy new version. However Microsoft CAN be flexible, if you ask them "nicely", the OEM rule is really meant to stop manufacturers installing Windows on lots of PCs, and only paying one license fee. In theory though, you should pay again.
November 7, 2012 9:47:40 AM

Assuming performance is not actually being held back, by processor, overclocking GPU will have a direct effect on framerates, in most gaming apps. The downside, is it is likely to reduce life expectancy. It's a question of stricking a balance. If you are the type who's looking to upgrade, to latest, fairly often, go for the highest stable OC, you can get. If you want GPU to last as long as possible, maybe best to settle for guaranteed factory overclock.
November 11, 2012 1:06:30 AM

So, after dealing with compatibility issues, I'm going with:



CPU: i3-3220 LG1155 model# BX80637i33220
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP
Memory: G.Skill F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ 4GB (2 x 2gb)
Storage: WDl Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM - model# WD5000AAKX
Video Card: Sapphire HD 7770 Vapor-X - model# 100358VXL
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc - model# AD7280S-OB


I'm having difficulty finding the wattage I need. I only have detailed info on the HDD and the 7770. The wattage calculators I've use lack the right CPU or don't work at all. (except for the newegg, tells me 361 W)
I want to know so I can find alternatives to the XFX above. hoping for a sale.

Help please?
(anyone that knows)
November 11, 2012 7:32:18 AM

You don't need more than 400w, but I wouldn't go too low. XFX do one at 450w, or this would be a decent choice.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Power Supply: Antec Basiq 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($41.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $41.99
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-11 04:21 EST-0500)

Just noticed in your list i3-2220. You DO MEAN i3-3220, don't you?
November 13, 2012 4:28:56 AM

malbluff said:
You don't need more than 400w, but I wouldn't go too low. XFX do one at 450w, or this would be a decent choice.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Power Supply: Antec Basiq 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($41.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $41.99
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-11 04:21 EST-0500)

Just noticed in your list i3-2220. You DO MEAN i3-3220, don't you?


Yep, i3-3220(ivy bridge) I meant.

I was just looking at a 630w PSU that should let me do crossfire, if I ever go for it. Its a Rosewill and has a good/great review from hardwarsecrets. It also kind of fit my budget for a PSU... except for the dam 8.75% tax. Besisdes, I don't think there is an issue with some more power, since its an efficient PSU at low loads.

anyway, its on sale. I'll get it tomorrow. If its no longer, then I'll get the 500w version of what you showed me since its in stock from amazon for $50

Thanks once again.
November 13, 2012 10:08:45 AM

I doubt, to be honest, when you get to the point of needing better graphics, that crossfire will actually be the best option, but there's nothing wrong with a slightly higher rated PSU, to leave you the option, provided it's an efficient PSU. Some Rosewill PSUs are very good, the Capstone is excellent, some less so. As long as you're happy you've checked reviews. Expert reviews are more reliable, technically, than user reviews, but don't always "tell the whole story" on reliabilty. Never a bad idea to, at least, take the "eggs" into account, on Newegg, as well.
!