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Work/Entertainment build (~500 USD)

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November 9, 2012 5:54:41 AM

Hey everyone! I'm looking to build a cheap school/work computer that I can also use for entertainment (video streaming, light gaming, internet etc). I picked out some parts based on deals NewEgg had, not necessarily because I think they’re good. Sorry if I’ve left anything out, just posting this up real quick before bed. Will edit in the morning if I have left something out. I’d like to keep it around 500, but might be willing to go a little more (but definitely no more than 600) if it provides a significant upgrade. All comments/suggestions are definitely welcome. Thanks for looking! (Edit: A couple more options in post 4)

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next week, ASAP.

Budget Range: ~$500 (US)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Programs like CAD, MatLAB, Inventor and Visual Studio. Video Streaming (Netflix, sports etc.). Light gaming. Possible Video editing and Photoshop.

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference, also live relatively close to a Microcenter.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: None really, whichever is better for my purposes.

Overclocking: Not now

SLI or Crossfire: Not now (If I do it’ll be after upgrading other stuff first)


Additional Comments: I’d like to be able to multitask (stream video while doing schoolwork using programs listed above or browsing internet etc). Would be nice to be able to run some of the newer games, but max settings obviously aren’t a priority at $500. Just want a relatively cheap computer, that I can upgrade as I need/want, to do homework (and eventually work for my job), and entertain myself because my laptop is about dead. Will likely be running Windows 7 and some form of Linux. Monitor is just going to be a 32" 720P tv at first.


CPU: Intel Pentium G860
- 74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASRock Z75 Pro3
- 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600
- 99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-N430-2GI GeForce GT 430
- 69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - 39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB
- 69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-

DVD Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
- 16.99

Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER
- 39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: 471.92
November 9, 2012 7:00:47 AM

You might wanna go with AMD's APU.


The APU is designed for light to mid ranged gaming, and it can run all those software faster because it has more cores.
It is also a great choice for surfing the web and streaming HD videos while multitasking.

:) 
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November 9, 2012 7:09:42 AM
Related resources
November 9, 2012 7:11:30 AM

Total cost: $530

A little over your budget, but it will be a fast pc.
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November 9, 2012 4:23:03 PM

Thanks for the suggestions! Just curious tho, why did you go for that processor over the Phenom II x4 BE? I assume because of the integrated graphics? What if I went with the Phenom and a MOBO like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Would performance be similar? Just trying to get some options, don't wanna rush into anything and not be happy with the result. Any one else have opinions on any of the options so far?
I'm possibly thinking of the following. (I picked this PSU and Memory because it's 20 off in a combo on NewEgg). Also, does the SSD add much performance other than bootup and opening programs? I'm thinking of leaving it out to save some money for now.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
- 99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASUS M4A88T-V EVO AM3 AMD 880G
- 89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600
- 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817171036

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
- 39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231314

Hard Drive: Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB
- 69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136769

SSD: Corsair Force Series 3
- 69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
- 16.99

Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER
- 39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811147153

Total: ~510

Or substitute the following, which would bring the total down to ~485
CPU: AMD A8-5600K Trinity 3.6GHz
-109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M FM2 AMD A75
- 67.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also at NewEgg, if you replace the CPU and MOBO above with the ones you suggested, it would still come out to ~485, so I'm kinda leaning towards that (The A10-5800K and the MSI FM2-A75MA-E35)
Just a quick question tho, when I upgrade in the future, add a graphics card and stuff, will the CPU with integrated graphics have any effect?
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November 9, 2012 5:43:02 PM

Personally I'd go with the Phenom, and yes an SSD makes possibly the biggest end user experience difference next to the processor.

Pick up a 970 or 990 chipset AM3+ board, the only real difference between the two is 3 & 4x Crossfire/SLI. I own the second link MB, overclocks great (6+2 phase), and stays cool.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In addition going the AM3+ route over the APU (A10) means you can upgrade to Piledriver or Steamroller in the future. You will need a video card, unless you're going 1080p+ res you can get a capable solutions for fairly cheap.

Keep an eye out for the 960t. It's typically priced about the same as the 965 and at about a 90% success rate they unlock to an x6. I own one and can hit 4ghz x 6 no problem. They're hard to find but if you get lucky, in my opinion the best $ for $ processor on the market.
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November 9, 2012 6:07:29 PM

Don't bother with the Phenom. Its rubbish, old and slow. Since you want an editing/rendering box, get a 3570K and Z77 combo from Microcentre matched with at least 16GB DDR3 1600MHz. A Samsung 830 SSD 128GB for Windows and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda for bulk storage. That there is the guts. You'll want as much grunt as possible. Don't bother with AMD. Sacrifice the graphics card for now and use onboard.
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November 9, 2012 7:10:00 PM

^ Lol, yeah try getting that in on a $500 build. Even if the OP had a microcenter near by, the CPU/MB is already $250.

Check out my $650 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module14669582...
Drop down the 7870 to a 7770 (-110)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total: $510

You get a better overall build, specially with the CPU since you plan to do normal applications with this build. You'll benefit from the 6-cores of the FX-6300, Piledriver really has brought a much better chip from Bulldozer. As for the GPU, it'll allow you to game pretty much the majority of the current day games on low-medium depending on your monitor resolution. For less demanding games like COD or SC2, probably you'll be able to run High @ 1680x1050.

Overall you get a better GPU, CPU and save a little.

As you can see:
http://www.techspot.com/review/586-amd-fx-8350-fx-6300/...
http://www.techspot.com/review/586-amd-fx-8350-fx-6300/...
http://www.techspot.com/review/586-amd-fx-8350-fx-6300/...
The FX-6300 benches above the i3 3220, obviously, and it'll easily beat the G860. In some cases the FX-6300 beats the i5 3470 which is roughly $50+ more.
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November 9, 2012 7:20:36 PM

NV88 said:
Don't bother with the Phenom. Its rubbish, old and slow. Since you want an editing/rendering box, get a 3570K and Z77 combo from Microcentre matched with at least 16GB DDR3 1600MHz. A Samsung 830 SSD 128GB for Windows and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda for bulk storage. That there is the guts. You'll want as much grunt as possible. Don't bother with AMD. Sacrifice the graphics card for now and use onboard.


Old and slow? Slow compared to a chip that costs 2+x as much, irrelevant comparison. 2x faster, not chance.

On board graphics? I don't know about you, but I would prefer a bit more well rounded machine to start off with. With a 670, which is overkill for most modern games. He will be able to enjoy gaming, while possible only sacrificing negligible time differences for heavy compute scenarios. Those seconds might mean something on a revenue generating machine, why sacrifice significant features for a school or entertainment box.

In addition..... If he does decide in the future to upgrade to an 8320/50, its pretty much on par or superior for highly threaded tasks such as rendering when compared to the 3570k and costs less. Oh ya, and he'll already have a 670. I know the benches are debatable, its splitting hairs regardless.
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November 9, 2012 7:26:09 PM

Thanks for both of your suggestions! However, I don't think the Intel is entirely within my budget (at least not with parts you listed). I think I might be able to go for a scaled down version of that though. I wouldn't be able to afford an SSD right away and probably only 8GB of Memory. I've got some parts picked out below, could probably save some on the PSU, and maybe on the HDD. Also looked at that link for the 650 rig, I'll definitely look around and see what I can find. I don't know if I'll ever be able to decide...

CPU: Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz
- 169.99

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4
- 134.99

Memory: Corsair Vengeance Series 8GB DDR3-1600
- 39.99

PSU: CoolerMaster GX Series 650W
- 89.99

HDD: Toshiba 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
- 69.99

DVD Drive: LG 24x SATA Internal Desktop DVD Burner
- 15.99

Case: Diablotek EVO Mid Tower
-39.99

Total (after tax): 570.05
(All components from microcenter)
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November 9, 2012 7:32:55 PM

BlueNinja6 said:
Thanks for the suggestion! However, I don't think that's entirely within my budget. I think I might be able to go for a scaled down version of that though. I wouldn't be able to afford an SSD right away and probably only 8GB of Memory. I've got some parts picked out below, could probably save some on the PSU, and maybe on the HDD.

CPU: Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz
- 169.99

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4
- 134.99

Memory: Corsair Vengeance Series 8GB DDR3-1600
- 39.99

PSU: CoolerMaster GX Series 650W
- 89.99

HDD: Toshiba 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
- 69.99

DVD Drive: LG 24x SATA Internal Desktop DVD Burner
- 15.99

Case: Diablotek EVO Mid Tower
-39.99

Total (after tax): 570.05
(All components from microcenter)



Fast PC for sure. However, you've sacrificed a lot for processor speed. I own i5, i7, Phenom, and Xeon systems so my opinion is not bias towards a manufacturer. Get a computer that will be enjoyable to use. You will sorely miss the SSD and decent video card.
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November 9, 2012 7:41:08 PM

bjaminnyc said:
Fast PC for sure. However, you've sacrificed a lot for processor speed. I own i5, i7, Phenom, and Xeon systems so my opinion is not bias towards a manufacturer. Get a computer that will be enjoyable to use. You will sorely miss the SSD and decent video card.


I saw your posts after I posted that, I edited it up above. I'll definitely check out that build you posted, because I agree that I think I would want an SSD at least, and it looks like it would be better for now and still allow for upgrades and stuff. Thanks for your help
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November 9, 2012 7:47:02 PM

With your current build, it's solid. But for around the same price, you could get a similarly performing FX-6300 build that would actually have a decent graphics card and SSD in it. If you took my advice for the dropping of the 7870 down to the 7770, you'll be @ $510, which you could then pickup a 60GB SSD for a boot drive or to Cache which would greatly increase speeds.
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November 9, 2012 7:49:58 PM

bjaminnyc said:
Old and slow? Slow compared to a chip that costs 2+x as much, irrelevant comparison. 2x faster, not chance.

On board graphics? I don't know about you, but I would prefer a bit more well rounded machine to start off with. With a 670, which is overkill for most modern games. He will be able to enjoy gaming, while possible only sacrificing negligible time differences for heavy compute scenarios. Those seconds might mean something on a revenue generating machine, why sacrifice significant features for a school or entertainment box.

In addition..... If he does decide in the future to upgrade to an 8320/50, its pretty much on par or superior for highly threaded tasks such as rendering when compared to the 3570k and costs less. Oh ya, and he'll already have a 670. I know the benches are debatable, its splitting hairs regardless.


Intel is faster, cooler, and way more efficient. Piledriver has barely caught up, and uses way more juice.
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November 9, 2012 7:54:29 PM

NV88 said:
Intel is faster, cooler, and way more efficient. Piledriver has barely caught up, and uses way more juice.


False, Ivy is on par temperature wise with Piledriver, if not hotter. Just because it's more efficient doesn't make a HUGE difference in terms of your electric bill. You're looking at like 10 cents more in your electric bill big woop. You're saving money and getting a better GPU which is more important in gaming. PD actually made up huge ground so I don't know what you're talking about.
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November 9, 2012 9:44:44 PM

NV88 said:
Intel is faster, cooler, and way more efficient. Piledriver has barely caught up, and uses way more juice.


Efficient.....? If you're worried about $20 a year on your power bill. You have bigger concerns than Ghz or SSD's.

My work computer is a 2P 12 core (24 Thread), 64GB DDR3, 8TB Platter, Intel Xeon workstation. I'm in the business of high volume data processing for complex civil litigation. My workstation destroy's my home PC in that arena. However, my home x6, SSD, 6950 3xDeLLP2210(5040x1050) Eyefinity which I enjoy using much more than my workstation. 2 points, my 6950 ($195) with the settings turned down a bit (barley noticeable) works great at that resolution, also the Xeon machine does not feel any faster whatsoever as an end user in fact the Phenom machine feels much quicker with the SSD.

To the point; 1. You don't need to spend a lot to have a fast enjoyable computer. 2. When you get into the top 15% tier of processors your components quickly become the bottleneck typically. 3. Unless you're going for "state of the art" logically plan an upgrade path.


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November 9, 2012 10:01:24 PM

BlueNinja6 said:
I saw your posts after I posted that, I edited it up above. I'll definitely check out that build you posted, because I agree that I think I would want an SSD at least, and it looks like it would be better for now and still allow for upgrades and stuff. Thanks for your help


If you're going with Linux you're all good. If not, and need Win. Watch the barbones / builder kits at MicroC and elsewhere for one that has a transferable Win license. The OS can significant effect total cost for a budget build (15% @ $500). The kits may not be exactly what you're looking for, but may be best $ for $ deal including OS.
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November 10, 2012 5:24:20 AM

bjaminnyc said:
If you're going with Linux you're all good. If not, and need Win. Watch the barbones / builder kits at MicroC and elsewhere for one that has a transferable Win license. The OS can significant effect total cost for a budget build (15% @ $500). The kits may not be exactly what you're looking for, but may be best $ for $ deal including OS.



I think I've got OS covered. Pretty sure I can get Windows 7 through school. I plan on running at least Windows 7, and may dual-boot Linux.
I think I might go ahead and get a AMD FX-6300 Vishera CPU with ASRock 970 Extreme 3 because it's only ~25 more than the Phenom and what appears to be a fair increase in performance. It's basically the build that aznshinobi linked above.
I'm at about 490 without the GPU. I'm thinking about going with SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6670 1GB ($65). Also still on the fence about dropping the SSD for now. If I drop the SSD, I may bump the GPU up to the 7770 that aznshinobi linked. Thoughts?
Also for the memory, I'm looking at a couple that the only difference is the timing. One is 9-9-9-24-2N the other is 9-9-9-24. I looked up what the 2N meant but didn't understand it. Does it matter which one I go with?
Thanks again for all the help! Really appreciate you all taking the time
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November 10, 2012 5:51:51 PM

aznshinobi said:
False, Ivy is on par temperature wise with Piledriver, if not hotter. Just because it's more efficient doesn't make a HUGE difference in terms of your electric bill. You're looking at like 10 cents more in your electric bill big woop. You're saving money and getting a better GPU which is more important in gaming. PD actually made up huge ground so I don't know what you're talking about.



Say again?:

http://www.techspot.com/review/586-amd-fx-8350-fx-6300/...

http://www.hardcoreware.net/amd-piledriver-fx-review-vi...

The OP needs CPU grunt for rendering, and I'd take Intel anyday over AMD.

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November 10, 2012 11:02:43 PM

^ Lol you're bad, you provide benchmarks that just don't even prove your point. Again wqe already said that your power bill would only be a couple cents more per month even if you went with the FX-6300. Don't matter.

Now you're going to take Intel over AMD when the i5 3450 is $50 more than the FX-6300 for benching around the same performance. Lol you're bad. Keep in mind the FX-6300 wasn't even overclocked so you can push the FX-6300 to even 5GHZ easy, which is one thing the i5 3450 can't. SMH.

As for you BlueNinja, Take the 7770 for the extra performance, it'll be alarge jump and for the timings part. I think it may be a typo but... 9-9-9-24 is generally the timings for most ram nowadays.
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November 10, 2012 11:03:26 PM

aznshinobi said:
^ Lol you're bad, you provide benchmarks that just don't even prove your point. Again wqe already said that your power bill would only be a couple cents more per month even if you went with the FX-6300. Don't matter.

Now you're going to take Intel over AMD when the i5 3450 is $50 more than the FX-6300 for benching around the same performance. Lol you're bad. Keep in mind the FX-6300 wasn't even overclocked so you can push the FX-6300 to even 5GHZ easy, which is one thing the i5 3450 can't. SMH.

As for you BlueNinja, Take the 7770 for the extra performance, it'll be alarge jump and for the timings part. I think it may be a typo but... 9-9-9-24 is generally the timings for most ram nowadays.


Same performance = rubbish:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/702?vs=699

If OP gets AMD he won't be satisfied.
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November 11, 2012 1:56:11 AM

Again your numbers are kinda irrelevant because the i5 3450 costs $50 more. If you really want to compare then why wouldn't you compare chips of similar price. The FX-8320 can overclock and it's $10 less than the i5 3450 while also having the ability to upgrade to Steamroller without changing the motherboard.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/702?vs=698

Per encoding benchmarks, the FX-8320 topples the i5 3450 easy, and being $10 less and ALLOWING OVERCLOCKING, it can be pushed to 5GHZ easy and beat the i5 3450 by a huge margin. http://www.anandtech.com/show/6396/the-vishera-review-a...
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November 11, 2012 2:38:47 AM

aznshinobi said:
Again your numbers are kinda irrelevant because the i5 3450 costs $50 more. If you really want to compare then why wouldn't you compare chips of similar price. The FX-8320 can overclock and it's $10 less than the i5 3450 while also having the ability to upgrade to Steamroller without changing the motherboard.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/702?vs=698

Per encoding benchmarks, the FX-8320 topples the i5 3450 easy, and being $10 less and ALLOWING OVERCLOCKING, it can be pushed to 5GHZ easy and beat the i5 3450 by a huge margin. http://www.anandtech.com/show/6396/the-vishera-review-a...


Fail, just fail. A six core (modules or no) can't compete with a bottom end intel quad. FAIL. You need the top end 8xxx series and then overclock it, hugely boosting power consumption in the process to even compete. Pointless. FAIL. FAIL. FAIL.
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November 11, 2012 2:44:42 AM

^ Lols, can your arguement fail anymore than it has. At stock the FX-8320 is already better. Not to mention the FX-8320 just sits at the same price point, your argument for "6-cores vs 4-cores" or what not is kind of pointless when we're not arguing performance per core. It's overall performance. You should just GTFO.
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November 11, 2012 2:54:36 AM

aznshinobi said:
^ Lol you're bad, you provide benchmarks that just don't even prove your point. Again wqe already said that your power bill would only be a couple cents more per month even if you went with the FX-6300. Don't matter.

Now you're going to take Intel over AMD when the i5 3450 is $50 more than the FX-6300 for benching around the same performance. Lol you're bad. Keep in mind the FX-6300 wasn't even overclocked so you can push the FX-6300 to even 5GHZ easy, which is one thing the i5 3450 can't. SMH.

As for you BlueNinja, Take the 7770 for the extra performance, it'll be alarge jump and for the timings part. I think it may be a typo but... 9-9-9-24 is generally the timings for most ram nowadays.


Alright, I think I might go with a gtx 550 ti instead though. Looks like similar performance but $30 less. Unless I'm missing something major and it's a bad card to match with this CPU/MOBO or something.
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November 11, 2012 3:13:59 AM

Just get a HD 7770 and an FX-6300 w/ a cheap 970 or a 990 mobo. Stay a stock speed first, then overclock it when you need more performance in the future. And don't forget a decent CPU cooler.
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November 11, 2012 4:52:07 AM

aznshinobi said:
^ Lols, can your arguement fail anymore than it has. At stock the FX-8320 is already better. Not to mention the FX-8320 just sits at the same price point, your argument for "6-cores vs 4-cores" or what not is kind of pointless when we're not arguing performance per core. It's overall performance. You should just GTFO.


You are as useless as AMD's CPU's are in 2012.
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November 11, 2012 4:59:51 AM

NV88 said:
You are as useless as AMD's CPU's are in 2012.

STOP BEING SO BUTTMAD AAAAAAHHAHAHAHAHHHHHH -.-
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November 11, 2012 5:03:28 AM

NV88 said:
You are as useless as AMD's CPU's are in 2012.


Hey kid, I hope you realize that you look more useless than him because of that reply.
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November 11, 2012 5:06:42 AM

thank you ;-;
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!