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$1,400 vs $2,800 Build

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December 4, 2012 9:49:17 PM

I'm 14 and can work in the summer when school is out. I can make $800 a month, or about $1,800 over the entire summer. I'll be spending $200 a month on clothes, and whatever else I need. The rest is my computer money. I can either build a PC this year, or save $1,400 from this year and combine it with my $1,400 next year to get a $2,800 computer.

I'll be looking to game and multi-tasking.

BUILD 1 ($1,400 Budget)

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 - $http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD FX-8350 @ 4GHZ - $210 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600MHZ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda Green 1TB 5900 RPM - http://www.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingItem.aspx?ItemLi...

PSU: CORSAIR TX Series TX650 650 Watt - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: MSI GTX 660 TI PE 2GB (SLI) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1,269.91

(Forgot a DVD-ROM, so make it $1,289.91.)


Build 2 ($2,800 Budget): Will edit it in when it's done.

Case: Cooler Master HAF X RC-942: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner: Asus 24x - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Core i7 3930K LGA 2011 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i Water Cooling System - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda Green 1TB 5900RPM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: OCZ Vertex 128GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600MHZ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair TX Series TX850 850 Watt - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: MSI GTX 680 TwinFrozr 4GB GDDR5 VRAM SLI http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: ASUS VS278Q-P Black 27" 1ms 1920x1080 HDMI - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Speakers: Logitech Z623 Speaker System: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Game: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $2,708.89


********************************************************************************************

Now I know A LOT of you are going to say the second build is absolutely ridiculous. Well, I love open games like GTA, Fallout, TES, etc... and love using graphics mods. Grand Theft Auto V and Fallout 4 are coming out soon, and you know GTA V with a graphics enhancer and high resolution textures will be ridiculous. Plus, I will be futureproofed for YEARS.

So, do you think it's worth saving two years for the second rig? Personally, I do.

BUT, the GTX 700 series is coming out, and the Radeon 8000 series, and new CPUs...




More about : 400 800 build

December 4, 2012 9:55:29 PM

dude,save your money. dont need to spend so much on a computer

and this is a better gaming rig. performs better than a single 660ti (2 660tis are un-needed) and will be a lot faster due to a SSD

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qX14

and buy a computer when you need it, not when you think you need it
December 4, 2012 9:59:40 PM

I agree with Troll, there's no reason to spend that much on a PC. You could get one for $1100 and it would still kick ass. On $1400 there's no reason to even consider AMD right now. Piledriver is a step in the right direction but it's only a minor improvement over Bulldozer.

Try this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($454.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1216.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 18:59 EST-0500)
Related resources
December 4, 2012 10:25:32 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I agree with Troll, there's no reason to spend that much on a PC. You could get one for $1100 and it would still kick ass. On $1400 there's no reason to even consider AMD right now. Piledriver is a step in the right direction but it's only a minor improvement over Bulldozer.

Try this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($454.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1216.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 18:59 EST-0500)



But I despise AMD's GPUs... will never use them.. tried twice and hated it both times, I love Nvidia. When I'm playing at 1920x1080 with high resolution texture mods on games like GTA V, TES VI, Fallout 4, etc. I'm going to need lots of firepower... if you think the $1,100 build was unnessesary, look at the build I posted below it and make sure you read whats at the bottom! I would be future proofed for 5+ years, and be able to save my money from working for the next 5 years, I'd have well over 10 grand saved by then and could upgrade appropriately then. Plus, it's been my dream for a couple of years to have a supercomputer.
December 4, 2012 10:34:03 PM

dude, life isnt about computers, therefore you dont spend a bucketload on a PC unless you need it, which you dont

futureproofing is impossible no matter how much you throw at a rig. therefore your 2800 dollar rig is pure dumb. why, because it performs the same as g-units build or my build in games

i use both so i find them just as viable as each other. drivers are now equally as good
December 4, 2012 10:47:06 PM

There is no such thing as future proofing. Buy what you need today.
To some extent, a great monitor, case and psu will last for multiple builds.

I think I would build the more modest option now, and see what happens next year.
Today, the 3570K is the best cpu for gaming, bar none. I do not see it being replaced by haswell next year.
FX8150 was a big disappointment for gaming; particularly since the 3570K is priced similarly.

Most any Z77 based motherboard will do the job.

I would look at a 2 x8gb kit for 16gb of ram. Low profile ares series would be better to clear any cpu coolers.

If you will game on a single monitor, look for a single strong graphics card like a GTX670.
I do not think the extra $ for a GTX680 is worth it today.
Next year, we will see the GTX7xx series, and the AMD 8xxx series. If you want more graphics power then, just sell the GTX670 and replace it with the next best thing.

Green drives tend to be very slow. Not what you want for the os.
I suggest you start with a 120gb SSD. That will hold the os and a handful of games.
If you buy 180gb or 240gb, you may never need a separate hard drive.
Intel 330/335 or samsung 830/840 would be my pick for reliability.
If you have a need for storage of large files then add a large hard drive later.

Products and prices will change.
Save the rest and see what comes next year.
December 4, 2012 10:55:01 PM

plantlet said:
But I despise AMD's GPUs... will never use them.. tried twice and hated it both times, I love Nvidia. When I'm playing at 1920x1080 with high resolution texture mods on games like GTA V, TES VI, Fallout 4, etc. I'm going to need lots of firepower... if you think the $1,100 build was unnessesary, look at the build I posted below it and make sure you read whats at the bottom! I would be future proofed for 5+ years, and be able to save my money from working for the next 5 years, I'd have well over 10 grand saved by then and could upgrade appropriately then. Plus, it's been my dream for a couple of years to have a supercomputer.


OK what AMD GPUs have you tried and why do you have such a bias against them? Let's start there. Right now my rig uses dual 7870's and it's great - it can handle anything I throw at it.
December 4, 2012 11:00:46 PM

geofelt said:
There is no such thing as future proofing. Buy what you need today.
To some extent, a great monitor, case and psu will last for multiple builds.

I think I would build the more modest option now, and see what happens next year.
Today, the 3570K is the best cpu for gaming, bar none. I do not see it being replaced by haswell next year.
FX8150 was a big disappointment for gaming; particularly since the 3570K is priced similarly.

Most any Z77 based motherboard will do the job.

I would look at a 2 x8gb kit for 16gb of ram. Low profile ares series would be better to clear any cpu coolers.

If you will game on a single monitor, look for a single strong graphics card like a GTX670.
I do not think the extra $ for a GTX680 is worth it today.
Next year, we will see the GTX7xx series, and the AMD 8xxx series. If you want more graphics power then, just sell the GTX670 and replace it with the next best thing.

Green drives tend to be very slow. Not what you want for the os.
I suggest you start with a 120gb SSD. That will hold the os and a handful of games.
If you buy 180gb or 240gb, you may never need a separate hard drive.
Intel 330/335 or samsung 830/840 would be my pick for reliability.
If you have a need for storage of large files then add a large hard drive later.

Products and prices will change.
Save the rest and see what comes next year.


Only thing I'm worried about is a single GTX 670 will not be powerful enough to run GTA IV at 1920x1080, maxed out with graphics mods. And the same for GTA V, Fallout 4, TES VI, and all the new upcoming games to use DirectX 11.
December 4, 2012 11:06:12 PM

gta 4 with aa is plain stupid. hogs all your vram for no graphical quality gain

its called you cant futureproof. get what you need done now. in the future you can add another 670 as you wish
December 4, 2012 11:16:57 PM

plantlet said:
But I despise AMD's GPUs... will never use them.. tried twice and hated it both times, I love Nvidia. When I'm playing at 1920x1080 with high resolution texture mods on games like GTA V, TES VI, Fallout 4, etc. I'm going to need lots of firepower... if you think the $1,100 build was unnessesary, look at the build I posted below it and make sure you read whats at the bottom! I would be future proofed for 5+ years, and be able to save my money from working for the next 5 years, I'd have well over 10 grand saved by then and could upgrade appropriately then. Plus, it's been my dream for a couple of years to have a supercomputer.



Well good thing AMD's entire GPU profit doesn't rest with you because they seem to be doing quite well and are comparable to a same priced Nvidia. You generalize an entire company and product line based off YOUR experience with 2 cards. Bravo.

And future proofed for 5+ years? LOL. Really. A top of the line system from 5 years ago will choke on today's games, hell a modern day system chokes on some of the latest games unless your have $1000 just in video cards and then you can game at a high res/ everything turned up.
December 4, 2012 11:19:51 PM

plantlet said:
Only thing I'm worried about is a single GTX 670 will not be powerful enough to run GTA IV at 1920x1080, maxed out with graphics mods. And the same for GTA V, Fallout 4, TES VI, and all the new upcoming games to use DirectX 11.


It will. Easily.
My 670 is running most current games maxed out, capped at the 120 frames/second refresh rate of my monitor.
December 4, 2012 11:20:19 PM

Another point, prices will go down and new parts will come out when the summer comes. I don't see a reason to choose your parts now. Its still 6 months away. Come back to the forum in 4-5 months and ask then.

plus you mentioned it yourself "BUT, the GTX 700 series is coming out, and the Radeon 8000 series, and new CPUs... "


And finally you cant be future proofed for 5 years. 5 years ago the best processor was a core2duo. Right now a $600 build murders that. So yes the $2800 build is insanely stupid. Instead you can build a $1000 build now and build another one 3 years down the road.
December 4, 2012 11:22:52 PM

Main priority will be an SSD, Decent power supply, Monitor and other peripherals, and you honestly won't need more than a 3570k for gaming. Buy a decent cooler or go for the all-in-one units like the Corsair Hydro series (h100, h80, etc.) if you plan on over-clocking. You honestly don't need that much of a beast of a video card, unless you're crazy about performance like me with a 42" monitor at 1080p playing Battlefield 3 on ultra settings with an average higher than 60fps..all on a Gtx 680 (that is heavily overclocked). No need for such a powerful graphics card in your build. Any Z77 chipset motherboard will do, I strongly suggest anything by asus. The only thing you can really future proof is buying a good, spacey, case and a good power supply. Go with a 2500k or a 3570k, any z77 (if using 3570) motherboard and an ssd. Spend a decent amount on a graphics card, try a 660ti or a 670 but it's honestly overkill for a 680. Get good ram, 1600mhz at least and get some tight latency. I personally use corsair vengeance but gskill has some very good performance for money ram. Try re-building your parts.
December 4, 2012 11:32:06 PM

I agree with most of the others, G-units build is a great gaming build. Should be able to handle anything you can throw at it. I would also consider adding an SSD to it given that he came in under budget by $180. Troll's build is also good, probably more along the lines of what I was thinking, except I would stick with Low Profile memory to keep maximum compatibility with "Big Air" coolers, in case you want/have to upgrade your cooler later. Also, they both had a version of Windows 7 in there that you didn't list in your builds, not sure if that means you already have a copy. If you don't want the AMD gpu, just replace it with at 680/670 or SLI your 660's if you want. I have a 670 factory OC'ed and have no complaints. If your concerned about a 670 go with a 680.

In your second build, the CPU is pointless. i5-3570k is more than enough for gaming, an i7-3770k if you want will give you a slight increase in some games and give a little extra umph in other areas. Anything over that is just to stroke your internet ego and the maybe 1 extra FPS you gain for doubling the price of the i7-3770k could have easily spent adding a (larger) SSD or 2nd gfx card that would have far greater impact on your gaming performance. Building a great gaming PC is all about balancing the components.

But on the flip side, your young and probably don't quite understand the value of money yet. Either way you will learn a valuable life lesson from this build (learning from the advice of others vs learning from your own mistakes)...
December 4, 2012 11:34:47 PM

DON'T SPEND THE MONEY ON A NEW COMPUTER.

Get a used one for $200 that'll get you through the day and save the rest of your money. Put it in a savings account and build interest on it. You're much better off saving the money for the future, like college or once you graduate buying a car. You'll be much happier and much better off than most of your peers who are stuck with huge debts.

I know what you'll probably think "I'll get more money then" or "I want something now". Learning how to save your money for your future needs is far more important than spending most of your money on a kick-ass rig that won't last through high-school no matter how much money you spend on it.
December 4, 2012 11:35:13 PM

^There are about 2 games that get a benefit from hyperthreading, and even then, it's only about 7fps. There's just NO point in spending $100 more on an i7.
December 4, 2012 11:50:39 PM

^not even that overkill^ but no SSD
December 4, 2012 11:52:00 PM

TheBigTroll said:
^not even that overkill^ but no SSD
:lol:  i did forget ssd good eye that was a accident well if OP adds ssd their good to go.
December 4, 2012 11:55:04 PM

So the verdict is the $2800 build is bad.
December 5, 2012 12:21:15 AM

LoL Troll, I said the same thing about Bigcyco's build...1,600 bux and no SSD...whaaattt? LoL.

And yes cracker...$2,800 build = fail! /unanimous
December 5, 2012 12:24:08 AM

xFriarx said:
LoL Troll, I said the same thing about Bigcyco's build...1,600 bux and no SSD...whaaattt? LoL.

And yes cracker...$2,800 build = fail! /unanimous
Some people find ssd a waste of money i am not one of them though :lol:  i forgot it by accident. ;) 
December 5, 2012 12:58:20 AM

Yea I love my SSD. I can never go back. LoL.
December 5, 2012 1:19:23 AM

Personally I am a fan of the idea of using a cheap SSD boot drive something that is around 64gb or so. Last I checked that can be had for around $60 or so, and is enough for the OS and most of the smaller programs people use. Than have a large HD for games, large programs seldom used, and storage and just keep it defragged and your good.

For building a PC something along the lines of what G-Unit posted is actually more or less what you should be building, especially if your overclocking. There isn't too much of a performance increase for gaming when you exceed that price point, it is better to just save said money and put it towards something else or to upgrade the GPU 2-3 years from now which is probably the only thing that will net you an improvement than considering the build.

OTHER WAYS I SPEND THE MONEY (And a few things I wish someone told me at 14):
This is what I would do with the rest of the money you were planning on doing for future upgrades or for right now depending on funds. Head over to Head-Fi, it is a place filled with Audiophiles and ask them what type of headphones you should pick up for the type of music you listen to (Beats actually suck there are far better for cheaper, trust me they only sell the way they do due to marketing and fashion) or if your preference is gaming and want a large soundstage so you can identify your oponents location easier. And chances are pick up a Asus Xonar DG as it is a really good soundcard for driving headphones and has a built in amp that can power up to 150ohm headphones. Just trust me on this one you don't know what your missing till you own a quality pair of headphones. Don't worry this can be done on the cheap my entire setup I paid less than $90 for and it far surpasses anything else I had the pleasure of hearing before. Which consists of Superlux HD 668B and Asus Xonar DG.

The other way I would spend money would be by buying a cheap laptop. I mean CHEAP as in try not to exceed $300. As if you bring this to school I guarantee you someone will attempt to steal it if you leave it alone or look the other way so you will have to leave it locked up in a teachers office when you go to PE (like I did when I brought my laptop, and my friends did). Main reason why I reccomend a cheap laptop is quite simple being able to take notes on it and always having something to type up a paper on or edit quite easily.

It is true that people remember more by writing than typing but if your like me you may adopt different strategies and have it typed up and auto sync to your phone by things like Google Drive, Google Docs, or have files put into Dropbox folder so you can download it onto your phone and study anywhere. And possibly do what I do as well and throw in notes into your notes to add additional information or pull information from websites and copy and paste it into it, record lectures, etc. The bigger question from this though is if your teacher let you do this which is iffy, I know they were just coming around to allowing this on a per teacher basis when I graduated high school several years ago, you may be more lucky.

From my experience from taking notes on laptops in a College enviroment and bringing laptops to school to write papers in high school there are a few thinngs I look for. Cheap, good battery life, full size keyboard, build quality. Out of those there are very few laptops, best one I found thus far and I am actually waiting to arrive is the new Samsung Chromebook. Greatly limited in what it can do but for school purposes it does just fine from what I have seen playing with the Chromium OS. Only thing you have to really do compared to other laptops which run Windows and allow you to run office is it's a good idea to load up your documents into word to use their spelling and grammer check before submitting your paper. A cheap netbook would give more functionality but personally I find the small keyboards cumbersome and dread using them.

Last option is to save your money for a car, preferably a cheap 4cyl for when you get your license. A cheap 4cyl which good gas millage as I can tell you even though the fast cars are what everyone wants in High School whenever we had to go somewhere we usually jumped in the cheap 4cyl due to gas prices and their nature of attracting cops. Even though we all pitched in for gas it can still get pricey in a turbocharged v8 (or any muscle car), and between getting there fast or having more money for food we chose more money for food as we were teenagers who were always hungry (you get there too if your not already).

And I let you in on a little secret those muscle cars always attract cops, and your insurance is high from the get go as a young driver, especially if your a guy. Where as the 4cyl is cheaper to drive, significantly cheaper insurance, and are actually more fun to drive than most muscle cars from my experience. As you actually have the ability to slam your foot on the gas and shift through the gears than to slam on the gas and immediately let off because you just let every cop in a square mile radius know your accelerating fast and your already hit the speed limit without ever having to shift more than once. And off the record if you want a fun car to drive get a 4cyl manual vehicle, I can tell you having drove a older Scion XB manual which I am not even sure has 100hp was the most fun I have had driving a car. It made all the sports cars I've driven seem boring. It is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow afterall. That and chances are your parents may look at you being more responible for this, just be sure to get one with good safety ratings as well, I have lost track how many friends I know who should be dead if not for all the safety equiptment in modern cars these days.
December 5, 2012 1:30:51 AM

SSD is a waste of money when under a budget. Got the Samsung 840 and regret buying it for now. I would rather buy better hardware to improve gaming then faster load times. I say get the best computer you can afford without an SSD then after a few weeks or months buy an SSD. No need to rush for a SSD. BTW if you look at my specs in signature i built this PC for $1335 just two weeks ago. I would recommend the MSI Lighting GTX680 tho. Also if you can wait till March/April when all the new stuff comes out; i highly recommend you wait. Next year is great for gaming and hardware.
December 5, 2012 1:33:58 AM

well you didnt do your research. the 840 is not a sucessor to the 830 SSD. the 840 PRO is the sucessor.

the 840 regular is below budget SSDs such as the ocz agility 3 in terms of nand quality. in fact, it uses usb grade flash
December 5, 2012 1:51:49 AM

What are you using right now as a PC?
December 5, 2012 2:00:58 AM

Ahlers said:
SSD is a waste of money when under a budget. Got the Samsung 840 and regret buying it for now. I would rather buy better hardware to improve gaming then faster load times. I say get the best computer you can afford without an SSD then after a few weeks or months buy an SSD. No need to rush for a SSD. BTW if you look at my specs in signature i built this PC for $1335 just two weeks ago.


I can agree with this but I also disagree. It all depends on what budget you're working with. $1500 budget get an SSD without thinking about it. I kind of think of it like getting the GPS on a new car - sure you can get it now and it looks cool and performs great, but if you get one later, it will still do the exact same job and will cost less money.

Quote:
I would recommend the MSI Lighting GTX680 tho. Also if you can wait till March/April when all the new stuff comes out; i highly recommend you wait. Next year is great for gaming and hardware.


They say the same thing at this time every year that next year is going to be great. But the CPUs aren't going to be out until August (the way Intel runs things) and the new GPUs won't be a huge improvement - just marginal.
December 5, 2012 3:18:41 AM

Jesus assasin32 who the hell is going to read all that.Seriously my lady writes me letters that long i just throw them away that's to much reading
December 5, 2012 12:56:01 PM

assasin32 said:
Personally I am a fan of the idea of using a cheap SSD boot drive something that is around 64gb or so. Last I checked that can be had for around $60 or so, and is enough for the OS and most of the smaller programs people use. Than have a large HD for games, large programs seldom used, and storage and just keep it defragged and your good.

For building a PC something along the lines of what G-Unit posted is actually more or less what you should be building, especially if your overclocking. There isn't too much of a performance increase for gaming when you exceed that price point, it is better to just save said money and put it towards something else or to upgrade the GPU 2-3 years from now which is probably the only thing that will net you an improvement than considering the build.

OTHER WAYS I SPEND THE MONEY (And a few things I wish someone told me at 14):
This is what I would do with the rest of the money you were planning on doing for future upgrades or for right now depending on funds. Head over to Head-Fi, it is a place filled with Audiophiles and ask them what type of headphones you should pick up for the type of music you listen to (Beats actually suck there are far better for cheaper, trust me they only sell the way they do due to marketing and fashion) or if your preference is gaming and want a large soundstage so you can identify your oponents location easier. And chances are pick up a Asus Xonar DG as it is a really good soundcard for driving headphones and has a built in amp that can power up to 150ohm headphones. Just trust me on this one you don't know what your missing till you own a quality pair of headphones. Don't worry this can be done on the cheap my entire setup I paid less than $90 for and it far surpasses anything else I had the pleasure of hearing before. Which consists of Superlux HD 668B and Asus Xonar DG.

The other way I would spend money would be by buying a cheap laptop. I mean CHEAP as in try not to exceed $300. As if you bring this to school I guarantee you someone will attempt to steal it if you leave it alone or look the other way so you will have to leave it locked up in a teachers office when you go to PE (like I did when I brought my laptop, and my friends did). Main reason why I reccomend a cheap laptop is quite simple being able to take notes on it and always having something to type up a paper on or edit quite easily.

It is true that people remember more by writing than typing but if your like me you may adopt different strategies and have it typed up and auto sync to your phone by things like Google Drive, Google Docs, or have files put into Dropbox folder so you can download it onto your phone and study anywhere. And possibly do what I do as well and throw in notes into your notes to add additional information or pull information from websites and copy and paste it into it, record lectures, etc. The bigger question from this though is if your teacher let you do this which is iffy, I know they were just coming around to allowing this on a per teacher basis when I graduated high school several years ago, you may be more lucky.

From my experience from taking notes on laptops in a College enviroment and bringing laptops to school to write papers in high school there are a few thinngs I look for. Cheap, good battery life, full size keyboard, build quality. Out of those there are very few laptops, best one I found thus far and I am actually waiting to arrive is the new Samsung Chromebook. Greatly limited in what it can do but for school purposes it does just fine from what I have seen playing with the Chromium OS. Only thing you have to really do compared to other laptops which run Windows and allow you to run office is it's a good idea to load up your documents into word to use their spelling and grammer check before submitting your paper. A cheap netbook would give more functionality but personally I find the small keyboards cumbersome and dread using them.

Last option is to save your money for a car, preferably a cheap 4cyl for when you get your license. A cheap 4cyl which good gas millage as I can tell you even though the fast cars are what everyone wants in High School whenever we had to go somewhere we usually jumped in the cheap 4cyl due to gas prices and their nature of attracting cops. Even though we all pitched in for gas it can still get pricey in a turbocharged v8 (or any muscle car), and between getting there fast or having more money for food we chose more money for food as we were teenagers who were always hungry (you get there too if your not already).

And I let you in on a little secret those muscle cars always attract cops, and your insurance is high from the get go as a young driver, especially if your a guy. Where as the 4cyl is cheaper to drive, significantly cheaper insurance, and are actually more fun to drive than most muscle cars from my experience. As you actually have the ability to slam your foot on the gas and shift through the gears than to slam on the gas and immediately let off because you just let every cop in a square mile radius know your accelerating fast and your already hit the speed limit without ever having to shift more than once. And off the record if you want a fun car to drive get a 4cyl manual vehicle, I can tell you having drove a older Scion XB manual which I am not even sure has 100hp was the most fun I have had driving a car. It made all the sports cars I've driven seem boring. It is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow afterall. That and chances are your parents may look at you being more responible for this, just be sure to get one with good safety ratings as well, I have lost track how many friends I know who should be dead if not for all the safety equiptment in modern cars these days.


^This^

Though a cliff notes version would be nice.
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