Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Building a Media and Light Gaming Desktop for Under $600 CAD

Last response: in Systems
Share
December 27, 2012 7:12:49 PM

Hey guys,

Been using my pre-built crappy Acer Desktop for the last few years so I feel it's time to build myself a new computer. My main purposes are watching HD movies and shows as well as just general internet surfing. I also want the ability to do some light gaming (perhaps some older steam games like L4D) but the majority of my gaming will be done on my PS3.

I originally wanted an ivy bridge i5 with dedicated graphics card but my friend recommended I get an AMD APU as I am working with a relatively low budget (around $600) and he says the newer AMD APUs is more than enough for my purpose. High storage space is a must as I am a media hoarder

Looking forward to hearing some feedback/suggestion. Thanks! :D 


Approximate Purchase Date: - no real rush...preferably by the end of the Jan

Budget Range - approx. $600

System Usage from Most to Least Important:

1) Media - HD Movies + Shows
2) Internet
3) Light Gaming

Are you buying a monitor: No


Parts to Upgrade: - everything except just picked up a 120 GB Samsung 840 series SSD yday

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Location: Mississauga, ON, CAN

Parts Preferences: I was hoping for an Ivy Bridge i5 with a dedicated GPU (friend recommended an older model of NVIDIA TI cards)...not sure how realistic it is considering my budget

Overclocking: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: - looking for a relatively "Futureproof" PC that I can continually upgrade and build on. Just picked up a Samsung 840 Series 120 GB SSD but will definitely need at least 1TB of additional storage

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: - current computer is crappy
a b 4 Gaming
December 27, 2012 8:35:22 PM

I think one of the AMD A series APU's would be ideal for you. Just one note on them, make sure to get fast RAM because your system RAM will be acting as video memory.

AMD A10-5800K
2x4GB G.Skill Ares 1866Mhz 1.5v C9
ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M
3TB WD Caviar Green
SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W
Fractal Design Core 1000

Total - $494.94

Leaves you $100 for an OS and should be perfect for you. That will be a particularly quiet HDD and PSU as well so if you replace the CPU/Case fans, that system will be incredibly quiet.
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
December 27, 2012 8:57:07 PM

I'm not sure I'd get a 3TB drive yet; I remember when the 2TB drives first came out how unreliable they were said to be. That said, I've been running a pair of 2TB Seagate LP drives in a RAID1 for over a year with no issues.
If it were me, I think I'd start with a 1TB drive, with plans to add more drive space when needed. Then I'd try to fit a HD7770 into the build. I think as you play games on the PC and see how much better the resolution and graphics are, you'll want to play there more. Your screen resolution isn't too demanding, so the HD7770 should let you play on high settings on most games. The IGP in the AMD APU is about on par with a DDR3 version of the HD6670, which might be a little weak. At the very least, get a HD7750, although there's probably only $20 difference between that and the HD7770. A Pentium 860 with either of those will outperform the APU in games. Use a relatively inexpensive B75 or H77 mobo with all solid capacitors. My preference would be for Asus > ASRock >= Gigabyte >> anyone else.
m
0
l
Related resources
December 27, 2012 9:20:27 PM

This build comes in at $100 under budget, and uses a dual core Ivy Bridge processor. It will be more than enough for your needs, but if you really wish to extend it more, the i5-3570k is $80 more, and you will basically only need to upgrade the video card if you wish to do some gaming such as BF3 with max settings.

There are better options than the GT640, usually. But it's on sale for $34 right now, outstanding deal I would say, and it is more than capable of playing older games on maximum settings for 60+fps, and modern games on medium/high aswell.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ECS B75H2-M3(1.0) Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($74.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($42.98 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GT 640 1GB Video Card ($31.62 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Apex PCV-588 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.04 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: OCZ ZT 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Memory Express)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $472.59
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-27 18:18 EST-0500)
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
December 27, 2012 9:37:11 PM

You can get a decent pc with about 600$ :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($159.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-GL Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($54.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($115.99 @ NCIX)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $604.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


or


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: MSI B75MA-P45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($64.99 @ NCIX)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($115.99 @ NCIX)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $564.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
m
0
l
December 27, 2012 10:12:45 PM

You guys are awesome. thanks for the help! actually i just checked my screen resolution and it's actually 1920 x 1080. hope that doesn't change anything. I have a copy of Win 7 so I think I'm gonna install that and pay $20 bucks to ungrade to Win 8. Should save a ton on the OS :D 
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
December 27, 2012 11:55:52 PM

I prefer the first of djangoringo's builds. I'm personally not ready to trust MSI mobos. If you need to come down on the price, substitute the i3 CPU from the second build.
m
0
l
!