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Building a computer for under 700$


Grake
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Hello, I'm trying to build a computer for a friend of mine for under 700$. He's a gamer but not a heavy gamer that needs the latest and greatest. Something that's upgradable in the future also.

Stuff I don't need are:

Monitor

Hard drive

Keyboard/mouse

Operating System [depending on budget, might buy Windows 7]

So far I have the case & cpu

Antec Three Hundred Mini Tower Gaming Case 300 ATX 3X5.25 6X3.5INT No PS Front USB & Audio. $57.99

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku...nufacture=Antec

Intel Core i5 750 Quad Core Processor Lynnfield LGA1156 2.66GHZ 8MB Cache Retail Box $234.99

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=424...nufacture=Intel

I'm mainly looking for a good motherboard, power supply, memory & video card.

yes, for those who visit ncix, there's also a post there about this.

Edited by Grake
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for that low of a budget (about what mine was) you could just go with Core 2 Quad. They're getting cheaper, and realistically, games aren't multithreaded and optimized for dual core, so having 4 or 8 cores isn't much of a benefit.

P45 mobo, Core 2 Quad, 4+GB of RAM, 500+GB hard drive, case, PSU...you could easily stay under $500 for that if you buy used parts (i buy used motherboards).

I use a Q9400 for audio work, and it doesn't give me problems, although I have hit some limits with it.

Or you could keep shopping around on a budget that's going to be tough to hold onto without certain sacrifices (smaller HD, no SSD, no replacement fans, no CPU cooler change, etc and so forth).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813130256 - $100

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231277 - $94

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16822136298 - $60

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817139008 - $50

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16827106334 - $26

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814121356 - $145

+57.99

+234.99

-------

766.99

before taxes/shipping

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you could just go with Core 2 Quad. They're getting cheaper

Not really. The i5 750 is $200, and the cheapest non-crippled quad core (with VT and all) is the Q9400 at $190 which is slower, uses old DDR2, the old socket 775 and all that (not exactly future proof). Totally not worth it for a $10 savings. The i5 is also a better value (costs 5% more, but is 15% faster)

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If you are tight on greenbacks, why splurge $58 for an empty case (and pay for powersupply separately I assume) when this one comes with 500 watt power supply for $33. Normally a 500 watt will run you at least another $30-$40 by itself. That would free up about $60 extra dollars for important stuff, like a more expensive motherboard, or an extra 2GB of RAM.

http://www.amazon.com/11-Bay-Window-Comput...y/dp/B002HTD8MO

31%200lbWIyiL._SS400_.jpg

EDIT: Take it with a grain of salt.

Edited by MrJinje
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going cheaper than what i listed (for an i5/i7 setup) would be buying used parts, or downgrading graphics. I selected some because of current hype, graphics could easily be an ATI HD4xxx series, but for gaming, nVidia wont be as good...price wise, it's great, but i'll be honest, 96 stream processors vs a few hundred, that's noticeable to a gamer.

I specifically didn't list a case with a PSU because i don't like OEM PSU's. I've had many problems with them in the past. if it's a computer for me or a client of mind, i will go out of my way to put in a quality PSU, even if it's at my expense because it makes a difference in quality.

But, I have trouble believing that i5 is 15% faster than Core 2 Quads. Yes, integrated memory controller, but does that really make a big difference? Sure, maybe it's not something that could be called incredibly future proof, but LGA775 isn't dead yet, DDR2 isn't dead yet, and i'll be damned if i can find something an i5/i7 can do that my Core 2 Quad can't (realistically).

Even from a gamers perspective, the lack of multi-threaded apps make it just as useless to run x64 as it does to run a quad core in even a gamers computer. but who am i to question the market for powerful computers that sit at idle 90% of the time? for a hardcore gamer, maybe it would be worth it, but for a light/casual gamer, technology that's current but not cutting edge is just as good, because how much of it will you really utilize? I say this completely aware of the system I'm running. I use my rig for lots of audio work, 8+ multitrack audio work. When I don't need the power, I have a 2005 Powerbook G4 that's more than capable of running Firefox and a messaging client or two all at the same time. I also have a VIA C7-D rig with a 8gb microdrive that uses 40W of power that can do just as much as the Powerbook.

You don't need a quad to run internet explorer. Video games aren't what they used to be, a faster processor doesn't make the game faster. But hey, not my budget, i'm just being logical/realistic about it.

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You can barely buy a good quality low wattage PSU for ~$40, so the bundled PSU with a $30 case... I wouldn't want of it for free.

I have trouble believing that i5 is 15% faster than Core 2 Quads

It is :) There's a whole lot more to it than just the memory controller (new Lynnfield core). Pretty much every benchmark on the web or benchmarking app will confirm that (passmark, everest, pcmark, etc)

LGA775 isn't dead yet, DDR2 isn't dead yet, and i'll be damned if i can find something an i5/i7 can do that my Core 2 Quad can't (realistically)

But why buy previous generation everything when you're really not saving anything (and is of less value and less future proof)?

You don't quite need a i5 750 to play games, for sure. A dual core would be plenty for most games. But as far as quad cores go, your options are pretty limited:

-Core 2 Quad, slower than i5's and not really cheaper -- I'd buy one today if they were priced better, but I could upgrade to a i5 for just about the same price as a slower C2Q would cost me (selling my old parts to pay for part of the upgrade)

-i5/i7 good but definitely not cheap

-AMD's offerings -- may not be as fast, but great value if you don't need the absolute fastest e.g. Intel Core2 Quad Q8200 vs AMD Athlon II X4 620: the C2Q is like 3 or 4% faster (not really noticeable outside of benchmarks) but costs 50% more... The AMD CPU has very similar speed, but for $50 less (I'm a bit tempted to sell my C2D to buy one of those)

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Thanks for the replies, and I've read everything here, and I'd like to stick to my two picks regarding the case and CPU. I've bought the case before and for the price I loved it so I'll be buying that again. I also like to buy new parts, I don't like to buy used parts online because of the hassle it bring in case it doesn't work. I would also like to buy it in one store as I don't want to pay shipping from two different stores and I trust ncix since I've bought them from before.

Anyway, someone care to choose a motherboard for me? I just set 700$ because I don't want the latest and greatest computer but I suppose it can vary a little bit. I don't want something that's non-upgradable. Thanks!

As for gaming, I was thinking of games like star wars lego, the old nfs games, mmos. He definitely doesn't play crysis and w/e games that need a 500$ video card. So any video card under 100$ will be more than adequate.

Edited by Grake
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if you look at my first post, you'll see a cheap route through this, but it'll be closer to $800.

i picked a mATX mobo because of the price and available options, but looking at NCIX, the prices are nowhere close. one eVGA board is less than $100, every other board appears to be over.

i suppose i have been lucky when buying my used parts from online sources, as i've never had a problem receiving them and making sure they work. I also tend to only shop Newegg/Petras Tech Shop because of noticeably lower prices, as well as Newegg's revised shipping policy now.

ATi Radeon HD4650 should be plenty of graphics power

4gb of DDR3 RAM should be more than enough (but what OS is he running? x64?)

640gb internal drive space should also be plenty

400W Corsair is a great power supply, I use one myself, works beautifully, couldn't ask for something better (except for modular)

I would suggest different cooling, but it's not necessary. I run my rig at full speed all the time, C1E disabled for no throttling, i changed coolers so I didn't have to hear the stock cooler at full speed constantly.

a little late, but i would have posted specs before buying anything, but now it's a matter of building around the i5 while sticking close to your price range.

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The price difference is probably due to the fact that ncix lists canadian prices and newegg.com lists u.s prices.

can someone find me a good motherboard under 150$

I'm thinking of getting this

Mobo

Something under 150$

Powersupply

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=452...mp;promoid=1061

Memory

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=425...mp;promoid=1061

Video card

anything under 100$ should be fine.

Edited by Grake
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He's a gamer but not a heavy gamer that needs the latest and greatest. Something that's upgradable in the future also.

I think you better start over, forget Intel and go with an AMD X4 CPU (No, no AMD fanboy here but in that budget you almost have to go with AMD), if you are not willing to go with AMD you will end up with a powerful CPU and average to cheap (read no good for gaming) parts for the rest of your setup.

May I suggest a setup?

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Okay, here it is:

Corsair XMS3 CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 9-9-9-24 Core I5 Dual Channel Memory Kit

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=425...facture=Corsair

$109.99 CAD

Coolermaster cm 690 Mid Tower Black ATX Case 5X5.25 5X3.5INT No PS Front USB Sound Firewire & eSATA

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=260...re=COOLERMASTER

$81.83 CAD

Coolermaster V8 CPU Heatsink Cooler LGA775/LGA1156/LGA1366/AM3 120MM Fan 800-1800RPM 17-21 dbA

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=350...re=COOLERMASTER

$64.91 CAD

Gigabyte 790FXTA-UD5 AMD790FX ATX AM3 DDR3 3PCI-E 3-WAY CrossFireX 2GBLAN SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=475...acture=Gigabyte

$206.99 CAD

Powercolor Radeon HD 5750 PCs 1GB 4.6GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI Display Port DIRECTX11 PCI-E Video Card

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=462...ture=PowerColor

$154.99 CAD

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Quad Core Processor Socket AM3 2.6GHZ 2MB Cache 95W Retail Box

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=426...manufacture=AMD

$129.99 CAD

OCZ Z-SERIES 550W 80+ Silver Certified 24PIN ATX 12V Afc Power Supply W/ 120MM Fan

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=452...mp;promoid=1061

$74.99 CAD

A total of 824 CAD but you could go with a cheaper mobo there....

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Gigabyte GA-790XT-USB3 AMD790X ATX AM3 DDR3 2PCI-E SATA USB3.0 2-WAY CrossFire GLAN Motherboard

http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=490...acture=Gigabyte

$138.99 CAD

Also has SATA gen. 3 and USB 3.0 ;). Total 756 CAD...

EDIT: and if you want to be exact at 700 CAD, change the video card for a HD4850, about the same performance as a HD4830 and HD4770...

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One more option:

Intel Core i5 750 Quad Core Processor Lynnfield LGA1156 2.66GHZ 8MB Cache Retail Box

$219.99

Gigabyte P55M-UD2 mATX LGA1156 P55 DDR3 2PCI-E 2PCI SATA2 RAID Sound GLAN Motherboard

$106.99 (not bad at all: has 4 DIMM sockets, two x16 slots, 7x SATA and one eSATA, spdif and toslink, firewire, it has solid polymer caps throughout, etc)

Corsair XMS3 CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 9-9-9-24 Core I5 Dual Channel Memory Kit

$99.99

OCZ Z-SERIES 550W 80+ Silver Certified 24PIN ATX 12V Afc Power Supply W/ 120MM Fan

$74.99 (there's a $25 mail in rebate, NOT included in that price)

Powercolor Radeon HD 5750 700MHZ 1GB 4.6GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI Display Port DIRECTX11

$139.99 (there's a $10 mail in rebate, NOT included in that price) otherwise you can get a 4850 with 512MB for $99 (if you don't really need DirectX 11 yet)

Antec Three Hundred Mini Tower Gaming Case 300 ATX 3X5.25 6X3.5INT No PS Front USB & Audio

$53.99

Hard drive -- you already have. I'm assuming you also have the DVD-RW, otherwise a 24x Samsung SATA DVD-RW will run you $28 extra.

Then I'd make it price match themselves (directcanada and ncix are really the same company) -- in your cart, select "start price match" and fill the prices and URLs (so far, they've never turned any of mine down):

The exact same RAM @ $96.47 there: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=...facture=CORSAIR

The exact same CPU @ 218.88 there: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=...nufacture=INTEL

The exact same video card @ $138.01 there: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=...ture=POWERCOLOR

That would pretty much be it.

Before price matching or mail in rebates, the price is $695.94 (w/o the DVD-RW). After price matching with themselves (I love this game LOL), it's $689.33. Then if you do get the $35 back from the mail in rebates, you're down to $654.33 :) Or $614.33 if you go with the 4850... Mind you, I'd still look at a Athlon II X4 620 build like puntoMX said (more $ left for a better vid card like a 4890 or other things)

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