Solved What should I look into for building a basic pc on a budget?

April 20, 2013 at 16:11:21
Specs: Windows 7
Hello,

I'm looking into building my first PC for mainly surfing the web, watching streaming videos from the internet and playing Sims 3. I was using a 5 year old HP laptop when it finally bit the dust. So instead of buying a new laptop I'd thought I would build my own PC that way I can update/upgrade throughout the years to come to fit my needs as they come up in the future (IE. playing more graphics extensive games). As of this moment though I'm just looking to build something that will play the Sims 3 and all the expansion packs without lagging and long load times; and to watch streaming video from the internet through Hulu and watchcartoonsonline.com. I also want to build my own PC for my own personal satisfaction and so that in the future I wouldn't have to go out and buy a whole new computer when this one gets old or broken; just repair/upgrade the components I need.

I've been doing A LOT of research lately about all the different components and I must say that I my head is spinning from massive information overload. I've even been reading quite a few posts and articles from this website however I think I'm a bit lost and overwhelmed at the different options and paths I can take. I'm just so nervous that I'll buy all the parts, after hours of comparing and reviewing them, only for the time to put them all together to come and for them to not work or work as expected.

I'd greatly appreciate some input, advice, and a general place to start regarding specs and the reasons why certain components would be better upgrading then others based on my needs.

Thanks in advance!


P.S. The OS I would be purchasing and using on my PC would be Windows 7.

P.P.S. The PC would also be permanently hooked up to a 55" HDTV via a HDMI and ethernet cable and my laptop and mouse would be wireless. So basically my TV will be my monitor- which is what I wanted.


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✔ Best Answer
April 24, 2013 at 20:05:44
I cannot find fault.
Note that OtheHill is telling you that you have until midnight to order the case or it will cost you $20. more.
I prefer Western Digital Black series hard drives over Seagate since all failed hard drives that I have ever experienced have been Seagate (all came with systems).
An SSD can make things significantly faster, but if you are already stretching your budget, you can always add it later without penalty (as in throwing out or selling a cheaper video card at a loss because you chose to save a bit of money on it and later regretted the choice). When you get an SSD, select a fast one with enough room for your OS and your more important programs and games (at least 120GB or larger) without breaking the bank. Make sure that it is SATA III 6GB/s interface and that your motherboard has at least 2 of these faster SATA ports, one for your SSD and one for your other primary hard drive.
Another thought, If you went with a good 1TB model hard drive, you might save nearly half of the price of the SSD drive, assuming that you will not need all of that drive space anytime soon. - Just a thought...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
April 20, 2013 at 19:43:07
Take a stab at listing components you have so far been interested in and we will review them and give you suggestions based on them based on what you need and appear to like. We will help you prevent those costly mistakes and point out what you can save on and what you will need to spend a bit more on.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#2
April 20, 2013 at 19:47:53
Take a look at the Tech Report's April 2013 Econobox.
http://techreport.com/review/24646/...

$598 gets you a Core i3-3220 and GeForce 650 Ti.

If $600 is too much, ditch the Intel/Nvidia combo and instead build an AMD A10 APU based system. The A10 has a surprisingly decent integrated graphics processor, and A10-compatible motherboards will let you add a PCIe graphics card later on.

mATX Beast | LGA2011 i7-3930K @ 4.4GHz | 16GB quad-channel DDR-1866 | GTX 670
240GB SSD+2TB HDD | Asus Rampage IV Gene | Seasonic X560 | Silverstone TJ08-E


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#3
April 21, 2013 at 06:59:10
Below are some of the components that I researched and found to be a great starting point for a PC and had flexibility for future upgrading and add-ons:

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CORSAIR XMS 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory


When it came to the graphics card it looks like the i5 came with a pretty decent integrated one so I didn't know if I had to purchase a separate one at this time or if that was one of those additional components I could add later on. Also with the motherboard it looks like it had an overclocking ability that I could utilize as well to enhance my Sims 3.

When it came to memory I was looking into a hard drive/SSD combo however at this early point I didn't know if both was really necessary or if I could just get the hard drive. Or would you recommend just a SSD? Also how much would you recommend just starting out?

For the case I wasn't sure if I needed a full tower or if I could go with a mid tower. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of room available for future upgrading but from what I've read it looks like the mid towers could provide that too. I listed my top picks in both areas

Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with Five Fans, window side panel, top HDD dock
or
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded USB 3.0

and

Thermaltake Overseer RX-I VN700M1W2N Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
or
Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Unbeatable Gaming Case


Well, I couldn't think of anything else at this time. I appreciate everyone's help with this.

Oh, in case it matters, I would be purchasing most if not all of these parts through Newegg as they have some amazing prices especially when combining multiple items.

Thanks everyone!


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#4
April 21, 2013 at 20:20:49
For gaming, you still will need a graphics card, something around a GTX 650 Ti or the new GTX 650 Ti Boost:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

If you are on a budget, go with a little less on the motherboard if needed:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
or:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
Or if you want something better:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

A midtower case will be fine, nothing expensive, but nothing cheap. Forget about 5 fans, you need One fan high in the rear as exhaust, one front intake fan, plus your power supply fan, if it is top mounted, or a top exhaust fan if you have the bottom mounted power supply.

List your Power supply choice as well since it is more important than many attribute.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#5
April 22, 2013 at 05:04:03
In the future, please post links to your selections like I am doing with your case choices. Simply copy/paste the URL to your post.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

I thought you wanted a budget rig?

Those cases are not cheap. The issue I find with all 4 of them is the power supplies are all bottom mounted. IMHO top mounted mid or full towers are better fro cooling. The reason those cases have all those fan locations is because of the bottom mount.

You need to provide a budget number for better help. Tell us if the KB & mouse are included in that budget number.


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#6
April 22, 2013 at 11:11:24
My budget would be between $600 to $1000 leaning more towards the middle and the keyboard and mouse are not included. I have updated my choices to include an alternate choice for a mid-tower case and to include the power supply, graphics card, hard drive, and DVD burner.

Case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
Power Supply:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
Graphics Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
Hard Drive & DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Combo...


Also at Newegg they had they had the bundle available to include the Gigabyte GA-Z77X motherboard, Intel i5, and Corsair XMS 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 for $372.97 versus the bundle I originally picked out with the ASUS motherboard was $387.97. I would be willing to pay the $15 difference for a higher rated set and if it provided better performance. What do you think?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Combo...
vs
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Combo...


All in all, according to Newegg my PC build is right at $797.92 before shipping which is right in the middle of my budget if I kept my ASUS motherboard.


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#7
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#8
April 24, 2013 at 17:25:59
So after doing a lot more research and comparison to both the parts I originally selected and the parts recommended and this is the setup I've come up with:

Case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

Power Supply:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

Graphics Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

***I decided to spend a little more on the graphics card as Newegg currently has a special going on where you get 3 full games and I fully intend to play them in addition to my Sims 3.

CPU, Motherboard and Memory Bundle:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Combo...

Hard Drive & BD/DVD/CD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Combo...

So after everything is all said an done this PC would be priced at $882.92 with free shipping from Newegg. More than I wanted to spend however when it came down to what parts I wanted now my husband had more input and that's where some of the more "pricer" picks came into play such as having a blu-ray drive instead of just a DVD drive and the higher quality graphics card since he wants to play the new games as well. However I still don't think a $900 gaming PC is too bad of a price.

What do you think? Do you think the components I picked out above would work well together? Is there something you would recommend I change/add/remove? Also I picked out a 2 TB HDD however should I also get a SSD as well?

Thanks again everyone for your help and input!


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#9
April 24, 2013 at 19:01:27
You need to buy that case now if you want to use the promo code.

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#10
April 24, 2013 at 20:05:44
✔ Best Answer
I cannot find fault.
Note that OtheHill is telling you that you have until midnight to order the case or it will cost you $20. more.
I prefer Western Digital Black series hard drives over Seagate since all failed hard drives that I have ever experienced have been Seagate (all came with systems).
An SSD can make things significantly faster, but if you are already stretching your budget, you can always add it later without penalty (as in throwing out or selling a cheaper video card at a loss because you chose to save a bit of money on it and later regretted the choice). When you get an SSD, select a fast one with enough room for your OS and your more important programs and games (at least 120GB or larger) without breaking the bank. Make sure that it is SATA III 6GB/s interface and that your motherboard has at least 2 of these faster SATA ports, one for your SSD and one for your other primary hard drive.
Another thought, If you went with a good 1TB model hard drive, you might save nearly half of the price of the SSD drive, assuming that you will not need all of that drive space anytime soon. - Just a thought...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#11
April 27, 2013 at 18:56:07
Thank you so much for all your help, Fingers and OtheHill. Your knowledge and opinions were DEFIANTLY a huge help to me and I feel a lot more reassured in my decision for parts in my PC.

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#12
April 27, 2013 at 19:40:02
You are quite welcome.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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