Budget Build Winter 2010

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Razear
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I will be building a new system for my brother and parents to use to replace a really old Athlon XP system. It will be used for web browsing, office productivity, and casual gaming. I have set up an Intel configuration and an AMD configuration. The parts that I will be reusing are: thermal compound, floppy drive, sound card, card reader, keyboard, mouse, and two 120mm case fans. My budget is $1,000 to $1,700 CDN although I can go a little overboard. *NOTE: I am planning to put my GTX 295 into the new build because I want to upgrade my main rig to a DX11 card. Also, I am limited to buying from Canada Computers, Best Buy, and Future Shop as I am purchasing this locally so please don't link to any other sites. I am open to suggestions. Please alert me if you spot any compatibility issues, thanks!

Intel system:

CPU: i3 550
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR3 1600MHz 4GB (F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA3 7200RPM
ODD: ASUS DVD/CD Drive
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
Video Card: GTX 295 [from my main rig, upgrading to DX11]
Display: LG E2240T-PN, 22" LED Widescreen Monitor
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
PSU: Corsair HX650W
Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
TOTAL = $1672.40 CDN

AMD system:

CPU: Phenom II X4 955
Motherboard: Asus M4A88TD-V EVO
RAM: OCZ (OCZ3G1333LV4GK) DDR3 1333MHz Gold Edition Low Voltage 4GB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA3 7200RPM
ODD: ASUS DVD/CD Drive
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
Video Card: GTX 295 [from my main rig, upgrading to DX11]
Display: LG E2240T-PN, 22" LED Widescreen Monitor
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
PSU: Corsair HX650W
Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
TOTAL = $1693.87 CDN

EDIT: Sorry, the prices listed above are incorrect. The total price includes the 5970 which is why it seems so expensive. They are actually about $900 but I may just get a GTX 460 or 6850 for this build and then scrap the 5970 all together and wait for the 6900 series.

Dreamer-Boy
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This setup is for web browsing and casual gaming? Dude, this can be my main gaming rig.

[SIGPIC]-Dreamer-Boy's[/SIGPIC]

sherretz
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Are there any barebones setups or combos from any of those places? Seems like you're spending a lot for something that won't be taxed in the least.

The HAF case is way overdoing it. You can use the stock cooler on either proc. You can likely come down a few steps on your RAM too; see if Kingston's got some ValueRAM in DDR3. You can likely get less expensive mobos, but I haven't checked in a while.

E8400 Stock; CoolerMaster H50; Asus P5Q Deluxe; G. Skill 2*2GB + 2*1GB PC2 1066; Sapphire 4850; WD 6400AAKS; Win 7 Pro; PCP&C Silencer 750W; Antec 300

hnkftalnot
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I agree with Dreamer-Boy, this is not what I have in mind for a browsing and light gaming rig, and it's certainly not budget! If you consider this a budget rig then I bet you're going all out on your main rig with a dual Xeon SR-2 :D ;).

I agree on most parts though, sata 3 and USB3 are nice and the price difference for a quadcore isn't that big nowadays. I only don't understand how you got to 1600 dollar, I selected the same parts and it's not even 900. I excluded the GTX295 because you already have it:
http://i52.tinypic.com/25pseub.png

Here's what I would get for a budget build, Althon II x4 and HD 4250 integrated graphics, which isn't too bad for gaming on lower resolutions:
http://i56.tinypic.com/11ag41y.png
I did forget the OS and the monitor so that would make it $670.

Razear
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@sherretz Well, the thing is I want this system to last as long as possible without having to do much upgrades in the future. My parents would like a fast system that they can do everything they want on for the next 3-4 years at minimum.

Well, I am cramming a lot of expensive hardware into the case, I don't want space or heat to be a concern.

I would go with the stock cooler but I think spending the extra $30 on a budget aftermarket heatsink would be better in the long run for noise and longevity because I want this system to last 3-4 years at least, as I stated above.

I think the kit I listed is great for the price, can't really find anything cheaper with the brands I want to stick with.

For the motherboards, I would preferably stick to Gigabyte and ASUS for this build. I am not too fond of the other brands.

Razear
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@hnkftalnot Sorry, the price I listed earlier was incorrect. The total price I factored in had the 5970 included in it which was why it seems ridiculously expensive...I also want this rig to last a long time (3-4 years minimum) with the least amount of upgrades because it will be for my parents and brother and they're not willing to put up with the hassle of so much upgrading and downtime.

Yeah, the board I chose was a good value and I want to stick to ASUS and Gigabyte for this build preferably.

The 5970 was included in the price as I stated above, but I may not even purchase it depending on the stock available and the 6900 series release.

Thanks for the suggestions but the thing is, that CPU is out of stock so I really don't have much choice on AM3...and the monitor is 1080p so I would like to get a discrete budget card for casual gaming.

Razear
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Also, which system do you think would preform better for the money? Both configurations are about the same price. I have a thought as to which would be better but I want to hear some unbiased opinions first.

sherretz
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They will perform identically because neither system will ever be stressed. I still think you're overdoing it, but you've decided. It sounds like there is *something* keeping you from pulling the trigger, though.

-----------------------
I am going to add my disclaimer here for anyone who is trying to build systems for others. In the long run, a system such as a Dell is better off for people who are light computer users, simply because Dell will handle any computer issues they may have. I'm not sure of your situation, but the fact that I don't have to be tech support for my parents goes a long way for me, since I highly value my free time.

Like I said, this is simply a disclaimer. In the past, I built computers for 3 friends, and I ended up having to fix their problems for them because they proved they were able to drive their computers to a screeching halt no matter how much headroom I helped them build into the system.

hnkftalnot
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Razear wrote:Thanks for the suggestions but the thing is, that CPU is out of stock so I really don't have much choice on AM3...
Oh that's right, you're buying the stuff locally. Well the Phenom 2 is worth it I think, it could be a little overpowered for its use, but when you're aiming for 4 years of usage and your budget allows for it, I'd also rather give someone a system that will not bog down if they want to try photoshop or something.

I think the AMD system performs better because it's a true quadcore and has a lot more cache, that should be an advantage in heavy applications. What was your pick?

Razear
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@sherretz My brother does intend on playing full-screen 3D games at 1080p and I think he wouldn't mind being able to turn up the settings.

I am living in the same household as my parents so if anything goes wrong with ANY computer (OEM or custom built), I still end up fixing it.

Razear
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@hnkftalnot Yeah, it seems like the AMD build would be the better pick as far as bang for the buck is concerned. Thanks.