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New system - $1,000 budget

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Blades of Vanatar, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Ziad - Yes, if you were bulding it yourself. I don't know that much about the graphics card in there, except for a better one it would have put the machine at $1100.00. I noticed you guys are looking at higher-end parts, the ones that OEMs love to make extra money on. You have to add 25-30 percent for an OEM to add a part you can buy yourself from a discount house, like NE. That's how they make their money, since the basic box has almost no retail margin in it.

    BTW, if BoV does not want to build the computer, it's highly unlikely he would want to change the CPU himself, since that is a delicate operation that might damage the old CPU. But I might be wrong.

    Why?

    The only thing I know about AMD is that I should have bought their stock when it was $2.50 a share, but I was afriad they were going under. Still, it would have been a good deal because they have cut their prices and added market share as a result. It's at 7.00 now, so it's too late. I'll have to wait until it makes another move....
     
  2. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Short answer: Yes.
    Long answer: Much depends on what you want to do with it. For video and photo editing you'll want something that's preferably not a TN panel, but that would put you well over your budget. Other than that, I'd definitely recommend looking around a bit to see what still looks acceptable to you. And don't stare too long at the specs, they mean very little. Read reviews or watch them in a store.

    If you're dead set on Intel, a Core 2 Quad should suit your needs just fine. In the price segment you're then looking at, though, AMD is king for value for money. Your call. Just don't focus too much on the quad core thing. It won't add that much over a dual or triple core in general use.

    HD5770 is a good choice, though perhaps slightly overkill for your needs. Should run DA:O like a charm, though. You could check this link for some other suggestions.

    Most motherboards only support dual channel, and I'm positive every motherboard in your price range will only have dual channel, so 2x2GB should be plenty. If you're heavily into photo and video editing you could consider 2x4GB instead.

    There are also drives available that can both burn DVD and read Blueray, but not burn them. Only a Blueray burner (which can usually also burn DVDs) is very expensive.

    Harddrives? How much video editing are you going to do?

    BoV, perhaps you could clarify how much video storage/editing and photo storage/editing you're planning to do to give us a better idea of what you might need?

    @ Chandos: 8GB RAM seems overkill for a budget system, HDD seems a bit small, especially considering what the prices are for 1TB disks nowadays, HD5450 might be a little too underpowered, I'd definitely upgrade that one. And no monitor? Overall, it seems a bit expensive for what's offered, though I admittedly don't really have a good feel of what things cost on your side of the Atlantic.
     
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  3. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    It was a free upgrade. And the 640GB HD was a free upgrade as well.

    Merlanni - Your build did not include any OS, less memory and smaller HD, but faster CPU and better graphics. But it was only another $104.00 for Win 7. That would be better than the HP, I think, but I don't know who the builder is. If it is no name brand, BoV could probably have one built at a shop in his area. Plus, if he has any issues, he could easliy take it in for support. But that may be a good builder you are looking at, Merlanni.
     
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  4. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

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    I do really prefer NVIDIA cards - still. Despite them taking their sweet time coming up with anything new.

    But the GTX 250 can run Dragon Age fine - the GTX 260 wouldn't need to be upgraded as soon, but there's always better cards coming out.

    But some things you do want...

    At least 3gb of memory. And no more than 6gb. 4gb if dual channel, 3gb or 6gb if triple channel. Also remember that anything past 3.5gb is wasted on a 32bit operating system.

    Adequate case cooling is a must, and often forgotten.

    And you want a 80plus power supply.

    Also as if HP's avoided like the plague. Fujitsu-Siemens is avoided like the plague, Packard Bell is avoided like the plague - HP's major problems lately have been them supporting only Vista, which was fixed with Windows 7.

    Note the "lately" part - HP, back in the P4 days, was a freakshow of horrors, but it's been mostly fixed now.
     
  5. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    To be honest, I don't know, I believe the wife will be handling that part. But probably not that much though in the scheme of things. I already have alot of photos on jump drives. It's the new Sony HandCam we have that we'll want to download onto the Pc. My 2 yr-old had a hayday on christmas and we got it all of film. It's only things like this that we will want to load onto a Blu-ray disc, holidays, birthdays, etc.... If I need more HD space, I can always get an external drive later, correct?
     
  6. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Those pre build brands have a bad reputation here with breaking down and bad service. I live across a certain drop of water, so I cannot tell who the good builders in the US are. Al systems shown by me are samples to get an idea.

    A few parts from the newegg site:

    AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX435WFGIBOX $76

    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard $85

    XCLIO GREATPOWER X14S4P4 600W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $76

    Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $105

    Add $50 for cases, $50 for hdd, $30 for DVD, $150 GPU

    These parts cost $622 including a 5770

    You cannot tell me that a builder cannot put these parts in a box charging an hour. Add windows and you are set. Most likely the builder will charge no work if you buy the part at his store. It is possible to get this for $800 including windows.

    All parts are high/medium end except the case. And yes this burns dragon age. No upgrade for at least 2 years.

    Leaves $200 for monitor, mouse, keyboard.
     
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  7. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't think I'm afraid of building one. But I am afraid of buying parts that don't fit together, as my knowledge base of what parts are compatible is nil. But If I have all the parts in front of me that do work, I would try to build it. As long as I have a good instruction manual in front me, no problem. But it I can buy a whole unit for around the same price range, why bother? I have added RAM , changed out floppy drives, DVD drives and a video card in the past on older machines, using the instruction manual to do so. I never had any issues, other than forgetting to disconnect my Power supply once. Duh! That killed my pc.So I put everything back together the way it originally was and as it was under warranty at Gateway. I just told them I turned it on and it blew. They replaced it at no cost. Just had wait a week as I had to ship it to Nebraska.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 7 minutes and 38 seconds later... ----------


    That is a build I like. The key for me is then having instructions on how to build it. If every part comes with instructions and/or a reference guide, I think I can handle it.
     
  8. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  9. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Merlanni,

    There is no OS in your example. That will put it back over $1,000.00 with windows 7 - 64 bit.
     
  10. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I can largely agree with Merlanni on his suggested build, except that 600W PSU is serious overkill for such a system (if it's a premium brand and not cheap rubbish, but you should avoid the cheap rubbish anyway for the health and longevity of your system) and that I would invest an additional $50 on the hdd so you won't run out of diskspace before the end of the year, depending on how much you use your camera and what kind of resolution it captures stuff at. You could settle for a 500-640 GB disk for the moment, too, then buy an extra 1.5-2 TB disk by the end of the year. No reason to buy an external one, though, you can just add an extra internal one.

    One thing, though, XLCIO Greatpower? WTF is that? I've never heard of it, so I'm guessing it's not a premium brand. A bequiet! L7 530W should be more than enough for this system and is a good quality PSU, and shouldn't cost more than this one, or could even be cheaper.

    With that price, though, you have enough budget left to buy a very decent 20"-22" monitor for around $150-200. You could try looking at some of the reviews here or here to get an idea of what you should pay attention to when going shopping for a monitor and to determine for yourself what you find important in a monitor.

    Assembling a PC from components isn't that difficult. Most parts are easily assembled and you won't have to fiddle with jumpers anymore when you add a HDD now that P-ATA drives are a thing of the past. The only thing that's a bit trickier is the CPU, which should definitely be handled with care when mounting it to the motherboard and when attaching the cooler. In the end, it all fits in only one way, and when it doesn't fit, you're doing something wrong. Also remember to ground yourself from time to time so you're not charged with static electricity when you touch your components, which may cause something to short out.

    As for matching components, it's pretty simple. The things to match are the CPU, motherboard and memory, everything else is all purpose, so to speak. Any CPU you buy will have a required socket, which should be stated clearly in its specification. AMD CPUs will require AM3 sockets, Intel CPUs 775, 1156, or 1366 sockets. Core i5 and i7 CPUs will normally require a 1156 or 1366 socket, older Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad CPUs will normally fit a 775 socket.

    This will determine what motherboard you can get. You then pick a motherboard that has the options that you want. Most motherboards will come with a number of USB ports, onboard sound, onboard LAN and S-ATA connections. Features to pay attention to are the presence of USB 3.0 and eSATA sockets, both of which can come in handy in the future if you do decide you want an external HDD.

    Your chosen motherboard then requires either DDR2 or DDR3 memory sticks. Make sure you buy the appropriate ones. If they require anything else in terms of type of memory, avoid those motherboards (don't know if any actually do, but there have been cases in the past so I might as well mention it).

    /edit
    I can't imagine that you need to pay $200 for a Windows OS.
     
  11. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


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    If you build the system yourself you can easily get a good quad core PC for under $1,000 with either a Nvidia 250 or an ATI 5770.

    I personally do not recommend Intel; even though they build the best high end processor their middle of the road product is not worth the extra cost when you get get the very best AMD product for less.

    For around $1K you can get the following..

    Mobo - Asus, MSI, or Gigabyte 770 or 790 mobo - $99
    AMD 965 Phenoem II 3.4Ghz $175 or less
    OCZ 4GB of DDR3 1600 RAM - $99
    WD 500-640GB HD $55
    ATi 5770 $150 or more or you could get ATi 5750 $150 or less
    22" LCD Monitor $150
    Case - $50
    PSU - $50
    Keyboard and mouse combo - $20
    Window 7 Home Premium 64 OEM (once activated it will only work on the motherboard that the Windows was activated on) - $110

    This system cost around $900-950 and is a killer system. If you don't want the OEM Windows to play it safe spend an extra $80 and get the full retail.

    I find intel mobo and CPUs to cost $10-50 more for an equal AMD part. I'm also not completely sold on i-3 or i-5 from Intel.

    I did all of this at newegg and if you find the right items you can also get free shipping if you are state side.
     
  12. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Windows 7 plus the cheapest Microsoft Office will put me over $200.00
     
  13. Topken

    Topken Elven-dragon wizard

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    microsoft office is overrated i just use p[enoffice.org its open source and free so you dont have to pay for it and its completely compatible with microsoft office
     
  14. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I sold literally hundreds of HP systems, and they were OK for the most part, except for power gamers, who later discovered that they should get a custom machine. Nevetheless, BYO is a MUCH better value and the way to go. If someone has never attempted it, I suggest he/she read the reviews at NE, where even experienced builders had high levels of frustration with defective parts. If you order a box of components, and one is bad, it can be a painful experience to track down the problem: A bad processor? mainboard? graphics card? memory chip? Even a faulty PSU or a meager cable can be difficult. And then the part has to be returned and shipped. As I suggest, read the reviews; they can be very helpful in the event of problems.

    Don't get me wrong - if you have the time and are willing to put in the effort, BYO is definitely worth it.

    ---------- Added 4 hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds later... ----------


    BoV:

    I decided to take closer look at some of the AMD stuff to see how it compared in real benchmarks. What I discovered is not pretty for AMD:

    So, I would look closely at making a choice here. You can save a few dollars and get a slower AMD processor, but the AMD 965 just can't hold up to the performance of the i5 750. Here are some benchmarks which put the 965 against the i5 in several categories:

    http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/intel_core_i7_core_i5_lynnfield_performance/page9.asp
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  15. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    @BoV: I'd suggest downloading OpenOffice on your current PC and see if that would be a suitable replacement for Microsoft Office for you. If it is, you can save yourself some money right there.

    @Chandos: You're talking about the mid- to high end segment CPUs here, I don't think those will fit into BoV's budget. Plus, if you look at those results differently, you can also say that at high settings it doesn't really matter if you buy a Core i7-975 Extreme Edition for close to $1000 or buy a Phenom II X2 550 BE for $100. Perhaps more relevant here is an overview like this, where it is apparent that AMD is a very good choice if you're going for a processor priced at or below $150. The Core i5 750 starts at around $200, which is a very big chunk out of BoV's budget. And that's not accounting for the higher prices of the socket 1156 and 1366 motherboards with respect to the AM3 motherboards, either.
     
  16. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    You do not need an I7 to max out dragon age, nor a i5. Blades has need of a new case, power, windows , memory, GPU, monitor, mouse, keyboard in a $1000 frame.

    This rana will we enough for his needs for at least 2 years even longer. After that a processor upgrade of less than $100 will put him up top again. We are working with his budget.

    Price was set at 622. Add OEM! windows and labour you get 800. If he does it himself he saves also the labour but needs Technically a retail version that brings him also to 800.

    So windows included for 800. 200 left for the rest.

    Windows OEM: used by builders, strictly not for retailers, linked to motherboard. Costs half only 32 or 64 bit

    Windows Retail/fpp: with the cardbox. Not linked to motherboard. has 32 and 64 bit.

    The power unit has 80+ and is an example for the price range. A 500 watt A-brand like Be Quiet, Zalman, Enermax, cooler master, Antec OCZ, seasonic is fine.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 9 minutes and 57 seconds later... ----------

    Chandos. We had a government plan here to get a pc with a full tax rebate as large as a average pc to promote the tech and internet. So all my co workers got a HP pentium trough the company.

    Nobody was satisfied, nobody.

    I ordered a Socket A. I gave it to a friend for his kid and it stil runs.

    Blades: Try not to use the old 4:3 aspect ratio monitor with a new setup. It will work with old vintage drivers. but loose a lot of gaming fun. The new monitors come in two aspect ratio's. 16:10 ratio and 16:9 ratio. Here it becomes a personal taste. look at both ones in a store and decide.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  17. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    CPU wise, I can easily max out DA:O on my Intel 9450 and 4GB RAM, let alone 8GB RAM. The job of presenting the game properly is with my Sapphire ATI 4870. The game's main demands are not on either CPU or RAM. There is no basis for the assumption that one needs an i5 or i7 for DA:O.

    The decision about whether to choose an i5 or i7 should be informed by considerations about future and long term use(ability) of the computer - i.e. future proofing the new machine. We're speaking of approximately three or four years.

    When I built mine iirc October 2008 I decided I wanted to use the new machine for a long time and chose one of the more powerful quad CPUs with ample cache. I feel vindicated. Performance wise I have nothing to fear for the time being. I predict that, because of me sticking with my twin 19" 4:3 that my GPU still has ample performance reserves. I estimate I'll need a new GPU in 2011.
     
  18. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Rags, with a 4870 you probably won't need a new GPU until well into 2012, if not 2013. You may have to start using some settings at not-very-high in 2011, but I doubt it'll be enough to justify an upgrade. I have the same card you do (a Sapphire too - I love their cards' quality to price ratio) and the only game I haven't been able to play with everything on max is NWN2 - and I'm pretty sure this has more to do with bad engine optimisation than with the card. Even there turning shadows from High to Medium is enough, and quite frankly I cannot tell the difference even when I look for it when using the isometric camera settings. Anything else I've thrown at it, including just-out games like DAO, plays at excellent frame rates with everything maxed.
     
  19. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    The Sapphire ATI 4870 rocks, great GPU. If I overestimated the progress of game development I'm glad - if I need to upgrade later, all the better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I like the Windows Experience index not so much for the pat on the back it gives me about my computer when I read it :D It is a very quick and easy way to get a general idea about where a computer is hardware wise and where its weak spots are without having to run more complex or time consuming benchmarks. Mind you, at its core my computer is from October 2008.

    Here, the Windows score speaks for itself. I mean, an i5 or i7 would boost the processor performance ranking to ... 7.9 or 8 .. or 8.5? My computer is already overkill for most of the applications I run. A faster i5 or i7 would be over-overkill? Except for the computer being fast, the average user doesn't usually notice that amount of performance. When my computer lags, it's almost always because either my internet connection is too slow, or my storage HDD or DVD drives are falling behind. The ATI 4870 is still quite up to the task either. Yes the new generation is even better, but the new generation is almost always better. And I agree on NWN2, the poor performance with that game is because of the rotten game engine. It has nothing to do with performance or lack thereof.

    The biggest performance boost my computer got was from the Intel X-25M SSD. While still expensive, they're worthwhile investments. If it is in the budget, I'd put my money in a smaller CPU like the i5 and an SSD rather than going for a bigger CPU.

    ---------- Added 1 hours, 16 minutes and 30 seconds later... ----------

    I have played around on NewEgg. This would be something I'd pick:

    • ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
    • Antec Mini P180 Black Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case - Retail
    • Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
    • Thermaltake TRX650M 650W ATX 12V V2.3 & EPS 12V 2.91 Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    • G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail
    • ASUS P7P55D-E LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    • Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
    • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    • SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    • Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail
    Sum: ~ $1099

    Sadly, an SSD would vastly exceed the budget. I intentionally included some top tire picks like the Noctua cooler which I highly recommend. I also have an irrational fondness for ASUS. The i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz appears to have a good p/p-ratio, same for the ATI 5770. I wouldn't choose less than 4 GB RAM. I can recommend the Black Caviar series; fast HDDs, I have two of them. I have that Antec Case myself and I like it a lot, but cases are a matter of preference and taste. You can fine tune that back to meet your budget.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2015
  20. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Was it an HP? Or a different brand?

    Henkie - In your article at Tom's they picked the i5 in the 150.00-200.00 range, and the AMD as an "honorable mention." It seems that BoV keeps his machines a long time, longer than most of us. Based on his particular situation, the extra 25.00 would be worth the extra performance that he would get from the i5 750. However, if he could get the 965 at 150.00 or less, that may be a better choice, because of the price/perfomance ratio. But not just at the $25.00 level. The 750 would be the better choice with that narrow a price difference.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
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