Grandpa/grandson low budget PC project advice

By Hal24
Jan 2, 2012
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  1. Hello friends,

    Below is a list of parts for a low budget PC that grandpa and grandson hope to build. Could you please take a look and see if the parts are suitable for a low end PC for general duties around the house?
    Light video games, internet browsing, MS Flight/Train simulator.
    NO on line gaming, movie downloads, SLI/XF, etc.
    We raided our piggy banks and have about $700 to spend.
    We thank you for any help and assistance.

    Silverstone Strider Essential ST50F-ES 500W Power Supply ATX 24PIN 120MM Fan 34A 80+ Black

    Antec Sonata III Black ATX 16IN Mid Tower Quiet Case 3X5.25 2X3.5 4X3.5IN 500W 120MM Fan

    Samsung SH-222AL 22X DVD Writer SATA Lightscribe OEM

    ASUS Radeon HD 6670 810MHZ 1GB 4GHZ DDR5 DVI HDMI DisplayPort DirectX 11 PCI-E Video Card

    Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB 2X4GB PC3-10666 DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit

    MSI H61MA-E35 (B3) H61 mATX LGA1155 DDR3 1PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 SATA3 USB3 HDMI DVI VGA Motherboard

    Intel Pentium Dual Core G850 Processor LGA1155 2.9GHZ 3MB Retail Box

    Western Digital WD Caviar Blue 250GB SATA 6GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache 3.5IN Internal Hard Drive OEM

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT SP1 DVD OEM

  2. Buckshot420

    Buckshot420 TS Enthusiast Posts: 301

    I built this PC for myself 2 weeks ago and I LOVE IT!!! It will easily last me the next 3-5 years before I would have to do any MAJOR upgrade.

    Antec 300 case $35
    Intel i5 2500k cpu
    Asus p8z68-v lx motherboard (bundled with cpu for $250)
    OCZ ZX series 650w power supply $80
    Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB ($145 after rebate from newegg)
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDH-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive ($125)
    8GB Corsair XMS 1600 RAM ($45)
    Samsung DVD-R OEM ($20)
    Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

    Please note that HDD prices are triple what they should be due to the mass flooding in Taiwan. If you buy your listed HDD now you will pay the same as a 1 Terabyte HDD in a few months. The SSD drive will be MUCH MUCH faster and will get you through the price increase. and you can add a mechanical drive in the future. SSD will easily hold Win OS, most frequently used software and games.

    Any reason for a Micro-ATX board?
    ..... we are here to help Grandpa!!
  3. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +170

    An i5 2500K is total overkill for web browsing and light gaming. Although I would suggest something better than a Pentium Dual Core G850, maybe an i3-2120? I second the suggestion of buying an SSD now though.

    Otherwise the build looks good.
  4. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    My Personal Recommendation would be the following:

    CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 = $140
    Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 = $112
    RAM: PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333 = $35
    Video: SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 = $120 ($100 after rebate)
    PSU: ENERMAX NAXN ENP450AST 450W = $40
    Case: Thermaltake V3 Black Edition = $40 ($30 after rebate)
    Storage drive: SanDisk Ultra SDSSDH-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB = $125 (as others have said with the increase in HDD prices SSD is the way to go right now unless you need allot of storage since they are faster and more reliable)
    ODD: SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-222AL/BSBE LightScribe Support = $20
    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM = $100

    Total : $732 ($702 after rebate)
  5. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    I second dmill89's recommendation except I'd probably drop back down to the video card you initially wanted - = $80 down to $65 after MIR and then spend the extra monies to get a 2500K. I know it's been mentioned that the 2500K is complete overkill for what you're currently planning to do with it, but believe me it's worth the $60 for the difference in performance. It'll make all those general duties you talk about silky smooth.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Everything looked good to me except the CPU. I would recommend at least an i3 for CPU.
  7. Hal24

    Hal24 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks to all who responded. There is much collected wisdom here.
    I noted that I doubled up on the PSU. The Antec case comes with a good PSU; no need for the Silverstone.
    were you referring to my original build? I can swap the CPU for a i3 2100 or even a i3 2120. What do you think?

  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Yeah, I was referring to the list in your original post. :)

    I think you will be much happier with at least an i3 than a Pentium class CPU. I probably wouldn't even suggest a change of CPU if it wasn't for the Radeon HD 6670 and 8GB memory you have picked out. It's my opinion that a Pentium class CPU would bottleneck the GPU and RAM you have selected.

    Please note; the case appears to come with a 500W power supply.
    Are you planning on purchasing a better 500W PSU and replacing the 500W PSU in the case?
  9. Hal24

    Hal24 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'll probably change down to 4 GB RAM. I think 8 GB is overkill in this application.

    I made a mistake by listing the separate PSU. It came from a previous version of my submission.
    I intend to use the Antec case with the PSU as it comes.

    What do you think of the Radeon 6670 card for this kind of build?

  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    I'm far from an expert on the topic of GPU's. All I can do is give a personal opinion and share my experience such as it is.

    If you are asking whether GPU performance could be cropped a little bit, I wouldn't advice that, if you are going to game any at all. I'm a light gamer myself as I have skipped the last 10 years and started gaming again recently. I would rather not game at all with a card that doesn't keep up with the game.

    Before I started gaming again, I had a Radeon HD 4350. Started gaming with the 4350 and enemies was actually created right in front of me while running through screens. Makes it hard to play when you never know where your enemies are located until you are on top of them. Needless to say, I found out the hard way why cards are labeled as gaming cards. I have no complaints with my GeForce GTS 450. It fits my needs very well as I only game on a 1600 x 900 resolution. There is a little lag on max settings but medium settings work perfect.
  11. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +170

    With the price of RAM so cheap nowadays I think it would be a good investment to get 8GB RAM. Granted you are unlikely to ever utilise that much but the price difference between 4GB and 8GB is only $20.

    I think the 6670 should be ok for your light gaming needs.

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