TechSpot

My first computer build - budget $800-$900

By raimeiken
Sep 3, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. I've never built a computer before but I'm pretty tech savvy guy. I don't know why I've never attempted to build one. We've always gotten our computers from Dell, but I think it's time to finally build one myself.

    Here's the budget for the build - $800 - $900
    I already have the monitor, keyboard and mouse.

    This build will be used for basic computer use like web browsing, word processing, Photoshop, etc. and also I would like to be capable of playing HD content like HD movies. I would like it to have a blu-ray drive as well (read and write)

    I've decided I want to go with an Intel i7 (it's the hotness right now right? lol)

    I want it to have at least 4gb of RAM but also I want it to be upgradeable in the future up to maybe 8 or 12gb.

    As for harddrive space. I want it to have at least 1TB. Also I've noticed from reading around other people's builds that people are using a separate sdd harddrive for the OS?

    I don't know much about the other parts like the Graphics card, sound card, case, motherboard, powersupply, etc.

    I just need some recommendation on what type or what brand to get since I've never done this before. I don't know which parts are compatible or which brands are good.

    thanks in advance

    -John
     
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    Ahh, your asking a lot out of $900. Sorry, but will that $900 include an OS and programs?
    May I assume no games?

    Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
    GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8T-6GBRM
    LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
    SAPPHIRE 100291L Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card



    Already pushing the budget here. I think it would be fine to move down to an i5
    Case can just be whatever looks nice...you'll have to be more decisive about the hdd, I can link a great 1TB one though.

    PS: Adding even a 64GB SSD would up the price by about $150.


    IMO stupid; they all revolve around gaming systems.
     
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,821   +922

    Blu-Ray isn't all that hard to do, even the integrated graphics in the Intel Core i3 CPUs will run it decently. Point being, you can save money at the outset, since you won't need a killer video card right away. The new issues of Photoshop are supposed to be able to take advantage of hardware acceleration, so a decent card wouldn't hurt
    Well, the Core i5 750 is pretty hot right now also.
    Well with the X-58 chipset, 4 GB won't fly. 6GB is the entry point with the triple channel RAM.
    For digital imaging, I always recommend two discreet HDDs anyway. I refuse to have any photo file on the same drive as the OS period. Actually RAID one should be optimum for that type of work. (depending on your level of commitment). My latest build has a 320GB Seagate for the OS, and a 750GB WD "Caviar Black" for storage. No RAID, since I have the same files across a couple of machines
    The onboard sound from almost any decent board will be excellent, no real need for a separate card.
     
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    It may be a good idea to go with 5750+i5-750, with photoshop's GPU accel.
     
  6. raimeiken

    raimeiken TS Rookie Topic Starter

    alright here's what I ended up with. I took out the audio card and also just settled for a bluray reader instead of a burner. let me know what you guys think.

    (I'm sorry I couldn't post links direct to the items here until I have 5 posts)

    Processor: Intel Core i5-750 - $194.99
    Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX - $139.99
    Graphics card: XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 - $164.99
    Memory: Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 - $89.99
    Storage: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA - $74.99 ($60 with coupon)
    Optical Drive: SAMSUNG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Combo Drive - $79.99
    Power supply: Corsair TX650W - $89.99
    Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX - $59.95

    Total = $880


    somebody was recommending me this graphics card instead of the one I have above.

    EVGA 768-P3-1362-TR GeForce GTX 460 - $189.99

    what do you guys think?


    and should I really go with 6gb of RAM instead of 4gb?
     
  7. raimeiken

    raimeiken TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was thinking of adding a 32GB SSD into the build but it'll ad another $99 to the total :(
     
  8. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    Are you going to play games?
    I'd certainly recommend saving money on buying a 5750 over a GTX460.

    Core i5-750 is great. However, you can if you want, get an i5-870. Not worth the extra $100 if you ask me, but photoshop can indeed be painful.
    Fantastic motherboard.
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM is worth the money I think.
    Antec 300 is great.
    The Antec earthwatts that I linked above is enough.

    Someone confirm weather sampsung drives are slightly worse than the seagate 7200.12.
     
  9. raimeiken

    raimeiken TS Rookie Topic Starter

    alright so Im swapping the graphics card I had for the 5750 and the RAM for the one you mentioned above.

    This brings down the cost to about $877

    will that power supply you recommended be enough to power my system even if I add another SSD? like this one

    Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
     
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    The antec earthwatts 500? Absolutely.
    Good SSD too.
     
  11. raimeiken

    raimeiken TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the help! :)
     
     
  12. raimeiken

    raimeiken TS Rookie Topic Starter

    will I need anything else besides all the parts I listed here? Like maybe thermal compound?
     
  13. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    If you got the retail edition (I don't even think newegg sells OEM i5's), it will come with a cooler+compound.
    Aside from what's listed, you'll want an OS, keyboard/mouse/monitor...aside from that, it should include everything.
     
  14. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    yes you will need thermal compound. You may get a tube with the CPU or MB, but it will be low grade stuff in all likelyhood. get a tube of arctic silver and make sure you read up on how to apply it , or you can short out your motherboard.

    Here is one of many guides on applying it. there are different ways of doing it that will work just fine, but the main point is not to apply to much.
    http://images.search.yahoo.com/imag...&sigr=11gtkhrtj&sigi=1211vh3sc&sigb=14oni24of
     
  15. raimeiken

    raimeiken TS Rookie Topic Starter

    awesome! thanks!
     
  16. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    Well...its certainly not the best, but if you're not overclocking, or living in a very hot enviroment, the default intel cooler and compound won't fail.
     
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90


    True, but if you are spending $1000.00 on components, why not spend another $6.00 to have the best cooling for it?? and how do you know what climate he lives in or if he is going to OC?
     
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,821   +922

    !MO a 32GB SSD is virtually useless anyway. I think it takes 20GB to install a 64 bit copy of Windows 7. Again IMO, I think anything below about 80GB is not worth it.
     
  19. raimeiken

    raimeiken TS Rookie Topic Starter

    what kind of cooling? Like a 3" computer fan is good?
     
  20. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    I was speaking of thermal compound. Arctic silver has silver in it and is more conductive for better heat transfer. But yes fans for case airflow is important. I would start with an aftermarket heatsink and fan along the lines of this if you are going to OC
    as far as case fans, your case is probably machined already for certain fan sizes (most likely 120mm) so take your fan purchase from that.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118056
     
  21. raimeiken

    raimeiken TS Rookie Topic Starter

  22. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    Plenty...and IMO, there isn't a need for thermal compound if you're not overclocking.
     
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,821   +922

    Not with the P55 board. It has dual channel RAM, so a 4GB set is what's needed.

    When you jump to the X58 boards the triple channel RAM would require 3 modules, (obviously) with 2GB each being optimum size.

    @ Red...Intel stock HSFs do well with the supplied thermal mat. In fact, I've seen reviews claiming they do better with the proprietary compound, than with aftermarket.
    Without overclocking then, the stock Intel HSF should do fine for a time, especially with the approaching winter.

    Arctic Silver would indeed be the way to go, if the HSF is upgraded.

    AS TO THE CASE...........The Antec three hundred has provision for 3 120mm case fans, so that should cool well.

    HOWEVER, if you choose the "300 Illusion", case; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...129066&cm_re=Antec_300-_-11-129-066-_-Product for 10 bucks more, you get 3 more fans with it, definitely the better buy.
     
  24. raimeiken

    raimeiken TS Rookie Topic Starter

    good point^ I'll go with the illusion instead.
     
  25. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    I wonder if that is something that changes from time to time. about half the time I get a tube of white stuff that looks and feels like it is the silicone based stuff that runs 7-8c warmer than AS. I gave up on it and exclusively use AS now.
     


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.