Building $600 Computer

By ebolamonkey3 ยท 10 replies
Nov 18, 2009
  1. Hey guys, I'm trying to put a computer together from scratch this Thanksgiving, looking to keep it under $600, but I have some flexibility.

    # What are you going to use the PC for?
    Mostly as a media machine, I want to be able to stream and play HD video and movies. Also will be playing some games, but nothing super intense like Crysis.

    # How much is your budget?
    Looking to keep it under $600. Is a Core i5 system out of the question?

    # Where are you located? (a.k.a. fill out your profile)
    GA, USA

    # Are you willing to buy online?
    Yes, but reputable retailers only, like Newegg.

    # Are you going to re-use any parts from an earlier build?
    I have 4gb of DDR2 800 that I can take off of another machine, got it for $25 after rebate last year.

    # Do you need other peripherals like a monitor, keyboard and mouse, among others?
    Nope, but I do use 1920x1200 resolution

    # Have you already bought any parts?
    Nope, but I plan on getting a used Radeon 4870 for about $100.

    # Do you have an Operating System (OS)?
    Yes, will be using Windows 7 for students (the $30 version that Techspot ran a page on a few weeks back)

    # Will you need any aftermarket cooling, such as a CPU\GPU cooler or a watercooling setup?
    Just a CPU air cooler, don't think I'll need anything too fancy since I won't be overclocking too much.

    I do want a quad core for multitasking, since I always have a ton of stuff going on at once. I need a fast CPU and good graphics card for streaming and playing HD content w/o hiccups right? Not too sure if all I need is a good graphics card for that. I don't plan on overclocking, and if I do it would be a slight one (like 2.66 to 3.0). Anything else you guys need to know, just ask. Thanks guys!
  2. levar

    levar TS Rookie Posts: 229

  3. ebolamonkey3

    ebolamonkey3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Thanks levar, but I really want a quad core system since I multitask all the time, but only game occasionally. Really want to build a Core i5 system if that's at all possible w/ the budget, I also live next to a Microcenter so I might be able to pick up a Core i5 750 for around $150.

    So I went on Newegg and saw this, would this be a good build for what I want? As for as I can tell, I only need to add a video card to this. If I can get the Core i5 for $150 from Microcenter, should I build it w/ other parts? Frankly I've never had experience w/ Raidmax and I wanted a faster hard drive.

    For the lazy people:

    1. Raidmax ATX-798WB:$69.99
    2. GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2:$104.99
    3. Raidmax RX-730SS:$69.98
    4. Intel BX80605I5750:$199.99
    5. Western Digital WD15EADS:$109.99
    6. Corsair (XMS Series) CMX4GX3M2A1600C9:$93.99

    * Combined Total:$648.93
    * Combo Discounts:-$70.94
    * Combo Price: $577.99

    Oh yea, would I have to use DDR3 RAM w/ Core i5 or AM3?
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Hi ebolamonkey3,
    used HD 4870 100.00

    not clear on if you needed a case or not

    if you want the i5 system you wont be able to use your DDR2 you currently have.

    EDIT: the problem with the above combo system you listed is the power supply
  5. ebolamonkey3

    ebolamonkey3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Ha, you beat me to the edit, Red. Yes, I do need a case, preferably a quiet one as well since I'll be leaving this on through the night quit often and it will be right next to my bed.

    Heh, I actually use the Antec 300 for another computer.

    Do you think DDR3 prices will drop by a lot soon (like around Christmas)? B/c this isn't urgent or anything.

    Hmm... did some more searching around, what about this:

    CPU: Core i5 750
    $150 from Microcenter
    Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
    $230.98 from Newegg w/ Combo
    PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W
    Case: Antec Three Hundred
    $109.94 from Newegg w/ Combo
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD750
    $64.99 from Newegg
    Video Card: Radeon HD4870 512mb
    $100 used
    DVDRW: Generic drive
    $30 from Newegg

    Total: $686

    Am I lacking anything like CPU cooler or something small that I might've missed?
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    I think that you should go with the motherboard and RAM that red linked to. It comes cheaper than the combo you've selected. Instead of getting a used video card just spend a wee bit more and get the retail.

    That CPU for $150 is a steal! :)

    If you're not planning to OC to extreme levels you won't need a CPU cooler. Just a thought, for the purposes you mentioned above, you don't really need a Core i5 system. You'd be mighty pleased with a much cheaper system built around the Athlon II X4 620 or maybe the Phenom II X3 720.

    All the best with your rig. :)
  7. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    the word on DDR3 prices is that it will be going up for the first half of the year, (they say....the experts around the web) that there is going to be more demand than production. it would seem that prices are about as good on DDR3 now as they will be for a while.
  8. ebolamonkey3

    ebolamonkey3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    So I don't actually need a CPU cooler if I don't OC? I always thought you needed one regardless, just not a fancy one (Like a Zalman 9700 or something) if you don't run things too hot.

    Oh, what exactly do I need to stream HD video? A fast CPU (high frequency or more cores) or a fast GPU? Or both?
  9. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    For "streaming" HD video you'll need a fast internet connection.

    As for movie / video playback you don't need any very high end components.
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    you do need a CPU cooler, just saying that the stock one will suffice if you do not intend to overclock.
  11. levar

    levar TS Rookie Posts: 229

    if you don't mind me asking where in GA are you located bc thats where I'm also staying.
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