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Building as a hobby...on a budget


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#1 KJackson50

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 09:16 AM

Any suggestions for building an entry level machine (that will be given to family, friends, or just sold to someone who needs) on a budget of $500 dollars?

 

I've built countless machines for my job in the past, so I am pretty experienced, the problem is I was never using my own money for that stuff! So I've never actually bought my own parts. Any suggestions?



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 09:04 PM

Bit of a wide open question that...  Is $500 for the PC only or is it a full system including monitor, keyboard and mouse, and licensed copy of Windows etc?  If the latter you will really have to use low end parts.  What is this system likely to be used for?  Is expandability important?


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#3 Mistersprinkles

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 09:40 PM

Bit of a wide open question that...  Is $500 for the PC only or is it a full system including monitor, keyboard and mouse, and licensed copy of Windows etc?  If the latter you will really have to use low end parts.  What is this system likely to be used for?  Is expandability important?

Excellent questions. Please answer all of them.



#4 KJackson50

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 09:37 PM

Just the tower, nothing more. I already have loads of peripheral parts and don't need to spend any money on that. The system will be used for basic computing (Internet, word processing, e-mails). The system being expanded is not important.



#5 Mistersprinkles

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 09:56 PM

Get a $60 ITX AM1 board and a $65 quad core Kabini based APU. 8GB of RAM, Western Digital Blue HDD of your size choice (budget withstanding), EVGA Hadron case (includes 500W Gold rated PSU). If you dislike the slot loading optical drive the Hadron forces you go buy, switch to a Corsair 250D and get a Corsair CX430 PSU. 



#6 jonuk76

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:39 AM

There's no right or wrong way to do it, just differences of opinion.  Here's what I've come up with - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3PmI6

 

AMD A8-6600K - 3.9Ghz Quad core APU which will blitz through most desktop tasks and integrated GPU perfectly adequate for desktop effects, video acceleration and maybe some light gaming.  I also looked at a Core i3-4350 which offers better CPU performance and power efficiency but is a bit more expensive.  Some benchmarks FYI - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=1946&cmp[]=2195&cmp[]=2244

 

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 cooler - It's a hot 100w CPU and AMD's stock cooler can get noisy.  This one is a reasonable cost effective upgrade.

 

MSI A88XM-E45 - Don't know the motherboard specifically but seems to have good selection of features and user ratings are OK, and is by a decent manufacturer.  4 RAM slots so easy upgrade potential should it be needed in future.

 

8Gb Adata DDR1866 RAM (2x4gb) - Should be enough memory for most purposes and should be fast.

 

Storage - Kingston V300 128gb SSD & WD Blue 1Tb combination - The Kingston 128gb SSD offers good bang for buck, is big enough to install an OS and programs on and the 1Tb drive is useful for storage.  Also looked at Hybrid SSHD's as an alternative, but they don't offer all of the advantages of a 'real' SSD setup.  If storage is more important than outright speed, a 3Tb drive is within budget also..

 

Case - Antec NSK3180 with 380w Antec PSU - Nice compact case with a decent quiet PSU bundled. I have one of these with a Core i5 4570 system in it and it's great.  Not as small as Mini ITX systems obviously.  The power requirement of this system is around 200w so the PSU is adequate.

 

Obviously retailers offers change frequently and it's worth using sites like PC Partpicker just before you build as sometimes great deals come up.


Edited by jonuk76, 23 May 2014 - 07:46 AM.

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#7 Mistersprinkles

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 04:16 PM

Are you seriously suggesting a Kingston V300? It's a piece of trash. Get bare minimum a Crucial M500, and more ideally, a Samsung 840 EVO. Anything below those two is garbage in my opinion. 

Why are you telling the guy to build on an A8? An AM1 Kaveri APU is literally all that's needed here and with a fast SSD the system will absolutely FLY. Don't tell people to spend more money than they need to. It isn't YOUR money.



#8 jonuk76

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 07:18 PM

Your "helpful" "critique" is noted :love4u:

 

I wouldn't buy an AM1 Kaveri APU for myself regardless of budget, so why would I suggest it to someone else?  In my experience, get a low power CPU now and regret it a year or two down the line.  The Kaveri is in my book somewhat underpowered now and it will look worse in a couple of years.  It's saving grace is extremely low power consumption, but hardly an issue if you're recommending a system with a 500w PSU now is it?  The whole thing would run on barely a 1/4 of that.  An A8 is hardly an inappropriate suggestion for a general purpose desktop machine given the budget specified by the OP.  I'll take your word for it on the Kingston SSD's being 'trash'.  I see they have apparently changed the spec of it from the original models which performed quite well like reviewed here (not the fastest but a clear win over a HDD)...  The Samsung 840 EVO is no doubt a better device if within budget.  The Crucial M500 looks a good alternative though.

 

Anyway, looking to help not start an argument so like I said, there's no right or wrong answers.


Edited by jonuk76, 25 May 2014 - 05:18 AM.

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#9 killerx525

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 07:24 PM

Get bare minimum a Crucial M500, and more ideally, a Samsung 840 EVO. Anything below those two is garbage in my opinion. 

So 'anything' below the M500 and the EVO 840 like the 840 Pro, Intel 530 and 730, Plextor M5-Pro, Asus RAIDR Express are 'garbage'? 


>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#10 Mistersprinkles

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 09:24 PM

Get bare minimum a Crucial M500, and more ideally, a Samsung 840 EVO. Anything below those two is garbage in my opinion.

So 'anything' below the M500 and the EVO 840 like the 840 Pro, Intel 530 and 730, Plextor M5-Pro, Asus RAIDR Express are 'garbage'?

No those are good drives. I said anything BELOW as in lower price and lower spec. Don't try to twist what I said. Obviously the 840 PRO is better than the 840 EVO and a PCIE SSD will provide faster performance than a SATA SSD.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 24 May 2014 - 10:26 PM.
edited for language


#11 killerx525

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 09:47 PM

Nothing to do with twisting your words but being more specific to what you define 'below' was in terms of selection of the SSD's. Either way, most SSD's on the market will generally be quicker and much more responsive then a typical HDD, even the lower tier SSD's are fine.


Edited by killerx525, 24 May 2014 - 09:50 PM.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#12 Mistersprinkles

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 03:06 PM

Nothing to do with twisting your words but being more specific to what you define 'below' was in terms of selection of the SSD's. Either way, most SSD's on the market will generally be quicker and much more responsive then a typical HDD, even the lower tier SSD's are fine.

 

... No, lower tier SSDs are not fine. What's the point of making an upgrade for $60 when you could get almost twice the quality of upgrade for $85? Cheap, low performance SSDs are not good recommendations. My main forum is www.overclockers.com and over there we don't recommend anything slower than a Samsung 840 EVO. If someone is really on a tight budget we'll say get a Crucial M500 but beyond that there aren't any modern SSDs worth recommending as far as I'm concerned. Intel makes SSDs worth buying but they are expensive. The 840 PRO is better than the evo but the price difference doesn't make it a smart buy. There are PCIE SSDs and M.2 SSDs that have higher speeds but most people don't want to /cant use them for various reasons.

 

You have an Intel 520 SSD. That was a good unit for it's time. And is still respectable. Would you have been happy with a Kingston V300? Honestly? I doubt it.


Edited by Mistersprinkles, 25 May 2014 - 03:07 PM.


#13 killerx525

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 04:08 PM

Depending on the market, the Crucial M500 is about the exact same price range as the 840 EVO. M500 is not exactly the sort of 'tight budget' SSD but look at it this way, the lower tier SSD's are positioned in the market for a reason and the quality of it can be questionable depending on the brand. The lower performance does not matter to some users as long it is responsive hence some consumers don't mind having sub 500MB/s+ SSD. It all comes down to how tight your budget is and basically you pay for what you get.  One of recent purchases was 3x PNY XLR8 120GB for $60 each on Amazon, which was a ripping deal although the max write speed was 450MB/s but the performance that  i got was still impressive and as usual, very responsive like my Intel SSD. The Kingston V300 never existed at the time of the Intel 520 was released, so i cannot not answer that question.

Edited by killerx525, 25 May 2014 - 04:23 PM.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#14 jonuk76

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 08:04 PM

Extracted from the Xbit Labs review in 2013:

 

...Moreover, the manufacturer has developed customized firmware which helps the SSDNow V300 perform almost as fast as the Intel 520 in real-life applications. As a result, this SSD sports a very attractive price per gigabyte of storage while being faster than most SandForce-based products. It is especially good and comparable to indisputable leaders in reads-heavy scenarios, for example at loads typical of a system disk. So, if you’re looking for the best price/performance ratio, the Kingston SSDNow V300 should be among the first on your list.

 

I've since read the later models with newer firmware are not as good.


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