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Need help build a $500 SFF machine

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I need some input on a upcoming system I am going to be building. And to decide if I am even going to build it. I want to build a surprise system for my 14 yr old son. He plays games like Assassin's Creed, Battlefield,COD,Minecraft etc. I want a system as small as possible since its going on a very small desk. Here is the problem I have a limited budget of $500.00. I know its not going to go very far but will see what I can come up with. Here are the components I need input on.

CPU $100-$125 Doesnt matter if its AMD or Intel. I need something pretty peppy because there will be no overclocking unless I stumble upon a board and cpu combo at a great price.

Video Card $75-$125 I havent price these cards in a while but a Nvidia 650 or something simular in the ATI line up would be good.

Motherboard $50-$75 I do not care if its Mini Itx or Micro Atx. The only really requirment is that it has one PCI E slot for a video card. I would prefer to stay away from certain brands but I know they are in the same price range I have laid out ie (Biostar and ECS).

Case $35-$50 It would be great to get a case with a power supply but I know thats not realistic. I like cube cases like Coolermaster Elite 120 and the Cougar Spike looks pretty great for the price as well.

Memory $50-$65 I would like to get DDR3 1600 2 x 4GB and I found some Corsair Vengeance 1600 with 9-9-9-24 timmings for $49.95 so more then likely that will be the ram.

PSU $50-$65 If the case doesnt come with one I will get a 400-500 watt psu. I would like it to be modular but I know in that price range its impossible. So will make due with what is available.

Hard Drive $75-$90 A 1TB drive would be great and I am sure there are plenty to choose from in that price range.

Optical Drive $20-45 Any decent optical drive. I already have a slim half height drive if that works then I will use that.

Wifi USB $20-$30 Just something that I can plug in and connect no frills. Something like a Rosewill RNX-N150UBE would work just fine.

Heatsink Cooler $25-$45 Anything that fits the case and cools pretty well. We live in the high desert so it does get warm. If I went for a mid tower case a Coolermaster 212+ would work.

Operating System $75-$100 It will more then likely be Windows 8. Not that I really want to but I might be able to find it cheaper than my budget.

Keyboard and Mouse $25 Just something simple and easy to clean.

I know the price I listed as a budget is well over $500 thats why I need some help in finding some of the best deals and maybe to eliminate some things I do not need. I know its possible to game on Intergrated graphics but I would rather stay away from that. Any help would greatly be appreciated. I know most of the high end mini itx and micro atx boards and not many of the lower end. Also I found an open box Lenovo at the local BestBuy (Yuck) for $279 with windows 8 and a 2.9ghz processor(I am thinking Celeron because it didnt say) 1TB hard drive 4GB ram in a micro ATX case. I could get something like that and stick a Nvidia 650 in it and be up and running. I am open to all suggestions though. Thanks for your time reading this and any input.
DustDevil
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DustDevil
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post #2 of 15
LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
$17.99

Rosewill R218-P-BK-450W MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with 1x 120mm Fan, 450W Power Supply
$59.99

ASRock FM2A55M-DGS FM2 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
$49.99

EDIMAX EW-7811Un USB 2.0 Wireless nano Adapter
$9.99

Logitech MK120 Black USB Wired Slim Desktop
$24.99


Team Xtreem LV 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model
$69.99


AMD A10-5800K Trinity 3.8GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Socket FM2 100W Quad-Core Desktop
$129.99

Newegg Promotional Gift Card - $10.00

Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit (Full Version) - OEM
$99.99


Seagate Expansion 2TB Black Desktop Hard Drive (rip out the HDD)
$99.99
Subtotal: $562.91-$15 coupon= $547.91

For just $50 more dollars you can get a complete system. The fact your starting from nothing is where the cost start?
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post #3 of 15
Just my 2c.

You can find a small form factor motherboard with WiFi built in, and it will work better than USB dongles.

Optical disk drives are pretty redundant these days.

And if you want a gaming machine, I strongly recommend looking into a half-decent video card. If you hunt for deals you can probably get a GTX 660 really cheap.
post #4 of 15

Its awesome that you're building a gaming rig for your son. specool.gif

 

I'd do something like this... its really hard for your budget so its a little over (~$625) but picking stuff that's on sale will help a ton:

 

CPU - G2120 - $70 @ MicroCenter

 

Video Card - Used or closeout/refurb GTX 560 - $100

 

Motherboard - ASRock Z77E - $95 w/MC CPU/mobo combo deal

 

Case - CoolerMaster Advanced 120 - $50

 

PSU - Antec EA-380D gets awesome reviews and is only $50

 

Memory - Samsung Magic/Wonder RAM (1x4gb... you don't need more than that) - $20

 

Hard Drive - 750GB Scorpio Black - $75 (you can buy a cheaper drive but this is such a smokin deal and perfect for a SFF build!)

 

Optical Drive - I'd ditch it because of your budget and you don't really need it if you're handy with a USB drive

 

Wifi USB - not needed (comes with the z77e mobo)

 

Heatsink Cooler - Corsair H50 - $50 w/NewEgg MIR, gives you a good upgrade path if you swap out the CPU later

 

Operating System - Good luck... I got nothing (except Ubuntu = free :D ) - $100

 

Keyboard and Mouse - Combo could save you a couple bucks?? - $15

 

Total - $625

 
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Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
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Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
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Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
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Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustDevil View Post

Also I found an open box Lenovo at the local BestBuy (Yuck) for $279 with windows 8 and a 2.9ghz processor(I am thinking Celeron because it didnt say) 1TB hard drive 4GB ram in a micro ATX case. I could get something like that and stick a Nvidia 650 in it and be up and running.

For your budget, IMO that is the best way to go. Find some system on sale or a refurb that is still fairly recent, and pop in a lower end graphics card. thumb.gif You will meet your requirements of a low end gaming machine while staying within budget. Only things to consider are the CPU (any socket 1155 dual core, or even socket AM2), if the system has a PCIe x16 slot (most systems do, even cheap ones) and what kind of power supply is in there. The GTX 650 requires a 6-pin PCIe power plug, so keep that in mind. AFAIK the highest performing card that does not require any additional power (other than what the PCIe x16 slot provides) is a Radeon 7750. You can get the cheap system, put in a Radeon 7750, pay for any shipping/tax and still be $100 below budget while being able to play games reasonably for a 14 year old boy. Heck, you can even squeeze in a monitor into that budget so he can actually see the games and not just have to imagine them. tongue.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by She loved E View Post

CPU - G2120 - $70 @ MicroCenter

Motherboard - ASRock Z77E - $95 w/MC CPU/mobo combo deal

Memory - Samsung Magic/Wonder RAM (1x4gb... you don't need more than that) - $20

Heatsink Cooler - Corsair H50 - $50 w/NewEgg MIR, gives you a good upgrade path if you swap out the CPU later



1) Does the OP live near a Micro Center? If not, quoting Micro Center pricing does not help.

2) No combo deals have been offered with a G2120. Ever. Currently only Core i3-3225 and Core i5-3570K are eligible for combo deals.

3) Looks as if you used $50 as the combo discount. For several months now the discount has been at $40.

4) Supply of the "Samsung Magic RAM" has dried up, with few sources.

5) RAM prices have gone up significantly in recent months.

6) Suggesting an aftermarket cooler (let alone an expensive one) for a budget build that is unable to be overclocked? Really?
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Intel 330 240GB SSD, Crucial M4 256GB mSATA SSD... Samsung DVDRW CoolIt Eco Windows 7 Home Premium x64 
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Samsung 305T Plus, Dell 2005FPW Cooler Master QuickFire Pro mechanical keyboard Rosewill Capstone 450W Lian Li PC-Q11B 
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. Lots of valuable input here and I think I can get it done. Just have to prepare and plan things out and make sure its semi futureproof where I can. I went ahead and picked up some parts of things that don't change prices very much. Ram and such. Looks like its going to be an Mini Itx build.
DustDevil
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140mm Corsair SP Red x 4 push/pull on H115i 120mm Corsair SP Red x 2 pull on Evga Hybrid 120mm Corsair SP Red - Exhaust Win 10 Pro 
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DustDevil
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140mm Corsair SP Red x 4 push/pull on H115i 120mm Corsair SP Red x 2 pull on Evga Hybrid 120mm Corsair SP Red - Exhaust Win 10 Pro 
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zap View Post

6) Suggesting an aftermarket cooler (let alone an expensive one) for a budget build that is unable to be overclocked? Really?

C'mon Zap. This isn't [H] it's OCN. All answers for requests for recommendation will move out of scope on at least one requirement, go over budget, and end up with several posters arguing about what the OP really wanted. E.g.: "It's for the guy's kid. He can tell his friends at school that his PC is watercooled. They don't need to know it only has a G2120 in it."

cheers.gif
Edited by WiSK - 4/4/13 at 8:41am
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post #8 of 15
@Zap - What I suggested is also closer to his budget than what he started with, so its progress, no?

Just saw Win 7 OEM for $90 and a $20 (w/MIR) PSU @ Newegg. So theres another $50 saved.

If it was me I'd build a rig too instead of buying a prebuilt & trying to make it work. You'll end up with a better machine & a prebuilt warranty is useless if you're going to tinker with it anyway.
 
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Intel 3220 Intel DQ77KB Integrated. What. Corsair 1x8GB Laptop Memory 
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Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
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Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
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Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
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Intel 3220 Intel DQ77KB Integrated. What. Corsair 1x8GB Laptop Memory 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Plextor 128GB mSata SSD Ubuntu Delta PA-5M10 None. 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiSK View Post

C'mon Zap. This isn't [H] it's OCN. All answers for requests for recommendation will move out of scope on at least one requirement, go over budget, and end up with several posters arguing about what the OP really wanted. E.g.: "It's for the guy's kid. He can tell his friends at school that his PC is watercooled. They don't need to know it only has a G2120 in it."

cheers.gif

Is that why 95% of the SFF threads are about liquid cooled Prodigy builds? rolleyes.gif

Hey OP, you made a mistake on your budget. Plz come back and tell us you've doubled it. thumb.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by She loved E View Post

@Zap - What I suggested is also closer to his budget than what he started with, so its progress, no?

Fair enough, but you still have errors in your pricing. Here, let me fix that for you.
Quote:
CPU - G2120 - $70 @ MicroCenter

Video Card - Used or closeout/refurb GTX 560 - $100

Motherboard - ASRock Z77E - $145 w/MC CPU/mobo combo deal

Case - CoolerMaster Advanced 120 - $50

PSU - Antec EA-380D gets awesome reviews and is only $50

Memory - Samsung Magic/Wonder RAM (1x4gb... you don't need more than that) - $35

Hard Drive - 750GB Scorpio Black - $75 (you can buy a cheaper drive but this is such a smokin deal and perfect for a SFF build!)

Optical Drive - I'd ditch it because of your budget and you don't really need it if you're handy with a USB drive

Wifi USB - not needed (comes with the z77e mobo)

Heatsink Cooler - Corsair H50 - $50 w/NewEgg MIR, gives you a good upgrade path if you swap out the CPU later

Operating System - Good luck... I got nothing (except Ubuntu = free biggrin.gif ) - $100

Keyboard and Mouse - Combo could save you a couple bucks?? - $15

Total - $690
Quote:
Originally Posted by She loved E View Post

If it was me I'd build a rig too instead of buying a prebuilt & trying to make it work. You'll end up with a better machine & a prebuilt warranty is useless if you're going to tinker with it anyway.

Pre-built was 100% for meeting budget as well as needs.
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Core i5-3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX GeForce GTX 670 8GB Samsung DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Intel 330 240GB SSD, Crucial M4 256GB mSATA SSD... Samsung DVDRW CoolIt Eco Windows 7 Home Premium x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 305T Plus, Dell 2005FPW Cooler Master QuickFire Pro mechanical keyboard Rosewill Capstone 450W Lian Li PC-Q11B 
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Main home rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX GeForce GTX 670 8GB Samsung DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Intel 330 240GB SSD, Crucial M4 256GB mSATA SSD... Samsung DVDRW CoolIt Eco Windows 7 Home Premium x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 305T Plus, Dell 2005FPW Cooler Master QuickFire Pro mechanical keyboard Rosewill Capstone 450W Lian Li PC-Q11B 
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Logitech MX518 Allsop Metal Onkyo TX-SR505 receiver, Polk bookshelf speaker... 
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zap View Post

Hey OP, you made a mistake on your budget. Plz come back and tell us you've doubled it. thumb.gif

I'm sure he's working nights now just to scrape together the extra cash to fit our his new budget for the build. biggrin.gif
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