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What parts (particularly the CPU) to get, used or new, for a $500 gaming oriented build?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Goal:
I'm trying to build a decent gaming PC for under $500 as a Christmas gift (preferably closer to $450 or less I think) but I have no idea what makes the most sense anymore (especially when I start looking at used hardware options and thinking about upgrading potential). I haven't kept up with hardware that well lately since when I do I just drool over everything I don't actually need (it's hard enough to not volt mod my 7870 to see if I can go past 1300mhz, even though I doubt it would help that much in games... also I kinda got myself a second used one when I was shopping for this systems card... Also I can't stop thinking about mineral oil or water cooling with a used car radiator and box fan... DAMN YOU LIMITED MONEY!!!).

Things that I already have and don't come out of the budget:
  1. An old 22 inch Acer X223w that still works fine
  2. An old mid tower case (looks neat, feels nice, has side window, and has neat features but I can't find a model number on it and it only takes 80mm fans, I guess I could clean it and take pictures if needed)
  3. A DVD burner that is unused
  4. A mouse pad
  5. Some old Dell speakers
  6. Some cheap headphones


Components already purchased:
So far I have managed to get sniped on ebay a lot then caved and just got a used 7850 for $77 after shipping (hopefully that isn't too bad a purchase, maybe I should be more patient... or maybe not, that's usually how I miss the best deals).

Components needed:
  1. A copy of windows (Should I go with 7 or 8.1?)
  2. CPU (really not sure what models to be on the look out for, especially for used ones)
  3. Motherboard (Looks like there are a lot of nice Micro ITX ones these days)
  4. RAM (probably just a cheap 4gb stick)
  5. HDD
  6. 4 80mm case fans (Will probably go with antec tricools since they are cheep, come with 3 pin to 4 pin molex adapters, have built in 3 speed switches, and I have had good luck with the 92 and 120mm versions)
  7. Mouse
  8. Keyboard (this keyboard and mouse combo maybe?)
  9. A CPU cooler (probably something in the 20-$30 range)
  10. Maybe a surge suppressor


Things I have lying around that might be of use:

  1. One working sapphire hd4670
  2. One working Athlon II 250 regor
  3. One old Sound Blaster Audigy SE soundcard that should still work fine as well as another unidentified PCI soundcard.
  4. Some cords and screws
  5. Some HD202 headphones with a bad cord (I finally got some new flux and soldering iron tips so i could fix them easily enough though)



I also have a couple old PSUs that work OK...

One is a corsair VX450W, I bought it on 8/1/2010 from newegg and it works fine but it has always made an annoying buzzing noise (wasn't a big deal for the system it was initially in). It looks like it might still be under warranty (newegg page says 5 year warranty) though it sounds like it might have been a somewhat common problem and if I RMA it, I could end up with another that would buzz. I also wonder if it would even be worth it to RMA it since Black Friday is close and shipping could cost a bit while I have already seen some crazy sales on new PSUs of good quality. I guess I could try opening it up and messing with it but that seems a bit unsafe (maybe fun though).

The other is an old HEC HP585DB PSU that probably still works and never failed on me. I used it for 2 or 3 years before replacing it but I don't think I can trust it and it doesn't have that many connectors.

Other Info that might be relevant:
I'm fine with buying used parts though I definitely want to get a new HDD and I would think it would make more sense to get a new PSU and motherboard (for better longevity and upgrade potential).

I guess the PC is for a kid from a family that isn't doing that well financially but I'm doing this on behalf of my Mother so I don't have any direct info about that. I guess the more I save on this the more games the kid will be able to get.

I'm thinking I should wait till Black Friday to get the PSU, HDD and Motherboard but I really don't know what to look at as far as CPU's are concerned (especially since there are plenty of decent looking used ones floating around on Ebay) and without that wont know what Motherboard to get. I also don't really know how worth much of a cost difference their is between getting used and new ram.

I have access to an amazon prime account, so I will probably favor amazon for new stuff because of the shipping costs.


Other thoughts:

Why do I always write these things at 3:00-4:00am?

Anyway, thanks for any help you give me or even just taking a look at this!
Steve MKII
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Phenom II 1090t at Gigabyte 890gpa-ud3h Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 plus Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 Rev. 2 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
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Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Accelero S1 Rev 2 wth 2 120mm fans Windows 7 Professional 64bit OEM 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VS248H-P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Seasonic X650 Thermaltake Armor JR 
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Steve MKII
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Phenom II 1090t at Gigabyte 890gpa-ud3h Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 plus Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 Rev. 2 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4x2gb F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ gskill ram WD black 1tb WD blue 500 WD Blue 1tb 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Accelero S1 Rev 2 wth 2 120mm fans Windows 7 Professional 64bit OEM 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VS248H-P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Seasonic X650 Thermaltake Armor JR 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G5 Corsair Vengeance mm600 Asus Xonar DG Audio Technica ATH-AD900X 
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post #2 of 6
Just about everything in my sig rig I bought used, Mobo and PSU came from OCN folks, and the rest I either bought used on Ebay, or new from Newegg/Best Buy.


RAM I would definitely buy used. You'll get better quality for your money.

HDD I'd get new/refurb with a warranty.

GPU's are iffy to buy used. Again, an OCN seller or a friend would be best, but I've had both good and bad luck buying them used on Ebay.

Mobo and CPU you could get in a combo on Newegg, The new AMD AM3+ and FM2 processors would work fine, and they always have combos for a decent price.

PSU I'd get used, but I wouldn't get a cheap one. I learned my lesson with cheap PSU's when I built my sig rig and went through 3 before getting the one I have.

I'd go for that keyboard and mouse set. For a kid, he'd freaking love it.




This deal is on Newegg right now:
Quote:
6 Item Combo

combo
AMD FX-4300 Vishera Quad-Core 3.8GHz (4.0GHz) Socket AM3+ 95W Desktop Processor FD4300WMHKBOX
$89.99
combo
ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+ AMD 760G + SB710 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
$51.99
combo
CORSAIR XMS 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M1A1333C9
$49.99
combo
TOSHIBA DT01ACA100 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
$54.99
combo
SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224DB/BEBE - OEM
$19.99
combo
Rosewill R519-BK Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case w/ 500W Power Supply
$64.99

Combined Total:$331.94
This Combo: $280.99

Sell the case and PSU on Ebay/Craigslist and use the case you have and buy a decent PSU. Done. biggrin.gif
post #3 of 6
If you feel a bit adventurous and want to OC....

The Pentium G3258 is a beast of a dual core that can usually OC really really well. You can pair that with a motherboard for about $120 and have a nice combo, throw on a $30 4GB RAM stick and you are off to the races with the 7850 you have - which does pretty damn well at 1080P to be honest.

Don't skimp on the PSU, pick up a new one - I can't recommend Seasonic enough in the PSU world.
    
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Intel i7 5820K AsRock Extreme6 X99 Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti Windforce OC 16 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB - HDD Speed Edtition Samsung SM951 512 GB - I still hate Samsung!  Noctua NHD14 Windows 10 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Achieva Shimian QH270-Lite Overlord Computer Tempest X27OC  Acer Predator XB270HU Filco Majestouch 2 Ninja 
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Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
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MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Achieva Shimian QH270-Lite Overlord Computer Tempest X27OC  Acer Predator XB270HU Filco Majestouch 2 Ninja 
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeighborhoodGeek View Post

Just about everything in my sig rig I bought used, Mobo and PSU came from OCN folks, and the rest I either bought used on Ebay, or new from Newegg/Best Buy.


RAM I would definitely buy used. You'll get better quality for your money.

HDD I'd get new/refurb with a warranty.

GPU's are iffy to buy used. Again, an OCN seller or a friend would be best, but I've had both good and bad luck buying them used on Ebay.

Mobo and CPU you could get in a combo on Newegg, The new AMD AM3+ and FM2 processors would work fine, and they always have combos for a decent price.

PSU I'd get used, but I wouldn't get a cheap one. I learned my lesson with cheap PSU's when I built my sig rig and went through 3 before getting the one I have.

I'd go for that keyboard and mouse set. For a kid, he'd freaking love it.




This deal is on Newegg right now:
Sell the case and PSU on Ebay/Craigslist and use the case you have and buy a decent PSU. Done. biggrin.gif

Thanks for the advice! I will have to keep an eye out for those combo deals, I never really thought about them before. Unfortunately It looks the like the HDD in the one you mentioned has a lot of bad reviews though, it looks like they only sell for 1/2 to 3/4 what they cost and plenty of people are trying to sell them so I probably couldn't get much for it.

I guess will have to test that 7850 thoroughly before I shove it in their then, though I haven't had a bad experience with used video cards so far (only bought one before these 2 though). I guess it wasn't so bad that got that 7870 for myself, I guess I could always wait and hunt another one of those down if the 7850 doesn't work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PostalTwinkie View Post

If you feel a bit adventurous and want to OC....

The Pentium G3258 is a beast of a dual core that can usually OC really really well. You can pair that with a motherboard for about $120 and have a nice combo, throw on a $30 4GB RAM stick and you are off to the races with the 7850 you have - which does pretty damn well at 1080P to be honest.

Don't skimp on the PSU, pick up a new one - I can't recommend Seasonic enough in the PSU world.

Yeah, I was wondering if it would be better to get one of those Intel dual cores and OC it or get a cheap or used AMD triple or quad core and an AM3+ motherboard, I really don't know what would be better for gaming and longevity (I guess it looks like there are a decent number of stronger CPUs that can use either slot). I guess I will have to keep looking at benchmarks and stuff.

As for the PSU, yea I'm glad I didn't have to find that out the hard way when I got that HEC HP585DB for my first build (some of the reviews mentioned sparks)... Ever since that one I have tried to make sure I only get well recommended and reviewed PSUs.
Steve MKII
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Phenom II 1090t at Gigabyte 890gpa-ud3h Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 plus Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 Rev. 2 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4x2gb F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ gskill ram WD black 1tb WD blue 500 WD Blue 1tb 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Accelero S1 Rev 2 wth 2 120mm fans Windows 7 Professional 64bit OEM 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VS248H-P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Seasonic X650 Thermaltake Armor JR 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G5 Corsair Vengeance mm600 Asus Xonar DG Audio Technica ATH-AD900X 
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Steve MKII
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Phenom II 1090t at Gigabyte 890gpa-ud3h Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 plus Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 Rev. 2 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4x2gb F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ gskill ram WD black 1tb WD blue 500 WD Blue 1tb 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Accelero S1 Rev 2 wth 2 120mm fans Windows 7 Professional 64bit OEM 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VS248H-P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Seasonic X650 Thermaltake Armor JR 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G5 Corsair Vengeance mm600 Asus Xonar DG Audio Technica ATH-AD900X 
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabid Guardsman View Post

Thanks for the advice! I will have to keep an eye out for those combo deals, I never really thought about them before. Unfortunately It looks the like the HDD in the one you mentioned has a lot of bad reviews though, it looks like they only sell for 1/2 to 3/4 what they cost and plenty of people are trying to sell them so I probably couldn't get much for it.

I guess will have to test that 7850 thoroughly before I shove it in their then, though I haven't had a bad experience with used video cards so far (only bought one before these 2 though). I guess it wasn't so bad that got that 7870 for myself, I guess I could always wait and hunt another one of those down if the 7850 doesn't work.
Yeah, I was wondering if it would be better to get one of those Intel dual cores and OC it or get a cheap or used AMD triple or quad core and an AM3+ motherboard, I really don't know what would be better for gaming and longevity (I guess it looks like there are a decent number of stronger CPUs that can use either slot). I guess I will have to keep looking at benchmarks and stuff.

As for the PSU, yea I'm glad I didn't have to find that out the hard way when I got that HEC HP585DB for my first build (some of the reviews mentioned sparks)... Ever since that one I have tried to make sure I only get well recommended and reviewed PSUs.

The combo's and bundles are usually a great way to get a decent CPU/mobo combo for a worthwhile price. To find them, just look at the CPU page, and below the main pic and info it says "May we suggest". There you'll find combo deals for the CPU you are looking at.

If you have the means to test it before you have bought everything and assemble it, do it. It could save a last minute headache.

Performance to price, I'd go with AMD. You can get a more modern/faster CPU for your money. Also, I don't know if this kid knows anything about computers, but if not, I wouldn't give him something overclocked. If things start to get too hot he won't notice.

It's cool that you and your mom are doing this for the kid. thumb.gif
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Update:

Note: This is a bit incoherent and rambly and the pictures are in an album near end since I am too tired and lazy to litter them throughout the post.

Well I ended up getting these parts, hopefully none of my choices were too stupid, also I got kind of lazy on the used parts thing... Mostly got new, damn it I probably could have saved a bit more on used ram and a used PSU!

CPU: FX6300 since it went on sale for $85
Mobo: gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3
Ram: 4gb stick of Kingston memory named with a bunch of random words
PSU: Rosewill hive 550 (I got it since I have used one before and I like modular PSUs)
Video Card: I tested that powercolor 7850 I got from ebay in my system and it worked great (no issues after 1+ hour of furmark and no issues in Just Cause 2 or some of the random games and benchmarks I tried)
HDD: Western digital caviar blue, this thing turned out to be the first HDD I have ever had to RMA... I am sad now. (It's the only thing holding up this build now, I guess I will have to burn some kind of fancy custom driver disk thing to get this thing ready in time or something).
OS: Windows 8.1
Mouse/keyboard: That devastator combo thing
Surge suppressor: A decently rated and reviewed belkin one that was on sale
Fans: Antec tri-cools, I have to say I am disappointed in these 80mm ones, they aren't as well balanced as the 92 and 120mm ones (Used foam on one and rubber on another to dampen the vibrations pretty well though).


Other info and stuff done so far.

I found out the case is called a "Skyhawk psr-5601", I found the model number on the circuit board inside the front panel (That's sure the first place I thought to look...). I replaced the belt for the motorized front panel thingy (No idea what to call it, it goes up and down when you hit a button), cut out the back a bit so it could fit a 120mm fan (had a cougar vortex fan lying around) and made a little custom copper duct thing to make it fit better back there. The duct turned out OK, could have done better on the solder though it wont be seen back there and air does flow through it extremely well (I might be crazy but air seems to move out the back better than it does through my case and I cut the damn grill off the back of mine and have 2.5ish intake fans!).

I also ordered a couple surprisingly well priced laser cut fan covers, really cool things. Since the case has 4 5.25" drive bays and I only needed one for the optical drive I am using the others to hold another 120mm fan. So far I am just using some foam to hold a fan their but, since I found an old unused roll of crafting copper (like this) I think I will try to make a copper thing to hold the fan in (maybe use the foam to dampen vibration). I also cut out a piece of the case for better cable management (can't be seen unless you take off the back/right side panel).

I found out my old blue cold cathode lights still work (I stopped using them because they are really bright, just got in the way and I don't really like blue) and since they match the temperature/time LCD on the case I shoved them in their. I had to go to home depot so I could get parts to jury rig a cable for the cases front panel since the original was missing and I ran across some neat little things for cable management (like these but semi clear white which matches the bare aluminum case better). So I did OK on the cable management but it's not great (better than my own PC though!).

So here are the pictures, I guess I could upload a video of that strange front panel thing as well if someone asks. Also I just ordered that front 120mm fan (blue LED one, didn't think I could fit 2 120mm fans in the case... or any originally) so I just shoved the fan cover in between 2 pieces of foam as a mock up for the pictures... I really, really hope the kid likes blue stuff since I just kinda ran with it after I noticed that the little temp LCD and sidepanel window were blue... So what do you guys think?

Oh yeah, my Mother is going to paint the right side panel (or whatever you call that one that leads to the back of the motherboard tray) since I scratched it up a bit when I was removing a huge sticker my cousin shoved on their, so that aught to turn out neat (she has some kind of art degree). Also I feel the need to mention that the case was given to me with some other old scrap parts by my insane cousin... He likes to drive around listening to hillbilly music about murdering someone over their lack of appreciation of a single hotdog, while staring people down at stop lights.

Note: My mother raised the budget out of the blue but I still got it down to $513 after shipping in the end (ignoring RMA shipping charges!) since it means more games/money for games/socks and underwear for the kid. Would have been $500 exactly if I hadn't gotten the surge suppressor but I don't really trust the power grid in this region.
Edited by Rabid Guardsman - 12/10/14 at 3:48am
Steve MKII
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Phenom II 1090t at Gigabyte 890gpa-ud3h Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 plus Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 Rev. 2 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4x2gb F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ gskill ram WD black 1tb WD blue 500 WD Blue 1tb 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Accelero S1 Rev 2 wth 2 120mm fans Windows 7 Professional 64bit OEM 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VS248H-P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Seasonic X650 Thermaltake Armor JR 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G5 Corsair Vengeance mm600 Asus Xonar DG Audio Technica ATH-AD900X 
  hide details  
Reply
Steve MKII
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Phenom II 1090t at Gigabyte 890gpa-ud3h Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 plus Asus 7870 with Accelero S1 Rev. 2 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4x2gb F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ gskill ram WD black 1tb WD blue 500 WD Blue 1tb 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Accelero S1 Rev 2 wth 2 120mm fans Windows 7 Professional 64bit OEM 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VS248H-P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Seasonic X650 Thermaltake Armor JR 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G5 Corsair Vengeance mm600 Asus Xonar DG Audio Technica ATH-AD900X 
  hide details  
Reply
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