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Suggest a build for ~$900?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I'd like to put together a somewhat cheap (around $900 CAD - raised budget) PC as a New Year's gift for my dad. I haven't kept up with hardware news for ages, so I'm way out of date with what's good/bad.

I'd want to buy all components locally from http://ncix.com.

Could any of you up-to-date gurus suggest a decent build?

Some notes:
- this machine will never run a video game in its entire life, so the video card can be quite basic (PCI-E and DUAL DVI outputs would be great)
- prefer ASUS or Gigabyte motherboards
- would love to use the Antec Sonata III case/power-supply combo (if budget permits)
- would prefer at least 4GB DDR2 RAM & a nice modern processor;
- large hard drives are not necessary, but something like a small solid-state drive would be awesome (for the OS)
- no need for any blu-ray; a regular DVD burner will suffice
- on-board Audio please

Essentially, I need to decide on the following:
- motherboard
- cpu
- ram
- hard drive / solid state drive
- case & power supply
- video card

Thanks for any advice!
Edited by kerunt - 12/14/09 at 12:07am
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E4300 ASUS P5N32-E SLI XFX 7600GT XXX, 2xEVGA 8600GT 4x1GB OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160GB WD 7200, 8MB, 500GB WD 7200 16MB LG DVD-RW, LG DVD-ROM Windows XP SP2 2x L194WTX-BF 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Black Antec True Power 550W Antec Sonata - Modded Microsoft Optical 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E4300 ASUS P5N32-E SLI XFX 7600GT XXX, 2xEVGA 8600GT 4x1GB OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160GB WD 7200, 8MB, 500GB WD 7200 16MB LG DVD-RW, LG DVD-ROM Windows XP SP2 2x L194WTX-BF 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Black Antec True Power 550W Antec Sonata - Modded Microsoft Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 22
If the machine is not used for gaming, you might want to consider a build around the AMD 785G chipset. It has the HD4200 onboard, which is really good for an onboard and will save you a bit of money. Example would be the Gigabyte 785G UD3H, you could pair this with an Athlon II CPU to keep the costs low.
Money dump
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 7700k 4.8Ghz @ 1.28v Asrock Z170 Extreme4 Sapphire R9 Nano @ Fury X clocks Crucial Ballistix 16GB 2666mhz CL15 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Crucial MX300 525GB SSD, Seagate 3TB, Samsung 1TB Noctua NH-U14S Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Samsung U24E590D UHD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Seasonic Prime 850w Titanium Corsair Carbide Air 540 Steelseries Xai 
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Money dump
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 7700k 4.8Ghz @ 1.28v Asrock Z170 Extreme4 Sapphire R9 Nano @ Fury X clocks Crucial Ballistix 16GB 2666mhz CL15 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Crucial MX300 525GB SSD, Seagate 3TB, Samsung 1TB Noctua NH-U14S Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Samsung U24E590D UHD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Seasonic Prime 850w Titanium Corsair Carbide Air 540 Steelseries Xai 
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post #3 of 22
I'd go with this.

ASUS M4A77TD
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?s...nufacture=ASUS

AMD Athlon II X2 240
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?s...anufacture=AMD

Powercolor Radeon HD 4670 PCs 750MHZ 1GB
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?s...ure=PowerColor

Western Digital WD15EADS Caviar Green 1.5TB SATA 32MB Cache
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?s...20Digital%20WD

G.SKILL F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ PC3-10666 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1333
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?s...acture=G.Skill

Antec Earthwatts Green 380W
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?s...ufacture=Antec

ASUS TA8H3 ATX Mid Tower Case
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?s...nufacture=ASUS
post #4 of 22
if its low budget i would go with AMD Phenom II (not a big fan of AMD)
DDR2 will suffice (not much peformance gain, 4GB costs me $100 AUD)
get a dedicated GPU, but the lowest end i think a Nvidia GT210/220
AMD Phenom II X2 545
Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P Motherboard
i7 Monsta
(31 items)
 
i7-laptop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 920 Gigabyte G1.Sniper GTX 280 SLI 28GB DDR3 G.Skill RAM (2 x 2GB PI, 2 x 4GB RJX,... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Green 750GB Seagate Barracuda 1TB Western Digital Green 2TB x 4 Seagate 2TB 
Optical DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Pioneer Blu-ray reader Pioneer Blu-ray Writer Switech Apogee GTZ SE TFC 360 Xchanger 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP655 with custom top Feser 1/2" ID green tubing Coolermaster green LED fans 120MM x 4 Corsair 140MM fans (2) 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
7 Ultimate x64 Ubuntu 12.10 X64 BenQ G2400WD 24" HD LCD Hyundai 19" LCD 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Proview 900W 19" Widescreen Logitech G15 Gen1 Thermaltake Litepower 600W Corsair Obsidian 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Lachesis Razer Desctructor Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Proces... Sennheiser HD 465 
OtherOtherOther
Bigfoot Networks Killer™ E2100 LAN Intel PRO/100 PT TAP-Win32 Dapater V9 VPN 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 720M 1.6-2.6GHz ASUS Mobility Radeon HD 5730 1GB 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 Patriot 1333MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
Sandisk Extreme Sata III 240GB SSD Seagate Momentus 640GB 5,400RPM in Patriot Gaun... ASUS DVD RW DL Multi Windows 8 Pro X64, Ubuntu 11.10 X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
16" Samsung full size backlit 95W ASUS Power brick multi touch pad, Razer Lachesis 
Mouse PadAudio
Razer Desctructor HD Audio 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Core 2 Quad Q8200 GTX 260+ 7GB DDR2 60GB Laptop HDD 2.5" 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB WD Green USB Samsung DVD RW Megahalems Megashadow Deluxe W7 X64 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
19" Hyundai Logitech G15 Gen1 600W Litepower Thermaltake Superflower Xion 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Deathadder V2 Desk Inbuilt HD Audio 
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i7 Monsta
(31 items)
 
i7-laptop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 920 Gigabyte G1.Sniper GTX 280 SLI 28GB DDR3 G.Skill RAM (2 x 2GB PI, 2 x 4GB RJX,... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Green 750GB Seagate Barracuda 1TB Western Digital Green 2TB x 4 Seagate 2TB 
Optical DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Pioneer Blu-ray reader Pioneer Blu-ray Writer Switech Apogee GTZ SE TFC 360 Xchanger 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP655 with custom top Feser 1/2" ID green tubing Coolermaster green LED fans 120MM x 4 Corsair 140MM fans (2) 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
7 Ultimate x64 Ubuntu 12.10 X64 BenQ G2400WD 24" HD LCD Hyundai 19" LCD 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Proview 900W 19" Widescreen Logitech G15 Gen1 Thermaltake Litepower 600W Corsair Obsidian 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Lachesis Razer Desctructor Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Proces... Sennheiser HD 465 
OtherOtherOther
Bigfoot Networks Killer™ E2100 LAN Intel PRO/100 PT TAP-Win32 Dapater V9 VPN 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 720M 1.6-2.6GHz ASUS Mobility Radeon HD 5730 1GB 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 Patriot 1333MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
Sandisk Extreme Sata III 240GB SSD Seagate Momentus 640GB 5,400RPM in Patriot Gaun... ASUS DVD RW DL Multi Windows 8 Pro X64, Ubuntu 11.10 X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
16" Samsung full size backlit 95W ASUS Power brick multi touch pad, Razer Lachesis 
Mouse PadAudio
Razer Desctructor HD Audio 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Core 2 Quad Q8200 GTX 260+ 7GB DDR2 60GB Laptop HDD 2.5" 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB WD Green USB Samsung DVD RW Megahalems Megashadow Deluxe W7 X64 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
19" Hyundai Logitech G15 Gen1 600W Litepower Thermaltake Superflower Xion 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Deathadder V2 Desk Inbuilt HD Audio 
  hide details  
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions guys! Going to check out all that hardware.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E4300 ASUS P5N32-E SLI XFX 7600GT XXX, 2xEVGA 8600GT 4x1GB OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160GB WD 7200, 8MB, 500GB WD 7200 16MB LG DVD-RW, LG DVD-ROM Windows XP SP2 2x L194WTX-BF 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Black Antec True Power 550W Antec Sonata - Modded Microsoft Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E4300 ASUS P5N32-E SLI XFX 7600GT XXX, 2xEVGA 8600GT 4x1GB OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160GB WD 7200, 8MB, 500GB WD 7200 16MB LG DVD-RW, LG DVD-ROM Windows XP SP2 2x L194WTX-BF 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Black Antec True Power 550W Antec Sonata - Modded Microsoft Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 22
heres an amazing combo http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboB...t=Combo.303820
thats only 190 AR, you can spend around 310 on a SSD, Harddrives, or a graphics card
ooops, didnt see you wanted DDR3
ah well.. dont know why you'd need DDR3 if you're not going to game and if this is for your father
this is sufficient
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II x3 710 @2.9 Gigabyte 780g S2H Sapphire 4890 4GB Corsair XMS 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 500gb raid 0 Windows 7 23" AOC Saitek Eclipse 
PowerCaseMouse
Silverstone 750w Antec 900 Logitech G5 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II x3 710 @2.9 Gigabyte 780g S2H Sapphire 4890 4GB Corsair XMS 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 500gb raid 0 Windows 7 23" AOC Saitek Eclipse 
PowerCaseMouse
Silverstone 750w Antec 900 Logitech G5 
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post #7 of 22
don't get DDR2, i have 3 computers running 4GB DDR2 and it runs fine; doesn't cost as it used to, only like $100 AUD for 4GB i dont see any peformance gain with DDR3 and DDR2 unless im in a game, and even than it only slightly increases loading times. DDR3 is definitely not needed in this build at all - don't even mention it!

my dads VOIP pc uses 2GB DDR2 800MHz, dads HTPC which runs HDMI content and Blu-rays, a Nvidia 9400GT 1GB HDMI, has 4GB DDR2 800MHz (both Kingston BTW) and it runs beautifully!
i7 Monsta
(31 items)
 
i7-laptop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 920 Gigabyte G1.Sniper GTX 280 SLI 28GB DDR3 G.Skill RAM (2 x 2GB PI, 2 x 4GB RJX,... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Green 750GB Seagate Barracuda 1TB Western Digital Green 2TB x 4 Seagate 2TB 
Optical DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Pioneer Blu-ray reader Pioneer Blu-ray Writer Switech Apogee GTZ SE TFC 360 Xchanger 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP655 with custom top Feser 1/2" ID green tubing Coolermaster green LED fans 120MM x 4 Corsair 140MM fans (2) 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
7 Ultimate x64 Ubuntu 12.10 X64 BenQ G2400WD 24" HD LCD Hyundai 19" LCD 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Proview 900W 19" Widescreen Logitech G15 Gen1 Thermaltake Litepower 600W Corsair Obsidian 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Lachesis Razer Desctructor Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Proces... Sennheiser HD 465 
OtherOtherOther
Bigfoot Networks Killer™ E2100 LAN Intel PRO/100 PT TAP-Win32 Dapater V9 VPN 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 720M 1.6-2.6GHz ASUS Mobility Radeon HD 5730 1GB 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 Patriot 1333MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
Sandisk Extreme Sata III 240GB SSD Seagate Momentus 640GB 5,400RPM in Patriot Gaun... ASUS DVD RW DL Multi Windows 8 Pro X64, Ubuntu 11.10 X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
16" Samsung full size backlit 95W ASUS Power brick multi touch pad, Razer Lachesis 
Mouse PadAudio
Razer Desctructor HD Audio 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Core 2 Quad Q8200 GTX 260+ 7GB DDR2 60GB Laptop HDD 2.5" 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB WD Green USB Samsung DVD RW Megahalems Megashadow Deluxe W7 X64 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
19" Hyundai Logitech G15 Gen1 600W Litepower Thermaltake Superflower Xion 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Deathadder V2 Desk Inbuilt HD Audio 
  hide details  
Reply
i7 Monsta
(31 items)
 
i7-laptop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 920 Gigabyte G1.Sniper GTX 280 SLI 28GB DDR3 G.Skill RAM (2 x 2GB PI, 2 x 4GB RJX,... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Green 750GB Seagate Barracuda 1TB Western Digital Green 2TB x 4 Seagate 2TB 
Optical DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Pioneer Blu-ray reader Pioneer Blu-ray Writer Switech Apogee GTZ SE TFC 360 Xchanger 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP655 with custom top Feser 1/2" ID green tubing Coolermaster green LED fans 120MM x 4 Corsair 140MM fans (2) 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
7 Ultimate x64 Ubuntu 12.10 X64 BenQ G2400WD 24" HD LCD Hyundai 19" LCD 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Proview 900W 19" Widescreen Logitech G15 Gen1 Thermaltake Litepower 600W Corsair Obsidian 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Lachesis Razer Desctructor Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Proces... Sennheiser HD 465 
OtherOtherOther
Bigfoot Networks Killer™ E2100 LAN Intel PRO/100 PT TAP-Win32 Dapater V9 VPN 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 720M 1.6-2.6GHz ASUS Mobility Radeon HD 5730 1GB 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 Patriot 1333MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
Sandisk Extreme Sata III 240GB SSD Seagate Momentus 640GB 5,400RPM in Patriot Gaun... ASUS DVD RW DL Multi Windows 8 Pro X64, Ubuntu 11.10 X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
16" Samsung full size backlit 95W ASUS Power brick multi touch pad, Razer Lachesis 
Mouse PadAudio
Razer Desctructor HD Audio 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Core 2 Quad Q8200 GTX 260+ 7GB DDR2 60GB Laptop HDD 2.5" 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB WD Green USB Samsung DVD RW Megahalems Megashadow Deluxe W7 X64 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
19" Hyundai Logitech G15 Gen1 600W Litepower Thermaltake Superflower Xion 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Deathadder V2 Desk Inbuilt HD Audio 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

Okay, let's scrap the DDR3 idea if it's not a huge improvement. I haven't really done any research/comparison of DDR2/DDR3, just figured the new generation would be substantially better... guess not.

Anyways, I've looked at all of the suggested builds, and did some more scouring on my own and I don't like the available options for the $500 budget - specs are just too low. My dad is an IT guy, but with an old machine, so I want to get him good hardware that he will enjoy. I'm going to raise the budget cap to ~$900.

What about something like this?

MOBO:http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...nufacture=ASUS
CPU:http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...l&promoid=1065
SSD:http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...y&promoid=1065
RAM:http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...acture=G.SKILL
VIDEO: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...nufacture=eVGA
CASE: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...ufacture=ANTEC
DVD: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...facture=Liteon

//edit - this is still a DDR3 build, but I don't mind going with DDR2
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E4300 ASUS P5N32-E SLI XFX 7600GT XXX, 2xEVGA 8600GT 4x1GB OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160GB WD 7200, 8MB, 500GB WD 7200 16MB LG DVD-RW, LG DVD-ROM Windows XP SP2 2x L194WTX-BF 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Black Antec True Power 550W Antec Sonata - Modded Microsoft Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E4300 ASUS P5N32-E SLI XFX 7600GT XXX, 2xEVGA 8600GT 4x1GB OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160GB WD 7200, 8MB, 500GB WD 7200 16MB LG DVD-RW, LG DVD-ROM Windows XP SP2 2x L194WTX-BF 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Black Antec True Power 550W Antec Sonata - Modded Microsoft Optical 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 22
build my sig rig
Obelisk
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 720BE @3.2Ghz Gigabyte US2H EvGa 450 GTS GSkill 1066 3GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160 GB Cav Lite-on DVD Burner Windows Vista 32bit SP2 21' Sony Trinitron 85Hrz RR 
PowerCase
400W Corsair NZXT BETA Evo 
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Obelisk
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 720BE @3.2Ghz Gigabyte US2H EvGa 450 GTS GSkill 1066 3GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160 GB Cav Lite-on DVD Burner Windows Vista 32bit SP2 21' Sony Trinitron 85Hrz RR 
PowerCase
400W Corsair NZXT BETA Evo 
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post #10 of 22
Only 30GB SSD and no HDD? Could save money by just going with HDD and improve elsewhere. SSD is good, but dies quicker than HDD, and honestly not worth the price/space.
Hi
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE Gigabyte MA790X-UD4P Sapphire 5850 (900 Core / 1175 Mem @ 1.125V) 4 GB DDR2 @ 1066 - 5-5-5-15 (Mushkin 996619) 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
500GB Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 19" Samsung Logitech G15 
PowerCaseMouse
TX850W Corsair Azza Fantom 900 DeathAdder 
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Hi
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE Gigabyte MA790X-UD4P Sapphire 5850 (900 Core / 1175 Mem @ 1.125V) 4 GB DDR2 @ 1066 - 5-5-5-15 (Mushkin 996619) 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
500GB Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 19" Samsung Logitech G15 
PowerCaseMouse
TX850W Corsair Azza Fantom 900 DeathAdder 
  hide details  
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