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$400 Build, suggestions and advice, NOW $500

post #1 of 19
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Hey guys my friend is looking to build a PC for his GF, just the tower. Budget of $400 CAD, she mainly plays the Sims games, Sims 2 + all expansions, Sims 3 + expansions, and that new Sims medieval is why she needs a new PC... I've agreed to build it for them, and am looking for suggestions to get a tower together that will maximize performance within the budget without killing component quality...

Ideally I'd like to see her get:
a good dual or quad core (AMD/intel) (no atom/pentium D, etc)
a quality MoBo
a decent PSU
3-4GB RAM (DDR2/3 dual/triple channel)
1TB+ Sata HDD
a DVD+/-RW sata drive
some generic black tower case thats cheap (BF said no pink lol)
and a PCI-E GPU that can do DirectX10+

so far I've thought of going the easy route, with barebone kits, this is what I came up with so far:

GPU: GTX 240 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...618&CatId=3585
Barebone Kit: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...40540&CatId=31

But, I have a feeling I could do better with single components. Issue is I'm super busy these days, so I'm using you, the forum users to help me build a better one. These are the best looking system requirements I can find for the sims medieval:

FOR WINDOWS XP
2.0 GHz P4 processor or equivalent (this a value for single core processor. If you have a laptop or a dual or a quad core the value is different. If you have a Centrino processor on your laptop the equivalent value is about the double, if you have a dual core the equivalent is x2, quad core is x4…)
1 GB RAM
128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
The latest version of DirectX 9.0c
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (check your Windows upgrade if you don’t have service pack 2. If you have service pack 3 is ok!)
At least 5.3 GB of hard drive space with at least 1 GB of additional space for custom content and saved games

FOR WINDOWS VISTA (and/or WIN 7)
2.4 GHz P4 processor or equivalent (this a value for single core processor. If you have a laptop or a dual or a quad core the value is different. If you have a Centrino processor on your laptop the equivalent value is about the double, if you have a dual core the equivalent is x2, quad core is x4…)
1.5 GB RAM
128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (check your Windows upgrade if you don’t have service pack 1. If you have service pack 2 is ok!)
At least 5.3 GB of hard drive space with at least 1 GB of additional space for custom content and saved games
For computers using built-in graphics chipsets under Windows, the game requires at least:
Intel Integrated Chipset, GMA 3-Series or above
2.6 GHz Pentium D CPU, or 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo, or equivalent
0.5 GB additional RAM

have at the budget build


My budget build:
Case: $25
MoBo: $50
CPU: $73
RAM: $27
DVD Drive: $19
GPU: $40
PSU: $40 after MIR
HDD: $53
OS: $100
+ free s/h

please keep it all to one site, but ncix does price matches too...

Site suggestions:
www.ncix.com
http://www.directcanada.com/
www.tigerdirect.ca
www.canadacomputers.com
Edited by H3||scr3am - 3/27/11 at 4:22pm
SR2 PWNS J00
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SR2 PWNS J00
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post #2 of 19
400 is to tight for me to try...but it looks like you did alright. i just did a budget build for my dad and ended up buying the case and some other parts for him just to keep a 550 budget,lol.i have trouble building a pc on tight budgets, but i wish ya luck.
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post #3 of 19
wait for xd_1771 to do a build from ncix
post #4 of 19
I think you did a pretty good job.

I would get a X2 250 and OC it to save some money

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...-903-_-Product
    
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post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffejrxx View Post
wait for xd_1771 to do a build from ncix
You just knew I'd be in here
It's 2AM though, at the moment most I can do is get you started. Full suggestion'll have to wait till tomorrow. NCIX just posted a new sale though which is great. NCIX & DirectCanada are basically the same (sister companies), but NCIX gives you the advantage of pricematching to any Canadian store (as long as in stock) and local pickup depending on where you live.

To at least get you started:
Athlon II x2 + 785G combo
G.Skill Ripjaws X 2x2GB - $43 price matched (2x2GB is always the way to go due to how RAM prices are nowadays, and this is a 1600Mhz kit too)
post #6 of 19
You can make a nice system for $400. Since the integrated won't cut it even for casual gaming, I think it's better to get a dedicated card that's a lot more powerful. This is the best I could do for the price:

Asus DVD+RW Drive: $19

HEC Micro ATX Mini Tower Case: $35

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB: $65

AsRock M3A770DE AM3 Motherboard: $60

Sapphire Radeon HD 4650: $47

Antec EA-380D 380W PSU: $40

G.Skill 4GB 1333MHz DDR3: $40

AMD Athlon II X3 435: $75

Subtotal: $381
Total: $401

This will meet all your friend's GF's requirements. It'll be more than able to run casual games like Sims, it has very good processing power because of the Athlon II X3, it has a healthy 4GB of RAM, one of the best budget motherboards to ever come out, a high-performance HDD with 1TB of space for tons of storage, a case that's gotten great reviews, looks good, and that's easy to carry around due to its size. The PSU is extremely reliable and has gotten great reviews, too.

Even though the RAM has great reviews and will likely give you no problems, if your friend can stretch his budget by $5, he can get Team Xtreem Dark 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM.
Edited by LOL_Wut_Axel - 3/24/11 at 2:33am
    
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post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL_Wut_Axel View Post
You can make a nice system for $400. Since the integrated won't cut it even for casual gaming, I think it's better to get a dedicated card that's a lot more powerful. This is the best I could do for the price:

Asus DVD+RW Drive: $19

HEC Micro ATX Mini Tower Case: $35

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB: $65

AsRock M3A770DE AM3 Motherboard: $60

Sapphire Radeon HD 4650: $47

Antec EA-380D 380W PSU: $40

G.Skill 4GB 1333MHz DDR3: $40

AMD Athlon II X3 435: $75

Subtotal: $381
Total: $401

This will meet all your friend's GF's requirements. It'll be more than able to run casual games like Sims, it has very good processing power because of the Athlon II X3, it has a healthy 4GB of RAM, one of the best budget motherboards to ever come out, a high-performance HDD with 1TB of space for tons of storage, a case that's gotten great reviews, looks good, and that's easy to carry around due to its size. The PSU is extremely reliable and has gotten great reviews, too.

Even though the RAM has great reviews and will likely give you no problems, if your friend can stretch his budget by $5, he can get Team Xtreem Dark 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM.

He lives in Canada. I think they need to go to newegg.ca which has all the items you mentioned but costs a lot more.
    
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post #8 of 19
Just saw that you're in Canada, so sorry for that. Anyway, you can make a system that is just as good for the same amount there if you don't factor in the damn GST, which makes the price skyrocket. Prices are even worse than to Puerto Rico because of that.

Asus DVD+RW Drive: $21

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB: $60

HEC Micro ATX Mini Tower Black Case: $35

AsRock M3A770DE AM3 Motherboard: $65

Sapphire Radeon HD 4650: $45

Seasonic SS-350ET 350W PSU: $45

G.Skill NS 4GB 1333MHz DDR3: $39

AMD Athlon II X3 435: $72

Subtotal: $382
Total: $478

I don't recommend he go any lower, though. Going from a 500GB HDD to a 1TB only adds $10 to the cost, and in the case of everything else it's as low as I would recommend to someone. Cheaper motherboards, for example, have terrible power delivery, as do cheaper power supplies. If you stick with integrated graphics, that means no SIMS because even IGPs struggle running it. If he goes for an Athlon II X2, he'll only be saving $10 and getting much lower performance.
    
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post #9 of 19
newegg shipping in canada is kinda steep


Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post
To at least get you started:
Athlon II x2 + 785G combo
G.Skill Ripjaws X 2x2GB - $43 price matched (2x2GB is always the way to go due to how RAM prices are nowadays, and this is a 1600Mhz kit too)
and add these

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB SATA2 3.5IN 8.5MS 7200RPM 32MB Hard Drive OEM
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=37232

Samsung SH-S223C 22X DVD Writer SATA Black OEM
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=46792

Antec Earthwatts Green 500W Power Supply ATX12V V2.0 Active PFC 80PLUS Bronze 80MM Fan
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?s...8&promoid=1302

ASUS Radeon HD 5450 Silent 1GB DDR3 64BIT PCI-E DVI-I HDMI HDCP Passive Low Profile Video Card
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=55585

Coolermaster Elite 370 Black Mid Tower ATX Case 3X5.25 1X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=55447

runs right around $400
post #10 of 19
I'll give it a run:

MSI 870-G45 ATX AM3 $55 after rebate
Athlon X2 250 $60
Ripjaws X 1600 cas9 $43
Samsung optical drive $19
Hitachi 1TB HDD $60
Antec Earthwatts 500 $35 after rebate
NZXT Gamma ATX Mid Tower Case $25 after rebate
Win7 $100
XFX GT240 $35 after rebate

Total = $432. A little over budget, but with good components. Unfortunately, the addition of Win7 is what makes this budget difficult. Also couldn't get the best deals from only one store (I believe you could get it all from NCIX with a price match though - xd correct me if I am wrong).

Oh, and there are lots of rebates here, so actual cost is a bit higher.
It's so little!
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It's so little!
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Asus 27" HHKB Corsair sfx 450 Fractal Design Mini 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Rival 100 ocz Lpgitech X-540 
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960t M4A89GTD-proUSB3 pny 660Ti samsung wonder ram 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
1TB Samsung F3 Samsung 840 250GB LG external DVD/R 212 evo 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 ViewSonic ViewSonic VX2739wm model m Cooler Master Silent Pro 700 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Lian Li A05FNB (flipped to A05NB) Razer Deathadder Black edt. OCZ behemoth Audio Technica ATH-AD500 
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