New build, $800 budget

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
A friend of mine is ready for a new computer, but he wants one "from scratch", so I'm going to help him along with actually putting it together, since he's never done it before, and trying to find the best bang for his buck.

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? Etc
No Gaming. Mainly will be used DJ programs, Web Browsing, Photo Editing (Nothing extreme though).

2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
$800 total, a little over is okay.

3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.
New York, USA

4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
CPU, RAM, Motherboard, GPU, Sound Card, internal main HDD for OS (Capacity doesn’t matter), a pretty dependable external drive (1TB preferred), PSU, Case

5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
None

6) Will you be overclocking?
Not planned to.

7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
Going to connect via HDMI to 1080p 42" HDTV.

8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
ASAP

9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.
Nothing “special” asked for.

10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
No. Need to buy OS, 64-bit.


I hope this is enough info :) I've been looking online at sales or combo deals, but it's been a long time since I built my own computer, and have researched the newest parts and hardware. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide! :)
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Does he need it to be small and portable so that he take it to his DJ gigs or does he already have a laptop for that?
 

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
Does he need it to be small and portable so that he take it to his DJ gigs or does he already have a laptop for that?

Hi there Danny! :)

No need for it to be small. He already has a laptop. And the DJing stuff is mostly for personal music remixing, or for friends anyway :)
 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
Could you give us the names of some of the DJ/music programs that your friend uses? Some of those programs may work better with a particular type or brand/model of sound card.
 

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
I still remember your first build :)

Anyway, in addition to Tiraides' questions, is he near any of the two Microcenters in New York?

I am still using that build, of course ;) I think it's aged pretty well. There's nothing I can't do on it so far. If I ever get the money for a smallish upgrade, I might consider replacing the GPUs but for now.. I love this thing! Wouldn't have been able to do it without this forum. All of those problems, BSOD's and DOA hardware I had, yikes.

We are kinda near one of them. It's not an unreasonable distance away.


I am still waiting on him to answer me about which DJ programs he uses.
 

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
Could you give us the names of some of the DJ/music programs that your friend uses? Some of those programs may work better with a particular type or brand/model of sound card.

He said that right now he just uses Virtual DJ, but does want something "better" in the future, but he isn't sure what yet.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
All righty then sorry about the wait and questions. Here's a prelim build:
$265 - Intel Core i5 3570K CPU + Asus P8Z77-V LX Intel Z77 ATX Motherboard Microcenter combo
$80 - 2 x G.Skill Value Series F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
$110 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
$15 - Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE SATA DVD Burner
$64 - Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W PSU
$50 - NZXT Source 210 Elite White with Black Front Trim ATX Case
$100 - Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit OEM
----
Total: $684 plus tax.

That should leave you around $100 for an external hard drive. If you need to free up some cash, just get one of those G.Skill RAM sets.
 

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
All righty then sorry about the wait and questions. Here's a prelim build:
$265 - Intel Core i5 3570K CPU + Asus P8Z77-V LX Intel Z77 ATX Motherboard Microcenter combo
$80 - 2 x G.Skill Value Series F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
$110 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
$15 - Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE SATA DVD Burner
$64 - Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W PSU
$50 - NZXT Source 210 Elite White with Black Front Trim ATX Case
$100 - Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit OEM
----
Total: $684 plus tax.

That should leave you around $100 for an external hard drive. If you need to free up some cash, just get one of those G.Skill RAM sets.

Don't apologize! It's not a life or death situation :) Plus, I'm sure at least one thing will be DOA and hold the build off from being completed for a bit longer LOL With the luck I've had with my own!

That all looks great... geez... 16 gigs of RAM? God, I can't imagine the build I could put together now if I used all of that money I put into my current system. I bet over $2000 could get you about 32GB with an i7 and other amazing things, huh? ;)

Do you think the on-board sound should be good enough for just simple stuff, and DJing type of software? I mean, it's nothing extremely serious. He's not a professional DJ, I think he mainly makes mixes for himself, and to have on his ipod/phone in the car, or for friends. On-board sound has come a long way, hasn't it? I think I remember you guys telling me I probably shouldn't spend the money on my sound card that I did back in 2007 :D

And all of this seriously looks great! I told him we have to go to Microcenter to get the CPU and motherboard.. That is an amazing deal. I must say, I am insanely jealous right now haha. I want a new build!
 
Last edited:

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
That all looks great... geez... 16 gigs of RAM? God, I can't imagine the build I could put together now if I used all of that money I put into my current system. I bet over $2000 could get you about 32GB with an i7 and other amazing things, huh? ;)
Probably less than 2Gs if you go for the right deals.

Do you think the on-board sound should be good enough for just simple stuff, and DJing type of software? I mean, it's nothing extremely serious. He's not a professional DJ, I think he mainly makes mixes for himself, and to have on his ipod/phone in the car, or for friends. On-board sound has come a long way, hasn't it? I think I remember you guys telling me I probably shouldn't spend the money on my sound card that I did back in 2007 :D
My gut says yes it should be good enough but I've got little to back that up. DJ work requires more from the sound card than just normal gaming or music playing.
 

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
Probably less than 2Gs if you go for the right deals.


My gut says yes it should be good enough but I've got little to back that up. DJ work requires more from the sound card than just normal gaming or music playing.

Hmm.. the sound card is the only thing holding us back from buying everything right now. I feel like it should be enough too, and I doubt he would even know the difference. I'm trying to look around at sound cards and prices anyway. Seems like the ones with the best ratings are pretty expensive, which makes sense. I can't remember how much mine even cost me at the time.
 

K1tty

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
1,961
Wouldn't the main concern for mixing be the number and type of inputs/outputs? You should ask around in the computer audio section.
From what I know audiophiles shy away from Creative which basically leaves Asus and thier Xonar line or the vast majority of HT Omegas cards.
 

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
Wouldn't the main concern for mixing be the number and type of inputs/outputs? You should ask around in the computer audio section.
From what I know audiophiles shy away from Creative which basically leaves Asus and thier Xonar line or the vast majority of HT Omegas cards.

I actually don't think he uses any real DJ hardware. Just uses programs to try and make mixes for personal use. So I bet that onboard sound would be fine for him. I was looking at the HT cards, in case we decide to go for a dedicated sound card.. but I forsee just sticking to onboard. And there's always the ability to get a dedicated card in the future IF he doesn't like the sound, I guess :)
 

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
So.. does anyone have a decent External HDD they could recommend? ;) I am trying to look for a 1TB drive that doesn't have horrible reviews, but it seems that many of them have MANY extremely poor reviews! I had an Antec MX1 external enclosure with a 500GB Seagate Barracude 7200.11 drive in it, and the enclosure itself didn't make it a year before failing. So I'm wondering if anyone has one of their own that has lasted without failing, that they would be happy to recommend to someone :)

Or perhaps we should just get an external enclosure and a second of the 1TB Samsung HDD?
 
Last edited:

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
Get an external enclosure. Vantec makes several good models.

That's a good idea. I could just get a second of the HDD already picked out :) I was trying to look at the reviews of the enclosures (I don't know why I am insanely obsessive about checking the reviews before buying anything, and put a lot of stock into them), and it surprised me to see the Rosewill enclosures on Newegg has the best reviews? I used to think that their products were the "best"? I was looking at this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173042

However, you all know best when it comes to hardware, so I would follow the judgment of the forum well before following my own ;)
 

BigJayDogg3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Messages
1,676
I have very little to compare it to, but I also had an MX1 and absolutely loved it. Dead quiet and my hard drive (1.5 tb Seagate) is still working. *shrug*
 

needmorecarnitine

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
4,609
That's a good idea. I could just get a second of the HDD already picked out :)


I made a thread recently on external 3.5" USB3 enclosures:

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1693697


I got the Vantec listed in post #5. I like it but it also has a strip of light in the front that is also an activity light (on all the time but flashes w activity). I wish there was an on/off switch for that (PC is in my bedroom and prefer it dark at night).


Also you can save quite a bit from the prices Danny mentioned on memory and the psu by checking slickdeals. There are always sales going on but for memory and psu products you can find deals almost every day.
 

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
Ooh thanks for the insight on the enclosures!

We are finally getting around to buying the parts this week, I had some health crisis last week and so we didn't do it. I was looking at the Newegg deals for the next 24 hours just now, and they have this drive on sale for cheaper than the Samsung F1 spinpoint one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...8-697&RandomID=698176819221922520120704102320
Would it be worth it to save money by getting this instead? It's at 6.0GB/s and the Samsung is 3.0GB/s , would that actually make much of a difference at all? And we would get two of the drives, one for the internal drive, and one to put in an external enclosure.
 

Syribo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
1,515
Also, is it just me or is that CPU and motherboard combo deal even cheaper now?
http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/11af08e2#/11af08e2/27
That's the most current Microcenter catalog, I think? The same motherboard originally linked above, that same one is on that page for now $74.99, right? The ASUS P8Z77-V LX? It looks like it's $50 cheaper than before. And with the $50 savings.. wow it comes out to like $215 for the CPU and motherboard! I hope I'm looking at it right haha.

There's also a 15% off promo code for the PSU now. Then those Samsung HDD's that are $20 cheaper each. I think he would be saving an extra $100 now almost.. if I'm looking at that Microcenter thing right!
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Ooh thanks for the insight on the enclosures!

We are finally getting around to buying the parts this week, I had some health crisis last week and so we didn't do it. I was looking at the Newegg deals for the next 24 hours just now, and they have this drive on sale for cheaper than the Samsung F1 spinpoint one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...8-697&RandomID=698176819221922520120704102320
Would it be worth it to save money by getting this instead? It's at 6.0GB/s and the Samsung is 3.0GB/s , would that actually make much of a difference at all? And we would get two of the drives, one for the internal drive, and one to put in an external enclosure.
In terms of interface, no, mechanical hard drives do not benefit at all from SATA 6.0Gb/s over SATA 3.0Gb/s. It's only SSDs that benefits from that faster interface. AS for the drive, with the price cut, it's an acceptable alternative to the Samsung.

Also, is it just me or is that CPU and motherboard combo deal even cheaper now?
http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/11af08e2#/11af08e2/27
That's the most current Microcenter catalog, I think? The same motherboard originally linked above, that same one is on that page for now $74.99, right? The ASUS P8Z77-V LX? It looks like it's $50 cheaper than before. And with the $50 savings.. wow it comes out to like $215 for the CPU and motherboard! I hope I'm looking at it right haha.
Your math is wrong: It comes out to $265. That's also after a MIR. I would recommend the Asus P8Z77-V LK motherbaord instead since it's $270 with the 3570K but has a slightly better track recoard than than the LX. Remember that the $50 off combo only works with the 3570K, 2700K, or 3820 CPUs.
 
Top