Build It: A Powerful All-Purpose Rig for $830

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QuadraQ

Just to demonstrate how fast things move in the PC world, I put together a list of parts that builds a cheaper and better (except for the GPU which is arguable)PC that has MUCH better upgrade potential for the future.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=23664747

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illusionslayer

That's not arguable. The 6950 is a lot faster than the 7770.

Also, why the expensive ram?

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QuadraQ

The price difference for the different types of DDR3 RAM is very small. When it costs so little to get faster RAM you might as well use it. Since this build is well below budget, you could probably replace the 7770 with one of the 68xx cards and still be under $850. Another option would be to do two 7750's in CrossFire which has been shown to benchmark surprisingly well.

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JaxJaguar

Gordon,

Did you ever give any thoughts to having a low cost SSD in place of a traditional HD? Thanks

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Eoraptor

I know increasingly ~I~ have been thinking about that.

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sdcat

I actually like the inverted design of a case, regardless of the size.

Outlaw isn't a bad one, but kid of out dated. I would really like to see a makeover of a inverted case using today's concept.

The case might be a lot cooler.

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Watson Harlan

Heh, cooler... I see what you did there!

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wrldqueeek

I like it.

It's funny, I read these articles all the time, (well, whenever they come out) but I've noticed lately that after I see the parts list, I usually just skip to the benchmarks, as a basic system build is pretty much the same every time.

One thing I would like to see (in an article or a video, what happened to those?) is a more in depth system build that goes into the specifics of things like cable routing and such. I haven't seen a real tutorial on that topic.

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yu119995

Another great build Gordon. Thanks again.

Some questions though. Would it be worth it to shell out another $30 to get a 1TB WD Black over the 500gb blue?

One more thing, would the Antec One be a better case option over the Bitfenix Outlaw? Roughly the same price but Antec build quality and impressive cable management options for the price.

I'm currently building two machines for friends (no labour charge of course...I love doing it) :)

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Kromix

Ever Heard of cable management? looks ugly :/

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swingking03

Love these articles about building machines at different prce points. You should do it more often.

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sdcat

price...people always talks about it.

the price maxpc gave always gota be average price, but on the cheaper side if possible. They have explained about this years ago.

the other thing is that by the time we read this article online, the price they checked was probably 2 to 3 month ago/old.

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Ghost XFX

This just proves you don't have to spend a crap load of money to have a decent rig. If you're really savvy, you'll go used and save loads of money that way. Only thing you should worry about being new then is the HD and CPU. Both of my GPUs are used, two XFX HD 6870s. Bought for roughly 220 bucks after shipping. I have the same 970 used here and it's a good performer despite what Intel boy thinks about it. I managed to get my hands on an Asus Crosshair V Formula as an open box item. Roughly $170 with free shipping. Memory is dirt cheap, so I have 8GB at my disposal. You just have to look for deals and know what you're looking for. The only thing I'm missing right now is the after market cooler and after that, I should still come in at around $670. No need for a case when I still have a good Lian-Li V1200 II at my disposal. But a Corsair Graphite 600T would be a nice choice...

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Chronologist

Used parts are a great way to save money, provided you have test beds to ensure that the parts are in good working order. I recently built a computer for a friend on a 650 dollar budget. Specs are as following:

-i7 2600k (bumped up to 3.6 on the stock cooler)
-Gigabyte H55 (non b3)*
-EVGA 460GTX 1GB
-Corsair 4gb Vengeance Blue*
-320 gb HDD*
-DVD drive*
-NZXT Gamma Mid Tower case
-Rosewill 500w PSU
-Win8 Consumer Preview

(*) items are used/openbox

Barely met budget, but for $650, this rig is packing a lot of firepower.

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Eoraptor

going with last generations (or even two generations ago) technology is always a great way to save sheckles. As in this example of using Phenom's instead of Bulldozers. And usually you can find someone (either eybay or big box) who's got unopened parts for sale on the cheap. Really, very few people need or will make use of those $1500 bleeding edge parts, so going with a 400 series or even a 200 Nvidia card will be just fine for a wide spectrum of users.

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Ghost XFX

The difference between the builds here is purpose. If you desired to use a Micro ATX vs a ATX, you've done well.

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ray789

my roomate's aunt makes $83/hr on the laptop. She has been without work for 8 months but last month her pay was $8682 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site...Nuttyrich . com

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4wsprelude

I know this site is MAXIMUM-PC and not AVERAGE-PC but you can't expect it to go to the max with what you have here. Its still a 45nm(I think) chip you have that is built off a socket that is overdue for an update. I personally have a phenom 2 965 and it works for my average web browsing and skyrim. Don't have time for much gaming now but always have time for Maximumpc.com

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0ly1r3m@1ns

tisk tisk this build is pretty terrible LMAO this is more a computer cause i need a computer not a gaming computer so ditch M$ Windows and go with a Easy to use Linux distro (my vote is for Ubuntu)

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travisp

I never comment on Max PC but read all the time and after reading this I finally had to make a comment.

Honestly you can build a better system for the same price. I don't know were you guys get your pricing from but in about 10 mins on just NewEgg.com & Microcenter I put together this:

Antec Nine Hundred Black Mid Tower Case w/USB 3.0 - $99.99

RAIDMAX HYBRID 630W Modular Power Supply - $49.99

ASRock P67 PRO3(B3)LGA 1155 P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $99.99

Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor (Microcenter.com) - $179.99

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus - $29.99

EVGA GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB - $179.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB)DDR3 1600 - $29.99

Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint 500GB 7200 RPM SATA HD - $84.99

LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner Black SATA - $15.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM - $99.99

Subtotal: 870.90

With a bit more searching you could probably shave off another $50 from that system I just posted and you would have a PC that would tear up the one you posted.

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Modred189

Yea, if there is one thing I have learned about PCs, it's that $50 is not enough for a PSU, unless it's a good sale on a good unit. Offbrand PSUs=fail. It's, arguably, the most important part of the system. I'd rather get a crappy case than skimp on the PSU... inevitable bloody hands and all...

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codyandbecca

GIGABYTE GA-M68MT-S2 nForce 630a Motherboard - Micro ATX, Socket AM3+, nForce 630a Chipset, 1600MHz DDR3, SATA II (3Gb/s), RAID, 7.1-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN
AMD HDT45TWFGRBOX Phenom II X6 1045T Processor - Six Core, 6MB L3 Cache, 3MB L2 Cache, 2.70GHz, Socket AM3, 95W, Fan, Retail
Lite-On IHAS124-04 Internal DVD Writer - DVD+R 24X, DVD-R 24X, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6X, DVD+R DL 8X, SATA (OEM)
Corsair CMX4GX3M1A1333C9 XMS3 4GB DDR3 RAM - PC10666, 1333MHz, 4096MB
Corsair CMX4GX3M1A1333C9 XMS3 4GB DDR3 RAM - PC10666, 1333MHz, 4096MB
DiabloTek CPA-0280 Elite ATX Mid Tower Case - ATX, Micro ATX, 450W PSU, 2x Ext 5.25", 1x Ext 3.5", 2x Int 3.5", 2x USB 2.0 Front Ports, Black

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1883175&CatId=332

$334.99*

Corsair CMPSU-650TXV2 Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 Power Supply - 650 Watts, ATX, 140mm Fan, 80 Plus Bronze, SLI Ready, Active PFC

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7195036&Sku=C13-2800

$69.99*

Sapphire 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 Video Card - 1GB, GDDR5, PCI-Express 2.0 (x16), 1x HDMI, 1x Dual-Link DVI, 1x Single-Link DVI, 1x DisplayPort, DirectX 11, Dual-Slot, CrossFireX Ready

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1006280&CatId=3669

$173.99*

OCZ VTX3-25SAT3-120G Vertex 3 Solid State Drive - 120GB, 2.5", SATA III

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=91218&Sku=O261-6380

$149.99*

TOTAL! 728.96 before tax....

.... I guess my my point is that I am never impressed with these articles.

the system you built vs. what I posted, for a cheaper price makes me wonder if you guys ever shop around online retailers for deals....

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Army Of One

728.96.....

1: You didn't include $99. for Windows 7

2: You didn't include $21 for an aftermarket CPU fan for better overclocking.

Your adjusted total = 848.96

3: Your motherboard is not crossfire capable like the one in the article is for a second video card at a later date.

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codyandbecca

the subject was powerful all purpose rig, the average user gives not one fu*k about overclocking and most don't even know what crossfire is.... Adding in windows is b/s because 90% of people who want to build a rig will reuse the windows key they have not pay for it again. (assuming it's their own rig) but even so 99% for an os and more power for the same dollar, still b/s and I did that in five minutes if I had time to think it out I bet I could utterly destroy it. Point is, where is the hey we found this deal that we all can jump on article ?

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Army Of One

Lol, no need to get so angry.

If we apply your "logic" for the lack of paying for a fan and OS then we can apply the same "logic" to the build in this article.

Subtract the $120 so we could compare "apples to apples" and the build in this article would total $710.00 which is still cheaper than yours.

Having said that, I would still choose the article build over yours because of the better motherboard that supports CrossfireX

As for your "I put this together in 5 minutes" reply makes no difference to me. I can only give you an opinion on the build you posted just like you can only give an opinion on the build in this article.

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vrmlbasic

How much better is this card than my bargain Radeon 6850 (besides "100" lol)? With all the settings (except FSAA) maxed, my 6850 chokes a bit in Deus Ex: HR (and I can only blame console focused development for so long, though it still annihilates the console version).

Sadly I've come to not care about FPS over 60 as many games I'm playing give me some prodigious tearing when V-sync is off.

I really need to investigate OC'ing my Phenom II 955 BE. Coaxing 600 additional MHz out of a 970 on an inexpensive air cooler gives me hope for my proc. Maybe I can bump my WEI rating up from 7.3 for free?

Also, what is this "hard drive" of which you speak? Oh, you mean a grandpa's SSD?!

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The Corrupted One

I dislike having a processor that is a bit cheap, it will suddenly creep up and bottleneck your games.

My OC'd dual fan 6850 has no problems with DR:HR, probably because I play at a low resolution with a high memory clock.

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vrmlbasic

What would you call a "low resolution"?

My monitor is 1920*1080, and I play all my games at it (at least the ones that support it), and I'd call that a low resolution.

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mikeyfree

Our budget burner doesn’t set any benchmark records. Nor would we expect it to at a mere $830. Even up against our old zero-point system with its 2.6GHz Core i7-920 overclocked to 3.5GHz, the $830 rig didn’t win any battles (mind you, our zero-point cost north of $2,500 when originally constructed).
So, for 1,650.00 bucks more you can get an increase in average of 22% in the benchmarks. For that amount of money I would like 100% or more of an increase. I would rather have the 850 dollar build and with the other 1600.00 bucks I could go on a short vacation.

And remember your tests show a i7-920 overclocked, (memory overclocked too) which is supposed to be far superior to the phenom II. I don't see that here, I see a far less expensive build showing that its more logical to not to spend so much for little gains.

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illusionslayer

Keep in mind the zero-point is showing it's age now.

A $2,500 machine now will destroy it.

As for computer power scaling linearly with cost, you need to read up on the law of diminishing returns.

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stinkypeepers

I spent about this much on my machine and it plays everything pretty much maxed out no problem. This build actually has the same CPU and VGA except mine is an HIS, plus it has 8GB 1600 instead of 4 1333. Skyrim (which I don't really play anymore), everything is set to High. Battlefield 3 has everything set to High with 4xAA and 4XAF and it runs like butter. All games I play are set to 1920x1080 60Hz and I likey very much.

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hmp_goose

An AMD build? Really?

How much longer is that socket gon'a be in play?

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Kinetic

Knowing AMD and how infrequently they update their sockets, and given that AM3+ sockets will still in all likelihood support AM4 processors, probably a while. What strikes me as a more limiting factor is that while the socket might still be good down the road, we're currently transitioning to pci-e 3.0, and that mobo still only supports 2.0, so you're limiting the performance of current and future upgrades off the bat.

Anyway it's a pretty solid build overall, if all you're using it for is average gaming and don't have to have the biggest/best. I'd love to see how thermals in an inverted setup like that stack up against those from more 'traditional' cases.

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mattman059

As long as intel keeps overcharging for their processors.

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hmp_goose

Good luck with the marketing job …

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croussou

No offense, but you started the marketing/promotion discussion...by defaming AMD, no?

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praetor_alpha

That drive is down to $85 now.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

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moko

"last of the 500gb intercepters".....that was great Gordon : )....man,where you get that thing

....apiece here...apiece there....

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jaygregz

To be fair you'd still need to buy an optical drive and you included the price of the OS in your build. So yours is cheaper by about 100 bucks.

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jaygregz

I'd take neweggs 2500k/560ti DIY combo for 20 bucks less and call it a day.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.770956

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mikeyfree

Good luck finding a motherboard w/sata6, usb3 and 2 pci slots for under 130.00 for than cpu.

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jaygregz

That combo comes with a mobo..

GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

USB 1.1/2.0
4 x USB 2.0

USB 3.0
2 x USB 3.0
SATA 6Gb/s
2 x SATA 6Gb/s
PCI Express 2.0 x16
3 (x16, x8, x4)

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mattman059

Just curious why for $50 more you wouldnt go for the X6 3.2 Black version of the Phenom II. Otherwise looks great for a great price

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praetor_alpha

The point was to keep it under $850.

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mattman059

For $20...i could justify going over budget for a superior processor. Besides if it HAD to be < 850 there are a few places to make cutbacks and still achieve an awesome build. And with that drive down to $85 now you'd only be $5 over...not bad.

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Eoraptor

Agreed, you'd get a major boost to the multi-threading apps ( a boon in win 7 and 8 as well as linux) for very little more money. then again, I do mote in paintshop and firefox and word than I do in heavy games (the newest thing I play being City of heroes)

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