Build a PC on Any Budget: Three Builds from $500 to $2000

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rijim

like Arthur replied I am shocked that a student able to earn $9035 in four weeks on the internet. have you seen this web link NuttyRich.com

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limitbreaker

Lol like Arthur replied? Where? These spammers need to find better strategies.

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trgz

Very good article. Been looking for a Case/Mobo/CPU/Cooler/Memory upgrade for a while now and I think the Sweet Spot PC hits the spot and I've just priced it up at around £405 (UK). I did notice that the 'Tax Refund' has a case that brashly shouts 'loadsamoney' but is quoted the same $99 as the Sweet Spot in your specs - it's interesting that you would make the distinction.

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HeartBurnKid

Likely they wanted to make all three PCs look visually distinct. No reason not to use the Phantom if you're building your own, though.

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trgz

Being a 48yr old gamer(!), my tastes lean towards the Fractal, and I'll probably opt for the Titanium Grey. I also like a quiet PC, and cooler-running one if possible, and the Fractal is possibly the better of the two - conflicting reviews can be found on the web though overall the R3 does seem to come out better for quietness

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Pruneface

the red NZXT Phantom looks badazz though in the picture

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limitbreaker

I recently customized a new pc for a buddy and it turned out to cost him only about 700$ and the only things he didn't need is a hdd and win7. It might have cost him only a bit more but its 10x better, specially because he has a Asus mobo with a feature packed 900series amd chipset he got for 90$ and a 8120fx he got for 165$, be as biased as you want but amd is still king of budget builds.

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Matt355

I just built a budget PC myself Using the Celeron G530. It cost me $47 with shipping and allowed me to get a much better motherboard for my move back to Intel for under $500. I saved a lot by reusing The HDD, OS, and DVD drive. and the G530 will allow me to upgrade to a i7 2600k later since the G530 is also socket 1155. Its to bad about AMD. They really let me down. So I sold off the parts of my AMD Phenom II X4 955 build and started over with intel.

Intel Celeron G530 = $47
EVGA GeForce GTX 460 = $104.99 ( after rebate )
CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 = $16 ( after rebate )
Coolermaster HAF 912 = $49.98
G.SKILL 4GB DDR3 1600 = $29.99
GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD4 = 179.99 ( after rebate ) I could have saved a $120 with a cheeper board

Total = 427.95

From my original PC. I already had:

Seagate Barracuda 1TB = 99.99
Asus DVD drive = $16.99
Windows 7 = $99

Full Total = $643.93 starting from scratch. and I can easily upgrade to a 2600K later.

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vrmlbasic

You sold a Phenom II 955 to get a Celeron??! I could replace the Phenom II with pretty much any other processor on the planet and the shock and disbelief would be the same.

I think you forgot a negative sign in front of that "$47", as the tech retailers would have to _pay_ you to take that POS off their hands.

No 2600K should have to sit where a Celeron once did. The suck left behind on your socket from the Celeron is contagious, it'll bring down any superior Intel proc.

I don't know how AMD let you down with the Phenom II (unless you expected too much), but now that you've experienced the suck of the Celeron, you can now say that Intel also let you down.

Sure, this MPC article tries to say nice things about the Celeron...and then they can't keep the lies up, hardware enthusiast integrity kicks in, and they tell us it sucks (in nicer terms), as you read.

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vrmlbasic

Seeing these builds at different budgets benchmarked makes me wish that there had been a benchmark used that I could run on my machine and see how it stacks up against the competition.

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vrmlbasic

"Sure, those of you whose heads were turned by the promise of our Sweet Spot PC are scoffing at the frivolity of the extra cubits we dropped on this box."

Isn't a cubit an ancient unit of measurement, not a form of currency?

I'm a bit confused with this sentence.

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xeones

Maximum PC'ers tend to be more familiar with old sci-fi shows like battlestar galactica than the bible...

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j_j_montez

Glad to know I wasn't the only one. I had a Kessel Run flashback.

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vrmlbasic

I'm glad to see that MPC has decided to just roll with it, instead of trying to spout BS to save face like George Lucas did with the Kessel Run.

"Oh, the winner of the run is whoever completes it in the shortest time, see, it's really a race through an ever-changing black-hole laden obstacle course." (Paraphrased, but I'm sure you remember what I mean...I wish I didn't)

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Pruneface

I had a Trench Run flashback, personally

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kixofmyg0t

So even in the budget build....instead of using a AMD CPU...or even a Core i3....you guys used a Celeron ....a freaking CELERON? You chose a Sandy Bridge chip....without most of the features that make Sandy Bridge better than any AMD chip.

I don't even know what to say about this other than I won't be buying MaximumPC mags anymore. It wasn't solely this article that made my decision, this was kinda the "last straw" I guess. I haven't found much interesting stuff over the last 4 or 5 issues and I'm done with the magazine about 10 minutes after I buy them.

My current desktop is in the realm of your "budget" build sorta.

AMD FX-4100 w/ Cooler Master Hyper 212 cooler
Gygabyte GA-970 D3 mobo
8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 RAM
Sapphire Radeon 7770 1GB
Crucial M4 64GB boot drive
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120GB(had a Patriot Wildfire that died, so I replaced it with another toggle mode NAND drive)for programs.
Two 1TB WD RE4's for Media

I had the case, power supply, optical drive and 1TB drives already and everything else came up to just over $600 not counting the dead Wildfire SSD.

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steven4570

unless you are on a specialized budget build, there is really no reason to go AMD. At least with this option you can save up for an a better CPU that will out benchmark anything AMD has out right now.

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vrmlbasic

Aren't all the PCs in this MPC article on "specialized budget builds"?

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Matt355

The 1155 I3 is faster then most AMD processors but the I5 and I7 are the ones that beat everything and the G530 is a good cheep place holder until you can afford one.

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aerotive

I would go AMD on the cheapest system, get a 2.7Ghz 631 processor for $70, and there are budget boards around $50. That gives you a quad core processor with just about double the compute performance compared to the G530. I'd also double the RAM, 8GB costs about $30--$7 difference isn't reason enough to skimp. Would also drop the optical drive.

For the mid and high range systems I'd stick with the Intel CPUs that y'all chose.

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Matt355

The G530 lets you spend more for a better Motherboard now and still use your pc. your out of pocket will be less and you can upgrade to an I5 or I7 later. The ram is no big deal because he can just get another 4G of ram if he even needs it. I would Just get an SSD instead. The swap file on an SSD, combined with its increased speed, would probably make the extra Ram unnecessary.

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vrmlbasic

Only having SATA II gimps the SSD. I don't see how using the horrid Celeron lets you buy a better motherboard; MPC used the Celeron and they still ended up with a crappy motherboard.

Sure, SATA II SSDs can be found a bit cheaper than Sata III drives, but the slight decrease in price comes at a huge performance hit. I have a Corsair SATA II drive and an OCZ SATA III drive, and the performance difference between the 2 is brutal.

MPC's article mentions this, and it also mentions that if you're ever going to go SSD, you might as well just build a respectable PC. Cutting edge tech like SSDs have no place in a system running a Celeron. A decent SSD can cost half the budget of the Celeron build.

The Celeron even underclocks the RAM :(

Shoot, anything "Celeron" should never be considered by a MaximumPC reader. You can't get much more "MinimumPC" than that.

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azuza001

I built a machine close to the WR machine recently for my GF. Thankfully I didn't have to purchase a new hard drive or DVD Rom drive for her build but everything else was new. G850, 7750 graphics card, 8 gigs DDR3 ram, and it was a nice little machine for gaming. I then swapped the 7750 out for a Geforce 560 (thanks Craigslist) and the machines gaming capabilities jumped to life.

Those socket 1155 Sandy Bridge Budget chips are nice chips if your just gaming and are not looking for video/photo encoding. When it comes to building a machine it's all about focusing on what you want it to do first and making sure that the machine has an "Upgrade" path.

Keep up the good articles, and the pod casts.

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Khoiboi

I love how the NZXT case is still so beautiful after two years. I have the black edition myself from two years ago.

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praetor_alpha

Isn't there another "g" on the end of Gordon's name? The site seems to have eaten it.

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j_j_montez

I haven't read the article yet, I've archived it for later, but I just wanted to let you know that this is one of my favorite things about MaximumPC. It's one of the main reasons I come here. Keep up the good work.

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