My last PC, for 10 years, was a DELL - Pentium4 / Core2, 2GB, 80GB HDD / 64GB SSD, XP
Decided to upgrade 3 months back. Wanted the Cheapest + Best tower.
First, I looked for Used PCs :
- Searched cragislist for keyword "gaming"
- Plugged those specs in pcpartpicker and asked #reddit-buildapc & /r/buildapc if it was worth it.
- Repeat for 2 months
Found many computers, from $400 - 800, but none matching all desired specs/price. Most folks on IRC were, in principle, against Used builds, which irked me, but they saved me from a few poor deals which I thought were good. Also pointed me to a nearby Microcenter's cpu + mobo bundle, which was not listed on pcpp since the vendor hides website prices. That was the last straw..
Now, I looked for New :
- Searched microcenter, newegg, tigerdirect, toms-hardware, anandtech, IRC, /r/buildapc, /r/hardwareswap, /r/buildapcsales, slickdeals, google etc. for parts, reviews, prices, deals & rebates
- Bought CPU, MOBO, CASE, USB from Microcenter (in-store pickup with mail-in-rebate & price-matching), PSU & RAM from TigerDirect (online with mail-in-rebates), GFX from Craigslist (unused & warranty-transferred), SSD from Rakuten (online with coupon).
- Added SSD & DVD from old PC. Installed genuine Windows 7 (Free, from my Student License program)
I present : 'Budget Beast'
- Small case. Could also remove 2 metal HDD enclosures - one beneath CD drive, and one on bottom, and affix both SSD's on the back board itself.. giving lot of room for working & airflow
- Lucked out on fast but cheap gfx card - No item at retail price - all with some rebate, coupon or discount.
- Cable management - less room at back of case for cables, couldn't close cover easily.
- Boot up time is 30+ seconds inspite of fast SSD. 17 seconds just for BIOS Post to complete and OS to start loading. Tried different settings in vain. Any ideas ?
- Stock cpu fan is bit noisy