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$830 Gaming tower (no periphials) -or- $500 upgrade parts

Unpossible42

62 months ago

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor $209.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard ASRock Z97 KILLER ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $99.99 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $57.98 @ Newegg
Storage Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $69.99 @ Amazon
Video Card Sapphire Radeon R9 280 3GB Dual-X Video Card $159.99 @ Newegg
Case NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case $55.98 @ Newegg
Power Supply Thermaltake 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $59.99 @ Newegg
Optical Drive Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer $53.87 @ OutletPC
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) $84.14 @ OutletPC
Case Fan SilenX EFX-12-15R 74.0 CFM 120mm Fan $9.99 @ Directron
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $831.91
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-30 23:59 EST-0500

This is what I think of as a mid-line computer gaming system. It is not made up of top-of-the-line/expensive parts, but for somebody on a budget that needs to update a 5+ year-old computer on somewhat of a budget.

My computer is getting old and the mother board is having problems. I cannot replace the MB without also having to upgrade all the key components (MB plus Graphics Card, CPU, and RAM). However, I am able to save money on already having a case I like, two hard drives (one of which is 2 terabytes), extra case fans if I need them, and DVD-R, and an 850W power supply which is way more than I need.

I carefully put together the 4 components that I needed in order upgrade my computer from 2008. The hardest part was finding a really nice upgrade in the graphics department because my maximum space allowed for one is 11" ... and since the power cord for the card is typically located on the end of a card, I need around 10.3" or less in length on the card. Fortunately, with some help, I was able to locate one at that exact length, as well as a compatible MB, a processor to fit on the MB, and compatible RAM.

The total cost of the above components is $500 after rebates and shipping.

Then I thought, what if I did have to replace everything else? What else is available and what would I get? If somebody asked me for advice based on what I just bought for upgrade parts, what would I tell them? I'm not what one would call computer savvy (I know just enough to be dangerous and break things), however I did do a lot of research this week and had some help from knowledgeable people. From that, and my experiences in building my older computer, I came up with the following list that, in my opinion, is on the inexpensive side but should still run most every current game at ultra settings, and certainly some new games for years to come ... yet, it is still upgradeable as well as overclock-able.

An inexpensive solid-state drive can be added in order to put the operating system on, as well as some key applications, for further system stability and quickness ... however the 2 TB HDD should be more than enough for most people as is.

The case is a mid-size but with tons of room and great air flow. My friend has one and I've envied it, and it has solid reviews and room for more fans should you need it. I even included a single additional fan (comes with two) with a red LED to illuminate the inside and, of course, for cooling. The fan is a very quiet one, so adding it shouldn't really create an increase in noise. What I also love about this case is that it features easy-to-install clickables for inserting your various drives ... no screws needed! It's an awesome system when building and reconfiguring.

If you choose to overclock the processor and thus buy an after-market cooling fan for it, don't worry if it's over-sized ... it should not interfere with the RAM nearby as it's slim and has a low-profile.

The MB supports crossfire if you ever want to add another graphics card as well.

A DVD-R/BluRay player was added for other media.

It's all powered by a 750W power supply for future upgrades, overclocking, whatever. Would hate to be left in the cold by not having enough power when something changes, but I do know it's more than what is needed in the current build.

Lastly, Windows 7 (64-bit) was chosen simply because I strongly dislike the new Windows 8 (and 8.1) interface. 64-bit is needed for the processor we have selected.

No keyboard, mouse, monitor, or speakers were chosen for this setup as most potential buyers can and probably should figure those items out for themselves based on personal preference, or already own them as I do.

Would love to see if anybody had anything to say about it, as I'm now considering buying most of these other parts as well.

Comments

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Not a big fan of ASRock brand due to past design.

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