<$800 long-term mid-high end tower replacement

Dragnerok X

Aug 17, 2010
The hard drive in my brother's aging (circa 2003) Dell tower finally gave up the ghost, and given that he just got his first full-time job and that the computer isn't really worth repairing at this point, he would like to replace it. Right now it seems he's torn between getting a laptop and my offer to build him a new tower (I've already built 2-3 systems already, so experience isn't really an issue here). He doesn't game on the PC all that much, but it sounds like he really wants a PC that is going to both be fast and responsive and last him several years, so we are looking mid-high end.

I've already managed to find a good sweet-spot in the laptop market for the thing (I think) he'd be looking for: http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=6121&review=dell+inspiron+15r+n5110
At $725, $75 under his $800 budget, that's a pretty compelling deal, but of course if at all possible I'd like to lean his decision towards my building him a new tower. :D
Here's what I've come up with so far, and it seems to beat out the laptop heavy-handedly in price, quality of parts, and especially performance: https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.aspx?ID=17315965

However, I haven't been keeping up too much with the last 6-12 month's advancement in the tech world, so feel free to suggest any changes to make this build even more compelling. Really the only four variables I don't want changed are the <$800 price, an Intel-branded processor, a NVIDIA-branded graphics card (tends to be much more reliable / compatible than ATI cards, in my experience) and a microatx form factor (space and noise constraints).

Dragnerok X

Aug 17, 2010
Also, here's this form if you want to suggest a totally different build:

Approximate Purchase Date: next 1-3 months

Budget Range: $500-$800, before rebates, the cheaper while remaining reasonably powerful the better

System Usage from Most to Least Important: netflix / youtube, basic movie / photo editing, surfing the internet, moderate gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, NVIDIA graphics card, microatx mobo and case

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1600x900

Additional Comments: Needs to be reasonably future-proof.


Sep 8, 2011
Heres my $700 gaming build i will soon be buying, mine is a micro atx mobo build, because im incollege and i didnt wanna a big ass case in my dorm, i wanted a low profile simple looking one.

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

Rosewill FBM-01 Dual Fans MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Desktop Memory Model F3-8500CL7D-8GBRL

ASUS P8H67-M LE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500

TOTAL: $695.92

Just a copy and paste of my other post for people asking for a $600-800 computer, but you coud probaly change the graphics card to a nvidia one, then assuming you need the OS that would get you to about $800

Edit: Didnt really read the part where gaming will be the basically the last priority...so you could probaly just not buy a GPU and use the onboard graphics. But if you want a graphics card i found this NVIDIA card.

EVGA 01G-P3-1373-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

I mostly only use ATI video cards so im not to familiar with NVIDIA cards but that one looks pretty good.