$850 Home-use PC


Apr 22, 2009
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next week or so

BUDGET RANGE: up to ~$850

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: General home use, nothing too stressful, maybe a bit of media editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, keyboard, speakers, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I really have no preferences, but probably newegg.




ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is for my parents, who would be coming off a 6 year old dell dimension 2400 that was mediocre when they got it.
Well here my picks for the folks

ASRock M3A790GXH/128M AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $115

AMD Phenom II X4 810 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 4MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core $170

Patriot 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $74

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 $70

Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $145

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb $60

Sony Optiarc Black 2X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 24X CD-ROM SATA Internal 2X BD-ROM Model BR-5100S $90

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD $26

Vista Home premium $100

Total is $850

Intel is poor value at the moment in mid range builds and AMD's quality is equal or better . In addition the Phenom 2 processors down clock to 800 MHz when not loaded so they are quiet an more power efficient than the intel core 2 or quads . The intel chips throttle back too but only a small amount .
AM3 platform gives you the latest hardware systems and ongoing parts support .
The system doesnt need a gfx card . The integrated gfx of the 790GX motherboard are more than strong enough . HDMI output gives options of using the pc to play bluray discs on a TV , so the build includes a second optical drive .
The case is very high quality and almost silent .


Oct 4, 2008
You're probably fine with the PSU bundled with the case, if you don't OC and use the integrated graphics. That $70 could up you to a 945, or 8gb RAM. Or collect interest.

+1 for the rest of the build, if you like the expensive case.

Good point . I didnt even notice they were throwing in a free psu .
And you are right the 430 watt should be plenty for use with that system and onboard gfx .

I'd probably spend the money on a second hard drive to set up in RAID 1 so theres a permanent real time back up .


Apr 22, 2009
I don't think they'll be using blu-rays for a while; a standard, single DVD+-RW should work fine. I was thinking about possibly getting a geforce 9500 or so for a graphics card; my dad was thinking about doing some lighter video editing.


May 15, 2009
The following is a core i7 config with Nvidia 9500 GT. If you can follow through mail-in rebates the total price will come down to $880 - $ 90 (in MIRs) = $790 (including taxes and shipping). You can also compare prices between multiple online retailers and frys to have even more savings. This is just a baseline and you can customize it further to get a better price/component selection, but I'd suggest to go with i7 because of the significant performance boost that comes with it.

You might wanna install windows 7 which is free at the moment for a limited time only. I got a free OS from my school so I didn't had to spend on it. Probably you can also find a similar source.

Cart Item List:

Qty.Product DescriptionSavingsTotal Price
1Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive
1LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30
1GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R ATX Intel Motherboard
$15.00 Mail-in Rebate
1COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 RC-335-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate
1Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W Power Supply
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate
1Patriot 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory
$25.00 Mail-in Rebate
1GIGABYTE GeForce 9500 GT GV-N95TD3-512I Video Card
$15.00 Mail-in Rebate
1Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
Grand Total:$809.92

Tax: $65.66

Shipping: $13.24

Total: $879.15

a graphics card plays no part in video editing . Thats a function of the cpu .

The intel nehalem system is very powerful . Probably more than they would need , but it would be faster in video encoding .

You could also upgrade the AMD processor to be more powerful with the money you save by not installing the bluray
I guess it depends on whether you want to spend all the $850 or whether you want a good workable system at a decent price
That budget is more than enough, I would have a hard time spending it for your application. Here is my suggestion:

The case is what they will see and touch every day, so get something special. My suggestion is the Antec designer 500. It is a very quiet case, a variation of the solo. Do not be put off by the white color, I have used it before, and it really is stunning.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129036 $140.

If you want something more conventional, look at the Antec NSK3480. $92:

A micro motherboard with integrated graphics will do just fine. How about the Gigabyte G41M-ES2L for $65:
It has a pci-e slot if you should want to install a discrete vga card for gaming later.

A modest core 2 duo like the E5200 is really all you need for $70, but the budget will allow a E7500(2.93) for $140.

4gb of DDR2-800 ram in a 2x2gb configuration should be plenty. Corsair for $27 after rebate:

For hard drive, get much more than you think you will need, particularly if some video processing might be in order.
A WD caviar black 1TB for $110:

I have found the Samsung sata dvd burner to be reliable and quiet for $25:

Add a media card reader for <$20 like this one to import photos etc:

For the OS, use vista home premium 64 bit at $100. If you are a student, look for a discounted academic license. I would suggest windows-7 release candidate, but your folks probably would not want you doing a clean install when the official release comes out.

This totals to about $692.

---good luck---