Building a $600 base computer to expand later

ajsellaroli

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Hey everyone. I'm new here, my name is AJ, I'm from California, nice to meet you all.

I am going to have $600 to build my own system (that is for the actual computer itself, I already have XP and a monitor/mouse/keyboard). That is all that I have right now, but I will be able to upgrade it in a few months (maybe as much as a year). What would you buy if you only had $600? I think its important to note here that I have never built a computer before, but am extremely interested in doing so.

I'm torn between buying a high quality motherboard, and buying an ok motherboard and great other stuff. Wait - I think for you guys to best help me, I should tell you what I want to use this computer for.


I want to use this computer first and foremost as a photo and video editor. My video editor is Sony vegas 7, my photo editor is photoshop cs2.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to need alot of ram and a fast processor for this stuff. I would also love a large hard drive. I have an older laptop now with 60 gb hd, and a desktop with an 80 gb hd, both of which are full.

I would like a dvd burner, firewire (for photos and external hard drives) and at least 2 gb of ram.



Now here's the big question: can I get this stuff, and have it be a powerful photo and video editing machine for only $600? Or should I buy high quality parts where it really matters (motherboard, processor, case, etc) and get low quality parts for now, expecting to upgrade them later (things like Ram, video card, power supply).

I would really appreciate your help, thank you alot.

 

Kamrooz

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If you don't plan to game, you can get by with a cheap video card. Motherboard wise they do have quality mobos in the lower price ranges, but in most cases they don't sport firewire. Which will increase the cost for the more pricier boards. Since you edit video (as I do myself), I would recommend a quad core, but your budget is considerably small for a video editing rig. Ram is quite cheap now-a-days. So you can get by with a lot for a little cash.

Is firewire extremely important?

Also, do you plan to overclock? If you overclock, you can get a lot for your money, and we can end up nabbing a lower end cpu to make sure you get a decent amount of hard drive space as well. Just get back with the info.
 

ajsellaroli

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No, firewire is not extremely important, I can get by without it. I was just going to include it just in case, my current camcorder actually doesn't even use firewire.

Is it small for a video editing rig? How much would I need to make a good one? I am planning on pumping some more money into this system in a few months, but wanted something to use in the meantime.

No, I hadn't thought of overclocking, but I think i'd be too worried about voiding my warranty to do that.


nhobo - that thread does look very interesting. I'll read over it. I would like some individualised help here, as I didn't understand some of the things I was reading over there
 

Kamrooz

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If you do video editing, a q6600 is heavily recommended. But it goes for around 280 by itself.

Do you need a operating system?..that would also bring down what you can afford. There are a lot of factors to consider.

Also, With a intel platform, all upgradability dies at the end of 2008, Nehalem will be out and it requires a new socket and chipset. So you won't have much upgrade room, although a q6600 should last quite a long time, ESPECIALLY if you overclock it.

With a AMD based solution, you really get a great budget system, and upgrade room (especially if you nab their new 7x0 series chipsets), but their current quad core processors are really not up to par, and have lots of issues.

So it's based on which route you want to go. For video editing, a quad core processor helps a lot, if you want to go with a low budget dual core system, 600 might do it, but if you need a OS it would also make things harder.

Do you plan to play any games?...if so it makes it more difficult. Get back to me with the info, also state every use you will use, or is video editing and photography everything?
 

Shadow703793

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^Agreed. I love/hate how Intel changes chipsets, and sockets. Depending on what work you do and if it is professional or just home stuff will determine the CPU. If you are just a home user I recommend you get a E6x50 or smiler and OC it. I am also running some of the software you mentioned including CS3 and Vegas 6 Platinum. The both run smoothly on my E2180( but struggles when I try and create a 15*15 foot image :lol:) and the E6550 (@ 3Ghz ) is able to do what ever I have thrown at it.

Here's What I recommend:
P35-DS3x
At least 2GB RAM (DDR2 800 recommended)
A CPU depending on your needs (look above)
A case with lot of drive bays, good design/layout, and air flow, etc.
Corsair 520HX PSU
At least 500GB HDD
A good CPU Cooler if OCing
A 8600 or better/smiler graphics card (You wont be playing Crysis on this card :lol:)
 

Kamrooz

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He can get by with even less in terms of that psu, HD, and video card. If he doesn't game. 600 would limit pretty badly on all the choices if he needs a OS also.
 

ajsellaroli

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No I don't need an OS. Just a rig.

No, I haven't gamed in a long time. I don't really plan to in the future either. It's basically just mainly photo editing, a little video editing, and lots of word documents for schoolwork.

That is very interesting - what you said about intel. Up until now I had been set on going with intel, only because I have a computer now with it (a 5 yr old dell latitude c840).

I would like to game a little, but it is definitely not a priority. photos and schoolwork are.
 

ajsellaroli

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Oh, and I forgot to ask - doesn't overclocking kill your processor faster? and don't you lose your warranty? is it worth it?
 

Kamrooz

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if you overclock, your warranty is void, although it's hard for them to know you did. But, the average processor is designed to last around 10 years anyways. Even if you oc, it will shorten it's lifetime, but the average person gets a new pc every 2-4 years. So really no harm...

The fact that you don't need a OS, makes everything easier, but 600 might be a bit too little...

BTW, do you have any parts you can reuse?..cd rom drives, case, hard driveS?...anything?

If you have anything you can reuse, might be able to make it happen for 600.
 

roadrunner197069

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I think its very possible even with a quad core. Definately possible with a e2180. Mine is set at 3.3ghz , I'll have to try a 15*15foot image and see whats up. LoL. I'm sure it will handle it. It handles everything else I've thrown at it. You can put in a PCI firewire card for less then $15.00. Try to find a P35 chipset. I use Asus P5K SE. It goes for around $104. You can get cheaper if you dont want to OC.
 

Kamrooz

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That may be true roadrunner, but it still wouldn't last near as long as a q6600. A q6600 has a lot of lifetime, and if you OC it, that lifetime is off the charts. If he can reuse some parts of his current rig, even if it's just a case and hard drive, might be able to make due...the more he can reuse the better.

the only parts I would recommend reusing, the case, hard drive, optical drives. Any chance you can?..how big is your hard drive?..what type of case? optical drive still working?
 

roadrunner197069

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I would definately go with the q6600 if it's in the budget, but if he can't reuse parts, the q6600 is almost 1/2 the budget. It is atleast half of the budget if not a little over 1/2 if he uses a good aftermarket heatsink.

Or wait til the new quads come in a month or less.

I only got the e2180 because it was cheap, and my first time overclocking. And mine is only a month old, I decided not to go quad until January' and get a better bang for my buck. Kinda like people who bought their 8800gts 2 weeks ago and now the wish they would of waited.
 

Kamrooz

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Yea, I getcha 100%. Those new quads are going to be nice, I just wish they had a 9x multi....8x limits their potential. But even so, they are still worth the money. I'd take one over a q6600 any day, especially considering encoding is important to me, the SSE4 instruction set will help a lot.
 

ajsellaroli

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Hmm... Ok, then maybe I will overclock.

My old computer is a dell, about 5 years old. I don't know if I can re-use that case or not. It has a Cd burner and a dvd reader that still work, no dvd burner, unfortunately. It also has a 72 gb hard drive. (I guess it's an 80, but all it says it has in it is 72).

So, can you explain to me what you're talking about roadrunner? remember, I'm new to this whole thing, so I don't know what a heatsink, or what the q6600 is.
 

roadrunner197069

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The q6600 is a quad core cpu. Its roughly $270.00. The e2180 is a dual core cpu, roughly $90.00. The quad is better if you can afford it.

Heatsin is the fan assembly that goes ontop of the cpu. The stock one doesnt allow for overclocking real well on the quad.

Do you feel comfortable building? If not you can find someone to build it for you. I usually charge $100, but you might find someone to do it for $50.
 

zenmaster

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I would wait until Jan 20th if you can.

Intel will be releasing new chips on that date that will be a nice step forward.

The Q9400 will basically be the new Q6600.
A slightly higher default speed and priced slightly lower and will run cooler/quieter.
However, the first couple weeks the price will likely be a bit higher because it's new.
 

ajsellaroli

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I've been following this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/247262-31-need-build

And I'm finding some really good information there. Here is what I'm thinking about going with based on some suggestions from there.

CPU
Core 2 duo E6850 3.0 ghz $280
or
E6750 $189

CASE
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 $44

PSU
Antec TruePower Trio 550 Watt ATX http://www.compusa.com/products/pr [...] performics $70

MOBO
Gigabyte GA-P31-S3G $73

MEMORY
Adata 2GB DDR2-800 $45


VIDEO CARD
geforce 8800 gt (I think it's $250)
GeForce 8600GT $129.99

HDD
Western Digital 320GB 16MB $80

DVD Burner
Samsung 20X DVD Burner http://www.newegg.com/product/prod [...] 6827151151 $26

I'm not sure what to think. Would this processor be sufficient? I've heard great things about the nvidia 8800, is that worth the $250? And is the 3.0 ghz processor worth the price?

thanks
 

killz86

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if your going to spend $280 on that e6850 you just get the Q6600. which you can o/c if you choose. it was the best choice i made. in a long time. going from single core to quad-core it makes a big differnce


Just my 2 cents
 

ajsellaroli

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Killz86 - really? is the quad really worth it? I heard that since not many programs are written for them it is not even worth buying. Then again, I do multi task - alot (or try to). I too would be moving to a quad from a single, if I were to buy it.

Roadrunner197069 - Wow, now that is interesting. buying a barebones, almost all put together system and building on that.
The only thing that worries me about that idea is that system's motherboard. How far is it expandable? it only has ram upgradeable to 2 gb. It only has one pciexpress port, and two pci ports. I don't know how many I would need, but I know i've seen more on other motherboards. How far could I potentially upgrade this motherboard?

The idea is great - I love it. Getting a super-cheap system that I can upgrade later with more money, but maybe I could spend just a little more. Remember, my limit is actually around $675. Is there another one of those that I could use?
 

caamsa

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Ahh I think he said that he has 600 bucks. I like the way everyone says quad when that is half his budget. He does not game he just wants it for photo shop and school. How about you give him what he wants instead of what you want.

Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz $189.99

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $47.00

RAIDMAX Scorpio ATX-868WYP Yellow Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 420W Power Supply $54.99

MSI P35 Neo2-FR LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard $100.00 after rebate.

MSI NX8600GT-T2D256E OC GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 $84.99 after rebate.

Sony NEC Optiarc Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM IDE 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM $25.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $69.99

Total cost 572.99 all can be purchased at NewEgg.


I think that is all you need.
 

rwpritchett

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