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Old October 28, 2012, 08:13 PM
quikgp quikgp is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Posts: 245
Default Budget build - need advice

So here's the scoop - I have an older home PC that I keep bringing back from the dead (components are going one at a time and I've replaced/sort of upgraded to keep it running). It died a few weeks back. It's a q6600, with an Evga motherboard that used ddr2 ram. The motherboard died and I've priced it out and I'm looking about $70 get it back up and running, but the cpu is around 4 or 5 years old (I think?) and socket 775 motherboard don't offer the newer features, plus I believe the newer chips offer a bit of a speed advantage?

I guess I'm stuck trying figure out if I should just limp this system along or if I should replace it with something that will get me a bit more speed for things like boot times and opening programs.


1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.
Internet usage, word processing, 1080p mkv playback and occasional photo editing. I game about once a year, so if the unit can game (at low res) great. If not, oh well. Basically, I'd love to have a system that does the mundane stuff quickly.

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread
$350 is the max I want to spend for ram, CPU and motherboard. If possible I'd love to include a cheap SSD in that price for an OS drive

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
Canada - not opposed to buying used either

4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc, etc, etc, you get the picture.
No brand preference. Basically best performance for the given price range, but if I had to choose I've had good luck with asus, corsair, mushkin gigabyte, but I've noticed msi and asrock seem to be more popular nowadays.

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
Reusing all components expect for motherboard, CPU and ram. (Possibly using my old 8800 video card but might just skip and go with integrated for the time being). Running windows 7

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
I've done some research and its been a few years since my last pc that I've built, but I usually look at higher end builds. I've never really tried to put together a cheap low end system. I'm a bit lost as to whether integrated graphics will be able to play back the high def content and I'm not sure if an AMD apu is the way to go and ditch the old school graphics card or if I should look at intel and use a less robust integrated graphics for the time being? Also, this might sound stupid, but if I only want the ability to run a single graphics card and a sound card in the future does it matter if I go matx or atx? Will one have better components at roughly the same price point?

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
I loved over clocking my old systems. It was a blast, but it wasn't really for any other reason than to mess around and see how far I could get it... On my last build I ventured into building a water cooling loop and thought it was a fun, but not necessarily the most economic way of doing things. This time round I'd just buy a corsair h60 in the future or some sealed loop system when the budget allows. I am confused though if you can overclock an i3 processor.

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?
Within a month

9. What resolution and settings do you use?
My monitor is 24" 1920x1200. Video playback is 1080p though.

10. Are there any specific technologies you want?
I dont care if the board is atx or matx. The only cards i would ever want to install is a single video card and an audio card. I have a bluray drive that I want to use, and all the new goodies (sata3, usb3 etc) would be nice. I have no Sata3 or USB devices at the moment, but future proofing is nice. I dont care for or against thunderbolt. In my last build I had a vertex2 SSD and loved it. Best speed enhancing thing I did to my machine. Would love to include one for the OS and maybe an application or two, but i understand the cost is quite high.

Thanks for your help in advance!
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