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Old April 13, 2011, 02:54 PM
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Default Budget Cuts for New Build

I'm sick of trying to fix my computer (BSODs galore) and I have this nice little mini-ITX case gathering dust so I figured I'd buy now instead of waiting any longer (Some parts I like are going out of stock at Newegg). The only problem is I have significantly less money than I thought I would for this build. My total budget is about $550. I'm looking at the following parts at the moment:

AsRock H67M-ITX Mobo
Intel Core i5 2500
Patriot 4Gb DDR3 1333 Memory
Corsair Nova 32 Gb SSD
Samsung 500 Gb HDD
SeaSonic 350W SFX12V PSU
Samsung CD/DVD Burner

I don't absolutely need a video card now so that can wait until I get more money saved up. Instead, I'm wondering if a larger SSD and more ram would be worth downgrading the processor for? If I drop down to the i3, I can get 8 Gb of ram AND a 64 Gb SSD.

I could go any way with this build because having the "best" performance absolutely doesn't matter anymore. I just want the most with what my budget allows. What would you guys recommend I do? I'd really like to buy before the end of the week.
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Old April 13, 2011, 03:24 PM
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32GB SSD is small if you plan on running Windows, it really won't leave any room to install many applications. I'd probably wait on the SSD until you can get a 100+ GB one and maybe look at a WD Black HDD 1TB instead for now. I know this is against the norm but you're on a tight budget. Also that PS is not going to cut it if you plan on adding a GPU later, try a 550W instead at a minimum. I'd also pay the extra $5 or so and get the i5 2500k instead, the GPU is slightly better and resell will be a ton better if you want to sell it down the road.
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Old April 13, 2011, 03:39 PM
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well, good idea but what are you doing with the pc?

perhaps the 2100 or 2500kwould be a better choice indeed.
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Old April 13, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Well, I'm mainly going to be using this for basic everyday tasks on top of some video editing (After Effects, etc.). I tend to delete files I don't need so I hardly see me needing a huge hard drive. The SSD is mainly for my Adobe apps on top of Windows. Everything else is bonus space for other programs.

Also, I'm limited by my case to a single slot GPU so I won't be getting anything hardcore. I'm thinking about getting a GTS 450, but that's not really important now (Although I do need an Nvidia card). I'll probably do some light gaming at best.

My plan for a long time was to get the i5 2500 but I only recently started looking at taking the i3 route. I spent the better part of yesterday looking at performance charts between the Sandy Bridge processors and certain AMD offerings. I'm sure I'd be happy no matter which way I went, I'm just not sure balance out the budget with the parts I'd be happier with.
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Old April 13, 2011, 04:44 PM
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or...look at the ncix i3 1156 combo, 220 with 4 gigs of ram. slower than sb i3, but it can clock a little.
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Old April 13, 2011, 05:00 PM
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a kinston 64gb ssd is on sale for 85$ at ncix.

My suggestion is a 2500k, and add a SSD later on when your budget allows
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Old April 14, 2011, 02:46 AM
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I see where you're going with this build and I agree with it but the i3 2100 is in the same range of performance of i5 750 so I would probably go for it even if it was dual core, just to get the larger SSD. 4GB RAM will barely be tapped so it's enough, but the problem is you may need more memory later and you only have 2 memory slots so it's a one time purchase only. 2x2 RAM or 4x2. You're call on that one :) Good luck!
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Old April 14, 2011, 03:30 AM
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I would rather go with a Core i3 2100 over the Core i5 2500 if processing power is not a major concern here. The only thing that makes me think that the Core i3 2100 would be a better choice is that both of them are using the Intel HD2000 and the extra money paid for the Core i5 2500 is just for the CPU portion.

With the extra money saved you could get an extra 4GB of RAM and/or a bigger SSD. Also you could replace that Seasonic unit for a FSP unit instead. It cost a bit more but it has 150W more than the Seasonic and you wouldn't have to worry about power headroom if you intend to add in a mid range GPU next time.

Newegg.com - FSP Group FSP500-60GHN 24Pin 500W Single 80 PLUS Certified Server Power Supply - Server Power Supplies
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Old April 14, 2011, 04:20 AM
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Hokay.. first off, if you're going for photoshop work (light work or otherwise) you will not want to drop down to the i3 line of CPUs. I could not recommend a dual core CPU (no matter the clock speed) for rendering work. Yes, the 8 gig of ram could help (+SSD) but if your CPU sucks balls, it doesn't matter how fast your hard drive is.

Second note, is that I really dislike Asrock motherboards. I know they are popular in some circles, and they have a huge OEM following with certain manufacturers.. but I go by Mike Homles philosophy of "do it right the first time", so you don't have headaches down the road.
I'd spend the extra $20 and get the GA-H67N-USB3-B3.

I would stick with the i5-2500 cpu. Don't bother with the 'k' version, the H67 series 1155 motherboards don't overclock well (or at all?)
You will want to go with 1600Mhz DDR3, not 1333Mhz. It makes a difference. I subbed in some Gskill below.
That's not a bad PSU - 80+ and such. 350W should run a low end video card, but it would be cutting it close if you move up to a more performance GPU.

Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 $115
Intel i5-2500 $210
Newegg.com - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ $48
Newegg.com - SeaSonic SS-350SFE 350W SFX12V V3.1 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies $53

I would go with a WD Black 640 gig hard drive ($69) for now, then move to an SSD in the future, and use the 640 gig drive for storage when you get the SSD. It's just not in the cards right now, the SSD you'd be buying would be crap and too small to load your OS, programs and such. I would save up until you can afford a decent 64 gig SSD - by then sandforce 3 will be the norm, and the older style will still be good, and more affordable.
Add $20 for whatever DVD drive you're looking at.

You're at $515 + tax and shipping. If you're dead set for getting the Asrock motherboard, you can save yourself another $25. Basically all I changed was the ram and hard drive configuration then.
Good luck, let us know what you go with.
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Old April 15, 2011, 08:37 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. After thinking about it a little more, I decided to go ahead and get an i3 2100, 8 gigs of ram, and the 32 gig SSD linked in the op. Personally, I've just been super curious about those little buggers I just have to try one lol. As for choosing the i3, I've owned an i5 750 before (when they were still new) so I'm actually getting the i3 as kind of a "Lets see how the 'worst' performs vs..." kind of mindset. Right now I'm on a cheap AMD dual core, so anything is better than this.

I realize I'd be better off getting an i5 variant, but all the performance gains are relatively small in my eyes based on the Sandy Bridge reviews I've read. Besides...if I haven't actually used an i5 2xxx, how could I know what I'm missing?

The actual purchase included all of the following:

Intel Core i3 2100/AsRock H67M-ITX Combo - $205
8Gb G.Skill Ripjaws X Series - $70 with promo code
Corsair Nova 32 Gb SSD - $79
500 Gb WD Scorpio Black - $60 with promo code
SiverStone FP36B 3.5" to 2.5" adapter - $24
SeaSonic 350W SFX12V Power Supply - $54
2x Xigmatek 80mm Orange LED Fans - $20
Apeiva Molex to Sata Power Adapter - $5
Samsung DVD/CD Burner - $19 (Prices change on these things almost everyday is seems)

Total cost: $536 with free 2 day shipping (Shop Runner Trial)

The reason for choosing the laptop hard drive was because there is only space for one hard drive in my case and that's where the fans need to go. I decided that putting the SSD and HDD on an adapter shouldn't hurt anything. Those fans are mainly for looks but they should also help once I decide on a video card to throw in sometime in the future (if needed)....The only question is should they be intake or exhaust fans?
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