Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:12 pm

DSMok1 wrote:Since the original post, I changed to this case--I'd like a relatively small one:
DSMok1 wrote:$90 - Antec NSK 4482 Black / Silver 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply
Looks like a good case, not too big, good PSU.
Is that a good case/PSU for my objective?


Yea, I've built systems in that exact case for business clients before. Mind you they were not I5/I7 systems, they were AMD x3's :P but they do alright. Just know that the case is very cramped and sort of a pain to work in, but once its all together it does look decent and is ultra quiet. I know its says that its an ATX case, but the MicroATX boards I put in there were a serious pain, so I'd hate to think about putting a full ATX board in there. Also be warned that the area on top of that case where you put the optical drive is ultra cramped. Its where your excess cables are going to hang out in, making it difficult to plug in your optical drive. The whole feel of that case is cramped. At least the power supply in there is Antec and not some third world country brand, but its still only a 380, just a bit below my comfort zone but its a strong little supply.

If you can live with just a few more inches taller, Id seriously recommend you upgrade to the NZXT Elite 210, give it a look and that power supply.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:59 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
DSMok1 wrote:What are the benefits with doing a build such as this vs. a pre-built OEM computer? I'd like to do it for the experience, but if the same computer is significantly cheaper with the pre-built... I may need to do that instead.


Dell Optiplex 390 Core i5 2400 w 4 GB RAM $499 after coupon (apply code '7RZXPX9M7$JLVR' at checkout).

It's really tough to build cheaper than the OEMs at budget price points. Flip-mode's comments on the outrageous prices OEMs chrage for minor upgrades (RAM, HDD) are accurate but disingenous - you can always buy extra RAM outside and install it yourself.

$499 will get you the quad core (what you want for photoshop and excel) and leave you enough money left over for an extra $20 for another 4GB of RAM from newegg and a monitor. It won't be as upgradeable as a DIY build, but the OP is not after a gaming rig. Since he will be using it for work and productivity the 3 yr warranty is something he can't get from a DIY build, either.

Disingenuous :lol: That's a strong term - perhaps "incomplete" is better - true enough I did fail to mention you can upgrade your own RAM.

But I agree that Optiplex deal you show above is fantastic and in fact I'd recommend that over any of the builds we've spec'd out here. I run a small fleet of Optiplex machines and they're rock solid. The drawbacks are as mentioned - you won't be able to upgrade the CPU and also the case can be kind of limiting if you want to have more than two or three hard drives. But other than that I'm a fan of the Optiplex line.

It's really tough to build cheaper than the OEMs at budget price points.
Thank you. I've been saying that for the last week in a couple other threads but the audience has been pretty unreceptive.

DSMok you should take a very hard look at that Optiplex deal. It's going to end up giving you more machine for less if you can live with the aforementioned limitations of the case and motherboard (no overclocking, no CPU upgrading, limited hard drive space, proprietary motherboard mounting hole layout). Basically, if you are OK with getting a machine that you'll eventually throw away and never be able to upgrade it's core components then the Optiplex will be the most suitable option.
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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:04 pm

Welch wrote:Yea, I've built systems in that exact case for business clients before. Mind you they were not I5/I7 systems, they were AMD x3's :P but they do alright. Just know that the case is very cramped and sort of a pain to work in, but once its all together it does look decent and is ultra quiet. I know its says that its an ATX case, but the MicroATX boards I put in there were a serious pain, so I'd hate to think about putting a full ATX board in there. Also be warned that the area on top of that case where you put the optical drive is ultra cramped. Its where your excess cables are going to hang out in, making it difficult to plug in your optical drive. The whole feel of that case is cramped. At least the power supply in there is Antec and not some third world country brand, but its still only a 380, just a bit below my comfort zone but its a strong little supply.


Are you sure you're not thinking of the NSK 3480 instead of the 4482? The 3480 is the mATX case. The 4482 is actually fairly large.
4482 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811129071
3480 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811129035

I've done two builds with the smaller 3480 and they've been great but that case isn't exactly roomy.
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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:19 pm

flip-mode wrote:Disingenuous :lol: That's a strong term - perhaps "incomplete" is better - true enough I did fail to mention you can upgrade your own RAM.


Hehe no offense meant and I'm sure you didn't omit it out of any ulterior motive

But I agree that Optiplex deal you show above is fantastic and in fact I'd recommend that over any of the builds we've spec'd out here. I run a small fleet of Optiplex machines and they're rock solid. The drawbacks are as mentioned - you won't be able to upgrade the CPU and also the case can be kind of limiting if you want to have more than two or three hard drives. But other than that I'm a fan of the Optiplex line.

...

DSMok you should take a very hard look at that Optiplex deal. It's going to end up giving you more machine for less if you can live with the aforementioned limitations of the case and motherboard (no overclocking, no CPU upgrading, limited hard drive space, proprietary motherboard mounting hole layout). Basically, if you are OK with getting a machine that you'll eventually throw away and never be able to upgrade it's core components then the Optiplex will be the most suitable option.


Upgradability is a sore point for the Optiplex, but if you're scraping a budget for a $650 computer, you're unlikely to splurge on a $250-400 CPU in 6 months' time.

The Optiplex 390 does only have 2 DIMM slots, but the base configuration comes with a single populated slot (1x4 GB). The OP can choose to add a second 4 GB DIMM, add a second 8 GB DIMM (intel memory controllers still work in dual channel mode with mismatched sizes), or go all out and get 2x8 GB DIMMs.

It does have a PCIEx16 slot so he can add a modest GPU for Photoshop work should he find the need to in the future.

PSU is only 250W, but it's at least an 80 Plus unit. It looks like the mounting locations are for a standard ATX supply, but without internal views, I can't be 100% sure.
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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:54 pm

flip-mode wrote:
Welch wrote:Yea, I've built systems in that exact case for business clients before. Mind you they were not I5/I7 systems, they were AMD x3's :P but they do alright. Just know that the case is very cramped and sort of a pain to work in, but once its all together it does look decent and is ultra quiet. I know its says that its an ATX case, but the MicroATX boards I put in there were a serious pain, so I'd hate to think about putting a full ATX board in there. Also be warned that the area on top of that case where you put the optical drive is ultra cramped. Its where your excess cables are going to hang out in, making it difficult to plug in your optical drive. The whole feel of that case is cramped. At least the power supply in there is Antec and not some third world country brand, but its still only a 380, just a bit below my comfort zone but its a strong little supply.


Are you sure you're not thinking of the NSK 3480 instead of the 4482? The 3480 is the mATX case. The 4482 is actually fairly large.
4482 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811129071
3480 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811129035

I've done two builds with the smaller 3480 and they've been great but that case isn't exactly roomy.


I stand corrected it was the 3480 as its got that little lock "tab" on the back of it. They were so cramped it had me annoyed, built 5 of them at the same time. Worked out great once all put together, been in service for over a year without a hiccup on any of them (fans, PSU, ect)
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:08 pm

504.99 - For the sake of argument its the same cost :P... has quality name brand parts in the majority of things. Hell in this case Asus mobo, Corsair ram, I5-2500 (upgrade over the Dell), a decent looking case (I've built one in their older version). A 500w PSU which is much more generous than what your going to get in the Optiplex, a 1.5tb HDD (admittedly its 5900 but... its 3 times the storage of the base optiplex)


The kit has everything you need to build the system, with the exception of Windows, but... hey 120 buckish (on sale) gets you Win 7 Pro with a 16gb flash drive. More storage, better parts, better upgrade path, faster CPU.... all for pretty much the same price. Why the hell would you buy a dell at that rate? Unless you didn't know how to put the stuff together yourself. Plus you get the experience of building it yourself like you mentioned, and with this motherboard you could do raid if you did get into database stuff that requires more I/O than a single drive can deliver. Ohhh and did I mention a bit of overclocking, something you'd be screwed with on the OEM, sure this isn't a 2500K, but it isn't on the OEM either, at least you could get something out of this to extend its performance into the future.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBund ... mbo.816527

I'm sorry guys, sometimes dells do have deals that are a "Jump on it!!!" But the one listed above isn't.
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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:21 pm

The complete build I listed above was $600, approximately -- Core i3 2105, Z68 MoBo, 8GB ram, 1.5 TB HD, XP Home Premium, all brand-name components.

The Optiplex, at $500, is a Core i5 2400 ($55 more expensive, 2x the cores but with HD2000 graphics instead of HD3000), unknown MoBo (yikes), 4GB ram (~$30 cheaper), 500 GB HD (generic--a lot cheaper).

The lack of storage is a big deal for me--I expect to use 350 GB right off the bat if I put on all of my videos and photos.
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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:22 pm

Welch wrote:504.99 - For the sake of argument its the same cost :P... has quality name brand parts in the majority of things. Hell in this case Asus mobo, Corsair ram, I5-2500 (upgrade over the Dell), a decent looking case (I've built one in their older version). A 500w PSU which is much more generous than what your going to get in the Optiplex, a 1.5tb HDD (admittedly its 5900 but... its 3 times the storage of the base optiplex)


That's a good deal and a pretty rockin' system at the price. And you're right that the 1.5 TB is going to be better for his needs (photoshop, videos) than a measly 500 GB drive.

But it's still ~$100-140 more expensive once you factor in a Windows 7 license. That's enough change left over to buy a decent SSD ($99 for OCZ Petrol 128 GB if you shop around).

It's up to the OP whether he values upgradeability as much as you do.
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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:29 pm

I personally dispise the likes of dell and hp for all reasons mentioned above. However, my first desktop was from ibuypower.com and I was very happy with them. They use actual name brand components and allow a large degree of customization. The downside...they're not a whole lot cheaper than building yourself, and because I have scratch-built many computers since then, i don't use them unless its a build for someone I don't want to provide the obligatory "tech support" to. Nonetheless, if you're not feeling comfortable building yourself sites like that are good options.
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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:34 pm

My only point was that you could get the same or more performance, and better quality for the same price as the OEM. There is also a $15.00 Mail in rebate in that bundle so...

I usually don't buy the packages like I listed there and as you can see it gives you about $50 off their already listed newegg prices. Meaning... if you can find some good combo deals in groups of 2, like say a CPU with a Mobo for 20-25 bucks off and then a case with a HDD combo for 10 bucks off, then a few other things.. you could actually save more than $50 and maybe even pick a few cheaper options saving you the cash needed to purchase Windows 7. Or if he already own Windows 7 retail, he doesn't have to worry about that :lol:.

I'd be willing to bet you could shave off 30 bucks in other component choices, and still end up with about 40-50 bucks in combo discounts, meaning your less than $50 shy of including Windows 7 in the complete package deal. To me it would be worth it to get better stuff all around, don't you think so?
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:24 pm

I don't own Windows 7, so that $100 or so certainly must be factored in.
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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:39 pm

Well like said... i feel like you could shop for the double item combo discounts and pick a few cheaper parts in the build to make up for the $100 windows 7 difference. Totally worth it for all that you gain and still well within budget.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Re: Low Price Compute/Multimedia Build

Postposted on Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:40 am

I picked up my first part--I'm going to live with an SSD, smaller capacity, for a while until HDD prices come down:

SanDisk Extreme SDSSDX-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

I got it for $130 on NewEgg shell shocker; according to reviews it is equivalent to a Vertex 3 Max IOPS (120 GB SandForce, using Toggle NAND). I'll live with that as storage until I can get a hard drive for less than now.
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