Upgrade-friendly PC Build
June 3, 2017 4:20 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for advice on building/buying a budget PC after my prior machine died for USA.

Unfortunately, my PC died earlier than I predicted and I'm browsing for new builds that I can upgrade later on once I gain more funds.

Purpose: Writing/multimedia and light video games. The only game I play often is FFXIV so I'd like to have medium-high settings but otherwise I'm not much of a PC gamer. I do want a small SSD for my OS which helps a bit for loading times.

Usable: Mid-tower case, Monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers

Budget: $500-$750 (I live near a Microcenter so I order parts then have them built at the store.) Currently, I'd rather not deal with the problems of building a PC using my slowly dying tablet as my only reference point and my very small room has enough junk inside.

Location: NY, USA

I asked a friend for a suggestion and here's what he came up within my budget.

However, if you have any suggestions for changes/new build I don't mind as I honestly haven't paid much attention to the market since earlier this year. I don't want to buy a laptop since I hate how they breakdown often and I tend to keep my tech for a min of 5 years each cycle. Thanks.
posted by chrono_rabbit to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Under "usable", your case has a power supply in it, so from your friend's build, you can subtract $30. You can probably also reuse a dvd drive.

But if you want to game, you will have to add at least about $100 or so for a Windows license (amazon, windows home oem), and then the ssd might be another $110 on top of that (for samsung 850 evo 250GB, amazon). That brings you to $415 - 30 + 100 + 110 (=595) + tax and assembly.

As far as new computers go, that's a very nice build that is pretty good for the future, and hits the price/performance sweet spot very well. I wouldn't change much if you want new components.

If you want to go cheaper and don't mind buying used parts, you can get an i5-3470 WITH Windows 10 and 8GB of RAM off of ebay for around $200. Then you could add the SSD and graphics card and come in around $410. Or even hold off on the graphics card and see how things perform with the built-in graphics, for $310 at first.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 7:05 PM on June 3, 2017

Response by poster: Sorry, forgot I have a win10 pro key which I plan to transfer over.
posted by chrono_rabbit at 7:36 PM on June 3, 2017

My mantra is intel i5, 8 gig no name memory, good video card that sits at a suitable price/performance maximum, SSD for windows, large hard drive. I haven't been keeping up with AMD's offerings, but if it's not a huge difference I'd go for the Intel cpu.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:26 AM on June 4, 2017

Have you taken a look at the new Dell Gaming desktop? It's supposed to be pretty configurable and easy to upgrade yourself in the future.

Launches 6th July.
posted by mr_silver at 2:51 AM on June 4, 2017

I haven't been keeping up with AMD's offerings, but if it's not a huge difference I'd go for the Intel cpu.

Unless you literally never do anything but gaming, the ryzen chips have been beating the snot out of equivalently-priced intel chips. At this price point, you can get a 2-core 4-thread i3 or a 4-core 8-thread ryzen. For the cheapest 4-core 4-thread i5's price, you can get a 6-core 12-thread ryzen.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:04 AM on June 4, 2017

Response by poster: Finalized Build: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/st9Z3F

JIC if anyone else is curious on what I ended up with under my budget.
posted by chrono_rabbit at 5:26 PM on June 5, 2017

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