Building / buying a PC

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Building / buying a PC

Postby Project-404 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:26 pm

I am planning on making my own PC with an Intel i5 and a Radeon HD 7850 2GB. Total cost without monitor, keyboard and mouse: 736€ (925$).

But today a computer store employee told me I could buy a PC from the store with a brand new Intel i7 processor BUT a Radeon HD 7450 1GB video card. Following the thought that a processor cannot be upgraded a whole lot due to the different sockets in different gens and that I will be able to change the video card in a couple of years for something up to date and still have a strong processor. This computer would cost 800€ (1006$) and comes with a keyboard and mouse, plus I won't have to purchase Windows with this.

So the big questions are: How much will an i7 be important and how much of a limitation a Radeon HD 7450 is to current games, and how soon will the card absolutely need to be changed?

Thanks in advance,

The build I was going for (building on my own)

- Asus P8B75M mobo (s1155) - it's cheap but it looks like it covers my needs.
- Intel Core i5 - 2310
- Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB
- (2x) Corsair SODIMM 1066 4GB RAM DDR3
- Seagate 1TB 3.5inch HDD
- PSU: GX Lite RS 500w - Should I get more wattage?
- Casing: Antec 300

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Postby sear » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:02 am

Get the better video card. A processor will impact performance a bit, but can always be overclocked. A decent CPU today will last you 3-5 years, easy, but video cards typically get outdated much more quickly.

And no, 500W PSU is fine. A lot of people think they need more power than they use - I have an overclocked Core i7-920 running at 4 Ghz, an NVIDIA GTX 470, 6 GB of RAM, two hard drives, etc. By all accounts my system should be a power hog, yet my 520W Corsair PSU has been running rock solid for years, and I could probably get away with 100W less than that. Anything more than 500W is only needed for dual video cards and/or very, very heavy overclocking.

That said, I haven't heard of GX Lite, but if it's a cheap brand... well, stay far away from cheap PSUs. They are usually poorly built and rarely live up to their specs, not to mention often aren't backed by decent warranties. Get a brand like Antec, Corsair etc. even if it costs a little more, it's worth paying extra for the better reliability and warranty.

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Postby Nymie_the_Pooh » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:45 pm

500w should be okay for what you posted. I wouldn't go much below that myself as they can lose efficiency over time with heavy use. A year of constant pushing can mean a 20% drop from initial wattage. That's extreme for most home users, but it's not uncommon for many home users to see a 20% drop after two or three years.

The problem with PSUs tends to be that many companies will churn out what you listed with integrated graphics and only a 300w PSU. This makes it to where the PSU needs to be updated before a dedicated graphics or sound card could be added. 500w should be fine with a USB device or two. You could possibly get away with 400w, but I'd go with the 500w just to be safe and the price difference between the two is minimal.

[url=""]If you would like to check for yourself, here is a calculator that does a pretty good job of giving a decent suggested wattage.[/url]

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Re: Building / buying a PC

Postby darkpark » Sat May 03, 2014 12:45 am

I'm with Sear on this. You don't always need a lot of power, but the quality of the PSU is important and you can't go wrong with Corsair. I'd go with a modular unit for the sake of convenience and having fewer cables filling up your PC case.

As for CPU's, they can't be upgraded. Within a given generation/socket-type, you'll probably be able to bump it up enough to noticeably improve frame-rate. Still, the video card seems to have the largest impact on the frame rate.

So yeah... Sear's advice is sound.