When you buy computer parts, it can be a tough decision where you want to put all of your hard earned dollars into. Not only that, but when you buy a top of the line component, 3 months later (at most), your hardware will likely be outdated. This puts consumers like us in a bit of a pickle when it comes to purchasing, especially on a tight budget.
The question inevitably becomes, "What is the best computer I can get for my money?". This all still depends on what you need and how much you want to spend. I'm going to assume you want a great graphics card, because you really don't need to build a computer if you just want to surf the web. Plenty of free computers on Craigslist can check Grandma's email.
The best time to buy components is NOT when they are new—ever. Unless you have money to waste, do not buy when the parts represent brand new technology. The prices will be incredibly fluffed, and the 1st generation components likely will have buggy drivers and issues for a while before they get anywhere near as usuable as older parts (think AMD graphics issues, to this day the 6900s do not run flawlessly). Here is the best strategy for buying:
- Buy the best motherboard you can. This will ensure that you can upgrade components in this computer for a while, increasing its longevity.
- Keep the budget under $2,000 unless you have serious cash to play with.
- Read extensive product reviews on parts you want to buy.
- Get a solid state drive. They are incredibly fast and better than their HDD cousins in every aspect, besides price. Get one for your OS and games. It will fit everything perfectly. Store things on a secondary or external HDD.
- Don't overkill the RAM. RAM is cheap, but coming from a guy with 32GB of the stuff, you don't need the best memory there is. You just need high bus speeds for a good price. 8 or 16GB of DDR3 will serve you quite well.
We will be covering a budget range of less than $1,500 for a build. Let's see what we can come up with using the greatest computer component store out there, New Egg. If you've got more money, I recommend spending more on a larger SSD and getting dual 6990s. Other than that, these components are top notch.
This is the best parts list and specs money can buy for under a grand, in my opinion. Click on the image and enlarge.
- ASUS 24X DVD Burner
- G.SKILL Value Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9S-4GBNT
- Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I72600K
- XIGMATEK LOKI SD963 92mm HYPRO Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included I7 i5 775 1155 AMD and dual fan push pull compatible
- CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
- Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite grey and black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
- BIOSTAR TP67B+ LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
- OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
That's not a bad rig for the money. We can add a good GPU and make it go from 800 dollars to 1,200 dollars (please tell me that you want a GPU?). Questions? Comment below.
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