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The Ultimate 'Build-A-PC' Thread. Complete With Pricings & Recommendations (06/06/10)


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#2491 FeuerFrei

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:22 PM

Well if you are going with the 6870 you can always unlock a 6850.


You may be thinking of a 6950 -> 6970. The 6850 can be unlocked, but it won't match a 6870.

#2492 z3r0s

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:30 PM

You may be thinking of a 6950 -> 6970. The 6850 can be unlocked, but it won't match a 6870.


Yeah that's was what I was thinking all the numbers get the best of me sometimes.

#2493 Scorch

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 01:16 PM

Was thinking about building one, then I saw this. Could I make something better for cheaper? I need one in a hurry for school. I realize I'd have to get a good graphics card (You know .. for Microsoft Office and stuff ;) ) and a blu ray drive, but other than that.. basically, what's good and bad about this?

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#2494 FeuerFrei

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 01:41 PM

Was thinking about building one, then I saw this. Could I make something better for cheaper? I need one in a hurry for school. I realize I'd have to get a good graphics card (You know .. for Microsoft Office and stuff ;) ) and a blu ray drive, but other than that.. basically, what's good and bad about this?


Once everything was said and done, you could definitely make something much better for around the same price or decently better for cheaper. The processor is okay, but nothing to write home about. You would need a graphics card, like you said, and you would probably need a different power supply. If I was at a computer, I would try to show you some mock builds in that price range, but I'm out in the boonies on my phone.

#2495 retrad

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:45 AM

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Build one like this but with a better GPU and its =)
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#2496 MrshllJcb

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:02 PM

So I'd like to build a pretty decent gaming PC but dont really know much about computer and get very confused by all the different number and names with the components and video cards. I watched some of the Newegg tutorial videos, but I am still kinda lost.

I'd like to spend between 500-600 dollars total on the computer, and I'm not in a major rush, just wanting to make it happen piece by piece. It seems like a graphics card would be one of the last things I'd want to purchase as they are always improving and getting cheaper (so by the time i could actually make use of the video card I may be able to afford a better one than I could now). I'd like as much as advice as I can get, but so far I was thinking:

Case- $50 Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Video Card- $300ish 7870 series, Hoping it will have gone down in price by the time I'm ready. Please let me know of other better/ cheaper alternatives that will suit my needs
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814102983

Motherboard- AMD i-5 2500 $200ish (again I dont know much so please offer suggestions)- http://www.newegg.co...#scrollFullInfo

Memory- Probably get 8gb ram, unless you guys think 16 would be a better choice

And then I would need to choose a power source, and HDD and get the other items to finish it up, but these seem like the most crucial components. I dont want to have to do much upgrading for a while so thats kinda important too, and thanks again for any help in advance.

#2497 elessar123

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:44 PM

So I'd like to build a pretty decent gaming PC but dont really know much about computer and get very confused by all the different number and names with the components and video cards. I watched some of the Newegg tutorial videos, but I am still kinda lost.

I'd like to spend between 500-600 dollars total on the computer, and I'm not in a major rush, just wanting to make it happen piece by piece. It seems like a graphics card would be one of the last things I'd want to purchase as they are always improving and getting cheaper (so by the time i could actually make use of the video card I may be able to afford a better one than I could now). I'd like as much as advice as I can get, but so far I was thinking:

Case- $50 Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Video Card- $300ish 7870 series, Hoping it will have gone down in price by the time I'm ready. Please let me know of other better/ cheaper alternatives that will suit my needs
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814102983

Motherboard- AMD i-5 2500 $200ish (again I dont know much so please offer suggestions)- http://www.newegg.co...#scrollFullInfo

Memory- Probably get 8gb ram, unless you guys think 16 would be a better choice

And then I would need to choose a power source, and HDD and get the other items to finish it up, but these seem like the most crucial components. I dont want to have to do much upgrading for a while so thats kinda important too, and thanks again for any help in advance.


$500 to $600, and you want a $300 card?

You'll probably be spending $40-60 on a case, $60 on a psu. RAM will be $40-45 for 8gb (you definitely don't need 16). The i3 ivy bridges should be coming out soon, if you want an Intel. Those should be about $120, I'm guessing. Add the cheapest z77 motherboard would be around $100. Add an HDD for $80-100 (frankly, a 1TB caviar black for $100 is a good price, but you know your needs better). Assuming you don't need a keyboard/mouse/monitor, that leaves $115-160 for a video card.

#2498 FeuerFrei

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 05:00 PM

So I'd like to build a pretty decent gaming PC but dont really know much about computer and get very confused by all the different number and names with the components and video cards. I watched some of the Newegg tutorial videos, but I am still kinda lost.

I'd like to spend between 500-600 dollars total on the computer, and I'm not in a major rush, just wanting to make it happen piece by piece. It seems like a graphics card would be one of the last things I'd want to purchase as they are always improving and getting cheaper (so by the time i could actually make use of the video card I may be able to afford a better one than I could now). I'd like as much as advice as I can get, but so far I was thinking:

Case- $50 Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Video Card- $300ish 7870 series, Hoping it will have gone down in price by the time I'm ready. Please let me know of other better/ cheaper alternatives that will suit my needs
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814102983

Motherboard- AMD i-5 2500 $200ish (again I dont know much so please offer suggestions)- http://www.newegg.co...#scrollFullInfo

Memory- Probably get 8gb ram, unless you guys think 16 would be a better choice

And then I would need to choose a power source, and HDD and get the other items to finish it up, but these seem like the most crucial components. I dont want to have to do much upgrading for a while so thats kinda important too, and thanks again for any help in advance.


There are a couple of things that need to be covered here. $500-600 is a very reasonable budget, but the parts will need some changes.

Case is totally your choice. I love NZXT, the next guy loves Corsair, my girlfriend has a Rosewill that works great. I've seen people use a cardboard box as a case. Whatever you like the best and has the features you want at the price you want to pay.

Graphics card should be your most expensive component. I don't think you'll be able to afford spending more than around $200 with a $600 budget, however. I've owned both the 6970 and the GTX 680, and discovered that I prefer Nvidia over AMD. That being said, I would recommend the 560ti 448 if you can find it on sale around $200.

Motherboard- The i5-2500k you listed is actually a processor, not the motherboard. It's also made by Intel, not AMD. You should expect to spend between $50-100 for a motherboard. It has to be compatible with your processor, or you're gonna be in for a bad time. You'll want an 1155 socket if you choose the Intel processors.

Processor should be your second most expensive component. I would recommend an i3 for your budget. You should expect to pay slightly over $100.

Memory should be no more than 8gb unless you have money to burn. Anything more than 8gb will sit unused. Catch this on sale for under $40.

Power supply needs to be at least 500w. I wouldn't skimp on this. Get one that's quality.

Hard drive should be whatever you need. Pretty cut and dry.

Optical drive should run under $20.

#2499 MrshllJcb

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 06:58 PM

Thanks guys! Really appreciate the feedback. Obviously I know there are budget things (such as a 200 or 300 dollar part) but I was consdering that the prices may have dropped by when I was ready to buy that part. Probably still need to do a lot of tweaking but like I said I really appreciate the feedback and advice.

Also I work at a school that goes through computer equipment like crazty so I was considering asking the IT guy for a computer case and if they had any extra memory which may help drop the cost as well

Also, will the components you've suggested be decent options for the longer term?

#2500 FeuerFrei

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:34 PM

Thanks guys! Really appreciate the feedback. Obviously I know there are budget things (such as a 200 or 300 dollar part) but I was consdering that the prices may have dropped by when I was ready to buy that part. Probably still need to do a lot of tweaking but like I said I really appreciate the feedback and advice.

Also I work at a school that goes through computer equipment like crazty so I was considering asking the IT guy for a computer case and if they had any extra memory which may help drop the cost as well

Also, will the components you've suggested be decent options for the longer term?


The suggested components should run current settings on high. That will decline over time, of course. You could get several, several years out of them before you would need to upgrade, depending on how nice you want your games to look. And if you do find second-hand RAM, just make sure it's DDR3.

#2501 MrshllJcb

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:13 PM

So my time frame i wanted to finish by is going to be around October (due to moving around that time and having more room). I had originally thought I could spend between $500-$600, but Im a bit ahead of schedule on my funds for the project so I may be able to spend more than I had originally anticipated. A question I have is whether its better to buy piece by piece over time (I would figure starting with the components that dont drop in price as much or have much advance in technology), or save and buy everything at once (but money always burns a hole in my pocket for things like this).

If it is better to go piece by piece (which I think I would prefer if its not a terrible idea), Which part(s) should I start with if I have around $200 right now

#2502 FeuerFrei

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:42 PM

So my time frame i wanted to finish by is going to be around October (due to moving around that time and having more room). I had originally thought I could spend between $500-$600, but Im a bit ahead of schedule on my funds for the project so I may be able to spend more than I had originally anticipated. A question I have is whether its better to buy piece by piece over time (I would figure starting with the components that dont drop in price as much or have much advance in technology), or save and buy everything at once (but money always burns a hole in my pocket for things like this).

If it is better to go piece by piece (which I think I would prefer if its not a terrible idea), Which part(s) should I start with if I have around $200 right now


It's best to only buy on sale, and all around the same time. If you bought something on sale today, it will be on sale for even cheaper in October. Plus you don't want to buy piece by piece and then discover your budget was smaller than you imagined, leaving you stuck without funds to purchase missing components. However, if you've planned it out well and want to pick up pieces along the way, you can go that route fairly successfully. Just wait for a great deal before you pick anything up using that method, or you will be doing yourself a great disservice. Just have an idea of what to be looking for and pick up whichever one is at rock bottom. Don't worry about buying them in any order.

I would stick to the original build suggestions and use any extra funds to purchase an SSD. They're getting shockingly cheap and have a really phenomenal impact on PC and game load times.

#2503 elessar123

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:05 PM

I wouldn't buy them too far apart, so you can take advantage of RMAs if a part comes DOA.

#2504 MrshllJcb

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:21 PM

Thank you both. I hadn't considered the possibilty of having to return defective parts. Is that fair common to get DOA parts?

#2505 HumanSnatcher

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:44 AM

After skimming the last few pages looks like I did pretty good with my build a couple months ago. A few guys over in the OTT helped me out as well. From what I've talked to with a few friends its a beast of a build. The only thing I'm concerned about is that I've read that Caviar Green drives die pretty quickly. Is that true? I would eventually like to upgrade the SSD, but its good for right now just for the OS. Just out of curiosity, SLIing the 560 Tis should carry me for a long while shouldn't it?

Antec 900 case
2TB WD Caviar Green HDD
64GB Crucial M4 SSD
16gb DDR3 1600 G.Skill Ripjaws series RAM
Intel i7-3820 CPU
ASRock X79 Extreme6 motherboard
2x EVGA 1gb GTX 560 Ti Fermi SLI'd GPU
Rosewill Bronze 1000W PSU
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus
LG 12X blu ray burner
Win7 Ultimate
Total cost was around $1725-$1800

Eventually I want to watercool the CPU. Be nice to watercool the video cards, but theres no room left in the case for anything unless I bought a new one. Which I might in a year or so

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#2506 elessar123

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:38 AM

The only thing I'm concerned about is that I've read that Caviar Green drives die pretty quickly. Is that true? I would eventually like to upgrade the SSD, but its good for right now just for the OS. Just out of curiosity, SLIing the 560 Tis should carry me for a long while shouldn't it?


Yes, I it's true. You can help prevent it by setting the drive to not park the head so often. Google how to do it.

As for the SSD; I bought a 256GB 830, but I'm having buyer's remorse. I partially wish I bought a 128GB drive instead, paired with a Caviar Black drive or velociraptor.

And about the SLIs, I'm not 100% sure, but I think for the same price, you can get a single card with the same performance at less power. This one I'm not sure about, since I've never ran SLI or high end $500+ cards.

#2507 Scorch

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 01:29 PM

Any good recommendations for blu-ray drives? Nothing fancy, not looking for a burner, just want to be able to watch movies.

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#2508 DarenDF

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:35 PM

Going to be ordering parts for my new desktop this week. Anyone know a good wireless network card? Nothing to expensive, just something that will be stable and have a good connection.

#2509 DarenDF

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 10:31 PM

Sorry to double post but I don't need a wireless card anymore. I ordered everything I'll need to build my new gaming rig. But seeing as this is my first build, does anyone have a good handy guide they like to use? I saw the 2 listed in the 2nd post of the thread but I didn't know if anyone had any others they'd like to suggest.

#2510 HumanSnatcher

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 06:39 AM

Any good recommendations for blu-ray drives? Nothing fancy, not looking for a burner, just want to be able to watch movies.

Depending on the price, you might as well get a burner. This is what I have in my rig. Only 60 bones. And its actually 15 bucks cheaper than what I paid for it 3 months ago

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827136250

I coulda swore that I answered you a couple days ago. I must have gotten sidetracked before I hit Post. Hopefully that helps ya tho.

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#2511 MrshllJcb

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:10 PM

Hey guys, still planning my computer and I have a question. Everyone seems to say and agree that its a good idea to get a SSD and it seems people also recommend getting like a 1tb harddrive as well. My question is what do you use the SSD for if you have 1tb of space on a different HD.

Do you install the OS to the SSD to make it boot/operate faster and do you install your games to the SSD? Or just the saves to load quicker? Wondering because most people recommend a 240gb SSD but I know games are huge so that seems like it'd fill quick. Thanks again CAGs

#2512 FeuerFrei

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:15 PM

Hey guys, still planning my computer and I have a question. Everyone seems to say and agree that its a good idea to get a SSD and it seems people also recommend getting like a 1tb harddrive as well. My question is what do you use the SSD for if you have 1tb of space on a different HD.

Do you install the OS to the SSD to make it boot/operate faster and do you install your games to the SSD? Or just the saves to load quicker? Wondering because most people recommend a 240gb SSD but I know games are huge so that seems like it'd fill quick. Thanks again CAGs


You'll install the OS and the most important apps and games to the SSD. Everything else goes on the hard drive. I have a 256GB and currently have OS and ALL apps and games on the SSD, but it's filling up and I'm going to need to get another soon or pick up a 512gb, if I plan on keeping all of them on the SSD.

#2513 MrshllJcb

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

You'll install the OS and the most important apps and games to the SSD. Everything else goes on the hard drive. I have a 256GB and currently have OS and ALL apps and games on the SSD, but it's filling up and I'm going to need to get another soon or pick up a 512gb, if I plan on keeping all of them on the SSD.


I did think of the prospect of buying a 240 or 256gb SSD now and upgrading to another larger one down the road when its closer to full and SSD's are cheaper to try and have only SSD as my storage

#2514 FeuerFrei

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:41 PM

I did think of the prospect of buying a 240 or 256gb SSD now and upgrading to another larger one down the road when its closer to full and SSD's are cheaper to try and have only SSD as my storage


If you have a 7-series chipset (Ivy Bridge), Intel finally released TRIM support which means that you can RAID two 240 or 256 and get higher performance at a cheaper price than a single larger capacity SSD. That appears to only be for the 7-series though.

#2515 theytookourjobz

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:45 PM

Hey guys, still planning my computer and I have a question. Everyone seems to say and agree that its a good idea to get a SSD and it seems people also recommend getting like a 1tb harddrive as well. My question is what do you use the SSD for if you have 1tb of space on a different HD.

Do you install the OS to the SSD to make it boot/operate faster and do you install your games to the SSD? Or just the saves to load quicker? Wondering because most people recommend a 240gb SSD but I know games are huge so that seems like it'd fill quick. Thanks again CAGs


Steam Mover is also great for moving games from SSD to HDD.

#2516 MrshllJcb

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:49 PM

If you have a 7-series chipset (Ivy Bridge), Intel finally released TRIM support which means that you can RAID two 240 or 256 and get higher performance at a cheaper price than a single larger capacity SSD. That appears to only be for the 7-series though.



I'm not gonna lie, I don't really understand a lot of this. I'm building my first pc so this time I'm going for ease of build and simplicity kinda. I get that you were saying that certain chips let you use two of the smaller SSD's without sacrificing performance but Im not familiar with terms like TRIM support yet. There is a Crucial m4 512gb SSD for $350 today only that I'm contemplating because it seems like id spend around $220 for something about half the size.

#2517 Robosham

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:21 AM

I hope I'm posting this in the right place. I've never built a pc before and I'm trying to build a good gaming pc on a budget. My goal is to be able to play Street Fighter AE 2012 and Wii games flawlessly. I don't know what the opinion on this site of emulation is but I own a wii and the games I'll be playing if that justifies it at all. I really just want to play smash brothers in hd. I would also like to be able to play most modern games maxed out fine. I'm fine with turning settings down a bit on very demanding games like battlefield 3 or crysis 2. I most likely won't be playing many of them either.

I'll be playing on a 32 inch 720p hdtv which I know if frowned upon by most pc gamers, but the visual difference really doesn't matter to me at that point. I won't be playing too many games that warrant high resolution. The most demanding games I think of that I'll be playing are the new counter strike, primal carnage, and nothing really beyond that. So if I can run those fine I'll be happy.

Here's the build I've come up with:

EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti - $219
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM - $70
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM - $24
GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3V LGA 1155 Intel B75 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - $65
Intel Core i5-2310 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor - $180
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 Power Suppy - $60
Rosewill R218-P-BK Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $30

If anyone could tell me how to improve this build by getting something equal or better for a lower price I would greatly appreciate it. Also, if something in my build doesn't make sense let me know because, like I said, I have no experience building a pc and would like to know what mistakes I've made in case I want to build another pc in the future. Brand of parts doesn't matter to me at all as long as it's reliable and efficient.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that my ideal budget is $500-$600

Edited by Robosham, 21 August 2012 - 08:24 AM.
Forgot to add information


#2518 The Crotch

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:00 PM

You didn't mention anything about an OS or a monitor. I'm assuming you have both of those covered?

EDIT: You also didn't mention a DVD drive.

Anyway, the parts you picked come out to $648 with no DVD drive, OS, or monitor. Leaving out the OS and monitor but adding a DVD drive...

CPU: Intel Core i5-2310 2.9GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($72.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($19.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($187.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($41.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $604.01

EDIT2: Plus shipping on some of those, naturally.

Also, keep in mind that as far as PC parts go, something is always going on or off sale. So if you're not buying now, this exact list is not gonna help you much. If you want to order, like, a week from now, the prices on this list will be different, and probably not for the better.

Edited by The Crotch, 21 August 2012 - 04:52 PM.

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#2519 Robosham

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:20 PM

You didn't mention anything about an OS or a monitor. I'm assuming you have both of those covered?

EDIT: You also didn't mention a DVD drive.

Also, keep in mind that as far as PC parts go, something is always going on or off sale. So if you're not buying now, this exact list is not gonna help you much. If you want to order, like, a week from now, the prices on this list will be different, and probably not for the better.


Thanks for the help.

I have the OS and dvd drive covered, just forgot to mention them. I did mention a monitor though.

I actually don't plan on buying this for about a month so I should probably keep an eye out for what's on sale and before I buy check back with this forum again for help.

#2520 The Crotch

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:30 PM

Aye, sorry, my eyes slid over the preamble.

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