New PC build

Hey guys, it's been a while. I've taken a break from Sharenator because of all the BS I saw here, and just didn't think it was right. So, here I come to ask you all for advice:

I want to build myself a PC for the experience of building my own computer, and possibly a Hackintosh with OSX 10.6.8 (love the OS, hate the price). My budget is loosely around $600, or whatever will get me close to the specs of this Mac Mini, with the CPU and GPU being my bottom line, maybe a quad-core i5 or i7, and enough of a GPU to get by on gaming. As far as a starting point, I already have a microATX case available, and I get that I may need to start from scratch with a bigger MoBo.

If this project turns out fruitful, I was hoping to use the machine mostly for recording/mastering my music and playing the odd PC game here and there. Any advice that you guys may have about the hardware for me to choose, how to go about it, etc., I'm open.

Thanks, best wishes.

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  • iGreenDay
  • June 25, 2012, 3:05 am
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    If you're doing any kind of gaming, and you only have a $600 dollar budget then you certainly don't want to go overboard on the processor. A quad core i7 is a $300 processor. The best CPU for gaming that's also the cheapest is an i5-2500k. I'll look some stuff up, but chances are you may go overboard a little bit. The GPU is also not going to be cheap by any means. You may have to get a CPU that isn't quite as good as a 2500k though. I'll see what I can put together.

    CPU: i5-2310
    cpu - new pc build

    GPU: GTS 450
    gpu - new pc build

    Mobo: ASRock Z68M
    mobo - new pc build

    RAM: Corsair 8GB (2x4GB)
    ram - new pc build

    PSU: Corsair CX430
    psu - new pc build

    dvd - new pc build

    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 750GB 7200RPM 32MB Cache
    hdd - new pc build

    CPU Cooler: EVO Hyper212
    cpuc - new pc build

    I believe that's everything you'll need if you already have a microATX case. The grand total is $591.92, so you have a few bucks to spare. From what I can see, it's comparatively better than the Mac Mini. You can also upgrade anything on this machine without having to buy an entirely new one.

    • Disco
    • June 25, 2012, 7:54 am
    I agree. I have a GTS 450 (Asus 811MHz factory overclock one. Asus make like 5 varieties). It's an extremely good card for the price. But I would say you could skip the cooler. You don't NEED it. However, larger fans do the same job quieter...

    Also, shop around. Lots of people find alright, but if you don't live in the us, see if there are other shops that have good prices. I found in the UK which was very cheap and reliable! They have a good i3 Motherboard Bundle with 4GB ram for £199 I think. However, they are based in the UK which means you would need to pay UK → US postage. Try and find a similar site if you live outside the UK. You can save hassle by buying a motherboard bundle because you will know it works with that CPU and RAM. And you sometimes save a little money too.

    PS. Don't do hackintosh. I have heard it's pretty unreliable, and doesn't work as well as it does on Mac OS. Just install Windows and get a mac if you want to use Mac OS. A Mac Mini is not exactly expensive - and if you are in any kind of education you can get an education discount from Apple. And a free App Store gift card if you buy it before september :D
    - SkinnyBill June 25, 2012, 10:47 am
    I know there are discrepancies with the Hackintosh method, but after this post I found a site (tonymacx86) that makes it simple, even with all of the snags I hit. Just in case (and for gaming), I've built it as a dual-boot between Lion and Win7. You also just can't get this performance on a Mac for the price I got (dunno about Europe, but USD Mac prices are steep for the specs). So far the only problem is sleep/wake which matters not to me, and I'm overall pleased with the turnout of it all. However, if I can find a way to make it work with music production and all, it'd be much easier to ditch the OS X I grew up with once and for all.
    - iGreenDay July 14, 2012, 3:04 am
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