Building the Computer You Want: Budget or Performance?

Even if you do not buy the components and build your computer yourself, you should have similar components when you are looking to buy a computer. Your first decision is whether you want a budget or performance computer and this depends on how you plan to use the computer. The computer is nothing more but a series of key elements. Below is a list of the best components needed to create either a budget or performance computer.

For a budget computer:

Intel Core i5-2500K CPU ($240) or AMD FX-4100 ($110), AMD Radeon HD 6850 ($140) graphics card; for a motherboard, the ASRock P67 pro ($99) or AMD GA-970-D3 ($90); for power, the Enermax ENP450AST ($45); for memory- G Skill Ripjaws 1600 Mhz DDr3, 8GB ($50); for a hardrive - get the solid state Crucial M4 84GB ($150), and finally, for a DVD drive, a Samsung SH-B123L ($60). It will do everything and read Blu-ray.

These components will create a very good inexpensive computer. If you are shopping around, the critical elements are the CPU, Motherboard and Memory. Try to get a computer with the same components.

For a performance computer:

Intel Core i7 2600K ($320) or AMD FX-8150 ($250); for graphics- Nvidia Geoforce GTX 570 ($350); for a motherboard, Asus P8z68-V pro/Gen 3 ($204) or Asus Crosshair V ($219); for power, the Cooler Master Silent Pro RSA00-AMBAJ3 ($159); for memory, use the same as in the budget computer; for a hard drive- a solid state Samsung SSD 830 256 GB ($400), and use the same DVD as in the budget.

Again, the high end computer you buy at a store should have the i7 or AMD CPU and motherboard. Performance can be impacted simply by a slow hard-drive or memory, or lack of adequate memory.

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