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Building the Computer You Want: Budget or Performance?

Updated on March 29, 2012

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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