Hardware Guide: Rs. 25,000 Budget Ivy Bridge SystemMarch 19th, 2013
Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs are fast and efficient. But are they affordable? Let’s look at building a budget Ivy Bridge system with just Rs. 25,000.
If you are on a budget you can’t buy an Ivy Bridge quad core CPU. That is a Core i5 or Core i7 3rd generation CPU is clearly not a budget CPU. A Core i3 is also too expensive at over Rs. 12,000. The only option is a Pentium G2010 or G2020.
The Pentium G2020 is a dual core CPU running at 2.9GHz. It has 3MB of smart cache and, unlike the Core i3 CPUs, it does not have support for hyper threading. The built in graphics processor has a base frequency of 650MHz that can ramp up to 1.1GHz when in demand. It is faster than the G2010 by 100MHz and costs a tad extra. I think the G2020 is perfect for our low budget system.
Motherboards with chipsets designed specifically for 3rd gen CPUs cost a lot. The cheapest one is GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3H at Rs. 8,300.
The cheaper option is to buy an H61 chipset motherboard that comes with support for 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge CPUs out of the box. The only one available in the local market is the GIGABYTE GA-H61M-DS2 revision 2.0 or later. This board costs Rs. 5400. Older revisions of this board don’t support Ivy Bridge CPUs without a BIOS update so you have to be careful that you buy the right revision.
The GIGABYTE GA-H61M-DS2 has support for 2 DIMMs for a maximum of 16GB RAM. It has a PCI-E x16 slot for a discrete graphics card and 2 PCI-E x1 slots for other expansion cards. There are 4 SATA 2 3Gbps ports for storage devices. Back panel I/O ports include a VGA connector for the Integrated Graphics Processor in Intel CPUs, 4 USB 2.0 ports and an Ethernet port for the integrated gigabit LAN. Of course the mobo also comes with an audio chip built in.
RAM prices are pretty low these days so we can go with a 4GB stick of DDR3. Value RAM modules from Kingston are good enough for a budget build. It doesn’t pay to go with anything faster than DDR3 1333MHz with Ivy Bridge CPUs. These CPUs already aggressively cache RAM so faster memory doesn’t improve real life performance.
Hard disk drive
Hard disk drive prices haven’t come down to pre-Thailand flood levels yet. So we can only afford the cheapest drive available on the market and that is a 7200RPM 500GB drive. A Seagate Barracude 500GB drive or a Western Digital Blue Caviar 500GB is a good choice. The green series of drives are to be avoided at all costs.
An optical drive is no longer absolutely necessary. Most software can be downloaded and installed from the Internet these days. However it is useful to have an optical drive for backups and for the initial operating system installation so it is included in this guide. Any branded drive will do since they are all more or less the same these days.
Casing and PSU
We’ll go with a generic casing and Power Supply Unit for our budget system. If you are thinking of adding a discrete graphics card you would do well to buy a branded power supply unit.
The final system is given below:
|CPU||Intel Pentium G2020||Rs. 6,400|
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE GA-H61M-DS2 (rev >= 2.0)||Rs. 5,400|
|RAM||Kingston Value RAM DDR3 1333MHz 1x4GB||Rs. 2,900|
|Hard Disk Drive||Seagate Barracuda 500GB||Rs. 6,000|
|Optical Drive (optional)||Any branded DVD Writer||Rs. 2,000|
|Casing and PSU||Generic||Rs. 2,700|
This combination of parts is ideal for a fast office PC or a light gaming system. It can be further improved at a later date by upgrading the CPU to a Core i3 or Core i5 and adding a discrete graphics card.