Newbie creating a new budget system

Hello, all.

I am a newbie here and this is my first post. Please let me know if there's a better sub-board here I need to post this request to?

I have grown tired of my old Athlon 1 GHz machine and am thinking about putting together a new system using a few parts from my current machine -- probably just the two 160Mb hard drives, my cable modem, mouse, keyboard, monitor, SCSI scanner, and my two new optical drives (one a CDR, one a DVD-R). My current mobo, RAM, video card, and case all need to be switched out. There over 3 years old now and XP is sluggish despite a new install. In my next machine, I'd like to play with Linux some with a third drive.

Most of the work I do is mainly web surfing/email stuff with some Office and light graphics work. I do a lot of CD burning and lossless music gathering but that's about it other than some database work.

I would like to keep my system under $1,000 and build it all myself, which I am sure I can do.

I was looking at getting an Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe mobo; an AMD Duron Athlon XP 3000+ (400MHz); and an Abit Radeon 9600XT-VIO 256MB DDR 8XAGP graphics card. I was going to place all this with some new Corsair CL2 DDR DIMMs in a new Antec P160 aluminum case. With a new 480W power supply and a Coolermaster Jet 7, this new system was going to cost me about $701 (doesn't include shipping).

Based on what I've decribed above, is there a better configuration you might suggest? I'm sure the system above would be tons faster than the one I have now, but I want to make sure there is some room to grow. I'll keep the new machine at least 2 years (probably 3), and I don't want to be left out when Longhorn, etc. come out and I haven't properly prepared now.

Thanks for any help.

-- Shampoo
17 answers Last reply
More about newbie creating budget system
  1. If you want to keep your system awhile, I'd go with the athlon 64 2800 or 3000 with nforce3 board. Both can be had for about $300. Also be sure to use a name brand power supply such as antec, enermax, or sparkle. Quality is just as important as the wattage rating.
  2. Could you recommend a specific motherboard for an Athlon 64 processor? I'd be willing to pay extra for stability. I am not going to overclock.
  3. A64 mobo suggestions

    nForce3 250 based MB :
    - Chaintech VNF3-250 (basic board)
    - MSI K8N Neo Platinum (load of features)

    VIA K8T800 based MB :
    - MSI K8T-NEO FSR

    Some AnandTech recommendations :
    <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2063&p=16" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2063&p=16</A>

    --
    It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
  4. Thanks, Rod.

    Here's is what I am leaning towards right now:

    (1) MSI K8T NEO-FIS2R VIA K8T800 CHIPSET ULTRA ATA133 ATX FORM FACTOR 1xAGP(8X)/5xPCI/3xDDR W/SATA RAID,LAN(Gb),USB 2.0 & AUDIO (CPU TYPE:AMD ATHLON 64 - SOCKET 754) Details (AMD ATHLON 64 3000+; COOLERMASTER KK8 7I52A; NO MEMORY)

    (2) ANTEC P160 ALUMINUM MID TOWER NO POWER SUPPLY W/ FRONT USB CONNECTOR Details (NO EXTRA FAN; NO POWER SUPPLY)

    (3)ABIT RADEON 9600XT-VIO 256MB DDR 8XAGP W/VIVO(VIDEO IN & OUT)

    I am now confused about memory. I think I need 512MB. I like the Corsair stuff I have read about.

    Also, is the "COOLERMASTER KK8 7I52A" a decent fan for this processor?

    Thanks!
  5. Personally, I'd rather have an Nforce3 motherboard, but since you don't want to overclock, It should be fine.

    Case: probably fine, but don't forget to also get a power supply, plus at least 1 80mm case Fan, preferably 1 intake and 1 exhaust fan.

    Graphics: current Gfx cards don't really get any benifit from 256Mb of RAM, but I don't know if they do a VIVO version with 128Mb (assuming you want that functionality of course). Plus you seem to not have any interest in 3d gaming - if this is the case, there's no point in buying that card, you could probably get something that's good for you for a third of the price.

    Memory: 512Mb as a minimum for a new system nowadays. 1Gb would be better. If you're not overclocking, and not going Dual channel, then expensive stuff like Corsair is a waste of cash really - something cheaper will do the job happily.

    That HSF will be adequate, but isn't the quietest in the universe. You could find something with an 80mm Fan (bigger=quieter on the whole). I'm not familiar enough with S754 Heatsinks to recommend a specific one ATM though.

    ---
    Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
    Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
    XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.475 Vcore
    2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
    Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
  6. MB is a good choice since you don't plan to overclock.

    Get a 128Megs Video Card, a 256Megs video card is worthless (near 0 performance improvments in most apps./games). And these cards come often with slower RAM to reduce the street price.

    For the memory, ChipDeath have a good point. Get omething like Kingston DDR400 or any "cheap" RAM, but check the Memory recommendation for your motherboard on the MSI website before choosing your memory model/maker.

    If you buy a BOXED Athlon 64 2800+. You get a very good performing fan that is not very noisy and very effective. Since you will not overclock. You don't need a 3rd party HSF. And you will get a 3 year warranty on your CPU. AMD BOXED CPU's come with this warranty, not the OEM version, only 1 year.

    --
    It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
  7. Well, I'm switching it up a bit. Here's the config. I'm going for now:

    (1) MSI nForce3 250 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Athlon 64 Socket 754 CPU, Model "K8N Neo Platinum" (MS-7030) -RETAIL

    (2) AMD Athlon 64 3000+, 512KB L2 Cache 64-bit Processor - Retail

    (3) OCZ Performance Series Dual Channel Kit 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3500 - Retail

    (4) SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9800PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -RETAIL

    (5) KINGWIN SILVER All Aluminum 10-Bay Mid tower case, Model "KT-424-S"

    (6) Enlight ATX 360W P4 Power Supply, Model "EN-8361934A1" -RETAIL

    ==

    Can you see anything I'm leaving out? Any improvements?

    Thanks!
  8. Now you're cookin' with gas, DooD! :smile:

    "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. Now, let's eat!
  9. A few points:
    a much better video card choice, IMO. a 128Mb 9800Pro will be better than the 256Mb 9600XT. A thing to be careful of is Sapphire make a line of "9800 Pro" cards which actually have 128-bit memory (whereas it should be 256-bit, to match the GPU core), which reduces the performance significantly.

    The memory - you <i>don't</i> need a 'Dual-Channel' kit, as that motherboard Can't run in dual channel mode anyway. also if you're not overclocking then anything faster than PC3200 is a waste. You could probably save a lot of money here by just buying 2x512Mb Kingston PC3200 or similar.

    I would not be happy about pairing that power supply with those components. It would probably work ok for a while, but as it'll be operating at or near it's peak output constantly, it may well die fairly soon.

    I would suggest getting a good brand 400W supply at least. Fortron Source make good supplies for fairly low prices.

    ---
    Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
    Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
    XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.475 Vcore
    2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
    Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
  10. It's a good setup. The only thing I will reiterate : If you don't plan to overclock your PC, get a cheaper memory, you don't need PC3500 ram, PC32000 is enough.

    PC3500 = DDR433
    PC3200 = DDR400

    Athlon 64 only need DDR400 RAM at default speed.

    --
    It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
  11. OK. Thank you all for the help!

    Here's what I am settling for:

    (1) KINGWIN SILVER All Aluminum 10-Bay Mid tower case, Model "KT-424-S"
    (2) Fortron Source 400W Power Supply With 12CM Fan, Model "FSP400-60PNU-R1" -RETAIL
    (3) MSI nForce3 250 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Athlon 64 Socket 754 CPU, Model "K8N Neo Platinum" (MS-7030) -RETAIL
    (4) AMD Athlon 64 3000+, 512KB L2 Cache 64-bit Processor - Retail
    (5) Corsair Value Select 184 Pin (2x) 512MB DDR PC-3200 - OEM
    (6) SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9800PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -RETAIL

    All this overnighted to me for $913. I am pleased.
  12. Good! I envy you a bit! My next upgrade will only be in late August or September.

    --
    It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
  13. Looks good to me. Better than my system anyway :frown:
    :wink:

    ---
    Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
    Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
    XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.45 Vcore
    2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
    Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
  14. Would you like a gmail invite? ;->
  15. Best offer I've had in a while :smile:

    ---
    Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
    Summer's here! so ease off the overclock...
    XP1700+ @166x12 (~2Ghz), 1.45 Vcore
    2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
    Sapphire 9800Pro 400/730
  16. Hey, it's free. I won't even make you pay for it...

    Email me at jkmoore AT juno DOT com and I'll set you up. I love my account!
  17. Rod, the gmail invite is good for you too if you want it.
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