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Budget spec - any tips/advice?

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December 2, 2001 10:59:24 PM

I'm speccing a computer for my girlfriend at the moment, she's on a bit of a budget, it'll mainly be for web surfing, word processing, a bit of low end gaming, and watching the odd DVD. The spec I've come up with so far is as follows, I'm intending to run Win XP on it, and I was mostly wondering if anyone had any experience with the motherboard I was looking at, or could recommend an alternative. Anyway, here's the spec:

Gigabyte's GA-7IXEH motherboard
800Mhz Duron
256Mb PC133 SDRAM Non-Parity CL3 from Crucial
soundblaster PCI 128 OEM
dabs value TNT 2
pioneer DVD-106S OEM
mitsumi floppy 3.5"
Maxtor 20GB UDMA100 hard drive
case with 300watt PSU
cooler master DP5-6H51

Oh, and before anyone wonders about the net access, we have a cable modem, we're all networked up and I have a bunch of NICs lying around the house. This system comes in at just under £350UK (just under $500US), which is pretty much the limit (I have a monitor already).
I'm half thinking about seeing if I can overclock the duron to 1GHz, do you think the cooler I've selected will be man enough for the job, or should I look at something a bit more serious. Any advice/pointers/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Thorin
December 3, 2001 4:07:34 PM

Low budget or not, I'd get yourself a decent gfx card. For the DVD aspects alone, if not for gaming etc.

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December 3, 2001 6:01:30 PM

First, get Crucial CAS/CL 2 for the same price. The lower the latency the better the overall speed of the memory type. <A HREF="http://www.crucial.com/store/listmodule.asp?module=SDRA..." target="_new"> See here for crucial specs/price page. </A> ($0.90US more expensive for 128MB and $3.60US more for 256MB) Or you can go with DDRSDRAM using the board below.

Secondly, I agree about the video card being of better quality unless the you have a DVD drive with an outstanding DVD decoder card on it or a seperate DVD decoder card. I tink that model can handle the DVD output but I am not a pro on DVD drives. However a better suited video card will give you better overall output and not just for a DVD application. <A HREF="http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/Pioneer/CDA/Industria..." target="_new"> Pioneer DVD-106S ATAPI Dive Specs. </A>

Third, you might want to try the <A HREF="http://www.ecs.com.tw/products/k7s5a.htm" target="_new"> Elitegroup K7S5A. </A> At least with that board you can use DDR or PC133 and make it easier to upgrade overall in the future.
<A HREF="http://www.ibuyer.net/prod.html?id=618736" target="_new"> Price comparison for this board. </A> It is close to the price for the Gigabyte board you stated. (Price could be different in UK.)


Make sure you don't skimp on the PSU. Not all PSU's are made equal. You don't have to spend a mint, but be careful. Especially if you live in a section that has a lot of power fluctuations. Since your monetary amounts are listed in pounds, I would guess that you might. (That is not a diss, just an observation from past experiances.)

Good luck and God bless,

DP

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