So after spending most the day searching I've decided on these specs:
pentium D 830 (I get a discount with intel)
Leadtek PX6600GT (seems to have good ratings for the price tag)
2 512 sticks of ram (not sure about branding, pc2-5400 ddr2-667 though . . and from what I understand a gig is all I'll need in the near future)
AOpen I945Pa-PLF since I don't think I need features
SATA drive 250~320 gigs (haven't decided)
So all well and good, until I try to look at a case and power supply. I don't care about looks, I just want it to do the job and not be a large chunk of the cost of the system. The key here is price without being a detriment to the machine, and to a small extent noise.
So can someone point me the way to plain but effective? Also I'm not sure what wattage I need. Any other tips for that matter would be appreciated as well.
I'm hoping to go just under top of the line so that I get a system that will last me, but not have me paying a lot more for a whopping 3% speed increase.
Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I'm tired and more than a bit lost from seemingly identical feature lists and product codes.
I've seen the posts to other people that recommend the lian li and superflower, and I guess it made me wonder it there was a step below that had the same quality (inside) without bothing with the fancy outside. Also, isn't a 535w power suppy overkill? the most I plan to expand to is one extra hard drive.
If you haven't bought these items already, get yourself an Antec True380. It might cost a little more than other brands but it puts out every watt the specs say it does. And get an acrylic case. I got a nice one for fifty dollars and you can make the case look any way you want.
If he gets an Antec True380, then he might as well get an Antec Sonata - it already has an Antec True380 PSU. Or he could get the Sonata II that has a True430 in it. They can be bought for around $100.
Use this <A HREF="http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/" target="_new">Wattage Calculator</A> to estimate the PSU that you need. Remember that PSUs are not rated to run at max wattage 24/7 - no room for surge requirements and it reduces the PSU lifespan. I would feel safe running it at 60-70% load on a continuous basis. With an Intel system I would go way overboard - they are POWER HOGS. That system should draw somewhere around 325W. For a 70% continuous draw on PSU, you would need somewhere around a 450W+ PSU.
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