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First-time builder, need advice (esp. video cards)

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June 23, 2005 2:29:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

After taking hand-me-down computers from friends for the past several
years, I've finally decided to take the plunge and build my own
monster for the first time.

My present dinosaur is:
Intel 200MHz
4MB Diamond Stealth II video card
2 HDDs ~1GB each
Soundblaster 16 (I think -- it was ripped from an old 486)
64MB RAM
Windows 98SE

Very little could be salvaged from this system, so I'm keeping it
intact and starting from scratch, except for a spare floppy drive I
have sitting around, current monitor, keyboard and mouse. Obviously
_anything_ I end up building would be a vast improvement. I have no
need for brand-spanking-new, whiz-bang, overclocking, souping up,
etcetera. I just want a sturdy system I can hopefully count on for a
few years, with good parts that can be the basis for future upgrades.

Budget is about $400-500.
The machine would mostly be used for internet, graphics/photo editing
(for digital camera), simple sound editing, and older games (my
grandest designs are on The Sims and Ultima VII-IX -- likely no
MMPORPGs or recent 3D games). Sometime in the future I'd also like to
add a TV tuner for video capture.
I'll also be moving up to Windows XP Home (probably OEM).

Reading here has been very helpful, especially the advice given to not
break the bank with motherboard/processors since upgrade of one will
more than likely mean upgrade of the other. But can the same be said
for video cards? That's where I'm needing the most advice. I'd like
to be able to get a card that can last through a couple of
processor/mobo upgrades if possible...but I have no idea which one
might be best for that.

I'm going with an AMD processor, considering a Sempron. I'm not
locked in to any particular one because of my uncertainty about the
video card...and of course video card choices depend on the
motherboard. It's all very Escherian. So can anyone suggest a good,
forward-designed video card for my desired activities that would go
with an AMD-compatible motherboard, hopefully less than $150?

Or is this an impossible order to fill?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks so much!
June 23, 2005 3:03:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Go to tigerdirect.com or newegg.com

the operating system will probably be your biggest set back as far as
price goes.

be sure to buy a case with adequate ventilation and be sure it is
designed for your mobo--i.e. AT; ATX; micro ATX.

DRG



Michelle wrote:
> After taking hand-me-down computers from friends for the past several
> years, I've finally decided to take the plunge and build my own
> monster for the first time.
>
> My present dinosaur is:
> Intel 200MHz
> 4MB Diamond Stealth II video card
> 2 HDDs ~1GB each
> Soundblaster 16 (I think -- it was ripped from an old 486)
> 64MB RAM
> Windows 98SE
>
> Very little could be salvaged from this system, so I'm keeping it
> intact and starting from scratch, except for a spare floppy drive I
> have sitting around, current monitor, keyboard and mouse. Obviously
> _anything_ I end up building would be a vast improvement. I have no
> need for brand-spanking-new, whiz-bang, overclocking, souping up,
> etcetera. I just want a sturdy system I can hopefully count on for a
> few years, with good parts that can be the basis for future upgrades.
>
> Budget is about $400-500.
> The machine would mostly be used for internet, graphics/photo editing
> (for digital camera), simple sound editing, and older games (my
> grandest designs are on The Sims and Ultima VII-IX -- likely no
> MMPORPGs or recent 3D games). Sometime in the future I'd also like to
> add a TV tuner for video capture.
> I'll also be moving up to Windows XP Home (probably OEM).
>
> Reading here has been very helpful, especially the advice given to not
> break the bank with motherboard/processors since upgrade of one will
> more than likely mean upgrade of the other. But can the same be said
> for video cards? That's where I'm needing the most advice. I'd like
> to be able to get a card that can last through a couple of
> processor/mobo upgrades if possible...but I have no idea which one
> might be best for that.
>
> I'm going with an AMD processor, considering a Sempron. I'm not
> locked in to any particular one because of my uncertainty about the
> video card...and of course video card choices depend on the
> motherboard. It's all very Escherian. So can anyone suggest a good,
> forward-designed video card for my desired activities that would go
> with an AMD-compatible motherboard, hopefully less than $150?
>
> Or is this an impossible order to fill?
>
> Any advice appreciated. Thanks so much!
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 23, 2005 11:52:16 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

> After taking hand-me-down computers from friends for the past several
> years, I've finally decided to take the plunge and build my own
> monster for the first time.
>
> My present dinosaur is:
> Intel 200MHz
> 4MB Diamond Stealth II video card
> 2 HDDs ~1GB each
> Soundblaster 16 (I think -- it was ripped from an old 486)
> 64MB RAM
> Windows 98SE
>
> Very little could be salvaged from this system, so I'm keeping it
> intact and starting from scratch, except for a spare floppy drive I
> have sitting around, current monitor, keyboard and mouse. Obviously
> _anything_ I end up building would be a vast improvement. I have no
> need for brand-spanking-new, whiz-bang, overclocking, souping up,
> etcetera. I just want a sturdy system I can hopefully count on for a
> few years, with good parts that can be the basis for future upgrades.

Put Linux on it and fool around with it?

> Budget is about $400-500.

Now, that's a tight budget! Could there possibly be a little more?

> The machine would mostly be used for internet, graphics/photo editing
> (for digital camera), simple sound editing, and older games (my
> grandest designs are on The Sims and Ultima VII-IX -- likely no
> MMPORPGs or recent 3D games). Sometime in the future I'd also like to
> add a TV tuner for video capture.
> I'll also be moving up to Windows XP Home (probably OEM).

With new power, you might end up getting a newer game eventually. Never
build a system based on todays needs. Think of the future and your money is
more wisely spent...

> Reading here has been very helpful, especially the advice given to not
> break the bank with motherboard/processors since upgrade of one will
> more than likely mean upgrade of the other. But can the same be said
> for video cards? That's where I'm needing the most advice. I'd like
> to be able to get a card that can last through a couple of
> processor/mobo upgrades if possible...but I have no idea which one
> might be best for that.
>
> I'm going with an AMD processor, considering a Sempron. I'm not
> locked in to any particular one because of my uncertainty about the
> video card...and of course video card choices depend on the
> motherboard. It's all very Escherian. So can anyone suggest a good,
> forward-designed video card for my desired activities that would go
> with an AMD-compatible motherboard, hopefully less than $150?
>
> Or is this an impossible order to fill?

Glad you want AMD!

Let's look at a good setup for the money:

Video card: eVGA GeForce 6600GT - $150
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Motherboard: MSI K8N Neo Platinum (nVidia nForce 3 250GB) - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

CPU: Athlon64 2800+ - $127 <--- Why buy Sempron when a real Athlon 64 is
this cheap?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Memory: Corsair ValueSelect 1GB (2x512) - $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

DVD/CD burner: LiteOn 1693S - $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Case: Antec Sonata - $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

HDD: Western Digital SATA 160GB 7200RPM - $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Not including shipping, your at $694. Now, this is a very nice system. These
are top quality parts from very reputable manufacturers. It's on an older
socket 754 platform, but still viable, it has a genuine Athlon64 processor,
a nice, fast video card, lots of memory for your photo editing, good sized
hard drive and a nice, fast dual layer DVD burner, all on a once premium
motherboard from a 1st tier supplier. It also has a very nice, fashionable,
and quiet, Antec Sonata case with a good 380 watt TruePower genuine Antec
power supply. This is more than your $400 -$500 budget but it's also a lot
more computer than you could ever buy at that price range. I could have
found a lesser motherboard for a couple of $ less, and actually got a
Sempron for another couple of $ less, etc, etc., but they're little less
money, but a lot less in performance than you could expect from these parts.

You could get a cheap system on sale somewhere from eMachines or Compaq, as
you can get something comparable with a monitor and lots of installed
software for less. However, you'll likely get a very low-end graphics card,
a Sempron processor, a smaller, slower hard drive (non-SATA), unlikely
you'll get a dual layer DVD burner, and they're bound to have skimped on the
power supplies and quality of the case.

In the end, if you're willing to part with a few more $$$, build something
like above.
Related resources
June 24, 2005 1:06:54 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

v wrote in message <_Fwue.1179$5w3.404@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com>...
>Michelle wrote:
>> I'll also be moving up to Windows XP Home (probably OEM).
>
>the operating system will probably be your biggest set back as far as
>price goes.
>
>DRG

The latest greatest Debian 'Sarge' GNU/Linux is $25.us, CDr/DVD, shipped to
your doorstep.
<G>
http://linuxcdrs.com/

--
Bob R
POVrookie
--
MinGW (GNU compiler): http://www.mingw.org/
Dev-C++ IDE: http://www.bloodshed.net/
POVray: http://www.povray.org/
alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++ faq:
http://www.comeaucomputing.com/learn/faq/
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2005 1:06:55 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

BobR wrote:

> v wrote in message <_Fwue.1179$5w3.404@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com>...
>
>>Michelle wrote:
>>
>>>I'll also be moving up to Windows XP Home (probably OEM).
>>
>>the operating system will probably be your biggest set back as far as
>>price goes.
>>
>>DRG
>
>
> The latest greatest Debian 'Sarge' GNU/Linux is $25.us, CDr/DVD, shipped to
> your doorstep.
> <G>
> http://linuxcdrs.com/

Delivered straight to the system for *free* over the internet but a high
speed connection is recommended unless you are a very, very patient person.

>
> --
> Bob R
> POVrookie
> --
> MinGW (GNU compiler): http://www.mingw.org/
> Dev-C++ IDE: http://www.bloodshed.net/
> POVray: http://www.povray.org/
> alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++ faq:
> http://www.comeaucomputing.com/learn/faq/
>
>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2005 1:06:55 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

> The latest greatest Debian 'Sarge' GNU/Linux is $25.us, CDr/DVD, shipped
> to
> your doorstep.
> <G>
> http://linuxcdrs.com/

Or absolutely free via download... :o )

I just installed the Sarge/Stable recently on my Athlon XP machine.
Suweeeet! Not for the novice, though... Mandriva would probably be better
for a beginner, and it too, is a free download.
June 24, 2005 2:52:30 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

David Maynard wrote in message <11bm9fto6a9gd4d@corp.supernews.com>...
>BobR wrote:
>> v wrote in message <_Fwue.1179$5w3.404@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com>...
>>>Michelle wrote:
>>>
>>>>I'll also be moving up to Windows XP Home (probably OEM).
>>>
>>>the operating system will probably be your biggest set back as far as
>>>price goes.
>>>DRG
>>
>> The latest greatest Debian 'Sarge' GNU/Linux is $25.us, CDr/DVD, shipped
to
>> your doorstep.
>> <G>
>> http://linuxcdrs.com/
>
>Delivered straight to the system for *free* over the internet but a high
>speed connection is recommended unless you are a very, very patient person.

With my current set-up/ISP, I could get the *first* ISO (there are ~14) for
about $600.us!! <G>
$25 vs. $8400, snail-mail looks good to me! :-}

For those that don't know, GNU/Linux is free. You are only paying for
burning/media/shipping/donation to *org/downloading.
You can get a bootable, non-hard-drive-tampering CD for $1.00(or DL it).
Look up Knoppix. It's a great way to try out GNU/Linux without having to
install anything.
--
Bob R
POVrookie
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2005 2:52:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

BobR wrote:
> David Maynard wrote in message <11bm9fto6a9gd4d@corp.supernews.com>...
>
>>BobR wrote:
>>
>>>v wrote in message <_Fwue.1179$5w3.404@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com>...
>>>
>>>>Michelle wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>I'll also be moving up to Windows XP Home (probably OEM).
>>>>
>>>>the operating system will probably be your biggest set back as far as
>>>>price goes.
>>>>DRG
>>>
>>>The latest greatest Debian 'Sarge' GNU/Linux is $25.us, CDr/DVD, shipped
>
> to
>
>>>your doorstep.
>>><G>
>>>http://linuxcdrs.com/
>>
>>Delivered straight to the system for *free* over the internet but a high
>>speed connection is recommended unless you are a very, very patient person.
>
>
> With my current set-up/ISP, I could get the *first* ISO (there are ~14) for
> about $600.us!! <G>
> $25 vs. $8400, snail-mail looks good to me! :-}

No offense but $600 for 700 meg is an outrageous ISP.


> For those that don't know, GNU/Linux is free. You are only paying for
> burning/media/shipping/donation to *org/downloading.
> You can get a bootable, non-hard-drive-tampering CD for $1.00(or DL it).
> Look up Knoppix. It's a great way to try out GNU/Linux without having to
> install anything.
> --
> Bob R
> POVrookie
>
>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2005 2:52:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

> For those that don't know, GNU/Linux is free. You are only paying for
> burning/media/shipping/donation to *org/downloading.
> You can get a bootable, non-hard-drive-tampering CD for $1.00(or DL it).
> Look up Knoppix. It's a great way to try out GNU/Linux without having to
> install anything.

Or...SimplyMepis, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or PCLinuxOS... Great CD based distros.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2005 5:35:56 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"Ruel Smith" wrote:
> > For those that don't know, GNU/Linux is free. You are only
> paying for
> > burning/media/shipping/donation to *org/downloading.
> > You can get a bootable, non-hard-drive-tampering CD for
> $1.00(or DL it).
> > Look up Knoppix. It's a great way to try out GNU/Linux
> without having to
> > install anything.
>
> Or...SimplyMepis, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or PCLinuxOS... Great CD
> based distros.

I’ll add some comments on the video card department if you don’t mind.

I recently got a Geforce4 Ti4200 for $75 Canadian (that might be like
$60 US). In terms of performance, it’s hard to beat for the price.
Next logical move up really would be either an ATI 9800 Pro or a
Geforce 6600 GT. The 6600 GT for the price is hard to beat and also
has Directx 9 compatibility and compatible with Shader Model 3. So,
it’s more future proof than a Ti4200. The Ti4200 runs better with
Directx 8.1 (google Directx 8.1 and the word alibre for a link to
Microsoft website to download Directx 8.1, the one on download.com is
a carp). The Geforce 6200 is the cheapest for a PCI-E motherboard.
But you may see lag in current/future games.

BTW, Western Digital Caviar hard drives are real silent and cool
running.
Antec and Enermax make pretty good power supplies. I have an Enermax
noisetaker 420 watt power supply that can be used on 20 or 24 pin
motherboards. (20 pins older, newer are 24 pins) It’s also
PCI-Express ready and SATA ready.

--
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Articles individually checked for conformance to usenet standards
Topic URL: http://www.hardwareforumz.com/Home-Built-time-builder-a...
Visit Topic URL to contact author (reg. req'd). Report abuse: http://www.hardwareforumz.com/eform.php?p=292454
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2005 4:01:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I have actualy seen this drive for as low as $29 at Frye's. I bought one
several weeks ago for $39 (w rebate of course). BestBuy locally (Indiana)
regularly puts their WD 80g drives on sale for $19 after rebate. WD is
espcially good about following up on rebates.

"Matt" <matt@themattfella.zzzz.com> wrote in message
news:5Wuve.216$pg.145@news01.roc.ny...
> Michelle wrote:
>
>> Budget is about $400-500.
>
> Best Buy has the Western Digital 160 GB hard drive for $50 after rebate
> this week. You will not find a more reliable drive. See
> techbargains.com. Follow rebate directions to the letter. If you can
> wait, you might see this drive even cheaper. I got one a few weeks ago
> from CompUSA for $30 AR.
June 26, 2005 6:05:26 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

forumposter32 <UseLinkToEmail@HardwareForumz.com> wrote:

>I’ll add some comments on the video card department if you don’t mind.
>
>I recently got a Geforce4 Ti4200 for $75 Canadian (that might be like
>$60 US). In terms of performance, it’s hard to beat for the price.
>Next logical move up really would be either an ATI 9800 Pro or a
>Geforce 6600 GT. The 6600 GT for the price is hard to beat and also
>has Directx 9 compatibility and compatible with Shader Model 3. So,
>it’s more future proof than a Ti4200. The Ti4200 runs better with
>Directx 8.1 (google Directx 8.1 and the word alibre for a link to
>Microsoft website to download Directx 8.1, the one on download.com is
>a carp). The Geforce 6200 is the cheapest for a PCI-E motherboard.
>But you may see lag in current/future games.

Thank you so much for these recommendations -- it's just the type of
info I was looking for. I still have quite a bit of looking around
and research to do before I make my decision, but you've been a great
help in that.

>BTW, Western Digital Caviar hard drives are real silent and cool
>running.
>Antec and Enermax make pretty good power supplies. I have an Enermax
>noisetaker 420 watt power supply that can be used on 20 or 24 pin
>motherboards. (20 pins older, newer are 24 pins) It’s also
>PCI-Express ready and SATA ready.

This is also very helpful. Thanks again!
June 26, 2005 6:14:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"Ruel Smith" <NoWay@NoWhere.com> wrote:

>Put Linux on it and fool around with it?

I very well may put Linux on in addition to the more familiar Windows
environment.

>> Budget is about $400-500.
>
>Now, that's a tight budget! Could there possibly be a little more?

I wish. As it is, I'm begging, borrowing, and stealing (well, maybe
not stealing) the $400-500.

>With new power, you might end up getting a newer game eventually. Never
>build a system based on todays needs. Think of the future and your money is
>more wisely spent...

This is sage advice, and your recommendation of parts for a slightly
more expensive system is very helpful. It may be a while yet before I
can actually invest in the upgradables (motherboard, processor, etc.),
and by then prices may have fallen a bit to where I can swing it.
Either way, you've given me another angle to consider. Thanks so
much!

<snip>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2005 6:14:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

> I very well may put Linux on in addition to the more familiar Windows
> environment.

If it's your first time running Linux, you might consider installing
Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrake), which is a free download. However, free
versions require a little work to setup things like Java, Macromedia Flash,
RealPlayer, nVidia or ATi drivers, etc. Paid versions automatically install
this stuff. Go free until you determine you like it. Don't waste your money
trying Linux only to get frustrated with it and abandon it. Also, Mandriva
promotes a club, but in my experience, it's not worth the money to send
them. You don't sound like you have the money anyway. But, you can get just
about everything they offer for free on the internet elsewhere.

> I wish. As it is, I'm begging, borrowing, and stealing (well, maybe
> not stealing) the $400-500.
>
>>With new power, you might end up getting a newer game eventually. Never
>>build a system based on todays needs. Think of the future and your money
>>is
>>more wisely spent...
>
> This is sage advice, and your recommendation of parts for a slightly
> more expensive system is very helpful. It may be a while yet before I
> can actually invest in the upgradables (motherboard, processor, etc.),
> and by then prices may have fallen a bit to where I can swing it.
> Either way, you've given me another angle to consider. Thanks so
> much!

Here's what you can do to keep the costs down:

First, buy slowly. Get a couple of parts a month until you get everything.
This will spread the costs out. Your earliest purchases should be things
that won't get outdated so easily, or come down in price anytime soon.
Cases, hard drives, DVD burners, etc. The last purchases you should make are
the memory, processor, and motherboard. These prices are volitile and you
should get them as late as possible.

Second, as you've seen in other posts, places like Best Buy often have heavy
rebated items for sale. You can usually pick up a good hard drive cheap, and
occasionally a good graphics card. Of course, these won't be the
latest/greatest, but that also means they'll be within your budget. Also, be
prepared to track down those rebates. They sometimes never come. You'll also
have to put forth the money first and wait on the rebate to come back, so
you'll have to have that initial money to put up.

Last, look at OEM parts. There are some drawbacks to this. You won't get
manuals, cables, installation software, or even a factory warranty. You'll
get a store warranty, and it's usually for anywhere from 30 days to a year.
Many times a factory warranty will be for 3 years or more. You have to
choose wisely what to buy OEM. Software is usually available for a free
download, but you'll need a DSL or cable connection or you'll be downloading
forever. If you've got cables lying around, as the case with people that
have built a few systems, you can usually get away with OEM. However, if you
have to purchase them separately, you'll end up spending more. OEM copies of
Windows XP are available from www.zipzoomfly.com and www.newegg.com for a
bargain, but you also have to purchase a hardware item to get it.
June 26, 2005 6:20:28 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Matt <matt@themattfella.zzzz.com> wrote:

>Michelle wrote:
>
>> Budget is about $400-500.
>
>Best Buy has the Western Digital 160 GB hard drive for $50 after rebate
>this week. You will not find a more reliable drive. See
>techbargains.com. Follow rebate directions to the letter. If you can
>wait, you might see this drive even cheaper. I got one a few weeks ago
>from CompUSA for $30 AR.

Wow. Thanks for the tip. I last looked into hard drives about a year
ago -- I can't believe how much the prices are dropping. More
recently, I was vaguely tempted by a remark that Seagates are pretty
cool and quiet, but years of recommendations for WD, and the mentions
of WD in this thread, have swung me back. Thanks again!
June 26, 2005 7:07:39 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Ruel Smith wrote:
>>I very well may put Linux on in addition to the more familiar Windows
>>environment.
>
>
> If it's your first time running Linux, you might consider installing
> Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrake), which is a free download. However, free
> versions require a little work to setup things like Java, Macromedia Flash,
> RealPlayer, nVidia or ATi drivers, etc. Paid versions automatically install
> this stuff. Go free until you determine you like it. Don't waste your money
> trying Linux only to get frustrated with it and abandon it. Also, Mandriva
> promotes a club, but in my experience, it's not worth the money to send
> them. You don't sound like you have the money anyway. But, you can get just
> about everything they offer for free on the internet elsewhere.
>
>

I agree and disagree. Wise recommendation to try before you buy. Each
of us has a different learning curve. Fortunately Mandriva offers a
great way to experience the Linux option.

Unlike your statement I find the club very worthwhile. Considering what
a single application costs these days a club membership is a bargain.
Having said that I used the free option for the first year before
deciding I wanted to support open source alternatives.
June 26, 2005 7:08:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Ruel Smith wrote:
>>I very well may put Linux on in addition to the more familiar Windows
>>environment.
>
>
> If it's your first time running Linux, you might consider installing
> Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrake), which is a free download. However, free
> versions require a little work to setup things like Java, Macromedia Flash,
> RealPlayer, nVidia or ATi drivers, etc. Paid versions automatically install
> this stuff. Go free until you determine you like it. Don't waste your money
> trying Linux only to get frustrated with it and abandon it. Also, Mandriva
> promotes a club, but in my experience, it's not worth the money to send
> them. You don't sound like you have the money anyway. But, you can get just
> about everything they offer for free on the internet elsewhere.
>
>

I agree and disagree. Wise recommendation to try before you buy. Each
of us has a different learning curve. Fortunately Mandriva offers a
great way to experience the Linux option.

Unlike your statement I find the club very worthwhile. Considering what
a single application costs these days a club membership is a bargain.
Having said that I used the free option for the first year before
deciding I wanted to support open source alternatives.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2005 8:24:45 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

> I agree and disagree. Wise recommendation to try before you buy. Each
> of us has a different learning curve. Fortunately Mandriva offers a
> great way to experience the Linux option.

Yes, it does. Now with the Lycoris distro being phased in, it should be even
better since Lycoris is Debian based, which is a good thing. I was happy
with Mandrake until the last release, 2005 LE, which won't install properly
on my system. It's not against Mandrake specifically, because their distro
is great. It's just that I can't seem to get it to run on my system. I
installed Debian Sarge and haven't looked back.

> Unlike your statement I find the club very worthwhile. Considering what
> a single application costs these days a club membership is a bargain.
> Having said that I used the free option for the first year before
> deciding I wanted to support open source alternatives.

Well, I'm a current club member and I think that just about everything you
can get from the club can be gotten free, except for the PowerPack releases,
which with some work you can make the downloadable version have the same
software. It was also nice to get the other mirrors. However, the package
downloads can be found in other URPMI sources, and you can install the ATi
and nVidia drivers, Java, Flashplayer, RealPlayer, etc. on your own. They
don't have an official Mandrake tech guru running around the forums, and you
can go to other places like alt.comp.os.linux.mandrake for help, anyway.
That doesn't leave a lot of content for the money from the club. However, it
is a good way to contribute to your distro.

I am a huge fan of contributing to your favorite distro. I bought every
SuSE, and RedHat distro I've ever used, and I've either bought my Mandrake
distro, or downloaded from the club, which I joined. I promote that if you
like your Linux, contribute somehow. It doesn't even have to be monetary.
You can be a bug tester, developer, or whatever...but contribute somehow.
Therefore, if the original poster likes Mandriva Linux, I suggest when money
gets less scarce, join the club or buy a boxed version.

And, you're right! For what you pay for the club, you couldn't even buy the
retail boxed version of Windows XP Pro, let alone have any software to use.
And you get tons and tons of software. I routinely use The Gimp, despite
having Photoshop 7 on my Windows computer, and even have The Gimp on the
Windows machine too. I also like Scribus, OpenOffice, and have flirted with
KPovrayModeler. These are very powerful applications that compare favorably
to very expensive commercial applications on the Windows side. Yeah,
Photoshop has a number of tricks The Gimp doesn't have yet, but I'm not
spending $300 for an upgrade or worse $600 to acquire the product. It's a
sweet deal. Best of all is the KDE environment. Microsoft _should_ be
jealous.

Just my $.02.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2005 10:11:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Case: Asus TA-230 -- about $45.00
Motherboard: ASRock K7S41 Socket A -- about $51.00
Processor: AMD Sempron 2400+ -- about $63
Ram: Kingston 512MB value ram -- $38.00
HDD: Seagate 40G IDE -- about 52.00
DVD: Lite-On SOHW-1693 -- about $ 49.00
Video card: Asus V9520 FX5200 - about 42.00

Window XP home OEM -- about $84.00

Tax and shipping costs are unknown.

(prices are quoted from newegg.com)

Michelle wrote:
> After taking hand-me-down computers from friends for the past several
> years, I've finally decided to take the plunge and build my own
> monster for the first time.
>
> My present dinosaur is:
> Intel 200MHz
> 4MB Diamond Stealth II video card
> 2 HDDs ~1GB each
> Soundblaster 16 (I think -- it was ripped from an old 486)
> 64MB RAM
> Windows 98SE
>
> Very little could be salvaged from this system, so I'm keeping it
> intact and starting from scratch, except for a spare floppy drive I
> have sitting around, current monitor, keyboard and mouse. Obviously
> _anything_ I end up building would be a vast improvement. I have no
> need for brand-spanking-new, whiz-bang, overclocking, souping up,
> etcetera. I just want a sturdy system I can hopefully count on for a
> few years, with good parts that can be the basis for future upgrades.
>
> Budget is about $400-500.
> The machine would mostly be used for internet, graphics/photo editing
> (for digital camera), simple sound editing, and older games (my
> grandest designs are on The Sims and Ultima VII-IX -- likely no
> MMPORPGs or recent 3D games). Sometime in the future I'd also like to
> add a TV tuner for video capture.
> I'll also be moving up to Windows XP Home (probably OEM).
>
> Reading here has been very helpful, especially the advice given to not
> break the bank with motherboard/processors since upgrade of one will
> more than likely mean upgrade of the other. But can the same be said
> for video cards? That's where I'm needing the most advice. I'd like
> to be able to get a card that can last through a couple of
> processor/mobo upgrades if possible...but I have no idea which one
> might be best for that.
>
> I'm going with an AMD processor, considering a Sempron. I'm not
> locked in to any particular one because of my uncertainty about the
> video card...and of course video card choices depend on the
> motherboard. It's all very Escherian. So can anyone suggest a good,
> forward-designed video card for my desired activities that would go
> with an AMD-compatible motherboard, hopefully less than $150?
>
> Or is this an impossible order to fill?
>
> Any advice appreciated. Thanks so much!
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2005 11:29:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

On Thu, 23 Jun 2005 19:52:16 -0400, "Ruel Smith" <NoWay@NoWhere.com>
wrote:


>Glad you want AMD!
>
>Let's look at a good setup for the money:
>
>Video card: eVGA GeForce 6600GT - $150
>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
>
>Motherboard: MSI K8N Neo Platinum (nVidia nForce 3 250GB) - $100
>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
>
>CPU: Athlon64 2800+ - $127 <--- Why buy Sempron when a real Athlon 64 is
>this cheap?
>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
>
>Memory: Corsair ValueSelect 1GB (2x512) - $89
>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
>
>DVD/CD burner: LiteOn 1693S - $50
>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
>
>Case: Antec Sonata - $89
>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
>
>HDD: Western Digital SATA 160GB 7200RPM - $89
>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
>
>Not including shipping, your at $694. Now, this is a very nice system. These
>are top quality parts from very reputable manufacturers. It's on an older
>socket 754 platform, but still viable, it has a genuine Athlon64 processor,
>a nice, fast video card, lots of memory for your photo editing, good sized
>hard drive and a nice, fast dual layer DVD burner, all on a once premium
>motherboard from a 1st tier supplier. It also has a very nice, fashionable,
>and quiet, Antec Sonata case with a good 380 watt TruePower genuine Antec
>power supply. This is more than your $400 -$500 budget but it's also a lot
>more computer than you could ever buy at that price range. I could have
>found a lesser motherboard for a couple of $ less, and actually got a
>Sempron for another couple of $ less, etc, etc., but they're little less
>money, but a lot less in performance than you could expect from these parts.
>
>You could get a cheap system on sale somewhere from eMachines or Compaq, as
>you can get something comparable with a monitor and lots of installed
>software for less. However, you'll likely get a very low-end graphics card,
>a Sempron processor, a smaller, slower hard drive (non-SATA), unlikely
>you'll get a dual layer DVD burner, and they're bound to have skimped on the
>power supplies and quality of the case.
>
>In the end, if you're willing to part with a few more $$$, build something
>like above.

This above is a sterling overall suggestion.
It is quite possible to shave the budget though.
I was going to post the following a couple od days ago, but didn't
find the opportunity. Anywhere goes. More suggestions.

Video card: I'm sorry, but the proposition to retain the video card
through next CPU/mainboard upgrade is very difficult to accommodate.
Also not worth the money you will need to spend. The reason is that
the interface is changing from AGP to PCI-e. The cheap choice we are
suggesting today is AGP. You are not likely to find a future mainboard
with AGP. Also in IMO, the video card should rather be upgraded more
often than CPU/mb, so just stick with the program. Worry about the
future when you're there.
I'm suggesting a stock GeForce 6600, rather than the GT. Like the
Chaintech 128MB $116 or 256MB $129.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

It's significantly slower than the GT, and possibly less value. But
it's a quite good card that is capable of running even the new games.
It's cheaper and I also believe it requires less power. $-34.
For precisely the reason that you can't retain the video card, you
might want to consider even cheaper cards. But I feel that the
capability will be quite bumped down, when you go below the GF6600.

The main attraction of socket 754 is that you can get a cheap reliable
mainboard. Buying a $100 deluxe mainboard sort of defeats that. I
still think NF3-250 is a better option than KT800 for chipset. But
there are a number of NF3-250 boards available from MSI, Asus, Abit
and others for $75 or less. But how about taking a bit of a chance on
this Biostar $57? If it works, it works, even if it's cheap.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

You might want to go for a better regarded brand at $75, but I put
down the Biostar for $-43 reduction. Total $-77.

I don't like fancy cases for budget computers. The Antec Sonata is
great and quite reasonable. Even so: Raidmax without PSU $20.75

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

And a Fortron 120mm fan 300W PSU $31.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Total $51.75, is minus $37.25. Total $-114.25 reduction.
The Fortron is the best there is. PSU is one of the things I wouldn't
go for cheap. It is also quiet. If you intend to have fancy highend
hot video cards and/or many harddrives, you should maybe get the 350W
at $44.5. But the 300W should be enough. Fortron "Watts" are really
big Watts.

Now we have cut down $694 to $579.75.

Seagate and Samsung drives are also great. Personally, I have even
more faith in them than Western Digital. But getting one with 8MB
cache is IMO worth it. You can save a few dollars more with:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

for $78. Of course you can save more by going down in capacity, but a
smaller hd will also be slower. This is also an ATA rather than SATA.
I don't think it makes a large difference as long as it's not SATAII,
and ATA may be easier to install. The thinner cables of SATA is a very
nice touch though.
You can also look around for a good deal on a drive as Matt suggested.
You may have to accept 2GB cache then though.

Unfortunately one thing was forgotten. You need to get WindowsXP. XP
Home OEM is another $84.

So final budget is about $653.

Further possible savings: Make do with 512MB PC3200 ram for a start.
Smaller hd, 80GB. That should take off another $90.
Make do without a CD burner for a start. CD/DVD-ROM only, is $14 from
LG, Samsung, LiteOn or Sony. $-36.

So you can squeeze down to about $527 (not including shipping), and
still get Athlon64, Fortron, WindowsXP, and GF6600.

Linux (I would not consider it. It's great but a normal home user is
so dependent on being able to run Windows software. Windows is easier
too.)
!