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Advice - help on semi-budget PC

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
September 4, 2005 9:45:45 PM

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

I haven't built a computer since agbout 1999, and am out of the loop
since I dropped out of computer science and am now going to grad school
in bio-anthropology, so I'd like to ask for some advice from anyone
who'd be willing. Trying to keep it around $1000.

I'm about to build a new computer, and here is what I am planning on
buying (prices vary, but for ease, I'm going to use newegg.com)

MSI K8N Neo4/SLI nVidia nForce4 motherboard ($124)

AMD 64 3000+ Venice 939 retail with fan ($146)
[note: i understand that this is compatible with Dual Channel RAM and
that previous CPUs from Athlon were not...am I right in that?]

xFx GeForce 6600GT PCI-e 128MB ($149)
[I don't know anything about the brands xFx, eVGA, etc... any
recommendations? I've read that this one is pretty good. I'm also
considering a 6800, but not sure if it's worth the price hike]

Corsair Ram 400Mhz 32000 1GB of RAM {$100-140ish depending)
[This refers back to my previous concern about Dual Channel and whether
it is supported, so I'm unsure if I should buy the value version,
another brand, or what...I know that I'd like 3200 400Mhz RAM of at
least 1GB. Recommendations here would be very helpful.]

Maxtor 250GB Serial ATA150 16MB 7200RPM DiamondMax10 {$103.00 OEM}
[This one was recommended on both arstechnica and Sharky Extreme Guides
as well as resellerratings and newegg]

HP 16x DVD +- burner in BLACK! ($85.99)
[Probably more than I'd really like to spend, but LightScribe is just
plain cool]

Sony 16x DVD-ROM in black! {$22.99)
[I just like having an extra drive, so that my fancy new computer can
run the best new games (cough) like StarCraft without having to change
discs...I like to call this my StarCraft drive.]

Mitsumi FA404 Floppy 7 in 1 reader($21.00)

CoolerMaster TAC-T01-E1C silver case ($129.50)
[The only case I can find that doesn't want to make me vomit other than
some of the Thermaltake cases]

Antec NeoPower 480W ($114.00)
[MAJOR RECOMMENDATION NEEDED - I think this is probably way more than I
need, it's more just a placeholder]

Windows XP Pro OEM ($146.95)

Grand Total of $1190.45 (Assuming $146 for RAM and $114.00 for supply
which probably isn't going to happen). I'm trying to keep it at $1000,
but I have a $1200 budget. I'd like to buy a monitor with that extra
$200, but it isn't mandatory. I'd like to have BlueTooth and a TV
Tuner, but also not that important (the TV Tuner doesn't need to
capture or anything, just accept cable). There's a $25.00 rebate on
the Motherboard this month, and MonarchComputer offers HalfLife2 for
free if I buy the processor and motherboard from them (it'll add
$10.00).

NOTE: I have some concern over the motherboard. It includes onboard
SoundBlaster Live 24-bit, which is AWESOME, but unfortunately I have
read some conflicting notes on whether you need a -5v Rail on your PSU
to be able to use it. If anyone knows anything on that subject, please
let me know? Otherwise, I have to add for audio card.

Again, thanks for any help you can provide.
-Derek

More about : advice semi budget

Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
September 5, 2005 7:03:07 AM

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

<dejackso@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1125881145.563599.157890@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>I haven't built a computer since agbout 1999, and am out of the loop
> since I dropped out of computer science and am now going to grad school
> in bio-anthropology, so I'd like to ask for some advice from anyone
> who'd be willing. Trying to keep it around $1000.
>
> I'm about to build a new computer, and here is what I am planning on
> buying (prices vary, but for ease, I'm going to use newegg.com)
>
> MSI K8N Neo4/SLI nVidia nForce4 motherboard ($124)
While PCI-e is probably the future, it doesn't offer advantages today =>
unless you're planning to fiddle/tweak your setup, I'd go with standard PCI
and get a board < $90. e.g., Gigabyte K8NSC-939.
>
> AMD 64 3000+ Venice 939 retail with fan ($146)
> [note: i understand that this is compatible with Dual Channel RAM and
> that previous CPUs from Athlon were not...am I right in that?]
At least the later versions of Athlon XP series were also Dual Channel
compatible. The Athlon XP 3200, for example is Dual Channel compatible.
That said, I would recommend using an AMD 64 939pin CPU simply for future
upgrade. If you never plan/expect to upgrade the CPU, I'd go with the XP
3200 for ~ $40 less.
>
> xFx GeForce 6600GT PCI-e 128MB ($149)
Not sure what applications you're planning to run. If your not planning to
run action games or video editing, you can keep the video card below $100.
Also, PCI-e does not yet offer any performance over AGP.
You can check out relative performance at Tom's Hardware VGA charts
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/vga_charts.htm...
If Star Craft is anything like WarCraft or Earth 2150, an nVidia 5700 [not
LE version] should work.
> [I don't know anything about the brands xFx, eVGA, etc... any
> recommendations? I've read that this one is pretty good. I'm also
> considering a 6800, but not sure if it's worth the price hike]
>
> Corsair Ram 400Mhz 32000 1GB of RAM {$100-140ish depending)
> [This refers back to my previous concern about Dual Channel and whether
> it is supported, so I'm unsure if I should buy the value version,
> another brand, or what...I know that I'd like 3200 400Mhz RAM of at
> least 1GB. Recommendations here would be very helpful.]
Agree you want 1GB of 3200 RAM. In the last 5 years, I've never had a
problem with the 'value' grades => you should find 1GB under $100.
>
> Maxtor 250GB Serial ATA150 16MB 7200RPM DiamondMax10 {$103.00 OEM}
> [This one was recommended on both arstechnica and Sharky Extreme Guides
> as well as resellerratings and newegg]
Personally, I'd go with an Hitachi 7K250 or a Samsung Spinpoint. And,
unless you need the storage, I'd look at 80GB - 120GB drives and knock
$30-$40 off the price.
>
> HP 16x DVD +- burner in BLACK! ($85.99)
> [Probably more than I'd really like to spend, but LightScribe is just
> plain cool]
>
> Sony 16x DVD-ROM in black! {$22.99)
> [I just like having an extra drive, so that my fancy new computer can
> run the best new games (cough) like StarCraft without having to change
> discs...I like to call this my StarCraft drive.]
>
> Mitsumi FA404 Floppy 7 in 1 reader($21.00)
Minor issue, but you shouldn't have to spend more than $8-$10 on a name
brand floppy.
>
> CoolerMaster TAC-T01-E1C silver case ($129.50)
> [The only case I can find that doesn't want to make me vomit other than
> some of the Thermaltake cases]
Have you looked at the Antec SLK3700BQE? I've got three and love 'em. Good
air flow, quiet. Trays for 3.5" drives make it easy to swap in/out drives.
Goes for ~ $80. I'm running 3 different systems with the included 350w PS
with no problems. However, each of the three systems have only a DVD/CD RW
drive, no second DVD-ROM. But, if you add up the power required, you're
still less than 70%.
Here's a tool to estimate power required
http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/
An alternative is the Antec Sonata - very similiar case, but with a better
finish and 380W PS.
With either case, you'd eliminate the need for a separate PS.
>
> Antec NeoPower 480W ($114.00)
> [MAJOR RECOMMENDATION NEEDED - I think this is probably way more than I
> need, it's more just a placeholder]

>
> Windows XP Pro OEM ($146.95)
>
> Grand Total of $1190.45 (Assuming $146 for RAM and $114.00 for supply
> which probably isn't going to happen). I'm trying to keep it at $1000,
> but I have a $1200 budget. I'd like to buy a monitor with that extra
> $200, but it isn't mandatory. I'd like to have BlueTooth and a TV
> Tuner, but also not that important (the TV Tuner doesn't need to
> capture or anything, just accept cable). There's a $25.00 rebate on
> the Motherboard this month, and MonarchComputer offers HalfLife2 for
> free if I buy the processor and motherboard from them (it'll add
> $10.00).
>
> NOTE: I have some concern over the motherboard. It includes onboard
> SoundBlaster Live 24-bit, which is AWESOME, but unfortunately I have
> read some conflicting notes on whether you need a -5v Rail on your PSU
> to be able to use it. If anyone knows anything on that subject, please
> let me know? Otherwise, I have to add for audio card.
>
> Again, thanks for any help you can provide.
> -Derek
>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
September 5, 2005 11:10:13 AM

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

Thanks for the help.

Starcraft is a game from around 1997 that I still play a lot, but that
was mostly just mentioned as a joke. I'm trying to find a video card
that is capable of running newer games and some geophysical programs
and the like without breaking the bank. I'd like the option of running
a second video card in the future instead of buying a brand new
graphics card to keep moderately up to date.

"Agree you want 1GB of 3200 RAM. In the last 5 years, I've never had a
problem with the 'value' grades => you should find 1GB under $100."

I saw RAM of the type I'd like for under $100, if I run with the
current motherboard/processor setup I mentioned above, would it be
appropriate to buy two 512MB sticks of dual channel RAM, or would there
be no real performance difference?
Related resources
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
September 5, 2005 3:37:18 PM

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

i think you can cut back on the dvd writer, don't buy maxtor drives or
hitachi as they are unreliable, you always read about the disk head
crashing on those drives..
the gf 6800gt is the best value for performance you can get so stick
with that, your psu may be over powered so you can cut back on that
aswell, and ask yourself.. "can you find a cheaper case or find the
same 1 cheaper elsewhere"
Derek wrote:
> Thanks for the help.
>
> Starcraft is a game from around 1997 that I still play a lot, but that
> was mostly just mentioned as a joke. I'm trying to find a video card
> that is capable of running newer games and some geophysical programs
> and the like without breaking the bank. I'd like the option of running
> a second video card in the future instead of buying a brand new
> graphics card to keep moderately up to date.
>
> "Agree you want 1GB of 3200 RAM. In the last 5 years, I've never had a
> problem with the 'value' grades => you should find 1GB under $100."
>
> I saw RAM of the type I'd like for under $100, if I run with the
> current motherboard/processor setup I mentioned above, would it be
> appropriate to buy two 512MB sticks of dual channel RAM, or would there
> be no real performance difference?
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
September 5, 2005 6:42:21 PM

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

>I haven't built a computer since agbout 1999, and am out of the loop
> since I dropped out of computer science and am now going to grad school
> in bio-anthropology, so I'd like to ask for some advice from anyone
> who'd be willing. Trying to keep it around $1000.
>
> I'm about to build a new computer, and here is what I am planning on
> buying (prices vary, but for ease, I'm going to use newegg.com)
>
> MSI K8N Neo4/SLI nVidia nForce4 motherboard ($124)

Very nice. However, the newer GeForce 7800 series cards will not clear
capacitors on these motherboards from what I've read. This is only a concern
for you if you plan to upgrade at some future point.

> AMD 64 3000+ Venice 939 retail with fan ($146)
> [note: i understand that this is compatible with Dual Channel RAM and
> that previous CPUs from Athlon were not...am I right in that?]

Possibly DDR2 compatible for future chipsets, as current chipsets don't
support it, but Athlon 64's have been dual channel capable for sometime.

> xFx GeForce 6600GT PCI-e 128MB ($149)
> [I don't know anything about the brands xFx, eVGA, etc... any
> recommendations? I've read that this one is pretty good. I'm also
> considering a 6800, but not sure if it's worth the price hike]

XFX is fine.

> Corsair Ram 400Mhz 32000 1GB of RAM {$100-140ish depending)
> [This refers back to my previous concern about Dual Channel and whether
> it is supported, so I'm unsure if I should buy the value version,
> another brand, or what...I know that I'd like 3200 400Mhz RAM of at
> least 1GB. Recommendations here would be very helpful.]

Good choice. If you don't plan to overclock, maybe Corsair's value line
would be best. I can't tell which line, XMS or ValueSelect that you've
chosen here.

> Maxtor 250GB Serial ATA150 16MB 7200RPM DiamondMax10 {$103.00 OEM}
> [This one was recommended on both arstechnica and Sharky Extreme Guides
> as well as resellerratings and newegg]

Based on long term dependability, I'd go Western Digital.

> HP 16x DVD +- burner in BLACK! ($85.99)
> [Probably more than I'd really like to spend, but LightScribe is just
> plain cool]
>
> Sony 16x DVD-ROM in black! {$22.99)
> [I just like having an extra drive, so that my fancy new computer can
> run the best new games (cough) like StarCraft without having to change
> discs...I like to call this my StarCraft drive.]
>
> Mitsumi FA404 Floppy 7 in 1 reader($21.00)
>
> CoolerMaster TAC-T01-E1C silver case ($129.50)
> [The only case I can find that doesn't want to make me vomit other than
> some of the Thermaltake cases]

All nice...

> Antec NeoPower 480W ($114.00)
> [MAJOR RECOMMENDATION NEEDED - I think this is probably way more than I
> need, it's more just a placeholder]

Sounds like a good Antec 350 watt PSU would be enough, but often a bigger
one is just $10 more or even nearly the same price, so use your own
judgement. Why not get an Antec case and PSU and use a little spray paint to
get creative so that you don't vomit? I highly recommend the Sonata and
Sonata II lines.

> Windows XP Pro OEM ($146.95)

You'll need XP Pro for any future use of a Athlon 64 X2, so it's a wise
choice if you plan to upgrade in the future. Otherwise, maybe XP Home would
be enough.
!