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$500/$600 system recommendations

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January 27, 2006 6:36:55 PM

Good morning;

Can you help me decide on a reliable set of components for a $500/$600 system (without the monitor). My needs are business oriented; Microsoft Office products (Word primarily), Photoshop and some freeware/share utilities. (I'm not a gamer).

100 GB is sufficient storge capacity, I need a graphics card, the case does not need to be fancy, but good design is welcome. I operate with several open windows at a time including Modzilla (with 6-7 tabs running), so memory/speed is a consideration. My livelihood is dependant on this machine, so it must be reliable, reliable and most reliable.

I built my last two PCs and enjoy knowing exactly what's going on and why. Please indicate brands and model numbers and vendors if you can.

Thanks I appreciate your thoughts.
January 27, 2006 8:57:10 PM

I'd go with a cheap Pentium based processor and mobo, I'd spend a little more on the mobo so that you could get one that would support dual corer for future upgrading. I say pentium because you dont game and hence do not need to worry about heat issues, and Intel offers the cheaper dual core alternative; I'm thinking slightly into the future for upgrading reasons. Here are some suggestions which come from Extremetech for their budget gaming pc.

Intel 2.8 ghz processor for $129
MSI 945GM2f for $100
Extremetech suggest 1 gig (2x512) ram, a must if your going to cross over to vista. for 82 smackers.
You can get a 128 mb Geforce 6600 GT for $128 from tigerdirect.
You can get an Hitachi 80 GB harddrive for $55
lite-on sohd optical drive for $30 though it doesnt burn any cd or dvd's
An antec case for 95 with a 400w PSU
A microsoft keyboard mouse combo for $40
Windows XP for OS for $100

Total cost is 759, though you could find things for cheaper, for instance I found my case for $74 at Fry's though I might replace the included PSU. And I know you could find a burner between $25-40. And I put in a mobo that could support a Pentium D upping the price some. Go from 1 gig to 512 and you save $40. Use an old keyboard and mouse save another 40. Install an old O/S, provded its not from an OEM, and you save a 100. that would give you a computer for 579.
January 27, 2006 9:52:59 PM

Here you go, if you want to lower the price - just bump the memory down to 1 GB.
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor
$164.00

MotherBoard: MSI K8N Neo4-F Socket 939
$80.00

Memory: CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)
$165.00

Case: Antec Solution SLK1650B Black Steel ATX Mini Tower w/350W PSU
$62.99

HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 120GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
$85.00

Video: ASUS Radeon X300SE 128MB DDR PCI Express x16
$58.00

Optical Drive: NEC Black IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner
$38.99

Total: $653.98
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January 28, 2006 3:35:46 AM

Intel cheap Pentium D wins here, some cheap X300 like the other poster said or geforce 6200, you get the idea. OR get an Intel mobo/ integrated graphics and it will probably be faster than the low low end GPU you buy......
January 28, 2006 5:19:44 AM

he said photoshop, so if you use it much at all for business purposes you don't want to scrimp too much on the video card. if you want reliable as much as you stressed I recommend a good powersupply. one of the 2 antec's listed would be appropriate. there is a list of video cards on the hardware/graphics. I believe both the x300 and 6200 are listed as decent, but if you do much photoshop you'll more than likely want better than that.
February 3, 2006 4:51:48 PM

Thanks guys, very good sound responses, I'm on my way - appreciate the support
February 3, 2006 5:14:49 PM

hold on not too fast.

go to zipzoomfly.com first free shiiping. 2. no tax.

$60.00 Western Digital WD Caviar WD800JD 80GB Serial ATA 7200RPM Hard Drive w/8MB Buffer and Serial ATA Signal Cable Bundle


$93.99 DFI NF4 ULTRA INFINITY nForce4 Ultra Athlon 64(FX)/Sempron Skt939 DDR ATX Motherboard w/Audio, LAN, RAID/Serial ATA Retail

$163.90 AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Processor (Venice) Socket 939 Retail

$82.49 Corsair VS1GB400C3 1GB DDR400 PC3200 CAS3 Value Select Memory Retail

$39.99 Sony DW-Q30A-2 Internal Double Layer DVD±RW Drive w/Burning Software (Black)

$109.99 Sapphire Radeon X1300 PRO PCI Express 256MB DDR2 Video Card w/TV-Out, DVI-I & VGA

and $60- $70 for a case

total $ 610.36 to 620.36 shipped.

just buiolt this for my GirlFriend it does great for games, video, just about anything. its a good computer and will let you do many things. plus it is upgradable system so if the chip is too slow in 1-2 years then swap it out for a faster chip. plus it has 1 pci express slot. so upgradable again all parts ar reputable.
February 4, 2006 3:03:57 AM

im am amd person but since u dont game a p4 at 2.8 will be great and dont worry about heat
February 5, 2006 7:43:51 AM

the thing is even for office aps the 2.8ghz(presscott im assumeing) will run wayyy hotter than an amd of the same speed or way faster. i wouldnt be to worried about heat though, i agree get atleast a 400 watt powersupply minimun(antec preferably).
February 5, 2006 9:15:30 AM

My advice is go AMD skip the socket 939 and go for 754. At this price and for what you're going to use this computer for, I doubt whether you're going to be worried about upgrading the CPU. You can get some good deals right now on socket 754 boards and CPUs. Add in a gig of RAM, I'd go with Wintec AMPO, great memory at a good price; a 128mb AGP graphics card, perhaps a Radeon 9600 Pro for about $80; a Seagate SATA hard drive, and you're good to go. You can get in under $600 easy if you shop around a bit. Don't assume Newegg.com has the best price on everything, because they don't. Try pricegrabber.com and pricewatch.com to get the best deals.
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