Newbie is building a budget system please help.

Ok I need a new computer, ive been stuck with old and slow P3 systems for too long and I finally have a few dollars to build a decent system. I use the computer for very basic stuff. Mainly web browsing, word processing, music, pictures...etc no gaming. I want the computer to be as fast as possible e know and I may give Oc'ing a shot, my budget is around $500 or so. I have been doing a bit of research and have come up with the following ideas. One Intel and one AMD system, these are just ideas i put together so if you think I should change something or have better ideas please let me know.

AMD
Asus A8N-VM socket 939 motherboard $90
AMD 64 3200+ cpu $170
2x512meg OCZ performance series pc3200 $100
Evga Geforce6200 128meg PCI-e $50
Western Digital Raptor 36gig HD $100
Budget Case+PSU $50

Total-------------------------------------------$$550

or

INTEL
Asus P5vd1-x Intel 775 mobo $60
Intel P4 630 3ghz $190
2x512meg OCZ gold CAS3 $90
Evga Geforce6200 128meg $50
Western Digital Raptor 36gig $100
Budget Case $50

Total------------------------------------------$540

What do you all think, am I on the right track?? Any other ideas or reccomendations?? Would you go with AMD or Intel for my needs and price range?? Please let me know your opinions
thanks
29 answers Last reply
More about newbie building budget system help
  1. Well, I'd really suggest the AMD over the Intel. But...

    Quote:
    I use the computer for very basic stuff. Mainly web browsing, word processing, music, pictures...etc no gaming. I want the computer to be as fast as possible e know and I may give Oc'ing a shot
    This is where you totally lose me. I mean unless you're doing some really major word processing or something equally professional and rare, you really don't need a fast computer. I'd bet that a simple hard drive and memory ugprade to your old box would do wonders to speed up the tasks that you're talking about.

    I mean it's your money. Do whatever you want to do with it of course. But I really don't understand your need for speed. What do you do that you think you'll actually notice that speed?

    Also, do you plan on loading Linux or something? I don't see an OS in either parts list.
  2. I never said I need a really fast computer which is obvious if you look at the hardware i choose, an AMD 3200 and P4 3ghz are hardly "really fast" they are actually the slower cpu's available today. I just want a modern system that will be as fast as possible for the little money I have to spend. I will be using Windows XP pro which I already have which is why I didnt add it to the list.

    And as for upgrading this old HP laptop, that seems like a much bigger waste of money than building a new entry level desktop for my needs. First of all it maxs out at 512megs of ram and the upgrade is around $100, then to upgrade the HD to something faster means going with a 5400 or 7200rpm laptop drive which is another $100-$200 dollars. And in the end I am still stuck with an old/slow laptop thats not upgradable. For another $200 or so I could have a modern and much faster desktop that can be easily upgraded to a dual core cpu in the future.

    So I am definitly going to be going with a new system, I thought about trying to upgrade this laptop and luckily everyone on this board and others talked me out of it before i wasted my money.
    Thanks
  3. Sounds to me that you're new to computer hardware. Those systems are MONSTERS for the tasks you pointed. And just why the heck do you need a raptor???!?!?!!?Browsing, word processing, music,pictures...no gaming...+raptor!?!?!?! I think you just need some bigger SATA or even IDE hdd... You should've done a little bit more reading and less configuring your new system. Keep your old P3 pc. You'll spend all that money in vain.
    Anyway, i'm shure that all those guys that sell hardware just LOVE guys like you. "Yesh sir, take that opteron 180, it's the best for textpad writing/editing, and yes, X1900XTX is just the minimum for viewing the pictures of your grandma' "...
  4. Im not really new to computer hardware, I just want something real fast that wont get boged down when I wanna run a few programs like my old systems do. I do alot of Mp3 encoding and downloading and photoshop stuff and alot of the time all at the same time, the Duron and P3 systems just dont keep up.
    The only high-end part i choose was the raptor , because i already have a large external HD for storage i just need something fast to install Xp on, it wont be used for storage really.
  5. Well dude, it's your money. Go for what you want.
  6. You really do not need the Raptor, waste of money for what you need... just buy a 40gig SATA for $45.

    Also, I would go with the AMD, since you wont see a major difference between the two, and the AMD will be more polite to your power bill.

    Don't listen to these guys who say you dont need this PC, if it makes you happy, go for it. Boot up times will be faster, programs will open faster, everything will just seem so much better. It is worth it. You will be able to upgrade pretty easily in the future too.

    One thing I would like to add... Im not sure what case+psu you are buying, but PSUs that are included with cases, especially cheap cases, are usually total crap, and will sometimes even come DOA. (ive had it happen to me)
  7. Well, IMHO, the 630 is a good choice for multitasking. Asus and DFI are good boards for OC'ing and the 630 is uber stable when clocked high. Don't let anybody steer you wrong about the Intel heat index or performance problems cause their wrong. Mine runs very cool and is a very strong performer.

    With your budget and what you've chosen + the tasks at hand, the Intel would be the way to go. I do agree that you don't need the raptor. Just go with a Seagate SATA drive. They're very fast and good overall performers.

    Now if you had more of a budget, I would recommend my newest build which includes the X2-3800. At stock speeds, that thing is fast and i'm sure when I OC it, it will be stunning.
  8. I agree with blader15sk8. Lose the Raptor in exchange for a decent SATA for about $50.00 and use the money you save for a good PSU. Because, again blader15sk8 is right, the PSU that come with less expensive cases are crap.

    Either one of those machines you spec'd will work fine for what you want. You can upgrade either one in the future if your usage requires it and if your budget allows.

    You could save even more money with cheaper RAM like this or this for either machine. Not that the RAM you chose is bad, but for your needs, the stuff I noted above will work just fine and you save a few more bucks that you don't need to spend. Or you could spend the money you save on a nicer case or better vid card.
  9. I agree any decent SATA drive will work just fine.

    Put the money into a 939+nForce4 if you can afford it!

    :D
  10. Thanks guys finaly some people who actually give advice instead of telling me what I need and dont need. Obviously I need a new computer or i wouldnt be shopping for one, my current computer is slooow hence the need for a new one. So I guess I will ditch the raptor for a regular Sata drive and get a decent PSU and I should be fine. The only other thing im thinking about, is spending the extra $100 or so for an entry level dual-core cpu since i do alot of multitasking. What everyones opinion on this?
    Thanks
  11. If you run Linux or multi-threaded apps a dual core will help, otherwise it won't make a difference until the industry catches up and parallelizes their code.
  12. Quote:
    so if you think I should change something or have better ideas please let me know.

    ...

    Thanks guys finaly some people who actually give advice instead of telling me what I need and dont need.
    People who ask for advice and then bitch when they get the advice that they asked for because it's not what they want to hear can go flirk themselves. :roll:
  13. Get AMD more performance over intel dollar for dollar.
  14. "The only other thing im thinking about, is spending the extra $100 or so for an entry level dual-core cpu since i do alot of multitasking. What everyones opinion on this?"

    If the extra $120 or so is manageable, I'd go for the X2 dual core...

    (Check out COmpUSA...they have sales occasionally where you can catch fairly decent 7200 rpm/16m cache hard drives between $39-59 price points)
  15. "If you run Linux or multi-threaded apps a dual core will help, otherwise it won't make a difference until the industry catches up and parallelizes their code."

    Naturally, a Windows XP equipped rig will not run a single, non-threaded app faster with a dual core compared to a single....

    BUt when running multiple apps, it's a much different story....; with an X2 or Pentium D, one can Photoshop, encode, burn, and virus scan simultaneously without the large performance hits that occur with single core processors...
  16. True :-)

    However Linux has much better SMP and doesn't cost you anything if you want to run it on 4, 8, 16, 32 or more CPUs :D
  17. "However Linux has much better SMP and doesn't cost you anything if you want to run it on 4, 8, 16, 32 or more CPUs "

    That is true..

    But can I count on a 975/Pentium 940/ATI 1900XT equipped rig with an integrated SATA raid controller and equipped with an SB X-Fi Music to fully function and play Windows based FEAR, COD2, HL2, and similar titles the day they are released, etc.?

    (Not that I even have such a rig, just curious...I would consider tinkering with a Linux variant or two just to learn it as a hobby; which would be easiest out of the box, and the most WinXP-like is perceived user experience, with Plug-n-Pray equivalent?)
  18. http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/4/x86_64/iso/FC4-x86_64-DVD.iso for AMD64

    http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/4/i386/iso/FC4-i386-DVD.iso for Intel

    or

    http://www.ubuntu.com/download

    You might want to consider dual booting which is ideal for gaming machines.

    Under Linux you can use WINE, QEMU, DOSBox, VMWare etc to run Windows apps and games however some may not run properly.

    Knoppix is also VERY kewl :D It is a Linux Live CD and DVD which works entirely from your optical drive without requiring installation.

    You can get the 700MB CD here: http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD-2005-09-23-EN.iso

    or the 3.1GB DVD here:

    http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/knoppix-dvd/KNOPPIX_V4.0.2DVD-2005-09-23-EN.iso

    If you don't like one distro try another one :-D

    Fedora Core 4 has pretty good hardware support. If you could post a list of the hardware you intend to use I can tell you how well it will work.

    PM me if you need help or have questions :D

    Good Luck!

    Semper Fi Linux on!
  19. Quote:
    Naturally, a Windows XP equipped rig will not run a single, non-threaded app faster with a dual core compared to a single....
    While this is theoretically true, with as many background apps as people have running (especially AV software) and with as many background tasks as WinXP tries to sneak in, I'd dare say that real world usage would put a single non-threaded app slightly faster on a dualcore than a singlecore PC because these background tasks should be running on the other core.
  20. Before you do this, first consider upgrading your current system like get good performance ram as well as graphics card and test it to your liking. If it doesn't satify you then return them products back and go ahead and build a new one.

    The reason I brought this up, because you mentioned that you're basically not into gaming. So with this solution, it should be good enough for your need. Besides it's not going to hurt you to try it. Plus saves you lot of money huh, spend the rest on beer and hookers, huh, what do say?
    I'm just joking with the last part.

    :D
  21. Nice looking systems for the money... The raptor is a little overkill but to each their own. I commend your purchase decision as you are buying the best you can for the longest possible staying power (this PC could be around for a while with that config and your usage). Not to mention the capability to upgrade later with the good base components that you have chosen.

    Silver Phoneix has his knickers in a twist :-) . Silver the guy was asking about the systems that he proposed. And you guys started going off on him that what he had already worked. The guy wants to do the things he does Faster. Nothing wrong with that and you could cut him a self righteous break and help him purchase the right equipment for a long term usage. I have seen your other posts elsewhere and I know you could easily help the guy.
  22. Silver,

    Good choice in cases by the way... I love the Sonata's and was pleasantly suprised with the 380W true Power PSU.

    Hey OP this is something to consider when purchasing since it is a quiet case and it also comes with a decent power supply.
  23. I wouldn't opt for the Dual core right now. Yes, XP can recognize the multi cores but as someone noted before there aren't a whole lot of apps right now that take advantage of it just yet.

    The board your getting has the capability to support a multi core CPU. Stick with the Venice. It's a rock-solid product in it's class. Wait a little while because the X2's will start to come down probably by Q2/Q3 of this year and by then the industry will probably starting catching on to this whole multi-core thing just like they did to that whole innernet thing. Maybe fork out some cash then for the new CPU. The one you can afford then will probably be faster than the one you can afford now.

    As noted earlier, either of those machines you spec'd will work fine for your needs. You spec'd some decent components. There's headroom on them to upgrade the systems in the future as your budget allows. You're not a gamer so you don't need 1200HP tractor to mow 500 sq/ft of lawn.

    And ([/sigh]...the war begins) when it comes to power offered to the user Linux comes in far ahead because it is so customizable and extremely powerful. It's had the capability to run multiple (and I mean multiple) processors, recognize large amounts of RAM, massive (MASSIVE) hard drives and the like for some time. However, for most people it's not practical. That's where Windows comes in. The average computer user would have a stroke if they had to compile their drivers, wonder why their computer needs tarballs (computers smoke?) or figure out why their computer has GRUBS. Windows works good for the everday person.

    mdd1963, I would definately tinker around with Linux. Why not, it's free and there is an abundance of free software available for it. Everything from games to full office suites like Open Office (which is available for Windows too). I'm not a power user of it, but it is a very nice OS. You'd be surprised at how many games can be ported to it.
  24. Chuck, I would agree with you but the OP's current system is a H-P laptop and therefore can't be upgraded easily (or economically).
  25. That AMD setup you were looking at would be good for what you want.
    Or if you don't mind something used, you could pick up an Nforce 3 board and AGP card, and older 939 processor for really cheap. AGP will be around for awhile yet, and as more people move over to PCI-E, a lot of really nice cards are going to be sold off cheap over the next couple of years.
    Lots of guys like me have upgraded recently and have stuff in their closets. This stuff shows up on Ebay all the time. Lots of 3000+ CPUs available for around $75 (maybe less).
    I've got an 8-month old MSI K8T Neo 2 Nforce 3 board, 8600 Pro video card and 3000+ Winchester that I'm going to sell sometime when I get off my lazy ass long enough to post it on Ebay. I'll probably let the whole shebang go for a quick $200.
  26. Quote:
    Silver the guy was asking about the systems that he proposed. And you guys started going off on him that what he had already worked. The guy wants to do the things he does Faster. Nothing wrong with that and you could cut him a self righteous break and help him purchase the right equipment for a long term usage. I have seen your other posts elsewhere and I know you could easily help the guy.
    1) What was my very first sentance in reply to his post?
    Quote:
    Well, I'd really suggest the AMD over the Intel.
    2) I merely pointed out that for the uses he listed an upgrade to the old kit would more than suffice. I even finished off by stating
    Quote:
    I mean it's your money. Do whatever you want to do with it of course.
    and specifically asking
    Quote:
    What do you do that you think you'll actually notice that speed?
    Because if there was a good reason to spend all of that money on a new system (and simply wanting to is good enough) then I'm satisfied.

    And I was. Since I'd already answered which system I'd go with of the two, all that I had left to say was to reafirm
    Quote:
    Go for what you want.


    So I did cut him plenty of slack. I gave him exactly what he asked for, and he bitches about it.

    Quote:
    Good choice in cases by the way... I love the Sonata's and was pleasantly suprised with the 380W true Power PSU.
    I love my Sonata case and power supply. Of course I'd love it more if the front panel USB actually worked. :? But still, it's a good case, and has a wonderful aural damping mod kit. I just wish that they'd put more emphasis on the front intake and gotten rid of those side vents. If I ever get my computer back and in working order I'm strongly tempted to do some serious modding in that respect.

    In regards to that, the Sonata II looks nice. Though if I was doing a new build I'd probably go for something more like the Titan 550 instead.
  27. well then that leaves him with only one solution. oh well, so much for the beer and hookers....But it's still cool because you have a new rig.

    :D :P :D :P :D :P
  28. I personally think (this is my opinion so don't stomp on it) you have a very fine build there. I like the Raptor drive - flip flopping tasks - viewing images - writing images - opening closing Apps - wrtting MP3s and generally writting to the hard drive, All would benifit from a faster drive

    You Will notice a difference, If $550ish was my budget, I would buy a socket 754 cpu which would shave a few dollars off the CPU/Mobo Price - get a bigger raptor drive - Keep the rest of what you have outlined there.

    Keep in mind what everyone else has said about the Power Supply - its vital to have a stable PS.
  29. I like the Antec P180. I think that will be my next box.
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