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Budget POS Build

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March 17, 2006 4:40:38 PM

Hiya Tomarinos.

I desperately need a new computer, but I have no moolah. If I max out my credit card I can scrape together almost $500. (USD)

I'd prefer to order all of my parts from Newegg because everyone seems to really like them and I've had good experiences with them too. But if there's something cheaper somewhere else that you think is trustworthy, I'm not adverse to the suggestion. But whatever prices you might suggest, don't bother if that price is after a rebate, because I can't increase my credit limit with a rebate.

So far I'm looking at building the following, S&H already included:
A retail AMD Sempron64 2800+ for $76
A retail ASRock K8NF4G-SATA2 mobo for $62
A Rosewill RSET-5059 black/silver case kit with 300W power supply, speakers, keyboard, and mouse for $56
A 512MB stick of Corsair Value Select PC3200 for $39
A retail (for the software) GIGABYTE GO-B5232C DVD/CDRW combo drive for $33
A Maxtor DiamondMax 6V080E0 80GB SATA2 HD for $60
A black Mitsumi 1.44MB 3.5" floppy drive for $12
And a WinXP Home SP2 OEM CD for $92

Which should all come out to about $430, leaving me with a little room to try and squeeze in a crappy used monitor or something. Obviously the most intensive thing that it'll do is some light gaming, since I can't afford a decent graphics card yet. I know that it has little upgrade potential, being a crappy socket that's about to be replaced. But right now I just need something that works better than a faulty 300MHz Celeron that keeps crashing.

I know, I know, why bother with a floppy? Because I have tons and tons of things stored on floppies, that's why. I can't give mine up just yet. I could maybe steal it from my old system, but a beige drive in a silver and black box would be uglier than a mortal sin on Chirstmas.

So I figure, maybe in a year I can throw in another stick of RAM and a better video card and do some decent gaming. That's about the extent of my desire to upgrade though. Games are mostly about the graphics anyway, right? So a crappy Sempron won't be so bad?

If any of you experts has a better suggestion, or better prices, or see some incompatability that I missed, please oh please let me know. Otherwise I'll probably try to buy these parts in a week, unless something eats my credit card or I get hit by a bus first.

More about : budget pos build

March 17, 2006 4:50:32 PM

I'm not so sure, but i would recommend going for a value 939 mobo, like ECS (they are value mobos, not the best, but if you are short on the dosh, might as well invest in one), paired up with an AMD64 3000+ if you really want to be able to upgrade later without bottlenecking the graphics card. I hope that should keep you within budget, but at least give you the benefit of performance once you upgrade later.
March 17, 2006 5:22:41 PM

I tried pricing that. I could get a retail MSI K8NGM2-L S939 mobo for only four bucks more. That isn't the problem. The problem is that the cheapest retail S939 A64 I could find on Newegg was a 3000+ for $137, and I just can't afford that much for a proc. Besides, aren't games mostly about the graphics card anyway? And doesn't AMD make S754 A64s?
Quote:
I'm not so sure, but i would recommend going for a value 939 mobo, like ECS (they are value mobos, not the best, but if you are short on the dosh, might as well invest in one), paired up with an AMD64 3000+ if you really want to be able to upgrade later without bottlenecking the graphics card. I hope that should keep you within budget, but at least give you the benefit of performance once you upgrade later.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
March 17, 2006 6:30:56 PM

vrec_dawn,

If you are serious about pinching pennies, then check out newegg's refurbished section. You can save a lot of $$$ on open-box parts. I just upgraded my video card that way and it works perfectly.

Keep in mind that you only have 7 days (I think) to return a refurbished part plus you might not get all of the items the new part would include. My video card, for example, came as-is with no software/driver cd or cables. I just downloaded the latest drivers and used my existing cables.
March 17, 2006 6:50:43 PM

The socket 754 A64s get just as hot as Prescott chips since they use the 130nm chip process, so eventually, you'll have to dish out on third-party coolers and thermal compound, so in the end, it won't be worth it. Just look around other websites before coming to a conclusion on what you buy. Besides, even games need a decent CPU so even if you put in a decent graphics card later, the CPU will bottleneck the gfx card so you won't get all the performance you want... so it would become a waste of money... and in your situation, its not what you would want.
March 17, 2006 7:20:07 PM

haha, if you really wanna pinch, i dun understand why you're spending 92 on windows. :wink:
a b B Homebuilt system
March 17, 2006 7:32:31 PM

avatar3k, are you suggesting a free linux distro or a bootlegged copy of xp?

BTW vrec_dawn, what OS do you have installed on your old 'puter?
March 17, 2006 7:46:42 PM

Quote:
avatar3k, are you suggesting a free linux distro or a bootlegged copy of xp?

BTW vrec_dawn, what OS do you have installed on your old 'puter?


I don't think he would advocate pirating :roll:
March 17, 2006 7:58:13 PM

Quote:
Hiya Tomarinos.

I desperately need a new computer, but I have no moolah. If I max out my credit card I can scrape together almost $500. (USD)

I'd prefer to order all of my parts from Newegg because everyone seems to really like them and I've had good experiences with them too. But if there's something cheaper somewhere else that you think is trustworthy, I'm not adverse to the suggestion. But whatever prices you might suggest, don't bother if that price is after a rebate, because I can't increase my credit limit with a rebate.

So far I'm looking at building the following, S&H already included:
A retail AMD Sempron64 2800+ for $76
A retail ASRock K8NF4G-SATA2 mobo for $62
A Rosewill RSET-5059 black/silver case kit with 300W power supply, speakers, keyboard, and mouse for $56
A 512MB stick of Corsair Value Select PC3200 for $39
A retail (for the software) GIGABYTE GO-B5232C DVD/CDRW combo drive for $33
A Maxtor DiamondMax 6V080E0 80GB SATA2 HD for $60
A black Mitsumi 1.44MB 3.5" floppy drive for $12
And a WinXP Home SP2 OEM CD for $92

Which should all come out to about $430, leaving me with a little room to try and squeeze in a crappy used monitor or something. Obviously the most intensive thing that it'll do is some light gaming, since I can't afford a decent graphics card yet. I know that it has little upgrade potential, being a crappy socket that's about to be replaced. But right now I just need something that works better than a faulty 300MHz Celeron that keeps crashing.

I know, I know, why bother with a floppy? Because I have tons and tons of things stored on floppies, that's why. I can't give mine up just yet. I could maybe steal it from my old system, but a beige drive in a silver and black box would be uglier than a mortal sin on Chirstmas.

So I figure, maybe in a year I can throw in another stick of RAM and a better video card and do some decent gaming. That's about the extent of my desire to upgrade though. Games are mostly about the graphics anyway, right? So a crappy Sempron won't be so bad?

If any of you experts has a better suggestion, or better prices, or see some incompatability that I missed, please oh please let me know. Otherwise I'll probably try to buy these parts in a week, unless something eats my credit card or I get hit by a bus first.



I agree dump Windoze and put that $92 towards a socket 939!

Linux is awesome.

Check out FC4 or ubuntu

http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/4/i386/iso/

http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/4/x86_64/iso/

http://www.ubuntu.com/download


PS M$ software isn't worth pirating
March 17, 2006 8:23:08 PM

Try this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16856110044 Case etc...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16827106014 DVD Burner, with software. OEM still give you the software, just no pretty box

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16821104101 Floppy drive (which is not a bad thing to purchase these days)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16822148107 Hard drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16820227014 RAM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819112206 CPU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16837102059 XP Home

No offense to Linux this is just what he wanted so I included it.

This has integrated graphics, but does have a PCI-E slot for future upgrades. You can also upgrade the CPU/RAM later on as well.

Total price, $473.47 + Shipping. The DVD drive is on sale though.
March 17, 2006 8:45:05 PM

Quote:
haha, if you really wanna pinch, i dun understand why you're spending 92 on windows. Wink


Yeah...why?
I dunno what games you can play without Windows :( 
Just get a free copy, everyone does it...well, at least a lot of people do...

edit: maybe you can find a free optical drive? I got a free CD-ROM for my PC.
March 17, 2006 8:49:32 PM

Quote:
I don't think he would advocate pirating :roll:


it doesnt matter what he does, the point is that he doesnt have the spend the 92 on what i feel is the most useless cost he listed. perhaps he has access to some institution which offers legit installations, or perhaps he would consider linux, or maybe he can use his current hd, or maybe he can... there are plenty of ways to be creative when you're putting yourself in debt just to buy a 'pos' computer.
March 17, 2006 9:06:36 PM

Quote:
I don't think he would advocate pirating :roll:


it doesnt matter what he does, the point is that he doesnt have the spend the 92 on what i feel is the most useless cost he listed. perhaps he has access to some institution which offers legit installations, or perhaps he would consider linux, or maybe he can use his current hd, or maybe he can... there are plenty of ways to be creative when you're putting yourself in debt just to buy a 'pos' computer.

If you have a college in your area the offical "college book store" typically has WinXP for around $10 for registered students... If you don't have a friend, make one :) 
March 17, 2006 9:14:42 PM

Quote:
If you have a college in your area the offical "college book store" typically has WinXP for around $10 for registered students... If you don't have a friend, make one :) 


The opposite sex make nice ones!! :) 
March 17, 2006 9:39:05 PM

with that low a budget goto wal mart and buy ya one with recovery disks
and a monitor
March 18, 2006 2:27:24 PM

What are you using this computer for? Is gaming your only need? Why not build a low cost sytem to address your current needs and worry about gaming whenyou can afford it.

Why not try ebay for used parts? PayPal will acept your credit card.
March 19, 2006 3:20:32 PM

The socket 754's are truely not bad, but they don't have an upgrade path.

The 754 Semprons are definitely not as hot as Prescotts. While the max wattage spec'd on the Paris core was similar to the Prescotts, AMD's rated their processors more conservatively so most of these were even close to that wattage. Furthermore, only the early 3100+ was on the Paris core - later 3100's and all other s754 semprons were on the lower power Palermo and Oakville cores (which are 90nm BTW).

You best [sempron] bet would be the 3000 and higher since these support Cool'n'Quiet. Many people like the 3100, which performs similar to a 2.8G P4 in Doom3 and a 3.2G P4 in FarCry (according to THG anyway.)
March 19, 2006 4:25:32 PM

A 939 3200+ would be so much better.

939 3200+ 166
nForce 6100 or 6150 80
WD2500KS 94
512MB RAM 40
VGA 0 = integrated or PCI-E 40 and up

380 with integrated VGA or 420 with a 6200 PCI-E although the integrated VGA would be good until you can afford a 7600GT.

Good luck :-D
March 19, 2006 7:32:27 PM

Of course, it might be nice to have:

1) a case to put those parts into.
2) an operating system
3) a dvd drive to load the operating system
March 19, 2006 8:20:53 PM

Quote:
Of course, it might be nice to have:

1) a case to put those parts into.
2) an operating system
3) a dvd drive to load the operating system



Case: $14.95 newegg

PSU: $22 FSP Group / Fortron

DVD: LiteOn DVD-R $36.99

OS: Linux $0.00 ( free download )
March 20, 2006 3:30:27 AM

Realistically the system does not seem too bad. It will not ever be the biggest, baddest thing on the block but that is not what you are looking for. I am personally running a Sempron64 3100+ on a NF3 mobo and I have to admit I am happy. Keep in mind I have a 256mb Radeon 9600 Pro instead of integrated graphics but I play Halo and UT2004 online with my buddies with no problems. If you can re-use your old monitor I would suggest 1gb of ram, same brand can be had for $70 at Newegg. I would also re-use the floppy, transfer everything to cd-rom and then yank it back out if you are concerned with aesthetics. Just not worth the $12 when you are counting the pennies. It looks like you have done a good deal of research (NCQ hdd) and I would just like to add that Newegg has the retail (w/software) Lite-On combo drive for $28 on a weekend sale that will end sometime Monday, save a few $$ more. Good luck with whatever you end up choosing, it will definitely be better than the 300mhz powerhouse hot-rod you have now.
March 20, 2006 5:02:59 AM

:wink: You could get a Socket 939 system with better onboard video than you may be expecting, and it sports PCIe x16 slot to upgrade to whatever you need later:

:arrow: Foxconn 6150K8MA-8EKRS Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
See: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
And: http://www.foxconnchannel.com/products_motherboard_2.cf...

8) NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6150 and NVIDIA nForce™ 430 has some benefits over the lesser models, at the same price point:
http://www.nvidia.com/page/gpu_mobo.html

:!: The Asrock K8NF4G-SATA2 board you are looking at is only single channel, and thus limits memory to 3.2 GB/sec peak. It also uses the slower NVIDIA GeForce 6100 + NVIDIA nForce 410 combination, and that video memory performance will also be limited to 3.2 GB/sec on that board. (vs 6.4 GB/sec on the Foxconn one above).

The only 'downside' is you'll be looking at a slightly pricer (but far better) Athlon 64 Socket 939 processor to go with it.

Ultimately the price / performance ratio will be far better, esp with the GeForce 6150 and 6.4 GB/sec memory available to it, while the price will remain similar to what your target is.

:idea: The Fxconn board above will also run 1 x 512 MB PC3200 stick fine, albeit at the same 3.2 GB/sec of the Socket 754 board. However, you'll be able to add a 2nd 512 MB PC3200 stick to not only double the quantity of memory, but also double video and system memory performance. 8)
March 20, 2006 6:23:11 AM

A budget this low sounds like an overclocking job 8)
Wonder when that aweome 356 Celeron Cedar Mill comes out.
March 20, 2006 7:44:45 AM

This is my first post, and I'm no expert in these matters, but I recently built a mid-range Socket 939 system and subsequently bought an Emachines T3104 (Sempron 3100). The former cost about $1500, the latter, $255, tax included. The self-built cost includes about $175 for XP Pro Full Retail, while the Emachines included XP Home.

I don't know where you live, but today I saw that CompUSA has the below system for $200 pre-tax, with only a $50 rebate involved. Then you can add a decent GPU and replace the 256MB with 1GB RAM for an additional $200 or so, and you can actually do quite a lot with it. I realize this suggestion may reek of heresy hereabouts, but if you take XP Home into account, the computer costs about $100. The pre-tax cost of the Emachines I bought, with upgrades, totaled $360 ($225 + $80 (gpu) + $55 (RAM), buying everything on sale. These deals come up pretty regularly at CompUSA, OfficeDepot.com, etc.

Just a thought.

Presario sr1710nx Minitower
AMD Sempron 3400+ 2GHz Processor, 256MB RAM, 100GB Hard Drive, 16X DVD / 48X32X48 CD-RW Combo Drive, Windows XP Home Edition
$419.99 - $170 Instant Savings - $50 Mfr. Mail-In Rebate
PRODUCT #335974
March 20, 2006 8:13:58 AM

Quote:
This is my first post, and I'm no expert in these matters, but I recently built a mid-range Socket 939 system and subsequently bought an Emachines T3104 (Sempron 3100). The former cost about $1500, the latter, $255, tax included. The self-built cost includes about $175 for XP Pro Full Retail, while the Emachines included XP Home.

I don't know where you live, but today I saw that CompUSA has the below system for $200 pre-tax, with only a $50 rebate involved. Then you can add a decent GPU and replace the 256MB with 1GB RAM for an additional $200 or so, and you can actually do quite a lot with it. I realize this suggestion may reek of heresy hereabouts, but if you take XP Home into account, the computer costs about $100. The pre-tax cost of the Emachines I bought, with upgrades, totaled $360 ($225 + $80 (gpu) + $55 (RAM), buying everything on sale. These deals come up pretty regularly at CompUSA, OfficeDepot.com, etc.

Just a thought.

Presario sr1710nx Minitower
AMD Sempron 3400+ 2GHz Processor, 256MB RAM, 100GB Hard Drive, 16X DVD / 48X32X48 CD-RW Combo Drive, Windows XP Home Edition
$419.99 - $170 Instant Savings - $50 Mfr. Mail-In Rebate
PRODUCT #335974



I respectfully disagree. 99% of the OEMs use the cheapest parts they can get their hands on.

I cannot recommend a system with a $5 power supply and $15 motherboard.

Oftentimes the systems are missing very basic things like graphics slots, expansion slots, DIMM slots, drive bays and use the cheapest chipsets on the market.

I do not consider that a good idea when you can build a decent S939 for about 400-500 with much better quality parts.
March 20, 2006 12:35:35 PM

Thanks all for the advice. I'll try to answer everything in one go because that's just too many messages to respond to indivdually. Sorry.

Let me clarify a couple of things.

Since this is a build it myself system, I'll have no warranty. Because I may need this PoS box for years to come (look how long I've been stuck on my 300MHz PoS) what I feel is important is to get parts with good warranties. For the same reason, I also have no intentions of overclocking, nor of picking up a corner-cutting OEM box with a 30 day warranty that'll probably break down in six months.

And yes, I know single-channel memory split between the CPU and the onboard GPU sucks. But that's why I'm getting a mobo with a 16x slot, so that I can ditch the onboard GPU once I can save up enough money for a decent video card.

As much as I like Linux in theory, in reality I'm just not that skilled. I tried it once. I'm good, but I'm not THAT good. There's a reason why Linux hasn't replaced Windows yet. Besides, I want better software compatability than that. If I buy a game, I want to know that it will work. So I'm sticking to Windows. The student copy is an interesting thought, but unfortunately I'm not a student and I don't know any students. But honestly, I don't mind paying for Windows.

Nor do I mind paying twelve bucks for a floppy drive. Honestly, twelve bucks isn't going to make or break things like a proc that costs $137 over one that costs $76 is.

And I suppose that if I REALLY had to, I could re-use my old monitor, for a little while anyway. Unfortunately there seems to be something wrong with it. The colors go all wonky sometimes. But it still mostly works. Maybe I could try using it for another couple of months and then replace the monitor at a later time. If I really had to.

But can someone point me to a definitive source that proves the much higher cost of going S939 is worth it? Or is this just all hype that you're working on? Because I find it hard to believe that single vs dual channel memory makes all that much of a difference for AMD. For Intel, sure. They were always so memory bandwidth crazy. But for the leaner designed AMD chips? I'd like some proof please. Because someone who's using onboard video and 1024x768 resolutions is not going to care all that much about a 3 FPS difference. It's easy to claim that it'll bottleneck the graphics card, but once I upgrade to a 16x card, just how much of a bottleneck will that be, really? Maybe it'll bottleneck the onboard graphics, sure, but I'm not going to stick with that forever anyway.

And just how much does S939 matter for future proofing anyway? I mean AMD is about to replace all the sockets, aren't they? So isn't S939 just as screwed as S754 in that respect? If I could wait that long I'd consider it, but my computer is driving me crazy and I really need to replace it now.

But I came across another idea. It'll still be more expensive than what I listed, but it will give me more of a future (I hope) without being AS expensive as picking up a S939 proc to start with.

It's the JetWay GTDual-STD-G mobo, that has both a S754 and S939.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

It also brings up the question, what IS the difference between S754 and S939? I'm guessing by doing the math that the only difference is one DDR channel. 754 (proc's pins for single-channel DDR) + 184 (a second DDR channel's pins) = 938. Add one more pin for a ground or something? The numbers seem conspicuously close anyway. And here's a mobo that supports both S754 and S939, and seems to do so by only offering half of the DIMM slots in S754 mode? It makes me wonder why I can't just find a S754 to S939 converter so that I can put a S754 Sempron into a S939 mobo. So I'd lose two DIMM slots while using a Sempron, I only have one DIMM anyway, so like I'd care? I'm ranting. Sorry. But it's so frustrating. I can really appreciate why some people choose Intel. They may switch sockets more often, but they put their bottom-end chips into the same socket package as the top ones, giving you a much more affordable entry point into an upgradable system. If only the modern Celerons didn't suck so badly.

Oh, and while I'm ranting on and on like a lunatic, what the heck is this 20pin, 20+4pin, 24pin crap? I get that the extra 12V 4 pin thing was needed for some strange reason. And I guess not all 20pin power supplies have this extra 4pin cable? But can you use a 20+4pin power supply in a 24pin mobo? Because looking at the pictures of these 24pin mobos, they seem to also still have that extra 4pin socket, like they're requiring 24+4pin. Is that true? And do all 24pin PSUs have that +4pin cable? And maybe I'm crazy, but it seems like it's S754 that's 20+4pin, and S939 that's 24(+4?)pin. I so don't get why they're making that so confusing and difficult and why I can't find a simple explanation online somwhere. And does that mean that I need to look for a 24pin PSU if I get a S939 mobo then? Because those seem to be a lot harder to find, especially when a lot of PSUs are being listed as 24pin when they're actually only 20+4pin.

Anyway, again, thanks all for your input. This is turning out to be a little more complicated than I'd expected, but hopefully I can make a good decision that I won't regret years from now.
March 20, 2006 1:38:04 PM

Yuck. Never mind the JetWay dual socket motherboard. Between the $20 price difference for the motherboard and having to add another $40 for a video card to make up for not having onboard video the price ends up hardly any cheaper than just going S939 from the get go. What a pity that they could take a perfectly good idea and screw it up so badly. Had it even just come with onboard video...
March 20, 2006 4:21:55 PM

Socket 939 supports Dual Channel RAM, Dual Core CPUs and model 1xx Opteron CPUs and is going to be around for some time.

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html

As you can see here the Athlon 64 939's are quite a bit better than socket 754 CPUs.

In Quake 3 for example a 754 2800+ gets 181 FPS vs. 241 FPS for a 939 3700+

In ogg encoding the 2800+ encodes the file in 5:07 vs. 03:23 for a 939 3700+
In ogg encoding the 2800+ encodes the file in 5:07 vs. 03:39 for a 939 3200+

So as you can see the difference can be very significant in certain applications or games.


As far as Linux is concerned, Linux has gotten much better in recent years and you do not need to be l33t to use it.

http://www.ubuntu.com/screenshots

Linux can also run certain windows applications and games and can run windows natively in emulators or virtual machines. You have many choices in the area like VMWare (free and $), QEMU (free), DOSEMU (free), DOSBOX (free), WINE (free), Cedega ($), CrossOverOffice ($) and others.


For these reasons and others I would strongly recommend a socket 939 CPU and an nForce4 motherboard.
March 20, 2006 4:42:00 PM

Spare me the flame, but here's an idea: I've always found that the best prices for the economy-ranged computers come from assembly-line shops, such as Dell.

For anyone who wants to argue Sempron (AMD) versus Celeron (Intel), just picture pitting 2 retarded gerbils against each other in a caged fight. One's gonna lose, but does it really matter who?

Anyway, dell gets the best prices for the low-end stuff. For < $500, you'll get a flat-panel monitor, a printer, a legit copy of windows, 1/2 gig of ram, a WARRANTY, and a decent computer to beat on. You might need to learn indian if you want support tho...

If you're just looking for a beater and not a pet-DIY-project, NewEgg can't compete with Dell/Gateway/etc.
March 20, 2006 5:18:12 PM

Quote:
Spare me the flame, but here's an idea: I've always found that the best prices for the economy-ranged computers come from assembly-line shops, such as Dell.

For anyone who wants to argue Sempron (AMD) versus Celeron (Intel), just picture pitting 2 retarded gerbils against each other in a caged fight. One's gonna lose, but does it really matter who?

Anyway, dell gets the best prices for the low-end stuff. For < $500, you'll get a flat-panel monitor, a printer, a legit copy of windows, 1/2 gig of ram, a WARRANTY, and a decent computer to beat on. You might need to learn indian if you want support tho...

If you're just looking for a beater and not a pet-DIY-project, NewEgg can't compete with Dell/Gateway/etc.

Yes, it can. For one, you can't dream of touching hardcore BIOS settings on a lame system. Also, everything in a Dell comes straight off some sweatshop in Malaysia; nothing is there but the absolute cheapest. Not only that, but Newegg will allow you to return anything in a year if it breaks for whatever reason for a replacement (and this doesn't even cover whatever else has a warranty on it to begin with).
However, overclocking alone should be enough to bring a system into the light.
March 20, 2006 5:34:26 PM

Quote:
Yes, it can. For one, you can't dream of touching hardcore BIOS settings on a lame system. Also, everything in a Dell comes straight off some sweatshop in Malaysia; nothing is there but the absolute cheapest. Not only that, but Newegg will allow you to return anything in a year if it breaks for whatever reason for a replacement (and this doesn't even cover whatever else has a warranty on it to begin with).
However, overclocking alone should be enough to bring a system into the light.


You can't upgrade the Video card, either, but you're still looking at a system that's < $500. You're not going to be able to put together a decent system on NewEgg with a flat-panel monitor and a legit copy of windows for < $500.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. You shouldn't really be OC'ing bottom-grade hardware, anyway.

Dell:
Can't tweak the hardware
Can't upgrade video card
Horrible Phone Support
Decent Hardware Warranty, good RMA
Almost no upgradability

NewEgg:
Custom-Pick all hardware
Settings can be tweaked
Limited upgradability (AGP... good luck finding a new AGP card in a year tho)
A little more power, but not enough left for a monitor

I just wanted to offer another option.
March 20, 2006 5:52:13 PM

I tried pricing the B110 with either 1 GB of RAM or 512 MB and included a printer. $550.00 for the 512 MB, and something around $612.00 for the 1 GB.

The system I spec'd earlier did not include a printer, monitor and was only 512 MB. However, the system supported newer Intel CPUS, had SATA II, DDR2 and had a DVD burner.

If you swapped the DVD burner for a cheaper (like Dell's) DVD-Rom/CD-Burner and threw in a cheap flat panel it would come out less than $600.00 and would be a much better buy for it's upgradability alone not to mention the better performing parts, compared to the Dell.
March 20, 2006 5:56:05 PM

Quote:
You shouldn't really be OC'ing bottom-grade hardware, anyway.

Are you joking me? Celerons are amazing overclockers.
March 20, 2006 6:03:12 PM

Quote:
You shouldn't really be OC'ing bottom-grade hardware, anyway.

Are you joking me? Celerons are amazing overclockers.

I'm aware.

You have to spend a LITTLE more for OC'ability, like a Mobo with an i845PE chipset (If you're OC'ing a celeron) and some decent RAM. Bottom-barrel RAM sticks are usually dogs.
March 20, 2006 6:05:32 PM

Anoobis,

That's a decent build. $100 or so goes a long way....

Don't get me wrong, I'd go DIY over Dell if you can, but Dell can compete in the < $500 arena where most others can't.
March 20, 2006 6:38:24 PM

While a box from Dell isn't a bad idea, per se, it does have three major problems I think. The first is that Dell is Intel only. The second is that the mobos Dell seems to be using are horrible, being stuck at 533MHz FSB and having NO graphics card slot of any type. The third is that I don't trust Dell's quality, especially on a system this cheap. I'd like a system that I can upgrade if I ever get any money. And I especially don't want to be stuck with onboard graphics forever. But thanks anyway.
March 20, 2006 6:39:06 PM

Don't take this the wrong way because I'm not rying to flame anybody.

Might point was that you cannot get it out the door for less than $500 with even as little as 512 MB of RAM, flat panel and printer. You said it was possible with 1 or 2 Gb of RAM, which it is not. Currently, you have to drop the RAM down to 256 MB which just isn't worth it.

Yes, you can get Dell on the cheap. They're great for people who don't know squat about PCs and want to try that "Innernet thing" or "get on the E-mail". I don't like to recommend Dell to people who come to THG because they don't fit in that category. The fact that they even know how to find THG give them a little better status that the above group.
March 20, 2006 6:40:50 PM

Quote:
You shouldn't really be OC'ing bottom-grade hardware, anyway.

Are you joking me? Celerons are amazing overclockers.

I'm aware.

You have to spend a LITTLE more for OC'ability, like a Mobo with an i845PE chipset (If you're OC'ing a celeron) and some decent RAM. Bottom-barrel RAM sticks are usually dogs.
It's not like an i845PE is an expensive chipset lolz. anyway, DDR2 is CHEAP as is regardless.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
^^Aeneon's budget ram hits 400 mhz =D
March 20, 2006 6:43:09 PM

In your situation, you shouldn't limit yourself to just AMD. For your price point the Intel option would be your best route IMHO.
March 20, 2006 6:44:32 PM

Quote:
In your situation, you shouldn't limit yourself to just AMD. For your price point the Intel option would be your best route IMHO.

Celeron's easily push ahead of Prescott/some AMD64 even with a little "effort". Not to say Sempron's are bad, but I don't recommend them.
March 20, 2006 6:50:17 PM

Thanks linux_0 for the benchmark link. Wow. I guess AMD really lies their butt off when they label a Sempron then. I thought their part numbers were supposed to be rated against a T-Bird or something like that. So a Sempron 2800+ should have been at least fairly close to an A64 2800+. I guess not.

But now I'm really thinking that I have to cough up the dough for a S939 chip. Damn. I guess no new monitor for me. Maybe I can find a cheap one on eBay and live with a million dead pixels or something.

As for running Linux though, I'm definately NOT sold. Sorry.

"Linux can also run CERTAIN windows applications"
That sure doesn't sound like 100% compatability to me.

"can run windows natively in EMULATORS"
So it sounds like not only would I be back to buying a license for Windows again, but I'd get to run it even SLOWER? Because I've yet to see an emulator that doesn't take a lot of horsepower. So gee, that almost sounds worth it.

Why shouldn't I just install Windows in the first place then and skip Linux all together? Because it sounds like either way I'll have to buy and install Windows anyway.
March 20, 2006 6:55:49 PM

I have to think about my upgrade future though. At high end Intel CPUs suck up electricity and spit out heat. And they have yucky Intel 'Extreme' Graphics. I'd much rather have an AMD system with an Nvidia onboard video. I mean, sure, the onboard video won't be my graphics forever, but I'll still have to use it for a while anyway.
March 20, 2006 6:56:29 PM

The problem with Sempron's is that they were never upgraded to socket 939 leaving them a little too outdated. With the Cely option posted you get SATA II, PCI-E and DDR2. Those are features that you will be able to use/carry over when the new AMD/Intel platforms arrive making a future upgrade a little easier on the bank.
March 20, 2006 6:59:50 PM

YES EXACTLY. I have to recommend a 3000+ when people want a 939 el-cheapo =/
March 20, 2006 7:11:46 PM

ak's el cheapo overclockin rig
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681... Swing VB6000SWS Silver 0.8 mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945PL Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Intel Celeron D 336 Prescott 533MHz FSB LGA 775 64-Bit Processor w/ Execute Disable Bit Model BX80547RE2800CN - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Thermaltake Silent PurePower TT-420AD(DUAL FAN) ATX 420W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Aeneon by Infineon 512MB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5200) Unbuffered System Memory Model AET660UD00-30D A98Z - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3808110AS 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
XGI Volari Z7 Z7-16MB-16BIT PCI Low Profile Video Card - Retail
This should easily hit 4.0ghz and make it a very worthy computer for gaming/office applications or just typical use. Subtotal: $368.85
Am I missing anything? BTW, it has everything new and great you could ever want; Socket 775 with Cedar Mill/Pressler support, Sata2, DDR2, PCI-E and a fair pricetag if you want to get a monitor or a nice video card. Forget Intel Extreme Graphics! A pci graphics card will come in handy if you think your motherboard failed, and can be used in a different PC later for troubleshooting.
March 20, 2006 7:35:29 PM

Just did a quick scan of the reply's and some of your responses but I have a question.

you say you have an old working p300, if you realy strapped for cash can you savalve some of the parts out of it assuming you plan to stop using it.

I mean you should be able get save the HD if its at least 10gigs in size I know xp will take about half of that but if that buys you more time to save up money and still lets you be produtive since you can't realy play games until you get another Vid card. Also I woud use the floppy drive from your old and again get a better one down the road. I mean 62+12 =74 saved that you can get the better mobo/processor.

well the old computer also has a monitor so you can use that awell no need to buy another one.
March 20, 2006 9:21:18 PM

What about shipping?

Case: 14.99 + 12.99 shipping
Power Supply $22 + $7 shipping
DVD $37 + FREE! shipping

total: $474 + monitor + keyboard + mouse

Option 2: Best Buy $349 after rebates with monitor and printer:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=pcmprd494000...

Sure the upgrade path is limited, but the savings more than offsets the cost of a 939 motherboard down the road.

(It also has an OS. Afterall, if he really wanted Linux, he could load it on his 300Mhz Celeron - it would stop crashing and be so efficient that it would make that 300Mhz Cele run like a 3Ghz P4 running windows.)
March 20, 2006 9:55:37 PM

Quote:
Socket 939 supports Dual Channel RAM, Dual Core CPUs and model 1xx Opteron CPUs and is going to be around for some time.

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html

As you can see here the Athlon 64 939's are quite a bit better than socket 754 CPUs.

In Quake 3 for example a 754 2800+ gets 181 FPS vs. 241 FPS for a 939 3700+

In ogg encoding the 2800+ encodes the file in 5:07 vs. 03:23 for a 939 3700+
In ogg encoding the 2800+ encodes the file in 5:07 vs. 03:39 for a 939 3200+

So as you can see the difference can be very significant in certain applications or games.


As far as Linux is concerned, Linux has gotten much better in recent years and you do not need to be l33t to use it.

http://www.ubuntu.com/screenshots

Linux can also run certain windows applications and games and can run windows natively in emulators or virtual machines. You have many choices in the area like VMWare (free and $), QEMU (free), DOSEMU (free), DOSBOX (free), WINE (free), Cedega ($), CrossOverOffice ($) and others.


For these reasons and others I would strongly recommend a socket 939 CPU and an nForce4 motherboard.


Darn, I hesitate to post this response - afterall I bow at your Linux knowledge.

1) The benchmarks that you are citing are comparing a $74 SEMPRON 2800 with a >$210 Athlon64 3700. (This is a budget build?)

2) The numbers that you cite for both the 3200 and the 3700 are actually for the s754 variants. (They have half the memory bandwidth but 200MHz more clock than their s939 brethren and prevail in the ogg test. The Q3 test is close but not really important given that frames/sec>>75)

Buying a s754 now saves far more than the cost of a 939 MB later.
March 20, 2006 10:22:07 PM

Given your budget, your best option is to buy one from Dell, HP, etc. If not, go the Celeron or socket 754 Sempron route. At this price point, worrying about upgrading in the future is not very practical. You'd get more for your money now by spending less on socket 754. Use it for as long as you can, then move on. It's not likely that you'll want to be upgrading a $500 machine that much anyway, as the landscape will be changing quite a bit in the next few years with different sockets, Windows Vista, etc. It puzzles me how nearly everyone in these forums advises lower budget buyers to spend more for socket 939. You're not getting a gaming rig for $500, and and given the rest of the componentry at this price, you'll not likely notice much, if any, performance differences for what you'd be doing with this machine between sockets 754 and 939. If you keep adding on, it's no longer budget, is it?
March 20, 2006 10:30:13 PM

If warranty is truly a concer, don't get a dell, hp, compaq, emachines, etc. etc. etc. unless you think 90days is a lot, some have a whole year, wow.

AMD boxed cpu - 3 year
Most HD's - 3 year some 5 even
Motherboards - a lot have 3 year

Get the idea? You'll be much better if something breaks and you need to replace it.

Also if for example an HP has a motherboard crap out and you replace it will a like one from someone other than HP, you don't get to use your copy of windows you already paid for, you get to:

a. pay retail for a new copy
b. throw on a not so legal copy

This is from experience, these companies are terrible. Dell is the same, they have option code in the bios that won't allow the restore cd's to work if it's not the original board.

Go with what the other folks are suggesting here, celeron or sempron won't matter for this too much, I'd prefer an a64 3000+ personally though, ask your best friend for a $50 loan :twisted:
!