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$1,000 College Budget Build!!! Please Rate!!!

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July 26, 2006 5:04:19 AM

Please rate/comment on my $1,000 college budget build!!!


Antec 75003 120mm Ball Case Cooling Fan - $12
LG Combo Drive Black - $25
POWMAX Black/Silver PS/2 Optical Mouse Blue LED - $9
ViewSonic E70FB Black 17" CRT Monitor - $137
LITE-ON 2-Tone PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard - $7
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard drive-$100
SONY Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive - $8
Gigabyte GA-M55SLI-S4 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - $95
Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower - $85 - With rebate
EVGA GeForce 7600 GT CO 256MB PCIe w/Dual DVI - $150 with rebate
Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Socket AM2 - $190
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Unbuffered Dual Channel - $190


TOTAL: $1,008 shipping is only $15 so $1,023.

Not to bad if I do say so myself, but what do you guys think? Should I got for everything I listed?

Peace
July 26, 2006 7:23:59 AM

I would go with a conroe build, or an Nforce 590 motherboard. AM2 Nforce 590 board for upgrade path as socket AM3 will fit in it and it is the most advanced AM2 chipset out right now so should last longer.

Conroe because for the a similar price you will get better performance. With a $150 board (Gigabyte DS3) and $180 processor (E6300) you get a new generation chip.

As an added note I would get suggest:

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

Close timings and cheaper to offset the slightly higher MB CPU price.
July 26, 2006 7:42:18 AM

I agree with Chewbenator. A Conroe build would provide better performance. It may cost a bit more, but it's definitly worth it.
Related resources
July 26, 2006 9:50:02 AM

Cancel the Floppy Disk. Than it will be a real $1000 college budget build. What serve you a floppy disk right now ? Besides you won't make a RAID, will you ?
July 26, 2006 9:51:38 AM

Ok I can cancel the floppy.

But hey I have a quick question, if my mother board says it supports 1.8v ram, does that mean I can't get ram with voltage over 1.8?
July 26, 2006 10:18:55 AM

i just answered this in another thread. But my answer is "i'm not really sure". Try to check in your motherboard site. Usually most of motherboards has an option in the BIOS to change the voltage. Good Luck. Don't forget to go to college dudes...
July 26, 2006 10:22:36 AM

Quote:
Cancel the Floppy Disk. Than it will be a real $1000 college budget build. What serve you a floppy disk right now ? Besides you won't make a RAID, will you ?


He's going to have a hard time flashing the BIOS (should that need ever come up) without a floppy drive. Of course... you could flash it from within Windows provided the board manufacturer has a utility allowing you to do so, but wouldn't you agree that for an extra $8, having the peace of mind that knowing you can't screw up the flash process from a floppy, because the blue screening factor has been removed from the equation, would be worth the added cost?

I realize the potential for the power to go out while the flash process is going on is is still there, however, the odds of that occuring are MUCH less likely than ending up with a blue screen, and having to replace the motherboard.
July 26, 2006 10:53:41 AM

You still flashing your BIOS from floppy ? Well dudes NO OFFENSE, i never use my floppy to flash my BIOS. Format a small partition of your HDD in FAT32 (it won't hurt your HDD), put your BIOS file in this partition, boot your computer with bootable windows 98 CD, then run the flashing from HDD. More reliable, don't you think ? you don't have to worry that your floppy disk has fungus inside. If you are stuck in 80% of flashing cuz your floppy can't read, what you'll do ?
besides,
How many times in a year you'll flashing your BIOS ?

NO OFFENSE dudes... :) 
July 26, 2006 11:19:39 AM

I'd say keep the floppy. It may end up that you have an oppertunity to use the thing only once a year, but it can be pretty annoying when you need one and don't have it. Slicessoul is right in that there are always ways around using a floppy, but that $8 can save you a lot of hassle. Plus, in a few years if you make a new build, you can take the floppy out and reuse it on the new system.
July 26, 2006 11:54:22 AM

Quote:
I agree with Chewbenator. A Conroe build would provide better performance. It may cost a bit more, but it's definitly worth it.


I also agree, you can build a Conreo set up for under $1000 easy even with a E6600.
July 26, 2006 12:15:57 PM

I agree on the floppy. Get one. They're $6 from newegg.com, and can save you a lot of hassle. If you need to flash your bios, you can. Much safer to do it from a floppy. If you need RAID drivers to install Windows, you can use them. And some recovery programs use floppies as boot discs.

And where would he get a Windows 98 disc? Granted, he could do it from a flash drive, but a floppy is the best way.

Hmm. Normally, I would say buy a Core 2, but there really isn't a Conroe that would fit your situation. Get an AM2 motherboard and CPU. But get the 3800+. The cache won't make that much of a difference, and it will save some money. Get a soundcard or an LCD instead of more cache you won't use.

For now, get a single GB stick - you won't get the bandwidth of dual channel mode, and you'll lose a GB, but it will make upgrading to 2GB much easier. And you can get a more expensive stick, so that when you finally can buy a second GB, you'll have 2GB of the good stuff.

For the motherboard, get an Asus M2N-E. It's the non-SLI version of the motherboard I have now, and it's great. It has a much better chipset, which will offer better performance than the older chipset on the motherboard you chose.

Decent case with a decent power supply. It won't be flashy, but it looks pretty nice. If you want a window kit, buy one from performance-pcs.com or some place like that. They're not too difficult to put in, if you have some skill with a hacksaw or dremel.

And use the money you save to get an LCD. Trust me, as a college student you'll want all the space you can save.

Check this build.
July 26, 2006 2:36:42 PM

The_Prophecy: He's going to have a hard time flashing the BIOS (should that need ever come up) without a floppy drive.

I have successfully reflashed the BIOS on a floppy-driveless laptop by burning the manufacturer's floppy-disk image to CD.

YourMothersAnAstronaut: For now, get a single GB stick - you won't get the bandwidth of dual channel mode, and you'll lose a GB, but it will make upgrading to 2GB much easier.

The Asus M2N-E has 4 DIMM slots. Why not get 2x512MiB?
July 26, 2006 3:06:14 PM

Well, since I am a third year college student, I will say this... get a laptop, lose the desktop, so much more useful especially if you need to go to the library to study or to take notes in class. Especially if your campus offers free wi-fi like mine does. If you insist on a desktop, depends on what your going to use it for. Either way, if the floppy is that cheap, just throw it in anyways. When you spend 1K on a computer, whats + $8 going to do anyways.

I agree about the LCD statement, your room is gonna be as small as ^$%& so might as well get a LCD monitor, not to mention if your place has bad A/C, you don't want the extra heat from the monitor and computer heating up your room... Also, I assume you'll be reading and writing a lot of stuff, so LCD is better for your eyes in relation to that.

And yeah, the ram is a bit overkill for a 1k dollar system, get 1gig for now and upgrade later, and wait for better HDD deals. I've seen a 500 gig go for 80 bucks. Trust me, 500 gigs will go a long way {Although I have 2TB of storage myself and its all full =*( }
July 26, 2006 4:48:52 PM

Quote:
The Asus M2N-E has 4 DIMM slots. Why not get 2x512MiB?


Because having all 4 slots populated forces you to run your RAM at 2T command rate, which makes your RAM pause once per clock. And pausing reduces your speed.

If he gets a GB now, he'll only need to buy an identical stick later, and can run at the optimal speed.

But it's up to him :wink:.
July 26, 2006 4:56:13 PM

Switch to an M2N-E for same $.
Get this compatible (and cheaper) memory:
Corsair 5-5-5-12 2GB DDR2 800 Twin2X2048-6400 $217+0-$40 7/26/06
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145590
Get the 3800+ instead.
Take the $ you saved to get a Logitech G5 mouse.
And yes, get a floppy drive.

BTW, "supports 1.8v" just means that the board uses DDR2. 1.8 is the standard voltage. All enthusiast marketed motherboards allow ram voltage tuning.
July 26, 2006 6:48:55 PM

Quote:
You still flashing your BIOS from floppy ? Well dudes NO OFFENSE, i never use my floppy to flash my BIOS. Format a small partition of your HDD in FAT32 (it won't hurt your HDD), put your BIOS file in this partition, boot your computer with bootable windows 98 CD, then run the flashing from HDD.


Refresh my memory.... why would the OP go out and spend $50+ on a program to screw around with their partitons (becaause i'm willing to bet they will have 1 or more partitions spanning then entire drive), just to make a smaller one for the sole purpose of flashing the BIOS? I would rather spend $8 on a floppy drive and get it over with faster.

Quote:
More reliable, don't you think ? you don't have to worry that your floppy disk has fungus inside. If you are stuck in 80% of flashing cuz your floppy can't read, what you'll do ?


In theory, yes, more reliable. But if you can write the necessary files to the floppy now, you'll be able to read them again 5 minutes later when you're actually doing the flashing.
July 26, 2006 6:58:58 PM

u cant really build a worthwhile conroe system for under 1,000....its just not realistic. with an e6600....AND the motherboard...the cost alone for those will be around 550-600 because u cant find a decent mobo for conroe less than 200. and with memory...that will be another 200 at least since its only worth to get ddr2-800 or so. so thats 750-800 leaving 200-250 to spend on the soundcard, graphics card, psu, optical drives, floppy drive, and case.......yeah right dude......yeah right!

but to answer the posters question...i suggest going with an amd processor. the prices just got cut..so u can do a lot better as far as price than a conroe. if ur budget is 1000, then u must not be too much of a gamer. so u can get away with like a 7600gt for a vid card and prolly and audigy2 sound card or something.
July 26, 2006 7:19:02 PM

Quote:
u cant really build a worthwhile conroe system for under 1,000....its just not realistic. with an e6600....AND the motherboard...the cost alone for those will be around 550-600 because u cant find a decent mobo for conroe less than 200. and with memory...that will be another 200 at least since its only worth to get ddr2-800 or so. so thats 750-800 leaving 200-250 to spend on the soundcard, graphics card, psu, optical drives, floppy drive, and case.......yeah right dude......yeah right!


Really? No Conroe Supporting boards for under $200?

Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3

Abit AB9 Pro

Asus P5B

Hmm..... these certainly look like they are under $200 to me...
July 26, 2006 7:44:37 PM

Quote:
Please rate/comment on my $1,000 college budget build!!!

Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Socket AM2 - $190

Peace


I didn't know they made the 4000 x 2 for AM2 socket. I have seen 3800 or 4200. Well not really important after all just a detail here.
July 26, 2006 10:11:29 PM

Quote:
I didn't know they made the 4000 x 2 for AM2 socket. I have seen 3800 or 4200. Well not really important after all just a detail here.


There is an X2 4000+ for the AM2 socket, but it did not recieve price cuts from AMD, because it's has 2MB of L2 cache, the parts which did get the cuts had only 1MB (or 512KB in the case of the single core chips)
July 26, 2006 11:57:13 PM

i didnt say that u couldnt find ANY mobos under 200...just the ones r really good....besides the fact of the matter is, with a conroe processor and a budget of 1,000....its just not worth it
July 27, 2006 12:33:39 AM

Quote:
Where did you find an X2 4000+ for $190? 8O


Tigerdirect, but they are sold out now. And what pissed me off was that when I ordered it they said "In stock" and today it says "Back Ordered"

DAMN IT!!! It's either going to add extra days onto the shipping, or I won't get the X2 4000+ at all and they'll give me the run around saying it's coming it's coming.

BTW: If you order something from a site and the item is listed as "backordered", what is the most amount of time they can allow to pass with out rembursing you?
July 27, 2006 4:53:55 AM

Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Socket AM2 - $190
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Unbuffered Dual Channel - $190


I agree on the floppy - MANY MANY MANY professors and college applications in the back of textbooks and other students still use floppies with a disturbing regularity. It's good insurance. You can also velcro it inside your case if you want - don't even connect it until you actually need it.

But the real problem here is the CPU and memory. That's just too expensive. I'd go for an older board that supports CLS2 DDR400 and will run either a Pentium 805 D or the newer 512K cache Celerons. They are decently fast, overclock well, and will together save you about $100 on your build. That will buy you a copy of WinXP Pro via the bookstore, or close to it.(It's $159 locally from independant system builders)
July 27, 2006 11:11:26 AM

If your school is a member of the MSDNAA, you can get XP for $15.

It's $150 otherwise if you want to get it from newegg...cheapest I've found because it's OEM.
July 27, 2006 12:08:32 PM

Quote:
If your school is a member of the MSDNAA, you can get XP for $15.

It's $150 otherwise if you want to get it from newegg...cheapest I've found because it's OEM.


I looked it up and my school is a member. How exactly does this work? Do I just contact my CSCI department about it to get a login? Is that version of XP Pro going to be the same as the full priced version or is there anything I would need to know that is different?
July 28, 2006 12:13:27 AM

Quote:
If your school is a member of the MSDNAA, you can get XP for $15.

It's $150 otherwise if you want to get it from newegg...cheapest I've found because it's OEM.


I looked it up and my school is a member. How exactly does this work? Do I just contact my CSCI department about it to get a login? Is that version of XP Pro going to be the same as the full priced version or is there anything I would need to know that is different?

My school does have this and that is where I purchased it from. We have student union, which is basically a big store with everything you need from toothpaste to videogames to magazines, but anyway they get really cheap computer hardware/software because they are part of the MSDNAA.

I'd suggest you just ask someone at your college, like someone in the student information department or something.
July 28, 2006 12:45:30 AM

you can still get a conroe build that will cost less than that. Even if you get one of the lower end conroes you are still good to go because of overclocking and all that.
!