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Help with a budget build

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August 4, 2006 1:05:47 PM

I have $3,500 to buy a gaming computer and laptop.
I need everything except the monitor - which is an old CRT 17" 8ms.. meaning I would consider replacing it.


Best price v performance ratio components?..

thanks.

More about : budget build

August 4, 2006 1:58:54 PM

Hmmm... I hate budget requests, because I usually look at top-end stuff for my computer. But lets see...

I like the E6600, $340 give or take market values. This processor should last you a long time.

I like the P5W-DH mobo, but probably too much, the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 is only $150 and offers decent performance.

I would recommend the Corsair DDR2-PC6400 (2*1gig), should only be about 200 bucks, nice ram and good brand.

Case is personal preference, depending on how much you want to flaunt it, the sunbeamtech transformer looks kind of immature, but I hear great reviews about it, and its decently cheap ($90)

Don't want to skimp on PSU, you might want to try Corsairs new PSU, the 520W modular one. HX520 I think, costs around $120, and I know the 600W version got some really good reviews.

Cheapy DVD burner, only need one, thats like $30

HDD, you can get them on sale, 300 gig SATAII for like... $80... chump change.

Don't know if you care about cooling, but the Ninja Scythe and the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 pro are cheap air cooling.

Don't know which mid-end graphics card is good... everything above is around $1200... $200 dollar card and new monitor should be about... $1600... Which leaves you a lot to buy a new laptop... shrug

YOu could always get a bit better components, but this is a pretty good bang for the buck right now.
August 4, 2006 2:14:54 PM

Quote:
I have $3,500 to buy a gaming computer and laptop.
I need everything except the monitor - which is an old CRT 17" 8ms.. meaning I would consider replacing it.


Best price v performance ratio components?..

thanks.


What is the laptop for? Just general use? Let's for the sake of this post assume it is. Here is what I would do:

Dell E1505 Laptop
15.4" WUXGA Truebright Screen
1GB of RAM
60GB hard drive
on-board Intel video
DVD burner
wireless
Upgraded 9-cell battery
2 year on-site warranty
2 years anti-virus
XP Home
To get this price enter e-value code 6VAFF- e1505s2 and then click the offer right under the price.

$1252.00 so that leaves $2248 for the desktop. But I would only go $2000 to factor in shipping & tax.

Desktop:

Mootherboard: Asus M2N-E- $94.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131022

CPU: Athlon 64 X2-3800+- $154.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103735

Memory: Corsair XMS 2GB DDR2-800 CAS4- $255
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145034

Hard Drive- Seagate 7200.10 320GB hard drive (Perpendicular Recording)- $94
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16822148140

Video Card: eVGA 7600GT KO- $165.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130017

Case: Antec P180- $124.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811129154

Power Supply: Antec Truepower II 550W- $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103931

KB: Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard: $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16823126179

Mouse: Logitech G5 Gaming Mouse: $40.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16826104191

OS: Windows XP Home- $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16837102059

Sound Card: Creative Labs X-Fi XtremeMusic- $121.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829102188

Total: 1283.25 shipped (before $40 in MIR)

Now, you have $2000 left, so I would put the rest in a high-yield saving account (some pay up to 5% now), and in December upgrade to a 65nm AMD dual-core CPU (or wait and get a quad-core) and upgrade the 7600GT to a DX-10 video card. You have enough left to purchase Windows Vista too.
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August 4, 2006 4:13:13 PM

Interesting. One Conroe build and another AMD..
This 65nm AMD stuff you say is on its way.. is it thought to rival Conroe?

Looks like there's some good stuff around the corner, so I should just buy average now and upgrade around xmas?

Oh, and the laptop is also for gaming. Must run games such as neverwinter nights 2.

Are you sure a sound card that expensive is worth it? Don't most motherboards come with decent sound anyway?
August 4, 2006 4:54:43 PM

Quote:
Interesting. One Conroe build and another AMD..
This 65nm AMD stuff you say is on its way.. is it thought to rival Conroe?

Looks like there's some good stuff around the corner, so I should just buy average now and upgrade around xmas?

Oh, and the laptop is also for gaming. Must run games such as neverwinter nights 2.

Are you sure a sound card that expensive is worth it? Don't most motherboards come with decent sound anyway?


Remember Core2 smacks AMD right now and is a 65nm part. X2s are still a 90nm part. WHen AMD moves to 65nm parts, the performance gap will close. Plus- you can upgrade to AM3/quad core without a motherboard change. Intel cannot claim that.

I would buy good stuff now, other than the CPU and video card. Nothing else that exciting is coming.

if the laptop is for gaming, look at the XPS line and be prepared to pay $2000+ for the laptop.

Unless you have nice speakers- on-board sound is just fine. I only went wit the sound card option because a lot of games now support stuff like EAX whichallows better sound when paired with a compatitable sound card.
August 4, 2006 5:08:40 PM

AMD & IBM do claim that the transition to 65nm will gain 20% performance..
What you're saying is go with cheaper AMD stuff over conroe, basically. Then upgrade.

Overclocking a cheap 3800 until then might be a good option, I hear they can reach 4600 speeds?

I've been looking at these laptops recently, they all seem fairly decent.

http://www.meshcomputers.com/Default.aspx?PAGE=PRODCATE...
August 4, 2006 5:32:51 PM

Oh, that motherboard you linked.

Would the 570 SLi option not be better for upgrade possibilities?
And the 590?.. I don't really know what the difference is, but I assume you do?
August 4, 2006 5:46:40 PM

In answer to my own question, thanks to The Prophecy in another thread.

"Mobo: DO NOT go down the SLI route unless you're going to be doing ALL 3 of the following:

1. Gaming at resolutions over 1600 x 1200
2. Going to be getting 2 Geforce 7900GT's or higher
3. Going to be getting those 7900GT's or higher within 2 months of each other."

Well.. that throws the possibilities of me using SLi out the window.
Is there any other reason to go 590 over 570?
August 4, 2006 5:52:25 PM

Did someone say that the Am3 platform will work in the am2 slot? or are they changing that again.???
August 4, 2006 5:54:28 PM

AM3 CPUs will work in AM2 sockets but have less features, and DDR2 memory will work in AM3 boards from what I hear.
That means the upgrade path is very clear - CPU, Motherboard, Memory.
August 4, 2006 6:40:13 PM

Quote:
In answer to my own question, thanks to The Prophecy in another thread.

"Mobo: DO NOT go down the SLI route unless you're going to be doing ALL 3 of the following:

1. Gaming at resolutions over 1600 x 1200
2. Going to be getting 2 Geforce 7900GT's or higher
3. Going to be getting those 7900GT's or higher within 2 months of each other."

Well.. that throws the possibilities of me using SLi out the window.
Is there any other reason to go 590 over 570?


590 adds onboard firewire (M2N-E lacks this) ,but you can add it for $20.

The highend ($200) 590 board adds on-motherboard wireless, but again you can add that as a PCI card for much less.
August 4, 2006 6:41:46 PM

Quote:
AMD & IBM do claim that the transition to 65nm will gain 20% performance..
What you're saying is go with cheaper AMD stuff over conroe, basically. Then upgrade.

Overclocking a cheap 3800 until then might be a good option, I hear they can reach 4600 speeds?

I've been looking at these laptops recently, they all seem fairly decent.

http://www.meshcomputers.com/Default.aspx?PAGE=PRODCATE...


Yes, 3800 is quite overclockable.

Do you live in the UK? Thats a UK merchant you linked to. Which one in particular are you interested in?
August 4, 2006 6:46:47 PM

Doesn't look like there's any point in going 590 then.

ASUS A7D-TV, ASUS A6Jc and ASUS A6T.
The three cheapest which include a decent graphics card.

My initial reaction would be to get the t2400 core duo one, but I think the GPU is a little worse than the others. My contemplation lies in thinking the better GPU/worse CPU of the Turion models might be better for gaming.

And yep, UK.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 4, 2006 6:50:43 PM

I just bought an E1505 from Dell. I'm still loading s/w on it, but I already know it handles Guild Wars just fine. This means it will handle a Diablo II LAN server, Sacred and Neverwinter Nights without breaking a sweat. I got the 1300X option for the video on it, 1GB of RAM, and that 9-cell battery too.
With discounts, I don't think it will cost more than $900-$1000.
August 5, 2006 12:09:00 PM

I looked at the xps notebooks from Dell and didn't like the prices, but I neglected to look at the inspirons. They do look quite good actually. Hope it runs NWN 2.. They have an offer, 2gb or ram for the price of 1gb right now. Will that actually make any differences to anything?


I've never overclocked before.. I hope it's eay to push that 3800.
And it only needs to be pushed for half a year until K8L.

7600gt extreme edition from XFX is looking nice, but there's probably some sort of ATI card lying around that would be good. I was originally planning on going with nVidea for the linkboost. But now I see it doesn't do much.

Unless KL8 breaks the 8gb transfer rate.. then the 25% increase across the board would be pretty huge.
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