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Complete system, nice sound, 19" lcd, $800?

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August 9, 2006 10:49:40 AM

Whoa! Just attempted an unknown attact on THG. I guess they really don't like office spreadsheats.

Any way, my sister wants a new PC. She wants it to be fast, she wants nice speakers, and she wants an lcd screen, and she wants to play The Sims. She also wants to keep the budget at $800. This is what I'm planning to do:


the left-most column is shipping. oh, thats a 250 gb hd. the MB is microAtx.

Any suggestions, thoughts or comments?
August 9, 2006 11:45:21 AM

$991 is a fair way over her $800 budget! Looks like quite a nice system but you should try to make some savings. Maybe a cheaper case? $179 for a case is a little excessive when you are on a tight budget. You could also drop the custom cooler as your sister is unlikely to need it as the stock cooler will do unless you wanna overclock.
August 9, 2006 11:49:27 AM

If the budget is $800, why do you have $991 there?

You don't need speakers that expensive. They're great, but you won't notice a difference in sound if there isn't a high-end sound card in the machine.

You don't need the aftermarket CPU cooler - the stock one is good enough, and it will void the warranty if you use that instead of the stock one. Just pick up some Arctic Silver instead.

You don't have a case in there. Do you have one already, or did you just not put one in?

If you can, I would suggest avoiding Micro-ATX. The boards are smaller which means cheaper, but they aren't nearly as upgradeable - a necessary requirement for a budget build.
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August 9, 2006 12:34:19 PM

First of all, what the heck, that is a HTPC case. $179.. what were you thinking? Here's a better option.

Does she really need a 19inch LCD to play the Sims? Here's a better option.

Use the stock CPU cooler and drop the Alpine 64.

You're spending too much on 2.1 speakers. Does she really need floor shaking bass? Here's a better option.

Spend a little more and get a regular ATX mobo like this one.

You could also save a few bucks on the mouse/keyboard if you really needed to.
August 9, 2006 1:03:20 PM

My suggestions...

Antec LifeStyle SONATA II 450Watt $109.99
-Good case, good power supply, quality and value.

ASUS M2N-E $94.99
-Commonly becoming the staple motherboard for budget amd systems.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ $151.00
-Might as well go dual core, your not saving a whole lot sticking with single core, and you get the extra performance.

OCZ Gold 2 x 512MB PC2 6400 $99.99
-DDR2 800 memory in a budget system? Thats right, DDR2 533 is only about 12$ cheaper. This stuff is high end gaming ram. But some AMD systems have issues with ocz ram, my suggestions is give it a try anyways. Corsairs equivalent is 50$ more.

eVGA 256-P2-N541-TX Geforce 7600GS 256MB $99.99 (10$ MIR)
-Not enough in the budget to get a 7600gt, but this card is exact same as the 7600gt except lower core clock speed. Great card for the cash.

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB $69.99 (10$ MIR)
-Fast big harddrive with all the latest. NCQ, SATA300, 16mb cache.

LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner W/ LightScribe and DVD-RAM $30.99
-Not much to say about this, Lite-on makes great cd/dvd drivers.

Logitech X-230 32 Watts 2.1 $33.99
-Don't let the price of these throw you off. They are great speakers. If she is going to be using them for music and The Sims they are more than enough. (Here is a review Tom's did for the Z-530. Same speakers but the X-530 are 5.1 http://www.denguru.com/2004/12/17/5/page10.html)

Acer AL1717 Abm Black 17" 8ms LCD $145.99
-Acer is a good brand on a budget. Remember that 17" LCD = 18" CRT, so this will still be bigger than yesteryears conventional monitor. 19" isn't needed.

There you are, total cost comes to $837.
This maching is faster, in terms of cpu, memory, and video performance.
If you really need to be under 800 (wich I doubt when looking at your recommended build wich is over 900) you could cut the dual core back to the 64 3800+ (You would save 40$, the total being $797).
If you can/want to spend a little more, I recomend upgrading to a 7600gt, maybe getting a different brand of memory, but try to stick with DDR2 800. Also a 19" LCD, while not needed, may be a good idea, most likely will cost you 50$ more.
But those upgrades add up, it would probably cost another 200$ for the ones I mentioned.
Anyways, I'm sure other people will have something to say about my build so I'll pass on the torch now.

Hope I helped.

(P.S. I really really tried to get a conroe system in this budget... impossible, although I was close. Gigabyte's DS3 motherboard and the e6300 would only cost 130$ more than what is listed here.)

EDIT: I just noticed qwertycopter has the same suggestions as me. Heh, sorry dude, but it goes to show there are just some parts that are staples for budget systems. Also I forgot keyboard and mouse in cost.

Logitech 967502-0403 Black $5.25

Logitech RX300 931434-0403 Black $10.45

I'm sure that wont break the bank. =D And now everyhing is black, monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse and case.
August 9, 2006 1:21:46 PM

Quote:

EDIT: I just noticed qwertycopter has the same suggestions as me. Heh, sorry dude, but it goes to show there are just some parts that are staples for budget systems.


Ehe! :D 
August 9, 2006 1:23:43 PM

Quote:
1) Stay away from samsung anything.
Because of price? Just curious...
August 9, 2006 1:33:12 PM

Actually I have the L90D+ and it isn't bad at all... Ok, it's not as good as my VX922 but it's still a pretty decent monitor for the price.
August 9, 2006 3:44:39 PM

Quote:
1) Stay away from samsung anything.
Because of price? Just curious...

Samsung doesn't make the BEST products, they make good monitors, LCD and CRT. They make good HDs, and MP3 players. And they make alot of good other stuff. I personally only buy Samsung monitors. If you have a negative opinion towards a brand please state at least one legit reason.

I say that Samsung makes good monitors because in my house we have alot of computers, but the latest ones are ALL running samsung monitors, never had one problem. In fact I'm still using my 17" 750s from a celeron 466 system I had years ago. Other than being a little dark it still works great. My brothers have the 755df and 955df.
August 13, 2006 3:15:29 PM

Thanks guys. I think I'll use some of your suggestions to make some more spreadsheets. I think I'll totally drop the HTPC case, and have the option of either the Antec Aria or Sonata II. I'll put the cheaper monitor and speakers as an option as well.

I have written may replies to the suggestions you guys wrote; some of my replies relied upon deap fish for argumentive support. Then I realized I could make your suggestions "options", and was able to accept the gentle corrections given to me by my peers.
!