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Need some serious help building on a budget (unwashed user)

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September 30, 2006 9:44:13 PM

Hi everyone,

As the name states I'm a fairly unwashed user who'se looking to replace his current PC rig with something significantly more substantial. My Current PC is a first generation P4 (1.7 GHZ) and it simply can't keep up with what I want from it anymore (But being 5+ years old I'm really not shocked).

I'm on a budget (Have $750.00 ATM, aiming to get $1000.00) and looking for something that will have absolutely no issues running large Adobe programs and High end PC Games and videos and what not.

My issue is that I KNOW I can get a better PC by building it than from buying a new Intell or AMD package from one of the big box stores. But I have no experience doing so (Never built a PC in my life).

And I have high amibitions, I want to run a Core 2 Duo if at all possible.

So what can I do? what do you recommend? Should I simply buy it all of NewEgg?

I should Note I'm in Canada not the states so I don't know how much that will effect availability or shipping.

Please Please PLEASE someone let me know what I should be spending my money on and where I can get it.

More about : building budget unwashed user

September 30, 2006 10:54:22 PM

newegg does not ship to canada.

Where do you live in canada? For online ordering, check out directcanada.com or ncix.com.

$1000 CAN will not get you something that is "high end gaming" with a core 2 duo.

A decent package would be.

ASUS P5B mobo($200)
E6300($230)
2gigs of 667mhz ram, 533mhz if you do not plan to OC ($250)
about $50-70 for a HSF if you are OCing
ATI X1900GT (should be had for around 230-250)

A case and a PSU will put you over the top of $1000. You can drop the vid card for a X1800GTO or if you can find a cheap X850XT. I already know that a lof of ppl will tell you to get a 1800XT but you most likely will not find one in canada.

EDIT: you can also look at the 7600GT for aroudn 150-200. You can get a cheaper mobo, the gigabyte DS3 but since you are a new builder, that board is very nice but most likely will cause some sort of problem and will fustrate the heck out of a new builder. But if you have an exp friend, then you can get teh DS3.
September 30, 2006 11:51:53 PM

Quote:
newegg does not ship to canada... a lof of ppl will tell you to get a 1800XT but you most likely will not find one in canada...
What? Why is a First World country of $30 million people immediately congruous to the United States considered a backwater? It's not like he wants something shipped to Yemen.
Related resources
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2006 11:57:30 PM

Its probably more of an issue collection GST and provincal tax and technical stuff like that. :lol: 
I've seen others suggest using http://www.pccanada.com/ as a source of supply in the upper echelons of the continent.

Your budget will be a limiting factor it looks like:


Do you want to look at AMD options as well?
Have anything you can carry over from your current PC?
Go ahead and list your current system specs and components.
October 1, 2006 12:38:14 AM

Quote:
Its probably more of an issue collection GST and provincal tax and technical stuff like that. :lol: 
I've seen others suggest using http://www.pccanada.com/ as a source of supply in the upper echelons of the continent.

Your budget will be a limiting factor it looks like:


Do you want to look at AMD options as well?
Have anything you can carry over from your current PC?
Go ahead and list your current system specs and components.


this is pretty good but you might want to spend a bit more to get 2gigs of ram if you are going to be using the adobe apps. It will really speed stuff up.
October 1, 2006 1:32:02 AM

Well WR2, being that my current rig is so ancient I highly doubt theres anything of use from it, and I HATE the case due to it's craptacular design.

The latest thing I bought for it was a 128mb Radeon 9600, so I doubt that's worthy of transfering over.

Another note, the $1000 I listed is $1000.00 Cad, not American, if that needs factoring into anyones equations.

And I'm in ontario so I'm not WAY up in the boonies or anything, I should be able to find most anything.

Lastly I realise that $1000.00 wont buy me a "High end gaming rig" by your measures, but anything is better then what I have in that respect. So the more Bang I can get for my buck the better.

Oh and Question: Is the ram included with the graphics cards useable for the entirity of the PC or does the Video card use it alone?

Thanks guys and keep the suggestions coming.

-Chase
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 1, 2006 2:24:07 AM

The video card RAM is not useable for system RAM

Using the website @ Premier Computer Canada and totaling $CAD 939 before any GST, Prov Taxes or shipping charges.
Core2 Duo Budget PC


You'll note that there are some major compromises to meet your budget limit.
Especially the 1GB RAM with no room for upgrading on this motherboard.
While this list meets your minimum requirements IMO this is not the best way to spend your hard earned Loonies.
Maybe someone else will figure out a more effective plan for getting you your new PC.

For comparison here is an AMD 3800 X2 system for $939 CAD
October 1, 2006 2:58:50 AM

prices from www.pccanada.com

Core 2 duo E6300..................................................................$214.00
Abit AB9 motherboard............................................................$164.00
OCZ 2Gb PC2-4200 DDR2 Dual Channel Value Series...............$339.99
Asus® Extreme EN7600GS Silent............................................$164.99
250GB Western Digital® Caviar® SE16 SATAII-300 7200RPM...$89.99
Antec® Basiq BP500U - 500W.................................................$89.99

thats...................................................................................$1062.96

no shipping prices on any of that and no optical drive or case included in there

1 way to skimp - 1gig of memory instead of 2, you can always add 1 gig later.

socket AM2 instead of Core 2 is another way to save some cash, its $99 for Abit KN9, Socket AM2 and $179 for Athlon 64 X2 - 3800+. Saves you exactly $100. Still a very capable system compared to what you have now

either way these systems will play almost all new games at acceptable frame rates with decent resolutions

if you have an ATX case laying around toss these parts in there - snag the CD drive out of yur old system and poof - great lil system there
October 1, 2006 3:27:34 AM

i would not recommend getting anything in the 16XX series, it has SM3 capabilities but nowhere the power to use it.

I would rather go for a 7600GT/GS or get a X800 series. My X800XL was 130 at www.canadacomputers.com. they have a good selection but not the best prices.

Do you need to buy windows also?
October 1, 2006 4:09:20 AM

I suppose I forgot to mention that yes I have a Copy of XP as well as a keyboard and Mouse (five button optical microsoft mouse) so those need not be included in anyones calculations.

My Case is a Dell Demension 8200 FYI, I doubt I could or would want to reuse it but if you guys tell me it's do-able and better for the budget then I'm sure I could do so despite it's flaws. After all I wouldnt be in and out of the case much after I had it up and running, and if it could save me some money.. then I'll live with it.

Also I have a couple 17" monitors lying around that I can indeed use, but they're not very nice, and not flatscreens either so theit like 2 feet long and eating up desk space, so if anyone could throw a monitor into the calculations that might be nice (Outside the budget perhaps?)

And I really would like to stick with a Core 2 Duo over an AMD because of what I've read so far (That it's the most value for your money).
And it being a dual core CPU that means that the 1.86 GHZ is actually twice that correct? So it's more like a 3.72 GHZ Pc Pre Overclocking no?

As I said I'm quite unwashed in this whole experienced and am sadly getting more and more tempted by ads by MDG, Please Save me.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 1, 2006 4:54:25 AM

Quote:
.. getting more and more tempted by ads by MDG
Building a computer is not for everyone. Just look at all the topics in the forums asking for help on a build gone wrong. Its your choice and your money.

CanadaComputers is a more expensive website but does have more choices.

One last list for you to go review:
$984 E6300, 1GB Ram, 160GB HD, DVD+RW, MB, Case and PSU, 7600GS, 17in Acer LCD
October 1, 2006 5:31:49 AM

Would that 380W PS cover the stats of my machine? or should I be striving for a 500W?
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 1, 2006 6:52:31 AM

Its hard to know for sure which Antec PSU is in that case based on the Antech website. But with the assumption that the PSU is the Antec TPII-380 ATX12V 380W it will meet the requirements of that system. A couple reviews of 7600GS video cards said 300W 15Amp 12volt PSU was the minimum requirement but recommended a 350W PSU.
October 1, 2006 8:22:37 AM

Quote:
And I really would like to stick with a Core 2 Duo over an AMD because of what I've read so far (That it's the most value for your money).

Since AMD dropped prices recently they are very competitive on price/performance and you may save a lot on the mobo.

Quote:
And it being a dual core CPU that means that the 1.86 GHZ is actually twice that correct? So it's more like a 3.72 GHZ Pc Pre Overclocking no?

No. Doubling the cores does not double the clock speed of the processor, nor does it necessarily (if ever) double performance. AMD has been selling dual core processors since before intel started selling core and core2 by the way.
October 1, 2006 1:49:19 PM

Quote:
Oh and I found http://www.canadacomputers.com Think that might be a better source then some that have already been listed?


Do you live in toronto? if so, check out www.infonec.com www.filtechcomputer.com for more prices taht are usually cheaper than canadacomputers or ncix.com.

If you are really unsure, you can get a computer from MDG then make sure it has a free pci-e slot in there and then you can drop in a new vid card when you have the money. They do sell decent computers for a decent price and everytime i see the flyer they are alawys giving a lot of 'bonuses' with their computers.
October 1, 2006 2:14:36 PM

I'm a Canuck outside Toronto, so I hear ya. Here's some info:

1) If you're in Ontario, you can order the link below and avoid PST, it'll be GST only and these base prices are extremely good (better than almost anyone actually), I've checked around:
http://www.directcanada.com/

2) If you want to build your own machine and don't know quite how, check this out:
http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/index.htm

3) A 7600GS will not get you high end gaming. 7600GT is better, but if you can spend the extra $60 over a GT, get a Sapphire X1900XT (256), it'll pwn. Here's the best deal I can find (plus no PST if you're in Ontario, so total comes to $318 CAN everything included)
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14080BD8495&v...

4) Core2Duo is nice, no doubt. But it is also more expensive. You can go AMD for cheaper, plain and simple. Most people around here are "enthusiasts" so if you ask, "most" people here will say build a C2D. However, it's kinda like comparing a Porsche with a Ferrari. Both are damn fast. The real-world difference you'll see in applications are a few seconds of crunching in Adobe. So you gotta ask yourself: "Is that extra bit worth that much more $$??" It's your call. BUT, if you go AMD then you'll have enough $$ left for a much better graphics card. Building a C2D and getting a 7600GS is a WASTE. Building a good AMD with a X1900XT is a much better system. Just because you'll be driving a Porsche and not a Ferrari won't mean you're disappointed. You'll be happy with a fast AMD system.

5) Don't bother with canadacomputers. Service sucks and you can find better prices between the links I gave and the ones Trixst4r gave.


Good luck.
October 1, 2006 3:28:56 PM

THere are several books available from Amazon that will assist you with techniques, and how to information.
My experiance is that I can build a computer thats technically better than I can buy. BUT I can buy a "working" computer for less than I spend :) 

There building blocks are Motherboard, CPU, Memory, Power supply. Get these right and balanced then over time you can upgrade.
Perhaps you have a hard drive in your current computer, you don't NEED a new one right now, in 6 months or so you'll have saved up some more funds and you can get a new SATA - as long as your mother board has a port for it.

Memory slots - I'd recomend a motherboard that has 4, again, you can start with 2 512 mb sticks and then add 2 more later.

Your current machine also has a CD, you can use it for now.

POWER SUPPLY - is important - very important. IMHO you get what you pay for. Zalman is a brand that I've been very pleased with. There are several others that build quality quite drives.
October 1, 2006 4:09:41 PM

Quote:
If you are really unsure, you can get a computer from MDG then make sure it has a free pci-e slot in there and then you can drop in a new vid card when you have the money. They do sell decent computers for a decent price and everytime i see the flyer they are alawys giving a lot of 'bonuses' with their computers.


Does MDGs bonuses make them worthwhile compared to building my own though? I've looked and with all their nutball bonuses I always seem to be able to get a PC with like 2 gigs or ram, 500gig harddrives, and a 19" flat screen.

To me they seem to leave out important information though, like what read speed the ram is, or if the harddrive is SATA or otherwise. Lastly I don't know that they list what type of motherboard you get with their products, so I'm scared to purchase from them anyways.

Thoughts apreciated.
October 1, 2006 4:17:26 PM

*double post*
October 1, 2006 4:22:26 PM

http://www.mdg.ca/en/products/desktops/horizon/

Looking at the horizon XL.

Added note, their flyer says I can get the ram upgraded to 2 gigs for an extra $20.00 (after MIR of COURSE)

so that's $1200 pre taxes and more importantly pre-video card.

Just wanted opinions on it.
October 1, 2006 4:29:32 PM

Sorry to say, but MDG is the Canadian version of Dell but without the rep I think. For that kind of money you can build an amazing computer that will destroy the Horizon. And that's without a gfx card? Man, you'll end up dropping $1600 on system that's full of garbage parts, no offense.

You will not find detailed specs from MDG about timing, etc because: 1) they don't cater to such people....ppl that buy MDG don't care about specs/quality, they only care about a 19" monitor for home use; 2) the parts they use are likely from some back alley in Malaysia. Also notice they say "dual core" but don't specify which one? It's probably a stock 805. And that extra 2 gigs of RAM is the no-name generic binned ones. And the mobo in it......likely a no-namer you've never heard of. Certainly nothing even capable of anywhere near a decent overclock.........

Stick with your first plan, build one. And if you don't feel confident to build, buy the parts and get someone to help. Worst comes to worst, pay someone $100 to build it for you. You'll get better parts at cheaper price, trust us.

Visit the links we've posted.....can't go wrong there. Pick your specs and order the parts. If you have to, find a local computer shop to build it for cash, or get a local high school kid to do it for $100. I'm sure anyone that's built a system can have it together in half a day for you. Just install the OS and drivers and away you go, smooth sailing :D 
October 1, 2006 5:56:23 PM

I have a computer savy buddy who's going to help me build. so I guess that's the route I'll go once I've got the rest of the money I need
October 1, 2006 6:16:01 PM

ok looking at www.directcanada.com
prices seem better here...

in all seriousness - pay attention to some of people tell you here
always get a quality power supply (NEVER skimp on power supply EVER)
thats my bit of gospel heh - it supplies power to everything (proper power is AWLAYS best), and never buy generic memory if yur cash is tight go with a value line of major brand memory (you really will not go wrong)

price/performance ratio of conro over AM2, i cant say much about that
with yur budget a bottom of the line conroe is what you can afford and they just aren't *that* much faster than the AM2 from all ive seen, a newer CPU with 1gig of ram will probabaly do everything you need it to for now and for some time to come

small example my build from this past Jan.
Socket 754 Sempron 3400+
1 Gig of value ram PC3200 DDR
Geforce 6200 w/256 ram (no turbo ram)
reused optics and Hard drives n stuff from other systems

it runs Battlefield 2 at max resolution my monitor can support (um 1280x960 i think) with max detail settings, no skips or droped frames (dont care if anyone argues and tells me that the 6200 isnt capable, it's my system and i know what it can do) same with Doom 3 and other games that use the doom3 game engine.

anyhow if you get a core2 or AM2 dual core with a decent mid range card it WILL play all the games out there at speeds you can enjoy (period). Jesus dont listen to the you gotta have this or that or whatever premium video card talk. You already know you wont be getting a top of the line gaming system, you've stated that much.

bak to the new site I'm looking at for parts
Core 2 Duo E6300.........................................................$204.99
ASRock 775DUAL-VSTA.................................................$77.26
Corsair Value Select PC2-5300 1GB 2X512MB DDR2-667..$170.10
EVGA E-GEFORCE 7600 GT PCI-E 256MB.........................$152.23
Antec Sonata II Black ATX 16IN with 450w power supply...$109.95

thats............................................................................$714.53

you didnt say what your gotta have for a monitor was exactly but with $714 it leaves with some headroom for a few decent sub $200 LCDs that i seen at the website. You could even change out to an AMD cpu save a little more cash and get a better video card and bigger LCD screen..

a dern good build and i really wish i had the same money now that i had back when i updated my system =P

your choices are many - there are at least 4 parts you can juggle around in this settup to get the most for what you want and what you want to spend, CPU, motherboard, video card, and LCD monitor

edit: Dah crap forgot to add a hard drive, though i dont really know if you gotta have one or not
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 160GB SATA 7200RPM Hard Drive..$71.58
which of course doesnt change much - still a couple hundred to play with for monitor selection
October 1, 2006 6:48:48 PM

I like the costs on that machine, and my current hard drive is a 5 year old 40 gig, so a new one is a necessity. how mnay sockets are on tha mother board in case I decide to up the ram later on down the road? And if I wanted to up the graphics card (though not nescary at the start, I may consider it) that system would work well with the Sapphire X1900XT?
October 3, 2006 8:12:17 PM

try a google search for "X1900XT 775DUAL-VSTA problems" just like that - see if there is a bunch of crap that may be indicative of a serious issue that alot of people have...

best way to find out info in my opinion

that motherboard has 4 memory slots, so 2 will be free of course...

good luck - if you have issues with a build there are alot of knowledgable people on here, just gotta weed through em sometimes...
!