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Please confirm my decision for $200 upgrade/rebuild.

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January 24, 2007 2:31:40 AM

My friend has an old Athlon XP Compaq, and recently the hard drive went kaput. No problem, except the propriety PSU is dying too. Instead of messing with old Compaq part bullshit, I figured with all the bottom-out prices in Socket 939 AMD parts, I could just switch the RAM and optical drives over.

I have a tight budget of $200, in fact, lower is better. Maintaining the Athlon XP system would be fine for them, being typical e-mail/photo/web browsing type users. However, my friend's mother proposed giving me 200 dollars to do whatever I want with.

So here's my mock up plan:

Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 939

with a

Biostar GeForce 6100 MicroATX motherboard

as a combo deal for $109.

WD Cavier SE 160Gb SATA

for $53.

And to house it, a simple, cheap MicroATX Midtower

for $27.

$189 pre-shipping, $213 with.

My only concern here is, I'll be using the crappy PC2100 DIMMS from the older system. This motherboard and CPU will just run it at a lower RAM divider, correct? Pop in and no problem?

I've built many Intel ATX systems, this will be my first AMD and MicroATX build. I know it will be virtually the same, so I'm not worried, unless there's something I should know. The HyperTransport is unfamiliar with me, but I don't think that matters much with a simple, non-overclock build.

Sorry for getting so verbose; what I'd really like are some second opinions on this choice and possible alternatives. Thanks.
January 24, 2007 10:39:13 AM

Quote:
my friend's mother proposed giving me 200 dollars to do whatever I want with.

You lost me. I'd just split & blow 200 bones in one day. lol. That's just me.

That's the cheapest one could find at newegg. The psu is crap. It won't las very long. Overall, perfect setup for a home pc.
January 24, 2007 12:59:55 PM

I originally skipped over the 754 option because the 939 Athlons are just so temptingly cheap. I also couldn't find a good combo deal with a retail Sempron or Athlon on 754, and wanted a stock cooler. But on this build I'm going to really have to bit my my lip and buy things under the best price/performance points. I'd never think to pay $55 for a 160Gb hdd when 250Gbs are only $70. Just like it's hard for me to buy a $35 1.6Ghz 754 Sempron over a $55 2.0Ghz 939 Athlon. But really, even sans combo savings, I can save over 25 bucks going this route. Since this rig isn't being built with future upgradability in mind, I think I've made these changes. Thanks for having me reconsider.

http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Sempron 2800+

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

ECS Radeon X200 Express Motherboard

And yes, they were and will be using onboard graphics, and I wanted to make sure to stick to GeForce 6100 or Radeon Xpress X200 over some crappy SIA or VIA or whatever graphics.

As far as the shoddy PSU in the case, I'm not worried about it too much. If it dies, it can easily be replaced. Much better than paying top dollar for some old proprietary refurb Compaq part.
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January 24, 2007 1:31:42 PM

Sempron 939 3000+ Barebones

Go and check that out, comes with case, board, cpu, heatsink, and a decent power supply. throw in the ram and a hard drive and you are good to go. you will spend a lil more up front, but get 50 back in MIRs.
January 24, 2007 1:33:36 PM

I will sell you my 939 Sempron for the same price as the 754. It's brand new OEM never used..... I will probably just list it on ebay....

wes

btw. it's a 3000.
January 24, 2007 1:45:54 PM

Quote:
Sempron 939 3000+ Barebones

Go and check that out, comes with case, board, cpu, heatsink, and a decent power supply. throw in the ram and a hard drive and you are good to go. you will spend a lil more up front, but get 50 back in MIRs.


That's actually a pretty good deal. I hate Mail in Rebates though, and this one is even in three parts, and I do enjoy building comps I never have before, those experiences are the most valuable. But still, I'll consider this over.

And weskurtz, link the eBay page and I'll check it out.

Thanks again for input.
January 24, 2007 2:40:55 PM

Everything in your list looks good except that using that PC2100 **might** work... but i wouldn't necessarily count on it. I tried building a 939 system one time and tried using my old ddr333 modules as a stop-gap. Despite my best efforts I couldn't get that setup to work and just saved up and bought ddr400.

I see your dilemma as this: You can build a socket 939 system for $200 and *hope* the memory will work, or you can build a socket 754 system for $200 and be able to buy yourself some memory at the same time. Trust me, a 754 system running ddr400 will run **much** better than attempting to run a 939 system on ddr266.

You would be crippling that system something fierce. I know youre not partial to s754, but here is what i found online. Note that I could've selected a mobo/proc combo but the combos include OEM cpus with no HSF assembly. That would be an extra $10-$15 to add one seperately.
------------------

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
your case, $27

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
your hard disk drive, $53

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
socket 754 mobo /w onboard video & sound, and 1 agp slot, $40

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
754 Sempron 2800+, $35

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
512MB PC3200 DDR400 Memory, $38

-------------------------------------

The above parts list comes to just under $193. Not knowing what other parts you plan to recycle (floppy? cd/dvdrom? sound card?) there are some real cheap dvdrom drives as well. You could also shave some money off if you could reuse a hard drive. To keep it under $200 you could get a 80gig SATA drive instead ($40) and use the difference to buy a dvdrom.

Just my 2 centavos. Hope it helps!-
January 24, 2007 4:00:12 PM

I say go with one of my barebone options, but add the ddr400 memory listed above by ragemonkey or for $45 you can get a bad*ss Kingston HyperX 512 kit that will run in dual channel on the 939 boards Kingston Hyper-X 512MB Dual Channel
January 24, 2007 4:45:54 PM

Yes, I'm reusing the DVD drives, floppy, and RAM. That's it, so I'm basically building a whole new system.

Hmm, but now I'm a little worried about what kind of bottleneck that PC2100 will be.

The plan was to give me $200 bucks, keep $10 for myself, and spend the $190 on the computer. Any thing over $200, ($190 really), is going to come out of my pocket. Now, I'm a nice guy, but I don't know about basically paying someone to let me upgrade their computer.

So long as the DDR-266 won't make it crawl, surely it will still be faster than the Athlon XP 1533Mhz, I'm sure they won't even notice. I'll make sure to reccomend the upgrade at a later time, but until then, sticking with the crap RAM is the only reasonable option for me from a financial stand-point.

I'm also curious whether or not the Radeon Xpress 200 is worth the 6 dollars over the S3 Graphics UniChrome Pro IGP (whatever the hell this is)?
January 24, 2007 7:01:33 PM

Im starting to think since you are looking for a profit that you should try and find a complete system (used) for sale. since so many people are going c2d you call probably get all the pieces you need pretty cheap. Check on eBay or For Sale/Trade Forum.
!