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Need advice.Building my first computer ever on a $500 budget

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February 12, 2007 10:23:49 PM

I will be making my parts purchase from newegg.com good idea or not? I like them a lot and good prices from what I've seen. My friend will help me since he has built a lot. I don't play many games but I play the usual quake 3 and warcraft so not anything hardcore. I would like to put 2 gigs of ram for Vista maybe more later on. I'm just tired of buying from dell and knowing people that buy from other vendors. Went to a local computer shop very reputable dealer but their midrange cost $1,500 8O
The low end they had a celeron based system which cost a $1,000. I wish newegg had a diy guide for making your own system. Thank you
February 12, 2007 10:28:11 PM

Oh almost forgot. One good thing about the dells and hp's of this world is they are very quiet. Until they get older. My 4 year old dell is quiet at first then about an hour into using it gets loud and stays that way for as long as you use it. Don't know why. It's loud. WITHOUT liquid cooling would my pc be quiet, tolerable or very loud? Any advice would be appreciated.
February 12, 2007 10:34:30 PM

2 gigs of ddr2 is about $175 + tax & shipping so there'll be $300 left. I don't think you can build a new c2d rig for $500 flat.

Would you buy AMD s939/AM2? $500 is possible.
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February 12, 2007 10:38:14 PM

Yes I'm looking into amd or intel whichever gets me more bang for the buck. With AMD recent price cuts on their cpu's just got a lot better for me. I am leaning more to amd because they are the underdog and I like the integrated memory controller in their cpus.
February 12, 2007 10:42:15 PM

First you found the right place. There are many Build Your Own PC articles here along with reveiw of many products.
At $500, you can make a decent system, maybe close to be able to run Vista Soon. The biggest limits will be the CPU and Video Card, So you need to think about getting good parts that will run a better system later on. Your new system should easily last you a year, giving you time to learn and give Vista and new parts coming out to have time to get Polished.
What kind of system do you have now and do you know any of the parts specs. There might be some things you can carry over.
In the long run, you want a C2D and DX-10 Vid Card. Some of those will be close to $500 by themselves but prices are always falling. You could also get an AMD based system. If you wanted to make this last 2-3 years, you can upgrade to a faster CPU later. But beyond that the CPU socket might not be supported.
We will break down the parts as we get more info. Also Newegg is the default choice to find parts and prices. You do not have to buy thre but many times the have the best deal.
February 13, 2007 12:55:43 AM

My computer right now is a P4 2.4 ghz with 1.25 gig of ram and a 533 mhz front side bus. A 60 gig hard drive 7200 rpm parallel ata I wish it was serial ata. The model is a pos dell 4550 system. I have a 256 mb of ram on the geforce 5600 agp 4x card. The p4 does not have HT. Where can I find the articles on building your own pc? Are they on these forums?
February 13, 2007 1:12:09 AM

Quote:
My computer right now is a P4 2.4 ghz with 1.25 gig of ram and a 533 mhz front side bus. A 60 gig hard drive 7200 rpm parallel ata I wish it was serial ata. The model is a pos dell 4550 system. I have a 256 mb of ram on the geforce 5600 agp 4x card. The p4 does not have HT. Where can I find the articles on building your own pc? Are they on these forums?

Try "Tom's Guides"
February 13, 2007 1:42:51 AM

Your processor will still work, and you still have an easy upgrade path. Allow money for now for other things you need. I am guessing the RAM is DDR 400, can be used (2 sticks) on some newer boards. There again you use this for now and upgrade to DDR2 at future date. You can use the HD as a backup drive and get a small SATA drive to boot and load programs from.
Other than those, the keyboard and mouse can be used. You need an OS.

Working with this you can get a good PSU and case, a HD, and a decent GPU, I would look at 7600 or 7900, again good for now and probably 2 years. Watch which parts you select and they should be as quiet as your Dell and last longer.
February 13, 2007 3:03:52 AM

My $500 build was more than adequate for Vista, but could possibly use more ram:
Pentium D 805
Super Talent DDR2 667 1 GB stick
Biostar TForce 965P Deluxe
EVGA 7600GT
160GB Western Digital SATA HD
Cooler Master Centurion 5 Black/Silver ($11 shipped after rebate)
Ultra Max V-Series 500W PSU (Free after rebate)
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro

Once the rebates come in, I plan on selling the two PSU's I get with the build, along with the Pentium D 805 and using EVGA's Step-Up program and jumping up to the next G80 revision card.

The Pentium D 805 runs hot, but with a good after-market cooler you can hit 4 GHZ on air cooling. At that speed, it puts any dual core processor other than the Core 2 Duo's at stock speeds to shame. (Even FX-60's and 945 Extremes) Of course, you wouldn't want to use it at those speeds for a long time as the excessive heat won't be good for your northbridge (965P already runs pretty hot) but you could definitely run a D 805 at 3.5 GHZ without any problems at all. Definitely powerful enough for any current game + multi-tasking.

The thing is, if you go with a Pentium D 805, you can upgrade to Core 2 Duo's when the price drop occurs, as long as you get an LGA 775 motherboard that can use Core 2 Duo's. The 965P is a great chipset and there are great value over-clocking units at the $100-115 market (Great price range to get a good over-clocking motherboard fully fledged with features). There's the Gigabyte S3 965P, Biostar TForce 965P (Won an Editor's choice award at Anandtech), Abit AB9. The MSI board in that price range actually isn't that great, as it doesn't over-clock that well, and for the same money you can get better boards from other brands.

You basically have 3 hours to get in on the Centurion 5 for $9.99 deal at SVC.com, but even if you don't do that, there's an Ultra Max mid-tower case at Outpost.com (Fry's) that's $40 + $40 rebate, and an Ultra Max V-Series 500W power supply that's also $40 + $40 rebate. Ultra has great reputation for paying their warranties on time.
February 13, 2007 3:16:03 AM

For $400, it is an okay barebones system. One nice thing is the upgrade to Vista home premium for $50. The Cpu is great of course, every thing else is same or worse than what is in your Dell
February 13, 2007 4:34:38 AM

Quote:
Oh almost forgot. One good thing about the dells and hp's of this world is they are very quiet. Until they get older. My 4 year old dell is quiet at first then about an hour into using it gets loud and stays that way for as long as you use it. Don't know why. It's loud. WITHOUT liquid cooling would my pc be quiet, tolerable or very loud? Any advice would be appreciated.


A new system will 9 times out of 10 be twice as loud as your current Dell. The reason it goes from quiet to loud after an hour is because your rear case/cpu fan has a built in thermistor that adjusts fan speed based on the temp inside your computer. If you haven't done so already, blowing out all the dust in the cpu heatsink and cleaning the layer of lint off the front air vents found underneath your grey flip up front panel will drastically reduce case temps, and thus reduce that fan noise you're complaining about. After 4 years, your case fan's bearings could also just be getting worn out.

Good luck on the new build
!