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Needing Pro Help in Putting Together System

Last response: in Systems
February 28, 2007 6:03:44 PM

Kay, here's the deal. I've asked here and on other sites before, but I've yet to relieve responses I'm happy with.

I'm looking for a nice Vista PC, within my budget. I'm not a gamer, but I am looking to do a bit of gaming, not hardcore. Perhaps World of War, definitely my Star Wars games, some other RPGs.

I don't need VERY good graphics or sound, just acceptable features. Good memory, graphics sound, speed is a must, I often have open various applications including image editors, torrent downloaders, and large apps.

I'm not being too demanding, just a good Vista system (probably Home Premium), that can run on a budget system.

My basic question is, what is the best I can get for a maximum $1,500 (preferably $1000-$1200). Of course, I'm including a cheap keyboard and mouse since this system will be passed on to a sibling. For Vista, is a new monitor necessary?

I'd like for someone to please put together a cheap system on Newegg, or preferably a website such as CyberPowerPC that can deliver a custom-made pc cheap.

As I said, I've received several pieces of advice before as to how to pick parts for my computer, but most of the time I don't have the slightest idea what I'm doing, and for so much money, I'd rather not take the chance and build it myself.

Any help is much appreciated, thank you!
February 28, 2007 6:12:58 PM

If you only need to play WoW, you can take the high-end gaming config and get the graphics card and power supply from the budget config. That'd be just over $1000, plus a case.

As for the monitor, no you don't need a new monitor to run Vista. You might want one, but we can't know unless you tell us what your current monitor is.
February 28, 2007 6:29:16 PM

My monitor came with my hp pavilion system, so it's a bit old. It's an hp pavilion mx70 monitor.

One question, I've read that, to a point, an AMD cpu would be better. Should I look into that, or is Intel just as good?
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February 28, 2007 6:32:34 PM

You'd definitely appreciate a 20.1" widescreen (ballpark of $300) or 19" standard LCD panel (ballpark $200).

At this price, an Intel Core 2 is the better choice.
February 28, 2007 7:23:40 PM

right then, this will be lengthy, if you lived in the UK and ask in pound it would be easy. so i will assume 2 things, firstly $ - US dollors and secondly you want a monitor and perhiperal.

Dont worry about building the system it is childs play - liturally - its like lego, and the motherboard will proberly come with and map showing you how to plug everything in. And if you dont do these thing you will never learn!

core 2 duo e6300 - faster than it looks. $183.00

G skill ddr2 800 2Gb $184 - recommeded minnium for x64 bit proccessing

gigabyte P965 $122 - or a varient on this sort of thing

Western Digital Caviar SE 250GB - increase the amount if you need, stick with western digital, not at all problematic

ASUS 7600GT - vista and game will play easy - not too expensive - easy to Over clock $122

samsung 18X dvd rw - will do almost all formats $29

the rest is down to choice like screen and case any sort of 400W+ powersuply availibe from new egg will do fine.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2007 7:40:53 PM
March 1, 2007 3:04:43 PM

yeah that seems sound, but go with western digital, and go for the x64 version of vista, know matter the price, it is better, utalise what you have.
March 1, 2007 3:23:44 PM

At a CNET board, someone suggested this:

"mobo, $112: gigabyte ga-965gm-s2
cpu, $185: core2duo e6300
2gb ram, $165: corsair vs2gbkit667d2 2x1gb ddr2-667
250gb hard drive, $80: seagate st3250824as sata
mid-range video, $155: sapphire radeon x1950gt 256mb
dvd burner, $40: any lg/lite-on/sony 16x-18x retail
keyboard/mouse, $42: microsoft 69n-00013s wireless combo
vista premium oem, $120

newegg total: $899

case/power supply $125: antec sonata ii w/450w power supply from circuit city/best buy/compusa
(i always buy cases locally so i don't wind up with a damaged unit; price is about the same since shipping is pretty expensive.)

grand total: $1024"

I have some more confidence in not having to order from online retailers. I found a place nearby that'll put my system together for $75.

More suggestions please! I'd like to get the best bang for my buck. Please rate the above components.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 1, 2007 6:05:39 PM

All good choices and will work. The hard drive only has 8MB cache, however, and you could get one with 16MB cache for about the same price. Stick with WD or Seagate, stay away from Maxtor. Seagates have the new perpendicular recording technology that give them an edge for speed and have a 5-year warranty. WD's are usually cooler, quieter, and perform very well but only have a 3-year warranty unless you get a RAID Edition (RE) which have a 5-year warranty like the Seagates.

Also, the motherboard you selected has onboard video, so you could stick with that at first and see if it gets you by. I don't know about the games you play, but if they're older it might work for you. Then you could go for one of the 'budget' DirectX 10 cards that are on the near horizon. A X1950GT will definitely work for you now, though.
March 2, 2007 5:21:23 AM

Having considered all my options, this is the build I have put together on Newegg:

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $122.99

Video Card: EVGA 256-P2-N615-TX GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail $109.99

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6300 - Retail $183.00

RAM: CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory Model VS2GBKIT667D2 - Retail $159.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3250824AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $74.99

DVD Burner: SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology Black IDE Model SH-S182M/BEBE - OEM $33.99

Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM $119.99

Speakers: Logitech X-230 32 watts RMS 2.1 Black Speaker System - OEM $39.99

Price Before Shipping: $839.93

Now, there's some questions I have about it, and you may have noticed some components missing.

CPU: Is 2.13GHz enough? I know I'm on a budget, but I've read about 2.2 being a minimum for Vista. I suppose I could overclock, although I have no idea how to go about doing that.

Video Card: Am I going to have good average gameplay? And, am I going to need to upgrade later for DirectX10 Support?

DVD Burner: I read that a second drive of some sort is recommended for burning ease, but is not required. Since I'm on a budget, what do you guys recommend?

OS: 32 bit or 64 bit? I have no idea what I'm doing here.

Keyboard/Mouse: I've tried wireless before and it's okay but a hassle sometimes. Right now I'm on a simple black corded Microsoft mouse and keyboard. I save little money, but is cordless worth it?

Final Comments:

I'm split on a monitor and case/PSU. I heard I should buy a case nearby as it can easily get damaged during shipping, and the selection is so much I don't know how to choose. A monitor should be cheap, but more modern than what I'm using now (an hp pavilion mx70 17" inch).
a b B Homebuilt system
March 2, 2007 3:01:53 PM

The hard drive you linked is still a 8MB cache version and if you're going Seagate, you might as well get one with perpendicular recording (7200.10). Check out these two 16MB cache 250GB HDD's that cost about the same as the 7200.9 that you had selected:

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $74.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $79.99

For the case, it is good advice to buy locally since the shipping (~$16) will sometimes offset any savings. Plus you get to see it in person before you buy and you can easily return it. Ditto with the monitor.

New software will start going by "Windows Experience" rating instead of "GHz" requirements since the clock speed of a processor is no longer directly proportional to performance. Take the E6300 you have selected, for example. It is only 1.86GHz but outperforms any Pentium 4 running at at speeds up to 4.0GHz. I have a E6300 and it gets a "Windows Experience" rating of 5.3 (currently, the scale tops out at 5.9). Don't worry, it's fast enough for Vista.

64-bit vs. 32-bit? Well, that's totally up to you. 64-bit doesn't really do much for you unless you are running 64-bit software, and currently not much is out there. Read this article to get a better idea if 64-bit is for you. Just so you know, if you purchase a Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. with Vista, it will be the 32-bit version because the mainstream is currently not ready for a 64-bit OS.

The video card you selected is a mid-level card that will play any older game (1+ years old) on max settings. I have a 7600GT and play Titan Quest (6 month old game) on max settings, though since I switched to Vista I disabled anti-aliasing to smooth it out because the drivers are not quite optimized yet. NOTE - games, on average, run slower on Vista. Newer games may require you to turn down some settings. The 7600GT is not a DX10 card, only the 8800 series cards from nVidia are DX10 and cost a premium price. That will change soon as mid-level DX10 cards are released by both nVidia and ATI in the near future. If you want a little more horsepower for video, step up to an ATI X1900 or better for a bit more money (about $150-170 on newegg). Perhaps stick with the 7600GT for now and upgrade to a DX10 mid-range card when they become available.

Keyboard & Mouse? Totally up to you. If what you have works, stick with it and save some money.