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First time build (non-overclock) budget system: please help

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March 6, 2007 1:39:59 AM

First of all: this is going to be a budget non-overclocked system. I am a non-gamer: not intend to do much graphics. Also, I want to stick with Intel. So AMD is a no go for me. I am planning to use either Pentium D or Core 2 Duo (E4300, waiting for April price cut). I need help in chosing the mother board and would appreciate any suggestions to my list here below:

(Most of these were bought on deals (rebates). The prices are what I spent on these. Actual prices are different).

So far I have got

1. Hard disk: 160 GB SATA ($25.00), link
2. 16X DL SONY DVD writer ($5.00), link
3. PNY PC25300, DDR2 667, 2GB (2x1GB) 240-Pin Dual Channel RAM : ($105.00), linky
4. 500 W power supply- Ultra: (Free), link
5. Midtower ATX case: Ultra: ($5.00), link

So far I have spent around $140.00. I could probably spend another $150-$200.00 for CPU and motherboard.

System will be in Linux (may be a windows partition, which I can load when I get a free (close to) deal on OS). I am planning to use a 19" WideScreen LCD (looking for a deal).

6. Now I want to chose Motherboard.

These are the motherboards I have in mind:

6.1. ASUS P5L-VM 1394 : $90.00, here
6.2. ECS P4M900T-M : $53.00, here
6.3. ECS 945G-M3 (V3.0) : $63.00, here
6.4. GIGABYTE GA-965GM-S2 : $107.00, here
6.5. GIGABYTE GA-945P-S3 : $85.00, here

First 4 of them has Integrated video.
As per reviews, item 1 has mixed reviews for Linux
Item 6.2 doesn't have dual memory support (is it that bad ?)
Item 6.4,6.5 is DDR2 800 MHz - may be better if want to substitute another RAM, however Item 6.5 doesn't have integrated video

So, here is(are) my question(s):

1 . for a non-gamer, integrated video/non-integrated- which is the way to go ?.
2. Which one of the above would be a better choice (no overclocking interest here). I think item 1 is the best ?

3. Anything to be added/changed in my list above ?.

Thanks for the helps.
March 6, 2007 2:02:04 AM

there's no rational e to not get integrated graphics if you're not gaming. likewise, if you don't intend to overclock, then most of the boars are the same.. by dual memory I assume it means dual channel memory which is roughly twice as fast as single channel so you might want that.

Any of the 965 based baords are decent buys.. I use an ECS p965T-A (discrete graphics) which has no overclocking but is stable and runs pretty well.

Have heard good things about the Gigabye S3 so you might want to look at it in the even that you ever change your mind about overclocking or moving up the graphics food chain.
March 6, 2007 6:34:51 AM

6.4 is by far the best board followed by 6.1. I would not tell anyone to buy an ECS MB and would steer people away from the 945 chipset, unless they had legacy parts to reuse. The GIGABYTE GA-965GM-S2 has by far the best graphics, more than you will need. The others are old and/or limited, hard to say if they will push a 19" monitor. ON the CPU, I would wait until I could afford the C2D, but you can run a Pent 4 and be happy for some time. Happy Penguin!
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March 7, 2007 6:09:06 PM

Is it that if I use 945 chipsets, it cannot push a 19" LCD ?. I am a bit confused here.

Thanks,
March 7, 2007 7:24:19 PM

I think he is saying the built in graphics on those boards MAY not drive your 19" monitor, but the graphics on the gigabyte 965 are of a higher standard and will supply your monitor no problem.

Its not the 945 chipset, its the onboard graphics.
March 8, 2007 7:30:16 PM

Quote:
6.4 is by far the best board followed by 6.1. I would not tell anyone to buy an ECS MB and would steer people away from the 945 chipset, unless they had legacy parts to reuse. The GIGABYTE GA-965GM-S2 has by far the best graphics, more than you will need. The others are old and/or limited, hard to say if they will push a 19" monitor. ON the CPU, I would wait until I could afford the C2D, but you can run a Pent 4 and be happy for some time. Happy Penguin!

So, if I go by GIGABYTE GA-965GM-S2 (item 6.4 in my original post), then according to specs, it says it has 1 x ATA100 (up to 2 Devices) interfaces- which means I can connect my DVD Writer (above) and also another ATA DVD drive in the future ? (I may need an additional one). Sorry if it is a dumb question. Thanks,
March 9, 2007 6:59:14 AM

I also vote for the GIGABYTE GA-965GM-S2- its the best board with integrated graphics on your list by a long way.

As for your drives, you can indeed fit 2 pATA devices (one as master, one as slave- sharing the same ribbon cable). As a result, you may be better when you buy your next drive going for a sATA drive as your motherboard can support 6 sATA devices. Like this.
March 9, 2007 7:10:17 AM

sorry if I was not clear, sometimes I go too fast for my own brain. The P965 chipset is the newest and the best choice of the boards you listed. The onboard graphics are a good middle ground between just see a picture on the monitor and a good dedicated graphics card. You listed 1 SATA Hard drive and 1 IDE DVD. You can get another IDE device and work DVD are more common as being the IDE device now days, more HD have switched to SATA, but you can get a HD on the IDE Channel also. In that case I would boot from the SATA HD and use the IDE hd for data/backups.
!