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$1300 to build mid-range PC: Assistance Needed

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April 3, 2007 4:48:41 PM

So, I'm sick of fighting my girlfriend for use of my own PC. I unfortunately got her into gaming and she likes using my PC for work stuff since her's is a joke with Excel models. Since she's discovered my PC is faster than her "joke of a work PC", more often than not, I'll come home to find her working or playing on my PC... which is getting annoying. imho, I really shouldn't have to wait to check e-mail so she can post another cute pic of her hipster friends on myspace :roll: Since I'm such a nice guy (and her B-day is coming up), I've decided to build her her own and am looking to spend about $1300. Although I'm versed in top-end components, I'm a bit oblivious to the best current mid-range parts, particularly mobos, PSU's, and cases. Any suggestions for parts are appretiated.

She does a lot of basic work in MS Office (Word, PPT), some advanced economic/valuation modeling with Excel & VBA, and tinkering with ProTools. She's into multi-player FPS's, Oblivion, and adventure games like Siberia. Based on these requirements, I'd like to build her something with at least:

2GB RAM
250GB HD
A good video card (nV 8800?)

It doesn't need to be the fastest thing on the planet, but does need to smoke her current Compaq. I already have most of the software, but will need an OS.

Thanks
April 3, 2007 5:05:44 PM

gigabyte 965p ds3, intel e6400, 2gb decent ddr2-533/667/800, 8800gts 320, fsp group 450ish psu, whatever case you think looks pretty.

that'll actually be under $1300 but no need to throw money away
April 4, 2007 12:29:32 AM

I'll go with:

Gigabyte 965P-DS3, E4300, Patriot 2GB (you pick the speed depending if you're Girlfriend will overclock the PC or not but I would go with 667), 7900 GS (to save you some money), OCZ (600W) or FPS (450 or 500W), Antec P180 price wise ($129.99 in newegg but you could probably get something much more nicer and fits you're style for much cheaper).
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April 4, 2007 6:24:57 PM

Quote:
I'll go with:

Gigabyte 965P-DS3, E4300, Patriot 2GB (you pick the speed depending if you're Girlfriend will overclock the PC or not but I would go with 667), 7900 GS (to save you some money), OCZ (600W) or FPS (450 or 500W), Antec P180 price wise ($129.99 in newegg but you could probably get something much more nicer and fits you're style for much cheaper).


Thanks for the detailed response. What is the advantage to the Gigabyte 965p over other brands? I should have clarified in the OP, but I'd like to moderately OC the CPU...maybe an e6300 to 2.7ghz. Also, I'm not sure if the 7900GS will be good enough for Oblivion. I was thinking an 8800 GTS 320...
April 4, 2007 6:49:35 PM

the gigabyte ds-3 or s-3 are both very very good overclockers. the 8800gts should be fine if ur budget allows. i personally would use a set up of the

Gigabyte 965p-ds3
$120

e4300
$110 (after april 22nd price cuts)

ocz 2x1gb ddr2 800mhz
$200

evga 8800gts 320mb
$270

seagate 7200.10 320 gig hdd
$80

18x dvd burner
$30

vista home premium upgrade dvd (she'll probably apreciate the aero interface)
$160

silverstone 560 watt psu
$130

TOTAL: ~ $1100

this leaves you 200 dollars for a case of your choosing and a nice speaker system.
April 4, 2007 7:00:02 PM

An 8800GTS 320MB is about $100 (maybe less) more than an 7950GT, which is better than the 7900GS. Definetly would want to get the 8800GTS 320MB. The price upgrade to the GTX isn't really worth it, and the 640MB cards only allow super-hi res gaming.

The hard drive is something you want to be very careful about. Certainly, a 250GB is cheap, and fairly roomy. I've had to switch to an older computer with a 2x120GB RAID0 setup, and it has 10GB free (explains why my new comp has 2x320GB RAID0 - waiting on a mobo RMA). If you think it's possible she'll use a 250GB drive, you should consider something like a 400GB drive.

Also, since HDs are generally the slowest thing, if anything is done that involves transfering large amounts of data, then you should consider a RAID0 setup. Two 250GB drives would give you 500GB, and it would be noticeably faster in transfers (THG showed that it destroys a Raptor).

Now, the DS3 doesn't support RAID on the Intel chipset, you'd want a board with the ICH8R soutbridge. The Asus P5B Deluxe has this, its about $170, so maybe $50 more than the DS3.

And, since RAID0 offers less data protection, if theres an amount of stuff that is really important, you can set it up with the Matrix RAID. Say, 50GB in RAID1 then you have 400GB in RAID0 (using 2x250GB). The 50GB partition can hold the important stuff, and the 400GB can hold games and large files.

I just built a similar thing for about $1300 - Gigabyte DQ6 ($210 [paid $195]), E4300 ($170), 2GB OCZ 1066MHz ($230, cheaper now - try Fry's like $190), 8800GTS ($280), 2x320GB Seagate 7200.10 ($90/each), Antec P180 ($125), Coolmax 600W PSU ($85), Tuniq Tower 120 ($55) = $1320 - $100 Rebates = $1220.

You should be able to get everything cheaper, except the video card really, and put the difference into a faster CPU - I obviously am going to overclock it.
April 4, 2007 9:06:05 PM

Quote:
.... Two 250GB drives would give you 500GB, and it would be noticeably faster in transfers (THG showed that it destroys a Raptor).....

Depends on what you are doing. Unless you are moving a lot of big video files around, under Windows I think you'll find the Raptor will "feel" faster due to its much faster seek time (and it's no slouch on throughput, either).
April 5, 2007 11:23:33 AM

Quote:
gigabyte 965p ds3, intel e6400, 2gb decent ddr2-533/667/800, 8800gts 320, fsp group 450ish psu, whatever case you think looks pretty.

that'll actually be under $1300 but no need to throw money away


Exactly what I was going to say. Try some Kingston or Corsair Value RAM.
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