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Best Low Wattage CPU/Rig, for Mom?

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May 14, 2007 3:41:31 PM

Hello everybody,

If your reading this, Thanks for your Time. Was just thinking about Mom, and plan on building her a new rig. She is NOT a power user. She uses her rig like we all do. But here games are all single player card games and crosswords and stuff like that. She has a very small buget at 72. Hence, LOW WATTAGE? not to mention one less camel in the desert :D 

Anyways, thanks again. Here is what she has currently.

ASUS A8V880 Latest BIOS

AMD XP-M2600@ +3000. Lowest voltage setting.

Zalman 90mm round cooler. Will it work on 775 MoBo????

ATI OEM 9700PRO AIW,
(Would work in Fry's Special E4400&ECS mATX, AGP Combo. Could do PAD MOD and end up with over 2.4ghz stock volts.)

Zalman 400w PSU (Will Keep This) QUITE!

Antec 1650 free case. (Will DUMP).

2.4 HP DVD+RW (Will add to, or replace if case won't allow).

Will replace HD. Do not need lots of space. 7200rpm 16mb?

Was also looking at Silverstone/LianLI type lightweight cases. Will be atop her desk with 17" LCD.

Yall think 2000pro will keep working a few more years? or should I switch to Vista Home Prem. DDR2 2gig sets are as low as $80!!!!

Thanks Again
Mike
sales@asusparts.com
May 14, 2007 3:51:07 PM

why do you want to replace what she has? Has it bogged down? If so, did it run plenty fast enough a year ago? I'd like to know you ran anti-spyware sweeps, removed some startup clutter (like with Window's Defender for instance), and defragmented the hard drive. If you're replacing the hard drive, and have the original Window's disk would she mind a clean install? A new HD and a clean install does make a lot of rigs in modest use feel a lot faster. Of course a defrag, and/or new hard drive even with just a diskcopy can make quite a difference, after defrag. (Of course, if you did a clean install, it's a lot nicer when you have a good broadband connection for the massive updates).

If you took care of those HD factors, then we'd need to know that, to diagnose anything else. You could do these things for a small amount of money without precluding other upgrades later. I don't see where you listed her current RAM amount, one of the most decisive factors, when it's below 512MB for example.

Finally, if she indicated she want's Vista, that would be different. Of course, there's an expenditure.
May 14, 2007 4:14:22 PM

Well, if you want a really good but inexpensive cpu/mobo combination, there is nothing better at the moment than this:

1.8 GHz Sempron 3000+for only $23; At least by what they say, it's an E6 stepping that could run even on 1.20-1.15V (about 45-40W if I'm not wrong) if you can tweak it with RMClock.
and BIOSTAR motherboard with onboard graphics for $46
The whole thing is only $69, will run very cool, perform pretty decently and the whole system will consume something around 100W.
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May 14, 2007 6:37:19 PM

Quote:
Hello everybody,

If your reading this, Thanks for your Time. Was just thinking about Mom, and plan on building her a new rig. She is NOT a power user. She uses her rig like we all do. But here games are all single player card games and crosswords and stuff like that. She has a very small buget at 72. Hence, LOW WATTAGE? not to mention one less camel in the desert :D 

Anyways, thanks again. Here is what she has currently.

ASUS A8V880 Latest BIOS

AMD XP-M2600@ +3000. Lowest voltage setting.

Zalman 90mm round cooler. Will it work on 775 MoBo????

ATI OEM 9700PRO AIW,
(Would work in Fry's Special E4400&ECS mATX, AGP Combo. Could do PAD MOD and end up with over 2.4ghz stock volts.)

Zalman 400w PSU (Will Keep This) QUITE!

Antec 1650 free case. (Will DUMP).

2.4 HP DVD+RW (Will add to, or replace if case won't allow).

Will replace HD. Do not need lots of space. 7200rpm 16mb?

Was also looking at Silverstone/LianLI type lightweight cases. Will be atop her desk with 17" LCD.

Yall think 2000pro will keep working a few more years? or should I switch to Vista Home Prem. DDR2 2gig sets are as low as $80!!!!

Thanks Again
Mike
sales@asusparts.com
Why are you upgrading this for her again? It sounds like it's more than ample, for her modest needs....is your motivation to find a setup that uses less power(regarding energy bill)? :?
May 14, 2007 7:53:41 PM

1Gig Kingston PC3200
120GB HD It's about 3 years old.
It's running fine.

Why are you upgrading this for her again? It sounds like it's more than ample, for her modest needs....is your motivation to find a setup that uses less power(regarding energy bill)?

Yes, less power and better case, DVD Drive. And lighter.
May 15, 2007 12:06:39 AM

Buy her the cheapest laptop you can find. Done.
May 15, 2007 1:48:41 AM

WOW, Now that's a old system. That's a great Idea (LAPTOP). Need to find one with a large keyboard. Her fingers don't move like they did.
May 15, 2007 2:01:04 AM

Better just a newer faster hard drive, defragged, with no spyware left on it, and a nice 19" monitor. Total cost = less, while the big screen = easier on the eyes.
May 15, 2007 2:49:00 AM

I agree with the new, cheap laptop idea. Just make sure it's a dual-core, ofc.

If you really want a desktop, an X2 3600+ or E4300/E4400 based system with a proportionally small graphics card would sip electricity.
May 15, 2007 3:57:49 AM

Since part of the cost of hardware is the energy used to manufacture it and to refine the materials earlier in the chain, and ship it, etc., the real power savings is just to clean the hard drive, defragg, and set up the power settings features to good settings, with standby, etc.
May 15, 2007 4:12:07 AM

Thanks everyone. Now I have more options to consider than before. The laptop is a good idea, but the cost and keyboard are cons. Still leaning toward a new case, MoBo, CPU, DVD, HD. For low power use.

How long before windows 2000Pro becomes a setback? I'm thinking if I upgrade OS's I might go DDR2 2gig kit. If not will stay with 2000pro and one gig with a 915 chipset with DDR and AGP or onboard GPU.
May 15, 2007 4:49:26 AM

ah! you just want to build :)  I can understand that.

Ya got a lot of fun choices. Now more than ever, and the future just as good at least! It is a lot of fun to buy and use a "low power" or EE chip. Anyone's gotta smile putting a 35Watt mid or higher cpu into their machine.
May 15, 2007 4:50:15 AM

Quote:
...
How long before windows 2000Pro becomes a setback? ...

It's already a problem. Microsoft stopped providing non-security hotfixes for Win 2k almost 2 years ago.
XP is so much better with things like adding hardware that you should at least upgrade to XP.
May 16, 2007 12:04:32 AM

Quote:
WOW, Now that's a old system. That's a great Idea (LAPTOP). Need to find one with a large keyboard. Her fingers don't move like they did.

I'd not like this idea that much; even if power consumption is very low, a laptop is pretty uncomfortable CPU to work with (small screen and keyboard coupled with very uncomfortable positions of these) and in general, it's not the bast solution for a home PC, it's much easier for her to drop it, spill something on it etc; I've had my uncle (40-yr-old guy, perfectly fit and with great reflexes) drop his laptop on the floor, mobo and HD gone.
I'd just think of a cheap Sempron with 1 Gig of RAM at most (she'll NEVER use more then 512M of it with win2000 or 1G with XP). Integrated graphics saves energy compared to a discrete video card so I'd get a $40 mobo with onboard graphics... all this for staying cheap and keeping decent performance for more than she does and Vista compatibility , but if you want to exaggerate, just go ahead; get her a Core2Duo or Quad, 4G of RAM and a couple of 8800GTX :wink:
Again, if this system is meant for low power consumption, for the moment there's no better price/performance option than taking a single core K8 CPU and undervolting it; I told you how to get a ~100W system with a 1.2V Sempron and integrated video but with a 915 board (and a 80W chip to start with), 2G of RAM and discrete video, you're going past 200W.
!