I'm back from Dell Hell and I need a computer

Well, I thought I had the best computer for the price from Dell and then it got delayed, and delayed, and then canceled. I didn't even have any say so in it's cancellation. Oh well. I'm looking to build the same computer or better for the same price or cheaper. Here are the specs of the Dell computer:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 5000+
4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 4DIMMs
256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT-DDR3
250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
Dell 19 in 1 Media Card Reader
48X CD-RW/ DVD Combo Drive

All together, with the case and everything was $809 (after $350 rebate from Dell offer).

I want to build this computer (the entire thing, case, fans, everything included) for the same price if not cheaper. If we can get a better motherboard and processor or video card, let's do it. If not, that's fine too.

Any help is SOOOOO appreciative after the hell I've been through.

31 answers Last reply
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  1. Does that include a monitor of any type?
    Also what do you plan to use the system for? That 8600GT is pretty weak for gaming.
    My neighbor ordered a Dell Inspiron 530 last Thursday and it was delivered yesterday. I was over to watch him set it up and he was up & running in a hour (which included a long peek inside the case). His was $825 with shipping and a pretty nice 20" widescreen monitor.
  2. It was without a monitor. I don't need a monitor.

    I used an online calculator for the ut3 game and I imput the computers stats and it said I would be able to run the game on high graphics. So I was happy with that.

    My computer was a Dell Inspiron 531.

    Is there anyway to get the a full computer (w/o monitor) with the hardware above for the same price? Or better hardware even?
  3. Should be no problem working up a better system since you don't need a monitor. No reason not to look at that tasty ATI 3850 video card its not that much more expensive than the 8600GT. You never know what game you'll be playing next year.
  4. Since I am totally clueless on where to begin...where should we begin? I need all the pieces to a computer? I can see where to buy a video card, a processor, motherboard, memory, and case, but does the fans and heatsinc and cables come with all that? Or do I need to buy all that seperately?
  5. Just to get you started look over the article @ Anandtech
    Its a budget builders guide to AMD and Intel systems.
  6. She lists this as a budget gaming PC:

    AMD Athlon X2 5000+ $110
    Biostar TForce TF570SLI $88
    Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2-800 PC2-6400 $90
    PNY GeForce 8800GT 512MB PCI-e 2.0 HDCP $260
    Samsung SpinPoint T Series HD321KJ 320GB 16MB 7200RPM SATA 3.0GB/s $75 -
    Samsung 20X DVDRW/DL SH-S202G $28
    APEX TU150 Black Steel ATX with 400W $59
    Acer 20" AL2016WBbd 5ms Widescreen DVI(1680 x 1050) $200
    Logitech X-530 70W RMS 5.1 $55
    Logitech LX-710 Laser Black USB $55
    Microsoft Vista Home Premium OEM $112

    I don't need the speakers or monitor, and I'd rather not get Vista yet, so that saves $367, and the final total is $765

    Would the above (minus the parts I don't need) be worth the $765?
  7. Yes, but do NOT use the included power supply, trust me. Get a good PCP&C or Corsair; it's worth the extra money for a a stable, safe computer. Running a tier 4 PSU could cause huge damage to components...
  8. If you do not get Vista, what operating system will you use and have you added that in to the price?
    For PSU I would suggest this:
    Antec Earthwatts 500W energy efficient power supply on sale for only $35 after rebate - with free shipping. A better, larger, more efficient unit for a lower price.
  9. I went on newegg and came up with the following list of items:

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADX6000CZBOX

    BIOSTAR TForce TF570SLI AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

    Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT12864AA80E

    PNY VCG86GTS5XWB-OC GeForce 8600GTS 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    Rosewill TU-155 Black 0.8mm SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400W Power Supply

    Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2B 1 Pack

    Antec earthwatts EA500 ATX12V v2.0 500W Power Supply

    Total: $833.75

    I went with a better processor since I want this computer to last as long as it can. I didn't need Vista and XP Home will do. I got the extra power supply (500W over 400W). I found a cool tower (hopefully it works). The video card I wanted was sold out so I got another one.

    If I order the items above, will I have everything I need to build a computer? (cords, fans, etc)?
  10. Looks like I need a heatsinc for the processor and the gluey stuff for the area between the two items. So I added the below to the items:

    ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail

    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

    Not to expensive.

    Any other items needed? Will the case come with fans? I'm guessing the hard drive will come with the cord to hook it up to the motherboard with.
  11. The retail boxed Athlon 64 X2 6000+ comes with the stock AMD heatsink fan and thermal compound.
    You can easily do without the AS5 and AC Freezer 64 Pro HSF. If you DO think you might want to overclock the CPU then the upgraded thermal compound and HSF make sense.

    The Rosewill case looks nice and it will hold everything fine. It only comes with 1x80mm fan though. I'd suggest 1x80mm fan for the front of the case - Rosewill 80mm case fan $5 with speed cntrl
    More info about that case: Rosewill TU-155 case

    That video card 8600GTS @ that $210 price is a big Uhh Ohhhhh! For the SAME price (or $10 more after rebate) you can get a XFX 8800GT 256MB The OC model is just $10 more after rebate. Much more powerful GPU.
    It's roughly 1.5-2x as powerful as the 8600GTS. (ps- grab it quick)

    All the rest looks OK if you already have keyboard, mouse and DVD.
    The motherboard and PSU will have all the Sata data and power cables.
  12. I added a $12 DVD drive (they are so cheap now). The total comes to $878. Not too over my original budget. Here are the items:

    Rosewill TU-155 Black 0.8mm SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400W Power Supply - Retail
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    BIOSTAR TForce TF570SLI AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
    XFX PVT88PUDF4 GeForce 8800GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
    ASUS Beige E-IDE/ATAPI CD-ROM Drive Model CD-S520B
    Antec earthwatts EA500 ATX12V v2.0 500W Power Supply
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
    Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT12864AA80E
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADX6000CZBOX
    Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2B 1 Pack
    ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler

    Is that all I need to make the entire computer?
  13. I took out the heatsinc and gluey stuff and put in another fan of the size you mentioned. It's all blue and cool. LOL

    Is that all I need? Does the motherboard have the right slot for the video card? Processor too?
  14. Motherboard and CPU are both AM2 - you're good to go.
    Motherboard and GPU are both PCI-e - you're good to go and even add a 2nd 8800GT for SLI if you ever need it.
    The PSU will power everything including a 2nd 8800GT if you even think you need the 2nd GPU.

    I'd make a grab for the Video Card right now. It wont last long.
    Here is a review of both XFX cards.
  15. Hmmmmmmm I'd go for a DVD drive instead of CD - a lot of newer games only come on DVD.
  16. The Power supply comes with all the cables needed to provide power to the motherboard (which powers the CPU, graphics card, and RAM) as well as all your peripherals (Optical and Hard Disk drives, case fans, graphics card, etc).

    The case has cables/wires for connecting the front USB ports, audio ports, power/hdd activity lights and power/reset buttons.

    The Motherboard will come with all the necessary interconnecting cables (SATA/IDE) for connecting the drives to it.

    One thing I noted is that you say you added a $12.00 DVD drive, but in your list, you have a $11.99 CD-ROM drive (and EIDE at that). I would very seriously consider spending the extra $15-$25 to upgrade that to a Combo Drive that reads both DVDs and CDs and writes to CDs. It should also have a SATA interface.

    This one will do.

    -Wolf sends
  17. Wow, I thought that was a DVD rom. Okay, so I changed that. I changed my memory to the crucial one too.

    I need to buy the video card now? I read about it being hard to get online. Maybe I should.
  18. There arent a lot of 8800GT/256MB models out at the moment so they will go fast. Even if you dont order the rest right awat - I'd grab the video card you want right now.
  19. Okay, well I'm going to grab all the items minus the windows xp disc now. I have the money for that and will have the money for the xp disc when I get my next check (tomorrow).

    If anybody sees any problems, please speak now or rest in peace...
  20. @OP: Welcome from Dell Hell :)

    I recommend that you drop the X2 6000+ and get a E6550 or better (or lower if willing to OC). Also go with a DS3x (P35 chip set recommended) like the P35-DS3L. The new Intel chips OC very well even the low end CPUs can gain substantial performance gains from a relatively easy OC. If you don't believe me look below:

    Plus, the way the way AMD is going right now is not good....(K10 any one?

    Later when money permits you can upgrade to a Quad core. (Q6600 is selling at $280 now and will be cheaper by mid of next year)
  21. I will think about that, when I have money again.

    I just ordered all the items minus the xp cd. $788 after shipping. Looking forward to building a computer for the first time. Take all that experience I have with installing video cards and hard drives to the next level.

    Thanks guys (and gals) for all your help! Dell Hell is over and now I'm in Hardware Heaven!
  22. Give us an update and let us know how things go.
  23. Good luck with you're first build! Looks like a good setup. You should be happy.
  24. I got the case today and should get everything else tomorrow.

    I've been researching what I need to do online and have come across some really good resources.

    The case is really nice, and has usb slots in the front! I had to run a usb extender around the front of my old computer.

    The extra power supply was a good choice, wasn't it? Thankfully allows for refunds if I find it's not needed.
  25. How'd it all turn out? I'm about to do my first build for my girlfriend and I could use the input of your experience. I've been thinking on and off for about 10 years about doing a build, but for my last desktop I went for a new system, and for my recent upgrade I went with a notebook. So, now I get to experiment with her upgrade.

    I'm really most curious about the BIOSTAR TForce TF570SLI Motherboard. Have you been pleased? I've been considering it because Biostar has a great rebate going on it right now, but I think layout issues and the general negativity towards the company are scaring me away. Also, I've had to do a tiny bit of convincing to get her to let me set up an upgrade for her, and I don't want to make things difficult by taking chances. A bad board and a difficult install could complicate to speak. With that in mind I'm actually leaning towards paying $20 more for the Gigabyte version of the 570: GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4. It seems to have a little better layout, and GB tends to have a better rep.

    But if your experience has been good, maybe I'll shift back. The Gutt says Biostar, but the head says Gigabyte, and to paraphrase High Fidelity sometimes my Gutt's are "Full of $h1t"

    PM'd as well
  26. Hi!

    It was a success, but there are things I still want to upgrade now that I have some more cash.

    The biggest problem I have right now is overheating. I'm not overclocking anything, but the computer gets massively hot (still) when I play certain online games and I have to take off the side and blow air in for it to not turn off my computer.

    I think my problem is two fold.

    I have no fan on the front blowing in air. I didn't realize I needed one until recently.

    My application of thermal gel was faulty. I believe what I did was put down a small glob, and use a plastic bag with my finger inside to spread it out all over the processor (someone suggested I do it that way in one thread on some forum). The more I read online, the better way of doing it is to just put a half a pea size glob in the middle and the contact of the heatsinc to the processor will do all the work (spread it out for me). Can anyone back this up as a good way of doing it?

    I finally have some money again, so I am looking to upgrade the following items.

    Video Card

    This is the case I like so far:
    It has a lot more fans, and a big fan on top that can suck the heat off the processor.

    I like this heatsinc:
    It has two fans back to back, which means no fan sticking out the case. I feel 2 fans could better circulate the hot air away from the processor.

    I like these memory pieces:
    My computer only has 2GB of ram, and I definitely feel a need to upgrade to 4GB. I don't want 4 sticks of 1GB each, because that leaves no slots to addon to in the future, so I will add on 2 sticks of 2GB each, and then replace the 1GBs later with more. Can someone check and see if I can equip all 4 pieces, or are they not the same type, or whatever problem?

    I like this video card:
    I am surprised at what I cannot play now. I just got done with a trial of Left4Dead (FPS) and on normal settings, it was so laggy I couldn't even play it. I had to turn all the settings to low before I could play it without any lag. I don't like that. I don't want to play games on MAX settings, but normal settings need to be possible. Other games like Warhammer Online, I can't show all effects on everyone, because the game lags too much. I have to set it to just effects on me showing for it to run fine.

    So, these 4 items would be upgraded/replaced.

    Any thoughts on these items? Suggestions for better items?

    Any help is SUPER APPRECIATED!

    WerdNerf said:
    How'd it all turn out?
  27. Yes, letting the downpressure from the HSF do the spreading is the best way to apply.

    EDIT: Just looked over your component selections, all look good except the GPU. Im assuming you got the 8800GT now? The 9800GTX is a rebranded 8800GTS, which is only marginally faster than your 8800GT. If your looking for an upgrade, you really have to look at at least a GTX260 or 4870.

    EXTRA EDIT: Just saw you got the 256MB version of 8800. Major suckage man, the 8800GT is still a reasonable card when armed with 512MB. The card you linked would be better, but I would still try and get something bigger.
  28. Thanks for the reply!

    Any suggestions on video cards? I just went to newegg and sorted by what was the highest rated cards.
  29. I decided not to get the video card. I decided to get 1 stick of 1GB ram to go along with my other 2GB. I am still going to get that case and I chose another fan after finding many more than would fit my AM2 processor slot.
  30. Okay, so I finally got my new stuff in and transferred all the hardware from my old case to my new case.

    I think I did much better this time than when I first made a computer.

    When installing the new heatsinc (it was HUGE), I put about a pea/half a pea right in the middle and just set the heatsinc on top of it. The heatsinc was very easy to hook onto the motherboard, much easier than my old one, and even though it is huge, it doesn't seem to budge at all.

    I did make one mistake when installing stuff. The front compartments where hard drives go slides out through the front, and I slid one out to put the HD on and slid it back in, and pushed it too hard and one of the cords that control the speed of the fan attached to that compartment was cut in half. So, I didn't hook that fan up to power in fear that a live wire could lead to problems. I will probably contact an electrician or the manufacturer and see if I can get it fixed.

    I think the hardest part was finding the right way to coordinate the wires. I had wires coming from the top of the case and needing power from the power supply installed at the bottom of the case. I think I did it good, though. I am still learning which ties are better. I like the white ones better than the black ones with holes and notches in it.

    I haven't tested my new configuration out in video games yet. I am still worried that my processor will overheat again. I don't think I made any mistakes in the installation of it, and with so many fans, the air supply should be top notch.

    I'll test it out sometime and get back.
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