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Building a $600 base computer to expand later

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December 14, 2007 7:38:17 PM

Hey everyone. I'm new here, my name is AJ, I'm from California, nice to meet you all.

I am going to have $600 to build my own system (that is for the actual computer itself, I already have XP and a monitor/mouse/keyboard). That is all that I have right now, but I will be able to upgrade it in a few months (maybe as much as a year). What would you buy if you only had $600? I think its important to note here that I have never built a computer before, but am extremely interested in doing so.

I'm torn between buying a high quality motherboard, and buying an ok motherboard and great other stuff. Wait - I think for you guys to best help me, I should tell you what I want to use this computer for.


I want to use this computer first and foremost as a photo and video editor. My video editor is Sony vegas 7, my photo editor is photoshop cs2.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to need alot of ram and a fast processor for this stuff. I would also love a large hard drive. I have an older laptop now with 60 gb hd, and a desktop with an 80 gb hd, both of which are full.

I would like a dvd burner, firewire (for photos and external hard drives) and at least 2 gb of ram.



Now here's the big question: can I get this stuff, and have it be a powerful photo and video editing machine for only $600? Or should I buy high quality parts where it really matters (motherboard, processor, case, etc) and get low quality parts for now, expecting to upgrade them later (things like Ram, video card, power supply).

I would really appreciate your help, thank you alot.

December 14, 2007 7:49:29 PM

If you don't plan to game, you can get by with a cheap video card. Motherboard wise they do have quality mobos in the lower price ranges, but in most cases they don't sport firewire. Which will increase the cost for the more pricier boards. Since you edit video (as I do myself), I would recommend a quad core, but your budget is considerably small for a video editing rig. Ram is quite cheap now-a-days. So you can get by with a lot for a little cash.

Is firewire extremely important?

Also, do you plan to overclock? If you overclock, you can get a lot for your money, and we can end up nabbing a lower end cpu to make sure you get a decent amount of hard drive space as well. Just get back with the info.
December 14, 2007 8:22:33 PM

Follow this thread.
Related resources
December 14, 2007 8:56:52 PM

No, firewire is not extremely important, I can get by without it. I was just going to include it just in case, my current camcorder actually doesn't even use firewire.

Is it small for a video editing rig? How much would I need to make a good one? I am planning on pumping some more money into this system in a few months, but wanted something to use in the meantime.

No, I hadn't thought of overclocking, but I think i'd be too worried about voiding my warranty to do that.


nhobo - that thread does look very interesting. I'll read over it. I would like some individualised help here, as I didn't understand some of the things I was reading over there
December 14, 2007 9:02:15 PM

If you do video editing, a q6600 is heavily recommended. But it goes for around 280 by itself.

Do you need a operating system?..that would also bring down what you can afford. There are a lot of factors to consider.

Also, With a intel platform, all upgradability dies at the end of 2008, Nehalem will be out and it requires a new socket and chipset. So you won't have much upgrade room, although a q6600 should last quite a long time, ESPECIALLY if you overclock it.

With a AMD based solution, you really get a great budget system, and upgrade room (especially if you nab their new 7x0 series chipsets), but their current quad core processors are really not up to par, and have lots of issues.

So it's based on which route you want to go. For video editing, a quad core processor helps a lot, if you want to go with a low budget dual core system, 600 might do it, but if you need a OS it would also make things harder.

Do you plan to play any games?...if so it makes it more difficult. Get back to me with the info, also state every use you will use, or is video editing and photography everything?
December 14, 2007 9:24:59 PM

^Agreed. I love/hate how Intel changes chipsets, and sockets. Depending on what work you do and if it is professional or just home stuff will determine the CPU. If you are just a home user I recommend you get a E6x50 or smiler and OC it. I am also running some of the software you mentioned including CS3 and Vegas 6 Platinum. The both run smoothly on my E2180( but struggles when I try and create a 15*15 foot image :lol: ) and the E6550 (@ 3Ghz ) is able to do what ever I have thrown at it.

Here's What I recommend:
P35-DS3x
At least 2GB RAM (DDR2 800 recommended)
A CPU depending on your needs (look above)
A case with lot of drive bays, good design/layout, and air flow, etc.
Corsair 520HX PSU
At least 500GB HDD
A good CPU Cooler if OCing
A 8600 or better/smiler graphics card (You wont be playing Crysis on this card :lol: )
December 14, 2007 9:33:03 PM

He can get by with even less in terms of that psu, HD, and video card. If he doesn't game. 600 would limit pretty badly on all the choices if he needs a OS also.
December 14, 2007 10:06:48 PM

No I don't need an OS. Just a rig.

No, I haven't gamed in a long time. I don't really plan to in the future either. It's basically just mainly photo editing, a little video editing, and lots of word documents for schoolwork.

That is very interesting - what you said about intel. Up until now I had been set on going with intel, only because I have a computer now with it (a 5 yr old dell latitude c840).

I would like to game a little, but it is definitely not a priority. photos and schoolwork are.
December 14, 2007 10:07:58 PM

Oh, and I forgot to ask - doesn't overclocking kill your processor faster? and don't you lose your warranty? is it worth it?
December 14, 2007 10:17:03 PM

if you overclock, your warranty is void, although it's hard for them to know you did. But, the average processor is designed to last around 10 years anyways. Even if you oc, it will shorten it's lifetime, but the average person gets a new pc every 2-4 years. So really no harm...

The fact that you don't need a OS, makes everything easier, but 600 might be a bit too little...

BTW, do you have any parts you can reuse?..cd rom drives, case, hard driveS?...anything?

If you have anything you can reuse, might be able to make it happen for 600.
December 14, 2007 10:17:47 PM

I think its very possible even with a quad core. Definately possible with a e2180. Mine is set at 3.3ghz , I'll have to try a 15*15foot image and see whats up. LoL. I'm sure it will handle it. It handles everything else I've thrown at it. You can put in a PCI firewire card for less then $15.00. Try to find a P35 chipset. I use Asus P5K SE. It goes for around $104. You can get cheaper if you dont want to OC.
December 14, 2007 10:22:24 PM

That may be true roadrunner, but it still wouldn't last near as long as a q6600. A q6600 has a lot of lifetime, and if you OC it, that lifetime is off the charts. If he can reuse some parts of his current rig, even if it's just a case and hard drive, might be able to make due...the more he can reuse the better.

the only parts I would recommend reusing, the case, hard drive, optical drives. Any chance you can?..how big is your hard drive?..what type of case? optical drive still working?
December 14, 2007 10:53:56 PM

I would definately go with the q6600 if it's in the budget, but if he can't reuse parts, the q6600 is almost 1/2 the budget. It is atleast half of the budget if not a little over 1/2 if he uses a good aftermarket heatsink.

Or wait til the new quads come in a month or less.

I only got the e2180 because it was cheap, and my first time overclocking. And mine is only a month old, I decided not to go quad until January' and get a better bang for my buck. Kinda like people who bought their 8800gts 2 weeks ago and now the wish they would of waited.
December 14, 2007 11:00:00 PM

Yea, I getcha 100%. Those new quads are going to be nice, I just wish they had a 9x multi....8x limits their potential. But even so, they are still worth the money. I'd take one over a q6600 any day, especially considering encoding is important to me, the SSE4 instruction set will help a lot.
December 14, 2007 11:19:21 PM

Ya, I got lots of DV tapes to turn into DvDs, but I'm waiting for my new quad.
December 15, 2007 4:24:27 AM

Hmm... Ok, then maybe I will overclock.

My old computer is a dell, about 5 years old. I don't know if I can re-use that case or not. It has a Cd burner and a dvd reader that still work, no dvd burner, unfortunately. It also has a 72 gb hard drive. (I guess it's an 80, but all it says it has in it is 72).

So, can you explain to me what you're talking about roadrunner? remember, I'm new to this whole thing, so I don't know what a heatsink, or what the q6600 is.
December 15, 2007 2:34:41 PM

The q6600 is a quad core cpu. Its roughly $270.00. The e2180 is a dual core cpu, roughly $90.00. The quad is better if you can afford it.

Heatsin is the fan assembly that goes ontop of the cpu. The stock one doesnt allow for overclocking real well on the quad.

Do you feel comfortable building? If not you can find someone to build it for you. I usually charge $100, but you might find someone to do it for $50.
December 15, 2007 3:16:45 PM

I would wait until Jan 20th if you can.

Intel will be releasing new chips on that date that will be a nice step forward.

The Q9400 will basically be the new Q6600.
A slightly higher default speed and priced slightly lower and will run cooler/quieter.
However, the first couple weeks the price will likely be a bit higher because it's new.
December 16, 2007 10:23:50 PM

I've been following this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/247262-31-need-build

And I'm finding some really good information there. Here is what I'm thinking about going with based on some suggestions from there.

CPU
Core 2 duo E6850 3.0 ghz $280
or
E6750 $189

CASE
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 $44

PSU
Antec TruePower Trio 550 Watt ATX http://www.compusa.com/products/pr [...] performics $70

MOBO
Gigabyte GA-P31-S3G $73

MEMORY
Adata 2GB DDR2-800 $45


VIDEO CARD
geforce 8800 gt (I think it's $250)
GeForce 8600GT $129.99

HDD
Western Digital 320GB 16MB $80

DVD Burner
Samsung 20X DVD Burner http://www.newegg.com/product/prod [...] 6827151151 $26

I'm not sure what to think. Would this processor be sufficient? I've heard great things about the nvidia 8800, is that worth the $250? And is the 3.0 ghz processor worth the price?

thanks
December 16, 2007 11:50:20 PM

if your going to spend $280 on that e6850 you just get the Q6600. which you can o/c if you choose. it was the best choice i made. in a long time. going from single core to quad-core it makes a big differnce


Just my 2 cents
December 17, 2007 1:47:35 AM

Killz86 - really? is the quad really worth it? I heard that since not many programs are written for them it is not even worth buying. Then again, I do multi task - alot (or try to). I too would be moving to a quad from a single, if I were to buy it.

Roadrunner197069 - Wow, now that is interesting. buying a barebones, almost all put together system and building on that.
The only thing that worries me about that idea is that system's motherboard. How far is it expandable? it only has ram upgradeable to 2 gb. It only has one pciexpress port, and two pci ports. I don't know how many I would need, but I know i've seen more on other motherboards. How far could I potentially upgrade this motherboard?

The idea is great - I love it. Getting a super-cheap system that I can upgrade later with more money, but maybe I could spend just a little more. Remember, my limit is actually around $675. Is there another one of those that I could use?
December 17, 2007 2:00:57 AM

Well the board is fine if you dont need dual graphics cards. And as far as PCI slots two should be plenty. For the price, and with an oc you cant go wrong. Here is the 2180 in some benches. It even spanks the core 2 extreme 6800. $975 vs. $95 and the cheaper spanks.
http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m109/roadrunner19706...

December 17, 2007 2:34:36 AM

Ahh I think he said that he has 600 bucks. I like the way everyone says quad when that is half his budget. He does not game he just wants it for photo shop and school. How about you give him what he wants instead of what you want.

Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz $189.99

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $47.00

RAIDMAX Scorpio ATX-868WYP Yellow Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 420W Power Supply $54.99

MSI P35 Neo2-FR LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard $100.00 after rebate.

MSI NX8600GT-T2D256E OC GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 $84.99 after rebate.

Sony NEC Optiarc Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM IDE 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM $25.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $69.99

Total cost 572.99 all can be purchased at NewEgg.


I think that is all you need.
December 17, 2007 2:37:21 AM

What does everybody think of the Xeon X3210 quad core?? It's $50 cheaper than the Q6600:

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=XEON3210BX&c=fr&pid=b7a0ae40fe29dcbf7d16bb9454ea98982a951d50a4adf49029663afb25a98051

It' often overlooked here because of the Xeon badge and might be just what the OP needs. Also, don't worry about firewire on the motherboard. Just get a PCI Firewire card with front panel hookups for around $9. That will open up your options for budget motherboards.
December 17, 2007 2:40:54 AM

Would it be possible to buy a new motherboard later and put it in the same case? Oh, and btw. I've never overclocked before (I've only ever had dell computers), so how would I know how to do that?

What are the benefits of doing it this way as opposed to building the entire thing from the ground up? Are all the components high quality?


Oh, and by the way - I'm curious about the power supply. What is the advantage of a higher wattage? or what comprises a 'high quality' power supply? more connections? higher wattage?

thanks
December 17, 2007 2:51:14 AM

Caamsa - didn't see your post until after I posted. That sounds good - that's really all I'd need to use photoshop and edit video? not that that's not bad, sounds good. I'd still like to know that answers to my other questions: about powersupply, and about what the benefits of buying a 'barebones' system might be.

Lol, so you don't think I need a quad? I sorta agree, they are very expensive. that is not what roadrunner was suggesting, though, so I am still considering his idea..what do you think?
December 17, 2007 3:01:00 AM

The barebone isn't a quad its a e2180 2.0 core 2 duo. Its the cheapest way to go for under your budget. I wouldn't buy a quad until the next ones come out in Jan. You would probably want a different PSU then the one that comes with the barebone.

My e2180 @ 3.34 GHZ is faster then a stock x6800. The x6800 costs $975.

My system cost me $650.00 total, if I would of put the x6800 in it would of cost me $1550. If you buy a namebrand with that fast of a CPU be prepared to drop close to $3000.00 I have seen bench after bench that proves cache dont make much difference at all. Definately not worth the premium you have to pay for it.
December 17, 2007 3:04:49 AM

yah but roadrunner, how do I overclock? is it easy enough? how long will my processor last while it is being overclocked??
December 17, 2007 3:12:32 AM

ajsellaroli said:
Caamsa - didn't see your post until after I posted. That sounds good - that's really all I'd need to use photoshop and edit video? not that that's not bad, sounds good. I'd still like to know that answers to my other questions: about powersupply, and about what the benefits of buying a 'barebones' system might be.

Lol, so you don't think I need a quad? I sorta agree, they are very expensive. that is not what roadrunner was suggesting, though, so I am still considering his idea..what do you think?


Sounds like roadrunner has a decent system. The question is do you want to over clock? The case I recommended has a power supply in it. It should be adequate. Heck even if you don't over clock most of the CPU's recommended are more than adequate for what you need it for.

There are numerous combinations you can put together and in the long run if it works for you then that is what counts. A quad core would be nice but you can always upgrade to that later if you feel you need it.

I really don't know a whole lot about the bare bone systems I usually build my own. That way you can select each item individually. The bare bone systems are usually a case and a mother board combo. I guess if it is a decent set up and saves you come $$ then it should be ok.
December 17, 2007 3:14:22 AM

If you're not after the maximum possible, it usually isn't a problem. With most Intels simple overclocking's just a matter of increasing bus speed in CMOS, or using utilities many motherboards ship with.

I'm running an 805 D 2.66 at 3.6ghz and it hasn't had a problem in a year so far. It does have a huge heatsink/fan (these were notorious for heat) and never gets over 50C. I haven't gone past that because I didn't want to increase the voltage My RAM's running below spec, I built it intending to upgrade the CPU but haven't yet.
December 17, 2007 3:30:40 AM

Well overclocking is easy if you read the guide here at Toms. This is the first time I have ever done it. 3.34 with a stock fan is pretty good for a first timer. I might add that my ram is only single channel and it cost $48.00 for 2g. I just set my pci speed to 100 and my FSB to 333x10 and changed my vcore to 1.425. Very easy to do in the bios. I had mine boot windows at 3.8 but it got hot with the stock cooling. I will try water soon.
December 17, 2007 4:17:54 AM

ajsellaroli said:
Hey everyone. I'm new here, my name is AJ, I'm from California, nice to meet you all.

I am going to have $600 to build my own system (that is for the actual computer itself, I already have XP and a monitor/mouse/keyboard). That is all that I have right now, but I will be able to upgrade it in a few months (maybe as much as a year). What would you buy if you only had $600? I think its important to note here that I have never built a computer before, but am extremely interested in doing so.

I'm torn between buying a high quality motherboard, and buying an ok motherboard and great other stuff. Wait - I think for you guys to best help me, I should tell you what I want to use this computer for.


I want to use this computer first and foremost as a photo and video editor. My video editor is Sony vegas 7, my photo editor is photoshop cs2.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to need alot of ram and a fast processor for this stuff. I would also love a large hard drive. I have an older laptop now with 60 gb hd, and a desktop with an 80 gb hd, both of which are full.

I would like a dvd burner, firewire (for photos and external hard drives) and at least 2 gb of ram.



Now here's the big question: can I get this stuff, and have it be a powerful photo and video editing machine for only $600? Or should I buy high quality parts where it really matters (motherboard, processor, case, etc) and get low quality parts for now, expecting to upgrade them later (things like Ram, video card, power supply).

I would really appreciate your help, thank you alot.

First off, Welcome to the forums :)  Hopefully we can help you and not confuse you too much. Alot of people here are very helpful and love to help people, I for one am one :) 
Here is what I'm proposing. I know I'm going to get bashed for my choices, but I think this will 1) fit the budget easily 2) give you what you need within the budget 3) get you Firewire on the mobo :)  !!!

CPU - $160 shipped! Nice solid CPU, not the best, but definately not the weakest. No OC'ing needed, but can be a little, but not the idea here.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo - $83 shipped! Has Firewire, HDMI, Hi-Def Audio, 16gig DDR2 capable, etc. Probably one of the most feature rich mobo's for the $ :) 
GIGABYTE GA-MA69GM-S2H AM2 AMD 690G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory $55 - $15 MIR = $40 shipped! Solid and fast DDR2 800mHz, CAS4!! Hard to beat at this price/speed.
A-DATA Extreme Edition 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - $110 - $20 MIR = $90! Hard to beat for the $, plus can decode HD/Blu Ray DVD's! Plenty of power for video and some gaming!
HIS Hightech H260XTF512DDN-R Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - $45 - $15 MIR = $30!! Hard to beat for a decent quality case. Has external firewire port too!!
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $70 - $30 MIR = $40 More than enough for what you want to do. Can handle bigger GPU's, if needed.
Antec earthwatts EA430 ATX12V v2.0 430W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, FCC, TUV, CE, CB, C-tick, CCC - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner - $36 shipped! Is retail version, so software is included! Also is a SATA drive, so you don't need EIDE connection to the mobo!!!
ASUS Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 18X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 14X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total ~$555 - $80 in MIR's = $475!!! Now that is one cheap Dual core setup with NO OC'ing needed!! Yes you could go with Intel build (e6550) and get a p35 mobo to work with it, but you'd spend about $20-30 more for it. Yes the 6550 would OC much better than the x2 6000, but if the OP doesn't want to OC he doesn't have too. Oh, and the Intel build wouldn't have Firewire or HDMI included with the mobo, which is about $30-$40 for both options on top of the $20-$30 price difference. This than inflates the price to $50-$70 more. Not sure if that is really an issue, but thought I'd point that out.
If you decided to go the Intel route and could afford the initial up front cost and wait for the MIR's, you could get a quad with these options:
CPU - $280
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo - $90
GIGABYTE Intel® P35 + ICH9 Chipset DDR2 1066 ATX GA-P35-DS3L Motherboard Retail
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

New total ~$686 - 80 in MIR's = $606!!! Now that would be nice!! Only thing is you lose Firewire on the mobo, but definately get multitasking bonus'!!!

You can decide which way to go, but for the $, the AMD build is cheaper and pretty equal to a comparable C2D in this price range.

I'm just showing the OP other options to consider, so please don't bash me too hard for showing him an AMD system. :) 
December 17, 2007 7:43:46 AM

Go for a q6600, given your use of video editing i recommed quad core. I recommend you get a solid but inexpensiver mobo, a simple gfx card like a 8400gt or the ati varient of it. You wont really need a gfx card for editing so its a matter of what you can spend on it. Get a 500gb hdd, they are less than 100 and you'll need it for the large files video editing tends to amass, this is even more prudent if you are in anything HD. As for ram get 2, i'd say 4 but you dont have a 64 bit OS so you wouldnt benefit from it. You could get 3 gb, 2x1gb+512+512 but the bang for the buck isnt worth it imo given your budget.

-Definately go Quad Core q6600 and build around it
-Definately get a big HDD, 500gb or more, w/e you can afford
-Gfx card isnt as important, even integrated will work just fine
-Mobo matters if you are planning to stress your components, ie OCing. For what you need it for, a simple, very basic mobo will be more than sufficient...you dont need or have any use for a x38/680i mobo, nice cheap p35 is just fine
-ram brand means little, you dont really need anything more than 533 ddr2, but i'd still get 6400 just because its the current sweet spot for price/gb's/performance.
-Case, dont bother spending alot on a case, recycling an old one will save you money, with a simple setup like what you will have you wont need much airflow, a single hdd will be just fine with even the minimal airflow (seriously, theres literally millions of dells out there with crap airflow working just fine).
-Psu, you can get an antec case+psu bundled for a really good price, depending on your gfx card you shouldnt need more than 400 watts, antec has pretty decent power supplies and this can really save you some money.
December 17, 2007 8:52:48 AM

ajsellaroli said:
I am going to have $600 to build my own system (that is for the actual computer itself, I already have XP and a monitor/mouse/keyboard). That is all that I have right now, but I will be able to upgrade it in a few months (maybe as much as a year). What would you buy if you only had $600? I think its important to note here that I have never built a computer before, but am extremely interested in doing so.

I want to use this computer first and foremost as a photo and video editor. My video editor is Sony vegas 7, my photo editor is photoshop cs2.


Based on your requirements, here is what I cam up with. The item #'s are for Newegg.com.

Antec NSK4480B Black Case w/380W Power Supply
Model #: NSK4480B
Item #: N82E16811129032
$69.99

ECS Intel G33 Motherboard
Model #: G33T-M2
Item #: N82E16813135050
Mail-in Rebate
$89.99

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Model #: BX80562Q6600
Item #: N82E16819115017
$279.99

GeIL Value Series 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR2 800
Model #: GX24GB6400DCKA
Item #: N82E16820144064
Mail-in Rebate
$119.99

Western Digital Caviar 250gb SATA Hard Drive
Model #: WD2500AAKS
Item #: N82E16822136161
$69.99

Sony NEC Optiarc 20X SATA DVD±RW Burner
Model #: AD-7190S
Item #: N82E16827118002
$25.99

Subtotal: $655.94 - $45 MIR = $610.94

The MB is not made for high performance overclocking, but will do just fine at stock speeds. It also includes pretty good onboard video which is all you really need for video/photo work. It is also upgradeable to next generation Penryn processors.

If you ever decide to game, you can always pick up a PCIe video card. The case includes a good power supply that will be fine for all but the highest end vid cards. If you think that you may go high end video, then this case/PSU would be a better choice. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also only included a 250gb hard drive for budgetary reasons, but you could get a 500gb for just over $100. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Lastly, if you want to add on Firewire, there are a few options. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
December 17, 2007 2:05:21 PM

Actually, I am interested in overclocking now. See what you've done to me roadrunner! When i came onto this forum I thought it was the last thing I'd ever do (I had a lot of myths keeping me back), but now, with your 'evidence' that it ca cheap processor can beat an almost $1000 processor - I'm real interested.

But roadrunner, how do you know that the mobo in that kit is good enough to overclock? Is it the same one you're using now?

Lunyone - Thank you very much. So far, the forums here have been my best find on the internet in months. Everyone is extremely helpful, I'm getting alot of great help from the people here.

Your setup is very interesting (I like the looks of that case, not that looks matter), but now i am just a little confused. What is the difference between AMD and INTEL? The specs on your setup are very good, but would they be better than the one roadrunner suggested if I were to overclock it?

Eric54 - Hey, thanks for responding. So you would go quad, huh? those are fighting words for some people in this thread. Who was it, oh yah caamsa was saying that quad is too expensive for my budget, and to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I need it. What does a quad do? is it only for multi tasking, or can it simultaneously thread the same processes too? I'm pretty sure there aren't many programs that are written to do this yet.

tlmck - Jeez, now I don't know what to do. Your idea now seems to be the best out of the pack. I'd get 4 gigs of ram, a quad core, and I wouldn't even have to buy video for a while?? That's pretty tempting too. I had wanted to wait on the video until I could afford the nvidea 8800 gt, because I do want to game, but as it isn't important I can do without gaming for a little while. At least this way, I'd have my system, and then when I am ready, I could upgrade it, while still having a quad.

Once again, though, there are two things bothering me. For one - will this processor be fast? if so, I wouldn't have to overclock it. But if I did want to overclock it, I would be risking a much larger investment, wouldn't I? buying a cheap processor and ocing it is alot different than buying an almost $300 processor and overclocking that. If something goes wrong and i've voided my warranty, what would I do then?
Ok, lets say you respond and say, "you don't have to overclock it, it is already fast enough at 2.4 ghz. If I were to buy a cheaper dualcore processor, could I overclock that to a speed faster than the 2.4? Would that not be more worth it?

I don't know...I'm afraid my inexperience with overclocking is affecting alot of what I say. I am afraid of a couple things - of voiding my warranty, and of shortening the processor's life. I'm sorry this is such a long post, I have alot of questions.


Thank you all once again, I am so fortunate to have found you guys here
December 17, 2007 2:27:18 PM

Now we are talking. The bare bones I showed you, you could add 4 gigs of ram a 500g hdd and a DvD burner for $380.00 It has onboard video asd well. Or you still got $220 in your bugget for graphic card, buy you would also need a different PSU for a good graphics card.

I read the manual on the board with the barebones last night. The oc options arent fancy and confusing, they are very straight forward.

Option B pick out parts similar to mine and I can help you over the phone at OC time.

I got e2180
Asus P5K SE
Adata value ram $24.00 per gig.
Ultra 500 w modular power supply
80g HDD
500G HDD
Asus DvD burner

The mobo in the kit says right on it OCers dream. The board supports 1333 FSB so 1333/4= 333.25 FSB. Up the vcore volts to 1.425 change the FSB to 333, and monitor your temps. I'm using a stock cooler. Idle 42c stress 59c. You might be able to bring the vcore down some I just like 1.425 for a starting point.

I cant wait til Jan, I'm getting a quad core Penryn and a better cooler, water if I have to but I'm going for atleast 4.0.

If you got a month this rig will be for sale $600.00.
Vista Ultimate
Office 2007
Any DvD
Clone DvD
Clone CD
Hacked media center so you can archive DvDs on HDD and view them by cover and specs right in media center library.
December 17, 2007 2:35:40 PM

Wow I just had 15 windows open, was jamming mp3s, anti virus going and I didnt even notice until it said scan complete.
December 17, 2007 4:17:33 PM

Why are you waiting a month for the penryn? what is so good about it? Will it be able to go with the p5k se motherboard?

Oh, and an even more important question - how expensive will it be?
December 17, 2007 4:23:51 PM

Its 45nm tech instead of 65. The chips have bigger cache then current and new instructions to improve video editing and such.

And since they are smaller they can make more on one platter of silicon; hence cheaper by a bit. They might not be a whole lot cheaper depending on demand.

Some think the current CPUs will come down; however, this is not true. Merchants arent willing to loose money on them as they already paid for their stock.
December 17, 2007 4:24:18 PM

Oh the penrynns over clock higher as well.
December 17, 2007 5:05:38 PM

roadrunner197069 said:
Now we are talking. The bare bones I showed you, you could add 4 gigs of ram a 500g hdd and a DvD burner for $380.00 It has onboard video asd well. Or you still got $220 in your bugget for graphic card, buy you would also need a different PSU for a good graphics card.

I read the manual on the board with the barebones last night. The oc options arent fancy and confusing, they are very straight forward.

Option B pick out parts similar to mine and I can help you over the phone at OC time.

I got e2180
Asus P5K SE
Adata value ram $24.00 per gig.
Ultra 500 w modular power supply
80g HDD
500G HDD
Asus DvD burner

The mobo in the kit says right on it OCers dream. The board supports 1333 FSB so 1333/4= 333.25 FSB. Up the vcore volts to 1.425 change the FSB to 333, and monitor your temps. I'm using a stock cooler. Idle 42c stress 59c. You might be able to bring the vcore down some I just like 1.425 for a starting point.

I cant wait til Jan, I'm getting a quad core Penryn and a better cooler, water if I have to but I'm going for atleast 4.0.



How does your motherboard and system measure up to the one tmlck suggested? his sounds pretty good - I wouldn't mind having a quad, but can you overclock a quad? though it is much more expensive, I feel it might be worth it, as I don't need a video card as of now (don't need to game).
December 17, 2007 5:26:11 PM

ajsellaroli said:
How does your motherboard and system measure up to the one tmlck suggested? his sounds pretty good - I wouldn't mind having a quad, but can you overclock a quad? though it is much more expensive, I feel it might be worth it, as I don't need a video card as of now (don't need to game).



Well I read the reviews on that one and, evidentally it doesn't have overclocking options. I would like a quad as well but opted for the "cheap" e2180 to try my skills at overclocking. And I'd rather get a penryn quad instead of the q6600 because the penryn will oc better.
December 17, 2007 5:58:11 PM

Alright.......I'm really confused about what to do now. So many people have given me their opinion on what's good..I'm lost. I have to come to some sort of a conclusion on what to buy. Can anyone help me clarify this mess?

here is my big question: What do I gain by building my own system if I don't overclock? Can I find dells, etc cheaper, or is it still worth it to build, even if I buy a quad and don't overclock it?
December 17, 2007 6:26:12 PM

You can always build cheaper. If you build and have trouble you got to try forums for free advice or pay top dollar for help locally. MAnufactured you get warranty on labor and parts. Build you only get parts warranty if you keep alll the receipts and boxes. Manufactured cant be tweaked as muck like overclocking and such.

Best bang for your buck might be to hire someone such as myself to build you exactly what you want. I charge $100 to build and $50 more to OC. I can make an auction and a person could buy via paypal on ebay.
December 17, 2007 6:47:51 PM

Thank you so much for your offer, roadrunner, but I think i'm going to try to build this one myself, my budget's tight as it is. I really appreciate your help on here, though.

I think I've decided what I'm going to do. I am going to get an e2180 and overclock it. That will probably be plenty enough speed for me, for now.

I also think I should invest more money in the motherboard - ie, one that is good at overclocking, and also one that will be able to handle the penryn's when they come out (that way i'll upgrade later). Any suggestions?

December 17, 2007 6:59:17 PM

ajsellaroli said:
Thank you so much for your offer, roadrunner, but I think i'm going to try to build this one myself, my budget's tight as it is. I really appreciate your help on here, though.

I think I've decided what I'm going to do. I am going to get an e2180 and overclock it. That will probably be plenty enough speed for me, for now.

I also think I should invest more money in the motherboard - ie, one that is good at overclocking, and also one that will be able to handle the penryn's when they come out (that way i'll upgrade later). Any suggestions?


Link

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3169&p=5
December 17, 2007 7:51:51 PM

Any P35 board should work. I like P5K SE its the cheapest Asus p35.
December 17, 2007 8:09:46 PM

Hey, caamsa, that looks really good, thanks!

Ok, here's a tentative 'draft' of what I might buy, tell me what you think, anyone:

Processor: Intel core 2 duo e2180
$90

Motherboard: MSI P35 Neo2-FR
$120

Case: Not sure about this yet. I like the centurion 5, but then what psu should I get?

Ram: 4 gb ram (GeIL Value Series 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR2 800)
$120

DVD burner: Sony NEC Optiarc 20X SATA DVD±RW Burner
$25

PSU: I don't know..

Graphics card: any suggestions?
someone suggested: HIS Hightech H260XTF512DDN-R Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 CrossFire Supported Video Card
$90

I'd love the nvidia 8800 gt, should I keep this in mind when looking for PSU?

Hard drive: undecided

Fans - any special fans I would need??



Alright, so there's my tentative build. What do you think? I think that I am going to go with an overclocked e2180 for now because I am trying to save money, and I'm guessing the new penryn's will be much more than $90. Later, I'll upgrade (and hopefully they will have worked all the problems out of the penryn by then) I will upgrade to a quad. Thanks again
December 17, 2007 8:57:38 PM

Looks good. The mobo looks like it OCs well. Asus P5K SE is cheaper but might not have what you need.
!