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Overbudget--Need help lowering costs!

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January 11, 2008 5:34:52 PM

Hey, it's me again. Ok, so I started buying parts, right, and I think I've gotten in a little over my head. I know some of you suggested the sonata III case/psu, but I had to jump at the great deal on the (beautiful) Antec 900 case. Silly, I know. Then, I bought a good (cheap) psu, but I still spent much more than the $60 the case/psu combo would've cost me.

Anyway, those are the least of my problems. I have to buy an operating system, which throws my build way up there, totaling $927 . Not good. I really need some advice on how to lower costs for the rest of my build.

My budget: $800, give or take about $50
With tax, the $927 dollar build would be above $1000, which I can definitely not do.

I already have a PSU, 22 inch monitor, keyboard, case, and dvd/cd burner.
So far I have spent about $160. I only have about $640 left.
With that $640 I have to buy a processor, mouse, operating system, motherboard, ram, graphics card, and hard drive.

Is there anything at all that you can see in my build that I could cut down on without giving up too much performance? please help, and thank you very much for taking the time


MY BUILD

Processor
E2180
$90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
$100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
Antec 900
Already Own: $89.89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram
Crucial Ballistic 2gb
$50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner
LITE-ON Black DVD/CD Burner
Already Own: $35.71
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card
Radeon hd 3850
$180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
Antec earthwatts EA430
Already Own: $34.94
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive
Western Digital Raptor 150gb, 10,000 rpm
$170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Mouse
Logitech G5
$37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System
Windows XP professional w/ sp2 – OEM
$140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : overbudget lowering costs

January 11, 2008 6:10:22 PM

Unless you need the extra features from XP Pro, I would also recommend just going with the XP SP2 OEM.

Most other items can't really get much cheaper (sans scrapping the raptor as said above)... the whole thing is pretty much as budget as you can get.
Related resources
January 11, 2008 6:11:08 PM

Get XP Home OEM - Save $50.
There is not really anything in Pro vs Home that are of use for a Home User.

E2160 - Save $8

Different HDD - Get 7200.11 w/32MB of Cache. Save $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

They are about as fast as Raptors in many things.
Extra Cache and Perpendicular Recording speed things quite a bit despite lower RPM.

ZZF a Few Dollars Cheaper on the Mobo.
January 11, 2008 6:14:00 PM

I agree with WR2
January 11, 2008 6:17:58 PM

To help everyone else, he wants/needs to buy $803 more stuff, but only has $640. This means we need to shave $163 from the build.

The first thing that goes is the raptor. The $/GB is to high to be included in a low budget build. Grab a 500GB harddrive for ~$110, only another $100 to go now.

Next up is the Mouse. Get a better one once you have the funds again. They are simple enough to swap out. Walmart or other such store should have a mouse for $10, or re-use one you already have. You should now need to cut out about another $70.

Next up is the OS. You can grab vista for $110, which would put you overbudget by about $40. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

After this, the choices get harder. You can get a smaller harddrive, the 320GB tend to go for ~$80, which would put you overbudget by about $20. You can get a cheaper motherboard, but it won't be as nice as the one you have. You could also drop down to one of the lower speed CPUs, but that only saves $20, and they aren't as easy to upgrade as a mouse.

Hopefully someone else can suggest a way to save that last $40, that or you can be a bit overbudget.

January 11, 2008 6:31:31 PM

^Agreed^

Lose the Raptor, get XP Home OEM

Maybe then you can spend the extra $7 and get the E2200 with an 11x multiplier (more OC-able)
January 12, 2008 8:23:22 AM

Get
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Brisbane 2.2GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-65$

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4 AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-100$

RAM:Crucial Ballistic 2gb

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-50$

Graphics Card:GIGABYTE GV-RX385512H Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-200$

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-120$

OS: MS XP Home SP2 OEM

-90$

Total=625
Cheaper and faster.



January 12, 2008 8:51:38 AM

I would go with Kubuntu. It is a totally free version of Linux that looks kind of like XP. It is free for the download at kubuntu.org I use it on my computer, and it works fabulous. The only problem is that the wifi support leaves little to be desired.
January 13, 2008 2:19:07 AM

ComputerCustomizer said:
I would go with Kubuntu. It is a totally free version of Linux that looks kind of like XP. It is free for the download at kubuntu.org I use it on my computer, and it works fabulous. The only problem is that the wifi support leaves little to be desired.


Will it support all of his applications as seemlessly as XP?
Does he need to learn a new interface and where does he go for support?
January 13, 2008 2:57:34 AM

What are you using this computer for (gaming, any special programs, just SOHO stuff?) Because that would change my recomendations.

And stick with XP if you know it, while Linux is cheaper it may cost you lots of time trying to figure it out or trying to get your software to work with it.
January 13, 2008 4:15:08 AM

Does Crysis run on Kubuntu, for example? I know there are some decent emulators out there, but are they good enough to play serious Windows games properly?

Edit: I also agree with WR2.
January 13, 2008 4:41:20 AM

I'm sorry I haven't responded until now, I've been sort of busy. I would like to thank you all for your help thus far.

WR2 - That is some great advice, I'll take it. I didn't realize, I guess I don't really need XP pro, and I heard from some other people that a 7200 rpm drive with perp recording will be just as good as a raptor at 10,000rpm. Who knew? Apparently I didn't :)  Thanks wr2

Zenmaster - I really like that HDD, I think I'll get it. The major problem I've been having with my current computer (A 2003 Dell latitude c840) is hdd space. Lots of space, and some of the reviewers on newegg said it was as fast as a raptor!

4745454b - thanks man, I'll do all that, but I think i'm going to get xp, I want to get the most out of my system. And don't worry about the extra $40, it's close enough, thank you very much

Lord - I know nothing at all about amd, I'm just not familiar with it..is there any sort of comparison system out there? I've been researching intel for a couple months now, so i feel comfortable with it. Oh, but on to what really caught my eye about your proposed build - the radeon hd3850 with 512 mb. i didn't know I could get the 512mb version for only $20 more than the 256mb version -- I'll definitely do that! one question though - Why do different brands make the same card? I thought this was Radeon's card? Why are different brands different prices?

Computercustomizer, rockyjohn, loosscru, and aevm - I think to be able to decide whether a free linux processor would be right for me I should tell you What I'm Going to be Using this Computer For:

Video Editing: Sony Vegas 7
Image Editing: Photoshop CS2
Gaming: CounterStrike Source, not much else, I'm not a heavy gamer, I might buy a game once and a while
Word processing: lots of college papers to write!

It is very important that photoshop work on the computer, I don't care as much about video, I am mostly a still photographer. That is why the huge hard disks seem so tempting to me. I have to limit the amount of photos I take right now because of hard drive limitations, I currently have about 60gb of good pics on an external hard drive, there is no room to keep a backup on my latitude, which scares me alot.

Ok, here are all my replies. I thought since I took so long I should make sure and address everyone, it's the least I could do, you were all very kind to respond, I appreciate your advice.

thanks in advance
January 13, 2008 4:49:28 AM

This build is definitely good enough to handle what you have listed. I would go with the AMD build but that's just me. The E2160 is an excellent choice of price/perf because it can be easily overclocked to match E6XXX.
On your question about the Graphics card, the chipsets are ALL manufactured by ATI, part of AMD, and under the codename "Radeon". The chipsets are then used by the different "Brands" of cards-which have negligible differences, as most of them use the same reference design and performance depends on the graphics chipset 99.9% anyway. Prices for cards with the same chipset usually vary because of core clock, memory clock, memory, and interface differences (AGP/PCI-E).
January 13, 2008 6:13:58 AM

Whats with the amd build posted it would perform far worse than the intel
January 13, 2008 7:27:35 AM

If you are in college check with your book store to see if your school is part of the MSDN academic alliance. If you are you can get XP Pro SP2 for free (Download) or about 15bucks if you need the CD.
January 13, 2008 8:16:13 AM

Raptors are really only good for raid so just get a normal hdd
January 13, 2008 11:13:43 PM

blotch said:
Yeah the Raptor is a waste. The seagate looks nice but i would definitely
recommend this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
its better then a raptor except for access time.


Or even better, get the WD7500AAKS rather than the WD5000AAKS. The WD7500AAKS has perpendicular magnetic recording and it's faster than the WD5000AAKS. I have the WD5000AAKS myself, and it's fine, but the benchmarks on the WD7500AAKS look so much nicer...
January 13, 2008 11:59:02 PM

ajsellaroli said:


Video Editing: Sony Vegas 7
Image Editing: Photoshop CS2
Gaming: CounterStrike Source, not much else, I'm not a heavy gamer, I might buy a game once and a while
Word processing: lots of college papers to write!


If you don't game a lot you can drop the graphics card for now and just get a cheap $30 graphics card. The graphics will not impact the vid. editing software. I personally have Vagas Studio 8 and CS3 running perfectly with a 8400GS that i got for $20. I can play Crysis @ 800*600 with mid quality :o  once OCed. :lol: 

I agree with what the guys before me said about the HDD, etc.
Here is OCing help for the DS3L + E2800 :D 
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

January 14, 2008 2:09:33 AM

You guys are Amazing!! Sarcastic, you are a lifesaver! That MSDN Alliance is the best news I've heard all day! I checked their website today, and my school is apart of it, this is great! Now I just need to decide which operating system to go with. Seriously, I found Windows Vista Business 64 bit for free! or should I get XP professional 64bit? Is it even worth it to go 64bit? both are free!

xp pro 64bit: http://msdn07.e-academy.com/elms/Storefront/ViewProduct...

vista business 64bit: http://msdn07.e-academy.com/elms/Storefront/ViewProduct...

There is also XP pro regular version, I guess, 32 bit. Here's where you can find what they offer: http://msdn07.e-academy.com/elms/Storefront/Storefront....

Is Vista worth it yet? I hear you can have more ram when you use a 64bit processor, other than that I don't really know the difference.

That WD7500AAKS looks pretty good, I'll probably need the 750gb, the way I chew up space.

You know shadow, you're right. Once school starts up again, I won't have any time to play games anyway - my ultimate priority is image editing. So which would you go for around $30? the 8400gs?
January 14, 2008 2:41:17 AM

I would get vista, I use it and am having zero probs. I know XP still outperforms it, but it will get better as time goes on and they release updates. Myself, I still prefer 32 bit OSes though, just seems like less compatiblity issues with hardware, etc. Example is printers.

If it was me, I would consider this on graphics if you are on a really tight budget

Gigabyte ATI radeon 2400xt, 256mb ddr2 memory=47.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think this is about 10 bucks more than the 8400, but I think it'd perform a little better for ya.

You are showing paying 75 bucks for crucial memory, that's all fine and good.

How about this??

OCZ Platinum 2gb set(2x1gb)=$45.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Taking a quick look at the Latency of that memory and what not, seems to be the same as the crucial you want. I'd get the OCZ, similar performance, almost 29 bucks saved, same amount of memory. If you want, they have wintec ampo memory, 2gb for 35.99, which would shave almost 40 bucks, but cas latency 5.

Oh, AMD side, if you are not overclocking, then very good choice on a budget, would let you save on motherboard and chip and go better on drive space and memory/video.

The way AMD works is like this....

Sempron is their value line, kind of like if you got an intel celeron.

Athlon is their main line, like core2 duo on intel, or pentium.

Currently, not quite as fast in pure performance as the core 2 duos in pure performance, but still very fast and very capable.

The way it works is this, they use a ratings system...

So if I'm looking at say a 3600 x2 then it's equivalent to running a 3.6 ghz pentium with dual cores, hence the x2.

So if you look at say a 4200, then that equals 4.2, 6400=6.4 ghz, etc etc. At least thats how the logic is supposed to work. Look around, usually the mobo can be had cheaper as well.

Like me for example, I'm using a an AMD Athlon 5200 x2, which is like 5.2 ghz dual core. On my vista experience index, if you are familiar with that, the 5200 on my machine is rated at 5.2, without overclocking. So it's definitely quick. I have been using a core 2 duo on a mac at work, and I am currently impressed with both. So even if you went AMD, I think you would not be dissapointed.

As far as everyone reccomending seagate, definitely agree, have a SATA seagate drive, very nice.

By the way, don't know if you already factored this in, but you may want to add this......

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7903003&p...

It's a media reader, I have one in my machine, and it will take just about any flash card or sd card you have, and since you do a lot of photography, I think it would be a useful tool for you and make things much more convenient.
January 14, 2008 2:49:24 AM

I wouldn't go with XP 64 bit. There was a lot of driver problems. And unless you're going > 2GB of RAM (well, 3GB actually), there's not much of an advantage.

Vista 64 bit should be better. I've been running Vista since it came out last November, and wouldn't go back. SP1 should be out soon, and that should help with some of the remaining pain points.

Clint
January 14, 2008 3:09:05 AM

ajsellaroli said:
You guys are Amazing!! Sarcastic, you are a lifesaver! That MSDN Alliance is the best news I've heard all day! I checked their website today, and my school is apart of it, this is great! Now I just need to decide which operating system to go with. Seriously, I found Windows Vista Business 64 bit for free! or should I get XP professional 64bit? Is it even worth it to go 64bit? both are free!

xp pro 64bit: http://msdn07.e-academy.com/elms/Storefront/ViewProduct...

vista business 64bit: http://msdn07.e-academy.com/elms/Storefront/ViewProduct...

There is also XP pro regular version, I guess, 32 bit. Here's where you can find what they offer: http://msdn07.e-academy.com/elms/Storefront/Storefront....

Is Vista worth it yet? I hear you can have more ram when you use a 64bit processor, other than that I don't really know the difference.

That WD7500AAKS looks pretty good, I'll probably need the 750gb, the way I chew up space.

You know shadow, you're right. Once school starts up again, I won't have any time to play games anyway - my ultimate priority is image editing. So which would you go for around $30? the 8400gs?


You will have the fewest problems with XP Professional (32-Bit)
You can always upgrade to Vista-64 bit later.

January 14, 2008 4:24:41 AM

I would go with XP Pro 32bit. I am not very familiar with the modular way that vista is eg home premium has one side of the spectrum, Vista Business has the other and Ultimate has both. I am not sure what functionality you may lose going with Vista Business.
January 14, 2008 4:25:44 AM

Are you allowed to get both XP32 and Vista64 for free? Just curious. You could try dual-boot, if it's free...
January 14, 2008 4:31:41 AM

On Vista Business you don't lose much. I have that now, b/c that's what I could get cheap through my university. You get the Aero interface, you get all the little niceties, what you don't get are the little built in solataire games and what not, and you don't get the media center interface, but if you don't mind that, you will get all the other little goodies. But I run all my games on it, works great, no regrets. Still running aero and all that too.

Btw, I don't have many driver problems or anything now, windows picked up all my mobo hardware, etc. Only thing I really had to do was update video drivers to fix some video glitches in my games, after that, all was well. Running a cool 25-26 degrees celcius on my cpu core right now.
January 14, 2008 5:35:53 AM

If you are in college, have you checked with the bookstore to see if they have any deals on computers?
January 14, 2008 7:45:20 PM

Hey Sarcastic! I need some help man. I just went over to my book store and the guy looked at me like he was crazy. He said, "I don't know what that alliance is, but we do have cheap prices." He then hands me some brochure for www.campusestore.com, where the prices are definitely NOT cheap. What do I do now?

I did some research, and on this link here: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/academic/bb250625.aspx they are listing what the msdn alliance does. In order to use this free software, would I have to be in some major having to do with computers?

thanks

January 14, 2008 9:09:33 PM

What I would do, call your main office on your campus. Where I went to school, they offered like Vista Business 32 bit for like 20 bucks. But it was not in the bookstores. The bookstores were all privately owned. I would start by calling your information line and go from there, at least where I went to school, they should be able to direct you.
January 14, 2008 10:31:50 PM

I emailed the guy who supposedly heads this program up, here's what he said: "The MSDN Academic Alliance is an agreement to distribute specified Microsoft software to students enrolled in classes in a qualified program. The current qualified program at College of the Canyons is the Computer Networking program. This means that only students enrolled in an eligible Computer Networking course qualify for the free software.
I hope this answers your question."
:(  lol looks like that won't work out.

Hey, thanks ohiougrad, I'll try that, $20 would be fine with me. What am I asking for, though? is it a school-sponsored sale, or government program?
oh, and about that OCZ ram, it looks really good, but what do you think of this: Corsair XMS2 2gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I mean, I'd have to wait for the rebate, but would it be worth it? if the rebate came, it would only cost me $37.
Oh, and about your idea about the media reader, I love it! Trust me, I would wear that thing out, and it's much more convenient than using my clunky usb card reader, thanks man. About the whole amd system, I appreciate you explaining it, but I think i'll still go with intel, lots of people seem to think AMD is the cheaper brand (including my father).

January 14, 2008 10:48:46 PM

AMD is cheaper, that's why I prefer it, been using it over 10 years now, not 1 regret, I'll buy em as long as they make em:) . As for the software, I would just ask if they sell software to students on a discounted rate. My school actually did that same deal with microsoft office and the like.

Oh if you don't want to spend the money though, check out this link....

www.openoffice.org

Completely legal, 100% free office software, will do just about everything Microsoft office will do, and more in my opinion. I actually own a copy of Microsoft Office XP, but Open Office is what runs on my machine, Microsoft office is not even installed. It'll read Word Docs, Excel, etc, let you modify them, save to those formats, and even let you make pdf's, and you can't beat free. Maybe something else to help you in college.


EDIT

Btw, for your dad's info, a couple of years ago, AMD actually was the faster, better chip and intel was struggling to catch back up.
January 14, 2008 11:11:33 PM

ohiou_grad_06 said:


www.openoffice.org

Completely legal, 100% free office software, will do just about everything Microsoft office will do, and more in my opinion. I actually own a copy of Microsoft Office XP, but Open Office is what runs on my machine, Microsoft office is not even installed. It'll read Word Docs, Excel, etc, let you modify them, save to those formats, and even let you make pdf's, and you can't beat free. Maybe something else to help you in college.


Wow, I completely forgot about open office! That's what I'm running on every computer I own and have owned (sold my desktop recently :( ), and I agree with ohiou_grad_06, if anything it's better than Word/Office, and obviously free to boot.
January 14, 2008 11:16:11 PM

I have MS Office Licenses for my personal use, and I still use Open Office. My Wife, however, insists I put MS Office on her system.
January 14, 2008 11:29:38 PM

Drop the raptor...and drop the windows XP..and just get it from a friend/hack it. lol
January 14, 2008 11:30:40 PM

Answered on the DUPLICATE THREAD you made here.
January 15, 2008 9:42:21 AM

I can understand that issue, I attend DeVry University (Engineering School) I am actually getting my BS in Network and Telecommunications so that would explain the free stuffs. Sorry to get your hopes up like that I did not know that the MSDN was a technology incentive. =(
January 15, 2008 3:06:04 PM

No problem, it's fine. nhobo, that's not a duplicate thread, it was a completely different subject: I wanted to know if I had found a good deal on a processor/motherboard combo
January 15, 2008 4:26:26 PM

Old news, but I agree with WR2 also. Although many people are having minimal / fewer problems with Vista these days (as driver issues have been ironed out), XP Home or Pro will be painless out of the box. Your call; depends on how much s/w futzing you may have or want to do. Personally, Vista is an emphatic "No!" until SP1 is out and tested, and until it will run Sacred (or Sacred 2 comes out and runs in Vista) and everything else I want to run. You can refer to a compatibility list here:
http://www.iexbeta.com/wiki/index.php/Windows_Vista_Sof....

I also use OpenOffice.org, which is now at v2.3 now. Very solid. My only gripe with it is that it does not read WordPerfect's .wpd files, or Quattro Pro .wb3, so I have to convert elsewhere as I go along.
January 15, 2008 9:57:59 PM

Btw, better idea for the video card, a few dollars more than the last card I showed you, and a few dollars more, not much though...and no DX10...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That would be the Nvidia 7300gt, I think it'd be a step up from the 8400 gs you looked at, as well it's a 128 bit card vs a 64 bit card.
January 15, 2008 10:02:38 PM

^No. The 7300is pretty much dead. Try and get a ATI 2xxx or 3xxx second hand from a friend, etc. Or just get a 8400 and OC it, whic is still better (once OCed) than the 7300 and cheaper.
January 15, 2008 11:17:49 PM

Shadow, do you really believe that? Even though the 7300gt is a 128 bit card?
January 16, 2008 12:42:41 AM

You can buy a prebuild system like dell or HP. They often offer good software suite, discount for student and you can pay it monthly, so that would allow you to keep more cash for your college needs rather than taking a big chunk out of your budget.

I assemble and sell computer for other, and I often advise them to take that route..

As for AMD or Intel, both are quality product. Right now, Intel have the performance segment, but mainstrean, AMD has good reliable product as well as Intel.

I was putting exclusively AMD products before the Core2 because the last Pentium chip were more problematic due to higher heat output. I've seen too many heatsink loosing contact with the CPU creating problems I had to support.. None of my AMD based ever returned.. Now, the Core2 serie perform way better and is way more reliable than those they replace, so I don't mind using them when they are asked. I'm not making that for a living, only as a hobby, so reliability is important for me as I don't want to spend time fixing problems.
!