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budget build? not for me ....sub $500

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Last response: in Systems
February 11, 2008 8:46:06 AM

Here is a build i'm working on for my brother -

He wants to run Vista Ultimate and get to know Media Center -
We both rec'd a free copy from Microsoft so he'd like to use it.

At this point he doesn't play any games - but you never know, he only owns a laptop right now.

I know antec is good so it starts here-

$80 - Antec NSK6580 Black/ Silver 0.8mm cold-rolled steel construction ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply

$100 - Update GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard

HDCP is important so picked this card -
$38 - Update EVGA 256-P2-N733-LR GeForce 8400GS 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

$74 - Update Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core

$95 - Update G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D

$30 - Update Sony NEC Optiarc 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model

$0 - WIndows Vista Ultimate

TOTAL $417 plus shipping -

what do you think? AND...

HOW DO you think this PC would compare to a older PC that is clean, no junk software, just whats needed,
running this set-up:

Intel P4 2.66
on an old ASUS board with 1g ram MAX - using Kingston extreme 512mb x 2
Nvidea GeForce4 MX440 graphics
WD - 200gig HDD
running XP sp2

just curious - to help offer comparison

More about : budget build 500

February 11, 2008 11:05:45 AM

I think it's well worth spending a few bucks more for a better GPU. If he's like a normal guy (non-gamer) who doesn't have a 360/PS3 and stopped gaming with the Super Nintendo, even an 8600gt would blow him away (especially if the e2160 is overclock to 3.2ghz):
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February 11, 2008 11:34:52 AM

Are you missing a HDD?

If on a tight budget, I would look at this Mobo and save about $40

Then you can parlay that into an 8600GT which can be has for $70-$80. The 8600GT should handle most games decently at moderate resultion with moderate detail. Not a great gaming card, but cheap and will get you by.

(Note: An After market cooler is not necessary. That chip normally hits 3.0Ghz easily on stock cooling. If you are on a budget no need for an after market cooler. It might run a little quieter or hit an extra 200Mhz, but not really a big deal on your budget.)
February 11, 2008 12:42:19 PM

try ATI for HD content; apparently they're better at it... HD3450, or something
February 11, 2008 1:22:37 PM

Ya ATI for a Media center is a better option. Especially if you use a HDTV down the road. Also if your pirated "I mean free" Windows Ultimate is 32bit you wont be able to use 4 gigs of ram.

Oh for comparison it wont be huge unless you overclock. If you overclock the difference will be night day.
February 11, 2008 5:29:49 PM

Yeah, my thought is that graphics are ez to upgrade - and people like to do it. Once he gets his new PC up and running i'm sure he'll want to see what he can do to improve, then he can get a good graphics card, when its not all done at once.

As for an ATI card - are the MoBo universal??

Are you missing a HDD?

Holy $#@& Yes! that is important.

If on a tight budget, I would look at this Mobo and save about $40 [...] 6813127031

This does look like a very good alternative and a good price - Abits are solid for OC'ing from what I hear?

Also, just so we are clear - My brother & own and run our own, entry level home theater company - typically we're mounting flat screens and install 5.1 audio in multi-purpose family rooms. we do home automation with distributed audio as well.

We were at a conference last year and took a free product training class that Microsoft was offering to promote Media Center - Home Theater PC'S are getting big, and Media Center is the automation that makes it easy.

At the end of class they gave every atendee a free copy of their best Vista Ultimate along with Media Center and the remote and IR kit for Media Center. .......
We were blown away - we had jumped into this class last minuted, b/c the one we had orginially signed up for wasn't what we thought it lucky was that eh!

The GS is actully only $28 aftr MIB, but i cld upgrade to the 8600GT for $31 more aftr MIB.

As for the missing HDD -

$75 - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard


amdfangirl Not to mention 'good' thermal paste

What is this??

So my new total after MIB's is....drumroll.......$470 - missing "thermal paste" and possible gfx upgrade

February 11, 2008 5:38:19 PM

Not to mention 'good' thermal paste
If I'm not mistaken the AC Freezer 7 Pro comes with Arctic Cooling MX-II applied. That is a very good thermal paste already, so you could save a few $ and not buy extra paste. (Unless you plan on removing / reapplying the HSF several times, then you may want to consider extra thermal paste :p )

February 12, 2008 5:12:06 AM

So overall you'd give this a thumbs up for a sub $500 system?

February 12, 2008 5:16:45 AM

So dude, I take it your getting your not getting a dell? :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
February 12, 2008 6:00:22 AM

This is a separate build from the other forum subjects I am in. This System is a single system that I am helping my brother with - where the other system I have been discussing in the HDD forum is for my personal use.

Again - do you have a Dell? Why do you think I should get one?