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UPDATED: Please evaluate this $880 build (for my father-in-law)

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Last response: in Systems
February 24, 2008 4:19:32 PM

After seeing my system that I just built (E8400@4.1GHz, 880GTS 512, Abit IP35-Pro, etc, etc) my father-in-law wants me to build him a "scaled down" computer for him.

I know how to put together a mid-high end system but I'm not as confident in these lower end components.

What do you guys think? :

Intel Pentium E2180 Allendale 2.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ Windsor 2.4GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX All Solid Capacitor AMD Motherboard

EVGA GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

XFX PVT88SFDF4 GeForce 8800GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16

Antec NeoPower 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (overkill but he like the lights on mine, lol)

SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B - OEM

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA-300 Hard Drive - OEM

Crucial Ballistix 4GB (4 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM

Total Cost: $810 $880 before MIRs

UPDATE: Took advice of thread and moved to AMD / 8800GS based on benchmarks, etc.

Thoughts on new build?

More about : updated evaluate 880 build father law

February 24, 2008 4:23:11 PM

are u going to overclock it?

Also, what does he want to do? Game, surf the internet, movies, etc?
February 24, 2008 4:25:02 PM

I'll probably OC it a bit (w/o telling him :)  ) but not enough to need a HSF. I've read the 2180 is a great OCer.

He does mostly internet, email, office apps. No vid editing or FPS games. Some older RTS games and kids play WoW over there some times.

Related resources
February 24, 2008 4:27:22 PM

Get the E2160 instead of the 80. The E2180 seems to be very power hungry and has a limit at a FSB of 300 :( .

Otherwise that build seems fine for his needs. I would say to upgrade that GPU because the 8600's suck, but its not required
February 24, 2008 5:14:47 PM

Also, might consider AMD if not doing too much overclocking, maybe a little more bang for the buck. Also, newegg has the 8800 gs for 149.99 I think, which I think you'd find would be a lot nicer card.

Also since it's a budget build, maybe Antec Earthwatts 500 watt PSU would be decent and save 15-20 bucks.

Maybe like this....

Biostar AMD AM2+ board, 79.99

AMD Athlon 4600+ x2 71.99

Memory 2x2 GSkill PC6400(4 gb) 84.99

8800 gs 320 mb video card 149.99

How about this for a case? Never heard of the brand, but similar light setup to the Antec, and it's only 40 bucks...

Here's another case, I like this one maybe better than the other...But it's 65 vs the 40.

So there are a few options for you to shave off some cash.
February 24, 2008 9:14:31 PM

Agree AMD would be the way to go. This mobo is more expensive but better quality than the BIOSTAR. The Antec Sonata III is a nice case with a good PSU. I'd stay away from cheap PSUs. I'd think twice about overclocking give you'll be support if anything happens. ADATA makes good RAM if you're not seriously overclocking. Given waht he's doing not sure he'll really need 4GB of RAM
February 24, 2008 9:18:06 PM

go with AMD if you're going for a low end CPU at stock... apparently they're better or cheaper; can't remember which
February 25, 2008 1:37:56 AM

Cheaper, good performance at stock as well. Also, I run my machine with 2gb of ram, and it's fast. I think 2gb would be fine, can always add more later.
February 25, 2008 2:23:37 AM

Shift the cost of the extra 2 gigs of ram into the video card upgrade, for sure...
February 25, 2008 4:14:13 AM


An 8400gs/8500gt would be fine.
February 25, 2008 4:25:14 AM

He does game some, just not high end gaming, yet. Games are evolving and if you are spending 800.00 period on something then you want it in your CPU and video card along with good quality components.

Just a suggestion to future proof for when Solitare fully utilizes multi core cpus and direct x 10... ;) 
February 25, 2008 4:48:10 AM

Looks good. Here's what I'd change.
1. Get the Samsung 500gb hd. Better benchmarks and reviews.
2. Get 2x2gb ram. If you're going to Vista 64, you might as well have 4gb
3. Get an Arctic cooling Freezer 7 Pro Heatsink, or similar or better and overclock the cpu to 3.0Ghz. Should be able to get it rock stable at this speed and still be nice and cool.

Video card looks ok for price and use. But if he doesn't game at all, you could get a fanless 8400gs for $35. If he does game a good amount, get a better card.
February 29, 2008 5:17:47 PM

/bump because of updated components.
February 29, 2008 5:24:24 PM

For the same price as the amd build, you can get an e2160, DS3L, and ACF7P ($22.71shipped from ewiz) and overclock it. It will kick that amd systems butt. However, if you don't intend to overclock, then amd will give you the best value.
February 29, 2008 5:50:03 PM

You don't even eed an after market cooler for the E2160.
It will do 3.0 to 3.2Ghz w/o a problem on Stock Cooling.

Some 3.3 and 3.4 is possible on stock as well, but it would likely run warm.
February 29, 2008 7:41:15 PM

for a little bit more money you could look at the newer 9600 GT vid cards. Specs look a little better than that of the 8800 GS. Just a thought.