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could I do this?

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March 7, 2008 8:23:50 AM

Hello all,

Hope everyone will excuse the odd question.

I am trying to see if it is possible to put together a $500 PC as a base type system (does not need to be blistering fast) and later be able to upgrade for about the same amount too double, maybe triple performance.

I know it is more cost efficient to build my end specs now but my son is my main money drain, followed very closely by my wife.

This board has been a great inspiration to me so far, and I feel that if anyone can find this someone here can.

I am not overly fond of any brands and would consider any options.

thanks in advance

I do have a few parts I feel i can use in the new build ( Asus 7800 gt PCI-E, Antec EA 500 watt PSU)



Come one come all, Show me that way

More about : question

March 7, 2008 10:05:11 AM

Mobo: GA-P35-DS3L $90
CPU: E2160/2180 ($70-80)
RAM: G.Skill 2x1GB DDR2 800 $45
HDD: Wester Digital 250GB $70
Case: CoolerMaster Centurion 5 or 534 $50 (may want to purchase an extra fan to mount as front intake on those, but fans are cheap.)

So far that's 335 before tax & shipping. You can get a DVD ROM for ~$20 and keyboard mouse combo for ~$20 as well (Microsoft comfort curve + mouse combo, USB with wires)

So that puts you at 375 which leaves only 125 for a monitor, if you can find a used one in the paper you'd be good to go, or a refurb maybe online. Cheapest new I've seen around is $160 for LCD. Haven't really looked into CRT's at all.

All those prices are quoted from newegg.
March 7, 2008 1:39:43 PM

I would agree with something similar to the build above. Asus and Gigabyte are my intel mobo brands of choice. G.Skill memory is just good solid mainstream memory. A lowend Core2 is a good choice, you can upgrade later. I would transplant the 7800GT card for now.
Related resources
March 7, 2008 2:43:44 PM

Pous is right. That is the best build you will get for that price right now.
March 7, 2008 2:44:09 PM

CPU and RAM are easy upgrades. HD upgrades are a bit more work as you gotta move stuff over, so I'd suggest a modern era HD if ya can swing it. A 7200.11 w/ 500 GB is only $50 more than the WD above. A MoBo or case upgrade OTOH is essentially a complete rebuild so I'd want to get "as good as I can get" with those from the getgo.

Monitors, KB's mouse etc are really simple upgrades.

I always start with a "what ya want when ya done" component list and then start paring down one item at a time to meet a budget.
March 7, 2008 3:16:13 PM

You guys are forgetting about the operating sytem.

Chalk up $100 for XP OEM version and you're now pushing $700.
March 7, 2008 4:44:48 PM

deuce271 said:
You guys are forgetting about the operating sytem.

Chalk up $100 for XP OEM version and you're now pushing $700.


So the $375 I mention above, + 100 for OEM windows = 475, if he can find a lightly used monitor in the paper in his area for like $25 he'd be all set. Still have shipping on main order, but it could be a lot worse.
March 7, 2008 5:00:38 PM

I'm ok with OS as a friend at work was given a downloaded version that has 10 times legit use from his buddies liscensing agreement at his work (had to use it or lose it at end of year thing)

I also went AMD route and was able to put one together for roughly $400 without PSU, Video card and OS.

gonna post it in a bit as I just got home and can not post at work (damnIT people imagine them thinking I should be working on a company comp ALLDAY)

Again thanks for all the responses and i hope some of you will look over the one I found and compare maybe to the one above( which I like alot)

March 7, 2008 5:31:57 PM

Just another idea what do you think of these?



ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T - Retail
Item #: N82E16827135156
-$3.00 Instant $39.99
$36.99

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-SKN2-GP Black / Silver Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119104
$49.99

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JBRTL 250GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - Retail
Item #: N82E16822144171
$69.99

ASUS M3A78-EMH HDMI AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131273
$89.99

THis MB has got me curious, decent on-board with the ability to piggyback a nice card on top

Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 B2L-00047 Black USB Ergonomics Keyboard Mouse Included - OEM
Item #: N82E16823109156
$21.99

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
-$40.00 Instant $84.99
$44.99

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Brisbane 2.2GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO4200DOBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103243
Item #: N82E16800995043

not as clockable as the 21XX series but not a slouch either for the money ( I am more interseted in upgrading than OC'ing at this time also (who knows :bounce:  the future)

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$39.99 Combo $105.98
$65.99

Subtotal: $379.93
Guaranteed 3 Day Service -- Shipping: $20.51

Grand Total: $400.44

will likely use my 27 inch LCD/tv for a bit till more money is found under the sofa cushions
March 7, 2008 5:45:41 PM

I think for upgrading in the future you'd be better off to stick with Intel. With that DS3L gigabyte motherboard you can upgrade later to a quad core if you want. Not sure if or how that works with the AMD side of things, but Intel also has better options for OC'ing if that's something you decide to pursue now or in the future.
March 7, 2008 6:05:37 PM

If you plan on upgrading in the future, stick with intel. The current amd am2 boards are supposed to be compatible with the newer phenoms etc, but none of the manufacturers are writing any bios updates to make them so.

Also, you'll need a good quality psu. You can find a good quality antec or corsair psu for $60- $80. You'll also need a video card. You can get a basic card for $25-$40. Maybe a nvidia 7300 or 8400 series card.
March 7, 2008 6:09:57 PM

I do have a few parts I feel i can use in the new build ( Asus 7800 gt PCI-E, Antec EA 500 watt PSU)
The board above has really good on board according to Tom's review
March 7, 2008 6:24:16 PM

Moodystranger said:
I do have a few parts I feel i can use in the new build ( Asus 7800 gt PCI-E, Antec EA 500 watt PSU)
The board above has really good on board according to Tom's review


Oops, didn't see that. Then I'll second the suggestion of pous. That's a good setup and you can later on add a Q6600 or Q9650 etc, more ram, and a better vga card and have a very nice upgrade to the system.

edit: I'd also add an after market heatsink like the ACF7P for $25shipped from ewiz. That way you can overclock to 3+ ghz and have a good performance increase.
March 7, 2008 8:02:43 PM

orangegator said:
If you plan on upgrading in the future, stick with intel. The current amd am2 boards are supposed to be compatible with the newer phenoms etc, but none of the manufacturers are writing any bios updates to make them so.

Also, you'll need a good quality psu. You can find a good quality antec or corsair psu for $60- $80. You'll also need a video card. You can get a basic card for $25-$40. Maybe a nvidia 7300 or 8400 series card.



780G boards are AM2+ so they are out of the box compatible with Phenom. The chipset was released after Phenom was launched.
March 7, 2008 8:41:37 PM

Moodystranger said:
Just another idea what do you think of these?



ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T - Retail
Item #: N82E16827135156
-$3.00 Instant $39.99
$36.99

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-SKN2-GP Black / Silver Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119104
$49.99

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JBRTL 250GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - Retail
Item #: N82E16822144171
$69.99

ASUS M3A78-EMH HDMI AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131273
$89.99

THis MB has got me curious, decent on-board with the ability to piggyback a nice card on top

Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 B2L-00047 Black USB Ergonomics Keyboard Mouse Included - OEM
Item #: N82E16823109156
$21.99

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
-$40.00 Instant $84.99
$44.99

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Brisbane 2.2GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO4200DOBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103243
Item #: N82E16800995043

not as clockable as the 21XX series but not a slouch either for the money ( I am more interseted in upgrading than OC'ing at this time also (who knows :bounce:  the future)

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$39.99 Combo $105.98
$65.99

Subtotal: $379.93
Guaranteed 3 Day Service -- Shipping: $20.51

Grand Total: $400.44

will likely use my 27 inch LCD/tv for a bit till more money is found under the sofa cushions


I was looking at a very similar build for my girlfriend who wants something cheap that she can play WoW and the Sims 2 on. I personally think that this would be the best route. If you decide you need some more power, just drop a Phenom in there later and a better graphics cards and voila: sweet new rig.
!