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Advice on New Computer Build for a friend

Last response: in Systems
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April 6, 2008 11:27:41 PM

Hey guys, I'm building a computer for a friend of mine with a low budget. What do you think of this configuration?

$55.00 -600watt PS with Case
http://cgi.ebay.com/Mid-PC-Computer-Case-w-600w-Power-S...

$65.00 AMD Opteron 1.8GHZ Dual Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$88.00 Biostar AM2+ motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$70.00 A DATA 2x2GB RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$175.00 HIS HD3870 512MB GDDR4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$65.00 Seagate 250GB 7200 RPM Hard drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$25.00 for DVD Burner

$130.00 Vista Ultimate 64bit OEM

Total: Roughly $673

What do you guys think of this build? I chose the opteron because it has a large cache compared to the Brisbane processors. It also is very overclockable according to reviews.

April 7, 2008 12:00:21 AM

That PSU in that case is too cheap to be reliable for a long period of time. If the PSU goes out it can take out the motherboard and possibly the cpu and no telling what else.

If you are going to build an all out cheap system then go for it, the components wont matter anyway but if you dont want that risk then spend more on the PSU.

You can get a good motherboard and cpu combo that may save some money to cover the cost of the psu upgrade.

Cheap suggestions:


Located from pricewatch.com
http://www.portatech.com/catalog/viewitem.asp?ID=25354&...

http://www.pricewatch.com/motherboard_combos/athlon_x2_...

This is the specific cpu combo I was referring to with the above link:
http://www.smksuperstore.com/catalog/landpw.asp?ID=652&...

Theres dozens of options but for the same price you can get a much better cpu and for less you can still get a good cpu with a much better psu for the same budget. If your friend can come up with a few more bucks he can have both...

April 7, 2008 12:18:24 AM

I think my friend might be willing to go up to 900 total. What would be a good Power Supply and Case?
Related resources
April 7, 2008 12:30:56 AM

Isn't an AM2+ motherboard better so that he can uprade to 45nm phenom processors in the future?
April 7, 2008 1:55:36 AM

AMD is cheaper though, and I can spend the extra money for buying a better GPU or setting up a RAID of hard drives. My friend and his family probably won't notice the difference between the conroe and athlon x2. Setting up a Raid would be a more noticable performance wise wouldn't it?
April 7, 2008 2:08:14 AM

look at the S&H on that case.

if you want to go cheap, your on the right path. I might up the CPU to a 5000+ BE. if your looking at a $900 budget, it may be better spent on Intel.

you might consider a 780g based mobo if your not interested in crossfire. I like having the OBG option in case something goes wrong with the video card. I'm getting ready to offload my system to the mother-in-law and keeping my vid card. OBG is good enough for her and there is $50 I saved.
April 7, 2008 2:08:54 AM

Raids don't give much performance boost at all.
April 7, 2008 3:28:10 AM

Hmn, that is a pretty good deal. Although the I don't like how it uses the old phenom with TLB bug. Also it has only 2 dimm slots. I have a question, should I give the guy a cheap quad core such as the phenom 9550 or should I go for a powerful dual core?
April 7, 2008 6:21:24 AM

Looks like a sweet case but what's that brand again? LOL, I thought lead was bad for you. If you were to give the case a go the risk is fairly minimal but be aware of crappy power supplies. 1 in 100 may seem like an acceptable failure rate unless you're the 1 with the fried HDD or mobo. I lost 3 hard drives 1 after another a few years ago. If you're gonna overclock get a real PSU.

I am a big fan of Antec. You can spend lots of money on a power supply but you don't need much for a basic system.
April 7, 2008 5:18:52 PM

Okay, here is my revised build:

$40.00 Linkworld Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$35 for Linkworld 630 watt Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$85.00 for Gigabyte AMD 770 Motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$90.00 for AMD 5000+ BE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$70.00 A DATA 2x2GB RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$175.00 for HIS ATI 3870 512 GDDR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$65.00 Seagate 250GB 7200 RPM Hard drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$25.00 for DVD Burner

$130.00 Vista Ultimate 64bit OEM

Totaling just $715 w/o tax.


April 7, 2008 5:43:57 PM

That PSU is crap. It wont last and it dont say it has failure protection. In some reviews it took everything out when it blew. If you are gonna buy a crap PSU make sure it has overload protection.
April 8, 2008 2:48:48 PM

Thanks for the advise with the Power Supply guys. Here is my latest setup. I changed the graphics card to the 8800gt because I have heard it outperforms the ATI 3870 by quite a bit and its not that much more to pay. I also changed the motherboard to an SLI MSI AM2+ motherboard. My idea behind this setup, is to give my friend a good computer that will be easily upgradable in the future. That's why I chose a moterbaord with 4 RAM slots, AM2+ socket, and 2 PCI-Express slots. When this computer does get old in 3-5 years; my friend should just be able to add more RAM, put in a 45nm phenom, and throw in another 8800gt and it will be back in business.
So what do you yall think of this revised setup?

$40.00 Linkworld Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$60.00 HEC ACE580 580 watt Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$90.00 for AMD NVIDIA 570lt SLI Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$100.00 for AMD 5000+ BE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$70.00 A DATA 2x2GB RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$200.00 NVIDIA 8800GT 512MB Graphics Card

$65.00 Seagate 250GB 7200 RPM Hard drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822148262

$25.00 for DVD Burner

$130.00 Vista Ultimate 64bit OEM

Totaling just $780 w/o tax and shipping.
April 9, 2008 6:18:59 AM

look at the hyper transport rating. that isn't a true AM2+. I think the only true AM2+ are the AMD 770 and 780 currently. nVidia will run fine on AMD, assuming you are skipping SLI. I'd suggest skipping SLI. in your 3-5 years, the new midrange cards will smoke a pair of SLI'd 8800 for less than the purchase of 1 more 8800. I considered the same thing for my 7900gs, and that was way less than 3 years.

that PSU is crap. anything that has a voltage switch is old tech. I'd suggest an 80+ efficiency PSU.

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

I chose these 2 because thay are 80+ good name brand, good rating, 120mm fan fairly cheap and should have enough power for you needs. I didn't look into it further


as you're planning for a phenom upgrade, consider a 1066 or higher rated memory

I'd also consider a microATX mobo and case. its nice having a smaller box, and you dont need more slots unless your going SLI/Crossfire (as I said earlier, not worth it)
!