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New build (lite gaming, heavy surfing/homework) for collegwe student

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April 9, 2008 8:44:43 PM

OK, here's a system I am putting together for my daughter, who is a so-so gamer, likes to surf the net, and will need to do homework on.

The major components are pretty much what I am going to get, but would like a bit more info on the monitor (highlighted below). Any ideas would be welcome. Also, if you can come up with a better system for less than or equal to the total of this one, by all means throw in your suggestions.


Linkworld 3210-04-C2628 Black/ Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: 3210-04-C2628
Item #: N82E16811164040
$27.99 -$5.00 Instant $22.99

ASUS EAH3650 TOP/HTDI/256M/A Radeon HD 3650 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #: EAH3650 TOP/HTDI/256
Item #: N82E16814121232
$89.99 $89.99

Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC ATX 430W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: W0070RUC
Item #: N82E16817153023
$39.99 $39.99

Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E2160 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E2160
Item #: N82E16819116036
$69.99 $69.99

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K - Retail
Model #: ADQVE1A16K
Item #: N82E16820211066
$42.99 $42.99

EXCELSTOR Jupiter Series ESJ8160S 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: ESJ8160S
Item #: N82E16822210004
$44.99 $44.99

Logitech 967738-0403 Black USB Standard Deluxe 250 Keyboard - OEM
Model #: 967738-0403
Item #: N82E16823126013
$8.99 -$1.00 Instant $7.99

Hanns·G JW-199DPB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
Model #: JW-199DPB
Item #: N82E16824254001
$189.99 -$20.00 Instant $169.99


Logitech RX1000 931710-0403 Black/Silver 4 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB Wired Laser Mouse - OEM
Model #: 931710-0403
Item #: N82E16826104014
$22.99 -$2.00 Instant $20.99

ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black IDE Model DRW-2014L1 - Retail
Model #: DRW-2014L1
Item #: N82E16827135163
$35.99 $35.99

GIGABYTE GA-P35-S3G LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-P35-S3G
Item #: N82E16813128084
$79.99 $79.99

Subtotal: $625.89
April 9, 2008 9:28:11 PM

Only things I would change are the RAM, HDD, and motherboard.
I recomend you get better RAM from another company like Corsair, Patriot, G.Skill, or Crucial. I have had A-Data die on me more than 4 times and after that never bought A-Data. The HDD is not the best of brands. I recommend you stick to Seagate, WD, or Samsung. This is one part you CAN'T have failure on, esp. since you will be using this for homework,etc. I realize that all HDDs will eventually fail, but better brand HDDs have higher MTBF. **Remember to do regular backups!** If possible get a good HSF and a P35- DS3L and OC the CPU. Also go with a SATA DVD burner if possible.
April 9, 2008 10:06:49 PM

I agree with shadow, but I'd change the hard drive for another reason too...as a student you will probably end up having a huge amount of films/music/games etc so you might want a bigger hard drive. You could always go for an external if and when you need it though. But the most important thing about the drive will be your work. Word documents etc, don't take up a large amount of space...but you definitely cannot lose that stuff, get a decent brand.
Related resources
April 10, 2008 1:33:50 AM

OK, thanks for the suggestions....Now what, exactly, is wrong with the MOBO???

Linkworld 3210-04-C2628 Black/ Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: 3210-04-C2628
Item #: N82E16811164040
$27.99 -$5.00 Instant $22.99

GIGABYTE GA-P35-S3G LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-P35-S3G
Item #: N82E16813128084
$79.99 $79.99


ASUS EAH3650 TOP/HTDI/256M/A Radeon HD 3650 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #: EAH3650 TOP/HTDI/256
Item #: N82E16814121232
$89.99 $89.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX ATX12V V2.2 450W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: CMPSU-450VX
Item #: N82E16817139003
$79.99 -$5.00 Instant $74.99


Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E2160 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E2160
Item #: N82E16819116036
$69.99 $69.99

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
Model #: F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ
Item #: N82E16820231098
$84.99 -$40.00 Instant $44.99


Seagate SV35.2 ST3320620SV 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: ST3320620SV
Item #: N82E16822148245
$89.99 $89.99


Logitech 967738-0403 Black USB Standard Deluxe 250 Keyboard - OEM
Model #: 967738-0403
Item #: N82E16823126013
$8.99 -$1.00 Instant $7.99

Hanns·G JW-199DPB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
Model #: JW-199DPB
Item #: N82E16824254001
$189.99 -$20.00 Instant $169.99

Logitech RX1000 931710-0403 Black/Silver 4 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB Wired Laser Mouse - OEM
Model #: 931710-0403
Item #: N82E16826104014
$22.99 -$2.00 Instant $20.99

SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S203N - OEM
Model #: SH-S203N
Item #: N82E16827151154
$34.99 $34.99

Subtotal: $706.89
April 10, 2008 3:06:32 AM

There is nothing wrong with that board as far as I know, the DS3L has a strong following and has proven itself, haven't heard much about the S3G.
You can get the power supply for $50 and free shipping from the link I posted above.
April 10, 2008 3:23:07 AM

I have read some good reviews for this board...So, it's a bit less expensive...But, IDK...maybe I'll just eat the xtra $$$
April 10, 2008 4:16:37 AM

If she's in a dorm, I hope she doesn't end up on the top floor like me. I decided to stick with my tablet only (which is required here) because carrying a tower up 6 flights of stairs is no fun. Needless to say, I've been limited to 5 year old games since the beginning of the semester. Not next semester, though :D 

Looks good. I second the better HD and backup drive.
April 10, 2008 4:55:51 AM

I would seriously recommend a laptop if she isn't gaming much.
April 10, 2008 5:10:28 AM

The mobo should be fine... only differences I'm aware of is that the S3G has one PCIe x1 slot but five PCI slots and while the DS3L has 3 of each. The onboard sound is also worse, but should be adequate for your daughter. It also has a more clumsy layout in my opinion.

Are you planning to overclock this machine for your daughter? If not, I think your money might be better spent on an AMD setup. Or as others have said, you can get her a laptop. You won't get the same performance for the money, but it's definitely convenient for a college student.

There's usually deals everywhere for laptops... here's a $600 one that looks about the same specs as the desktop you're looking to build sans the graphics: Click here. Unless your daughter likes to play around with computer parts, she'd probably be happier with a notebook. Go into any dorm room nowadays, and more likely than not the students will have a laptop.
April 10, 2008 3:29:52 PM

My daughter is going the JC route before officially specializing. She wants to get the basics out of the way and will be staying with me.

Oushi, nice looking laptop...
I have a Xigmatek S963 cooler so I can OC the 2160 fairly decently. And w/ the 2160's price, I doubt I can find a better deal on AMD....
April 10, 2008 3:36:54 PM

MB vote....DS3L
April 10, 2008 5:13:43 PM

Hi. I'm building a similar system right now. I have heard very good things about the Hanns-G monitors; I do not have direct experience with one however. I have had good luck with the Acer monitors, however. The X193W+BD is in the same price-range, around $180us on NewEgg. 1680x1050 with a 2000:1 contrast. very clear, sharp picture.

The ATI 3650 is a very good choice for a video card. Hardcore gamers scoff at it, but for day-to-day use, they work great. I have the Sapphire model, and the fan is very quiet. I can not hear it over the sound of the Sony Opti-arc when I have a disk in (reading or writing). It has a very low power-draw as well.

If you will be installing Vista, you may want a faster CPU, but I have no experience with the E2### series, so that could be fine. I would consider Kingston, Crucial or Corsair for the RAM. I have heard well of G-Skill as well, but Kingston is my old-faithful brand.

I have had good luck with the Gigabyte p35 Motherboards, especially the GA-EP35-DS3P. Very solid board, but about twice the cost of the DS3L.

For the HardDrive, I would recommend Western Digital, or Seagate, unless you have had good luck with the EXCELSTORs. I wouldn't worry much about the size of the installed hdd, externals are very handy, and work great for a movable iTunes library.

Overall, looks like a good low-end build-out.
!