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Budget Desktop for college student.

Last response: in Systems
April 24, 2008 8:04:48 PM


I am a college student and really hate having to use a laptop as a primary computer, I am just more comfortable with a desktop. My budget is pretty limited and I am trying to stay under $1000 and hopefully even around $900. My goal is to have a computer capable of playing current games, and multimedia applications. Plus a ton of word processing I already have a mouse (hey, it's a first step) and I plan on using headphones as it is a dorm environment.
I also plan on discreetly swapping out parts from a previous build that my family at home currently uses.
Rosewill R5604-TBK 0.8mm SECC Screw-less Dual 120mm Fans ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $49.99
OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS ATX12V / EPS12V 600W Power Supply - $89.99
GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4 AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - $89.99
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Brisbane 2.5GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO4800DOBOX - $76.00
I will be swapping this processor with a 5200+ windsor
A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K - $43.99
Western Digital Caviar SE WD1200AAJS 120GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - $43.99
I will swap this out with a WD 250gb
LG 20X DVD±R Super Multi DVD Burner Black ATAPI / E-IDE Model GSA-H55NK - $23.99
EVGA 512-P3-N861-AR GeForce 9600GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - $149.99
Debated with this and 8800gt, but decided on this because I will be running at 1440*900
Linkworld LK2000B Black USB Standard Multimedia Keyboard - $14.99
Hanns·G HW-191DPB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - $174.99
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic SP1 32-bit English 1pk DSP OEI DVD - 89.99
I also have a copy of windows XP pro for system builders I could use. You can install system builders edition on multiple machines, right?

With shipping fees this comes out to $903.53. I would probably add more ram and a soundcard at a later date, when I manage to get some spare cash. Any observations or comments?
April 24, 2008 8:28:48 PM

Better idea (imo) with no SLI:

P35-DS3L/R or P5K
E2160/2180 OCed @3Ghz+ pwns most(80+%) AMD systems. Including X2 5200.

Everything else looks good :) .

April 24, 2008 8:34:34 PM

You cannot install system builders addition on multiple machines. Also get vista home premium if you are going to get vista it is worth the extra 20 bucks to get home premium. Vista basics lacks most of the "features" that make vista vista. If you are going to get home basic just get another copy of xp. Other than that it looks pretty good.

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April 24, 2008 8:39:09 PM

With the allendale cores, I know they can overclock like crazy, but with the stock fan can you really push it over 3ghz safely? Should I go with stock +as5 and go? Or get an aftermarket fan? And is this case well vented enough, I think so, but can never be too careful.

I am debating as I type this whether the PSU is over kill, but then again, is there ever such a thing?
April 24, 2008 8:40:57 PM

Check with your school's tech office. When I was at Pitt I got free copies of Windows/Office/Norton/Adobe etc. It was great.
April 24, 2008 8:41:24 PM

You should be fine until 2.8-3Ghz on stock for the E2x00.
April 24, 2008 8:52:43 PM

Thanks for the advice, I think I am pretty sold on this setup with the allendale.
April 24, 2008 8:59:31 PM

The build looks decent and leaves room to grow a bit later. I personally have that board and psu and have no problem with it.
April 24, 2008 9:04:29 PM

Deuce271 is right you should check with your school bookstore. Mine has vista ultimate for $15 and office 2007 for $45. Granted the vista is only the 32 bit edition but since you are only looking to get 2gb of ram it should not be an issue.
April 24, 2008 9:11:14 PM

How bout this one?

($120, 4GB when in stock)
($90, when in stock)
($90, 500Gb)
($26, OEM, you could spend $4 for a retail version)
($150, EVGA 9600GT)

Total No OS: $836 + S&H (not including MIR, or sale/special)(could also go with a cheaper MB/Proc)