1st timer, low budget, me & wife project :)

After reading this article, $500 Gaming PC: Day 1, Component Selection http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-graphic-game,1810.html ,
my wife and I decided to try building our first computer. Neither of us has built a PC since 2003? 2004?
I'm sure lots has changed. I'm sure lots is still the same.

Here is a wishlist I created on NewEgg. At first, all the components were nearly identical to the above TomsHardware article, but I've changed a few things.
Can yall take a glance at my wishlist? I want to make sure, everything will work well together.

Here is my wishlist:
https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=7486391&WishListTitle=new+PC+%2D+april+22
Here is a briefing:
Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard
XFX PVT88SFDF4 GeForce 8800GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
Intel Pentium E2200 Allendale 2.2GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E2200
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-2GBPK
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
ViewSonic Optiquest Series Q201wb Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-115DBK
COOLER MASTER RR-CCH-L9U1-GP 92mm Hyper TX2 CPU Cooler
Subtotal: $804.87


Our goal is to stay under $1,000.
I'm hoping to get this done within a week or two!

*EDIT*
I'm sure I'll be asked, 'What do you intend to do with this PC?'
Well, I am NOT a gamer. I'm a budding freelance web developer (90%+ of my time is spent coding xhtml/css/php). I use mostly OpenSource/Free software titles.
Perhaps the only graphic intense part of my daily use would be watching videos on YouTube, maybe a rented DVD! I do some of my graphic work in
Macromedia Fireworks (older version). I'm going to run XP Pro, and future plans involve dual-boot between Ubuntu 8 and XP.

Any and all help is appreciated!
:)
16 answers Last reply
More about timer budget wife project
  1. HOWTO: Overclock C2Q (Quads) and C2D (Duals) - A Guide v1.5.2

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overclock-quads-duals-guide
  2. thanks evongugg, I'll look into those later!

    Anyone else?
  3. Exellent choices. I would switch the hard drive to a 7200.11. Maybe... but may not be worth the extra money, switch out the processor with an E4500, it depends on how comfortable you feel about overclocking. I would definately switch out the memory to 2 x 2GB though, 4GB will only cost you another $25-$35 over 2GB of memory... on average, depends on the brands you like and what not.
  4. Seems your rig is ready for Q6600
    Also for 170$ you can get XFX PVT88PYHE4 GeForce 8800GT Extreme 512MB on Newegg
  5. Even for 175$ you can get
    MSI NX8800GT 512M OC GeForce 8800GT 512MB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127329
  6. For the most part, I really just want to make absolute 100% certain that all the components are compatible.

    On the specifications of the motherboard, it says DDR2 1066 is the Memory Standard. My RAM is DDR2 1066.

    Other than that, I don't know what else to make double sure is compatible.
  7. I don't think the 8800 series cards could be considered a bad idea at all. If you start considering gaming or try it later, you want a card that can handle it. That said, the 8800 gs will be perfect for your needs. In fact, look on newegg, they were carrying an overclocked edition of the 8800gs which should do as good as the 9600gt, which is not much worse than the 8800gt somebody suggested earlier.

    Secondly, do you intend to overclock? If not, I might suggest an AMD chip and AMD compatible motherboard as opposed to Intel. Why? Well it is true that Intel is currently the performance king, if you are looking mainstream products, or toward lower end, or midrange and don't want to overclock price vs performance on those conditions, I think AMD will suit your needs better.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103212

    Here's a board to compliment it.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138081

    Nice thing about this board vs an intel rig, is it will give you room to grow. As far as I know, when Intel's newer chips come out, the LGA socket 775 will be starting to get phased out. With AMD, that AM2+ board will give you breathing room, because later you can go to AMD's 4 core processors, or 3 core processors as they get down in price, and as they are better perfected, so I'd consider that as well, that say in a year if you want faster, pop in a new chip, reset your settings and your good to go again.

    A little cheaper than your chip, but also faster. I have an Athlon X2 5200+, stock speed, and it runs fine. Mine runs cool, runs all my games and everything I could want it to. Very pleased with it. Also, if it comes with a heatsink as mine did, you'll save some money there as well. Mine at idle runs around 30 degrees celcius with the stock heatsink and fan.

    Also, another thing, memory. Save yourself some money here too. The memory your getting is probably at least 60 bucks for 2 1 gb sticks. Don't need that fast right now. This is slightly slower, but is half the price.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820161172

    Save some money, or double your memory, your choice.

    Last thing, hard drive, get 2 smaller drives instead of one larger one. Why? Redundancy. I just had to format our system as we were having problems with Vista getting really slow, and so I formatted it, but thankfully I was able to borrow a 500gb hard drive from my work to load all my stuff onto. It makes it nice when you can save everything onto a secondary drive, then if you have a problem, nuke the one that has your OS on it, reload it, and everything is still on the other drive.


    You like open source stuff?

    openoffice.org free office program. I even have a copy of Microsoft Office XP I bought sitting unused b/c I use this instead.

    Need a program like norton ghost?

    http://www.clonezilla.org/

    I have never used this program, but it looks good, and for those times when you just want to keep your system like it is, if it does what norton ghost will, it should be able to take a kind of snapshot picture of your system once you get it running, then if you have problems, you should have an image you'd made from this program that you can reload and hopefully not lose anything. If it's like ghost, you should be up and running from a crash in 30 minutes. Very nice. I work in IT so tools like this make it nice, I've not tried this one myself, but I think I'm going to. The features look good and you can't beat the price.

    Oh, since your a web developer, you'll appreciate this, find a program called icofx it's a freeware icon making program. Let's you edit icons I believe, but one thing I like, you can take a picture/photo, import it into this program and save a copy of it as an icon. Painless, nice quick and easy. Give you that extra touch if your doing pages professionally. That should get you started. Have fun!
  8. I'd say everything above a $50 Sapphire 3450 (with dual DVI) is a BAD IDEA. ;)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102731

    And I'd switch the 250GB hard drive with a WD6400AAKS for $110 for the money saved.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

    OrganizedFellow said:
    On the specifications of the motherboard, it says DDR2 1066 is the Memory Standard. My RAM is DDR2 1066.
    There is no DDR2 1066 Standard. DDR2 1066MHz is overclocked 800MHz memory. You don't need it unless you want massive 400MHz FSB (double stock speed) overclocks.
    PC2-6400 is the way to go.
  9. I disagree on the video though, 8800gs can be found at 100 bucks with rebate, at that price, it's a steal.
  10. ^It's not if you are not going to use it.
    If he decides to start gaming he can always upgrade later (and get a better card). For basic 3D games even the HD 3450 is enough.
  11. Sorry about the double post. I have thread update issues.
  12. ohiou_grad_06 said:
    I don't think the 8800 series cards could be considered a bad idea at all. If you start considering gaming or try it later, you want a card that can handle it

    I've nothing against gaming, I'm just not into it. And for all foreseeable purposes, I highly doubt I will.
    :)

    I just went with that model cause it was/is the same one from the article I mention in my original post.

    I just want something well enough to work on a 20"-22" monitor.

    ohiou_grad_06 said:
    ... Secondly, do you intend to overclock? If not, I might suggest an AMD chip and AMD compatible motherboard as opposed to Intel. Why? Well it is true that Intel is currently the performance king, if you are looking mainstream products, or toward lower end, or midrange and don't want to overclock price vs performance on those conditions, I think AMD will suit your needs better ...


    I have no intent, to begin with, to overclock.
    I'm a rookie builder, remember? LMAO

    I'd like to learn how to build my new PC and have it do what I need it to do sufficiently well.
    Perhaps my next build or upgrade can be overclocked?


    As for the disk image idea, I've used Drive Image XML with great success before.
    I recently bought a Western Digital MyBook external 500 GB hard drive for my shtuff.

    Memory?
    No need for 4 gigs, as I won't be using the 64-bit version of XP Pro, only the 32-bit version.

    Multiple Harddrives?
    I think it would be awesome to have a 10,000 rpm model (for the OS + apps) and a standard 7,200 rpm one (for general storage).

    Icons?
    I've really enjoyed creating them in Fireworks. Pixel by Pixel, that's the most fun!
    :)
  13. I agree with ohiou_grad_06 about going with AMD since you're looking for a low budget non-overclocker. The 780G sounds like it would be perfect for your purposes. Here are my recommendations:

    Case/PSU: Antec Sonata III w/ 500W Earthwatts- $99.99 (after $30 rebate) + free shipping
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ - $76.00 + free shipping
    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H - $99.99 + $7 shipping
    Memory: A-Data 2GB DDR2 800 - $39.99 + $5.99 shipping
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST3250410AS 7200.10 250GB - $64.99 + free shipping
    Optical: Samsung DVD±RW SATA - $26.99 + free shipping
    Monitor: Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - $219.99 + $15.42 shipping
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total (including rebates and shipping): $656.35
  14. ***LATEST CHANGES***
    Case
    Thermaltake M9 VI1000BWS Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $79.99
    Model #: VI1000BWS
    Item #: N82E16811133058

    Mobo
    GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - $89.99
    Model #: GA-P35-DS3L
    Item #: N82E16813128059

    Video
    XFX PVT88SFDF4 GeForce 8800GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - $129.99
    Model #: PVT88SFDF4
    Item #: N82E16814150275

    PSU
    Thermaltake Purepower RX W0144RU ATX12V / EPS12V 600W Power Supply - $119.99
    Model #: W0144RU
    Item #: N82E16817153049

    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E6550 - $159.99
    Model #: BX80557E6550
    Item #: N82E16819115030

    Memory
    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-2GBPK - $59.99
    Model #: F2-8500CL5D-2GBPK
    Item #: N82E16820231144

    HDD
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $59.99
    Model #: ST3250310AS
    Item #: N82E16822148261

    Optical
    Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-115DBK - OEM - $29.99
    Model #: DVR-115DBK
    Item #: N82E16827129018

    OS
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional With SP2C - OEM - $139.99
    Model #: E85-05040
    Item #: N82E16832116400

    Subtotal: $869.91


    As I expected, I knew I was gonna go over budget!
    Monitor + keyboard/mouse will put me over!
    LMAO ... awwhh, damn!
    Whatcha think now?!
  15. OrganizedFellow said:
    ***LATEST CHANGES***
    Case
    Thermaltake M9 VI1000BWS Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $79.99

    Mobo
    GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - $89.99

    Video
    XFX PVT88SFDF4 GeForce 8800GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - $129.99

    PSU
    Thermaltake Purepower RX W0144RU ATX12V / EPS12V 600W Power Supply - $119.99

    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E6550 - $159.99

    Memory
    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-2GBPK - $59.99

    HDD
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $59.99

    Optical
    Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-115DBK - OEM - $29.99

    OS
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional With SP2C - OEM - $139.99

    Subtotal: $869.91
    My thoughts :
    1. Why an IDE optical drive? Go with SATA!
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151153 for $27
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118002 for $27
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129020 for $31

    2. Your power supply is way overkill. Buy this Corsair VX for $60 after MIR (you save $60)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003
    (offers better quality and enough power to add a quad core and a mid range graphics card (9600GT))

    3. You want to run several OSes: Increase storage to a WD6400AAKS for $110 (you spend $50 more)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218
    (offers great performance and cost/gigabyte)

    4. Your graphics card is wasted money if you won't use it (Sapphire HD 3450 for $50, save $80).

    5. Change your CPU to E8200 for $190 (you spend $40 more)

    6. You don't need 1066MHz RAM if you won't overclock.
    Corsair 2x1GB kit for $26 after MIR (save $34)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145590
    I still recommend going for 4GB (2x2GB) $76.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184

    Have fun.
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