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MBFB dream computer for under $600?

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May 18, 2008 3:11:06 AM

If I want to build something myself, what would be a most-bang-for-the-buck dream system that I could put together ( including maybe a 19"+ monitor ) for $600 or less?

What do I want it to do?

I'm not a gamer. I do a little AutoCAD sometimes, not a lot. I play chess with CM9000 sometimes ( no speed needed for that ).

But by the same token, I don't like to wait for the computer to do things either. I like to run a lot of stuff, like Streets & Trips, Winfax 10 Pro, Pegasus Mail, Weatherbug, etc., and Seamonkey for my browser, which appears to be a RAM hog.

I'd prefer to run XP Pro, after what I've heard lately about Vista.

I prefer AMD. No, not prefer, demand. I see no point in paying hundreds more for "Intel" inside.

I'm a 59 year old who has an ASET ( Associate in Science in Electronics Technology ) from 1969 ( yes, vacuum tubes and discreet components ) and then worked in electronics R&D for 27 years before learning martial arts from age 50-57 and becoming a process server in late 2006.

I built my own several years back but that was a pain, with IRQ's and all that. Now we have PnP.

I'd like a MOBO with a nice number of expansion slots. Those seem like guns or tools to me, you can't have too many.

2 core? 4 core? I'm not sure how much speed I need, or want to pay for, but I'm currently running about a 7 year old AMD XP 1.6 with a 266 MHz FSB, recently upgraded from 512 MB RAM to 1.5GB, so probably something like a Gigabyte with SATA HD's might be breathtaking to me?

I need something with a DVD now, this old box just has a ROM burner and the latest Streets & Trips requires DVD. I want to get into a DVD camcorder to, or maybe one with a HD, and see if I can do night vision of the people I serve, by having my partner in the car run that.

So I may need to save and play with video.

I also have to save copies of the legal documents I serve for several months in PDF form and that's rapidly using up my 40 GB HD now.

So what would you suggest, for something I could blaze with, for a total cost of under $600?

Hey can people build their own laptops too? I could use something to run Streets & Trips with a GPS in the car, but that might be too cheap to mess with building it myself?

Melissa
http://www.coloradoprocessservers.net

More about : mbfb dream computer 600

May 18, 2008 2:10:59 PM

There are tons of budget gaming pc threads & articles.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/$500_gaming_pc_upgrade/
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/The-500-Gaming-Mach...
 fficial&client=firefox-a" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.google.ca/search?q=%24500+gaming+pc&ie=utf-8...

I think you should stick with dual-cores. If you want a tri-core, it's $150+. A quad costs $200-ish. AMD quads aren't that great. Disregard the language. Just look at the benchmarks.

http://en.hardspell.com/doc/showcont.asp?news_id=3244&p...

You may be fine with onboard graphics. You can save some money. The downside is 3d rendering takes ages. Do steer clear of budget 780G as they can burn out with a power-hungry cpu. 690G & 790X are the budget chipsets.

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3279&p=2

These help you decide on a gpu.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/geforce_family.html
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html

Forget laptops for GPS. The laptop per se costs an arm and a leg. The GPS receiver costs a limp. The portable GPS devices are at rock bottom prices. $100-ish can buy one. With touch screen & audible directions to boot. You don't even have to look at it. Just punch in the destination starting from state, city, street & street no. & touch Go. You can try them out at most stores.
May 18, 2008 3:21:22 PM

Melissa-

$600 with a 19" LCD eh?

The Budget Build: ~ $500 (Price as shipped $503.12)
CPU: Intel Core2Duo E2180 2.0GHz
Motherboard: ASUS P5KPL-VM (Intel G31 chipset)
RAM: G.Skill 2GB DDR2-800 5-5-5-12
Hard Drive: 250GB WD Sata2
Optical Drive: Lite-On SATA 20X burner w/ Nero
Case: Antec NSK4480B case w/ 380W PSU
OS: Windows XP Home (I don't much care for Vista- but you can sub Vista here if you want for $30 more because Home Basic is ripoff in every possible way)
Input Devices: MS keyboard and Mouse
Video: On the motherboard because this is a budget build.
Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009091 Acer 19" LCD- $179


I know you said you don't want to pay "hundreds" more for Intel, but the fact is you don't have to. That system is everything you asked more minus a monitor for $503. With monitor the price is $682. I know I am $82 over but this is still a nice system. Now I know you said you wanted XP Pro. If you do not connect to a domain or want to remote into your PC, XP Pro does not really offer that much. Plus its adds $40 to the cost $89 vs $129.

The rest of the links for the system above are here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/250163-31-shadowduck-comptuer-guide

For sake of an argument here is an AMD system: $749.73 shipped
Processor: Athlon 64 X2 4400+ - $66
Motherboard: Asus M3A78 HDMI AMD 790G board- $89
RAM:muskin 2GB DDR2-800 4-4-4-12 $49/$39 after MIR
Hard Drive: 250GB WD Sata2
Optical Drive: Lite-On SATA 20X burner w/ Nero
Case: Antec NSK4480B case w/ 380W PSU
OS: Windows XP Home (I don't much care for Vista- but you can sub Vista here if you want for $30 more because Home Basic is ripoff in every possible way)
Input Devices: MS keyboard and Mouse
Video: On the motherboard because this is a budget build.
Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009091 Acer 19" LCD- $179
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May 19, 2008 3:43:44 AM



Like I said, I'm not into gaming, so the same things probably don't apply.


I think you should stick with dual-cores. If you want a tri-core, it's $150+. A quad costs $200-ish. AMD quads aren't that great. Disregard the language. Just look at the benchmarks.
said:

I think you should stick with dual-cores. If you want a tri-core, it's $150+. A quad costs $200-ish. AMD quads aren't that great. Disregard the language. Just look at the benchmarks.


Sounds wise.


http://en.hardspell.com/doc/showcont.asp?news_id=3244&p...

You may be fine with onboard graphics. You can save some money. The downside is 3d rendering takes ages. Do steer clear of budget 780G as they can burn out with a power-hungry cpu. 690G & 790X are the budget chipsets.

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3279&p=2

These help you decide on a gpu.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/geforce_family.html
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html
said:

http://en.hardspell.com/doc/showcont.asp?news_id=3244&p...

You may be fine with onboard graphics. You can save some money. The downside is 3d rendering takes ages. Do steer clear of budget 780G as they can burn out with a power-hungry cpu. 690G & 790X are the budget chipsets.

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3279&p=2

These help you decide on a gpu.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/geforce_family.html
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html


Thanks. :) 


Forget laptops for GPS. The laptop per se costs an arm and a leg. The GPS receiver costs a limp. The portable GPS devices are at rock bottom prices. $100-ish can buy one. With touch screen & audible directions to boot. You don't even have to look at it. Just punch in the destination starting from state, city, street & street no. & touch Go. You can try them out at most stores. said:

Forget laptops for GPS. The laptop per se costs an arm and a leg. The GPS receiver costs a limp. The portable GPS devices are at rock bottom prices. $100-ish can buy one. With touch screen & audible directions to boot. You don't even have to look at it. Just punch in the destination starting from state, city, street & street no. & touch Go. You can try them out at most stores.


But in my work, I have to be able to import a list of sometimes 25-30 addresses and route them, which I'm not aware that any GPS can do. NO WAY will I punch all of them in by hand either.

Streets & Trips works good for me. I can import from a spreadsheet and route them best.


May 19, 2008 3:55:21 AM

shadowduck said:
Melissa-

$600 with a 19" LCD eh?

Am I crazy? :pt1cable: 

The Budget Build: ~ $500 (Price as shipped $503.12)
CPU: Intel Core2Duo E2180 2.0GHz
Motherboard: ASUS P5KPL-VM (Intel G31 chipset)
RAM: G.Skill 2GB DDR2-800 5-5-5-12
Hard Drive: 250GB WD Sata2
Optical Drive: Lite-On SATA 20X burner w/ Nero
Case: Antec NSK4480B case w/ 380W PSU
OS: Windows XP Home (I don't much care for Vista- but you can sub Vista here if you want for $30 more because Home Basic is ripoff in every possible way)
said:

The Budget Build: ~ $500 (Price as shipped $503.12)
CPU: Intel Core2Duo E2180 2.0GHz
Motherboard: ASUS P5KPL-VM (Intel G31 chipset)
RAM: G.Skill 2GB DDR2-800 5-5-5-12
Hard Drive: 250GB WD Sata2
Optical Drive: Lite-On SATA 20X burner w/ Nero
Case: Antec NSK4480B case w/ 380W PSU
OS: Windows XP Home (I don't much care for Vista- but you can sub Vista here if you want for $30 more because Home Basic is ripoff in every possible way)

I thought you at least needed XP Pro to run dual core?

Input Devices: MS keyboard and Mouse
Video: On the motherboard because this is a budget build.
Monitor: [urlExt=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009091 said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009091 Acer 19" LCD- $179
]
Input Devices: MS keyboard and Mouse
Video: On the motherboard because this is a budget build.
Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009091 Acer 19" LCD- $179
[/urlExt]
Hmm.

I know you said you don't want to pay "hundreds" more for Intel, but the fact is you don't have to. That system is everything you asked more minus a monitor for $503. With monitor the price is $682. I know I am $82 over but this is still a nice system. Now I know you said you wanted XP Pro. If you do not connect to a domain or want to remote into your PC, XP Pro does not really offer that much. Plus its adds $40 to the cost $89 vs $129.
said:

I know you said you don't want to pay "hundreds" more for Intel, but the fact is you don't have to. That system is everything you asked more minus a monitor for $503. With monitor the price is $682. I know I am $82 over but this is still a nice system. Now I know you said you wanted XP Pro. If you do not connect to a domain or want to remote into your PC, XP Pro does not really offer that much. Plus its adds $40 to the cost $89 vs $129.

But I thought you needed it to run the dual core?
May 19, 2008 12:11:27 PM

Teach me Karate. :) 
May 19, 2008 1:22:08 PM

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Processor ADA5000CSBOX - 2.60GHz, 1MB Cache, 1000MHz (2000 MT/s) FSB, Windsor, Dual-Core, Retail, Socket AM2, Processor with Fan (91.99)
GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX All Solid Capacitor AMD Motherboard - Retail (89.99) supports Phenoms
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) 49.99
Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply (129.95)
EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card (159.99 new egg after MIR)
SAPPHIRE 100218L Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card (54.99)
or
EVGA 512-P2-N773-AR GeForce 8600GTS 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
Hard drive up to you.
Optical up to you.
OS: up to you but I would go with 64 Vista Home Premium ed. 99.99

CPU 91.99 91.99
MOBO 89.99 89.99
RAM 49.99 49.99
CASE 129.95 129.95
PSU 0 0
GPU 54.99 119.99
OS 99.99 99.99
HDD 89.99 89.99
Optical 30 30
636.89 701.89
If you have copy of OS you save 100.00 if you have old optical you will save another 30 if you have older HDD that you can re use you will save another 100 that would bring you well under a budget with a decent setup.
For budget builds i always go with AMD. OS get whatever works for you almost no diff in price. But yeah I would go with Vista. If you can reuse some old parts you will save few $ sine you not gaming you wont need GPU just get a board with integrated grafic that would put you under your budget and you could go up to 22 LCD good luck.
May 19, 2008 3:16:29 PM

You dont need XP pro take advantage of a dual core.

I hate to do this, but if you are unsure about how to build a PC at this point, my personal feelings is that if all your doing is general office work, go buy a prebuilt. You have the warranty, OS, and all the hardware and monitor in one box. Only thing I would demand the PC has is 2 gigs of ram. The rest is all up to you. Its hard for me to do this, as I hate pre-built machines, this is probably the best option.

Good example here from Dell for $609:
PROCESSOR Intel® Pentium® dual-core processor E2180 (1MB, 2.00GHz, 800FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
MONITOR 19 inch S199WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel Monitor with TrueLife
MEMORY 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 2DIMMs
HARD DRIVE 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache
OPTICAL DRIVE 16X DVD+/-RW Drive
VIDEO CARD Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100
SOUND Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
KEYBOARD & MOUSE Dell USB Keyboard and Dell Premium Optical USB Mouse
FLOPPY & MEDIA READER Dell 19 in 1 Media Card Reader

This will do what you need, give you a 1 year warranty, and still be right around 600 with a monitor.
May 19, 2008 4:18:56 PM

Kaldor makes a good point since you want screen as well and you don't want to oc or you don't even really need a graphic card pre build from dell is a good deal. You should concider it. The only reason I would go with self build is that if you ever decide to upgrade you can re use case/cpu/harddrives/monitor/opticals and just invest extra $ in mobo/CPU/GPU. The build that I gave you has a AM2+ board which makes it compatible with future AMD CPU's whichi s in my opinion a great option, while intel boards will stasrt using new socket.
May 19, 2008 5:12:31 PM

Yeah, that Dell is not really a competent gaming machine by any stretch. But it will get the job done for 3-4 years, then you buy a new one. If the machine was going to be used at any level as a gaming machine this Dell wouldnt cut it. However that being said Im pretty sure you could drop a 9600 GT video card into and have a semi decent gaming machine because the mobo does most likely have at least one PCI Xpress 1.1 slot. If this was a low buck gaming system however, Id build, even if it cost me a few more bucks.
May 19, 2008 6:13:04 PM

Agree you can always drop in a cheap graphic card and be able to play some decent games. But always build your own if you into gaming, if not than there is no reason to not buy from dell.
May 19, 2008 11:13:24 PM

Maroc said:
Teach me Karate. :) 


How did you know? :) 

!