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New home desktop budget build

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June 27, 2008 6:39:47 PM

Hi all.

I'm looking to put together a basic home office budget PC and would appreciate y'all's input (I've seen a lot of great input here).
First, my intentions for this PC:
  • For basic home computing including email, internet, word processing and Desktop Publication, photo manipulation, and moderate multitasking.
  • Have a copy of Vista Ultimate that I will run and use to serve up Music, photos, and some Video to my Xbox360.
  • Very little, if any gaming.
  • Reasonably future-prepared (future-proof makes no sense). I could see adding memory, expansion of Graphics and Audio, and upgrading CPU in 2-3 years.
  • There is a small possibility that I may do some basic studio Audio and some home video creation with this but not for a year or two. (May just build a new machine by then).
  • I'd like to keep the budget under $500.

    Basically, I don't need something with massive horsepower, but a quality component machine for the wife and kid's that will last for a while.

    Based on what I've been able to derive from the plethora of information (it's a lot harder to sift through than it was 10 years ago) and from some similar posts on this form I've derived the following configuration. That I think will suit my needs for this machine. Some of it seems I may have a little bit of overkill, but I don't want to run into a sudden limitation.

    Case - Coolmaster Centurion 5 Red with 430W PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119153 - $55
    Mobo - Asus P5K EPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131277 - $120
    CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115032 - $130 (have debated the Allendale E4600 also;$120)
    RAM - OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB 240pin DDR2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227139 - $19 (after $25 mail-in rebate)
    GPU - Asus EAH3450/HTP/256M - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121230 - $25 (after $10 mail-in rebate)
    HDD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262 - $60
    DVD Burner - Pioneer DVR-115DBK - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129018 - $33
    Cost - $441 after $79 rebates (excluding shipping)

    So, What do you think? Look forward to hearing from you.

  • More about : home desktop budget build

    June 27, 2008 7:04:38 PM

    This SH-S203B burner is SATA and $9 cheaper:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151152

    This GA-EP43-DS3L motherboard saves you $20 and it's a newer chipset:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128347&Tpk=GA-EP43-DS3L

    This E8400 CPU is better: $190
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

    This 640GB WD6400AAKS is faster and a lot bigger than the 250GB Barracuda, $95

    Your total cost should now be 441-9-20+60+35 i.e. $507.

    June 27, 2008 7:12:08 PM

    ^ aevm knows his stuff
    June 27, 2008 7:30:59 PM

    LOL, I got a black belt in shopping :) 
    June 27, 2008 7:47:10 PM

    aevm said:
    LOL, I got a black belt in shopping :) 


    :lol: 
    But do you have the boots to match?
    June 27, 2008 8:00:51 PM

    Thanks aevm. The burner looks good. So does the mobo with the exception of a IEEE 1394, but that's not to crucial. I can pick up that in an expansion if I really want it later.

    I agree, the E8400 is better, but I think it is more than I want to spend on the CPU. What do you think the advantage would be considering the general computing nature of my needs?

    I'm not too interested in bigger Hard drives. In fact I only chose this because the Western Digital Caviar RE2 160 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136200 was the same price, so pick up a few more unneeded GBs for free. I tend to like to store my media on an external instead of with my OS. Maybe I've got my priorities mixed up. I do tend to think in terms of 10 year old strategies.
    June 27, 2008 8:20:07 PM

    Skip the E8400. Get the Q6600. Man up to get another 2GB. This fellow isn't gaming, why recommend a fast dual core when for $10 more he can get a quad core that's future-prepared and he can do his home video creation later. Another 2GB will make your PC run at it's max potential especially with Vista. Right now, I'm typing this under Firefox with Itunes playing song. Windows Task Manager says I
    m using 876MB already.
    June 27, 2008 8:27:12 PM

    All right, go for the E7200, it's not a bad CPU at all.

    You can live with 250GB??? Really? Wow...

    Maybe the MB idea was not so great. The GA-EP35-DS3R costs the same but has 3 PCI slots instead of 2, and it also adds eSATA (very nice for external disks) and more cables and RAID. You only get a PCI-E 1 slot but even that is overkill for a HD 3450.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128086

    June 27, 2008 8:33:07 PM

    pcgamer12 said:
    Skip the E8400. Get the Q6600. Man up to get another 2GB. This fellow isn't gaming, why recommend a fast dual core when for $10 more he can get a quad core that's future-prepared and he can do his home video creation later. Another 2GB will make your PC run at it's max potential especially with Vista. Right now, I'm typing this under Firefox with Itunes playing song. Windows Task Manager says I
    m using 876MB already.


    Agreed.

    Yeah, if it was me I'd definitely prefer the Q6600 to the E7200, it should last longer. I just hope he can find the $70 more.
    June 27, 2008 8:47:24 PM

    I agree he should get the Q6600 over the E7200, also, I think the extra $70 is worth it.

    Actually, I think he can live with 250GB, I have a 160GB Western Digital Caviar (WD1600AAJS) and it's a 149GB drive under Vista. I have 82.4GB space left, although a lot of the space are demos of games. I could surely take off some gigabytes with uninstalling stuff.

    Surely, I wished I spent a little more for a WD6400AAKS for space and speed.
    June 27, 2008 8:52:02 PM

    It's sad to not see anyone recommending AMD CPU's. Right now, Intel is on top of the hill, I guess, even in terms of value CPU's. My last build was an AMD Athlon Dual Core at 4600+ mhz on an Asus M2M-MX SE Plus mainboard with an Asus 7300GT video card, Maxtor, 250 gig HD, 2 gig of ddr2 RAM, Asus DVD burner, all in an Asus case. $350 for brand new components. Extremely low end but still kick butt compared to what I did have -- an old Athlon XP single core at 1800mhz with slow everything.

    AMD will hopefully come back and at least present a challenge to Intel in the low to mid range CPU market.
    June 27, 2008 9:03:15 PM

    AMD is making a comeback with the ATI 4850 and 4870.
    June 27, 2008 9:43:19 PM

    This sounds like a job for a 780g board and AMD quad.
    June 27, 2008 10:40:32 PM

    I agree with SuicideSilence. If not playing many games, the 780g board with AMD x4 or even x3 may get him under the $500 range with a good multitasking processor for the family. You can always get a graphics card later, but the 780g is nearly as good as the 3450 isn't it? Spend the extra money on Ram and the processor. Plus with a good 780g board you would save an additional $20 to $30 beyond the intel board.
    June 27, 2008 11:19:05 PM

    Great advice everyone.

    I think the 250GB HDD will do me fine. I've got an 80 in my current machine and I'm not even close to filling it up

    So most of you think the quad will last me longer. That makes sense. On the other hand how does that compare with getting the E7200 now? and upgrading to a quad in 2 or three years? Wouldn't that extend the life of the machine even longer? (Sorry if this sounds niave. Again, I haven't done anything like this for 10 years).

    I like the idea of uping the RAM too. Memory's cheap.
    June 28, 2008 12:04:58 AM

    apence said:
    I agree with SuicideSilence. If not playing many games, the 780g board with AMD x4 or even x3 may get him under the $500 range with a good multitasking processor for the family. You can always get a graphics card later, but the 780g is nearly as good as the 3450 isn't it? Spend the extra money on Ram and the processor. Plus with a good 780g board you would save an additional $20 to $30 beyond the intel board.


    I agree with this idea. Get these:

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

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

    and drop the 3450 (the onboard HD 3200 is for all intents and purposes on the same performance level).

    Approximately $446.

    Phenoms may not be the best performance wise, but they (at least the B3 stepping versions) deserve more credit than they're given. Plus, since it's a quad core, you're in a unique position to have the processor actually get faster over time since many more applications are going to become multi-threaded. I recently built a similar build for a customer, and she couldn't be happier with it.

    Oh, and as far as I'm aware the future AM3 processors should work on the AM2+ motherboards which could give you some upgrading room. Although there are rumors that say this isn't true. But if you go with the Intel board there's no way you can upgrade to their new processors and they will require a different chipset and RAM unless they decide to make new processors for the LGA775 socket (which I doubt). So take from that what you will.

    Good luck on your build.
    June 28, 2008 1:42:03 AM

    Yeah, pretty good idea. AMD is usually a better choice for smaller budgets.
    !