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Building a 500$ Kids computer (thinking of AMD)

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July 24, 2008 4:17:32 PM

This is what I have currently. The reason I have a mATX board is that I was going to use a different case, and then it went out of stock. I use the same one in my personal computer, and it runs great.

I was thinking of swapping the MOBO and Chip for AMD stuff, to save some cash, as this is for kids, and won't get OC at all. I was thinking of maybe just dropping the chip speed to save a bit of cash, but the cost vs performance is not dropping that much doing that.

This is $538.76 shipped currently. I am getting a LCD from Staples as will have a gift card from there and OS will either be Vista or XP.


Any suggestions on a AMD board & chip that might make a nice dent in the price?

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill R220-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 384-P3-N851-AR GeForce 8800 GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WINTEC AMPO 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 3AMD2800-2G2K-R - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale 2.53GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E7200 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
















July 24, 2008 5:11:43 PM

Quote:
Suggestions would depend on what games you plan to run on this computer.


This is more for browsing the web\Microsoft products\homework than games.

I'm sneaking the 8800gs card in there as well, as I'm sure they will want to play a game now and then....thinking India Jones Lego type games, Grid perhaps, etc





July 24, 2008 5:40:30 PM

HI, Just go for the 8800gt you can find one relatively cheap and is much faster than the 8800gs so in the future if your kids use it for games it can handle more games.

As for processor the post above says get amd because of higher clock speeds... don't i have a intel E6750 dual core @2.66ghz and it runs faster than AMD 6400+@3.4ghz, it is even faster than some triple core's by amd.

Good luck!!!

If you are using vista you may want to upgrade the ram from 2gb to like 3 or 4gb.
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July 24, 2008 5:58:17 PM

camaross427 said:
HI, Just go for the 8800gt you can find one relatively cheap and is much faster than the 8800gs so in the future if your kids use it for games it can handle more games.

As for processor the post above says get amd because of higher clock speeds... don't i have a intel E6750 dual core @2.66ghz and it runs faster than AMD 6400+@3.4ghz, it is even faster than some triple core's by amd.

Good luck!!!

If you are using vista you may want to upgrade the ram from 2gb to like 3 or 4gb.


Yeah, I know the 8800GT's are dropping....I have one myself. But this is to be a kids homework computer mostly, so does not have to be the fastest or play the latest games.
July 24, 2008 6:17:24 PM

Well, I think 8800GS is a good choice. But if you you want to save some $$s, just get the 790GX mobo(cheap mobos are coming I am sure). It has GREAT onboard solution. So you may skip a GPU or get a 60$ 3470 to crossfire it with onboard GPU. AMDs 4200+ cpus have fallen remarkebly now. If you are tight on budget get this. Ohh BTW these mobos are still a month away. So, you may have to wait a lil if you chose this route.
July 24, 2008 6:24:13 PM

An AMD780G board might be a good choice for this box. The integrated video will be good enough for the machine's intended purposes, and you can always add a discrete GPU later if you want them to be able to play more and/or newer games.
July 24, 2008 6:28:00 PM

Onus said:
An AMD780G board might be a good choice for this box. The integrated video will be good enough for the machine's intended purposes, and you can always add a discrete GPU later if you want them to be able to play more and/or newer games.


I thought of that at first, but I figure I would just put the cost of the card in the initial build

July 24, 2008 6:46:17 PM

i would stick with the intel build, allows a good pathway to upgrade if you decide you need a quad in the future.
July 24, 2008 6:52:52 PM

I'm glad to see people supporting AMD, even if its not the all-out performance/efficiency winner.
July 24, 2008 6:58:13 PM

Given the budget and the intended purpose of the machine, AMD is fine for this build. This may even be that rare case where buying a prebuilt could make sense, as long as you verify that the included PSU can handle a GPU upgrade later, and assuming that you don't already have a lot of your parts.

July 24, 2008 7:15:31 PM

Stick with your orignal buildd but instead of the e7200 buy the e1200. I now you said no overclock but it is so easy to run it at 2.6. This gives you the option to drop in a quad down the road if one of your kids pics a path that needs major computing someday. This is exactly what I build for kids and beginners, and the best part is the motherboard has 1 click overclocking 10%,20%,30%


"trying to get link to work."

Cant get shared link to work.

Qty. Image Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price

Update LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 - OEM
Model #:iHAS120-04
Item #:N82E16827106263
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)


Save Cancel $23.99 $47.98

Update ARK WN-26S Silver Steel MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply - Retail
Model #:WN-26S
Item #:N82E16811128039
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)


Save Cancel $49.99 $49.99

Update EXCELSTOR Jupiter Series ESJ9250 250GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA133 Hard Drive - Retail
Model #:ESJ9250
Item #:N82E16822210019
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)


Save Cancel $48.99 $48.99

Update A-DATA Value Series 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16N - Retail
Model #:ADQVE1A16N
Item #:N82E16820211062
Return Policy:Memory (Modules, USB) Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)


Save Cancel $21.99 $21.99

Update PC CHIPS P55G LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 7050 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #:p 55G
Item #:N82E16813185110
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
Mail-in Rebate

Note (Add)


Save Cancel $44.99 $44.99

Update Intel Celeron E1200 1.6GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E1200 - Retail
Model #:BX80557E1200
Item #:N82E16819116064
Return Policy:p rocessors (CPUs) Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)


Save Cancel $49.99 $49.99
Subtotal: $263.93



July 24, 2008 7:31:33 PM

I suggest quad core, with two 4870's crossfired....lol...just kidding...like others have said, going with a 780g + cheap dual core will definitely suffice. It will leave money for more ram if you're using vista (cuz you'll definitely need it). BTW, my roommate just picked up an HD3870 for like $100 bucks...I know it won't beat out the 8800gt, but it gets pretty darn close and helps penny pinching... :) 
July 30, 2008 2:23:50 AM

:non:  Well, I would kinda of totally blow off roadrunners suggestions. It read to me kinda of like "the cheapest thing that will beep". I saw a ad for a dell in the paper for $299. I think it was a low end intel dual core with 2gb of ram (not sure though). the dell would have a warranty and a legit copy of vista basic. Get that instead of buliding roadrunners computer.


Now, at least in my case. we build computers for a variety of reasons. We get to pick and choose our parts with care, and we generally get more performance out of a build than if buy an equvilant priced OEM box. One philosphy I have now is I try to build them with durability in mind. After years of fixing (family's/friends, even my own) cheap motherboards and power supplies, I highly suggest you immediatly skip over cheap things in this area. The use for this computer is stated to be for homework and gaming as a secondary use. Well, unless you build something with a halfway decent graphic card, you might as well as buy the dell (unless you want to build strickty for duribility, because at $299, dell skimped in more ways than we could). Heres what i came up with.

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale 2.53GHz $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100226L Radeon HD 3850 512MB $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: PNY OPTIMA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive: HITACHI Deskstar P7K500 HDP725032GLA360 (0A35411) 320GB $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD: LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+ $24
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

case: Rosewill R220-P-BK Black $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total is $553 before shipping and has rebates not refelcted.


This upgrades the motherboard to one that all solid state capacitors. Boost your hard drive space (though I would perfer a 500gb seagate). I choose the hd3850 because it was 10 dollars cheaper and I think it might perform better (not too familar with an 8800gs, I know the 8800gt was better). Your power supply was a nice choice and should be just barely adequate (though I would perfer a cosair 650tx for $40 more dollars but it doent fit the price range). these video card like to suck down juice, but at least you picked a 450w power supply that has a single 33a 12v rail. The case sucks, but it is $25 bucks. It may give your computer thermal problems due to the more powerful video cards. Definatly consider putting at least another 120mm case fan in the front and maybe an 80mm on the side.

This machine (and your orginal build for that matter) can play games with mid to high graphic options on almost every game out there. something a $550 dollar dell (or anyother OEM box) could never dream of doing. It doesnt have a extremly cheap power supply (that all low end OEMS have), or a motherboard thats built to the absoulte cheapest standards (which low end OEMS always are).


One last thing to consider. When it comes time to upgrade this machine in 3-4 years, the only thing you may keep are the drives, power supply and case. With that in mind, a 610 watt pc power and cooling power supply ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )at $110 and a $100ish case are not a bad choice. the power supply comes with a five year warranty, so you know it will at least last one upgrade cycle. The case (your choice) would be much better also. Just something to think about if your willing to drop (or save a litttle longer) another $120



spunks
July 30, 2008 3:32:06 AM

Thanks Spunks. I was trying to keep most of the parts compatible with my current computer, also a MicroATX case build. I was figuring when I upgraded next, the kids would get my E8400, 4GB RAM, 8800GT Card and possibly my 550w Corsair PSU.

But at the cost of things today, in 2-3 years, this will likely be obsolete as well, and prob can build a computer with 5x the specifications for about 100 less than we have in this build now.
July 30, 2008 5:01:04 AM

Its kinda of unfortunate that you stuff is so new. I love buying new stuff and "push" the older stuff to my wifes computer. In this case, your would have to bump your video card to an hd4850 ($175) or a GTX 260 ($255 on sale at newegg), and get the consair 650tx or PP&C 610. All the other stuff is too up to date. This way, you double your videocard strength, get an appropiate PSU, and your kid gets something that isnt anything to put your nose up at either. would push the cost from what I have above ($553) to $668 for the hd4850 or $748 for the GTX 260.

But for the extra money, you win, and the kids get nearly the same game exprience you have now




Spunks
July 30, 2008 5:30:39 AM

Pick whatever case you'd like. But this is what I suggest.
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
You'll have relatively high efficiency parts, that won't sting on the power bill. A 9600GT is better than the 8800GS or 9600GSO in all circumstances, but only a few dollars more. I doubt your kids needing that much kind of graphical power, but at the ~100 price point, you're best off with the 9600GT. 8800GT takes it at ~135 but, that's just hiking up the price for no real gains in your circumstances. I think this is the same case as the processor. You won't need anything powerful at all, my friend ran GRID on a 4800 x2 with a 8600GTS on low settings, and it still looked impressive. The biggest issue with this build for me, is the needs vs. wants




July 30, 2008 8:40:37 PM

I would go for the 780 G + 5600 AMD CPU, this makes a great combo and a good all around rig. On top of that I would add an ATI 3650 HD(DDR3 iteration) which would give about the same level of performance as the 2600XT. Not the most powerful but plenty enough for kiddies and casual gaming.
October 11, 2008 3:07:46 AM

Yes, this is an all amd build, but it is very good parts for the price especially considering the 4GB of ram and capable video card.
DVD burner: LG IDE 22X = $23
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: Rosewill R6A34-SL = $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F1 320GB 16mb cache = $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MOBO: Asus M3A78-EM = $77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: AMD Athlon X2 5200+ Brisbane 2.7GHz = $66
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: OCZ SLI 4GB DDR2-800 = $78
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: OCZ OCZ500MXSP 500W Active PFC Modular Power supply = $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: Asus HD4670 w/aftermarket cooling = quiet = $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Extra 120mm fan: Rosewill RFX-120 2 ball bearing adjustable RPM fan = $8
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total w/shipping - combos with PSU & RAM and CPU & MOBO = $509.17
*** Don't forget there are $55 in Mail in Rebates in there which means as little as $465

Oh, and I would recommend going 64 bit on the OS whether you go Vista or XP just for future proofing's sake and RAM capacities on the constant rise
!