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A Budget Build Challenge (In canada, if that matters)

Last response: in Systems
August 15, 2008 1:03:19 AM

Hey, I'm putting together a PC for the first time. Basically, I want something that's about $600 total taxes and all. Here's what I've got so far:

$56 Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case

$55 Corsair TWINX Dual Channel 2048MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Memory (2 x 1024MB)

$100 evga 8800gs
$95 eva 8600gts
$75 evga 8600gt

$85 Asus P5N-MX

$72 Antec EA-500 500W ATX12V V2.0 PSU 80mm Fan 80PLUS ROHS Power Supply

$38 Samsung 20X IDE DVD Burner - 20x DVD±R, 16x DVD±R DL, 12x DVD-RAM

$25 OCZ Vanquisher CPU Cooler

$70 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB Hard Drive - 7200, 8MB, Serial ATA-300, OEM

CPU ???

Total comes out to $500+$CPU.

So there's a few challenges:

1. I don't know if all of the above are compatible with one another. If anyone can confirm that I'd really appreciate it.

2. No idea what to choose for the CPU. Basically has to be $80+taxes max based on my budget.

3. The CPU/MOBO are probably the most flexible in terms of changing. I was leaning towards Core2Duo before, but it seems it will be out of my budget, so athlon 64 x2 will probably be the best choice (I'm guessing). However the asus above is not compatible with AMD?

4. I'd like to make this build a little more reformed so I don't spend extra $$$ when bottlenecks will occur in places I don't know about.

Unfortunately I'm in college and my budget is small, but what can you do...Again, I greatly appreciate any help on this.

More about : budget build challenge canada matters

August 15, 2008 1:17:29 AM

faster RAM 667? that's awful you can do better than that I managed to get 8GB of Corsair dominator PC2 8500 for $99 after rebate.. PC2 6400 should be your minmum memory speed.
August 15, 2008 1:20:47 AM

Switch the DVD burner to something cheaper like the Lite-on Sata one. Is a cpu cooler necessary for a budget pc, will you be OCing at all? The Western digital 640gb HDD would be a better buy at only $15 more I believe. Get the 8800.
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August 15, 2008 1:31:43 AM

You could get the e21xx series, the e2200, or in 2 weeks the new e5200 for $85 with a 12.5 multi. It has been tested at 4.0 with 320 FSB. Im buying one to play with as soon as it goes on sale.
August 15, 2008 1:52:42 AM

Thanks for the help, now to address the specifics.

The RAM issue, is it really going to limit me? I thought 2GB of PC5400 would be enough...however I googled and found OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 800MHz Platinum XTC Revision 2 2GB Dual on sale for cheaper than my first post's, if that's going to be compatible with my system then please confirm & I'll get it & thanks.

The DVD burner, I've heard a lot of bad things about lite-on, but that's based on my limited knowledge. I honestly can't go above my HDD $$$ limit, so if anything I'd rather get a 250GB for cheaper, I just don't see why I'd need 640GB at this point (no offense of course).

And the CPU, good suggestion but is the e2200 based on the core2duo or the pentium dual core architecture. I googled and got mixed results, if it's core2duo then I will definitely consider it. If the E5200 is that price in canada in two weeks and is way >>> in performance then I can wait for it. No idea what multi 12.5 is though lol

Thanks again guys, with 3 posts I already got a way better idea of where I'm going with this.
August 15, 2008 2:01:24 AM

Do you want to play games on this PC? If yes, get a HD 4850.

Check too, see if you can get better prices there.
August 15, 2008 2:01:36 AM

Multi is the CPU multiplier as follows from the HOWTO guide on the Overclocking section here.
1. CPU Speed = CPUM x FSB
2. where CPUM is the CPU Multiplier, and FSB is the front side bus.

Example: The Q6600 runs at a factory setting of 2.40 GHz. That's the product of a 9x multiplier and a 266 MHz FSB (quad pumped it's 1066 MHz but we're not quad pumping these numbers). So CPU Speed = 9 x 266 which is 2,394 MHz or 2.40 GHz.
August 15, 2008 2:21:24 AM

Your case choice, cooler and HD
This motherboard Biostar P31 $85 (the one you picked is out of stock)
Memory DDR2 800 2x1GB Patriot 1.8v $55
the 8800GS $95
This PSU $48 after mail in rebate
This DVD RW SATA $30
CPU Intel E7200 $130

*edit* Good build Georgy, although i'd go with the 8800GS and a E7200
August 15, 2008 3:40:08 AM

Once more, thanks. I see now about the Multi and I've taken everything you guys have posted into consideration to change my build to this:

Case: $56, Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case

Motherboard: Asus P5KPL-CM $65
Biostar P31-A7, $90

CPU: Intel E7200, $130

RAM: OCZ Platinum XTC Rev. 2, 2x2GB, PC2-6400

VidCard: EVGA 8800GS $95

PSU: Antec EA-500 500W, $72

Optical: LG GSA-H55L IDE Black, $30

CPU Fan: OCZ Vanquisher CPU Cooler, $25

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA2 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Cache, $50

Total: $543 OR $568 + tax, (depends on motherboard)

Some things:

1. Motherboard, I haven't heard of Biostar? How does the asus compare?

2. The HDD is SATA2, any compatibility issues with the motherboard there?

3. General compatibility? I don't want to buy all this and find out something doesn't work. Especially the RAM, it's on sale tomorrow and I won't be able to return it if I buy.

Thanks, I think the end will be near soon :) 
August 15, 2008 4:10:20 AM

This LG GSA-H62N is cheaper and has a SATA interface.
Google "Media Code Speed Edit" if you buy an LG burner.

I would upgrade the MB to a P35:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L, $80

Don't bother with the Vanquisher. You're getting a cooler with the CPU already, and you only need a better one if you overclock.

Edit: and please don't say stuff like "the end will be near soon", it's very depressing :) 
August 15, 2008 4:46:27 AM

That is a great deal on the Gigabyte board, but only 1 is available in store in Toronto. Of your other 2 choices go with the Asus board for $65
Get a SATA interface burner. Build is looking good
August 16, 2008 9:33:52 PM

For anyone interested, or for future people looking to build something in this budget range, here's what I ended up ordering (a little bit different due to website stocks not updated etc.)

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200, $137
PSU: Antec EarthWatts 500W, $70
Case: Antec 300, $50
Disc Drive: Will find anything LG/Samsung in-store, stocks were not updated so... $30
GPU: Asus EN9600GSO, $87 (a bit better than the standard 8800GS)
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L, $90 (the energy-efficient version of the P35)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250 GB, $53
RAM: OCZ Platinum PC2-6400, 2x1GB, $30 (Mega-rebates!)
Monitor: ViewSonic VA1926w $186 or Acer X223WBD $210, haven't decided

Total comes out to around $550 + $200 for the monitor +tax = $850.

Thanks a lot btw, I wouldn't have been able to make the necessary changes if it weren't for your help.