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Please review budget system for good deals

Last response: in Systems
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September 16, 2008 7:31:20 PM

I am going to pass my wife's current Pentium D 930 system down to my sister's family, which means I get to build new for my wife. She is more frugal than I am, and would want to be certain I found the best prices possible. She does not currently play any 3D games. She does, however, run many more background processes than the average user (partly because her native language is not English). I have made the following choices.

Rosewill R218-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:R218-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147073
$29.99 $29.99

I've built in this case before, and am satisfied with its utility and cooling.

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply -
Retail
Model #:EA500
Item #:N82E16817371007
$89.99 -$45.00 Instant $44.99

Great deal. Have used a few of these recently with no issues.

AMD Phenom 9650 2.3GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor Model HD9650WCGHBOX - Retail
Model #:HD9650WCGHBOX
Item #:N82E16819103288
$159.99 $159.99

Considered a 3-core, but I think this is the better choice. Like I said, my wife runs lots of background tasks, so I think she'd benefit from a quad.

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-DS4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Model #:GA-MA790GP-DS4H
Item #:N82E16813128352
$139.99 $139.99

Arguably a little excessive, but I want the HD3300 graphics for the few games she does play. Most of the 780G boards are microATX, and I think this will have less thermal problems.

SONY Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Windows 98SE/ ME/ 2000/ XP - OEM
Model #:MPF920 Black
Item #:N82E16821103116
$7.99 $7.99

I want this for BIOS flashing / recovery purposes.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #:ST3250410AS
Item #:N82E16822148262
$59.99 $59.99

She currently has a 120GB drive which is nowhere near full.

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model iHAS220-08 - Retail
Model #:iHAS220-08
Item #:N82E16827106265
$29.99 $29.99

Pretty standard. She does occasionally burn photo disks.

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP3 English for System Builders 1 Pack CD - OEM
Model #:N09-02215
Item #:N82E16832116511
$89.99 $89.99

I don't think I want to inflict Vista on her just yet. It's a future possibility when I upgrade multiple machines, but not at this time.

Subtotal: $562.92

I already have a 2x1GB set of Crucial Ballistix DDR2-1066 to put in this system.

I would appreciate suggestions on same or more bang for the same or less buck, with the constraint that I'm not interested in playing dicey rebate games. I considered a Q6600, but the total price including some DDR2-800 and a discrete video card was somewhat higher. I don't think Intel GMA is acceptable, even for her ultralight games. Thanks.


September 17, 2008 11:25:11 AM

dude thats like a awesome build. the only change i would make is maybe get a cheaper mobo and get a cheap graphics card like an evga 9400gt or something like that. you'll probably end up spending around the same money but i just dont trust integrated graphics. here is a mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
if not here is the same one you picked out just cheaper:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for a graphics card well you could go some thing from this list: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
or if your a ati fan this is a alternative: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 17, 2008 1:20:21 PM

AMD cut cpu prices like 3 times this year. If not already, they're gonna cut some more for some of the X3 & X4. I think an X3 will suffice for her needs.

I recommend against flashing bios with floppy cuz there's a possibility to brick the mobo. I did. Once. RMA cost me 1-way shipping. Gigabyte lets you flash bios with an external usb card reader. I used that a few w/o a hitch.
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September 17, 2008 2:00:14 PM

Consider This case.........
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Same Price AR as your current Case/PSU Combo.

It Comes w/your PSU.
And you can get an 5400x2 BE Free as a combo offer.

If you don't want the CPU, you can sell it.
Or you can get a Free DVD/RW Free w/combo if you would rather....
September 17, 2008 4:42:44 PM

Thanks ZM. That's the kind of prod I was looking for. I'm concerned about the cooling in that case, and the irritating front door, but I looked at the CPU charts again, and the 5400BE is far enough beyond her 930D that I may go that way. I can always add the Phenom later if she is getting bogged down.
September 18, 2008 2:48:53 AM

I went with the Antec Sonata and the 5400BE. If needed, I'll upgrade to a Phenom later.
Thanks again.
!