Portatech or $500 from scratch?

seems like a bargain for a non-gamer like me.

Intel Core Duo E8400


Standard Black Case
450 Watt PS

Samsung - 20x Lightscribe Double Layer DVD+/-RW


1TB WD Caviar Black Hard Drive and 4gb RAM acquired separately

Question 1:
Can I really do better building the whole thing from scratch?

Question 2:
Should i buy 2x2gb of ddr2-800 pc2-6400 samsung for about $45
or should i do my friend a favor and buy his new generic ddr2-667 pc2-5300 - i can pretty much name my price.

Thanks for the advice!
2 answers Last reply
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  1. Question 3:
    Should I consider AMD or Quad core processors?
  2. One of the problems with the above mentioned bare bones system is they give you a price included component that's so low quality that no one would or should use it, then when you uprade to a decent component you get charged full pop for the upgrade. So in answer to question 1, you can do better doing it yourself. Question 2 is in most cases you're better off using 2x2GB DDR2 800 RAM. In a low performance system you'd never notice the difference in DDR2 667 RAM, but unless it's free or maybe $20 (if then) get new RAM.
    Question 3 In most applications the E8400 would be faster then any AMD 2core CPU and most Intel quad cores, there are a few applications when a quad core will outpace a 2 core though... i.e. video editing, 2 or 3 games.
    AMD should be a consideration only if you're looking for a budget 2core CPU. You might take a look at the system builder marathon builds for about $625 to get some ideas.
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