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New system <$700

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July 26, 2009 4:12:35 AM


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: tomorrow ( the closer the better) BUDGET RANGE: US$500-700

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: General internet browsing, media (movies, eventual bluray, music, ripping/burning dvds), gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Tigerdirect or newegg. I'd like to stick with tiger if possible

PARTS PREFERENCES: I want an Intel Core 2 Duo or Quad processor, whichever you prefer.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 But probably bumped up to 1920x1080 eventually

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want it to be powerful for whatever I may decide to do, but I don't need the highest end. I want it to last a few years. Right now, I'm thinking about a Core 2 Duo, but if you think a Quad will be better for my situation, then I can be flexible with that. I want it to be expandable so I can add or upgrade pieces as I need in the future.
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Hardware I'm looking at -

Asus P5QL PRO Motherboard / CPU Bundle - P43, Socket 775, ATX, PCI Express 2.0, Gbit LAN, Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 Processor, 2.66GHz
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Ultra LSP750 750-Watt Power Supply w/Free Thermaltake Strike MX Black Mid Tower Case
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

Kingston HyperX Dual Channel 4096MB PC8500 DDR2 1066MHz Memory (2x2048MB)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS Hard Drive - 1TB, 32MB, SATA-300, OEM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

Plextor PX-850SA-SW Internal DVD Super Multi Drive - 22x DVD+R, 8X DVD+RW, 22x DVD-R, 6x DVD-RW, 16X DVD-ROM, SATA, Black
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

Galaxy GeForce GTS 250 Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, Dual Link DVI, HDMI, HDTV, SLI Ready
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Sabrent Internal 64-in-1 Multi Flash Media Card Reader - USB 2.0, Black, 3.5", Self Powered, SDHC Support, Vista Ready
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


So a few things I'm unsure of are-
A. If the Processor is a good choice for what I need. I'm sure it will work fine, but if I can get something that's better for the same price or less, then let me know.

B. If the RAM will work with the MOBO and if I should get the 1066mhz ram or 800mhz ram

C. If everything will work together well.

As of now, everything will cost $684 including shipping. I don't want to go over like $750 including shipping, so I want to keep the setup to be under $700. Also, I will be using either vista or XP 64-bit, I haven't decided which. I guess whichever you deem to be superior. So let me know what you think of this all.


More about : system 700

July 26, 2009 4:24:18 AM

Alot better can be done, for example you can save $23 on the optical drive easily
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do you have anything against an AMD build because you can get an AMD 720x3 with alot more left in the budget for the graphics card which will be very useful for when you go up to a 1920x1080.

Also you get what you pay for, if the PSU is free that should tell you something, dont risk your components on low quality PSU's look into this case/psu combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
July 26, 2009 4:44:39 AM

hunter315 said:
Alot better can be done, for example you can save $23 on the optical drive easily
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do you have anything against an AMD build because you can get an AMD 720x3 with alot more left in the budget for the graphics card which will be very useful for when you go up to a 1920x1080.

Also you get what you pay for, if the PSU is free that should tell you something, dont risk your components on low quality PSU's look into this case/psu combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Thanks for the quick response. That Samsung drive looks good, but one thing I'm thinkin about is how much will I really save if I get that drive on Newegg rather then the one I'm getting on tigerdirect. The samsung will have an extra $7 for shipping, but since I'm planning on getting everything on tigerdirect, the shipping should be cheaper for everything since i'm bundling the shipping. Plus I know Plextor makes good drives, so I don't mind spending extra for something like that.

As far as the AMD, I have nothing against it, but I've always heard Intel are much better all around then AMD. That X3 does look nice. How does the processor split up the processes among it's 3 cores though? I mean, I know quad cores need programs made specifically for them to utilize all the cores, and since there aren't many triple core processors out, I can't imagine there are many programs being made for triple core processors. Also, if I were to get this processor, what mobo would be comparable or better then what I have and work with the x3?

As for the graphics card, I'm not planning on really playing many hardcore games where graphics are a critical thing. More like games like sims 2 and 3 and rollercoaster tycoon 3. I just want a decent GPU that can handle games like that with good graphics and will also be able to play HD content without a problem. I'm upgrading from integrated graphics on an old emachines AMD 64 3500+ machine, so anything will be better then what I have.

Again, thanks for the response.

*Edit, I forgot to mention that the PSU comes with a free case, not the case with a free PSU. Don't know if that makes a difference. Also, it's on sale for $50 off, so otherwise it would be the same price as the bundle you posted.
Related resources
July 26, 2009 5:03:39 AM

Ultra PSU's vary greatly, you may end up with a good one or you may end up with a firecracker. Thats why i suggest an Antec as they are a very solid brand with much less variation than Ultra's.

The triple core takes all four threads from a game written for a quad core and just time shares them between the cores, whereas for dual core games it can dedicate 2 of the cores to the game and the third core can run background tasks or a virus scan

This board/cpu combo saves you a bit but that is compensated for by the increased ram price, but you do still come out with a $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The motherboard and ram will be useable for a couple builds to come as AMD will likely keep their next generation backwards compatible with AM3 and boards will use DDR3 for quite a while.
July 26, 2009 5:17:58 AM

Hi Nirv-You should read this article on multi-core scaling.You can find it here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/multi-core-cpu,2280...
"How many cores do you need?"

It covers a lot of popular software so you can see the advantages of triple and quad core. There's really no reason to pay for a e8200 proc when you can get a better performing one for $120 like the AMD PII X3 720BE. If you really want to go Intel, get a quad. You may wish to make sure it is capable of virtualization. It will be useful in WIN7. All AMD proc are Virtualization ready.

Also, you might want to steer clear of the Ultra Power supply. Look at PCP&C Corsair 650TX and 750TX, Antec at the lower price range. Don't skimp on the PSU.

Oh Yeah, Why the green drive? They spin at slower speeds to save energy, and this is not exactly a low power PC you're building here. If you like WD, blue is the standard speed and the black drives are the performance ones. Then there's the raptors..
July 26, 2009 5:23:49 AM

I like the Idea of having the three cores and DDR3, but that combo just sets me over my budget by like $75, so I'm not diggin that so much. How will 1066mhz ddr2 ram compare to 1333mhz ddr3 ram? Is there much of a difference? And how bout between 1066mhz and 800mhz? Shouldn't seem like there should be much of a difference except maybe if you go from 800mhz to 1333mhz. But like I said, I'm upgrading from like bottom of the line from a few years ago, so anything will be better.
July 26, 2009 5:33:49 AM

well it still comes out to be the same price as the intel build you were looking at. It seems to be the PSU that launched you over budget.

The difference between the two are negligible, except DDR3 will likely be the memory standard on boards for many years to come. The difference between the speeds are also negligible. See the article about the memory scaling, the biggest difference in performance from DDR3 1066 to DDR3 1600 was a mere 2%, most things arent limited by ram speed.

Since a GTS 250 only needs 450 Watts you can swap the PSU out for this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ are less expensive but still pretty good. Hopefully that brings you a bit closer to budget.
July 26, 2009 5:44:06 AM

There is also a couple very recent articles here on toms that cover these exact kind of questions. I know that one can be found from the front page.

Right now the difference in speed between ddr2 and ddr3 is minimal. I have tested the newer phenoms with ddr2 800 and ddr2 1066, there is a performance difference between those two.

I don't want to complicate things for you.

Here's my recommendation. Find a combo for the mobo and X3 720 BE, I've seen them on the egg for $200. Get a board that can do DDR2 and DDR3. Buy 4 gigs of DDR2 1066 ram for $50.

If you feel the need to upgrade the ram to ddr3 later it will certainly drop in price.

Look at the HD4850. Its a great budget gamer, They can be had for $100 plus a $20 MIR.
July 26, 2009 6:08:35 AM

Well, now the setup I'm looking at is the X3 720 with the asus m4a78t-e mobo, antec 650 watt psu, samsung drive, and ocz platinum ddr3 ram from newegg for $422 (basically everything hunter suggested minus the case - I needed a 3.5" bay), and the GTS 250, the thermaltake case, WD black 750gb HD, and keyboard and media reader from tiger for $297. So for everything, it'll come to like $715 or so shipped.

One good thing about newegg is that the shipping is really fast for my area (they have a warehouse a few towns away). Only downside is the tax, but I guess they make up for it with cheap shipping to me.

It all looks really good to me, thanks for the help guys. If you see anything that can still be improved, please let me know. I'm willing to spend a little more, but I'd rather not if it can be avoided.

July 26, 2009 6:36:09 AM

I have one more question. If I get a case like these two, will the rear I/O spot for the mobo work with the motherboard I'm going to get?
- http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
- http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

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

I'm nervous that it won't, thats why I want to get the thermaltake, but I'm not completely sold on that one. I would get something like that antec combo hunter mentioned, but I really don't like the lack of a 3.5" external bay. I need that for my memory card reader. Can you think of anything that will work better then the thermaltake for like $50?
July 26, 2009 2:38:17 PM

That I/O panel on the back pops out of the case and you replace it with one that comes with the motherboard.

Most cases these days dont have a 3.5" bay and if they do they tend not to have good cooling so i would stick with the thermal take case. If it comes out cheaper you could always get one of these, but im not sure how the shipping costs are going to affect you.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 26, 2009 5:15:58 PM

Nirvalica said:
I have one more question. If I get a case like these two, will the rear I/O spot for the mobo work with the motherboard I'm going to get?
- http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
- http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

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

I'm nervous that it won't, thats why I want to get the thermaltake, but I'm not completely sold on that one. I would get something like that antec combo hunter mentioned, but I really don't like the lack of a 3.5" external bay. I need that for my memory card reader. Can you think of anything that will work better then the thermaltake for like $50?



Hey,
have you looked at the Antec 300 case? It comes highly recommended. Good suggestion on the 5 1/4 " conversion, those are shipped standard with the Antec 900, but I'm not sure about the 300. I especially like the Tri-cool fans with their 3 speeds which helps optimize air flow with fan noise.

I'm not sure about those other cases, its a bit of a crapshoot as far as air flow is concerned. That is the main concern for me when buying a case, which is why I went with the Antec 900.

If the reviews are predominately favorable with good airflow, I'd say go with the case that looks the best to you.
GL and have fun. And watch out, building your own is highly addictive!
July 26, 2009 5:29:10 PM

Just noticed the Antec 900 with a 650 watt PSU for 170 free shipping at the egg. A great deal for one of the best cases. I got my Antec 900 with a 650 blue for $200 (normally $300) and I thought THAT was a steal.

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

Free mouse too!

HIGHLY recommend!
!