System Overhaul $250

I've got an HP Pavilion 7935
that's running Ubuntu 9.04. I recently tried to buy a graphics card because I wasn't able to watch videos on Youtube (diagnosed as a hardware compatibility issue), but was disappointed when it turned out that I did't have a PCI E slot. I kicked around the idea of sending it back and ordering a PCI card, but realized I would need a new power supply as well. So, I figured I might as well spend a little more to get something that would last me a long time and beat the pants off my old system.


BUDGET RANGE: $250 or less

Before / After Rebates $239

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Recording music, surfing the internet (lots of browser tabs), watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, graphics card, hard drive, case.





SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Don't know what this is.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: As you can see, I'm not building a new system from scratch, but installing a new motherboard, CPU, PSU, DVD burner, and RAM into the old HP. For the music recording, I'm not doing multi-tracking much, just running a line out from a cassette 4-track to mix down to the comp so I can burn CDR's of stuff I do. Would like to eliminate runs when this is going on and I thought a system upgrade would help. Also, I think with this upgrade, the video card I bought will work great. It's an evga 9400 GT.

I've been trying to post my wishlist that had all the stuff picked out, but it doesn't seem to show up in the list of public wishlists. I want to post up what I plan to buy and see if I was forgetting anything or making any huge mistakes. I guess I'll just list everything here and provide links. I think if you look at the things I'm picking out, it's obvious that I'm trying to do this on a shoestring budget.

GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G41 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard (this is an open box so $20 discount)

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Intel Pentium E5300 2.6GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory


Any comments and help would be appreciated!
12 answers Last reply
More about system overhaul
  1. Your choices are OK, but for the money you would do much better with AMD. A 785G motherboard such as this will have graphics far superior to a G45.
    Also, never get open box boards from newegg.

    Combo: 785G board and Regor 245 CPU

    Some decent, fast Mushkin RAM:

    Your PSU choice is very nice indeed. This is a comparable PSU a bit less up front but no rebate:

    Since you aren't using an MS OS, there should not be any issues there, but you will probably need to install Linux fresh.
  2. Hmmm I missed the part about the GPU you bought.

    Why are you buying a G41 board if you have a GPU already?

    an Intel option.
  3. I think I'll take your suggestion on the mobo/cpu combo and RAM. I guess I thought Intel made better quality chips, but I'm probably not in the part of the market where there is much of a difference.

    I guess if the graphics are good enough, I'll send the GPU back and end up only out around $210 or so.

    Thanks for the advice!
  4. P.S. The only drawback is that I'll have to replace either my keyboard or my mouse since there is only 1 PS/2 input. I think that's a small price to pay for a better system overall for only a few dollars more.
  5. Yes you don't need the discrete GPU for just movies and such. If you can return it that would probably be ideal for you.
  6. krakenfury said:
    P.S. The only drawback is that I'll have to replace either my keyboard or my mouse since there is only 1 PS/2 input. I think that's a small price to pay for a better system overall for only a few dollars more.

    get a ps/2 to usb converter
  7. One thing people forgot to mention is that HP computers along with basically all company computers is that, it has proprietary power connectors (the one connected to the power switch on the case) that is probably too confusing to take apart if possible at all and to match the appropriate connector. This may or not save you some money, time, and frustration, but if I were you I wouldn't skimp out on the case. Or do your research before making your final decision. Check the connectors and all, if the power switch connector on the mobo is all just one piece of plastic you plug in, it's proprietary and your going to need another case unless your up for the challenge of taking apart the little thing and properly placing them in the right place. In other words, if you didn't understand what I just said, do yourself a favor and order a case when you purchase the parts.

    Also, foxconn is crap and has limited options, go with the Gigabyte board. That's one of the best priced 775 matx boards you can buy that's reliable. The onboard is way more than you need and you could send the 9400 gt back as previously said.
  8. It's all one flat piece. I'll take your advice. I found this combo:
    I like the power supply I picked out a lot. This one looks kind of sketchy. How important is a good quality power supply compared to a good quality case?

    Scratch that. This looks better:
  9. Yes PSU quality is vital and the HEC is trash.

    The EA380 is a Seasonic built PSU and an excellent choice.
  10. In fact, the Corsair and the EA380 may be the same design and OEM... not sure but I seem to recall that.
  11. I won't have the money for this until Tuesday, so I still have plenty of time for revisions. Here is the most recent config:

    Combo: 785G board and Regor 245 CPU

    Combo: Antec Three Hundred and Antec BP500U


    Mushkin Ram (I guess they sold out of the stuff you suggested, Proximon)

    USB Keyboard (I looked at adapters but they seemed hit-or-miss)

    It's about $120 more than I initially wanted to spend, and I think I'm keeping the GPU. I don't want to send it back and then want it later. It's still a pretty low budget build though, and $52 dollars of the cost is shipping and warranties (mobo and CPU). Thanks a lot to everyone who has helped me out with advice. I know it might not be as exciting as giving pointers to gaming beast builders, so I really appreciate it.

    Also, I didn't intend this thread as a question; it's my first post on Ted's.
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