I just need to make sure the parts I've chosen are compatible, or if there's anything I need to know about these. This is my first build, although I have experience installing/upgrading other hardware, I've never replaced a motherboard or processor.
This is replacing a 10 year old machine, which I was using as a file server, whose hard drive has died recently. I need to replace it on a very strict budget. I plan to use it for storing office documents and other smaller files accessible over the net, and possibly web browsing/school work for the children, and will be running Ubuntu 10.
I also want it to be easy to upgrade to an HTPC computer running mythtv when I have more money (upgrade processor, graphics, add tv tuner and dvd burner).
Approximate Purchase Date: This week, or sometime before Christmas
Budget Range: <$250 after rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: low-traffic file server for documents at home, occasional web-browsing and openoffice.
Parts Not Required: keyboard, monitor, speakers, OS, optical drive
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, recommendations welcome
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: none
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: unimportant
I based the selected components off of this article at extremetech.com, although I had to replace some of the parts that had been discontinued on NewEgg to things that looked similar.
I could possibly reuse my old machine's case (a Dell Dimension 4100, mid-tower, ATX), but the power supply for that was only 200W, and it seemed easier just to spring for a case/psu combo as listed below.
Just looking at that PSU/Case, the specs at Newegg don't say anything about a fan. Should I or shouldn't I assume that there is one built into the PSU that they simply forgot to mention?
Alternatively, does anyone have any suggestions for a better PSU for this combination? This is one thing that's giving me trouble as I don't want to get something cheap that's going to die on me, and I want to make sure it has enough power to handle any upgrades I add to this box. If I use my old case, choose a much smaller hard drive and go down to 1GB RAM, I can afford a PSU worth up to $60-70.
Okay, I've made some slight changes to my plan, putting more money into the power supply. I hope I can get some advice soon before all of the sales end.
I'm having difficulty finding professional reviews on power supplies out now that are within my price range. Does anyone know anything about the following PSU's? They seem to be reputable brands, they would replace the Rosewill Case/PSU above. (Or are there good quality PSU's for less expense?) The first two ideas came from another similar budget thread.
Okay, my hard drive went up in price this morning, so good thing that 500 GB is now cheaper than 250GB .
Anyway, I like Firestar's best, with the less expensive X2 CPU instead. This machine is still much better than the one it was replacing (Pentium 3), and I think should be fine for office documents, which is probably the most advanced stuff I'll use it for.
However, I think I'll keep the 1GB Crucial memory, unless there's a good reason to avoid that brand. 1GB is still 4 times the amount of memory I had in the machine it was replacing . And at $17.99, well, it brings the price down to $218.95, which looks much better to the wife.
After having seen anecdotes that the Dell cases tend to be difficult to work with, I decided not to go that route. (That last Rosewill case that ScrewySqrl mentioned was part of a combo, so I couldn't put in my shopping cart.)
The 'crucial' memory went out of stock while I was doing other things, so I replaced it with some Kingston memory for about the same price. In the end, I went with the Antec Case/PSU after all. It's only $1 over budget, but it's one more thing I hopefully won't have to worry about.
I am really kicking myself for not having found time to order all of this this morning before the price went up on that case, would have saved me $40.
Thank all of you for all your help. Hopefully I won't need this forum when I start building the machine.