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Computer purchasing decision (4 a friend)

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April 4, 2002 2:17:20 AM

Okay, I'm helping out a friend by looking for parts and building him a computer. His mom's paying, of course. Anyways, they know cousin that works at CompUSA, and he can get them a whole system (computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse) for $700. As of now, I'm not aware of all the details of that system. But, I don't think I can find him a quality system for that price. I don't even know what computing habits his family has, so I'm not sure what to look for. But, I don't want them to be unhappy.

Anyways, this was the system I've got so far, but it's almost to $700, <b>without a monitor</b>.

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/perez.html" target="_new">My friend's system proposal</A>

Can anyone give me some tips? Perhaps even better recommendations on components. (I'm not worrying about software.) I'll post more tomorrow, when he shows me what's in it. But, he told me it'll be maybe a month before they get it.

Thanks everybody!
Bryan

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 4, 2002 2:21:07 AM

Is the computer their first PC? If it is then it will not be a good idea to build computer for them.
April 4, 2002 2:22:41 AM

go with an antec or a sparklr power supply they are good for what you need and thet wqill save about 20 dollar sand it =will be fine for them


<font color=red>Gasoline + Fire</font color=red><font color=green> Can be a lot of fun</font color=green> :smile: :smile: :smile:
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April 4, 2002 3:01:11 AM

Nope, they're coming from a troublesome Pentium I.

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 4, 2002 3:05:49 AM

How does the case with a 340W PSU look? Would that be sufficient? That'd save them 57 bucks. Enlight-brand PSUs aren't bad either, right?

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 4, 2002 1:39:47 PM

Well, I do think that powersupply you listed it overkill for that system. You can save a few bucks by moving to the 350W Enermax or even an Antec 300-350 watt unit.

Also, your shipping will not be that much. Newegg policy states that they list the shipping costs for individual components as if they were shipped separate. In other words, as you add more items to your cart, your shipping costs won't go up as much as listed. To get a more accurate picture, I would add all those items to a shopping cart and when done, have Newegg calculate the shipping costs.

We all here in the forum know about those pre-configured systems and the savings. But most of the time, particularly with HP and Sony, they use sub-standard components like 3 year old graphic cards, etc.

Case in point; I had a client that need a workstation "yesterday" (those in the field know what I mean). I had no option to build one since I didn't have all the components so I had him pick up a nice HP from Costco for $999.00. It was a XP1600, 512 megs of memory, DVD, CD-RW, 40 GB hard drive, V90 modem, network, keyboard, mouse and 17" monitor.

Sounds good? Sure, to the lay person, but the memory was SDRAM, and 32 megs were being used by KM133 Via onboard chipset (ugh), had on-board Via sound through the 686B southbridge (ugh), decent 16x DVD, but slow 10x4x32 HP CD-RW...you get the picture. I even noticed that the Sony systems with P4's are coming with TNT video cards. Isn't that top technology, oh wait, it isn't 1997 anymore, is it?

OK, enough ranting, I would show them the specs on that Comp-USA rig and compare it to yours. Either lower your hardware choices (like using a KM133 chipset and SDRAM, etc) or convince them why your system is better.

BTW, after buying that HP machine, I decided to see how much it would cost if I built it with the same specs (good thing HP uses Asus boards) and I priced it $105 less than what we paid for the HP machine.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/myanandtech.html?member=87962" target="_new">My Rigs </A>
April 4, 2002 1:59:01 PM

40gb HD, Geforce 2 mmx400, 256mb Pc2100, buy a mobo with onboard Sound, and Lan

Measure Twice, Cut Once!!
April 4, 2002 3:09:59 PM

look into an inforce baord that might be a good baord for what they need

i mean you get good onboard sounds, a lan connectoin whcich won't be used and best onbaord video for and mother baord.

the down isde you would have to put 64 meg extra for the video card in there.


<font color=red>Gasoline + Fire</font color=red><font color=green> Can be a lot of fun</font color=green> :smile: :smile: :smile:
April 4, 2002 6:28:40 PM

I had a feeling it might be overkill. I'm really paranoid after what happened the other day, but I'm pretty too that 350W should cover it. Any recommendations on a case & PSU combo from Newegg?

About lowering my hardware choices:
I'm not sure which one to go with, if I choose a SDRAM-based motherboard. Plus, I didn't know what modem to get them, that was available at either Newegg and Multiwave (MWave), which would be compatible with the motherboard and Windows XP. Basically, I just don't want to fail with this (who doesn't?).

So, I'll try to convice them why it would be better to go my route. Plus, I'm always willing to help them out if any problems arise. But then again, I'm hoping to work out any issues that might be there initially.

I haven't seen the specs of the Dell system yet, but I will post that. Hopefully he'll show me this afternoon.

Thanks for your insight, Mark. :smile:

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 4, 2002 6:32:25 PM

What's an Inforce board? I haven't heard of that one before.

I'm not sure if I need to get a sound card, because I don't know how reliant they might be on it. Maybe with the new system, they might listen to more music and play more games with it, too. I know that my friend's younger brother played games on it (before he busted their CD-ROM).

Again, I'd appreciate any motherboard recommendations. Thanks, man!

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 4, 2002 7:37:20 PM

OK, but this is gonna be a HUGE post:

I looked at your specs and elaborated them a bit. I also noticed that you didn't put in DVD,CDRW,etc, so I omitted them to keep it the same for comparison:

Your specs, elaborated:
Inwin ATX midtower case w/ 300 watt Sparkle PSU - $ 49.00
(model #: IW-J508P)
Thermaltake Volcano 6Cu HS & Fan (same as spec) - $ 11.00
Maxtor Quiet drive 40GB 7200 Liquid Bearing (same) $ 85.00
MS OEM Internet Keyboard and Intellimouse bundle - $ 24.00
(Newegg: N82E16823109106)
Kingston PC2100 256 MB DDR (same) - $ 70.00
Creative modem PCI V92 - $ 20.00
ECS K7S5A SiS 735 board (same) - $ 52.00
AMD 1600XP+ OEM (same) - $ 92.00
Visiontek Xtasy 5632 (same) - $ 48.00
Creative SB Live 5.1 Value - $ 32.00
Total $493.00
Shipping & Handling to California $ 38.43
Final Total $531.43

Next, the CHEAPO HP style:
Inwin ATX case (same as above) $ 49.00
Thermaltake Volcano 6Cu HSF (same as above) $ 11.00
Maxtor 40GB 5400 hard drive $ 67.00
(model #: 4D040H2)
MS OEM Internet keyboard/ Intellimouse (same) $ 24.00
Kingston PC-133 SDRAM 256 MB $ 67.00
Creative modem V.92 PCI (same) $ 20.00
MSI KM133A Pro5 Motherboard (w/onboard graphics $ 76.00
and sound) (note: microATX)
AMD Athlon XP1600+ OEM (same) $ 92.00
Subtotal $406.00
Shipping & Handling $ 39.59
Total $445.59

What I would spec out:
Inwin Case (same) $ 49.00
Alpha 8045 HSF $ 35.00
Panaflo 80mm 1LA fan (very quiet) $ 12.00
Maxtor Quietdrive 40 GB 7200 (same) $ 85.00
MS Keyboard/intellimouse combo $ 24.00
Kingston PC2100 DDR 2x128MB sticks $ 74.00
(for dual channel support, need pairs)
Creative Modem PCI V92 $ 20.00
MSI K7N420 nVidia nForce 420 board $135.00
(on-board GF2MX graphics, onboard Dolby 5.1 sound
on-board Lan)
AMD Athlon XP 1600+ $ 92.00
Subtotal: $526.00
Shipping & Handling to California $ 40.99
Total: $566.99

So, it's not as expensive as you think. All prices are from <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com" target="_new"> NewEgg's website </A> as of 12:30 California time on 4/4/2002

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/myanandtech.html?member=87962" target="_new">My Rigs </A><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bgates2b on 04/04/02 03:38 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 4, 2002 9:47:56 PM

Dude, thanks for creating that comparison! I really appreciate the work you've done.

I'm not sure if that modem is compatible with the K7S5A or WIndows XP, so can you help check that one? Other than that, I guess it ain't that bad. For the monitor, I was just gonna tell them to get one at PC Club, Best Buy, or CompUSA.

I knew I forgot something. I was gonna get the Lite-On 32x12x40 CD writer for $85 (4/4/02 @ 2:46pm).

By the way, what do you mean <font color=green>what I would spec out</font color=green>?

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 4, 2002 10:03:23 PM

Maybe I could go with the Asus A7V266-E with audio ($140 @ <A HREF="http://direct.mwave.com/mwave/ProdMB-ASU.hmx?UID=&CID=&...;b>Motherboards</b>&back=ProdMB-ASU.hmx?" target="_new">Multiwave</A>) Then, I wouldn't have to get the Santa Cruz, or worry about a modem possibly not being compatible with it. I'm just thinking aloud...what do you think about this?

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 4, 2002 11:53:37 PM

I have the Asus A7V266-E with audio and it is very good.
The on board audio is not bad at all.

:smile: <b><font color=green>I took an I.Q. test today...it came back negative.</font color=green></b> :smile:
April 5, 2002 12:15:59 AM

get them to think aboiut this monitor they can't go wrong with it and they will love it

ethier the samsung 735 df or the 755 df

hte 735 is 160 and the 755 182

my gusses is that the hp will come with a 15 inch non flat screen but also you can't for get the os which is another 88 dollars i would never build a system fora freind that didn't have a legal os


<font color=red>Gasoline + Fire</font color=red><font color=green> Can be a lot of fun</font color=green> :smile: :smile: :smile:
April 5, 2002 12:19:00 AM

also forgot to say that the system will proablly only have a 20 gig hard drive if it is 7200 rpm

<font color=red>Gasoline + Fire</font color=red><font color=green> Can be a lot of fun</font color=green> :smile: :smile: :smile:
April 5, 2002 5:57:02 AM

Thanks OldBear! Makes me change my mind, a little. My train of thought is $52 K7S5A + $61 Santa Cruz = $113, while Asus A7V266-E = $140. So, although compatibility might be better, it would be a little more expensive. But, it does sound better. I would feel way more comfortable.

<b>Update:</b> My friend showed me the Dell magazine, and 1) the offer has expired, and 2) his cousin can't get the discount. So, they're pretty much going with me.

As of right now, they don't really need the monitor. They might just stick to having one good computer in the house, rather than one good and one lame. But, the concern for me is finding a good modem that won't cause too many conflicts with the A7V266-E. (I'm basically leaning towards this motherboard, that's for sure.) I guess here's what I'm thinking so far:

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Inwin Mid Tower #IW-J508P w/300W PSU - $59</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Asus A7V266-E w/RAID and Sound (Retail) - $148</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">AMD 1600+ Athlon XP - $92</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">ThermalTake Volcano 6Cu - $11</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Crucial Micron 256MB PC2100 DDR RAM - $78</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Lite-On 32x12x40 CDRW - $85</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Visiontek Xtasy 5632 GeForce2 32MB DDR - $48</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Maxtor Quiet Drive 40GB - $85</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Microsoft Internet Keyboard & Intellimous - $24</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Mitsumi Floppy Drive - $9</A>
<font color=orange>Total without shipping or tax: $639</font color=orange>

How does this look? I just need a good modem that won't choke in Windows 2000 or XP (for sure XP).

Thanks for all your help guys!

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 5, 2002 12:15:22 PM

Sorry about the delay in answering.

The Creative modem I picked is a Lucet Mars chipset modem, a basic LT Winmodem. XP has drivers built it but I used the 8.10 V.92 drivers without any problems at all.

If you do go with the A7V266-E, you do understand that you have to supply a video card; there is no onboard graphics. That is why I mentioned the nForce board, it has built in GeForce2MX 400 as well as Dolby 5.1 on-board sound.

If you want, you can also get the Abit N7V-M, it is also a nForce board with 5.1 sound, lan, but it is a microATX board. I was thinking about getting one of these and putting it into a Flex ATX chassis like <A HREF="http://www.directron.com/907.html" target="_new">This one from Fong Kai </A>. I would just up the PSU through <A HREF="http://www.pcpowercooling.com" target="_new">PC Power & Cooling </A>

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/myanandtech.html?member=87962" target="_new">My Rigs </A>
April 5, 2002 12:24:28 PM

I like your specs, but I am concerned with the HSF unit you picked.

How loud is it?

The reason I ask is because people that think of picking up those $799 HP at CompUSA, they don't hear any noise when looking at them.

Maybe it's me but I like a quiet PC. No 7000 RPM Delta's in my system. That's why I picked the Alpha 8045 w/ low flow Panaflo.

I have a Antec SX830 case with 4 of those Panaflow (2 exhaust, 1 on Alpha, and 1 blow into the case over the hard drives) and they are quiet!!. Plus, my XP 1800+ runs at 35C idle and maxed out once at 43C with that HSF combo

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/myanandtech.html?member=87962" target="_new">My Rigs </A>
April 5, 2002 12:51:12 PM

I agree, get an nForce and 2 sticks of 128MB DDR RAM so you can make use of the two channels. Then you don't have to worry about a sound card or a graphics card.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
April 5, 2002 1:49:01 PM

and the nice part is taht it still has an agp for upgrade later

what is better then a 7000 rpm, a 8000 rpm delta. to cause more noise to kill your ears :smile:
April 5, 2002 5:43:22 PM

It's cool, don't worry about it. :smile:

Anyways, it's a Winmodem, huh? I'm not sure what to get still for a modem, but I'm not sure if a Winmodem is the best way to go.

I think you're all right about just going nForce, and holding off on the graphics card. They might like it better, plus when GeForce4 cards get cheaper, they can upgrade if they wanted to. Yeah, I think I will change it up.

About the HSF, it's not too loud at all. For the two computers I built for friends so far, they sound better than my computer right now, that's for sure. But, I know what you mean about a quiet PC. The Volcano 6Cu+ is another story, remembering what HonestJhon said about his friend's computer...

Is that low flow Panaflo come in 60mm sizes? I wanna change the fan on my Swiftech MC370-0A, plus get two low flow case fans, compared to the high-speed Sunon I got running. That way, they would compliment the new Enermax Whisper 431W PSU I just got. That'd be tight!

Well, I saw this US Robotics Modem that I didn't see before at Newegg the other day. So, hopefully that'll work okay. Here's what I'm looking at now:

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Inwin Mid Tower #IW-J508P w/300W PSU - $59</A>
<A HREF="http://direct.mwave.com/mwave/ProdMB-ASU.hmx?UID=&CID=&...;b>Motherboards</b>&back=ProdMB-ASU.hmx?" target="_new">Asus A7N266-E w/GeForce2, Sound, Audio (Retail) - $175</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">AMD 1600+ Athlon XP - $92</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">ThermalTake Volcano 6Cu - $11</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Crucial Micron 256MB PC2100 DDR RAM - $78</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Lite-On 32x12x40 CDRW - $85</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Maxtor Quiet Drive 40GB - $85</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">US Robotics v.90 56K Modem - $38</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Microsoft Internet Keyboard & Intellimous - $24</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Mitsumi Floppy Drive - $9</A>

<font color=orange>Total without shipping or tax: $656</font color=orange>
That's not too bad of an increase from the last price, especially with a modem.

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 5, 2002 5:43:57 PM

What do you mean when you say: <font color=green>so you can make use of the two channels</font color=green>? I'd really like to hear more about this...

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 5, 2002 7:33:14 PM

Oh, a hardware modem. Nice, but I myself had awful luck with PCI USR modems. My ISA SPortster on the other hand, was SWEET!!!. I still have it in a PII-400 and it has almost no handshake, instant negotiations. Ah, that was the time. :smile:

Now, about the dual channel, the nForce chip is the only DDR chipset to support dual channel support. It works very similar to Rambus on the i850 chipset. NVidia calls it twin banks and it takes the two DDR channels, which normally run independently at 64 bits; and combines them into a 128 bit DDR channel. That effectively doubles the data transfer rate, from 2.1GB/sec on PC2100 to 4.2GB/sec on PC2100 w/ twinbank active. But, in order to enable TwinBank dual channel, you need at least a pair of memory sticks. And, on early boards, you had to put one in slot 1, one in slot 3 to get the most effective bandwith (this has changed with a bios update).

Now, on to the panaflos. I use the 80mm ones. If you are going to use it on a HSF that accepts a 60mm, they do make adapters to allow the use of a 80mm fan on a 60mm base. I know <A HREF="http://www.frozencpu.com" target="_new">Frozen CPU </A> sells them. My 80mm 1LA low flow Panaflo spin at 2100 RPM, generate 22.5dB of noise and flow 24 cfm.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/myanandtech.html?member=87962" target="_new">My Rigs </A><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bgates2b on 04/05/02 03:34 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 5, 2002 7:45:29 PM

i have mno probs with my hardware absed modem it is a usr but hey i like 3com stuff



what is better then a 7000 rpm, a 8000 rpm delta. to cause more noise to kill your ears :smile:
April 5, 2002 8:38:17 PM

I guess I should be okay with that other Winmodem, huh? I don't know, since I haven't seen any bad reviews for this modem at Newegg. That Creative Labs modem had only three stars. But, perhaps it could be due to user error. Do you suggest I should just get 2x128MB sticks of DDR compared to one 256MB stick?

I'm thinking about getting some Panaflos and that adapter, as soon as I get some cash. It might be so much quieter. That'd be nice when it comes to studying.

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 5, 2002 11:13:19 PM

get 2 sticks that way you willg get better video performance

what is better then a 7000 rpm, a 8000 rpm delta. to cause more noise to kill your ears :smile:
April 9, 2002 1:51:23 AM

<b>Updated:</b> I changed some parts around, checked out another motherboard, added the forgotten CD writer, different case and power supply, etc etc. Please look this over...<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/perez.html" target="_new">Linky</A>. His mom already said "yes", too, so I can't screw this up. (Duh!) :lol: 

Thanks!

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
!