Building a budget PC - need advice

Hi all

I'm helping a friend to build a budget PC. The components I've selected are listed below.
Comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Antec SLK1600 Mini Tower w/300W PS = $50
Leadtek WinFast K7NCR18D-Pro, nForce2 = $116
(OEM)AMD Athlon 1700+ ThoroughbredA CPU = $57
Vantec Aeroflow VA4-C7040 heatsink/fan = $29
256MB Corsair XMS PC3200 CAS2 = $87
ATI Sapphire Radeon 9000, 64MB = $62
Creative Modem Blaster DSI V.92 D/V/F = $33
WD 800JB, 80GB, 7200RPM, 8MB cache = $104
Lite-On IDE 16X DVD-ROM/48X CD-ROM = $35

Total comes out to $572., which leaves me about $30 to spare for tweaking.
I heard a lot about nForce2 motherboards, so I'm giving it a try here.
Not sure if 256MB RAM is enough these days, though.

Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. :)

Best Regards
Gary Hendricks
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Learn to shoot, capture and edit your own digital videos!
11 answers Last reply
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  1. The config looks ok. You didn't mention what your friend will use the PC mainly for. I guess at least it's not for serious gaming. 256MB RAM is the minimum requirment for today's PC's especially if you install WinXP.
  2. get Radeon9000Pro, or Radeon9100/8500LE/8500
    it will be better choice
  3. Since your mobo is nForce2 then I suggest instead of 1 256mb stick of memory get 2x 128mb because then you can run them in dual channel config

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  4. uh, are you goig to be overclocking at all? If not I think XMS will be a "bit" of an overkill, the same for pc3200. You you use the cash you saved to get say 2x256 pc2700 of a major (and cheaper) brand, i.e geil, samsung ect. If you just plan to use one stick of memory, you could just get kt-400 as you will not be usuing dull channel ddr, and it's cheaper.

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  5. You should definitely get more RAM. 256 megs really is the bare minimum. 512 megs is much, much better. There are already games hitting the market (like Battlefield 1942) that run like a three-legged DOG on systems with 256 megs of RAM, and you can anticipate that will only get worse. I know it's a budget system, but I think that is the biggest weakness I see in your setup.

    Also, as a previous poster pointed out, you won't get the maximum benefit out of an nForce motherboard unless you have two sticks of RAM on the board.

    I also think you could find a less expensive nForce2 motherboard that would serve you very well, and perhaps leave enough money to upgrade the graphics card.

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    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Twitch on 04/13/03 04:01 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  6. A couple of sugestions:
    With out searching all my favorite sites I found these over at :
    MSI K7N2-L for $95 w/ free shipping, that'd save you 21. I use this MB, and have nothing but good things to say about it. 512 (2x256) of crucial 2700 for $80 (2x$40), That save you 7 for twice the memory, and an 1800XP for $4 more.

    "Quotes are for people that can't think for themselves"
  7. MSI K7N2-L doesn't have nForce APU

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  8. You arent going to be gaming on 256 MB RAM. I would try for at least 512MB, get cheaper memory (Samsung) if you have to. Also, try for a better HSF (Thermalright, anyone) because a 1700+ is the most overclockable chip on the market today. Look for a Geforce3 Ti500(DDR VERSION!) or a Geforce4 Ti4200 for around $120.

    eBay, kick ass!

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  9. Budget PC Eh! Check this out.

    PowerMax Mid-Tower Case w 350W P/S $34.00
    MSI KT4VL M/B O/B Audio,Lan 266/333/400FSB AMD XP up to 3000+ & beyond $79.00
    AMD XP2200+ Thoroughbred Core 266FSB $99.00
    Vantec Aeroflow $25.00
    Kingston 512Mb PC2100/266 $65.99
    Gainward GF3 TI/450 128Mb DDR RAM w TV/Out $95.99
    Super Fast V.92/56K PCI Modem/Lucent Chipset $12.00
    Maxtor DiamondMax 40Gb 7200Rpm ATA/133 $69.99
    Sony DVDROM Drive 16X $35.99
    MSI CDRW 52/24/52 $49.99
    Floppy Drive $9.99

    $576.94 + S&H

    Gives you 50w more P/S, Faster CPU, 256Mb more RAM, Kick A$$ Video Card, a CDRW & Floppy Drive @ $4.00 more than your figures.

    Your setup will cost more than you think if you get your RAM right for the Nforce2.

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  10. He said budget... and actually for the budget systems I build for, ie surf/email/word, I use the MSI K7N2G-L. I know the on-board video isn't much, but it is prob one of the best on-board vids out. Tho I don't look for on-board vid, so I'm not totally for sure on that.

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  11. Lose the Radeon9000. The clock settings are locked. Even if it doesnt does matter...or it might matter later.

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