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Building a Budget System

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June 15, 2003 4:02:05 PM

Hi all. I'm new to Tom's and new to building a PC. I would like to build a rig with monitor for around $750. I have absolutely nothing. I don't have a preference as to AMD or Intel. Besides the essentials, I would like DVD and CDRW drives (or a combo drive), and an adequate video card. I will also need Windows XP included in this cost. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

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June 15, 2003 5:20:53 PM

Well, to keep it down to $750 ya really have to compromise on some things... You probably want to stay away from on board video, but using an nForce2 with on board GeForce4 MX video is one way to keep costs down. I would recommend however you get an nForce2 board without video and go for a mid range video card - probably cost about $125 for a halfway decent card.

To stay within your budget, you probably have to go for one of the cheaper Athlon XP's, make sure you get a T-bred core so you have a chance to overclock some. The best buy now-a-days seems to be that XP2500+, but that's around $92 and again, you probably can't stay within your budget with that.

The rest of the system is pretty generic... I'd go for a nice Western Digital 80 Gig with 8 meg cache for about $80. CDRW and DVD's are about $40 each and to me, I'd buy separate since you'll need a source disk as well as a RW drive often.

Buy a decent case - I'd recommend Antec, but the power supply is the most important. Allow a minimun of about $60 for a decent case.

You'll want to use two sticks of memory if you go with the nForce2 board in order to use the dual channel memory setup. I'd spend a little more for something better than generic DDR, something like Kingston Hyper X... Allow about $90 for two 256 meg sticks of matching DDR333.

Windows XP Pro is about $140 if you buy it with your components. I'd look around Newegg for these prices.

Good Luck.

Scout
700 Mflops in SETI!
June 15, 2003 6:07:54 PM

Sharky Extreme makes good value rig recommendations. Their budget is $1000 so skimp where needed.
<A HREF="http://www.sharkyextreme.com/guides/MVGSBG/article.php/..." target="_new">Sharky Extreme's May Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide</A>

If you aren't going for a "Gaming PC" you can get by with an Epox EP-8RGA+ <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=1..." target="_new">(Newegg Link)</A> motherboard and no video card.

AMD has the advantage in the low end value market.
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June 16, 2003 12:44:37 AM

Hi, welcome to THG.

Ok... I'll take a shot at this, let's see what I can scrounge up. Btw, for reference, I will be using Newegg.com for prices/components.

Case: Pure guess here... Lian Li Mid-tower ($65) - Good company, and you probably won't want to spend more than $60-70 here. This is one of the components I go high or low on. (One of my comps has no cover, baring its parts for all to see on a Heavy old frame, the other sits comfortably in a high end 5-fan case).
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?DEPA=1&submit..." target="_new">Case</A>

Cpu: XP2400 ($85) - Fairly good speeds, great OC potential (mine runs at XP2600 speeds, 200fsb)
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=1..." target="_new">Processor</A>
*Edit* XP1700 is an excellent 2nd choice; it's highly overclockable, and at $41 quite a deal.

Motherboard: Epox 8RDA+ ($85) - nForce2 board, good performance, inexpensive, stable, and overclocking friendly. First came out around dec '02 I believe.
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=1..." target="_new">Motherboard</A>

RAM: 512MB (256x2) Corsair PC2700 CAS 2.5 ($74) - I have a hard time deciding where to draw the line for price/performance on RAM, honestly. This is where I usually splurge. PC2700 ram should be just fine. If there's room later for more money to spend, I'd say spend it here, and get some CAS 2.0 PC3200.
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/Viewproduct.asp?DEPA=1&submit..." target="_new">RAM</A>

Hard Drive: 80GB 7200rpm Western Digital ($82) - Has 8MB cache, great performance, and nice price at ~$1 per GB.
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=2..." target="_new">Hard Drive</A>

Video Card: ATI Radeon 9500 pro ($189) - Not sure about this one, probably still the best bang for your buck for video atm. Maybe a 9000 instead to cut the cost. Video cards are so expensive :tongue:
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/Viewproduct.asp?DEPA=1&submit..." target="_new">Video Card</A>

DVD: Lite-On 16xDVD player ($31) - Good quality, excellent prices on Lite-On.
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/Viewproduct.asp?DEPA=1&submit..." target="_new">DVD Player</A>

Sound Card: None needed; motherboard has fine 5.1 integrated sound.

Floppy: Random $10.

Network: Integrated in motherboard.

OS: Windows XP Home ($93)
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=3..." target="_new">Windows</A>

Monitor: Forgot if you need a monitor; I'll check shortly.


Comes to a total of $714 w/o a monitor so far.
June 16, 2003 12:52:52 AM

Hi! I have this suggestion for you. Ofcourse you can play/work with this system and its suitable for OverClocking (OC).

Well here it is, from www.newegg.com, and well inside your 750$ budget! (OBS it should only be seen as a suggestion):

Case Dynapower Model# METIS CS-I3ACB.701 $23.00
Lite On 48x24x48x16 CDROM/CDRW/DVD COMBO $65.00
SAMSUNG 1.44MB FLOPPY $6.00
WD WESTERN DIGITAL HARD DRIVE 120GB 7200RPM $98
Keyboards KBTEK MCK-600 104 Keys(Black) $5.50
GEIL 256MB PC-2700 (333MHz) DDR RAM 2X30$ $60
(OBS, you'll need 2 memorysticks which lets
you enable the dualddr channel feature=
more speed for a few $ more. So DO buy 2
smaller sticks instead of one large)
Samtron 17" Flat Color CRT Monitor $119.00
(I have one of these and its OK)
LEADTEK Motherboard K7NCR18D-PRO $92.00
( A good motherboard which utilizes the
very good Nforce APU soundstorm SOUND,
trust me on this one you DONT need
a seperate soundcard with this baby)
Designer Scroll Optical Mouse Model H3003 $5
AMD ATHLON XP 2500+ "Barton" 333 FSB $92.00
PROCESSOR CPU- RETAIL (includes cpufan)
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition $93.00
ATI OEM RADEON 9000 Atlantis PRO 64mb $75.00


Subtotal » $733.50 (and a few bucks for shipping)!

Arguebly there are 2 parts I would like to discuss. The first one is about the case. If you do have more funds get a case with a better powersupply (PSU). This one is good enough but if you in the future would want to upgrade, for instance the Videocard, you might need more power.

The second one is about the Videocard. I use this one myself and at the time being I find it adequate, but for instance, a radeon 9600pro or even better a 9500pro (yes the lesser numberd one is the better one, read THG if you dont belive me) would be better. Unfortunately this would set you about $90 outside your budget. Thenagain you could save some $30 by buying a smaller HD (80GB or even 60 GB) and a slower CPU like the superb athlon 1700+ for a paltry $43, and that CPU is extremly easy to OC.

And finally, please do feel free to choose the mouse/kyb of your chooise. I just added those as examples. I have no experince with any of them (or the case for that matter).


Anyway GL

Turk
June 16, 2003 12:59:12 AM

Will also need a power supply. You can get an Enermax (very good quality) 350W PS for about $53.
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Power Supply</A>

Monitor: 17 inch Flat Screen from Viewsonic ($139) - As far as I know, budget still = CRT over LCD. For gaming, and full motion video (movies to some extent), CRTs are better anyway, just bulky.
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/Viewproduct.asp?DEPA=1&submit..." target="_new">Monitor</A>

I believe that's a total of $894 from me :frown: . A bit over the limit, but hopefully I helped give you a few ideas about what's available.
June 16, 2003 2:06:11 AM

My recommendations:-


CPU: AXP 2600+ retail (333 MHz FSB)

Mobo: Epox 8RDA+

RAM: 2 x 256 MB Kingston HyperX PC3000 CL2.0 DDR

Graphics Card: Radeon 9500 Pro/9600 Pro

HDD: 80GB 7200rpm Western Digital (8 MB buffer)

Optical Drive: LiteOn 48x/24x/48x/16x (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) combo

Sound & NIC: Onboard

----------------
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<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new"> My Rig</A></b>
June 16, 2003 9:05:37 AM

Turk's plan is great ,but if you play games, do what you have to, to get a 9500 pro.Get a burner and buy a dvd player latter get a smaller harddrive , even settle for 1 stick of ram now and another soon. The best crt in the world wont help if you need a better video card.
!