New Mid-Range Computer

Hello all,

After browsing this board, I think I'd like to try build my own system. My ancient PII Celeron 400 w/ TNT graphics just can cut it anymore. As you can see I'm not much of an upgrader (yet). Money is at a premium.

I'm wondering what suggestions you might have for a mid-range system complete with OS for around $800US? It will be used for gaming and music, so the quieter the better.

14 answers Last reply
More about range computer
  1. Motherboard - Abit IC7 - 108.00
    Processor - Intel 2.4C 800 MHZ FSB - 172.00
    Ram1 - Corsair CMX256A-3200C2 - 60.00
    Ram2 - Corsair CMX256A-3200C2 - 60.00
    Video Card - ATI 9500 128mb 8xAGP - 134.00
    Hard Disk - Western Digital WD800JB 80GB 8MB 7200RPM - 82.00
    Speakers - Juster 5d-107 7Pcs - 34.00
    Case - Raidmax Model 208 10 Bay 350W PS - 43.00
    CD-RW - Lite-On 52x24x52x - 40.00
    Floppy - Teac 1.44 Floppy Drive - 12.00
    Sound - Creative Audigy2 Non-Platinum - 70.00
    KB/M - Logitech Optical Desktop KB/M - 28.00
    Total - $843.00 Inc/S&H

    Nice pc and in 2 years when this pc is starting to seem abit slow, you can whip out a brand new vid card and a 3.6c chip and toss in it and you'll be good for another year or two.

    Edit: I note you asked for os, but I note I skipped it... Last I checked you can get xp home for about 70$. Someone else can probally suggest somewhere to get it cheaper though. To cut down the price to make room you could get rid of the audigy and use the onboard sound... might also want to change to a decent 2+sub speaker system if you do.

  2. IC7? I think you mean the IS7 at that price...

    <font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
  3. for low end to midrange, I would think to go with AMD. You get more bang for buck. High end though Intel hands down, but for price/performance it's gotta be AMD.
  4. Just built a pretty decent mid-range computer (in my opinion) for less than $800 without the monitor. Here's my definition of a good mid-range computer:

    Motherboard: Epox 8RDA+ - $82.00
    Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton - $86.00
    CPU Cooler: Speeze CPU Fan Model 5F263B1M3 for AMD - $12.00
    Memory: 2 x Geil DDR RAM 256MB PC-3200 400Hz Ultra - $100
    HDD: Western Digital "Special Edition" 80GB 7200RPM 8MB Cace - $80.00
    Video Card: Abit Siluro GeForce4 TI4200-8X 64MB TV/DVI - $89.00
    Case: Raidmax Model 208 10 Bay 350W PS - $43.00
    CDRW/DVD-ROM: Lite On 48x24x48x16 CDROM/CDRW/DVD Combo Drive LTC-48161H - $68.00
    Floppy: Teac 1.44 Floppy Drive - $12.00
    KB/M: Logitech Optical Desktop KB/M - 28.00
    Speakers: Altec Lansing AVS300W Multimedia OEM - $30.00
    OS: Windows XP Pro OEM - $148.00

    Grand Total with shipping - $778.00

    There's probably a few people in this forum that'll tell you that the video card is too old or that the Athlon 2500+ is not the fastest, but realize that this forum is populated mostly by high-end users. This system, too, will serve you just fine for a few years, and will run everything out there just fine. Like the afore mentioned Pentium system, you can throw in a new video card and maybe a 3200+ CPU (although, you'd probably be better served to just overclock the 2500+). It'll run very quiet and cool. If you can spare about $75.00 more, get the ATI 9500 video card.
  5. Quote:
    ...this forum is populated mostly by high-end users.


    Don't you mean that this forum is populated by mostly people who wish they had enough money to buy all this new stuff???

    I build computers for a living, and even I can't afford to upgrade every time a new part or piece comes out! Not to mention the headache of constantly re-installing all my programs, and hardware fixes....LOL!!!

    However, I am typing this reply on my wife's Duron 1300, as my system is down for an upgrade... :wink:

    <font color=blue> Ok, so you have to put your "2 cents" in, but its value is only "A penny's worth". Who gets that extra penny? </font color=blue>
  6. Yep, you're right. What I should have said was, "This board is populated mostly by people that WANT to be high end users." But more importantly, they'll want you to be a high end user, too.
  7. I ditto on this system. Very good decisions in picking out the parts. Its odvious smitbret knows what the hell he's doing. The 2500+ (lowest barton model), would be my prime choice for a PC today also.
    I like to think of whats listed here as a better (although newer) version of the system I currently use. Very cost effective and very fast.

    Though I use the logitech z560s, very loud, as good (better in my opinion) than the klipsch 4.1 and way cheap, $140 shipped. But you might want to hold off on that.

    I understand what your saying about the users in this forum, they like to build a preconceptual idea of is the best, fastest thing out there, pretend everyone needs it and suggest it to everyone.. with few actually willing to pull out their dough because we all know its unnecessary.
    And and you forgot, whatever is the fastest and greatest, namely intel's p4 and ati's radeon.. "OWNZZ" all and everything else should be destroyed.

    Then you have the wiser forum members. :-)

    Athlon 1700+, Epox 8RDA (NForce2), Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 80GB 8MB cache, 2x256mb Crucial PC2100 in Dual DDR, Geforce 3, Audigy, Z560s, MX500
  8. Thanks. I do get a little frustrated from time to time reading a thread about why John Doe needs to get the Radeon 9800 Pro instead of the Ti4600 because his 3DMark scores will be 3000 points higher and a frame rate of 100 is just unacceptable. I'm just afraid that there are alot of people out there plunking down $1500 for the latest and greatest when they could have spent $600 and put the rest towards taking the family to Disneyland. 99% of the time they would never have noticed a difference. But, if that's the worst thing I can say about the advice on this MB, then hooray for all of us. Not a bad neighborhood to hang out in.

    (Incidentally, he could go with an Athlon XP 1700+, overclock it a couple hundred MHz (or not) and save himself $50. Just a little more upgrade proof and people would take me more seriously if the processor had a '2' in front of it.)
  9. I was going to post a question very similar to this one but instead i will tack it onto this thread. I want mostly what is recommended here (Epox, 2500+, 2x 256, WD) but I was wondering would it be ok if i skimped on the Graphics card and bought the Epox 8RGA+, with Geforce 4 MX graphics integrated? Could that run BF1942 or SWG? Or do I really need a graphics card? If so could I get a 8500, 9100, Ti4200? Which is best, there aren't a whole load of posts on lower end cards... Any input would be great.
  10. Yes, it would run what you want, but:

    a)it would 'borrow' system RAM to use as Video Ram.
    b)it's not exactly amazing..

    If I were you, I'd go the extra few $$$ and get a Ti4200 instead (or better...) they're fairly cheap these days. just don't get a FX5200. I've heard they're awful..

    $hit Happens. I just wish it would happen to someone else for a change.
  11. It would run those games, but it will come up a little choppy when the action gets hot and there are a lot of things happening on the screen. Just to be safe, make sure you get 512mb of GOOD memory. If it doesn't work out for you, then grab a Ti4200 (best bang for the buck, right now). Then, at worst, you have backup video built-in if something should happen to your video card.
  12. Thanks for your suggestions guys!

    I had no idea such a good system could be had for that kind of money. Is $800 around the sweet spot as far as price/performance ratio or should I save some more to get to a higher level? I may end up holding off a bit either way.

    Thanks again,
  13. What some of us lack in quality, we make for in volume.

    For example:

    1 Duron 1.3 GHz (I got the duron last year to hold me over until Barton came out. . . Everything else is SOTA)

    1 K6-III 450

    1 K6-2 550 (Only has CS on it)

    1 Celeron 450

    2 P200 notebooks (one serving as router/firewall)

    1 P233
    7 total

    I have enough spare parts where build three more computers, but one would be a PII and the others P200, so I just use the parts to decorate my office. My mother-in-law threw out my 486 ,sniff, :frown:

    <b><font color=red>Three great virtues of a programmer are: laziness, impatience, and hubris.</font color=red><b>
  14. Currently, it looks to me like the sweet spot is between about $750 and $850 for $/performance. Go ahead and do it now, unless you want to want until the early fall when the new Athlon 64's and P5s come out. Hopefully, that will drive down the prices on the processors and current motherboards a bit more. The "mid-range systems" that we're looking at here are hardly mid-range for the general public, since the average user is using something similar to a PIII celeron at about 1.2GHz. Unless you have to have the latest and greatest all of the time (which I assume you don't) you will be pretty care free for two or three years.
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