Help putting together computer for brother

Hello, I am in need of some help. I am looking for advice. My brother recently started attending school away from home. I gave him an old computer of mine to use but he has had several problems with it and it looks like it is time to replace it with a newer one.

A little information on what the main uses for this computer will be are:

1. School work such as writing papers and putting together presentations.
2. Internet surfing (He has cable)
3. He would also like the ability to burn cd’s

He does not spend a great deal of time playing games so he will not need top end machine. I have the ability to build the computer but I am looking for recommendations on what to use. The main object is to build a stable and user-friendly computer that will cover the above uses for a minimum amount of money. He does not know a lot about computers and has little money due to his college student status. I have listed some of my rough ideas below. Help would be greatly appreciated. I am very open to suggestions as I am still new at some of this. One other thing, is now a good time to be purchasing or are new products coming out soon that may allow me to get a better price on some things. Price is very important, but not at the expense of quality.

Case: ?
MB: ?
CPU: ? Is Athlon or Intel the best way to go?
RAM: ?
HD: Western Digital 800JB (80gb, 7200rpm, 8mb cache)
CD 1: Lite-On DVD
CD 2: Lite-On CDRW
3.5: Have one lying around.
Video Card: ?
Sound Card: Sound Blaster Live
OS: Windows XP Home
8 answers Last reply
More about help putting computer brother
  1. Newegg prices
    A7N266-VM $66
    XP1800 retail $56
    or it's bigger brother
    XP2400 $82
    This is the old nforce chip with dolby digital sound onboard nic and integrated Gforce 2 video.
  2. I would spend an extra $33, and go with the epox 8rga+ with integrated video (about $99 shipped at newegg). With this board, you can probably skip the soundcard and use the integrated sound. If you've never installed an athlon heatsink, be sure to read the installation instructions in the mobo manual or on amd's website. It's possible to install some backwards, which can cause overheating. If you get a retail boxed cpu, just use the thermal pad, and be sure to remove the plastic film on it before installing. You may find a refurbished case at newegg dirt cheap. has a turbolink 420 watt power supply for only $20.
  3. I agree with o1die. You'll get a decent system with the 8RGA+, and the built-in gfx will be adequate for the occasional game here and there, should the need arise.

    What OS was on the old computer? you may be able to re-use it for this one, which saves a good chunk of cash.. don't bother if it's older than win98SE though.

    for RAM, I've always found Crucial Ram to be quite good, shove 2x256mb sticks in there, and it'll be a sweet system. you could buy PC2100, but considering the price difference between that and PC2700 ($2 difference for 256Mb), you may as well get the faster stuff, as he can then drop a 333FSB cpu in later should he need to (or overclock an 1800+ to ~2500+ levels or so), while keeping the RAM in spec. Don't skimp on the amount of RAM, as remember the onboard Gfx will steal some for itself.

    Lite-on are good drives, I have a few myself.

    <font color=red>The preceding text is assembled from information stored in an unreliable organic storage medium. As such it may be innacurate, incomplete, or completely wrong</font color=red> :wink:
  4. Would the AMD ATHLON XP 2500+ "Barton" 333 FSB PROCESSOR CPU- RETAIL for $90.00 be a good choice to go with the motherboard? Also what would you recommend for RAM. I want at least 512 MB.
  5. The 2500+ would be a great choice, but I'd pair it up with an nForce 2 board, probably an Abit NF7. The mb price difference would only be about $20. Together, it might be more of a machine than he needs, but it would be one he could be proud of and it'll be more "future-proof" as well.
  6. there is no future proof athlon xp system anymore, just about all current mobos support 200mhz bus and thats as far as the AXP is planned to go.

    I recomend the Soltek NV-400
    the epox 8rga+ and 8rda+

    Proud owner of DOS 3.3 :smile:
  7. It was a bad suggestion anyway, since he wants something with on-board graphics. As far as futureproof, I'm pretty sure that I saw you posting in the thread about that just this morning (that I read it). I didn't say that it was future-proof, just more future-proof. Nothing is future proof, whether it's AMD, Intel or Cyrix. Might I amend my recommendation to an MSI K7N2GM-L. This one does have the onboard graphics.
  8. I wouldn't skimp on the case, Newegg has a high quality Inwin case (the classic black mid tower) with a top quality power supply for $60.

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