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Buying Mobo, Video Card, RAM + Need Help

Last response: in CPUs
September 25, 2003 10:51:17 PM


I'm planning to buy a new Mobo, Video Card and Ram, and maybe a new CPU. I only have $410.00 CANADIAN with which to buy the components. I'm planning to buy from <A HREF="" target="_new">PC Cyber</A> and <A HREF="" target="_new">RB Computing</A>. Here are my specs:

CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1600+
Mobo: ECS Elitegroup K7S5A
Ram: 256MB generic DDR
Hard-Drives: 1 Maxtor, 1 Western Digital
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400
Dvd Drive: 1 (Don't know what it is)
CD-RW Drive: LG CD-RW Drive

Sorry if the specs are a bit incomplete, but I didn't build this system, I bought it from RB Computing.


September 26, 2003 5:12:23 AM

looks like your on a very tight budget.. nothing wrong with that. any chance you might drop the video card and get an nforce2 with onboard nVidia chip.. You would still have a free agp slot to upgrade to a much better vid card down the road.. If its still in your budget get rid of the cd burner and dvd drive and see if you can get a cheap dvd burner, they have dropped in price latley.
September 26, 2003 5:18:31 AM

get a nforce2~~ MSI is the recommand company cause their boards have onboard video. And dvd burners are still expensive, u should get a combo drive (DVD+CD burning)

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
PROUD OWNER OF THE GEFORCE FX 5950ULTRA <-- I wish this was me
waiting for aBox~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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September 26, 2003 5:33:43 AM

Re: u should get a combo drive (DVD+CD burning)
I know what you meant Coolsquirtle but he might not.
the combo drive only reads dvd roms and burns cd's a dvd burner would burn them all.. but Coolsquirtles idea is good better than the 2 drives and cheaper.
September 26, 2003 6:04:45 AM

ya that's what i meant. but if he wants to copy cds then it could be a problem

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
PROUD OWNER OF THE GEFORCE FX 5950ULTRA <-- I wish this was me
waiting for aBox~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
September 26, 2003 11:19:47 AM

Thanks for all of the replys but I won't use onboard video. I'm doing this so that my not-so-good gaming machine will get a needed update. So, I just need you guys to go to those two websites (or other sites) and reccommend me some Mobo's and some Video Cards. I'm probably NOT going to buy a CPU, but if I have left over money, that's what I'm gonna do!


September 26, 2003 11:25:54 AM


I would really like to get a GeForce 4 Ti 4200 or 4800. All I really need is a motherboard that's stable and has the same features as the K7S5A but just with an AGP 8x slot. So, maybe a video card around $150 CANADIAN and a mobo around $200 CANADIAN.

I also think that <A HREF="" target="_new">RB Computing</A> is a better store than <A HREF="" target="_new">PC Cyber</A>.


September 26, 2003 1:11:35 PM

Asus A7N8X-X Nforce2-400 SocketA Mainboard w/Audio/Lan -$126
2x256 MB PC2700 DDR Ram (BRAND NAME) -$136

I think that the selection of video cards in both stores is very limited. I would search elsewhere (I can buy a Gainward GoldenSample ti4200 for 150(~150 can. $) swiss francs and prices tend to be 10-15% more here). But if I had to buy i'd go for:
Video Cards - ASUS V9280/TD/128 -$187
PC Cyber

<font color=blue>Give man fish and you feed him for a day. Teach man to fish and he spend his lifetime drinking beer in boat.
--Chinese Proverb</font color=blue>
September 26, 2003 1:36:05 PM

Hey, go a good service, canadian price, you should find what you need. I often buy from them. I couls recommend a 120$ can soltek nforce 2 motherboard with a 135$ can 2500+ barton. They have the k7s5a for 50 some can $ too.

Just go there and build your computer.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
September 26, 2003 9:03:40 PM

I would really like to get a mobo with a MCP-T not a MCP for the nVidia nForce 2 chipset. And I would like to get a GeForce 4 Ti 4200 or 4800. What should I get? What are the advantages of the MCP-T?


a b à CPUs
a b U Graphics card
September 27, 2003 12:36:22 AM

MCP-T includes the nForce APU, which is a very powerfull digital sound processor. Especially handy in games, where it takes most of the 3D sound processing tasks, instead of relying on the CPU.

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September 27, 2003 1:45:49 AM

Ok, here's what I've decided to get:

ASUS A7N8X Deluxe from <A HREF="" target="_new">PC Cyber</A> for CAN$182.00

Kingston 256MB PC133 DIMM from <A HREF="" target="_new">PC Cyber</A> for CAN$67

ASUS V9280/TD/128 from <A HREF="" target="_new">PC Cyber</A> for CAN$187

I know it's a bit over CAN$410, but I'll get the money later.

So, what do you guys think about these components? Are they stable? Has anyone had any issues with them?

Thanks again,

September 27, 2003 2:45:08 AM

If you don't need the Sata, and possibly will do some overclocking down the road, ditch the Asus board and go for the Epox 8rda+ or 8rda3+ if you need the Sata.

You can't use Pc133, that's older Sdram, won't fit in DDR slots. You'll have to buy some Pc333 DDR (also known as Pc2700).

The graphics card isn't bad, you might even be able to get it a little cheaper than that if you looked around for a while.

:cool: I run my AthlonXfx at 7.65 Exahertz :cool:
September 27, 2003 10:30:15 AM

If you want this for gaming, get a Radeon 9600 pro ($210 for one by saphire at ) and an xp 2400. This on your current mobo will give you much better game performance than the choices above, and will be under your budget. Dont get me wrong, the Asus board is great, but in games an xp1600 on an A7N mobo with a ti 4200 just can't compare with the 9600 pro with an xp2400, no matter what mobo or ram.
September 27, 2003 11:14:11 AM

By spending a bit more you can have a system thats as fast as the fastest. I had a 1700xp running at 2.3ghz with some 200mhz memory. Spend a bit more if you can and get either pc3200 or pc2700 memory and try to find a 1700xp JIUHB DLT3C processor (not sure if AMD still makes these) and you will have at least a 2700xp out of it.

Then later you could buy a barton on the cheap if the 1700 isnt up to your needs and turn it into a 3200xp or faster like I did.

Just something for you to think about. Check my sig below, all achieved by a second hand graphics card for £100 ($140), and new memory/mobo and cpu for £250 ($360). And it runs like that 24/7 :) 

<A HREF="" target="_new"> 3D-2001 </A>
<A HREF="" target="_new"> 3D-03 </A>
<font color=red> 120% overclocker </font color=red> (cheapskate)
September 27, 2003 11:40:33 AM

Isn't that a DDR Board, and you're showing non-DDR memory?

check here:
and here:

I've had great experiences with newegg, they ship fast and have good return policys.

If you are doing gaming you WILL want more than 256MB memory if you are running WinXP

I'm assuming your funds would come out to USD $300 or roughly,

Piece NewEgg
ABit NF7 Mobo $92 $75
2x Corsair Value Select PC 2700 $86.50 $89 Kingston 512 DDR 400

$178.50 $164 161.50

and wait a bit to upgrade processor vid card (actually, if you add a 2500+ in there, a good buy for the extra cach it'll still be under $300 USD, so probably under $410 CAN. $90 at newegg, with great return policy, $92 at GameVE with unknown return policy).

If you really want the vid card now,

At GameVE, no good deals ATM at newegg
ASUS GF4 Ti4200 8X V9280TD/ 64MB RETAIL (back order)- $125
ASUS GF4 TI4200 V8420TD 128MB - $142
ABIT Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 128MB 8X Retail - $134

Not really sure about these, though looks like a nice deal, if you don't mind having a wind-tunnel for the first two

My impression of vid cards:
High end -> Get ATi for Speed & best price performance ratio
Mid range -> Get Nvidia for best price/performance ratio

When ATi works correctly (most of the time) it gets the best quality picture
When ATi flubs (rare), it does it in style and does worse than nVidia usually (note- this is on a per-application basis, not per-card).
ATi seems to have lower quality drivers in terms of stability.


nVidia didn't make me an nVidia fanboy, ATi, and lack of other serious competition made me an nVidia fanboy.
September 28, 2003 9:59:21 AM

Ok, here's what I've decided to get:

ASUS A7N8X Deluxe from PC Cyber for CAN$182.00

Kingston 256MB PC133 DIMM from PC Cyber for CAN$67

ASUS V9280/TD/128 from PC Cyber for CAN$187

The ram needs to be DDR ram (PC2100, PC2700, PC3200). You probably only need PC2100 (266mhz) for your cpu but it doesn't hurt to get the faster ones.

I would recommend shopping around a bit more for better deals but obviously that seems to be a problem.

I would also recommend just buying the video card first and see how you like your performance then. It's not really necessary to get a new board since your board already has ddr ram. You could even get away with just upgrading the video card and cpu for now and switching the motherboard later: the motherboard won't give you much in terms of performance especially if you don't plan on overclocking.
September 28, 2003 12:18:58 PM

I was on a even tighter budget, I had to build a COMPLETE system for less than NT12,000 dollars (which is around 300 USD by the way) including a case... finally I bought these components:

Intel C1.7 - around 1,700
Gigabyte (not sure of model name) sis684 (or something like that...) chipset around 2000
Hitachi 60G harddrive (I think it was an IBM deskstar...), around 2,500
a gigabyte DVD drive, around 1000 or so
a floppy drive, around 300
keyboards and mouse, around 400 or so
a case (not sure what was the maker in english...), around 1100
sound/network is integrated...
some 256MB ram, around 1200
Enyah (sp?) GF2MX400, 1200 (had to go a bit cheap on this since I cant afford to be an avid gamer...

which brings the total to around 11500 NT...

Then lets see... Philips 150B4 LCD monitor.. 9100
then winxp, around 3000 for OEM, and 5000 for retail (and thats home edition!)
office XP, who knows, maybe 5000?
games, around 1000 for new ones, 500 for old ones...

just the software's going to cost at least 10,000...

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by rahimiv on 09/28/03 08:22 AM.</EM></FONT></P>