I, a novice, plan to build a gaming system for my children. I also plan to use it some for video editing and as a DVR. I like to spend about $1500 for everything except the monitor/software/keyboard/mouse. The folks at Fry's recommended these components:
MSI K8T Neo-FIS2R ($169.99)
Athlon 64 3000+ ($249.99)
DDR 512 MB 3200 Corsair ($89.99)
Radeon ATI AIW 9800 Pro 128 MB DDR ($399.99)
MXT-L01P120 120G U133 8 MB ($119.99)
Diabolic Blue Case 400 W ($139.99)
TDK 4x Dual +/- RW Drive ($149.99)
Pioneer 16X DVD-ROM 16x Max DVD 40x Max CD ($69.99)
What do you think about this gaming system? Do you have any recommendations for improvements or alternatives I should consider?
If you are spending that kind of money, i'd get 1 gig of RAM really. The generic 400W may also be barely enough especially with that Radeon connected to it. Wouldnt hurt trying of course, but if you get any sort of trouble, consider a more powerfull quality PSU.
= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
NewEgg will definately help trim your cost fairly well. I have spent the last 3 weeks pricing out components and ended up deciding to buy everything from NewEgg due to them nailing down the lowest price on so much of what I was buying. Here is what I ended up with (everything here is times two since I am building one for my wife and one for me):
Case: Chenming Aluminum Custom Case (Silver/Green)
Price: $ 60.00 (CompuSave)
[Bought locally and ended up having to buy the display pieces due to lack of inventory. What this did though is allowed us to pay $60 each case AFTER tax, which was $9 less than the regular sale price BEFORE tax... Was a great surprise for us]
1gb of ram will do wonders. I currently just taken my 512 tossed it and bought 2x512 sticks.
Don't go generic psu. Highly recommend any name brand psu. And unless you're gonna use the AIW extra's go just a normal pro. Save ya some cash.
Sounds cool i'm sure they'll love it. Another stick of 512mb wont do u any harm, games like bf1942 are memory hogs and will take all the memory u give it. Go Newegg and save some $'ss
May be worth considering/pricing a dell or similar, u could get a full system with audigy sound card, surround speakers, 19in monitor etc. Then give your kids the old computer so they dont mess your one up... Also maybe look to wait 2 months as DDR2 and new gen of video cards will be out
Get the aiw version of the pro at newegg and make sure you buy the retail version for the software...at least if you've a cable connection to record all you tv shows and movies on,and make sure at least one optical drive has a dvd burner.For games make sure you've ODs that can read dvds at x16 and cds at X52,which means you'll have to use two;but you can then throw away your vcr and convert all your vrc tapes to dvds.BTW go to newegg and read their hardware reviews for your items.I recommend hardocp for motherboard reviews.
Thank you all very very much for your recommendations. I will definitely get 1G of memory, a good PSU with at least 400W, a faster DVD burner, and the retail version of the AIW 9800 Pro. Also thanks for the pointer to newegg.com whose price is much lower than my local Fry's.
Is there any difference between the OEM and the retail versions of the CPU and memory other than the price? I'm glad that snaggle noted the difference between the OEM and the retail versions of the AIW 9800 Pro. Also, any recommendations for cases and PSU will be greatly appreciated.
Some people suggested looking into pre-build systems. I'm not looking to buy a pre-built system because I wanted to build it with my children ... educational thing for both me and my children. I've worked in the software industry for over 16 years and have not build a system ... embarrassing. Thanks again all!