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$1000 Budget College computer

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July 28, 2005 6:40:25 AM

Hi, I'm new to this forum, but have heard much about the people that use this forum. They say you guys/gals are very knowledgable about computer components and what not.

I'm proposing a very tight budget of $1000 (includes monitor in budget, but no need for an OS)What I intend to do with this computer is to use it at school (in my dorm) for a variety of things: Video games(CS:S,BF2,Doom3,Guild Wars,etc.), office programs, internet, movies, etc.
Most important is quietness. I prefer my computer to be as quiet as possible. Trying to not disturb my roommate if my computer is on.

I also want to OC the cpu to about 2.4Ghz if possible. (not going to do right away, but will do it in the near future if needed)

I'll likely order all my stuff from newegg unless specified:

ASPIRE x-sonic ATXA4KW-BK/350 Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX 350W power supply for AMD/Intel Power Supply - Retail ATXA4KW-BK/350
$56.00 (Cheapest aluminumn case they had that was black and had a side-panel window)

CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model VS1GBKIT400 - Retail
$81.99

NEC Black IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3540A - OEM
$41.99

Items listed above are things I have finalized on getting. The stuff that I'll be listing below are components that I am still debating on:

EPoX EP-9NPA+Ultra Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
$107.50
or
MSI K8N Neo4-F Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
$86.00

AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3000BPBOX - Retail
$146.00
(Go OEM and buy separately: heatsink, fan, and thermalpaste?)

AMD athlon 64 3000+ at ewiz for $120 shipped

Thermaltake VENUS 12 80mm Ball Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail $32.99
and
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM $7.99)

OEM or Retail for cpu?

6600gt or 6800 or x800 or x800xl? (Which brand should I go with) $150-250

LCD monitor: 17-19inch (missed out on that nice 19inch dell earlier this week) $200-250 Best bang for buck...

PSU: 24 pin (xclio 450w $52.50 on newegg) Suggestions?

Depending on what I get, the price will be around $900-1000. (Don't forget that I'm on a tight budget here)Thanks!

These are the components that I am still debating on. All opinions or revisions on the parts I listed are welcome!

Thanks for taking your time to look at my long post.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Soujiroh on 07/28/05 02:45 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 28, 2005 8:00:10 AM

Get the retail chip, the stock fan should get you to 2.4, though you will have to use a divider on the ram (might cost a whole 1% on perf)
I've seen MSI have problems with QC, so go with the Epox.
Get the x800xl if you have enough $ if not get the 6600GT, the middle ground is nonexistant.
It's hard to get a good LCD at that price point, a CRT will be much better , esp for gaming.
July 28, 2005 3:49:14 PM

Any other opinions or comments?
Related resources
July 28, 2005 4:01:19 PM

To be honest I have personally built a few systems with the generic 350W case PSU and had it run this system fine. This is an area that I disagree with many people on... I think you should always try the PSU first then buy one later if it is not enough. If you find that you can't increase your voltages to obtain the OC you would like, or you find your system is crashing, then go out and spend more money on the PSU, but it has been my experience that many of these PSUs do a great job and I often don't need to upgrade the PSU. There is no harm in giving it a try. Some people say that a faulty PSU can take other components with them, so you shouldn't skimp on the PSU, but these are not faulty PSUs they just don't have the juice sometimes... but no harm in trying. All in all this strategy has saved me a lot of money on builds.

Go date P4man or something, bye!
Anonymous
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July 28, 2005 4:02:45 PM

stick with the reccomandation from endyen!
The Psu im not too sure, you shoudl try to stick with enermax/fortron/antec! even if it means a lower wattage!

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
Anonymous
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July 28, 2005 4:04:42 PM

pfffft!

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
Anonymous
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July 28, 2005 4:04:43 PM

double pfft sry!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by labbbby on 07/28/05 12:05 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 28, 2005 4:09:03 PM

I have built three 3200+/DFI/6600GT systems on 350W generics and all of the customers are happy. No crashes (hardware related), and no problems. You can argue with me if you want, but I know it can work. People on this forum just like to throw money away sometimes.

I am not saying you should never buy a PSU, I am just saying buy it if you need it, when you need it. He is getting a "free" PSU with his case... he would be silly not to try it. If it doesn't work to his standards then buy one.

Go date P4man or something, bye!
Anonymous
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July 28, 2005 5:42:47 PM

I agree to a certain extend, as long as you dont *buy* a cheap generic PSU it might be wortht he try.
It is devinitevly worth spend an extra 25-50$ if you buy it alone. I ebleive a good case is important, I dont mind shelling 150-200$CAN on a case because its usually the part that will last me the longer(still have my 6-8 years old 1st ANTEC and PSU is still holding!). When buying a rather good case, the PSU is usually rather good too!

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
July 28, 2005 11:16:12 PM

If u want a nice case AND a nice PSU then just get a good case/PSU combo.

The know-most-of-it-all formally known as BOBSHACK
July 31, 2005 1:07:38 AM

I agree that the PSU is a very important part. I have a Fortron Bluestorm 500W.
But I also agree that if you're getting it free it's worth checking to see if you have a free PSU or a free POS.
But the quality power supplies are definitely quieter.
Just try your free PSU so you stay under budget and if it's not enough, too noisy etc. get a new one.

BTW I'm very happy with mine so I recommend it. It costed me $90 at newegg.

<b><font color=orange>Beauty is only skin deep, ugly goes to the bone.<font color=orange></b>
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July 31, 2005 12:04:40 PM

I'm sure they work. BUT will they still be working 6 months from now???? 1 year from now??? Will they take out other components when they do fail??? And they will fail. Every cheap power supply I came across died within a year.
And it is 50/50 taking something else out along the way.
When you lose a good motherboard,video card and hard drive from a cheap power supply failing,you dont buy cheap again.

I aint signing nothing!!!
a b à CPUs
July 31, 2005 2:12:55 PM

mine 300 w stayed with me for about 3 years.... the first one burnt out cuz of dusties and after that when i get my second one i open it up and clean it with a vac once now and then, these cheap psu have the broblem of attracting dust (dunno if its because its cheap and use bad fan or just psu in general have this problem...)
July 31, 2005 5:07:51 PM

I was going to recommend a laptop but I see gaming in on the engenda which would probably take you over the $1000 budget for something that would play games good. It would be quiet, easy to move around and compact.

Video card wise I agree with endyen choices, the X800XL is rather powerful for the price and to me is better then the 6800 due to having DDR3 ram vice DDR ram, 16 pixel pipes to the 6800 12 as well. Now a 6800GT if you can find one that cheap is also a very good deal. Going less then $200 the 6600GT is probably the best choice for the money.

As for generic power supplies, some are good others not so. Some will not maintain voltage as you increase the voltage to like your CPU, had that problem with my IWILL XP333-R, the Antec 550w solved that problem and allowed a much greater OC in the end. Later I bought a cheap case, with a 400w generic power supply and placed the idle XP333-R into it and guess what, it overclocked just as good as the Antec.

It sounds like you know what to get and looks to be good choices so have fun and let us know how it turns out.
July 31, 2005 6:57:51 PM

Your selection seem to on mark but here are some of my suggestions.

1. Go ahead and get A retail Venice 3000 or 3200, The Stock HSF will take you 2.4ghz. My Venice 3200 can do 2.6ghz on stock hsf. Just remeber to remove that pasty compund from the stock HSF really good before appling the AS5 on it.

2. Make sure not to get a crapp PSU for youll get those uncatchable BSODs. Fortron, Antec TruePower, or Enermax are ok and would recomend at least 500wt.

3. AVOID getting the cheap Corsairs with Athlon 64s. Most dont get good results with them. Look into either OCZ, Crucial, or Mushkin.

4. Doom 3 seems to be the only game that would make you consider getting a decent VGA card. Id recomend for your case to get the 6600gt but you could wait a month or so when the r520 come out and may drop the market prices further where you maybe able to get the 6800nu

5. For your mobo, the EPoX EP-9NPA+Ultra is a good choice. If you were serious into OCing and had little more $$$, the DFI Lanparty NF4s are much better but a bitch to setup.

6. LCDs, this is were you could get burned. Makre sure to check the response times on the monitor. Even the Dells ultrasharps generally have crappy response time of 20-25ms. For gammers, you'll see aftershowding on the screen. Try taking a look at the Veiwsonic selection at newegg.com.

<i><font color=red>Only an overclocker can make a computer into a convectional oven.</i></font color=red>
August 1, 2005 9:43:30 AM

Just a thought on that expensive ram people recommend so often.. for the price difference you could often get a significantly faster cpu (at least in the price range you are buying) so it makes no sense to spend an additional $100 on uberram that will perform worse on a 3000+ than valueram would on a 3200+ (much less a 3700+). Now if you are shelling out big bucks on a high end cpu, crippeling it with cheap ram is not that smart either, but if you by budget, stick to budget ram. the difference just isnt worth the price premium.

For PSU's, tough call. You could get lucky on a cheap unbranded part that will last forever, or it might go up in smoke within months. However, expensive PSUs arent a guarantee either, I have a 450W Enermax in one of my systems, and the voltages suck badly. The 450W was an upgrade to a 350W enermax that blew up after only 18 months. For fun I swapped the 450 with a generic PSU that came with a budget Aopen case I bought for someone else, and I got far better voltages. You wont see me recommending enermax...

In general, PSUs that come with cases from Aopen/Antec/coolermaster are pretty good, and they are dirt cheap. Stick with it until it gives you headaches (if ever)

As for noise.. stock cooler of the Venice 3000+ is pretty silent (and more than adequate). stick with it. Be prepared to mod or swap other coolers though: some NB fans can be notoriously whiney (if so, remove them, put a large enough passive cooler on it). Same for videocard coolers and PSUs. Just buy the stuff and find out what makes too much noise, and invest in better/silent cooling for those parts. Fanmates and lots of slow fans are your friend.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
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