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Building 1st pc, and need suggestions

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March 2, 2002 6:29:59 AM

Being a college student and everything, I'm on a tight budget. That being said, what is the best pc I can build for $500-600 bucks. I plan on going with the epox 8kha+ MB, everything else is up in the air. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
-zc3
March 2, 2002 7:15:54 AM

hehe....I know those days.....well.

First, if you are going with AMD*good choice*....don't go with the Epox board. They are good and cheap, but they are still cheap. They are second teer company in the hardware world.

Right now I'm pricing out a new system from my work. I will be using a nforce board. They are damn fast and stable, and for the first time their on board items do NOT suck.

MSI has a really good nforce board, that is what I use to build all our low end systems. Its onboard sound is 6 channel, and you can get it with dolby surround and 5.1. It also has onboard net, that is a nice plus.....:)  Drop in a Athlon 1700+XP or 1800+XP, with a ti200, and two sticks of 128 ddr, or two sticks of 256 ddr......and you have a sweet system.

Make sure you are running two sticks of ram instead of one larger stick, because of the nforce's twin back memory technology.

Basically, and this is possibly the simplest terms of saying it, with two sticks of memory it runs the memory in a raid formation. With one or three sticks you lose this.

Prices you ask...

128 megs ddr 2 sticks =48
or 256 megs ddr 2 sticks=108
1700+XP=108
MSI K7N420 Pro=136
Gforce3 ti200=128
DVD 16x=36
Case & PS=70 *You want a good case.....:) *
Floppy=10 *yes I said floppy*
Harddrive (60 gig) brand differs=76
CDRW *Oppitional* 16/10/40=54

Price total for system with 256 megs ddr without CDRW
$612.00 without shipping....

Price total with CDRW

$666.00 :) 

Price total for system with 512 ddr megs without CDRW

$672.00

With CDRW

Over 700.........


But you see, dropping the harddrive down to 40 gigs will drop the price to about 600 dollars with 256 megs of ram and no burner......

but for that 600 you get a damn good system, that will run up to the 2000+XPs, and will be able to run the new 2100+s and 2300+s coming out with a bios update.......

The nforce boards are much faster than the Epox, and yes are more, but you get more features with them. The built in nic works like a charm up to 100 mbits...:)  with the 1700+ you hit the sweet spot on pricing on processors for AMD. Yes you do have the split the ram, but that isn't a bad thing, you get more speed out of your system.

TI200 and very nice cards and overclock nicely. I've seem most hit over the normal gforce 3's base and a lot hit near or the same as the base of TI 500s.....for a whole lot less....:) 

Forgive the spelling errors, but its late and I worked a long shift today.........

Also a place to look at for fast computer is at Falcon NorthWest...they just dropped their prices. I mean big time, they have a system under a grand for the first time ever.......and its looking like their prices are under Alienware.....

But if you have any questions let me know.

and yes I pulled all my prices from Pricewatch...

MeldarthX
March 2, 2002 8:06:08 AM

Don't mind me just testing something out.

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March 2, 2002 8:06:11 AM

Don't mind me just testing something out.

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March 2, 2002 8:18:20 AM

oops sorry

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a c 159 à CPUs
March 2, 2002 10:17:12 AM

Check newegg's refurbished section for good deals and free shipping on mobos, hardrives, and video cards. I bought an IBM hardrive and gainward video card from them, and they worked fine. I'm using an Epox board for my P4 1.6a, and it works fine. The shuttle ak31a works well for the athlon. I found most problems are not mobo related, but trying to use too much stuff on your system, or not knowing how to set the bios settings for performance and stability.
March 2, 2002 11:27:52 AM

For $500-600, I recommend the following:

Case: A good mid-tower with a quality 300W+ PSU
Mobo: ECS K7S5A w/audio, LAN (Hands-down the best deal - I've found them for as low as $45 and even better in a combo with a CPU)
CPU: AXP 1600-1800+ Retail version w/HSF
Memory: 256MB PC2100 (1x 256 or 2x128 - whatever is the best deal)
Video: ATI Radeon 7000 64MB (if you have extra money to spend, get an All-in-Wonder; your PC can double as your TV - always great on a budget).
Sound: On board and adequate - can be upgraded later.
Hard Disk: Whatever you can afford - plan this last.
CD/DVD: Get a DVD (again - double duty for your PC)

I thought a thought, but the thought I thought wasn't the thought I thought I had thought.
March 4, 2002 10:18:52 PM

Thanks for the advice, I'll look into both suggestions.

Does anyone else have anything they can recommend? I also need help picking out a good pc case.
March 4, 2002 10:31:24 PM

dont get a nforce board... too expensive at the moment.

cases are generally crap, unless you get an aluminium one, but they generally are outside yours (and my) price range.

i kinda steer clear of cases with pre installed powersupplies, they tend to be very low quality. unless it states the powersupply is antec or deer or something like that. many of the better brands of power supplies have TWO fans in them, on at the rear, one at the bottom. the best brands i know of are enermax, toptower and sparkle.

a crap generic psu can give u lots of problems, plus they have a high failure rate.

when getting a case, the things i keep an eye on are:
1. sharp edges inside - sign of cheap construction
2. fancy fronts - sure they look good but they usually have limited bays to put drives in and are shocking for cooling purposes.
3. a case with AT LEAST one rear fan (not including the PSU) is much desired. also hae a look at the grill over the fan hole, many are just 'punched metal' and dont let much airflow through.
4. easily removable side pannels with holes in them for airflow.

hope this helps. i dont know much about american pricing or wherever you live, so cant help u there. but u know what to look for now :smile:

I love helping people in Toms Forums... It reinforces my intellectual superiority! :smile:
March 5, 2002 2:21:25 AM

MSi nforce is only 136.....that has onboard sound and nic....that removes having to get a sound card and nic....

OEM Audigy is about 53 dollars and a nic is 10-15 dollars.

so that's about between 63-68 dollars.....

Minus that off the price of the motherboard,

That puts the motherboard in the price range of 68-73 dollars......

You have to weight what you want.....besides I know the MSI will handle the 2100+ Athlons, because at my work we are testing a new beta bios....though not for release to public yet.....:) 
!