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Building on a Budget

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mrbclass, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. mrbclass

    mrbclass Guest

    If this is posted to the wrong group please be kind.
    If newbies annoy you, please be patient, and click your back button ;)

    I am trying to build a decent (not stellar) gaming computer for under
    $1000 *including* (ugh) monitor.

    $25 Case - Powmax Model "CP03294HL-5" case with window, 400w power
    supply, fan

    $100 Motherboard - Soyo - KT400 Dragon Ultra Platinum - K7VX4 - VIA
    Socket A ATX MotherBoard with Audio, AGP 8X/4X, USB 2.0 and 10/100Mbps
    Ethernet LAN Support
    *Question - Ive seen motherboards for AMD XP for as low as $40 - what
    are they lacking?
    *Question - Does this mobo have any video support? I could hold off on
    a serious graphics card and still use the computer while a save for
    the RADEON
    *Question - Do I have to mess around with mounting paste and junk to
    get the processor in here?
    *Question - Do I have to buy some kind of cooling mount for this or is
    that the heatsink and fan included in the processor?

    $80 Processor - AMD Athlon XP 2500+ "Barton", 333 FSB, 512K Cache
    Processor - Retail 1.8 Ghz, heatsink and fan included

    $61 Kingston DDR 512 333MHz
    *Question: this stuff is half the price of the 400MHz RAM - am I crazy
    to use it?

    $100 Sapphire Radeon 9600 Video Card
    * Question: could I go cheaper here and not suffer too much

    $80 Combo CD DVD Burner
    *Question I haven't picked a brand yet - any decent cheaper ones?

    $75 Western Digital Special Edition 80GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive, Model
    WD800JB, OEM Drive Only
    *Question - again I could go as low as 60GB, want decent speed, but
    wonder if I could save money here

    $85 XP Pro Student Upgrade
    *Question - I am a student, and I can use this to upgrade from Win 98,
    right? I don't have winXP disks (well I do but they are restore CDs
    that I burned for a factory installed version of XP on another
    computer, but hey whatever works)

    so far $543

    with $410 Flat Panel SAMSUNG 173S-Black 17" LCD Monitor

    TOTAL $953
     
    mrbclass, Apr 19, 2004
    #1
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  2. mrbclass

    Ron Cook Guest

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    This is a good newsgroup to ask these types of questions.
    If 'newbies' annoy the 'regulars' (or anyone else offering assistance
    through this medium), then we don't deserve to be here offering help.
    First: Though you may need to adjust your budget a little, I'd strongly
    suggest a different case and power supply.
    A good case by Antec - with a *good* Antec power supply can be purchased for
    approx. US $70.00 - $100.00.

    A good power supply alone should cost about $50.00 to $150.00.

    Soyo make a good product from the little I know of them.
    They may be marginal in support for 8x AGP or USB 2.0, for examples.
    you may find that they use integrated video and use 'shared memory' rather
    than dedicated video RAM.

    Regulation of the CPU voltages might be marginal or the clock frequencies
    may be poorly controlled.

    Some may be just plain 'cheap'.

    On the other hand, there may be some excellent values in boards maybe
    6-months to a year out of production.
    You won't get 'state-of-the-art' design, but you may not need it, either.
    If the board's specifications don't list integrated video, it likely does
    not have it.
    Integrated video is often used as a selling point.
    The heatsink, which is often supplied with the CPU, should have a small
    piece of 'thermal phase-change' material affixed to the CPU-facing side.

    In normal, non-stressful operation, this is usually adequate for heat
    transfer.

    Personally, if I know the machine is going to be in an environment over
    which I have no control (being placed near floor heat vents, etc.) I remove
    the pre-affixed material and use a good silicon-based heat transfer
    compound.
    Many installers use a product such as 'ArcticSilver'.
    I've not used this specific CPU although I do use only AMP processors.
    Again, the heatsink is adequate for 'normal' operation.
    Others could better answer this but I'm not certain you would see a whole
    lot of difference.
    Kingston make a good product.
    Well, on this one: My personal preference is to use ATI-based cards *made*
    by ATI.
    As an example, NewEgg.com offer the ATI RADEON 9600SE Video Card, 128MB DDR,
    64-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -RETAILĀ  for $118.00.
    I don't know about 'cheaper' but Samsung, Teac, and Plextor make some very
    good and reasonably-priced products.
    WD drives are good quality (in my opinion).
    Stay with WD, Maxtor, or Seagate.
    Hmmm.. the upgrade *may* install with those.
    If you have a copy of Win98, the upgrade should be happy.
    Now this I can fully recommend.
    Samsung make a terrific LCD monitor (I have one and it's one of best
    computer-related investments I've ever made).
    - --
    Ron n1zhi

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    Ron Cook, Apr 19, 2004
    #2
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  3. mrbclass

    Ron Cook Guest

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    - -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1
    This is a good newsgroup to ask these types of questions.
    If 'newbies' annoy the 'regulars' (or anyone else offering assistance
    through this medium), then we have no business here offering help.
    First: Though you may need to adjust your budget a little, I'd strongly
    suggest a different case and power supply.
    A good case by Antec - with a *good* Antec power supply can be purchased for
    approx. US $70.00 - $100.00.

    A good power supply alone should cost about $50.00 to $150.00.

    Soyo make a good product from the little I know of them.
    They may be marginal in support for 8x AGP or USB 2.0, for examples.
    you may find that they use integrated video and use 'shared memory' rather
    than dedicated video RAM.

    Regulation of the CPU voltages might be marginal or the clock frequencies
    may be poorly controlled.

    Some may be just plain 'cheap'.

    On the other hand, there may be some excellent values in boards maybe
    6-months to a year out of production.
    You won't get 'state-of-the-art' design, but you may not need it, either.
    If the board's specifications don't list integrated video, it likely does
    not have it.
    Integrated video is often used as a selling point.
    The heatsink, which is often supplied with the CPU, should have a small
    piece of 'thermal phase-change' material affixed to the CPU-facing side.

    In normal, non-stressful operation, this is usually adequate for heat
    transfer.

    Personally, if I know the machine is going to be in an environment over
    which I have no control (being placed near floor heat vents, etc.) I remove
    the pre-affixed material and use a good silicon-based heat transfer
    compound.
    Many installers use a product such as 'ArcticSilver'.
    I've not used this specific CPU although I do use only AMP processors.
    Again, the heatsink is adequate for 'normal' operation.
    Others could better answer this but I'm not certain you would see a whole
    lot of difference.
    Kingston make a good product.
    Well, on this one: My personal preference is to use ATI-based cards *made*
    by ATI.
    As an example, NewEgg.com offer the ATI RADEON 9600SE Video Card, 128MB DDR,
    64-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -RETAILĀ  for $118.00.
    I don't know about 'cheaper' but Samsung, Teac, and Plextor make some very
    good and reasonably-priced products.
    WD drives are good quality (in my opinion).
    Stay with WD, Maxtor, or Seagate.
    Hmmm.. the upgrade *may* install with those.
    If you have a copy of Win98, the upgrade should be happy.
    Now this I can fully recommend.
    Samsung make a terrific LCD monitor (I have one and it's one of best
    computer-related investments I've ever made).
    - - --
    Ron n1zhi

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    Ron Cook, Apr 19, 2004
    #3
  4. mrbclass

    jamotto Guest

    This appears to be not a bad case. You will need to add a front fan
    as in it's default config it only has one system fan and it is in the
    rear of the case. Your harddrives need some cooling. I'd also scrap
    the power supply for a Antec or "Sparkle Power Inc." I have to vouch
    for this power supply.
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=17-103-407&depa=0
    It has given me 2.5 and going years of reliable service.

    In my opinion Soyo makes a fine motherboard, however you might search
    about this motherboard I seem to recall Soyo could never produce a
    stable KT400 motherboard I own these two Soyo motherboards
    http://www.soyousa.com/products/proddesc.php?id=189
    and
    http://www.soyousa.com/products/proddesc.php?id=280

    Both are nice boards, The latter has more feature's than I will ever
    use and it was just $75. I have only two gripe's. The first is you
    can't reset the BIOS settings by holding down the Insert key like you
    could in previous models. The Insert key is used to bypass the check
    for a dead CPU fan.
    Second, in the manual one of the USB connectors is shown backwards to
    what it is on the motherboard. These are just minor gripe's though.
    A fine processor for the money. I own two of them.
    No, Kingston makes good memory, as does www.crucial.com and
    www.mushkin.com
    This depends on what kind of games/programs you plan on running. If
    you find it O.K. to turn of some or alot of the graphic's options off
    you should be fine with lesser cards. However, in my opinion, looking
    at the future ATI'S 9600 PRO or NVIDIA'S FX5700 are the minimum. The
    FX5700 is slightly faster than the 9600 and cheaper. The Sapphire is
    a fine company from what I have heard. ATI builds their boards and
    Sapphire just rebrands them.
    I like this manufacture http://www.liteonit.com.tw/
    You might look at the WD800BB it's a little cheaper.
    I can not see why not
    You need to watch out the response time of the monitor is 25ms. In
    some fast moving games you may see some ghosting problems. 16ms or
    less seems to be the preferable value for gaming. I would see this
    monitor in action before buying
    Good luck building your computer
     
    jamotto, Apr 20, 2004
    #4
  5. mrbclass

    hin Guest

    I am trying to build a decent (not stellar) gaming computer for under
    Get a case around $50-$75. Make sure it have some case fans to cool
    the inside.
    Motherboard is the most important piece of the computer. Don't settle
    for a cheaper one, or else you will end up regretting it. I have
    bought some ECS motherboard and during the Windows XP installion, I
    was in DLL hell.

    I would go for a Intel chip. Intel produce less heat then the AMD.
    Try getting the hyperthread processor and motherboard if you can.

    Try getting a SATA hard drive. IDE harddrives are too slow.
    I've encounter too many problems with upgrade. I usually do a full
    install rather then upgrade.
     
    hin, Apr 21, 2004
    #5
  6. mrbclass

    ECM Guest

    IMHO:
    Don't spend much on the case - spend it on the power supply; get a
    good one (~$50) so you can depend on it and the voltages are well
    regulated. You'll be less likely to feel depressed cutting new fan
    holes in a $15 case than in a $100 one....

    For a CHEAP gaming system, stick with AMD - price for performance
    you'll do better than Intel. Check around for prices, $80 for an XP
    2500+ seems a bit steep. Consider a 2800+ - it seems to be at the best
    price point right now.

    SATA drives aren't noticably faster than IDE (Yet....). Go for the WD
    you mentioned.

    You could get a full OEM version of XP Home for about $79-89; you
    probably don't need XP Pro for gaming. Avoid upgrades if you can -
    they're a pain if you need to reinstall a lot. Also consider a COA (a
    "Certificate of Authenticity" or user license) if you have a friend
    with an installation disk - you can copy the install disk for yourself
    if you've got a COA. (Yeah, I know, a bit iffy; but it's being done
    routinely, and it's not being challenged AFAIK.)

    Good Luck!
    ECM
     
    ECM, Apr 22, 2004
    #6
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