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Budget advice on building XP/Linux compatible box

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Tsuki, Feb 21, 2004.

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  1. Tsuki

    Tsuki Thread Starter

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    I've recently become interested in building my own pc. I'd like for it to be compatible with Windows and a couple distros of Linux. I do have a decent amount of money, but I'd prefer if it were a budget pc. I really wouldn't need a processor over 2.4GHz, and I'm not looking for top of the line parts either. I was just wondering if there were any sites you could recommend that had cheap parts. I would also be grateful for any recommendations on parts to go with. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. mobo

    mobo

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    Snce windows is the major ppower consumer as long as you could accomodate that then any Linux distro would work fine..It manages memory much better than windows ever will..I would suggest a larger hard disk so you could multiboot as Linux is and can be tough to grasp for a windows user and probably easier for a complete pc newbie.
     
  3. Tsuki

    Tsuki Thread Starter

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    I am rather tech literate, but I've never kept up with hardware things, so I don't really know what motherboards are good or what else could be good. I'm really not looking to spend anymore than $600-750 on the complete setup.

    I was thinking of two hard drives, first one around 60GB so I could partition it a few times, and the other just for a bit of storage. The video card doesn't need to be that great, but still decent. Sound cards are cheap already, so I may just get a Soundblaster or something. Probably either a CD-RW and DVD or combo, whichever costs me less. I would most likely need a good hardware modem to run with Linux, correct? 512MB DDR should be all I'd need, and really I don't think I'd need more than 2.0GHz.

    Doe anyone know where they can direct me to where I could find cheap parts like these? Thank you.
     
  4. mobo

    mobo

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  5. Tsuki

    Tsuki Thread Starter

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  6. mobo

    mobo

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    Might want to look in the 400 watt range for that power supply since you looking at one big processor and additional sound and video cards.
     
  7. Tsuki

    Tsuki Thread Starter

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    Just so I can make sure what I really do need, how good are major distrobutions at detecting and running with onboard sound and video? What would I need to get for Linux that would be different for Windows?
     
  8. mobo

    mobo

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    The newer ones are particularily good like Red Hat and Mandrake as well as Lindows from what i hear although Lindows Doesn't like my Geforce Card so not in the installation circle right now.

    This system is two years old and Red Hat 9 picked up everything.
     
  9. Aro2220

    Aro2220

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    If you live in Canada, try www.ncix.com ... there are other sites, but they slip my mind. That site has great prices, and they deliver. Woo Woo.

    Also, if you live around toronto, try www.factorydirect.ca, very cheap refurbished systems.

    Basically if you were to make a system right now...my suggestions are as follows...

    1. Pick a case you like, or that is really cheap. But make sure it's open and isn't going to make installing things inside it a pain in the arse. Cases usually come with a power supply...300w, or a 350w should do nicely.

    2. As far as processors go...I'm going to say get an intel. Even if AMD is cheap, they just...wear out sooo fast...they heat up too much, they're not as stable. iono. They dont' last as long. If you're on a TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT budget, I guess you have no choice. But I'm starting to think a celeron would be better than an AMD. (Less power output, less heat, means you can make a quieter system. Besides, if you're making a buget pc, I doubt it's going to be for hardcore gaming anyways)

    3. Motherboards are tricky. If you choose a bad motherboard, (or get a bad one out of the batch) you're in big trouble. I suggest you find a motherboard that has a lot of good user comments. Something stable, that has all the ports you're going to need, and enough ram slots to accomodate what you're up to. Also make sure the motherboard supports the type of processor you're using, and can support the correct speed ram you want to be using.

    4. As far as ram goes, DDR is better and cheaper. 233mhz? 400mhz? up to you. Ram is ram. It helps to have the higher clockspeed, but...meh...not if you're on a budget.

    5. Video card. Alright, you're on a buget right? Do you plan on running any 3d games? If not...just get a cheap radeon 7200 with VIVO for $60 CDN. Or, something like a geforce ti 4200...pretty solid card. Very compatible, which is what you want for linux. I had a HELL of a time trying to get my radeon 8500 le working in linux, a while back. I had to have my friend figure it out for me. (Thankfully he knows Linux like I know windows) This is a big issue, seeing as the price range for a video card goes from onboard (practically free), to about $600-700 cdn for the top end models. If you're gaming, I'd sink no more than $250 into it unless you've got money to burn. Otherwise, look for a decent card aroudn $170. Radeons are nice, just watch out for the driver issues.

    6. Hard drives are great. You can get a Western Digital 8 meg cache 80 gig drive for about $100 after tax. Not bad.

    7. Wireless keyboard + mice are about $50 together...or about $30 for a non wireless keyboard + optical mouse.

    8. Monitors...well...this is a key thing. Very key. You can buy a crap monitor, save yourself LOADS of money, but burn out your retnia and go blind. Which is totally not worth the money you save. my suggestion to you is thus: If you're on a buget, go to a place like www.factorydirect.ca, and buy a refurbished monitor temporarily. Just to do what you want. Make sure the refresh rate is high in the resolution you're going to use, or you'll get dizzy; make sure the DPI is low too (.26 or lower) or things won't look as nice as they could. If you've got the money, I'd say go for an LCD. But research it. Iono...why get a CRT? Theyr'e just getting more and more worthless...and honestly...who wants to lug around a 50 pound 19" anyways? *stares at his 19"* though it is big....;-p

    The rest of the system is up to you. (Periperals) I wouldn't bother buying a soundcard or a network card, unless you're setting up a home theatre, or want a wireless network card. Otherwise, the two of those should both be on the motherboard you choose. (It's pretty commonplace now).

    Oh, and if you do buy a radeon...stick with ATI radeons. I bought a Saffire 8500 LE a long time ago, because it was 40% cheaper than the same ATI one...then I find out that LE = some pathetic version of the ATI one, the drivers are near-incompatible, it doesn't work in Linux...unless you're a genious....and it crashed in pretty much 90% of the games I tried to play. Honestly? Don't get too cheap. It'll just bite you in the *** later.

    I also wouldn't get too cocky with products from good companies, like Asus. I bought an Asus motherboard a while back, and the thing didn't even work. And I lost the stupid recepit, and can't return it now because I tried phoning the asus tech support sites to find out where I send it for the warrenty...and well...."this number is not in service" Yeah...

    Oh I almost forgot to mention. Windows XP NEEDS 256 megs of ram. Don't even bother with less. And if you don't want craptastic performance......512 megs of ram all the way. Don't bother with more nless you're gaming, or video editing...or...
    damn, someone's at my door.

    bye!
     
  10. Aro2220

    Aro2220

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    Linux = a good version of Windows 98.
    I just like XP's plug and play, and compatibility with, well, everyone I know. ;-p
     
  11. mobo

    mobo

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    If you live in Canada, try www.ncix.com ... there are other sites, but they slip my mind. That site has great prices, and they deliver. Woo Woo.

    Also, if you live around toronto, try www.factorydirect.ca, very cheap refurbished systems.


    I have heard ncix and am planning on using it as a supplier in the near future. Can you provide another link for factory direct ?
     
  12. Tsuki

    Tsuki Thread Starter

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    Okay, I think I have all of the essentials. The motherboard doesn't have onboard video from what I see, so I had to find a decent video card too. Here's my list so far from newegg.

    ASPIRE (Turbo Case)Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with 350W Power Supply, Model "ATXB5KLW/350"
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=11-144-042
    Specifications:
    Case Type: Mid-Tower Case
    Color: Black
    Material: Metal
    Drive Bays: 5.25" x 4/0, 3.5" x 2/4 (external/internal)
    Expansion Slots: 7
    Front Ports: USB2.0 port x 2, Audio
    Power Supply: 350W
    Cooling System: 2 fans
    Motherboard Compatibility: ATX/ BABY AT
    Dimensions: 16.5" x 7.8" X 17" (DxWxH) more info-> N82E16811144042 $40.00 $40.00


    Albatron 865PE Chipset Motherboard for Intel SOcket 478 CPU, Model "PX865PE PRO" -RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=13-170-109
    Specifications:
    Supported CPU: Socket 478 Intel Pentium 4 Processors(Hyper Threading)
    Chipset: Intel 865PE + ICH5
    FSB: 800/533/400MHz
    RAM: 4x DIMM for DDR400/333/266 Max 4GB Single Channel(2GB Dual Channel)
    IDE: 2x ATA 100/66 up to 4 Devices
    Slots: 1x AGP 4X/8X, 5x PCI 32-bit
    Ports: 2xPS2,1xLPT,2xCOM,1xLAN,8xUSB2.0(Rear 2),1xGAME,Audio Ports
    Onboard Audio: Realtek ALC650 5.1 Channel Codec
    Onboard LAN: 3COM 3C910-A01 10/100M Fast Ethernet
    Onboard SATA: 2x Serial ATA
    Form Factor: ATX more info-> N82E16813170109 $79.00 $79.00


    GIGABYTE ATI RADEON 9200 Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "GV-R92128DH" -RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=14-125-113
    Specifications:
    Chipset/Core Speed: ATI RADEON 9200/250MHz
    Memory/Effective Speed: 128MB DDR/400MHz
    BUS: AGP 1X/2X/4X/8X
    Ports: VGA Out(15 Pin D-Sub)+TV-Out(S-Video Out)+DVI connector
    Support 3D API: DirectX®8.1, OpenGL®1.3
    Cable/Accessories: VGA via DVI Adapter, 1 Cable, 3 CD, Manual
    Max [email protected] Color: [email protected]
    Retail Box (See pics for details) more info-> N82E16814125113 $65.99 $65.99


    Intel Pentium 4/ 2.8C GHz 800MHz FSB, 512K Cache, Hyper Threading Technology - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=19-116-161
    Specification
    Model: Intel Pentium 4 2.8C w/ Hyper Threading
    Core: Northwood
    Operating Frequency: 2.8GHz
    FSB: 800MHz
    Cache: L1/12K+8K; L2/512K
    Voltage: 1.525V
    Process: 0.13Micron
    Socket: Socket 478
    Multimedia Instruction: MMX, SSE, SSE2
    Warranty: 3-year MFG
    Packaging: Retail box (with Heatsink and Fan) more info-> N82E16819116161 $183.00 $183.00


    SAMSUNG SFD321B/LEB 1.44MB 3.5inch Floppy Disk Drive, OEM Driver Only
    Specifications:
    Capacity: 1.44MB
    Average Access Time: not specified
    Interface: 34 Pin Standard Floppy Connector
    Form: 3.5 inch
    Media Type: All Standard 1.44MB & 720KB 3.5 Floppy Diskettes
    Features: Easy to Install, Just Plug & Play, For IBM5 & 100% Compatible Computers
    Remark: OEM 1 Year Warranty more info-> N82E16821103202 $6.25 $6.25


    Western Digital 80GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive, Model WD800BB, OEM Drive only
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=22-144-102
    Specifications:
    Capacity: 80GB
    Average Seek Time: 8.9 ms
    Buffer: 2MB
    Rotational Speed: 7200 RPM
    Interface: IDE ULTRA ATA100
    Features: Quiet Drive technology
    Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
    Remark: OEM Drive only more info-> N82E16822144102 $61.50 $61.50


    Lite-On Black 52X32X52 CD-RW Drive, Model LTR-52327S, OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=27-106-197
    Specifications:
    Write Speed: 52X CD-R, 32X CD-RW
    Read Speed: 52X CD-ROM
    Interface: ATAPI / E-IDE
    Buffer: 2MB
    OS Support: Windows 95/98/NT/ME/XP/2000
    Features: Innovated SMART-BURN technology
    Remark: OEM pack (see pictures for details) more info-> N82E16827106197 $33.50 $33.50


    Arctic Silver's NEW Premium Silver Polysynthetic Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5. 12-gram( 5 cc. ) tube.
    N82E16835100008 $15.99 $15.99




    Subtotal » $ 485.23


    Only problem I have with this setup is the processor. I really would like if I could drop that price some.

    By the way, I live in Florida.
     
  13. Tsuki

    Tsuki Thread Starter

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    I've chosen to not go with a separate audio card for now, plus I'm sticking to just one CD-RW and HDD for now, so that should keep me within the range that a 350W supply should be safe in, right? I also forgot to add a stick of 512MB DDR memory, so that was another $72.
     
  14. mobo

    mobo

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    350 watt isn't bad and you should be ok with that.
     
  15. Tsuki

    Tsuki Thread Starter

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    I just feel I should ask this sooner than later. Is there anywhere else that I could get a cheaper processor? That P4 just seems too much for one component, even though it is the CPU.
     
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