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First time Builder--trying to finalize the specs

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by john11m, Apr 8, 2004.

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  1. john11m

    john11m Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Hi

    First of all, I'd like to thank you for your help. I really will appreciate it. I've been getting help at an overclocking forum as well, but i'd like to see what you guys think.

    I'll try to be to the point of what i want and need, but i usually ramble, and it is 3:30 am which i'm sure will aid my rambleness (as it is now)

    Basically, I'm looking for a cheaper PC that will be stable, yet fast. The PC will not be able to be overly loud because i do do some hobbyist recording (acoustic and electric guitar...and my some god awful vocals as well).

    Currently I'm running an old PIII 600 MHz computer, which is getting passed on from me, so i won't be able to salvage anything from it (except i might take out the sound card because i like it so much, just a SB live value, but to me it is great).

    Initially I was trying to stay under $600 for everything including the monitor, but that is fading/has faded away. My current specs (if purchased on newegg.com) seem to hit about $600 for the computer only.

    Without any further ado, this is my current (yet flexible) specs.

    **********
    Modem (gotta love rural areas...just thought it'd be funny to post this first)
    $11
    http://secure.newegg.com/app/CustratingReview.asp?DEPA=1&item=25-134-001


    Case
    400WATT - PSII/PSIII / P4ATX400W (A+GPB Single fan) $46.50 + 10
    http://secure.newegg.com/app/CustratingReview.asp?DEPA=1&item=11-192-001

    Mobile Athlon XP 2400+, 266FSB, 512K Cache – OEM
    $78
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-400&depa=0

    ABIT nFORCE 2 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket A CPU, Model "NF7" -RETAIL
    $75
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?DEPA=0&submit=Go&description=N82E16813127144


    Video Card
    POWERCOLOR ATI RADEON 9600 Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "R96-C3" –RETAIL
    $90
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-131-222&depa=1

    RAM
    2 stick : 2 X $55 = $110
    Buffalo Technology 184 Pin 256MB DDR PC-3200 - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=20-150-563&depa=1

    New Hard Drive - $95
    Western Digital Special Edition 120GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive, Model WD1200JB, OEM Drive Only
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-118&depa=1&section=3

    *******

    I'll probobly get a DVD/CD-RW combo from lite on too. I was going to get 2 separate drives, a DVD and a CD-RW for burning speed reasons...then i realized that i'm used to burning at 2X...so even if i have to swap disks, it'll seem jaw droppingly fast to me.

    Basically, I'm wondering what you all are thinking about what i have so far. Ohh, i suppose i should mention, that they convinced me (as of right now) to go with the 2400 mobile instead of my original CPU idea of a 2500 barton, because the mobile can run just as good (better actually) when over clocked, then the 2500 barton, plus the mobile gives off less heat then the barton because of the lower voltages.

    So I am thinking that i can overclock the mobile to 3200 specs (conservative compared to the overclocking done on the other board for the mobiles) while just using a quieter CPU fan (someone on the other board offered me the stock AMD barton heatsink and fan for $5 + shipping)

    Gaming isn't a huge issue. i have mostly older games, but i'm sure if i find the money, i'd like to pick up a few new fangled ones (probably when they are few fangled in the clearance rack though haha). Most of the power i need is for emulation that requires a mostly CPU workout.

    I'm hoping that that system would run fairly quiet on this setup. I would be willing to buy some extra fans too (4 more are supported by the case), if possible, they'd be quiet fans.

    About the power supply, thats kind of a gray area. Website have been saying that this supply is average, or decent. I'm hoping it would hold up since i don't plan to overclock the chip too much, (relatively speaking). Some people on newegg have claimed to even overclock the barton 2500 to 3200 specs on the stock voltage, so i hope i can do the same.

    GRANTED that i can do it, lol. Because, of course this is my first time building a PC, let alone overclocking one. I consider myself fairly mechanically inclined, being a mechanical engineering student, and having worked in an autobody shop for years, but *cue redneck voice* these them there micrachips have a lotta doo-dads on them. :p Ahem, sorry. I am anxious to learn and save some money in the process though.

    Oh, i suppose i should say that i am planning on buying WIN XP PRO from my school for $10. They have some licensing thing that i can buy any of the software they use for cheap, at least 1 copy, heh. I wish i could simply import my WIN98SE onto the new computer and magically it would work, but i don't think that could happen. Instead i figure i'll have to try to just but my current hard drive in the new computer as a slave and try to copy all my files over. I have a feeling getting my acid pro songs to be in there correct format is going to be a niiiiightmare....if even possible.

    Oh, and i suppose i should say that i'll need to have the system built by around may 5th, because i'll be leaving michigan to go to florida for the summer to do intern work. Makes me think i better get my butt in gear, no?

    Ok, sorry for the rambled post. I do appreciate any help, advice, or personal experience. Thank you for the help. I hope I didn’t forget anything it is late.

    Lol, well I found out that the daily backup takes place at 4am…I’m glad I copied the text into the clipboard before I posted (yahoo mail tends to make doing that a habit).
     
  2. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    10,673
    Well first of all newegg is NOT the cheapest place to buy from, but for some reason a lot of teenagers seem to "think" it is :rolleyes: I'll find you better prices in a day or two (it's 4:30 in the morning here now) for most of that stuff on your list.

    The modem I can save you 50% right off the bat by going to computergate. They have one on sale for 5 bucks! OfficeMax has one for free this week with a rebate. CompUSA has a better hard drive on sale for 60 bucks this week too. Don't lose Hope on that 600.00 machine just yet, we've already saved you around 60 bucks (it's like getting the hard drive for free) and I'm not even getting started yet :p ;)
     
  3. pronute

    pronute

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    3,956
    Yes it's true that NewEgg isn't the cheapest, however they are usually second in price by about .002%, but their services can't be beat the orders are shipped when they say they will be, and always arrive at your doorstep on time in good condition, and they don't gauge you with shipping and handling like those other discount outlets, that make up the difference in their featured price with shipping and handling charges. and NewEgg stands behind everything they sell. That’s why I myself am a repeat customer of NewEgg.
     
  4. griffinspc

    griffinspc

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Messages:
    4,022
    Mor'n John and welcome. You can build for $600 and be very happy with it however the monitor may be another story. You also said you'll be handing down your old machine so you may need all the keyboard, mouse and other stuff.

    Having said that, one thing I'd do would be to quit thinking of overclocking the beast. My reasons are this. You'll notice a huge difference in speed without overclocking. Overclocking means "generally" less stability which you pointed to as a concern. Overclocking produces more heat which means more cooling, which means more money, which means more noise which you really want to stay away from according to your post.

    Now I know others may jump in here and say you don't necessarily get those problems and it's true if you spend the money for high quality heatsinks and fans and extra power. Money you don't have. My Vantec heatsink was $29.00 alone on sale. Quality name power supply's will run you $40.00 to $70.00. The one with your case should prove just fine on a stock setup.

    You will be able to overclock that machine at a later date if you wish (after your lottery win :D) but for now, given your interests and budget I'd go stock only.

    Trust me on this, we all want faster and better but you'll be plenty happy without overclocking. My 2200+ Athlon (not overclocked which also runs at 1.8 Ghz) is plenty fast for me. I love it and I went from my now second machine's 1Ghz T-bird which is a few steps up from your PIII.

    You also have a problem if you're going to add the old drive as a slave handing down the old machine for someone to use. More money for another drive.

    All in all you have the right budget and you can do a heck of a build. My listed main machine, I am proud to say, ran $609 total less the DVD I had in the other machine and transfered here.

    You should look into another sound card at some point but if you're happy now, great.
     
  5. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

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    Don't get me wrong, they are a welcomed service on the net, BUT I hardly call policies like charging the customer 10-15% for returning something customer service :rolleyes:
     
  6. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
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    WOW nice to see someone finally say this ;)

    How refreshing ! (y)
     
  7. john11m

    john11m Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    35
    Hey hey,

    This is some good news. Better prices are welcome. :) I'm completely new to building, but it has seemed like new egg was more practical for certain components compared to some other components. With the cheap things like floppys and modems or fans, they seem to add an extra $5 for each item, which can add up.

    I went to newegg and did all my comparative shopping there by recommendation from someone in my fluids class. He was in the same boat as me, having never built a computer before, and he recomended them. I am not stuck on them though. I'll buy elseware.

    About the hard drive, are you refering to the Seagate baracuda on compusa's website? If so, i believe thats a larger version of the same drive(60GB), i'm currently running on my P3 (the stock one warped so i had the problem of it not wanting to spin up). I like that drive, and boy is it ever quieter then the stock. 5 years ago when i first got the PC, my pops said "that thing sounds like a grizzly bear."

    griffinspc, i probably didn't word myself correctly last night/this morning. What i meant about the slave drive was that i plan on doing that only temporarily, just to copy my files over to the new hard drive with win xp. Then i'd put the old hard drive back in my old computer. Because i plan on just copying it, that's why i'm worried it is going to be a pain in the butt. I'm going to try to copy whole directories, keeping there names the same for the music creation software acidpro.

    Basically, the way i use acid pro, i have 1 saved file and that file references a whole bunch of separate .wav files. I'm hoping the links will not be killed if i copy the whole directory tree. What do you guys think about that idea?

    About the overclocking, yeah it is pretty refreshing to hear i don't have to do it too. A lot of peer pressure on the other board ;)

    What you're saying makes since. I run it at specs for a while, if i'd try to up it, i'd up it slow. Its a new thing to me, so i think i'd be overly cautious.

    How does it sound getting the 2400 mobile instead of the 2500 barton (both would have the stock 2500 barton heat sinks). The mobile would only be a few dollars more (because i'd be buying the stock heat sink separately)...that is, unless i find one online that is the retail version. They say the mobile runs on a lower voltage, so i'd assume a lower temperature. Would that mean that if i would overclock it, i could just overclock it to a similar voltage to the barton without being much hotter then it?

    Once again thank you for the help. I do appreciate it. This is an exciting, yet somewhat stressful time, getting ready for my first build. Now i'm off to the fun land they call collage.
     
  8. griffinspc

    griffinspc

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Messages:
    4,022
    I don't even want to know :D
    This isn't a problem providing by directories you mean a folder and subfolder like this as an example; C:\music\WMA\J Giles Band\*.wma

    You cannot copy C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\blah blah blah. Does that make sense? You can't copy a program over. You will have to install the programs you want from scratch in order for the registry to know where to look.
     
  9. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

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    10,673
    It almost sounds like you are getting married :D ;)
     
  10. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Messages:
    8,812
    Your build it yourself runs $515.50 before taxes. Take a look here where I configured one from a decent custom builder for around the same price, with a three year warranty and the comfort of not having to build it yourself. It was only $14 more, I could've saved $10 of the $14 if I didn't step up to a Barton 2500+.

    TURBO X-INFINITY Case 420W W/ WINDOW & LCD Temperature Display
    AMD™ Athlon™ XP-2500+ Processor (Barton 512K L2 Cache)
    LeadTek WinFast K7NCR18D-Pro DDR400 8x AGP nForce-2 ULTRA 400FSB w/IEEE
    512 MB PC3200 400MHz DDR MEMORY
    120GB 7200 RPM ATA 100 HARD DRIVE
    Special ATI Radeon 9600 SE 128MB DDR AGP 8X w/ TV-Out & DVI
    INTERNAL 6in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer
    AMD CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK + 3 EXTRA CASE FANS
    600WATT PMPO SUBWOOFER STEREO SPEAKERS
    3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
    $524

    Configured at www.cyberpowerinc.com

    I realize the video is a 9600SE instead of the 9600, although the decreased memory bandwidth of the SE is really only noticeable with very few games with 4X antialiasing settings enabled...
     
  11. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Messages:
    8,812
    Could'ave also saved $20 by useing the Abit NF7 nForce2 ULTRA Chipset 400 FSB AGP 8X w/ LAN, USB2.0, & Audio mobo, but I picked a slightly better one.. Try the cofigurator for the weekly Special #1 and pick and choose to see what you can get.
     
  12. dustyjay

    dustyjay

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    12,661
    First Name:
    Jay
    You can do one heck of a machine for around $600. The important part of doing it is to shop around. You may not actually buy all your parts at the same place. I built mine for a little over $600 after rebates and the only part I reused was actually a new part that was given to me (2nd HDD) and my keyboard (you can have my keyboard when you can pry it from my cold dead fingers!).
     
  13. john11m

    john11m Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    35
    Hey,

    I've been messing around on www.cyberpowerinc.com, and found something funny. I built the exact same system under 2 different templates...and the total price came out differently. I thought this was strange, so i went through different templates (weekly special 1, weekly special 2 ect) and when i went through on one of them, i got a price about 40-50 dollors cheaper! then the weekly special 1. Unfortunatly WIN 98 doesn't like long browsing times with a ton of windows open, so i had to close the weekly special 1.

    The only 2 differences i noticed were, the one i am on now wanted me to pay a little extra for 2 more usb inputs (which i did), and instead of calling the 2500+ a barton, it has:

    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Processor (512K L2 CACHE) ~ CL406

    (the weekly special has a tm sign behind amd, says barton inside the paranthesis, and doesn't have the ~ CL406)

    Ohh, i suppose i should say that this is on the Gamer Xtreme 6000 Lightning template.

    Right now the price is at:

    $439.00 (shipping is like 60ish i believe).

    here are the specs (short version):

    Turbo X-Infinity 420W Case (WHITE)
    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Processor (512K L2 CACHE) ~ CL406
    Abit NF7 nForce2 ULTRA Chipset 400 FSB AGP 8X w/ LAN, USB2.0, & Audio
    512MB (256MBx2) PC3200 DDR400 Dual Channel
    Western Digital 120GB 7200RPM ATA 100 8MB Special Editon
    NONE - 2nd Hard Drive
    NONE - Video Card
    NONE - CD/DVD
    NONE - CDRW
    NONE - MONITOR
    3D WAVE ON-BOARD 5.1 SOUND CARD


    ***********
    I would get a $90 video card off newegg (or elseware if there is something better somewhere else), and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW (don't need to burn dvds yet ;) )combo somewhere else and install it to the system as well. (i hear the lite on ones are good and a great value)

    All this would put me near my $600 budget. (no monitor yet though, but i might be able to mooch one until christmas).


    So basically, i think i'm getting this. there is just 1 thing holding me back.....is that CPU the barton? Does AMD even make a 2500+ that isn't a barton? I tried to find one on newegg and price watch, but it seemed like they were all bartons.

    Any thoughts?

    P.S. lol, i'm scared to close my browser window haha.
     
  14. john11m

    john11m Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Ohhhh, yeah. i know what you mean about your keyboard too. I loooooved the keyboard i had on our old 486...that thing was awesome, haha so louuud though. I still have it today...only bad thing is, is that the cable broke. I suppose that could be fixed.

    I stopped at best buy today on the way home from school....lookin at all the new keyboards. They sucked to me. They're all too "rubbery." over priced too lol.
     
  15. Wet Chicken

    Wet Chicken

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    Messages:
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    Best DVD I ever got was from Samsung. It is amazing! Only cost 24 bucks brand new too AND it comes with Power DVD 4.0 :eek:
     
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