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Thread: critique my budget system...




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    20

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    I would like you all to critique my system that I plan on buying and building within the next month or so. I built it on a very strict budget so any suggestions must adhere to my budget (under $700 US). Thanks.

    Motherboard:
    Shuttle nForce2 Ultra 400 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket A CPU, Model "AN35N-Ultra" –RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=13-150-045

    CPU
    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ "Barton", 333 FSB, 512K Cache Processor – Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=19-103-379

    Video Card
    High Tech ATI RADEON 9600SE Video Card, 128MB DDR, 64-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "R8S-32-A" –RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=14-161-108

    Memory
    CRUCIAL 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-2100, 64M x 64 – OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=20-145-006

    Hard Drive
    Western Digital 40GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive, Model WD400BB, OEM Drive only
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=22-140-118

    DVD ROM
    SONY 16X DVD-ROM Drive, Model DDU1621(DDU1611), OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=27-131-001

    Monitor
    SAMSUNG 753DF-T/T 17" DynaFlat CRT Monitor –RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=24-001-120

    Floppy Drive
    SONY Beige 1.44MB 3.5Inch Floppy Disk Drive, Model MPF920, OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=21-103-109

    Speakers
    Logitech Z640 5.1 Speakers –RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=36-121-104

    These are all the parts that I plan on getting (aside from mouse and keyboard). The motherboard has a LAN card and AC97 sound built in. I plan on using this computer to play games with. Also, if anyone can direct me to a good site that tells you how to assemble a computer, I would be much obliged. Thanks again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

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    If I were you (unless your not into gaming), I would get better video. Your current card won't really take full advantage of the rest of your system. For my own system I'm building I had found (well, a lik was given to me) this:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...102-268&depa=0
    For a $25 save, this isn't much worse:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...102-268&depa=0

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    539

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    i dont think PC-2100 memory isnt going to cut it, probably too slow. Im thinking PC-2700 at the minimum, or PC-3200.
    MSN Messenger - handy481@hotmail.com
    DC++ - handy481 :: Sweden Xperience :: BootCamp 02 :: Revolution xShare 01 :: Mp3Heaven

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    4,246

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoric
    i dont think PC-2100 memory isnt going to cut it, probably too slow. Im thinking PC-2700 at the minimum, or PC-3200.
    exactly, PC2100 (133, 266 FSB effective) is not fast enough for a 166(333 FSB) CPU. You will need at least PC2700, PC3200 if you want to Overclock.
    I've gone too far and need to move on!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Posts
    848

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    As for that 64bit gfx card, you would be totally pissed at how bad it would be. http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...139-137&depa=1

    This above link is probably the least you can spend for anything decent. We dont want you to get ripped off. If you absolutely can't spend any more, then for a budget card, a r9000pro is what I would suggest. They are the only good budget card and I use them exclusively for budget cards in customer's machines. Best bang for buck sub $100 card out there. There is not much difference performancewise between the 64mb and 128mb versions. And it is cheaper than any other budget card and has active cooling.
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...102-230&depa=1
    Here is roughly where these cards stack up.
    athlon xp-m@2456mhz(12x204)
    tt aquariusII liquid cooled/ arctic silver ceramique
    asus a7n8xe-dlx
    thermaltake xaserIII lanfire
    bfg 6800gt
    seagate sataII 250gb/seagate 7200rpm 160gb ide
    samsung dvdrw
    2x1024 kingston hyper-x pc3200/ windows xp pro sp3
    logitech mx518/ logitech wingman rumble
    2x samsung 955df 19"/ canon i960
    creative x-fi fatal1ty 64mb/ altec lansing 251-5.1
    mushkin 550w

    opteron 146 @ 2850 (10x285)
    DFI infinity nf4 ultra
    thermaltake tsunami dream -black
    seagate sataII 500gb
    evga 8600gt oc ssc edition
    samsung sata dvd-rw
    2x1024 ocz black
    logitech ifeel/ nec accusync 75f
    ocz fatal1ty 550w

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    790

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    Well, all of that you gave us adds up to $570, I take it you already have a case and power supply? As it stands, this things that will really cripple your performance are the RAM you chose and the video card.

    First off the RAM is way outdated for your mobo and CPU, its like putting a chain and pedals in a ferrari. Also, its only one stick, you want two sticks so you can run dual channel (10% faster or so). This Corsair PC3200 is $91 ($17 more) and will essentially double your system performance (its cheaper on zipzoomfly than it is on newegg). It's a 512MB kit consisting of two 256MB sticks. It runs at 400Mhz (as opposed to the stock 333 of the Barton) which leaves plenty of room for overlclocking your system. If you really want this system to take off, overclock it, you'll get insane performance gains for free.

    Video card wise, the 9600SE is a horrible card, dont get it, especially if you want to game. If you want to save as much money as possible, get a 9600XT (again, cheaper than newegg) for $156 or if you want to spend a little more, but get a very high performing video card, get a 9700Pro for $185. Personally, I'd spend the extra $30 and get the 9700Pro, as its a much better performer, but both are very good cards.

    Both of those upgrades (if you go with the 9600XT) will cost you another $100, but they were make your system so much better. That leaves you at around $670. One last thing I'd do is get a better hard drive. On a one hard drive system, you'll want a faster drive cause everything, OS, pagefile, games, etc, will be on it. Hence, for $13 more, get a WD 80GBJB for $69. Not only does it give you double the space, but the 8MB buffer on it will transfer data MUCH faster than the 2MB on the other drive. Boot up, Application and game load times, and over all system performance will be much faster. Grand total, thats $683, under $700, and thsoe changes will easily make your comp twice as fast.

    Also, the RAM I suggested will allow you to over clock that barton XP to 200FSB (400FSB effective) x11, or 2.2GHz instead of 1.83. The 400FSB over the stock 333FSB will make over all system performance alot faster. To do this, however, you'll need a better heatsink/fan for the CPU than the stock one provided, a Thermaltake Volcano 7+ for $28 is just the thing, and some arctic silver 5 thermal grease. But you dont have to o/c it right away, run it at stock and I think you'll be quiet happy. When a birthday/more money comes up, get the HSF and thermal grease and o/c the bugger and get a big performance boost.

    Anywho, wow, that was long, hoped it helped, : peace2: Mista K6
    Modified Dell 8200 Case:
    -400MHz FSB i850 Intel mobo
    -P4 Williamette Socket 478, 1.9GHz
    -768MB 16-bit PC800 RDRAM
    -MSI GF4 Ti4200 128MB @ 284/581
    -7200 RPM Maxtors: 60GB (2MB) on mobo and 160GB (8MB) on ATA/133 PCI Card
    -Creative Inspire T7700 7.1 Speaker System on an Audigy 2
    -Windows XP Home Edition SP2

    Rock on : peace2: , MiStA K6

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thanks for all your help. I forgot to add in the case in the first config so here is an updated config using ur suggestions:

    Case
    ASPIRE (Turbo Case)Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with 350W Power Supply, Model "ATXB5KLW/350"
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=11-144-042
    $41

    Motherboard:
    Shuttle nForce2 Ultra 400 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket A CPU, Model "AN35N-Ultra" –RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=13-150-045
    $65

    CPU
    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ "Barton", 333 FSB, 512K Cache Processor – Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=19-103-379
    $80

    Video Card
    Jaton nVIDIA GeForce4 TI4200-8X Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-bit, DVI/VIVO, 8X AGP, Model "3DForce4 Ti4200-8X Diamond" –RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=14-139-137
    OR
    SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9000PRO Video Card, 64MB DDR, 128-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 4X AGP –BULK
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=14-102-230
    $127 and $67 respectively

    Memory
    Corsair VS512MBKIT400C3 512MB Kit DDR400 PC3200 CAS3 Value Select Memory Retail *** Free 2nd Day ***
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...tCode=80093-20
    $91

    Hard Drive
    Western Digital Special Edition 80GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive, Model WD800JB, OEM Drive Only
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=22-144-122
    $69

    DVD ROM
    SONY 16X DVD-ROM Drive, Model DDU1621(DDU1611), OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=27-131-001
    $29

    Monitor
    SAMSUNG 753DF-T/T 17" DynaFlat CRT Monitor –RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=24-001-120
    $129

    Floppy Drive
    SONY Beige 1.44MB 3.5Inch Floppy Disk Drive, Model MPF920, OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=21-103-109
    $9

    Speakers
    Logitech Z640 5.1 Speakers –RETAIL
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ion=36-121-104
    $64

    Mouse and Keyboard
    Around thirty total for generic

    Total:
    $734 with more expensive graphics card
    $674 with cheaper graphics card

    The graphics card i will decide depending on how much money ive accumulated at the time i want to buy the system. Also, i plan on running Windows 2000 on it. As for overclocking the computer, i dont really even know how to build a computer so that is going to be an adventure on its own. I would probably screw it up if i tried to o/c, but i will keep that in mind later on. On that subject, is there a site that teaches one to overclock? I have looked at the guides on this site and they are outdated and i dont really get them. Any info on overclocking is appreciated along with your suggestions.

    One more thing, my friend told me not to get a Shuttle mobo because he bought one and it got destroyed (i think burnied or something) was this an isolated case or should i find another mobo?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    790

    Default

    Well, I wouldnt recommend getting that case, the power supply isnt that great. I would get this Antec for $63 ($12 more). Really, for $12 more the power supply is so much better, especially if you ever want to overclock. To make up for the difference, here's the same Ti4200 for $15 less. This company is good, I ordered some cables from them once, no problems at all.

    As far as the shuttle mobo goes, its great. I built my friend a budget system with it and its a very good board, tons of features and overclocking options. The only thing about is you need the latest drivers to get the sound really good, but its a given you should always keep your drivers up to date :D .

    As far as overclocking goes, it isnt very difficult. YOu'll want to get that Volcano 7+ and arctic silver 5 before you do it though, because the stock AMD heatsink isnt good for overclocked applications. However, once you do get them, its simply a matter of raising the vcore .1, DIMM .1, raise the FSB from 166 (333 effective) to 200 (400 effective) to give you a 2.2GHz CPU on a 400MHz FSB. Then run 3dMark2001 or any other intense program for 5 hours or so to check for stability. Usually that set up works fine. If you have any further questions etc, ask away in the overclocking forum.

    Anyways, good luck building your new system. If you have any questions about that, ask us. : peace2: Mista K6
    Modified Dell 8200 Case:
    -400MHz FSB i850 Intel mobo
    -P4 Williamette Socket 478, 1.9GHz
    -768MB 16-bit PC800 RDRAM
    -MSI GF4 Ti4200 128MB @ 284/581
    -7200 RPM Maxtors: 60GB (2MB) on mobo and 160GB (8MB) on ATA/133 PCI Card
    -Creative Inspire T7700 7.1 Speaker System on an Audigy 2
    -Windows XP Home Edition SP2

    Rock on : peace2: , MiStA K6

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