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Thread: Bulding a value comp for a friend




  1. #1
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    The same friend that was going to buy my crappy Gateway as desribed in my other post (http://forums.tweaktown.com/viewtopic.php?t=17135) got wise. He's not going to buy mine (I was overcharging for it so it serves me right :)), but I'm helping him get hardware for his. I spent some time on the phone with him searching for hardware. I found everything we need, but I want some input before I go and buy stuff. What we have so far:

    Kinston Value 256MB DDR PC3200 RAM - Retail
    Athlon XP 2500+ Barton - OEM
    Case with 300W power supply and 80mm Fan
    Refurbished ASUS nForce 2 with onboard Audio and LAN
    Magnetic Data Technology 40GB 7200RPM 2MB buffer HDD
    Thermaltake Volcano 10

    Total = $250 U.S. + S&H

    I intend to sell him an extra CD drive and floppy drive. No monitor or cords needed. I was thinking more RAM but 256MB will suffice until more he gets more money. He already has a crappy video card (I think he said 32MB, trust me he doesn't need a system this high-end anyway) that he will replace when he gets more money. I was looking at this 9600SE when the time comes. He also wants a CD-RW/DVD combo drive later on, and for that time he had found this.
    The stuff up top has priority, though. I just want to make sure I am not buying bad harware (bad manufacturer, crappy feature overlooked, whatever). Note that this is not like the system I was builing, there won't be any budget increases this time. If someone finds a link of replacement hardware more than $10 more than the original, don't bother posting unless you make other adjustments. I wan't to keep this system under $260 plus S&H; my friend only has about $200 and would like to get this ASAP. Upgrades in RAM, video, whatever can come later.

    Any input on my current links would be greatly appreciated.

    Edit: Maybe I should give an idea of what he'll be doing:
    Mid-range gaming. So far, his most demanding games are Red Alert 2 and Deus Ex. I would like to get this so he can play some of the more modern FPS, maybe even Half-Life 2 when it comes out (he'll have a new vid card by then). Maybe BF:1942, Warcraft III, whatever. I'd like to see him stop playing friggin Red Alert 2. I got bored of it on my old P2 like three years ago. :roll:

  2. #2
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    Looks alright, but I strongly suggest upgrading to 512mb of RAM as soon as ya can

  3. #3
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    Can't ya get a case with a higher rated PSU? The reason I ask this is because I've used them with Athlon systems and ya usually will have no end of probs untill the PSU is upgraded so I gave them up as a bad joke long ago.

  4. #4
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    If I can find one and a case for such a low price. That's $22 for a case and PSU, not bad IMO. There was fighting over the quality of the PSU in the ratings, so it might work just fine. I will look around, but I need this to be cheap.

    Edit:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...132-002&depa=0

    Good reviews, very cheap. Think I'm good with just the one fan because of the heatsink I'll have him get?

  5. #5
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    Might be a mistake cheaping out on the Psu as when the times comes for your friend to upgrade his Vid, say to a 9700(by that time it will be cheap enough maybee) it might send the Psu over the edge.

  6. #6
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    Would this Radeon 7500 6MB DDR 128-bit be a better deal than that 9600SE? I just saw a benchmark in another thread showing it to better than the 9600. It's only AGP 4x and has half as much memory, but it's 128-bit and a lot cheaper ($32 less). Think that would better than the $70 9600SE?

  7. #7
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    The r7500 was a decent card when they came out(years ago). Sure it beats a crappy r9600se, but be nice to your friend and get him something that can actually play games properly. It is silly to buy hardware that is already in need of upgrading. Also that psu is probably going to pop, try explaining that one to him after it takes out the whole machine especially since you already know that.

    I'm thinking ti4200 at the very least. 400w+ for psu.
    this case/psu would be better for less $

    What kind of gfx card does he have already?
    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

  8. #8
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    Refurbished ASUS nForce 2 with onboard Audio and LAN
    Magnetic Data Technology 40GB 7200RPM 2MB buffer HDD
    I wouldn't touch either of those items....

    And what fee are you charging yawg? Or does he somehow get your knowledge and experience and time for free? Sell him your Gateway, or tack on another $100 bucks for your efforts at least.

    And where are you getting the software?

    BTW, the PC3200 is overkill for that Barton... That Barton was nearly the first processor to use PC2700 ram, and don't tell me you are thinking about overclocking it? On a refurb board with a generic psu that would be insane.
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  9. #9
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    Well I'm probably going to end up charging him $50 for building it and installing\tweaking Windows (don't worry about software, got it covered 8) ) I'm not geting the parts either, I've been e-mailing him the links so he can order stuff. I just couldn't stand it anymore when he'd call me up and ask about some cheap, crappy refurbished motherboard with a chipset I've never even heard of. Hell, he was trying to get himself integrated video. I kindly explained (yelled) that he might as well go with my friggin Gateway.
    I figured the HDD was kind of cheap, but it was such a good deal I coudln't help myself. Is MDT really bad in your opinion (I can't remember ever using one of them myself) or do you just not like the looks of that deal?
    Think maybe I should go down to PC2700 in RAM and get a a quality motherboard? Might be cheaper anyway.
    Thanks for the case link, Maximus. I think I'll go with that. I woudl have noticed that before, but I was stupid enough to search for just cases with 300W and not 350 or 400.
    Quote Originally Posted by maximus7001
    The r7500 was a decent card when they came out(years ago). Sure it beats a crappy r9600se, but be nice to your friend and get him something that can actually play games properly. It is silly to buy hardware that is already in need of upgrading.
    But that's why it's called a value comp. You spend a small amount on something that could be upgraded quite a bit as it is. This thing will never use SATA or PCI express or anytih good. This guy's best computer ATM is a Pentium with 64MB of RAM (not DDR either, :) ) If I can find something better than that or the 9600SE for $70 or less then I'll go with it. But this guy is planning on getting that after everything else. He claims to have a spare 16MB AGP card that will hold him until he gets the 9600. You have no idea how much I had to yell at him to convince him not to go with integrated video. I'll look for some good-priced nVidia cards that are better than the current, but I'm not too hopeful.

  10. #10
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    What I've found so far:
    PC2700 256MB
    KM400 chipset mobo
    Ti4200 :(

    Mobo looks better, got good reviews. The RAM is cheaper and once he gets money he can get another stick of it. Th Ti4200 is expensive however. I'm still strongly considering that 7500. I don't expect this thing to play Doom3 anytime this year. Half-Life 2 at the most, I guess (and it is supposed to be pretty low on system requirements like the Half-Life was).

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