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Thread: $500 Computer System(Need Help)




  1. #1
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    Nov 2004
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    Question $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    I'm planning on building an average computer system with these parts. I'm from the Philippines so parts will be more or less from Taiwan(aren't all they ).

    Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.4Ghz
    Mboard: Foxconn 661FX (800Mhz fsb, DDR400, AGP 8x)http://www.foxconnchannel.com/redesi...me=661FX4MR-ES
    Monitor: 17" AOC Monitor
    Memory: 512Mb DDR 400 (Forgot the brand)
    Hardisk: Maxtor 80Gb 7200 RPM
    CD-ROM: 52x32x52x Lite-on CDR-DVD
    Casing: Generic ATX casing with 300w PSU


    *I chose Pentium for my processor as it is easier to sell intel powered computers than Athlon ones here.

    Out of all the parts, I'm a bit concerned about the mobo...It costs little but offers so much..thats the thing that concerns me. Video card will be added later on, I will be using the onboard video for starters. I'll just let my pocket heal before embarking on buying the GFX adapter.

    Any comments/recommendation will be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by TheAnomaly; 11-08-2004 at 04:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    I can't see anything wrong with it, but it's good to research motherboards and find out what's best for you and your situation. Maybe someone else here can help you more with that, but I don't follow socket 478 motherboards.

    I can tell you to make sure that that is a 2.4C, though. You wouldn't want a 400MHz or 533MHz FSB processor.

    You'll have to change that case and PSU. If you intend to buy a graphics card (I'm assuming you'll be doing some gaming with this), you'll want better than a generic 300W PSU. Get a cheap case (cheap doesn't have to mean bad, but it can) and a 350-400W PSU with P4 support from a good brand name, such as Thermaltake, Antec, or Enermax.

    It might be a good idea to remember the brand name on that RAM.

    I'd also suggest you go with Seagate over Maxtor if you can find a 7200RPM drive with 8MB cache for about the same price. Seagate has a 5-year warranty on all drives, while Maxtor usually has one or three.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    I can't see anything wrong with it, but it's good to research motherboards and find out what's best for you and your situation. Maybe someone else here can help you more with that, but I don't follow socket 478 motherboards.
    The fact that this mboard can run 800mhz FSB, 8x AGP and PC3200(single channel architecture <-- is this bad? ) attracted me, not to mention its low price and availability here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    I can tell you to make sure that that is a 2.4C, though. You wouldn't want a 400MHz or 533MHz FSB processor.
    Ok. Thanks for the heads up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    You'll have to change that case and PSU. If you intend to buy a graphics card (I'm assuming you'll be doing some gaming with this), you'll want better than a generic 300W PSU. Get a cheap case (cheap doesn't have to mean bad, but it can) and a 350-400W PSU with P4 support from a good brand name, such as Thermaltake, Antec, or Enermax.
    Yes, I'll be doing some gaming eventually. Anyway, The PSU is packaged with the case so I'll make a deal with the shop to take out the PSU and replace it with a PSU that you recommended(at least with the one thats available here).

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    It might be a good idea to remember the brand name on that RAM.
    If I can't remember the name, I guess its not a good brand. All I know about that memory is that its a 512mb pc3200 module. Any memory module you can recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    I'd also suggest you go with Seagate over Maxtor if you can find a 7200RPM drive with 8MB cache for about the same price. Seagate has a 5-year warranty on all drives, while Maxtor usually has one or three.
    Seagate here have only 1 year warranty. Its sad that retailers cut back on warranty to avoid replacements on hardisks. Maxtor is the best deal here as the shop offers a 3-year warranty on it. I'll check if the available maxtor HD has an 8mb cache.
    Last edited by TheAnomaly; 11-09-2004 at 08:48 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    I must have missed that it's a single channel board. That won't matter if you use a singe stick of 512MB memory, but you would get a huge boost if you later got a second stick and ran them in dual channel. Even though you may only be getting a 512MB stick (although you get get two 256MB sticks, I wouldn't suggest it), I would strongly recommend a different motherboard. Like I said, I don't follow socket 478, but a quick search on Newegg, the most popular hardware retailer in the U.S. (which I'm just about positive you can't order from, unless you're in the U.S. miltary) reveals the ASUS P4P800-MX, which has all the features you need and more, at an affordable price, too. It's even micro ATX, so you could look into getting a small mATX case, if you wanted (and it will work fine with full ATX cases, in case you're worried).

    There are lots of good memory modules to look for. See if you can get the retailer to tell you the latencies of the memory. Particularly, you will want to look for RAM with CAS latency 2, or 2.5 at the most (CAS 2 RAM will be more expensive). A few good brands include: Geil, Corsair, OCZ, Mushkin, Crucial, Kreton, PQI, and Kingmax.

    Try to get a drive with an 8MB cache instead of a 2MB, but don't pay much more for it. Over here, the cost difference is genrally somewhere between 0% and 5%, so I always recommend 8MB cache drives for U.S. buyers. That said, you could avoid this problem entirely by getting a Serial-ATA drive, which the motherboard I found supports. A SATA drive may be a few bucks more, but it will actually perform significantly better, though there's no real problem with a regular IDE drive, if money demands that, instead.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    Thanks for the quick reply Yawgmoth. I've called up the shop and talked to the owner and he did'nt recommend the mboard either. Anyway, here's the new specs:

    Processor: Intel Pentium IV 2.4c
    Mboard: MSI 848p Neo-V 800Mhz CPU FSB, 8x AGP, PC3200 Dual Channel
    Video Card: 128mb(128-bit) Geforce FX-5200
    Monitor: 17" AOC Monitor
    Memory: 2x 256Mb Geil DDR 400 Dual channel
    Hardisk: Maxtor 80Gb 7200 RPM (they still have to check abt the 8mb cache though)
    CD-ROM: 52x32x52x Lite-on CDR-DVD
    Casing: ATX casing with 350w PSU

    The cost did rise up significantly but I'll prefer to spend a little more than to feel sorry with a messed up system later. Better don't you think?
    Last edited by TheAnomaly; 11-09-2004 at 12:01 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    That MB is better choice.
    The 5200 won't help you much in more intense games...but i understand you are under a tight budget...so that will have to do.
    Including video with everything else...you have made a huge improvement when you compare it to you previous setup.
    Is that HD a SATA or IDE?
    - Damien

  7. #7
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    Default Re: $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    The 5200 won't help you much in more intense games...
    How do you define intense? Can you give an example of an intense game?
    Yeah i've read around forums and it's not one of the top cards. What video card would you recommend Flaco? I would prefer something within the price of a 5200 though.

    The Hardisk is an IDE.
    Last edited by TheAnomaly; 11-09-2004 at 11:58 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    What brand PSU are they putting in? It really is important that you don't buy some crappy PSU, because it won't cut it.

    A Radeon 9550 or 9600 ought to be around the same price, but still better.

    Otherwise, looks good. Ought to be a nice mid-range gaming system.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    What brand PSU are they putting in? It really is important that you don't buy some crappy PSU, because it won't cut it.

    A Radeon 9550 or 9600 ought to be around the same price, but still better.

    Otherwise, looks good. Ought to be a nice mid-range gaming system.
    agreed...you should look into the 9600
    - Damien

  10. #10
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    Default Re: $500 Computer System(Need Help)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    What brand PSU are they putting in? It really is important that you don't buy some crappy PSU, because it won't cut it.
    What do you mean by "not cutting it"? Will the 300w generic PSU screw up my system by not having enough power to supply the needs of the system? Anyway the PSU is an Antec 400w.

    A Radeon 9550 or 9600 ought to be around the same price, but still better.
    Otherwise, looks good. Ought to be a nice mid-range gaming system.
    128mb ATI Radeon 9550 costs around $108 while 128mb 128-bit Geforce FX - 5200 costs around $68.

    Is the Geforce FX-5200 that crappy that almost 90% of what I read votes against that card?

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