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Old 11-17-2004, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default help newbie with parts list for basic office p4 system

Hi, first-time builder here. I've been wanting to try this for awhile, and just got a family member who needs a new computer to be my guinea pig! My mother needs a new computer to replace her 5 year old 500MHz PIII with 96MB of memory and 9Gb hard drive. The only thing worth salvaging from her old system is her recently purchased lcd monitor.

She needs the computer for basic office type applications (excel, word), internet surfing, and to store digital pictures. No gaming, no crazy video editing, so nothing flashy needed.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, this has got to be something that I can reliably put together and not have crash a lot, or ever! I've never built a computer before. By far the most complicated thing I've ever done on a computer is install a LAN card 3 years ago, so I guess that qualifies me as a BEGINNER. Still, I'd like to have a go at this.

Cost is at a premium -- I'd like to impress her with how much cheaper than Gateway I can do this for. With that in mind, here are the system requirements as I see them:

P4 cpu -- unsure what speed she really needs -- could probably get away with something pretty slow here

a rock solid reliable motherboard with onboard video, audio and ethernet connection -- willing to pay a premium for name brand if the quality is there, also, MUST BE EASY TO INSTALL AND CONFIGURE, be nice if it was micro-atx too

basic 40GB hard drive

512MB memory

basic multi-optical drive -- to play dvd's and play and burn cd's

CONSERVATIVE looking case, nice if it was small, like micro ATX!

basic but high quality keyboard and optical mouse

all exterior parts must match in color. bonus points if the parts are all retail and include manuals! extra bonus points if the parts compelement each other and are easy to install together!!

How cheap could I do this for? I'm hoping $650, maybe even cheaper, but am very flexible on price (she's used to paying $1800 everytime she buys a new computer). Can someone help me with a parts list from newegg or tigerdirect?
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I tried making up a parts list by myself. Could someone let me know if this all checks out compatibility-wise?

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...121-192&depa=0

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...116-141&depa=1

Memory: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...141-424&depa=1

Case: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...129-148&depa=1

Hard Drive: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...148-015&depa=1

Optical Drive: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...106-937&depa=1

Keyboard/Mouse: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...109-132&depa=0

Floppy Drive: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...103-203&depa=0

Total Price: $465.49 plus shipping and tax

Other than monitor, operating system and speakers, does this parts list represent a complete system, meaning nothing more needed to buy? I'm relying on Mobo for sound video and network. Am I missing any parts? Are they a good fit for each other?
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks good to me, should be a good office computer.
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Old 11-18-2004, 02:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the OK. Any idea on how easy this'll be to put together for a newbie?
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Old 11-18-2004, 04:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This should be easy given that all the compnents are 100% compatible, if you know that then all you really have to do is plug it all in.

I suggest a different mobo: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...130-443&depa=0
And CPU: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...116-158&depa=1

Both of those have an 800MHz FSB
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestion. I see that the CPU is more advanced for only a little more cash, and will likely switch to that. But why the different motherboard? I don't see any difference between the two in features (they both support 800Mhz FSB), and the Intel brand seems like a "safer" purchase for a newbie.
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by crud_tud
I don't see any difference between the two in features (they both support 800Mhz FSB), and the Intel brand seems like a "safer" purchase for a newbie.
Intel board is for stock, it's fine for normal computer usage. But the MSI will let you overclock if you choose to do so and is made to be more flexible. If you don't plan on overclocking the Intel should be fine...it's just a basic mobo with limited potential (in overclocking) that's all.
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Old 11-19-2004, 10:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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hehe 4w4k3 its for his mom, unless she is the oddest old lady in town she wont be overclocking (not to imply that your mother is old)
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Old 11-19-2004, 06:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Leonidas
hehe 4w4k3 its for his mom, unless she is the oddest old lady in town she wont be overclocking (not to imply that your mother is old)
lol i didnt read the part about it being for his mom. But i would still overclock it for her, so it runs faster. When i gave my gf her computer i was going to teach her how to overclock...but it has memory issues so no overclockign yet. She follows what i say though when i overclock mine and has picked up on how to do things.

GF's rig:
AMD Athlon XP 2400+ 2000MHz 1.625v
EPOX 8RDA3+ (200*10) 1.6v
Mushkin GreenLine PC3200 200MHz

Everything else is pretty generic, running dual HD's on ATA133, SiS vid card...it's pretty nice i think for basic use. Once i figure out memory issues i hope i can get it past 2.3GHz....running 32C on stock cooling right now
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Old 11-20-2004, 06:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks again for all the responses. I'm curious though, how would I be able to tell that the MSI motherboard supports overclocking and the Intel doesn't? I've looked the Newegg information and can't tell any difference.
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