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Old 04-07-2005, 08:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile OK all you builders out there...

After building my confuser and talking about it and how much I learned and how much fun I thought it was, I have a friend at work that wants to build one now as well... Here's the scenario:

You have a 1000 USD to work with. You have a wife a 2 kids. (I.E. Multi-media capable and games) You have always bought computers and never built one, so suggestions and help is a must. This is to be a complete system as well... Monitor, OS, included.

What would you do for a system? :question:

Craig
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Anything that they want in particular.

i.e. DVD burner/player, Flat Panel (how big), Wireless Keyboard, Optical mouse? etc....

When building for someone, always give them 2 scenarios - the comp you can build them within their budget that has everything they want - and another comp within their budget that slightly changes those things (usually the better comp)...

So....let's hear what he's asking for.

$1000 is certainly a decent budget for somone that is just looking for a family comp....is he into Gaming? Movies? Music? or does he enjoy making graphs on Excel?

Knowing how the computer is going to be used can drastically change the parts you should use.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Gaming... Not TOO much, but the kids like Doom3, HL2, etc... Which leads to possibly an ATI 9800 Video card vice the higher end ones, due to budget. He doesn't want the kids on it ALL the time...

Multi-media... DVD Burner, definate. Possiblity for movie storage on HD. Music is a must. (Thinking DVD/CD Burner combo)

Office work... Standard office environment. (Office '03, which he has already) Nothing fancy in that department.

I am by no means an expert, but I do know that when he wanted to buy the COMPAQ, Windows XP multi-media center for approx. 1800.00... I had issues, and could help him do it cheaper...

Other than that he's just a standard computer user... Nothing fancy. But 19" LCD is prefferable. Standard keyboard/mouse is ok. He's like I am... Nothing TOO fancy but he does want decent multi-functionality.
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Old 04-07-2005, 10:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah... F compaq....

well, this is what I was trying to say....a decent 19" LCD is going to start at $450/500 -- ESPECIALLY if he wants to game on it.

LCD's refresh much slower than CRT (big old school monitors)....so if gaming is going to be a big thing (in price and quality of LCD)....he may want to consider a flat screen NOT flat panel if gaming is important.

I have a 19" Princeton (mid of the road) LCD and the refresh and all are great....embarressed to admit it...but actually picked jit up at costco about 3 years ago for $560 (best bang for the buck at the time)...You may want to take a look for an LCD at a local computer store or BJ's Costco, etc. Let me know if you need info on what specs to look for with an LCD.

Now, assuming that you get a 19" LCD for 450ish. That only leaves you $550 to make this computer.

I am much more of an AMD fan than INTEL...So my recommendation will obviously be AMD.

But, do you know the specs of what the compaq were?

Because you could very easily do an athlon xp system for $500. On a stretch you could do an athlon 64 system (better). But you may have to scale back on some other things....hearing what he wanted would be the most useful to work from.
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Old 04-07-2005, 11:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Reccomendations:
Websites: Zipzoomfly.com, newegg.com

CPU: AMD 64 3000+ 90nm
GPU: Nvidia 6600gt PCI Express
Mobo: Something SLI (in case he wants to upgrade, you can always throw in another 6600gt), nforce4
Memory: 512mb dual channel of pc3200 if you have the extra money, i would get the gig
Monitor: LCD's will take out most of the money you could spend on performance, get a nice 19" CRT
DVD Drives: Dual Layer burners are cheap now, i think around ($60-70), that would be a wise investment
OS: XP Pro
HDD: Money left over get a WD Raptor SATA 10k rpm, if not as much, get a NCQ SataII, prob need at least 60gb for what this family needs.

Money Left over: Memory, HDD, A second GFX card, higher end CPU.
The raptor really helps (installs windows in less than 6mins), and it runs programs very quickly.

just my $.02

I spend $1500 on my computer but I bought $300 Klipsch Speakers, and an Ultra PSU for $120, and a case for $100 (TT dream series). This is what I got, 2 months ago:
CPU: AMD 64 3000+ 90nm overclocked to 2.4ghz
Memory: PDR Patriot 1gb dual channel kit of PC4200
GFX: 2x 6600gt running SLI
Mobo: Asus A8N SLI Deluxe nForce4
HDD: WD Raptor Enterprise ED. Seek Time = 4.5 (norm is 5.2 for raptors, ide = 8 or 9)
Drives: DVD Rom, and 8x DVD Burner
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Old 04-07-2005, 11:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That senerio sounds like something I have done in college lol.
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Old 04-07-2005, 01:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What do ya'll think about this set up?

AMD Athlon 64 3200+, 512KB L2 Cache, Socket 939 64-bit Processor - Retail(limit 4 per customer) 190.00

FOXCONN "NF4K8MC-ERS" NVIDIA nForce4 Chipset Motherboard For AMD Socket 939 CPU -RETAIL 89.00

Rosewill nVIDIA GeForce 6600GT Video Card, 128MB GDDR3, 128-Bit, TV-Out/DVI, PCI-Express, Model "R66GT-128PX2" 174.00

Geil Ultra Series Value 184-Pin 1GB DDR PC-3200 w/ Blue Heatspreader - Retail 115.00

Hitachi 160GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model HDS722516VLSA80 Part# 13G0254, OEM 91.00

Lite-On 16X, DVD Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Drive, Model SOHW-1673S Black, Retail 60.00

COOLER MASTER Cavalier 3 Black ATX Mid-Tower Case With 350W Power Supply, Model "CAV-T03-UKA" -RETAIL 71.00

KEYBOARD-2000 KB-558BB/P Keyboard and Optical Mouse Combo PS/2 104keys -RETAIL 13.00

Mitsumi USB Digital Card Reader/Writer W/FD (Black)INTERNAL, Model FA404A/404M 26.00

Logitech X-530 5.1 Black Speaker System -RETAIL 57.00

Microsoft Windows XP HOME Edition With Service Pack 2 -OEM
97.00

Total price before shipping: 979.00

This does not include a monitor... He'll get one here, due to shipping cost to overseas APO... Suggestions, comments?
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Old 04-07-2005, 02:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That looks ok except I'm not sure about those brands as far as motherboard, video card and drives. Word is the most dependable motherboards are Asus/Abit/DFI, and the motherboard is the one thing you do want to really work for you. Spend a few extra dollars there for a more expensive one.

eVGA Nvidia cards are generally considered the best brand.

As far as drives go, I've heard iffy things about Lite-On, but that's just me. HDD's are more often Western Digital or Seagate.

And Windows XP Pro is a tad more stable than Home Edition.

This is mostly word-of-mouth stuff but I figure if a lot of people keep saying the same things, then maybe it would be best to follow their lead. Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2005, 02:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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get an XFX 6600GT, i heard SO amyn good htings about it, and seagate hdd, and a Abit motherboard.
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Old 04-07-2005, 03:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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dont by a XFX they been havin loads of problems recently. the evga, msi and BFG brands are supposed to be good, i would look at a msi, abit or dfi nforce4 ultra motherboard. u can skimp on things like speakers and mouse keyboard stuff. go for a seagate or western digital hard drive. might aswel just get a 3000 rather than a 3200 and overclock it for him.
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