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Old 05-23-2009, 06:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Back-to-school rig

I'd like to start compiling a list of parts that I could use to build a decent PC for schoolwork. I'll be going to university in a year but I could really use a new comp now.
It'll be used mostly for essay writing and music/video handling, but I'll also be taking a few computer science courses. Oh, and I like Cabal, Silkroad, Gunz, and CS 1.6 =D.

Required:
Monitor no larger than 19" because it has to go into this little hovel thing on my desk
OS, preferably XP
an decent GPU (9400GT-ish, or maybe GTX 280 =D lol jk)

My budget's about $900 (BTW, I live in Canada, and there's an NCIX store like across from my house).

Any suggestions would be great.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back-to-school rig

Literally any PC can be used for schoolwork. I wrote essays, printed them, formatted them, and managed light music/video playing for the first two years of college on a Pentium 2 350mhz w/128 mbs of ram.

:-p

Pretty much any modern PC is going to perfectly suffice as a schoolwork PC.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back-to-school rig

Yeah, like he said. If you want a rig to play the games, for 900, you should probably be able to get a decent one. If you're needing a monitor and OS, you probably aren't going to be able to get a gtx 280 though.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back-to-school rig

CPU: NCIX.com - Buy Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Quad Core Processor LGA775 2.33GHZ Yorkfield 1333FSB 4MB Retail Box - BX80580Q8200 In Canada.

Mobo: NCIX.com - Buy ASUS P5QL-PRO ATX LGA775 P43 DDR2 1XPCI-E16 2XPCI-E1 3XPCI Audio GBLAN Motherboard - P5QL-PRO In Canada.

GPU: NCIX.com - Buy Sapphire Radeon HD 4650 600MHZ 512MB 700MHZ GDDR3 DVI VGA HDMI PCI-E Video Card - 11140-08-20R In Canada.

PSU: NCIX.com - Buy Corsair VX550W 550W ATX 12V 41A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan - CMPSU-550VX In Canada.

RAM: NCIX.com - Buy G.SKILL F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ PC2-6400 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-15 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit - F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ In Canada.

Case: NCIX.com - Buy Coolermaster Elite RC-330 ATX Blk Case 4X5.25 2X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS 1X120MM Rear Fan Front I/O Panel - RC-330-KKN1 In Canada.

HDD: NCIX.com - Buy Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA2 3.5IN 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive OEM *3YR MFR Warranty* - ST3500418AS In Canada.

Optical: NCIX.com - Buy LG GH22NS30 Black DVD+RW 22X8X16 DVD-RW 22X6X16 DL 16X/12X 2MB SATA OEM - GH22NS30 BLACK In Canada.

Monitor: NCIX.com - Buy Acer X193WB Black 19IN Widescreen LCD Monitor 1440X900 2000:1 5MS VGA - ET.CX3WP.002 In Canada.

That isn't going to leave much room in your budget, and is probably over. You could drop to a Duel Core to save.

I'd use the Windows 7 RC for now, and you can buy it in a year.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back-to-school rig

There's another thread, the one about prebuilts, in which the Q8200 is trashed over and over. Don't know much about it, but I get the feeling its a bad idea.
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back-to-school rig

Really? Maybe it is, although I remember someone on another site defending it. Others were claiming it doesn't OC well, but he disagreed.
This was the only negative comment he had for it.

"The biggest reason you would stay away from a Q8000 series quadcore is the lack of Intel VT, which is important if you are running Xen, VMware, or any other virtualization system."

I/he could be wrong though. An E8400 would be a great choice if this is true.
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back-to-school rig

The Q8xxx was a failure in most aspects because it was supposed to replace the Q6*** series and failed. It has a crippled cache and a low multi.

If you're going quad, you need to go either Q9400 or i7 on the intel side.

The E8400 would be fine for a gaming rig.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back-to-school rig

Hadn't realized that, thanks hikari.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back-to-school rig

^^ It's all good. I've only seen on decent Q8200, and that was ComatoseClown's. It overclocked decently high for one from that series.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back-to-school rig

The Q8xxx quads may not be the fastest cpu's Intel ever released but they are still much better than people realize. For example the Q8400 beats the x3 720 25 to 7 in the tests available on anadtech bench.

AnandTech Bench (beta): Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 vs AMD Phenom II X3 720
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