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Old 12-15-2004, 01:14   #1 (permalink)
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A question for all you computer people...

A friend/neighbour/workmate/whatever has a firm budget of $1000 with which to buy a new computer (not including Operating System, lets say they brought a boxed copy of Windows XP Pro and then discovered it wouldn't work on their old 286 system) and they want YOU to buy all the parts & assemble it for them - whatever change you get from the $1000 is yours as a reward for your effort and time.

What would you buy?

They said they want a system that can burn DVDs, get on the internet, play the occasional game (they're not sure what yet) and seem reasonably fast compared to a store-brought system costing perhaps a few hundred more. It has to include everything needed to use the new system.

What would you buy for them? Please specify CPU, Motherboard, RAM (amount & brand if applicable), Hard Disk, Optical Drive, Video gfx card, Case & PSU, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse & Speakers. And how much you expect to have left over (if any) out of the $1000.

Oh, and no, they can't possibly stretch the budget any further.
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:16   #2 (permalink)
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Re: A question for all you computer people...

Play games? under $1000? no can do unless you want a second hand monitor...
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:28   #3 (permalink)
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Re: A question for all you computer people...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selekta
Play games? under $1000? no can do unless you want a second hand monitor...
They don't care about playing games in 1280x1024 in 32-bit colour, remember they are upgrading from a 286... And there are still plenty of games that don't need an X800...
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:32   #4 (permalink)
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Re: A question for all you computer people...

OK, here is a system built from Parts from www.cworld.com.au (I know the owner through contacts)

CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2400+ - $118

Motherboard: Asus A7N8X-E-DELUXE $159.00 (better motherboard will greatly increase speed)

Video Card: Leadtek Winfast 256MB A360 TDH FX5700 $256.00 (you said you wanted games)

RAM: 256MB Hynix DDR PC400/3200 $75.00 (need 2 sticks, so $150)

HDD: Maxtor 80G 7200RPM 8MB Cache ATA-133 (6Y080P0) $100.00
(I swear by Maxtor, some people don't like it so you can change that if you want.)

Case: AOpen Miditower ATX QF50A case with 300W PSU $136.00

DVD Writer: LG GSA-4120B 12X +/- Dual Layer DVD Burner RETAIL $139.00
(personally i wouldn't bother, but not my system)

$100 for SONY Floppy and Thermaltake Volcano 12 (last thing you want is for your new computer to melt!)

Motherboard has inbuilt LAN and Sound.

Thats $1158 without monitor/keyboard.

You could get a lesser video card, but the cheapest at the moment (FX5200) will still put you over.
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:12   #5 (permalink)
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Re: A question for all you computer people...

Selekta pretty much has most things in a nut shell, however:

I personally wouldn't worry about the Thermaltake Volcano 12 (aftermarket heatsink and fan for the CPU). I run an Athlon 2500+ on the stock cooler... no problems so far! *touch wood*

Motherboard, A7N8X-X is what i have, the deluxe version as far as i can remember would only be better if you want to run dual channel memory (better performance) and are a bit of an overclocking nut

Video card, I know people who play the latest games on GeForce4 MX 440's / Radeon 9200SE's. Won't play doom 3 all that well, but hey, it'll still play those "occasional" games.

Also if you shop aound, you can usually get a 'el cheapo' case + psu for about $40, although take el cheapo to mean very nasty and flimsy :)

The $$ you'd save from those things would go nicely towards an LCD monitor and/or speakers/mouse&keyboard etc.

Good luck :)
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:21   #6 (permalink)
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Re: A question for all you computer people...

beying a cheap case is OK, but DON'T BUY A POVO PSU, ESPECIALLY WITHOUT A COOLER. they usually don't supply enough power, and make the cpu overheat. a cooler is not neccisary, but I would recommend it, especially if your case has no other fans. cworld don't sell older gen Ati/Nvidia cards anymore
and i'd recommend the deluxe because you want to run dual channel, much speed to be gained.
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:22   #7 (permalink)
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Re: A question for all you computer people...

You may even be able to get away with Intergrated graphics, I mean if they are used to their 286 systems and computer technology has come along way since then, they might find intergrated graphics enough for what they are going to be playing. That way the money can go towards the Monitor or peripherals
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:24   #8 (permalink)
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Re: A question for all you computer people...

Hmm, interesting... those prices are a little steep compared to what I'm used to.

80Gb Maxtor 7200 RPM with 8Mb cache for $100? Where I go you can get a Western Digital with the same specs for $85.

Here is what I came up with, and I'm sure they would be happy with compared to their old 286 system...

ASUS A7N8X-X with Lan $80
AMD XP 2600+ (including heatsink and fan) $130
512Mb Kingston PC3200 DDR400 RAM $128
Asus 9550 128Mb Video gfx card with DVI (upgradable to a 9600 if you know how) $95
Western Digital 7200RPM 8Mb cache 120Gb HDD $110
AOpen QF50A Tower (includes 300w PSU) $110
Philips 107E 17" monitor $149
LG 4160B 16x dual layer DVD RW $92
Creative sbs250 speakers $30
Keyboard & Optical mouse $30
Netcomm 56K internal PCI modem $27

Grand total: $981

Yes, there are some components that aren't exactly the greatest, but for a system for under $1000, I think they'd be happy... Even after upgrading the 9550 to a 9600, it's still not going to be awesome for games, but if they really want to upgrade that later on, then they can. I could have specified a Sempron 2200+ for $65 and only 256Mb of Kingston DDR400 RAM for $66, which would have left $241 to spend on a better gfx card and specified a 256Mb Winfast A360LE TD GF FX5700LE for $185 (leaving $56 out of the $1000) but IMO it's better to spend a bit more on a CPU and RAM then to spend more on the gfx card when the person will be using it for more then just games.

Anybody else want to take the $1000 PC challenge? I think it will be interesting to see what people specify, what they skimp on and what they spend more on, as well as how much money is left over at the end.
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:34   #9 (permalink)
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Re: A question for all you computer people...

you're missing the floppy drive, if they have a 286 they'll have all thier files on them...that takes you to $1011
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:38   #10 (permalink)
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Re: A question for all you computer people...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selekta
you're missing the floppy drive, if they have a 286 they'll have all thier files on them...that takes you to $1011
ASUS A7N8X-X with Lan $80
AMD XP 2600+ (including heatsink and fan) $130
512Mb Kingston PC3200 DDR400 RAM $128
Asus 9550 128Mb Video gfx card with DVI (upgradable to a 9600 if you know how) $95
Western Digital 7200RPM 8Mb cache 120Gb HDD $110
AOpen QF50A Tower (includes 300w PSU) $110
Philips 107E 17" monitor $149
LG 4160B 16x dual layer DVD RW $92
Creative sbs250 speakers $30
Keyboard & Optical mouse $30
Netcomm 56K internal PCI modem $27

3.5" Floppy drive $15

Grand total: $996
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