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Steve132

A bit off-topic, hardware

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I know this is off-topic, but I like the NeHe community and am more active here than in the hardware forums.. I was just doing a little monkeying around, and I wanted to ask a quick question. My friend NEEDS a new computer, and I told him if he put up the funds I would build and design him one for free as a christmas present. I am not a huge hardware buff(more of a software guy),but I am pretty sure I know enough to pull off putting the parts together. Nonetheless, It never hurts to have someone with more experience with it look over your shoulder a bit to make sure before you run off spending someone else's money. Do you think you could take a quick glance at the comp I am going to build him? I am not missing anything or overlooking some sort of hardware inconsistancies, am I? I would really appreciate a quick check. Here is what I decided on: Mobo Hard Drive Memory Video Case, PSU, Keyboard, Mouse DVD CD-RW It may be important to note that my friend is a VERY casual gamer, and it is doubtful that he will buy/need a super duper video card. It may also be important to note that the primary OS on this system will be Ubuntu 5.10, which I am capable of installing. Thanks in advance, Steve

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You're gonna need a processor, but other than that, it's a descent home-use computer.

You've picked out an Athlon 64 motherboard, which really is kinda overkill for this day and age. Unless your friend is going to be doing some heavy-duty processing (and has an operating system that supports 64 bit), you might want to consider going for the Athlon XP.

The other thing you may want to consider is that the video card is in lower-middle range when it comes to gaming. If your friend is not a hardcore gamer, it should be fine, but spending a couple hundred dollars for a good, gamer-friendly card isn't always an unnecessary investment.

So basically, take some of those $'s off of the motherboard and put them into the video card.
__________

I personally shop at NewEgg.com for good products, low prices and fast shipping. I've built four computers from components using things ordered from that site and I've never had any problems with any of it.

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I concur with the response above. Also, even if you wanted to stay with a 64-bit mobo (for whatever reason), the one you selected is still bit over kill for the rest of the system.

I'm also curious as to why you choose a DVD-ROM and a seperate CD Burner. I can understand various reasons for this, but it might be cheaper (NewEgg.com) to find a combo that does both DVD reading and CD burning.

Another thought, while the Case, Keyboard, mouse, PSU are a good deal. If the PSU dies on you shortly after purchase don't be surprised. When buying a low end case with a PSU you always want to walk with caution.

Harddive is good to go. An abundent amount of RAM is fun, and while it may not all get used, you can never have enough.. does that make sense :)


Have fun
(NewEgg Rocks! ;)

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Quote:
Original post by Steve132
It may be important to note that my friend is a VERY casual gamer, and it is doubtful that he will buy/need a super duper video card. It may also be important to note that the primary OS on this system will be Ubuntu 5.10, which I am capable of installing.


Have you checked that Ubuntu supports all of those components, driver wise with no known issues? I've recently used a Live version of that OS on various comps myself and it worked great with all of my surff, but it's always good to check for those minor quirks that might popup!

Quote:
I am not missing anything or overlooking some sort of hardware inconsistancies, am I?


Nothing out of the blue to me, but I agree with the previous posters, does your friend really need a 64bit? I think you need to find out what he's going to be doing with the computer, then do the resaech on what will best accodomate him best. It's time consuming, but it's well worth it. I made that mistake last year when I built my current PC, i just started picking out parts and made them work, without doing the right research, and i ended up wasting money on something that wasn't as good as it could have been. I have learned from my mistakes though...

Doing a quick little adding up, you got around $466 worth of stuff. Why not just get this PC for him, $449.99, (heck just say you built it [wink]), and have a bit more than what you have now? Of course you will need to format the HDD since it has Windows on it, but that shouldn't be a prob. Even though it's a 3400+, it's clocked at 2.40GHz, so it's pretty much the same as your 3700+. (I've done research the past 2 days on AMD and the overclocking and stuff and you have to be careful that you get the 'good models' that you can easily bump up to the next rather than pay a lot more of that next version) NOT to rain on your computer building parade though, I love building comps too, but just throwing that out.

Finally, what kind of budget are you on, I think you can make something a bit better for less, just based on what I've been looking at the past few days with computer stuff. Is a 350 watt PSU good enough for a 64 bit cpu and all of that? Furthermore, count on that PSU being kind of cheap, so you might want to do something different there. I never really knew how complex the whole 'picking the right PSU' job was until recently. I actually read the stuff online and realized there's a lot more too it. Nothing that's just hard, just a lot of stuff I didn't know before. If you are going to do custom case, as him if he likes the design at all if you have not already. Anyways, with some more info, I can say more can be done and said about this.

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Don't skimp to mutch on the GFX card (come on, even my dad thinks the fx5200 was a bit on the low side even for him, and he hardly knows what it is).
get at least a GF6200 or more.
I know it's a bit much for a casual gamer, but in a year or two he will be sorry you didn't get the faster model, it's no fun running your games at 800x600
(more so for me since i run most games at 2048x1536).

Memory, depending a litle on your system setup and processor choice 2x512MB beats 1x1024MB.

DVD, CD-RW, no get a combo drive, they are dirt cheap and makes any other choice feel like a stupid one.
I actuarly have that or a similar model lite-on CD-RW drive sitting on a shelf behind me, it stil works pretty well, but so does the Lite-on DVD writer combo drive humming nicely in my comp.

Mouse, take the guy to a comp store and let him try some out, we all have different hands, so we all need different mice.

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I will think about your advice. I too was looking for an athlon XP, but for some reason tigerdirect seemed to have fazed them out. I can't seem to find one (new) anywhere. Is a Sempron a suitable choice? I will take all of your ideas into consideration, though.

Quote:

Doing a quick little adding up, you got around $466 worth of stuff. Why not just get this PC for him, $449.99,


What computer? I didn't see any link there.

I will keep trying combinations a bit and maybe post another idea.

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I second the suggestion to get at least a GF 6200, and I also agree that if the money has to come from any of the other components that it should be the mobo/cpu. Its still a fairly low-end card, but it will support all the latest features like SM 3.0, and it has a little more bandwidth over the 5200. Make sure to get one with no less than a 64bit memory bus(128 if you find one for a reasonable price) and don't get a TurboCache card. You ought to be able to find one for ~60 bucks.

The PSU may also be an issue, as has been mentioned. 30-60 will by a good-great one.

Also, with an athlon64, 2x512MB is better than 1x1024 since you'll get the benefit of dual-channel.

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Quote:
Original post by Guy Perfect
You've picked out an Athlon 64 motherboard, which really is kinda overkill for this day and age.

Nah, first of all, the Athlon XP isn't even being sold any more, and the Athlon 64 is not exactly restricted to high-end systems. But the 3700+ CPU in that bundle is definitely overkill.
Get a 3000+, and you'll be fine.

You could get a Sempron, but then you're definitely down in the budget range. Not sure if the performance hit there is acceptable. I'd say a low-end Athlon 64 is definitely cheap enough.

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