Budget Mid-Range System

Discussion in 'New Build / Upgrade Advice' started by Anti-Trend, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

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    I am building a new Linux box to replace my little sister's fried out eMachine (bad PSU). I figured that these specs might help someone out, since it is pretty good bang for buck right now. All parts listed are priced from Newegg.com:


    • Rosewill RW5500-256D Geforce FX5500 256MB DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card - Retail -- $59.99
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    • Thermaltake Silent PurePower TT-420AD(DUAL FAN) ATX 420W Power Supply - Retail -- $36.99
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    • AMD Athlon XP 2600+ Barton 333MHz FSB Socket A Processor Model AXDA2600DKV4D - OEM -- $78.00
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    • CORSAIR ValueSelect 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model VS512MB400 - Retail -- $41.50
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    • Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST380817AS 80GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM -- $65.00
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    • LITE-ON Black IDE Combo Drive Model SOHC-5236K BK RTL - Retail -- $31.99
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    • LITE-ON Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model SOHD-16P9SBLK - Retail -- $19.99
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    • Dynatron BH-610 60mm Ball Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail -- $8.99
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    • ATADC BLIZZARD-SV Silver 0.6mm SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400W SATA Power Supply - Retail -- $39.00
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    Continued in next post due to maximum image limit...
     
  2. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

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    • GIGABYTE GA-7VT600P-RZ Socket A (Socket 462) VIA KT600 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail -- $47.00
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    • Thermaltake D0012 Voice Controlled Cold Cathode Fluoresce Lamp (Blue) - retail -- $7.99
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    • Thermaltake BLUE ROUND 18" IDE(ATA66/100/133) cable Model A2068 - Retail -- $4.79
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    • THERMALTAKE A1280 120mm Ball Cooling Fan - Retail (x2) -- $13.78
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    • Logitech Internet Pro Desktop 967457-0403 Black PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard Mouse Included - OEM -- $16.00
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    Total: $471.01 + S&H and Tax (if applicable)


    My sister does minimal gaming so the FX5500 is fine for her, but you will probably want a beefier card if you're a gamer (or maybe a lesser one if solitaire is your idea of gaming). Obviously the cathode and rounded cable are optional but do add that nice custom touch, especially with that silver 'Blizzard' chassis. If you notice, the chassis did come with a 400watt PSU. I don't trust the PSU manufacturer, so opted for the inexpensive Thermaltake 420 Silent PurePower. It's a solid PSU which shouldn't have any trouble pushing those 120mm fans. Speaking of fans, there is a mounting bracket for three 80mm fans on the side of the chassis, but I am choosing not to utilize them and instead to remove the whole assembly. If you were to choose to mount those three extra fans, you might want to also go for a slightly higher-end power supply than the Thermaltake 420. The TT420 would hold up to it, but it's wise to overspec the PSU just a bit.

    The operating system, anti-virus software, etc. are not included in the price. My sister runs Linux for an OS and OpenOffice.org as her office suite, both of which are free, and Linux has no need for anti-virus software. Obviously if you choose to run a Windows OS, that is going to add some substantial cost to your rig, maybe even more than the hardware. This is especially true if you opt for MS-Office. If you find that you do want Windows, MS-Office and good Anti-Virus software on your PC, I recommend comparison shopping at PriceGrabber.com rather than running to the local retail store -- you're likely to save a few hundred bucks. I don't advocate piracy. If something's worth having it's worth paying for. If it's not worth paying for, do without. Besides this, pirated software often contains nasty suprises, such as built-in trojans and malware.

    As you can see, for just under $500 this is a pretty good system. You could certainly go higher or lower-end from here, but this is a good value mid-range PC which should perform well and last a long time.

    All the best,
    -AT
     
  3. Exfoliate

    Exfoliate Geek Trainee

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    For the price you can't do much better, great work AT, yeah I say that case, pretty spiffy:cool:
    That keyboard/mouse combo is such a great deal.
     
  4. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

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    Thanks. :) Between myself and my younger brother, $500 was the best we could manage (it's my sister's birthday/graduation present). When all was said and done, I ended up paying $498.04 delivered, dead on our budget. I was so impressed with the value, I thought I'd post it here. Maybe it will help somebody out?

    -AT

    P.S. - Forgot to mention, I got the LiteOn drives with the black bezel because the bezel color doesn't matter -- there's silver bezels for both drives built into the chassis.
     
  5. Matt555

    Matt555 iMod

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    that case is almost exactly the same as mine, apart from the front panel is slightly different, its a great case and those lights will give a cool effect through the holes on the side, those silver flip down bezel covers are awesome, i was expecting to have them getting jammed or breaking and its all good so far :good: if the build quality is the same then its pretty good, a great system for the price hope your sister enjoys it!
     
  6. Nic

    Nic Sleepy Head

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    Excellent work gtting all that for such a cheap price!
     
  7. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

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    Alright, now that I've actually built the system I've spec'ed out here, it seems there's a caveat. The Gigabyte 7VT-600P-RZ motherboard really didn't like the Corsair Value RAM I had earmarked for it, causing massive instability that at first I thought was a bad motherboard. I swapped it with some Kingston Value RAM of equivilent value (maybe worth $4 more), and it works perfectly now.

    The Corsair RAM was fine, but for some reason didn't work well with that motherboard. It works perfectly in my ABIT motherboard, which has the same VIA chipset as the Gigabyte, so it must be a Gigabyte specific issue. In any case, if you're getting the Gigabyte 7VT-600P-RZ stay away from Corsair RAM (and vise-versa).

    -AT
     
  8. Exfoliate

    Exfoliate Geek Trainee

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    Thanks for the tips:)
     

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