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If you had $1500 to build a new system, what would you buy?


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#1
JK27

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Hi. My Dell Dimension 8400 finally died a slow death after only 18 months so I sent it back. This is what I had.

Dell Dimension 8400,P4 Processor 560(3.6GHz)w/HT & 1MB cache
1 GB DDR2 SDRAM at 533 MHZ
19 in Flat Panel Display
256 MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 GTO Graphics Card
160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
Win XP Home
Intel Pro 1000 Integrated Nic card
DVD DL (Still have)
Want DVD w/LightScribe
SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS PCI w/Dolby Dig EX, 7.1 ch.THX cert
5.1 surround sound speakers

I paid 2220.85 for a system that wasn't worth a dollar. I would like to build a brand new system from the ground up that is BETTER than the crap that I had before, preferring to spend no more than $1500.

Please help me. If you had a $1500 budget to build a new computer starting with case, EXACTLY what would you put in the shopping cart? I need as many opinions/suggestions/advice as possible so I can build the best machine for my bucks.

Not a big gamer, but I do enjoy playing Half-Life and such every so often. I do ALOT of internet surfing, college work, and ALOT ALOT ALOT of video editing, movie watching, downloading, etc.

I've looked at almost every site, NewEgg, etc. Part reviews are so misleading and contradictory. Please help! Thanks!
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#2
warriorscot

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Read hardware review sites like tomshardware and hexus, read as many as you can to get a balanced picture of what a product is like as everyone has their biases.

I would probably go a conroe system get as good a mobo as is available with at least 2Gb of ram and smoething nice but not to expensive for gfx maybe a 7600GT to last until dx10 cards are out, stick it in an antec case with a Hyper psu(i dont think they sell Hyper in the US yet). But the nice thing about building is its personal to you add what you think you need and dont put what you think you wont need. Look around get a feel for whats on the market and try and put a list together yourself and we can help narrow it down to fit your needs.
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#3
MNOB07

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A "Raptor" hard drive will give you more performance when doing video work and it's accessing the harddrive. combined with a lower speed, high capacity harddrive is a good combo in your case.:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136033

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148109

Do you think 400GB would be enough storage? Lossless movies can take up a ton of space, you can always add another hard drive or more.


With a powerful system and a few harddrives you're going to want a good power supply:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817104934


As you know video editing can be very memory-intensive. 2GB is recommended. This RAM looks good:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820145015


DVD burning drive w/ lightscribe:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827151118


Intel's new Core 2 Duo CPUs are coming this month, and I would recommend whichever "Conroe" Core 2 Duo processor that fits your budget the best. I wish I could recommend a specific motherboard for the Core 2 Duo, but there hasn't been much in depth about them yet. I would wait for reviews to solidify before grabbing one.


For a video card I think an ATI x1xxx series (maybe an All-In-Wonder) will have more features that you may appreciate. I would have hard time suggesting one in particular as I haven't done enough video work.


Would you be looking for anything in particular for a sound card? For example, will you need a front bay sort of thing that the Audigy 2 ZS Platinum has?

The monitor and speakers may be the two most important parts in your system I would recommend looking at reviews, and to experience them in peson would be good also. However it may be a little tight our you'll have to drop the Raptor or something..
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#4
warriorscot

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Raptor Harddrives are rarely worth it there high cost and small size make the not even that big improvement in speed not really worth it, best idea is to stick with the best 7200 you can get.
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#5
BlackPandemic

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If you've never built a computer or you just don't want to (I was just too lazy) I put together a great gaming computer at CyberPowerPC.com for about $1100 (not including my monitor).

In terms of what to focus on for video editing, I would get a good hard drive (size and speed) as well as a good amount of RAM (I'd say at least 2 gigs).
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#6
JK27

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Okay, I need as many expert opinions as possible.

1. Is everything compatable?

2. Is there anything else that I'll need to buy to put my system together? Anything at all?

3. I'll be using it for tons of college work, tons of internet surfing, occassional games such as Half-life games, and tons and tons of video work & movie downloading and editing. Will this system be more than enough?

This is my plan, please review and let me know, thanks!

Case http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119098 $92.33

Motherboard http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813127236 $129.99

Processor http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103747 $358.99

Memory http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820145034 $250.00

Power Supply http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817103932 $99.99

Hard Drive http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822147007 $249.99

Video Card http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814161016 $249.99

DVD Drives
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827151118 $40.99

plus another DVD DL drive that I already have

Monitor : Undecided yet
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#7
JK27

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links should be working now


Okay, I need an expert opinion:

1. Is everything compatable?

2. Is there anything else that I'll need to buy to put my system together? Anything at all?

3. I'll be using it for tons of college work, tons of internet surfing, occassional games such as Half-life games, and tons and tons of video work & movie downloading and editing. Will this system be more than enough?

This is my plan, please review and let me know, thanks!

Case http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119098 $92.33

Motherboard http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813127236 $129.99

Processor http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103747 $358.99

Memory http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820145034 $250.00

Power Supply http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817103932 $99.99

Hard Drive http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822147007 $249.99

Video Card http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814161016 $249.99

DVD Drives
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827151118 $40.99

plus another DVD DL drive that I already have

Monitor : Undecided yet
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#8
MNOB07

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It's all compatible.

OK I don't know if you're ignoring the comments about "Conroe" Core 2 Duo or just really want an AMD processor... lol... well anyway that cpu is dropping to $240 the 24th so at least wait a bit till then to save >$100


the memory is a bit costly, High end memory isn't much of an improvement unless you have solid reason otherwise, I'd go with a somewhat cheaper set like this:
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820141211


Power supply is good if not a bit overkill.


If you have the space for a 24" widescreen CRT, the Sony FW900 is a great choice. Usually not sold in stores, but you can occasionally find them on ebay for only a few hundred bucks. Amazing picture quality and I think it would be a great choice for you if you have the deskspace. here's a little thread about it at another forum: http://www.hardforum...ad.php?t=952788
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#9
JK27

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It's all compatible.

OK I don't know if you're ignoring the comments about "Conroe" Core 2 Duo or just really want an AMD processor... lol... well anyway that cpu is dropping to $240 the 24th so at least wait a bit till then to save >$100


the memory is a bit costly, High end memory isn't much of an improvement unless you have solid reason otherwise, I'd go with a somewhat cheaper set like this:
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820141211


Power supply is good if not a bit overkill.


If you have the space for a 24" widescreen CRT, the Sony FW900 is a great choice. Usually not sold in stores, but you can occasionally find them on ebay for only a few hundred bucks. Amazing picture quality and I think it would be a great choice for you if you have the deskspace. here's a little thread about it at another forum: http://www.hardforum...ad.php?t=952788


Great, thanks for the info. Well, I've heard that it's coming out on the 24th. My Dell died so I had to send it back, in the meantime, I'm borrowing a family friends. I can probably wait until the 24th. So are you saying I should buy the Conroe (or will it be outragously priced) or just wait to save money on the AMD? I don't really know the difference in the processors, I was just told to get that specific one by forum staff. I appreciate any guidance that you could give. Thanks much.
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#10
MNOB07

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Conroe processors are not going to be outrageously priced, the opposite really. Core 2 Duo's first benchmarks pitched an upper high end Conroe against an overclocked AMD enthusiast chip. Conroe slaughtered it, the real kick was that it was to cost half as much, and still have a faster variant. There was a lot of speculation but it definately made the current cpu market look a bit stale... Fast forward a bit and Intel announces huge price drops on current line of processors... I wonder why? and then AMD announced huge price cuts to start July 24th (the day after Conroe's release).. hmm...

here's one thread about Conroe, this one at tomshardware:
http://forumz.tomsha...pict183765.html

Here's some easy-to-read benchmarks:
http://www.digit-lif...e-2-13-ghz.html


OK I... REALLY don't expect anyone to actually read it all but whatever it's there :whistling:

The E6300 is the lowest end Conroe at release, and is one of the closest competitors to the X2 4200+ you linked to. OEM pricing shows it as $209 (compared to the $240 4200+), and the benchmarks that I've seen puts it a little better than the 4200+. However you can expect retail prices to be a little higher but not much diferent at all if you look in a couple different places.

At that price range the Conroe is probably the better buy. The Core 2 Duo really shines in the mid-upper range, especially the E6600 ($316 and up with the Athlon 64 FX-62 in performance.) In addition they have been shown to be very good overclockers. Also, as far as future upgradeability, Intel's LGA775 roadmap looks a bit more preemptive with quad core and 45nm when compared to AMD.


I hope that wasn't too boring of a post :help: I recommend Conroe, but anyway they're not TOO far away at that price point, so your call :blink:

Edited by MNOB07, 10 July 2006 - 02:05 AM.

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#11
JK27

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Conroe processors are not going to be outrageously priced, the opposite really. Core 2 Duo's first benchmarks pitched an upper high end Conroe against an overclocked AMD enthusiast chip. Conroe slaughtered it, the real kick was that it was to cost half as much, and still have a faster variant. There was a lot of speculation but it definately made the current cpu market look a bit stale... Fast forward a bit and Intel announces huge price drops on current line of processors... I wonder why? and then AMD announced huge price cuts to start July 24th (the day after Conroe's release).. hmm...

here's one thread about Conroe, this one at tomshardware:
http://forumz.tomsha...pict183765.html

Here's some easy-to-read benchmarks:
http://www.digit-lif...e-2-13-ghz.html


OK I... REALLY don't expect anyone to actually read it all but whatever it's there :whistling:

The E6300 is the lowest end Conroe at release, and is one of the closest competitors to the X2 4200+ you linked to. OEM pricing shows it as $209 (compared to the $240 4200+), and the benchmarks that I've seen puts it a little better than the 4200+. However you can expect retail prices to be a little higher but not much diferent at all if you look in a couple different places.

At that price range the Conroe is probably the better buy. The Core 2 Duo really shines in the mid-upper range, especially the E6600 ($316 and up with the Athlon 64 FX-62 in performance.) In addition they have been shown to be very good overclockers. Also, as far as future upgradeability, Intel's LGA775 roadmap looks a bit more preemptive with quad core and 45nm when compared to AMD.


I hope that wasn't too boring of a post :help: I recommend Conroe, but anyway they're not TOO far away at that price point, so your call :blink:


Thanks for the info. So if I purchase one of the Conroe processors, either the Core 2 Duo E6700 or the Extreme Core 2 Duo x6800, which motherboard should I get? Also, with the Core 2 Duo and motherboard that you suggest work with my list of parts that I posted?
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