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First PC build for FIL


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#1
vraknari

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Hi all -

Taking on my first pc build for my father in law. The primary use will be for email, light Internet browsing, and some games - Hoyle card games, Rolercoaster Tycoon, etc. Nothing too taxing. I've got a preliminary build and would appreciate any comments and critiques.

Antec Solution SLK3800B Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Rackmount Case
COOLMAX CW-650T EPS12V 650W Aluminum ATX v2.01 APFC Power Supply w/ "SLI"
ASUS A8N-E Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 2.2GHz Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3700CFBOX
CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel
Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black ATAPI/E-IDE Model SHW-160P6S-04

~ $600 USD, without O/S & videocard. K/b, mouse and monitor will most likely be reused from current system.

My main concern is keeping the cost down, putting together a stable system, and one that will hopfully be Vista upgradable. I'm pretty sure that all the components above are compatible with one another, but would like some input on any upgrades which those with pc building experience, can reccommend. Much thanks in advance for your help...
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#2
kidnova

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Everything looks good, but that PSU is probably overkill for this system. Unless he were planning on turning this into a gaming computer in the future. I would go down to probably a 450 or 500W PSU, which will be more than enough for his intended use and components, and use the extra cash to buy at least a 250G HD.

Edited by kidnova, 08 December 2006 - 01:33 PM.

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#3
james_8970

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hello, I'm like kidnova,
With a build like this i'd suggest you get a case/PSU combo and spend the extra $ on a cheap dual core processor and hard drive. None of these componants are power intensive so a 400W PSU should be fine (but that could change depending on what your looking at for a GPU).

As for vista, using this computer wouldn`t be an enjoyable experience, you ahve the bear minimum ram that required, OEM such as dell suggest a minimum of 2GB of ram. Not to mention running the new areo interface would be awfuly painly slow. But if you sticking with the basic addition, you won't have areo so it won't be so much of a strain on your PC.
thanx
James

Edited by james_8970, 08 December 2006 - 03:22 PM.

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#4
warriorscot

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Case/PSU combos only two companies i will reccomend as otherwise its the quickest way to trouble, Antec and Thermaltake, i would probably go with antec cheaper and the PSUs are better for the price.

I would also go AM2 they are actually cheaper now and DDR2 memory is also cheaper if you dont mind going for the slightly slower stuff.
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#5
vraknari

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First off, thanks for all the replies.

I went with a separate case and psu because based on the reviews I read over at Newegg.com. Seemed that the psu's in the combo units crapped out more often than not. It seemed like the psu was an afterthought and was included just so you think you are getting a bit more for your money. Chances are it will *not* become a gaming system as we know, so going down to a lower wattage psu shouldn't be a problem.

In retrospect, I did skimp on the hd, so I will either add an additional one or get one that is larger.

As for Vista, I don't see the need for the upgrade for this pc other than to have the "latest & greatest". At that point, I will in all likelihood add another 1GB of ram. Of course this necessitates that I get a Vista compliant video card, either now or later. Any ideas as to what the cheapest one that will support Vista is? As long as it supports Directx 9, I should be okay, shouldn't I??

As for dual core, nothing that my FIL does would benefit from a dual core. I will however price it out and if it's in the ballpark, will consider going that route, if only to give him a nice conversation piece with his buddies.

Off to price out dual core systems, video cards, case/psu combos and hard drives...
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#6
Serrik

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I agree, price it out again as an AM2 system. Socket 939 is dead and AM2 is just as cheap now. Like was stated, DDR2 Ram is cheaper these days too. Plus you can still find AM2 Athlon 64 3800+ CPU's dirt cheap which have a 2.4 Ghz core instead of 2.2
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#7
vraknari

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And now my updated shopping list -

Antec PERFORMANCE TX640B Black Steel ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 400W Power Supply - Retail
MSI K9NU Neo-V Socket AM2 ULi M1697 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+(65W) Windsor 2.2GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADO4200CUBOX - Retail
CORSAIR XMS2 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X1024A-6400 - Retail
Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black ATAPI/E-IDE Model SHW-160P6S-04 - Retail

By combining the case and psu, I was able to actually keep the price the same - just a shade under $600 USD, still without O/S & videocard. But I went the AM2 route, with DDR2 800 RAM & dual core Athlon.

Performancewise I don't know if I gained much given it's intended use. Looking at the components, would you say that it will last the next 3-4 years just for emails, internet browsing/online shopping, printing pics of the grandchild & some light gaming? If so, then I would consider this build a definite success.

That is, once I actully put it together and get it up and running...
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#8
kidnova

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Everything there looks great for for the simple tasks that you are describing. By going the AM2 route, it provides you with many more options for upgrades in the future if they are needed. If you wanted to save some money, then you could go with the single core 3800+, but you really are better off going with the dual core processor. It really does make a difference, especially for video encoding and burning.
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