Help me build a computer for the gf.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by SQLee, May 3, 2004.

  1. SQLee

    SQLee The OTer That Cares™

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Messages:
    25,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    She's real into photography, and she needs a new PC, so we're planning to build her one, and I need help from you guys on deciding what to get, and where to get the best prices, since I know CompUSA is high. Right now she only has a 35mm and a scanner, but she plans to get probably 2 digicams soon, one that's small and simple for parties and whatnot, the other more advanced for her photography hobby. I was thinking something along the lines of roughly 100 gigs, maybe a P4 2.8GHz or so? No less than 2.4, for sure. She needs a good video card, but sound isn't a big deal, I think a basic sound card would work. I was also thinking about dual 512 meg RAM chips? She needs a lot of ram for the big pictures she'll be dealing with. Uhm...that's about it, she has a TDK CDRW from her old computer we'll use, as well as a monitor, she just needs the PC. So, any suggestions?
     
  2. IAMwhitey

    IAMwhitey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    hyperthreading, SATA drives, gig of DDR Ram
     
  3. Up All Night

    Up All Night I might sleep all day

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Buy the parts from http://newegg.com Good prices, great service there. What you're thinking of so far sounds ok, although personally i would go with an AMD system just because im not a big intel fan. How much are you looking to spend on this?
     
  4. skooter

    skooter Guest

    i agree with Up All Night, AMD is the way to go and Newegg is defininatly the place to get all the parts. you can find system for any price range, yea sounds like the video card and monitor have to be pretty good quality for her so i would spend the most on those and the ram, good ram is always essential, sound is usually built on the newer motherboard and so is lan. also dual channel ram you will notice quite a big proformance difference with large files. and AMD makes the best processors, no need to waste money on an intel, save it for the monitor.
     
  5. Little Spunky $#!T

    Little Spunky $#!T :cool:

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Messages:
    3,539
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would def go with an AMD chip instead of Intel. LOTS cheaper and if you can find a nice AMD chip that will perform just as well if not better as an intel chip. Athlon XP's are good, or if you really wanna get fancy get the AMD 64bit chip :coold:
     
  6. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    12,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in CO
    Go with AMD. You can get a good AMD xp + motherboard for half the price of the equivalent intel chip alone. Your gf doesn't need hyperthreading for what she wants to do with it. She wouldn't notice the differance.

    As for where to go? Go to Newegg. They have the best prices, best customer service and fastest shipping out of all of the online stores that I've dealt with. You should be able to build her a machine that's perfect for what she wants to do with it for under $500 (minus the monitor, printer, etc). Here are a few things to look at.

    Biostar M7NCG 400 motherboard - $66
    It's got everything onboard and it's a micro atx form factor so you can put it in a small case. The onboard video is the best you'll find on any motherboard. For photo editing it will be more than enough but if you decide to get something better the board also has an 8x agp slot. It can also run RAM in dual channel and it has 3 pci slots.

    AMD Athlon XP Barton 2500+ - $80
    If you get anything that's noticably faster than this chip you'll be paying at least 3x as much. It's the most bang for your buck right now and it will do everything that she wants it to do.

    1 gig RAM - $180
    ValueRAM is going for about $90 a stick online right now. Newegg has Simpletech pc3200 for $89 a stick. It's a good brand. You could probably get by with 512 mb RAM, though. I'd start with that and if she decides she needs a bigger boost then get her another stick.

    100 gb hard drive - They don't make 100 gb hd's so you'll have to go with either 80 or 120 :). If you don't mind waiting for 6 months for a mail in rebate check you can usually pick these up for around $50. The problem is they'll cost over $100 up front and if you forget to cross a t or dot an i you might not get your check. Newegg has 120s for around $90 and 80s for around $70.

    The case + cdrom + floppy will cost you anywhere from $50 - $200 depending on how good of a case you want and what type of cd/dvd drive you want. Those are the only other components that you'll really need, though.
     
  7. beave

    beave Housin Beers & Buildin Dams

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    mean streets of NJ
    Make sure the motherboard is dual channel for the ram. Get a 9800 pro great bang for the buck. Get an Antec case at least 350 watt powersupply. Make sure the hd has 8 mb cache if it doesnt cost too much more.
     
  8. SQLee

    SQLee The OTer That Cares™

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Messages:
    25,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Okay, so newegg it is. But I always thought Intel was better than AMD. Have the tables turned? I know that AMD has gotten better, but I didn't know they've surpassed Intel? Anyway, she has a pretty good LCD monitor already, as well as a TDK CDRW that we can swap from her other PC. But I'll definitely look into getting the AMD processor, and I planned on running dual ram, if I can get it cheap enough, I'll run 2 512mb chips. Thanks guys.
     
  9. SQLee

    SQLee The OTer That Cares™

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Messages:
    25,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Wait, so that Biostar motherboard has a built in GeForce videocard?!?! :eek:
     
  10. Werm

    Werm Guest

    Don't get a mobo with onboard graphics... It's a pain in the future, AGP all the way.
     
  11. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    12,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in CO
    Yeah it's a geforce4. Don't waste your money on another video card until AFTER she tries the onboard video. Unless she's playing high end games or doing very intense VIDEO editing (not photo ;)) she won't notice a differance between that card and a $500 card.

    AMD and intel are on pretty much the same level now. The high end p4s outperform the athlon xps but not by enough to notice a differance in normal applications. You might get 20% more performance for triple the price. You won't even notice that performance differance if you're doing what your gf wants to do. The athlon 64s actually outperform p4s for about the same cost. So basically you can get an affordable system that compares to intel or you can get something that outperforms it for about the same price....both from an AMD system.
     
  12. SQLee

    SQLee The OTer That Cares™

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Messages:
    25,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    This is what I've always been told.
     
  13. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    12,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in CO
    There's nothing wrong with onboard graphics unless you're playing the latest and greatest games. The only differance between onboard graphics and an agp card is that your system will allocate memory just for the onboard graphics. If you're using an agp card it will have it's own RAM on the card. You can set the amount of RAM that the system allocates to the onboard graphics in the bios. With a gig of RAM you will have no problems and notice no slowdown leaving the onboard graphics set at max (64 megs on that board). If you really feel like you need a better video card you can upgrade it down the road....but I seriously doubt you'll need it.
     
  14. Up All Night

    Up All Night I might sleep all day

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Post your budget and i'll come up with a system for you
     
  15. SQLee

    SQLee The OTer That Cares™

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Messages:
    25,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, I'm starting to think...she's not going to do much gaming, onboard video might not be bad, and I do plan on going with a gig of ram, 2 512mb chips to utilize the dual channel. But I have 2 questions.

    1. RAM, ECC vs. non-ECC. What should I get?

    2. Case, this is where I'm getting frustrated. There are SO MANY out there. I was fortunate, my dad bought me my case for this system I built, it's a Thermaltake. It's pretty damn nice, it has 4 fans and a climate control thing. I'm wondering, would a case with just 2 fans be adequate for her needs, or should I try to find one like mine? And I know to look for a 350w PS. Will a Micro-ATX motherboard fit in an ATX case?
     
  16. SQLee

    SQLee The OTer That Cares™

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Messages:
    25,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Well, budget wise...eh, she was willing to spend $1200, I'd like to keep it closer to $800. She has a monitor and CDRW, and don't worry about keyboard/mouse/printer/speakers, not a problem, I'm just looking for the PC + Windows XP (minus CDRW).
     
  17. Up All Night

    Up All Night I might sleep all day

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,104
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is what i would get in her situation

    Processor: XP2500+ Barton- $90
    Motherboard: Epox 8Rda3+ = $89
    RAM: 2 sticks Mushkin 512mb PC2700 DDR= 93each, $186 total
    HDD: WD 120gb w/ 8mb Cache= $92
    Vid Card: Radeon 9200= $65 (if shes really not doing any gaming)
    Case/PSU combo: Antec SLK2700AMB w/ 350w PSU= $60

    TOTAL: $582 (before shipping and 1 120mm case fan)
     
  18. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    12,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in CO
    What kind of case do you want? Do you need something that can go unnoticed in a corner? Do you want something with a little flash? Do you want something with a lot of flash?

    That motherboard is nice but you're paying extra for features that you probably won't use. On that Epox you get better overclocking features, 2 sata ports, 2 extra pci slots, sockets to hook fire wire ports up to (but you have to buy the ports themselves) and 2 more usb ports.

    You can get a pci card with firewire ports for around $20. That's what the connections that hook up to the motherboard will cost you anyway. As for the video card, you won't notice any differance between the two. PC2700 will be fine. I'd go with Kingmax, though. It's $90 a stick and is every bit as stable as mushkin value ram. Once again you won't notice a differance.

    Everything else looks good.
     
  19. entcolin

    entcolin Guest

    save yourself the grief and buy her a dell
    if/when it blue screens/breaks/dies you don't have to hear shit from her because you can blame it on them/use the warranty
     
  20. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    12,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in CO
    And wait 2 months to get the computer back/pay for shipping. Yeah Dell's rock :rolleyes:. If you want a warranty go into a local, reputable computer store and buy a system from them.
     
  21. SQLee

    SQLee The OTer That Cares™

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Messages:
    25,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I don't need a warranty, every computer I've ever seen that was storebought has fucked up, while my dad and I have built several reliable systems. This one is about a year old now and I haven't had one single problem. I'm definitely building.
     
  22. Up All Night

    Up All Night I might sleep all day

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,104
    Likes Received:
    0
    :werd: good decision. I know anything i build will, in the long run, be much more dependable, more reliable, and (usually) faster than the crap that dell makes.
     
  23. Werm

    Werm Guest

  24. Werm

    Werm Guest

    I just realized I forgot some stuff. The processor listed has no cooler (it's the OEM) I suggest not getting the retail package (comes with Intel's) and picking out a separate one. That will run you anywhere from $20-$60 depending on what you want. Also sense you have the cd-rw I didn't include a cdrom drive. Also get you will need a floppy drive (yes, get one) that will cost like 15 bucks.
     
  25. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    12,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in CO
    That's a very nice rig....for gaming. It's overkill for surfing the internet and photo editing. Unless she wants to go on the internet and tell all of her friends "liek do0d i jUst liek g0t tH15 l33t n3w c0m|Dut3r" then there's no point spending that much money on it. She doesn't need a $200 video card. She doesn't need high performance RAM. She doesn't need an $80 power supply. Whether you go intel or amd...well that's just personal preferance. For some reason people have it in their heads that they have to spend more to build a good computer. It's not true, especially these days. Save a few hundred bucks in building the computer so that you can spend that much more on a nice digital camera. You'll notice more of a differance with a $1200 camera than you will with a $1200 computer.
     

Share This Page