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The Official Budget-Conscious Dream Machine!

Discussion in 'Building a new PC' started by Praetor, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Moderator Staff Member

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    Well we have a no-expense spared thread for the same concept, now let's have a more down-to-earth variant for those of us not swimming in gold! :) A couple of thoughts to start this thread off:

    CPU
    AMD AthlonXP 2500-2800
    Intel Pentium4C 2.6Ghz-2.8Ghz

    MOBO
    ASUS A7V8X-X -- an ideal mobo for the highly budget conscious; an excellent all-around motherboard that comes with a surprising amount of extras considering it's a budget board.

    ASUS A7N8X-X - a small step from the Via version; although this motherboard typically costs $20-$30 more than its smaller brother, users might make up for this cost by not having to buy an additional sound card considering the Soundstorm is superb audio platform (of course, there isnt anything wrong with Via's sound chip per se). The nForce2 chipset allows users to get a relatively cheap configuration and jack it up via overclocking and performance tuning.

    ASUS P4P8-X
    This mobo runs off the i865P chipset -- nothing to balk at when we consider that we are making budget systems that make use of the 800Mhz FSB -- something commonly associated with more premium systems. This mobo offers all the basics required to get up and running.

    ASUS P4P800
    This bigger brother offers a crapload more performance and runs on a superior i876PE chipset which really in all respects is the same thing as the benchmark i875. And for roughly $20 more, a worthwhile investment if you want the most performance for your buck.

    VIDEO
    Radeon9200/Radeon9200SE/GeForceFX5200 - The cheapest of the cheap, these cards get the job done -- just dont expect to play any of the recent games at an appreciable quality or framerate

    Radeon9600/GeForceFX5600/GeForceFX5700 - For roughly $70 more, you can get a major performance leap -- with any of these cards you can play recent games at both a respectable quality and a respectable framerate

    RAM
    512MB PC2700/PC3200 -- 512MB is arguably the lowest you should have on a system, budget or no budget: you can skimp out if you need to by running the older/slower PC2700 memory (and potentially overclocking it).
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small]ASUS A7N8X-X, XP2500+ OC'd to XP3200+
    Samsung 1024MB, PC2700 OC'd to PC3200
    480GB [3x160GB, 7200, 8MB]
    EVGA, GeForce4 Ti4600 128MB

    Rules and Policies: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/2487[/small]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2004
  2. matty8887

    matty8887 Regular member

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    You forgot to put a hdd and psu. Hard drives can be expensive but you can pick one up for £50 for a 80gb
     
  3. Praetor

    Praetor Moderator Staff Member

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    I didnt spec a PSU because for most budget oriented uses, a "stock" PSU will be adequate ... a "fancy" PSU is only really required when one starts adding aftermarket stuff to the system and when overclocking and stuff :) ... in either case, what PSU did you have in mind?

    As for HDD I left that out because it's such a variable with budget systems :)
     
  4. matty8887

    matty8887 Regular member

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    I was thinking about quite a few psu's. I like this one though. Thermaltake Xaser Silent Purepower 560W PSU.
    Application for AMD™ and Intel® ATX 12V
    Intelligent Cable Management
    Dual Serial ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) power connector
    Dual fan:
    80x80x25mm, Ball Bearing.
    1400~3000rpm, 17dBA~30dBA
    80x80x15mm, Ball Bearing.
    1400~3000rpm, 17dBA~30dBA
    SILVER Side Badge
    Active PFC: PF>0.98
    115~230V Automatic Switch Housing.
    Bit on the expensive side at £80, but a very good psu.
     
  5. matty8887

    matty8887 Regular member

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    CPU = AMD AthlonXP 2500

    MOTHERBOARD = A7N8X-X, very good budget mobo up to date with 400mhz fsb,ddr400, and 8x agp. This has the nforce chipset to so good for you people with a budget.

    VIDEO CARD = I agree with praetor the radeon 9200 is 1 of the best cards if you want to spend the least amount of money on one. you can pick one up for £40.

    RAM = 512MB pc 3200, A system can benifit alot just from having alot of fast ram. Pc 3200 is the way to go i think ram is a little expensive but it will do alot for your budget sytem.

    HARD DRIVE = 80GB MAXTOR 7200RPM IDE HDD ATA133. Hard drives are getting cheeper as they get bigger, 80gb should do for a budget sytstem.
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Moderator Staff Member

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    Indeedy, just make sure to get 2 sticks of 256 if you dont intend to updgrade the memory anytime soon .... two sticks of PC2700 running in Dual mode is real-world-faster than a single stick of PC3200 .... 'sides you can OC the ram :)
     
  7. jvwheel

    jvwheel Member

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    Been doing some reading of the other threads and think I would like to put together something like this for my dream machine. I want to venture more into video capturing/editing from my camera, DV Cam, and old VHS tapes.

    Case: RaidMax 668WSP, 420 W PSU, full Tower, Tons of room and cooling, Easy Access, Bays; 5x5.25 7x3.5 (Trays w/bushings), Front ports; 2 USB, 1 1394, 2 Audio, Aluminum, Cool Looks and all for $84.00. check it out - http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=11-156-148

    MOBO: Asus P4C800-E Deluxe - I875P + ICH5R, FSB 800, DDR 400 Max 4 GB Dual Channel, This is the splurge piece. I will use the firewire and USBs right off and I just love all the room for growth this board offers. I might even learn what over clocking is.

    CPU: Intel P4 / 2.8E MHz, 88 FSB, 1MB L2 Cache, HT

    RAM: Kingston ValueRam Dual Channel Kit 1G (512MBx2) DDR PC 3200. On the MoBo qualified list.

    Video Card: ATI AIW Radeon 96+00 Video Card,128 MB DDR, 128 Bit, CATV/Video Out/Video In, 8X AGP w Remote

    I found some good deals on this stuff on newegg. I haven't decided on my HDD as yet - have more work to do on the research end. What do you guys think?
     
  8. Praetor

    Praetor Moderator Staff Member

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    1. The AIW9600 wouldnt quite qualify as "budget" oriented now would it?

    2. You're running a Prescott chip in a BUDGET system?
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small]ASUS A7N8X-X, XP2500+ OC'd to XP3200+
    Samsung 1024MB, PC2700 OC'd to PC3200
    480GB [3x160GB, 7200, 8MB]
    EVGA, GeForce4 Ti4600 128MB

    Rules and Policies: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/2487[/small]
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2004
  9. Nephilim

    Nephilim Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi,

    Looks like a nice system in the making! You've done your homework and made some wise decisions in my view :)

    The Asus P4C800-E Deluxe is a very, very nice mobo indeed with lots of expansion potential as you noted.

    The only addition I might suggest would be to get a high performance heatsink since you'll be running a Prescott chip - the Prescotts have gained a rep for creating quite a bit of heat. I just installed a Thermaltake POLO 735 ($32 @ newegg) and it is the best HSF I've ever used. My P4 3.06 GHz idles around 32ºC and doesn't break 48ºC under heavy load which is good considering the room my PC is in stays pretty warm (I wonder why).

    The case is a bit flashy for me but that's just because I'm getting old :)
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small][​IMG]
    JMLS-166S/Plextor PX-708A/Plextor Premium

    My Movies! http://www.intervocative.com/dvdcollection.aspx/Rephaim[/small]
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2004
  10. jvwheel

    jvwheel Member

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    While it's not really cheap I think thats it'a an inexpensive way of capturing old VHS tapes and The AWI 9600 I choose was much less than the more expensive AIW models. Newegg has it for 168.00 - not cheap but definity a budget item in it's arena. Whats up with the Prescott chip. All I know about it is it is exactly the same price as the Northwood but is later and I read it runs hotter? Newwegg has both chips for about $175.
     
  11. jvwheel

    jvwheel Member

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    Thanks Nephilim, I read that about the heat as well. Those Temps you have with the Thermaltake POLO 735 are great. I will chek out that Heat Sink. I have never installed an aftermarket HSF; 1. Is it more difficult, 2 Does it mess with warranty. JV
     
  12. Nephilim

    Nephilim Moderator Staff Member

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    It's no harder than installing a factory HSF and usually the hardware is better made. The aftermarket HSF won't affect the warranty on the chip although overclocking definitely will :)
     
  13. jvwheel

    jvwheel Member

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    Thanks again Nephilim, I did check out the HSF and am impressed with the reviews. I am a little confused by all the controllers included with the fan. Do you know if I just toss them and plug into the MoBo? I know I'm taking this off topic but thought I'd ask since I have your attention and you have the product. By the way - I'm a little old for that case as well but think it offers a lot on the practical side. Back to topic - I've budgeted about a G for my Dream Machine and this config would put me back about ($800) so that leaves about $200. for the storage. I'm playing with video capturing / editing from my camera, DV Cam, and old VHS tapes for the storage. Does anyone have suggestions for the HDDs. Can do a 320 GB Stripe SATA-RAID (2x160GB) for approx $200 or go with one large HDD. Is transfer rate an issue with video. Is any one config better for handling video?
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Moderator Staff Member

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    You have an option to either plug the mobo directly for full power, or indirectly through either the PCI controller or the 5.25" controller. For further discussion on fans, visit the cooling thread :)

    Yep! High clock speed memory, 64bit support and other stuff will be all in favor for video production
     
  15. Nephilim

    Nephilim Moderator Staff Member

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    It comes with two different options for a manual speed control - one that uses an empty PCI slot in the back and another that uses a 3.5" bay up front. The speed control is nice since the HSF tends to be fairly loud running at full speed. I crank it down at night so I can sleep in peace.

    It also has a connection for a temperature sensor you can attach to the bottom of the heatsink that controls the fan RPM depending on the temperature of the CPU. I find it useless myself and don't use it.

    You don't have to use any of these if you don't want, just latch down the HSF, plug in the power for the fan and you're good to go.
     
  16. matty8887

    matty8887 Regular member

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    I thought this thread was called the official budget-concious dream machine, LOL. You have quite a high budget dont you jvwheel. I think you should get 1 big hdd, 7200rpm or 10,000rpm but they will be a bit on the expensive side and you might end up going over your budget.
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small]Xbox v1.0 with X-ecuter2 lite,EVO-X DASHBOARD,40Gb HDD,
    ps2 with magic 3.1
    3200+ AMD ATHLON XP BARTON wItH wInDoWs XP, asus A7V600-X MOTHERBOARD, 120GB HDD,256dDDR memory, pioneer 106D dvd writer, ASUS 16x DVD Drive, radeon 9200se gfx card,6 usb 2.0 por[/small]
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2004
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Moderator Staff Member

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    He's got some good ideas however it might be wise to (for further posts), try to keep the system within $1000USD? I would imagine that to be a fair appraisial of budget system.
     
  18. jvwheel

    jvwheel Member

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    I agree - it's very easy to go over the top with this thing. I've had to scale way back from what I wanted and what I could afford. When I first walked in a computer shop and told them what I wanted to do and what I had to spend - well, they laughed very loudly. I guess one could spend a small fortune on home videos - all I want is some way to put all this old stuff together in an interesting format on DVDs. DVDs like that would make really nice Christmas gifts for the kids. Anyway, so i guess budget is a relative thing and a $1000.00 is stretching mine. After my HDD i expect to be at a G but I am fortunate in that I am upgrading and have a monitor, key board, mouse, ext card reader, and DVD burner. Oh! And matty8887 was that a typo or ? lol. And Praetor thanks for, "He's got some good ideas." To be totally honest i got a lot from reading your post and others on Afterdawn hardware forums. In fact I thank everyone that has offered help. So is that $1000. guide for everything or just what's in the case?
     
  19. matty8887

    matty8887 Regular member

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    you dont really need a high end spec pc like what you want for what you want to do. My uncle only has a 1ghz p2 with 256mb ram and he does the same thing as you want to do. He does it ok, maybe a bit of slow down but it gets the job done. You could go for something like what i suggested at the beginning of the thread. A barton 2500 would do the job with maybe 512mb/1gb of ram and firewire ports. A 120gb 7,200 or 10,000rpm hdd would do, you dont need to keep the recordings on the hdd you can keep them on temporarely until you copy them to dvd. This would cost under $1000 and then if you find you need a bigger hdd or better processor then you can get one later on.
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small]Xbox v1.0 with X-ecuter2 lite,EVO-X DASHBOARD,40Gb HDD,
    ps2 with magic 3.1
    3200+ AMD ATHLON XP BARTON wItH wInDoWs XP, asus A7V600-X MOTHERBOARD, 120GB HDD,256dDDR memory, pioneer 106D dvd writer, ASUS 16x DVD Drive, radeon 9200se gfx card,6 usb 2.0 por[/small]
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2004
  20. jvwheel

    jvwheel Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate your input. I currently have an AMD 1600. Yes, it is very slow with video processing and that in it's self is frustrating but worse I am droping frames and currently don't have a way to capture the old VHS tapes. I'm trying to build a new system that will do a much better job - I don't want just a little better. I think with a little help and research that I can do that for under $1000.00. That's what makes this a Budget Dream Machine.
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small]JV[/small]
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2004

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