TechSpot

Budget Build For Self

By mlkmgr
Feb 4, 2008
  1. greetings!!
    i know this topic has been covered in a million threads. i have searched and read many so far. i would like to build a comp from scratch for myself. budget is ~$500 or less if possible. i don't need anything fancy for gaming or a high end system.
    --i currently use my comp for surfing, photo/music storage/burning, and office applications for school. i have asked on other boards and they simply laugh at my budget (please don't laugh!!) and insist that i purchase this and that to "future proof" my system.
    --currenty i have a tower from an old emachine comp, monitor, mouse/keyboard, and 40-160GB HDD (IDE). i am open to ideas and willing to purchase new parts to make the system run more efficient and smooth. if the budget is too low, (as i have been told before!!), let me know and i can auction off some of the old equipment to contribute to the comp fund. please be understanding and thanks in advance...
     
  2. wanna be geek

    wanna be geek TS Rookie Posts: 96

    Content removed - you can't use TS as a place to sell your products.
     
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,657   +323

    Taken from this thread (and then tweaked some): http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic95780.html

    Price should be close to $400 but I haven't checked because I basically took it from my post in that thread I linked.

    Western Digital Caviar WD800BB 80GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM
    Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 Allendale 2.2GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E4500 - Retail
    Foxconn 945G7MC-KS2HV LGA 775 Intel 945G Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    FSP Group ATX400-PA ATX12V 400W Power Supply - OEM
    Sony NEC Optiarc 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model AD-7190A - OEM
    CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Desktop Memory - Retail
    Rosewill R624-P BLK Black SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    XFX PVT73GUGF3 GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    Now, that isn't the nicest case, but when you are putting together something for as cheap as possible, the case is an easy place to cut costs.

    That price doesn't include a KB, monitor, mouse, or operating system...

    I'm not saying you should get exactly that, but just that that is a good start and you can change up parts with similar ones (get a better motherboard, more RAM, or faster processor for example).
     
  4. mlkmgr

    mlkmgr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    thanks for the reply. is core 2 (not the upper/more pricier verions) recomended over dual core? i was looking at mobo/cpu combos at tiger so i was just curious. also, are there any mobos out there that i should avoid?? thanks again.
     
  5. mlkmgr

    mlkmgr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    how easy is it for a first timer to put together a system? here is what i plan on ordering tomorrow unless anyone can tell me otherwise. i have read and read numerous reviews, posts, etc and my brain hurts!! here goes:

    MSI P6NGM-FD Motherboard - GeForce 7100/630i, Socket 775, MicroATX, Audio, VGA, DVI, PCI Express, Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, Serial ATA, RAID
    Intel Core2 Duo E4500 Processor HH80557PG0492M - 2.20GHz, 2MB Cache, 800MHz FSB, Allendale, OEM, Socket 775, Processor
    Thermaltake / RSI / Socket 775 / Aluminum / CPU Cooling Fan
    Patriot Dual Channel 2048MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2 x 1024MB)

    this is all so far. i know i still need a dvd burner and was wondering if i can use one of my NOS HDD. as i stated, my head hurts like crazy from trying to make heads or tails of computer equipment. lastly, XP works fine for me, would you recomend Vista or should i simply stick with what i know?? thanks in advance.
     
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,657   +323

    Looks fine. You can use any SATA or IDE hd you want. But you only can run 2 IDE devices on that board, so if your hd and burner are IDE you can't add anymore, they'd all have to be SATA.

    Building is really easy. Components can only go in 1 spot, plug in SATA devices into their ports based on number starting at 1 (ie - don't put your only device in the 3rd port), it actually doesn't matter if you are using RAID, but its just simpler. Hardest part is if your case doesn't have the blocks for the USB connectors and instead has them all seperate wires - connecting that isn't real fun. Second hardest part is reading the motherboard manual and figuring out where the power, reset, leds plug into.

    You might want to pick up some Artic Silver thermal compound. Your heatsink should have its own, but most everyone will recommend removing it with rubbing alcohol (70% will work, 90% or better recommended) and then applying your Artic Silver. You may want to read up and watch some videos on how to apply it properly.

    Only other word of advice for your first build is definately be sure to put those motherboard offsets in before you go screwing your motherboard into the case. The offsets are typically brass. Put those in first, and tighten them more than you expect to tighten the screws, otherwise removing the screws can cause the offsets to come out of the case and not the screw out of the offset.
     
  7. Row1

    Row1 TS Maniac Posts: 401   +10

    $500 is a fine budget.

    use your same old win xp and save some money.

    do you want to scavange anything from your older comp? you could use the older computer's cd drive, floppy drive, hard drive, keyboard, mouse, and case. --if so, definitely get new motherboard, new ram, new cpu, new power supply.

    get a processor that comes with a heatsink/cooling fan: newegg has the same processor, five bucks more, with heatsink/cooling fan included. plus, theirs is retail box instead of the tigerdirect 'limited' return issue.

    i would shop newegg anyway - the customer product reviews are very helpful. prices are usually the same, and there are a lot of 'free shipping' deals.

    i have seen a lot of ram deals lately, from zipzoomfly and from tigerdirect.

    make sure things go together:
    motherboard must 'fit' the cpu, and ram must 'fit' the motherboard.
     
  8. mlkmgr

    mlkmgr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    i need to purchase an operating system. all previous comps have had xp home/pro installed already and none came with cd's. they only came with "restore" disks or nothing at all. i was looking at the egg and was wondering if it made a difference between OEM and Retail versions?? thanks again for the help...
     
  9. Row1

    Row1 TS Maniac Posts: 401   +10

    oem is fine. just not 'upgrade.'

    i think newegg sells xp home for 89. the deal is that you have to buy parts to make a comp with the same order. so it may work to at least order xp with the motherboard, and maybe anything else you have planned.

    for most home users, there is no advantage to xp pro over xp home.
    the only quirk i have heard is some say xp home needs the older style of keyboard to load (older style wit the round connector, not a usb keyboard). if so, then you can still use a usb keyboard after xp is loaded.

    newegg is very helpful on any returns that might need to be done.

    these next two things are good to make into habits:

    1. when you handle these parts, beware of static electricity. it can kill ram and other electronic parts. to discharge the static: make a habit of at least touching, and maybe leaning on or holding onto the case while you handle these parts. or use a rubber band or something to connect any old wire around your wrist, and bend it onto the case somewhere. (get all of this assembly done before plugging the computer in.)

    2. whenever you are monkeying with the insides of the computer, unplug the computer from the wall.
     
  10. mlkmgr

    mlkmgr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    i went ahead with my order from the egg. i ordered the retail version of the E4500 and i replaced the patriot memory with corsair xms2 (2GB). motherboard website didn't list patriot but listed corsair. better safe than sorry!! added the arctic silver thermal in there as well. i did go with the OEM XP Home version as well. i am looking forward to getting this together and am glad i am done searching. as i stated before, my head is ready to explode from info overload!!! will post back once i get the new equipment...
    thanks to those that contributed!!!
     
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,657   +323

    XP Home is fine. The difference between OEM and Retail is that OEM is supposed to stay tied to that hardware forever, meaning if you retire that computer you can't put XP Home on any other machine. It lives and dies with the machine it was first installed to.

    In reality though, you can just call up Microsoft if activation fails in the future and assure them you aren't running it on 2 machines at the same time and you'll be fine.
     
     
  12. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 119

    sngx the spec u gave i think was the best option as it really does cover the aspects of what mlk is looking for but only one issue there is no os included:(
     
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