Build Update and New Build Help

By shoot4thrill
Dec 2, 2009
Topic Status:
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  1. A buddy of mine is looking to build a new computer and turned to me for advice. I got some help here last year on my build and I never did post a follow up so here's what I ended up with:

    • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz (overclocked to 4GHz)
    • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45
    • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 280 1GB (overclocked)
    • HSF: Xigmatek HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler with Xigmatek Retention Bracket
    • HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM
    • CD/DVD Burner: Samsung 22X DVD+-R DVD Burner
    • RAM: G.Skill PI Black 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800
    • PSU: Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W
    • Thermal Compound: Arctic Cooling MX-2
    • OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit
    • Case: NZXT Tempest ATX Mid Tower
    • Monitor: Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD
    • Speakers: Logitech S-220 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System

    I'm happy with the choice I made and never looked back. The build went smooth and I'm looking forward to doing another one in the future.

    I keep myself up date on everything new that's out. The only problem is that my friend is looking at cheaper products that I haven't looked into nor do I have the time. Here is what he's looking for:
    • Budget: $600
    • No gaming. He'll be using the computer for browsing the web, hosting web sites, and that's about it. He does want a fast CPU though.
    • 1TB HDD
    • He already has a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
    • At least 4GB of RAM
    • He would like to not have to upgrade for a few years.
    • He's majoring in a computer related field and he's a sophomore.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,113   +23

    As you know you'll get some great help here so I'll suggest that he consider an AMD build. For what he wants to do and his budget he can get a very, very nice build especially since he won't be gaming.

    Consider the AMD AM3 Propus 620 quad core 2.6 GHz for $99.00 at NewEgg with free shipping and for a few dollars more there is the 630 @ 2.8 Ghz. Both chips are getting great reviews.
  3. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    I can recommend 2 setups. The first is assuming that your friend would like to use up his entire budget.

    Setup 1:

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz - $165.99
    ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI - $129.99
    G.SKILL Trident 2 x 2GB DDR3 1600 - $104.99
    CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W - $89.99
    Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $109.99

    Total - $600.95

    Setup 2:

    AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz - $99.00
    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P - $79.99
    CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W - $49.99

    Other components remain the same from Setup 1.

    Total - $443.96

    Hope that helps.
  4. shoot4thrill

    shoot4thrill Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Thanks for the replies so far. I've got a few more questions:

    • Intel is said to have the best bang for the buck so why do you guys recommend AMD?
    • The price of DDR2 memory has doubled in the past two months. Why has this happened? When I got my G.Skill PI Black RAM it was right around $50 for 4GB (2x2GB).
  5. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    You've got it the other way round. AMD is and has always been the better bang for the buck. However, Intel's recent offering with the Core i5 is pretty good value for the money.
  6. shoot4thrill

    shoot4thrill Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    I guess I did have it the wrong way around. Like I said I usually only read about hi-end products. Any other build recommendations?

    I also have another question. DDR2 memory prices have doubled and I would like to know why that's happening. For instance the memory I listed for my system (G.SKILL PI Black 2x2GB) cost me $55 and it wasn't around a holiday when I got it. Right now it's around $92. If anything as DDR3 becomes more popular I figured that the DDR2 prices would decrease. Opinions?
  7. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,113   +23

    Actually for RAM prices that is the norm. As the newer comes along the former rises in prices because the manufacturers cut back in production and if there is still aneed/demand they will charge more.

    I have had it occur in three older laptops and one PC within a years time from the DDR1 days. All were upgrades of 2 gigs and all cost some serious $. At the time I could have bought DDR2 cheaper at 2 gigs.
  8. shoot4thrill

    shoot4thrill Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Any other build recommendations?
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