TechSpot

mid-range future-proof PC

By DragonMaster
Oct 9, 2005
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  1. I'm looking for a mid-range PC that should last a few years(At least 4-5).
    The PC will be used for gaming, but not for monster-specs games. Meaning a GF6x00/X8x0 would last years before being underspec. The PC would be max around 800$CAD.

    I guess I should look for Athlon 64. Then, there's the FX-??, X2, ... What should I choose? Then, there's Socket 939 or 754.

    I'm looking at an ATHLON 64 VENICE 3200+ 939 for 250$. It seems an interesting deal.

    Mobos: There are tons of models, I REALLY don't know which one to choose.
    Soundcard: same thing, At least Audigy 2
    Graphic card: Better than GFX.

    HDD: My SATA 80GB WD Caviar works great, so I think I'll get something similar.

    And the rest . . .
  2. pkroks

    pkroks Newcomer, in training Posts: 376

    Do not go with socket 754. it is old and will be out of date soon!

    Motherboards look at these:
    Asus A8N SLI Premium US$160.00
    DFI Infinity... US$122.00

    Graphics cards:
    nVidia Geforce 6800 Ultra 256Mb... US$229.00
    ATI X800 256Mb... US$195.00

    Sound:
    Just use the onboard ones that come with the boards. the asus has got 7.1 surround and the dfi has got 5.1 (i think)

    Processor:
    AMD 64 X2 3800+ ... US$347.00

    1Gb (2x 512mb) Ram:
    512Mb Ram... US$87.88

    Harddrive:
    Hitachi Deskstar 80Gb 7200rpm SATA... US$53.50

    anything else? ;)
  3. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 430

    Is Newegg now in Canada?

    OK, so no 754. That's what I was thinking from one of the TechSpot headlines announcing 754 being discontinued soon.

    Is DFI a good mobo company? I have 1 mainboard from them but I put the wrong BIOS in so I'll have to buy a chip programmer.

    The Asus seems to have lots of features compared to the DFI. I hope there's no BS in the specs of this model. Is this one having Linux issues?

    It ends up to about 1000$CAD for what you wrote but I think it's worth the price. After that, there are the case, PSU, heatsinks etc. It will be a couple of hundreds more than I thought, but if it's going to last a couple more years, I guess it's worth the price.

    For a soundcard, I think I'll use my Live! (for MIDI) until X-Fi become available in local stores.

    Great improvement over the P2 350MHz that I'll replace.
  4. pkroks

    pkroks Newcomer, in training Posts: 376

    I don't think so. I just figured that i would give you a list of products and some good prices. They may ship to Canada but thats your own worry. If you don't want to buy from NewEgg just find some store near you and order the same parts.

    the heatsinks should come packaged with the motherboard...

    PSU: (dont buy one with less than 450W power)
    Antec TruePower 2.0 US$120.00
    PC Power and Cooling 510 Express (expensive but good) US$219.00

    Case:
    Possible case here with 450W power supply US$33.99
    Better case for cooling but no power supply US$59.00
  5. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 430

    I just found newegg now ships to Canada and Europe. By UPS tho...

    I guess I'll be buying bits by bits going some places and others. There's a shop with super-cheap hardware and a great warranty, but they have a very limited product list. They only sell WD and Maxtor HDDs but they have the cheapest ones.

    There's vibecomputers I should try one day also.

    You mean the CPU I think?

    Anyways, it's up to my father to decide what price he wants because it's going to be his computer.

    He wants an LCD panel for an other computer at the same time. I guess the dead-pixel warranty & cost are mostly the first thing to look at?
  6. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    In reference to the lcd question, yeah, pixel policy and price are important, but other things to look for are a dvi connection, fast response time <16ms, high contrast/brightness levels, a high recommended resolution, and physical features like adjustable height/built in usb hub/etc.


    In your budget you'd likely need to get a rig simlar to this.
    I've heard good things about ncix.com for canadian shoppers.

    Here's a nice rig that should be less than $1000 can(I guess, I don't know the exchange rate). Prices in usd.
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/post197633-4.html

    From ncix here'd be my setup.
    Board
    Asus a8n-e
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=14268&vpn=A8N-E&manufacture=ASUS

    Cpu
    Amd 3000+ 939
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=14415&vpn=ADA3000BPBOX&manufacture=AMD

    Ram
    Corsair Vs 2x512
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=9821&vpn=VS1GBKIT400&manufacture=CORSAIR

    Video card
    evga 6600gt
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=13354&vpn=128-P2-N368-TX&manufacture=eVGA

    Hd
    Seagate 160gb 8mb cache
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=11604&vpn=ST3160023A&manufacture=Seagate

    Dvd-rw
    benq 1640
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=15674&vpn=DW1640-BLACK&manufacture=BENQ

    Power supply
    Enermax 485w
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=13569&vpn=EG495P-VE&manufacture=ENERMAX

    Case
    Aspire xplorer(or whatever, cases depend on your taste of what looks nice).
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=15000&vpn=ATXB8KLW-AL&manufacture=ASPIRE

    Xp
    xp home
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=6526&vpn=N09-01153OEM&manufacture=Microsoft

    With xp the total would be ~$1150 can, so a little overbudget, but you could get a cheaper case(but don't skimp on the power supply).
  7. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 430

    I already have the rest, it's to replace an old P2.

    I guess getting a slower Ath64 can be a good choice since the faster ones will be cheaper in the future and the motherboard will take them.

    Everybody I know use XP Pro as winXP. I guess I should go for XP 64-bit since it will last a couple of time.

    I looked at the OS list of my local store:
    XP pro and pro 64-bit is the same 220$. They say system only, but, in an other shop, just buying a cheapo optical mouse with it is considered as "system".(The other doesn't have pro 64-bit) I'll try to know more about this.
  8. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 430

    Here's a similar system to a package the local store would sell me :

    Athlon 64 3200+ 232$
    A8N-SLI PREMIUM 219$
    1GB DDR "Major" 134$
    160GB WD SATA 100$
    MSI 6600GT 128MB 202$
    DVD/RW 16X NEC 54$
    3½ floppy 13$
    Antec SLK3700BQE 115$

    1069$ ($908 USD)

    I can get Corsair ram for 30$ more, worth the price?
    I'm still not sure for the parts especially for the mobo and DVDRW. Maybe by searching more I could jump on better deals.


    Are XP Pro licenses working with XP 64 Pro? (I might be able to get a "used" XP32 license cheap)

    Yeah, for the PSU, I know. The Antec has a not too crappy one I think. Strangely, my Ti4200 + XP2000+ Palomino run off a 250-300w standard 25$ PSU without problem . . .
  9. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 430

    So now the price of everything lowered. Making the computer cheaper. Should I just go with better hardware?

    I have a few concerns before buying the PC:
    -Should I stay with an Antec case knowing the PSU problems?
    -And should I wait for M2 socket?


    Last thing, is Acer 1716B a good monitor? They sell it for 270$ I can't get much infos about it and the warranty so I hope someone knows more about it.
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