Tech Stocking Stuffers: 18 awesome gifts under $50

a couple of builds to make, need some opinions please

By N3051M · 20 replies
May 15, 2007
  1. Hey peeps, just got a couple of builds to make and as the title says, i need your opinions. One is a build for a mate of mine (his first PC) and he has a budget of $1650AUD, while the second is a media pc for my house, budget as low as i can. The only condition is that i want all my parts sourced from one shop, and that is this: so if there's an alternative on that list you'd like to suggest please do.

    All prices noted are in AUD...

    PC 1:
    - Coolermaster CAC-T05 ($108) + PSU
    - Asus P5VD2-X ($99)
    - E6420 ($258)
    - asus Silent Square ($75) or Thermaltake Big Typhoon ($60)
    *i'm thinking which one's more silent and efficient out of the two you'd recommend*
    - Seagate 250Gb SATA ($95)
    - Pioneer 112D DVD burner ($43)
    - 2gb Corsair kit (1gb x2) ($146)
    - 256mb MSI x1650XT ($149) *sticking with ATI chip because they work with vista pretty good*
    - Proview FV926 19" ($239)
    Others: chordless desktop $32; Vista Premium $149; MS office pro 2003 Academic $225

    his build he wants is just for school (and later Uni) work, a tiny gaming on the side and a bit of music but mainly something that will last him a long time before it gets "outdated". Price so far is $1618, trying to reduce as much as possible.

    PC 2:
    - Coolermaster ITower 930 ($185)
    - Asus P5VD2-x ($99)
    - E4400 ($188)
    - Seagate 80GB SATA ($61)
    - Pioneer 112D DVD burner ($43)
    - 256MB MSI X1650XT ($149)
    - Coolermaster 400W PSU (reusing old PSU)
    - 2gb Kingston (1gb x2) ($125)

    Vista premium, keyboard, office, etc i already have somewhere in the house so that cut a bit off my costs, so total so far is $850.

    Thanks. N30
  2. Janes

    Janes TS Rookie Posts: 63

    Well, this systems is awsome, except for the following, my personal opinion I would rather use Gigabyte boards for example the "945PL-S3 Conroe" for $10 more. I have always used Gigabyte boards and I have never had problems and their performance is quite well.

    -Support Intel® next generation Core™2 Duo/Pentium™ D Processor
    -Dual Channel DDR2 533 for advanced system performance
    -Features PCI Express x16 for outstanding graphics performance
    -Features SATA 3Gb/s interface
    -Optimized Gigabit LAN connection
    -Features 8-channel Intel High Definition Audio
    -Supports Windows Vista Premium

    Have a look at the board

    Thats my opinion!
  3. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Well you could reduce that amount by $225 by not buying Office Pro and downloading Open Office for free. Just a thought....
  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    the Big Typhoon is better anyday, but I don't think that'll come with a fan. Good thing is you get to choose a fan, and if noise is a factor, Arctic fan 12, available from is a real silent one, and I've got 2 of them running in my comp.
  5. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    For PC1:
    You can switch to a E6320 and save $30
    Seagate 160GB saves $17
    Kingston ram instead of Corsair saves ~ $20
    Open Office save $225

    Are you just using this as a Media Center? If so, you can cut the memory down to 1GB.
    E4300 saves $ 25
    Media Center would need a tv capture card though.
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I'd stick with the 250gb for 17 dollars more....

    Linux saves a furthur $149

    Bootlegging.... is illegal. :wink:

    I really suggest open office. Has everything you need anyway.

    For PC2, you might want a bigger HDD, especially since its only $30 more for 250gb. You then get the option of recording your favourite TV shows on your comp, instead of VHS. I believe thats legal as long as you're not distributing it, right? (if its not, feel free to delete this paragraph)
  7. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,115

    Yeh i was looking at that.. which brings me to the question of whats better, 2x 1gb RAM sticks or 4x 512mb sticks, since that board has a max of 2Gb only?
    Office was one of his requests, and seeing that out of all the academic versions available right now, 2003 pro was the cheapest.. you get my drift..
    Ok Big Typhoon it is :D but i'm pretty sure it comes with a fan ontop.. all the specs i've read all over the place mentions speed, noise and voltage ratings etc.

    Nickslick: the E6420 and the 250Gb hdd is also part of his request.. sorry i should have added that before..
    -I'm guessing between the two brands of RAM there's not much difference?
    -What noticeable differences will i be looking at between the E4400 and the E4300, apart from the lesser speed?
    I've got an analogue tuner somewhere in the house, and probably upgrading that to HD digital later when i get around to fixing the antenna cable in the roof..

    CMH: i am also reusing alot of my spare parts lying around the house, namely a 250gb seagate that i'm waiting a return from a RMA replacement so that 80gb hdd is purely as an OS drive, plus this rig i'm typing on right now, which is used for tv capture/music production/gaming/other and got nearly 1TB (although most of that's gone right now) so space.. isn't a big issue right now...

    These two are probably my first rigs to be built solo so there may be a few questions that may sound somewhat noobish xP
  8. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Paying for something old to go on Vista, that I thought was not compatible. Versus OO that is free and IS compatible.
    Guess if that what he wants.....
  9. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,115

    actually, office 03 is compatible.. i'm running it on my laptop right now. MS would be pretty stupid to not have backwards compatibility with 03, since there are people who already have them, either for an OS upgrade to vista or a spare licence for a new PC... i think its the older versions of office (97, 00) that aren't..
  10. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    That's not saying to much for MS! Hell their Zune software is not compatible with Vista. lol
  11. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    No diff between the 4300 and 4400 except the speed. Should be more than enough for a media center pc and they are very overclockable. Kingston and Corsair are both really good brands.
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Office may be a request, because he knows that he's going to be doing work on it, and not aware of other alternatives. You might want to talk to him about it, because as far as I know, OpenOffice is good enough. Unless there's something very specific about MS Office that he wants, or he's not interested in anything else, in which case you might ask him to try out OpenOffice first, and then add on MS Office later if he still wants it. Not like you're paying anything to try it out, for as long as he wants.
  13. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,115

    well considering the percentage of people and businesses that own a version of office verses those who owns a Zune there's some priority set somewhere...

    good point.. i'll discuss that with him on sunday...

    so builds are as follow..

    PC 1 $1347 (without counting Office):
    - CAC-T05 case + PSU
    - Gigabyte 945PL-S3
    - E6420
    - Big Typhoon
    - 250Gb Sata
    - pioneer 112D
    - 2 gb ram kingston
    - MSI x1650XT
    - Vista premium
    - Office TBA
    - proview 19" monitor

    PC 2 $821:
    - iTower 930
    - 945pl-S3
    - E4300
    - 80Gb Sata (+250Gb later)
    - 2gb ram kingston
    - Old coolermaster 400W PSU
    - MSI x1650XT
    - reusing old ms key&mouse

    Now, last question.. since the mobo can only support 2gb max, but there's 4 slots there would it be beneficial for me to fill them all up with 512mb sticks or just use the 2 1gb sticks, seeing that it runs dual channel?
  14. fulchat

    fulchat TS Rookie

    Not that I really know what Im talking about, but in Maximum PC mag they went with the 4x512 reasoning that the more surface area the better the flow of thats what I did.
  15. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,115

    oh yeh.. that thing... looks like i'll still buy that 2gb kit and swap it with the 1gb kit in this rig + another 1gb kit for the mpc..

    thanks guys.. hopefully i'll get the mpc built by the end of the month, the other pc when that guy gets some doosh..
  16. Rayss523

    Rayss523 TS Enthusiast Posts: 102

    Just cut out MS Office Pro, I mean you can use a friends copy....

    That'll save you 225$ right there

    Fixed as per CMH
  17. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Illegal downloads are not allowed in Techspot. I'm surprised that post is still here.
  18. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,115

    provided that he lives in the same house as you and owns a 3 user licence pack :D

    Nah seriously.. after i told him its gonna shave almost $300 off, he said he'll give Openoffice a go then we'll see from there...
  19. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Yeah, 300 bux is quite significant, and personally, I won't pay that kind of money for a piece of program that is supposed to be on every computer. This also goes for OSes.

    I really don't see why all workstations aren't using Linux or something, it'll save businesses tons on Windows licencing fees, not to mention the free office programs, which again, cost a bomb. And most workstations only need office apps, web surfing...
  20. Rayss523

    Rayss523 TS Enthusiast Posts: 102

    Dell is using Open Source Os'es on some of thier new computers but they AREN'T cutting the cost of the computer to reflect that.
  21. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    You sure? Maybe the savings have been put into the hardware....
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