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A Decent Computer for a Good Price

By Tenko · 317 replies
May 26, 2006
  1. Tenko

    Tenko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    So that cheap vid card will work? That's not a bad price either... Oh and for internetfrog.com my download and upload speeds are around 130Kbps... I need 2Mbps? Omg... We need better internet... Unless I checked the wrong thing. O i just did another test and its 105Kbps... Owch
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    whatever you buy, don't get an emachine.
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    That's good enough. By 2 Mbps I didn't mean the speed of the downloads but rather the connection's speed. I've googled around about the MX4000 and don't seem to find ppl who say it can handle WoW. I think I might have finally found the card for u.
    This card is pretty cheap too(especially with the rebate, it becomes cheaper than the MX4000!) and if u read the reviews, they state that it runs WoW at 1024x768 without too many problems.
  4. s3xynanigoat

    s3xynanigoat TS Rookie Posts: 94

    I had in that machine 512mb of ram, and a 5400 250gig Hard Drive. I then updated to 2 Gigs of ram and a 10k 74gig Hard Drive. The difference was night adn day. With the ram added I would still lag a little when I zoned into Orgrimmar and always lag in AV. but when i added the Harddrive it took all my lag time away. My zone in time is like < 10 seconds and I'm notw able to lead the board in Av/Wsg/Ab.

    don't know much about dell dimensions but it doesn't sound like a great machine to run WoW on.
  5. Tenko

    Tenko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    While... Now that I got a good machine built all I gotta do is save! This is gonna be sweet!
    Thanks a ton everyone!
    If you need to tell me anything else or have other suggestions I'll be here to listen.
  6. Tenko

    Tenko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Hello everyone I'm back after some saving =)
    Well now i've got some new questions... Since I finally have the money i'm trying to finalize what im getting...
    AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3800+ Computer with 15" LCD Flat-Panel Monitor and Photo Printer
    Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Software
    1024 MB DDR Memory
    250 GB Hard Drive
    Double-layer Multiformat DVD-RW Drive
    NVidia GeForce 6100 Graphics
    9-in-1 Media Reader
    Total - $630
    Ok on to the additions...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102392 <--- will that work for a video card? its cheap and a 256MB... and would it be compatible with that pc?
    IF I have to get a sound card (would i have to???) then would this work --->http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829102003
    Next... A wireless router --->http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833124010
    A wireless card --->http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833328103
    Grand Total - $780 (so far)
    And that should be it right? Would i need a cooling system or better power source cuz im really tight on money? Also, would all those parts be compatible? And why are E-Machines bad because thats what the above pc is..? If they are really bad there is one other pc i have as an option but its a little more expensive..
    Thanks a ton (once again)
    Tenko =D
  7. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    "why not emachines??" because this forum alone has had many many threads on dead emachines. it is very common for the motherboards and power supplies in them to die.

    I wouldn't recommend any prebuilt system reguardless of brand because they are either garbage quality or too expensive.

    brands like emachines are priced low, but you get what you pay for. they are horrible quality. brands like Dell are better quality and are will last, but they are not very upgradable (at least the older ones weren't) and the non-basic models are expensive.

    your best bet is still to build your own. for $630 you can build a much better quality PC than that emachine will ever be.
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    I don't think the 9250 is any good for playing WoW. The 128MB 6200 I posted outclasses it in every way, except for the fact that it has a 64-bit interface while the 9250 is 128-bit. But the 6200 has a higher core clock which will give u overall better performance than the 9250. A review for the 9250 says that the card gives heavy lag in MMORPGs like WoW.
    If u want a 256MB version of the 6200, try this one. With the rebate, its price is almost the same as that of the 9250.
    The sound card is good for the price and perfect for u.
    Get a computer shop to build the PC for u coz EMachines are rarely upgradeable and go bust pretty easily. I doubt the cost will differ greatly from ur estimate.
  9. Tenko

    Tenko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Well the bad thing is... I don't really have any computer shops around here and the websites i've looked at are either really expensive or i wouldnt trust them with my money. I could get the HP that was at Best Buy also but if that isnt good then can u guys reccomend where to get a computer with about the same specs for near that price? (I only have $850-900 for the whole computer, a month subscription for World of Warcraft, a Wireless router and card,a cooling system, and a power supply)... so ya it kind of limits my possibilities sadly.
    Well I don't want a busted computer but i dont want an extremely expensive one so whatever you guys could reccomend would help a lot.
  10. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    Check out this article from THG.


    Since this is from back in October, obviously some of the prices and part availability have changed. But it can give you a general idea and direction to go in. All of the parts should be sufficient to play WoW. You could probably substitute in the Nvidea 6200 mentioned in an earlier post to save some bucks.
  11. Tenko

    Tenko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Well I looked through it but first, i know hardly anything about computers so i wouldnt know all the custom parts to get... and second, i would have no clue how to put that beast together.... Sorry if that makes things harder but im desperate for a good computer thats good enough for World of Warcraft but still very cheap... Please can someone help me? Is newegg a good place to get a computer from? Because if someone could put together a computer from there for a good price then im sure it will be reliable and not too expensive... >< This is a lot harder then i thought... everytime i think i have it figured out theres some other catch to make it harder... Well any help would be awesome -.-
  12. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

  13. Tenko

    Tenko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    For screens is there any major differences between monitors besides size, weight, color etc.? Like if i gotta cheaper CRT monitor instead to save money there wouldnt be any glitches or performance problems would there? Like could I just use this monitor instead to save money? --->http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824172050

    Also, for video cards which would be better?
    This --->http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102641
    This --->http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130278
  14. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    if you don't mind the space it takes up, then just get a CRT. (just FYI, the best LCDs still can't match the best CRTs)

    also, with those 2 video cards, one is AGP and the other is PCI-e. only one of them will work with your system.

    I hate to say this but unless you build it yourself, you won't be able to get a gaming PC for your budget. buying an emachines is kind of a crapshoot, some last, others don't. although i will admit that you can't beat the price. if you're willing to risk it then you could buy an emachine with high specs and replace the mobo and PSU down the road if/when they die, however you will always be limited to a microATX motherboard.

    I know the thought of building your own system seems intimidating if you've never done it before, but it's actually pretty simple. think of it as "assembling" instead of "building", because you aren't actually building anything, each component is already built, you just have to connect them together :) and the only tool you actually need is a phillips head screwdriver. there are many of us here (including myself) who have built systems before and can guide and help you with each step if you want.
  15. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    I whole heartedly agree with KingCody. It can be intimidating when you think about assembling a computer from scratch. But, when you are done, you have a huge amount of satisfaction. And it isn't very difficult. It does take some time if it is your first time. My first complete system build took a few hours to do, but it was the most fun one to put together because it was so new.
  16. Tenko

    Tenko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    A few hours? Thats it? Wow i thought it would take like days... Also, what do you mean building it by scratch? Would i have to pick out every part? I'd be glad to do that if i could save money and still get a good computer as long as i had someone who could help me out... Could you fill me in on some details and prices? Sorry if im being a hassle =/
  17. ChiCubs05

    ChiCubs05 TS Rookie Posts: 32

    i just built mine from scratch, had a little problem with it but now its running amazing :) i spent $950 and i think its the best system you can build under $1000 and it games amazing, there are good tutorials at newegg on selecting your motherboard and processor, making sure they match, and then getting good memory and a gpu. have fun!!
  18. Tenko

    Tenko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Just wondering but what are all the parts involved in building a computer from scratch? Also, could anyone make a guess on the end price of a custom computer with decent specs (close to the above mentioned specs)?
  19. ChiCubs05

    ChiCubs05 TS Rookie Posts: 32

    well your going to need a motherboard, i like ASRock, very quality products, Asus is also very good. the brain of the computer is the processor, i recomend AMD for overall quality gaming and multitasking. your going to need memory, PC3200 DDR400 is what i have. im really fond of Patriot or Corsair, 1GB is more then enough for what you seem to be into. a graphics card is also nessicary. the Nvidia GeForce 6600 is a great entry level card. your going to need a case and a power supply as well, Xion makes great cases and Aspire makes good cooling units. that should be everything, talk back if you need anything else
  20. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Posts: 716

    Obviously, you can't go past building your own. Have a look at the following explainations and suggestions. Quoted from Marc Saltzman by Microsoft corp.

    "Processor. A PC's processor is the brains of the machine. The rule of thumb is the higher the number, the better. Today, an Intel Pentium 4 chip running at 3.0 gigahertz (GHz) is a great start. You may see cheaper PCs with an Intel "Celeron" chip, but it doesn't process data fast enough to support high-end games. On the other hand, more expensive Pentium processors include Intel's "Extreme Edition" with industry jargon such as "hyper-threading" technology, but this will add more to the budget.

    Alternatively, AMD's Athlon 64 processor is also a good choice. In fact, AMD's 64-bit platform extends the current x86 instruction set architecture and is often preferred by gamers for its fast performance and reliability; the Athlon 64 processor in particular is designed for applications that require multi-processor scalability and fast 3-D processing. Games certainly fit that bill. And AMD-based PCs may be slightly less expensive than Intel-based ones.

    Memory. Like the processor, memory (or RAM) affects the speed and performance of your computer, and also makes it possible to run more than one program at once. Because the price of memory has dropped considerably over the years, chances are any new PC you purchase—even value-priced ones—will ship with 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM. If you look at the bottom of the box of new computer games, the minimum amount of RAM required is usually 128 MB (Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, The Suffering) or 256 MB (Thief: Deadly Shadows, Far Cry). So while 512 MB should be enough, 1 gigabyte (GB) is preferred. Also be sure you're buying a PC with DDR SD-RAM running at 333 megahertz (Mhz)—that is, higher-speed "Double Data Rate" memory that should cost about the same as regular system RAM.

    Video card. One of the most important considerations when buying a new PC is its video card and the amount of video RAM (VRAM) on the card. The card will determine how fast and smooth those 3-D graphics in games render. It's easy to upgrade these over time, but you'll want to find a PC with a decent card already installed. Some recommendations include the Nvidia GeForce FX 5900 (and a few more from Nvidia), with 128 MB to 256 MB of onboard memory or the ATI Radeon 9600XT (and a few others from ATI) with 128 MB to 256 MB of RAM. Note This is considerably more than the 32 MB of VRAM required for many of today's PC games, such as True Crime: Streets of L.A. or the 64 MB of VRAM recommended for Battlefield: Vietnam.

    Hard disk. Hard disk space has also come down in price over the past few years. The more you have, the more games, programs, and files you can store on your computer. Be sure to purchase a computer with at least 80 GB to 100 GB of hard disk space. An expansion pack such as Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots requires 750 MB of space, while an online role-playing game such as City of Heroes requires a minimum of 2 GB. To ensure the hard drive is a fast one, look for 7,200 RPMs (revolutions per minute) and 8 MB of cache.

    Sound card and speakers. When it comes to audio, today's games may feature a number of bells and whistles—such as 7.1 surround sound that splits audio into seven different tracks, plus the bass via the subwoofer. But don't bother investing in one of these audio cards if you're counting your coins. A regular Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! or Sound Blaster Audigy card is all you need to deliver great-sounding music, voice, and effects in titles such as Halo: Combat Evolved or Star Wars: Battleground. Pass on the 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 surround sound set-up if you're watching your wallet, and instead choose a PC with a good set of 2.1 Klipsch speakers.

    Disc drives. Many PC manufacturers sell desktop computers with DVD burners or multiple CD or DVD drives. However, all you need is a single drive configuration that plays DVDs and CDs, and records (or burns) onto CDs. These are referred to as a DVD/CD-R/RW combo drive. As for speed, expect a 16X DVD reader and 48X CD-R/RW drive to burn discs. So, unless you come across a good deal, forget about a DVD burner for the time being.

    Monitor and chassis. Choosing one of those snazzy flat-panel monitors may save space on your desk, but it can really eat up one's budget. Therefore, even though they're big n' bulky, choose a 19" CRT monitor instead. Plus, while the thin LCD screens look attractive, often the refresh rates are not fast enough to render a game's graphics smoothly. Look for a rate of 75 Hz for a monitor up to 17 inches, and 85 Hz for a larger monitor. When it comes to your desktop computer's chassis, a mini-tower or mid-tower is fine, but be sure there are a couple of extra slots at the back (PCI or AGP) so you could add more components, if so desired."

    Good luck


  21. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    I would state that to have two hard drives at least 60gb. So you can back up all the time. I have half a terabyte of storage and I have yet to use about 15%.

    The only people who need humungous hard drives are those that store and a lot of video and audio.

    60gb is plenty for most. Even my laptop which I use strictly for school (has 60gb hd) I only use about 50% of it. (But I also have a lot of music on it - at least 13gb)
  22. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    Here is a system that I am going to be building in the future for someone, should be more that enough for what ou are looking for.
    Mobo: ~$62 with shipping
    Power: ~$40 free shipping
    Processor: ~ $99 free shipping
    Hard drive: ~ $71 with shipping
    DVD/CD-RW: ~ $29 free shipping
    Floppy drive: ~ $12 with shipping
    Memory: ~ $87 with shipping
    Case: This can be very personal, since you have to look at it. This is just a more general case. ~ $43 with shipping
    Monitor: ~ $100 with shipping
    Video Card: ~ $110 with shipping
    Thermal paste: ~ $11 with shipping
    Wrist strap (To keep you grounded and so you don't fry any components): ~ $11 with shipping, may be cheaper at local Best Buy.

    For a grand total of ~ $675

    This would take down that ABS system no problem.

    Your first time building would probably take 5-6 hours maybe spread over a few days.
  23. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    days? lol.

    deciding on, and aquiring all your parts is the most time consuming of all. the actual build will only take a few hours.

    just to give you some price points as a reference, i'll use my current rig:

    1. CPU $92 - AMD socket 939 venice 3000+
    2. MOBO $82 - Abit KN8-Ultra
    3. RAM $93 - Kingston HyperX PC3200 512MB x 2
    4. VIDEO CARD $??? - i have a low end card (ASUS radeon AX550), you will need much better for a gaming rig. you should expect to pay around $200 for a nice gaming card (but like I said earlier, i've been out of the loop video card wise for a while, so that's only a guess)
    5. POWER SUPPLY $59 - Antec TruePowerII 380w
    6. CASE ~$30 - generic thin steel mid tower ATX case (brand unknown)
    7. HDD $80 - 160GB western digital SATA150

    it's not top end, but with the exception of the case, its all made with good quality components and it only adds up to $326, if you got a better CPU and a nice video card, add another $250 to it which still would leave you with more than enough for your CRT, keyboard, mouse, DVD/CD drives, wireless router, and wireless card.

    all modern mobos have built-in surround sound. this is fine for most people, you don't need to buy a sound card if your budget is tight (which your's is
  24. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Video card wise, a 6600GT runs most new games with good performance although for more bang, I would recommend the 7600GT. It will be around $200 like KingCody said. ATI alternatives include the X800GTO2 and the X1600XT.
  25. Tenko

    Tenko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Well since I have no experience with putting together a computer someone will have to help me =)... Anyways here's my attempt at putting together a good computer...
    1.PSU $40 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817148027
    2. Mobo $55 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813128307
    3. HD $65 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148105
    4. Cd/DvD Drive $30 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827106994
    5. Floppy Drive $6 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16821103202
    6. Memory $82 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145440
    7. Case $33 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811156018
    8. Monitor $80 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824172050
    9. Processor $93 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103537
    10. Router $55 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833124010
    11. Card $22 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833328103
    12. Video Card $150 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814141026
    13. Paste $6 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835100007
    14. Wrist Strap $6 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16899888207
    15. Speakers $26 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16836117123
    Grand Total ~ $900 (Including tax and shipping)
    Also, I have no clue if this stuff is compatible with eachother or if its good enough for what i need it for... Can u guys take a look and see if theres anything that could be toned down or needs to be improved?Will this stuff be good? Also, for the wireless router and card thats not gonna slow down my connection speed is it, because i really dont have any other options except to put in new internet lines?Also, is there anything on that list that i could tone down a little? Is there free shipping on high dollar orders? (I'm guessing no because a lot of the stuff for computers is expensive but that would help a lot... shipping for everything is like $88 or something)
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