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Building a new computer - Advice Please

By DonNagual ยท 21 replies
Dec 13, 2005
  1. Putting together a system for a friend, looking for input before I make the order. She plays NO games, and likely never will. Simly an internet machine, watching videos etc.

    She wants a fast system that will be stable and last a few years.

    CPU: AMD Athlon64 3700+ SanDiego BOX

    1Gb Ram: 184Pin DDR SD-RAM PC3200-512MB 400MHz

    250Gb hard drive Western Digital

    DVD/CD RW multi-drive LG GSA-4167BB

    Floppy drive: SONY MPF920-Z121

    128mb Video card: ASUSTeK EAX1300/TD/128M

    Microsoft MultiMedia Keyboard

    Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical (PS2/USB) OEM

    Speakers: LOGICOOL X-230

    Case and power supply: Antec SONATA II with Antec 450w psu

    Monitor: LG L1751SQ-BN 17" flatscreen

    Motherboard: ASUSTeK A8N5X nforce4 chipset, PCIe graphics

    Thanks for any input. I just want to have a few more heads look this over for me. Not enough coffee in my system right now :bounce:
  2. mossimoboy

    mossimoboy TS Rookie Posts: 121

    That looks like a great system, would probably even suit a gamer.

    Nice job on picking parts, just make sure its cooled well, but I'm sure that wont be a problem with the antec case.

    One thing though, she wants to watch videos, what kind of sound card is in the rig?
  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    It has 8 channel sound built into the motherboard.

    Anyone know more about these X1300 GPUs? Do they run hot? The antec case I am chosing is designed for silence, so it is not the best for cooling. I have the case for my own system and it is fine for my 6800GT. I am assuming that my card would be HOTTER than this X1300 but then again.... anyone know?
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    Hmmm. I am starting to doubt this x1300 card now. I am finding some 6600 cards for the same price, and the 6600s seem to be better performers.

    Anyone have any comments on this?
  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    Or how about something like this one?

    It is about 25% cheaper than the x1300 or the 6600. She plans on playing NO games...

    I have never used non-gaming GPUs. I need some help picking the right PCIe video card.


    EDIT* I am going to make a new post for this specific question in the video forum.
  6. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    hi DonNagual if she isnt playing games i would think the 6200 or 9600xt would most likely soot her needs and the 3700 is a bit oferkill if your only watching games i can play bf2 on my 3000+ with a x800gt on medium with texture high 2x AA funs smooth jsut a suggestion thoguh

    good luck with the build

    EDIT: i relized you had a pci e bored and menched the x550 that would be more then enoph to surff the net or watch viedoes, if she likes dlowading viedos knock it down to a amd 3000+ and get a nice size hard rive 500gb, and that shuodl run viedos and internet fast
  7. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    Hmm. good point.

    I went for the 3700 because they are just so damn cheap now. $235 on newegg. Yummy.

    It's about $50 cheaper for the 3200.... decisions decisions...
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    I wonder if I am going at this in the wrong direction (having never built a non-gaming machine).

    Anyone think I should be looking at an integrated graphics motherboard?
  9. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    As there are no 939 boards with integrated graphics AND PCIe x16 slots (unless you go to microATX) and am still looking for a PCI-e graphics card.

    My question then is,

    Should I get a 6200, or pay double for the X1300? Worth the extra cash for someone who doesn't game?
  10. hewybo

    hewybo TS Maniac Posts: 435


    I am the very LAST person that should comment on this, but..........
    you wanna build a machine for a friend primarily for watching videos, but want onboard graphics?
    I conducted a fairly thorough search (i've got lotsa spare time), and didn't see a 939 board with your reqs. found a Gateway(!) box with onboard plus PCIe16, but it was Intel, and I couldn't find mobo description. I wish you luck, sir. oops! try this- Gigabyte GA-K8N51GM--- NVidia chipset, tho. :wave:
  11. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    i would deifintiyl go with the 6200 the x1300 is over prised and isnt worth it, is see what you mean not getting the 3700 its onlt 50 dollors more then the 3200 id say go for it, dont go with intergated thoguh

    good luck
  12. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    Basically I have given her two options:

    1. A microATX asus board with integrated graphics (and an empty PCIe slot for future options) with an Antec Aria microATX case.

    2. An ATX case (mid tower) antec sonataII (the case I currently own myself) with a PCIe X1300 card in it using the ATX motherboard I linked above.

    I have given her the choice. The microATX system is $100 bucks cheaper in total (the cost of the video card).

    Oh, and in EITHER scenario, I have downgraded her to the Athlon64 3500 CPU. I don't think there will be any noticable difference with the 3700 in her case.
  13. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Integrated video takes memory away from the total amount you put in!
    Get an ATI All-In-Wonder; that includes a decent TV-tuner, and has the added bonus of a remote control.
  14. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    That was my original reasoning in going for the PCIe graphics as opposed to integrated, but if she ONLY browses the internet and downloads the occasional movie here and there.

    Athlon64 3500
    1Gb ram (2x512 in dual mode)

    Will integrated graphics really be such a bad thing in her case, if it saves $100 bucks. I am still giving her an empty PCIe slot so if in the future she finds it is not enough she can upgrade.

    I have no experience with integrated graphics. Obviously for gaming it is a no-brainer. But for someone like her.... a high quality asus board with a high quality integrated graphics chip doesn't seem like such a bad choice... what do you think?
  15. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +419

    I think you have a point. That's why they have integrated graphics in the first place, exactly for someone like her.
  16. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    I just wish they made an ATX motherboard with integrated graphics and an empty PCIe slot. There don't appear to be ANY. Only microATX.

    She definately wants an ATX case, as the priority is to keep things cool (Japan gets VERY hot in the summer and she leaves hers on all the time). That plus she wants to have at least 4 USB ports and microATX seems fairly limited.

    It seems I am going to give her an ATX board with a PCIexpress video card. Overkill but it seems the best way to go given her priorities (and the lack of a perfect match).

    I refuse to give her an integrated graphics board without a PCIe slot. I just can't do it! :bounce:
  17. ryan_english

    ryan_english TS Rookie

    Integrated Graphics would be perfect for waht she is looking for, but if she has the money, i would buy the card, because you just never know she may become a gamer ^_^

    But the AMD would be best since they are cool, and quiet.

    I have had problems with every computer that has had an intel processor, but i still have my amd k6-2 running better than a p3 500 mhz intel. that i have bought and scrapped down since i bought the k-62 years ago.

    Good luck!
  18. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer TS Rookie Posts: 394

    Integrated graphics are nothing to be sneezed at. I have a 4 year old 64MB Integrated Intel chip, and it runs Halo, Unreal Tournament 2004, and I got Far Cry to run at 0.5 frames a second. It should be good for her.
  19. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    If she wants to keep it for a few years then you have to assume that she'll switch to Vista eventually. In that case she'll want better than an IG. How about a 6200 with 256MB of on board RAM? Can handle most anything a desktop can throw at it while carrying a reasonable price tag. $75 for a eVga model http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130233

    I specified 256MB of on board RAM since that is the projected requirement to run Vista with all the bells and whistles. Also, AGP since she won't be upgrading and the price is so low for a fairly decent GPU.

    I made up a paper system for a friend with the same needs as yours for $550 using a Sempron 64 2800+ CPU and Gigabyte AGP board, 6200/256MB video card, 1GB of Corsair vaue RAM, 120GB 8MB WD SATA HDD and Antec case with 350watt Antec PSU. CPU is $75 and mobo was $60! Case goes for $60. If she has XP already then subtract $90. No, it isn't upgradable but it is 64 bit ready and can handle damn near anything including Vista.
  20. Bob Saget

    Bob Saget TS Rookie

    I like merc's system, for the money it's killer. price to performance is stellar. I'd recommend the 3200 for Don because I think you can overclock to 3700 speeds. I own a 3500 and it has easily clocked to 2.5 from 2.2 (slow ram is holding it back) which is past 1 gig faster than the 4000. The amd's also consume so little in watts, i cant wait for what the future processors can do. If you want to get serious with videos and change formats with em the 1300 is great. i wonder if videos look different between the cards...
  21. bigp07

    bigp07 TS Rookie Posts: 20


    That's pretty funny how, except for the video card, she's getting a better system than mine. I put together a budgeted, but reliable, gaming system. I used an Athlon 3200+ Venice core, PCI-E 6600GT. I wasn't expecting it to blow me out of the water, but it did for the price I ended up paying when everything was said and done. I understand how you might want to go for the 3700+ for the purpose of keeping it a long time, but i'm just saying that unless she is planning to keep that thing forever, I would probably go with the 3500+. If money is not an issue, then she's getting a great deal with the 3700+. I'm sorry if i repeated anything said, but I just kind of skimmed through the first post, and just thought I'd give my opinion.
  22. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    Yes, I agree. I have downgraded her CPU to a 3500+. She has also changed her case to the Antec P180 so I have to add a PSU. I'll probably stick a high quality 350w - 400w in there (Fortron or antec or something). Haven't decided yet.

    And so far sticking with the X1300.... the main part I don't have confidence in.
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