Buying a computer - Need Input Please

By lgraham9 · 18 replies
Jul 17, 2007
  1. First thing, Hi there, I'm new to these forums :) I just had a quick question that I was hoping somebody could answer for me.

    I'm not the most computer literate person in the world, however, I'm thinking about purchasing the following computer:
    - AMD 3500+ 64 bit processor
    - 120mm Zalman Heat Sink
    - 1 GB RAM
    - 120GB Hard Drive
    - ASROCK Motherboard with support for AGP and PCI-E
    - ATI X800 Pro AGP Graphics card
    - Sound Blaster Live! PCI Sound Card
    - D-Link 802.11G+ Wireless PCI Adapter (up to 108 Mbps)
    - 520W OCZ Power Supply
    - DVD Burner
    - Mouse and Keyboard is Logitech MX-3000 laser cordless Desktop.

    I'm just curious how that lines up to the following two computers:

    Intel D865 PERLX Motherboard
    Radeon 9800 Pro AGP video card
    Intel 3.0 (800) System Processor
    1 GB PC3200 Kingston RAM
    Seagate 80GB SATA Hard Drive
    52x32x52 CD RW

    AMD Athlon 2800+
    512 MB Ram
    Radeon 9800 Pro AGP video card
    Seagate 80GB SATA Hard Drive
    52x32x52 CD RW

    Computer 1 is what we currently run for "Staff Computers" at the lan center I work at, while Computer 2 is what I have at home.

    I'm curious, how big of an upgrade is the original computer I posted (The one I'm interested in buying) over Computer 1 (If any), and Computer 2? I would be paying $450 Canadian Dollars for the computer, worth it? (Keyboard and Mouse are $98.00 alone)

    Thanks for your help guys :)
  2. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    I couldn't comment on price per dollar as i'm in the UK, but i would say that if your new build is up to your budget, consider the following:
    1. Ditch the soundblaster, use onboard 5.1 (or 7.1) sound. Surely your mobo will have it.
    2. If you're not overclocking it, and assuming you're buying retail cpu, don't bother with a new HSF, spend the savings from the fan and sound card on a better cpu.
    3. Are you using Vista or XP? Consider more ram depending on your answer.
    4. Personally i wouldn't go forAsrock motherboards, but if its the only thing that fits your budget, then :cool:

    Just my 2 penneth.

    I wouldn't say its going to be hugely better than computer 1, but yes, it will be better than computer 2.
  3. lgraham9

    lgraham9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    XP, and it's being bought used off of somebody.
  4. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    oh i xp is pre-installed. To be honest mate, if you're not selling yours to raise some money, i personally think you'll be paying $450 for not a huge increase in performance. Better? yes, but maybe the $450 could be used to put it towards a newer better system?
  5. ChrisLam

    ChrisLam TS Rookie Posts: 82

    You could upgrade your existing computer instead of replacing it
  6. lgraham9

    lgraham9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yea it's pre-installed. I'm not selling my computer at home (Computer 2) to buy the new one, I would just use Computer 2 as a side computer for browsing the internet and stuff while I played games on the other one.

    As I said in my first post, I'm not very computer literate, and only know the very basics, would somebody be able to help me "put together" a computer for roughly $500 online, either at (Computer shop in my town) or on Would be much appreciated :) I don't want to spend over $775 CND on it though, so I figured the one I found would be a decent buy. Any help would be appreciated :) Thanks.

    *Edit* Willing to spend $775 Canadian if it will get me a dual-core with at least 1.5-2GB ram and a 256+ Card. Anybody willing to help me build one on NewEgg//MemEx? AMD Preferred. Thanks!
  7. lgraham9

    lgraham9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Anybody? I'd put together one myself but I'm afraid of compatibility issues :(

    *Edit* I put together one on NewEgg. Is there any computability issues here? Any recommendations of changes I can make to lower the price? Still $100 over my budget, no big deal, but if I could lower it, that would be excellent.

    Apevia X-Plorer Mid Tower w/ Side Window, Silver-Black-$79.95

    OCZ 600W StealthXStream Power Supply w/ Quad +12V-$99.95

    Seagate 160GB Barracuda 7200.9 ATA w/ 8MB Cache-$65.95

    LG 52x32x52x CDRW (oem) w/ Software-$29.95

    eVGA e-GeForce 7600 GT KO 256MB PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out-$159.95

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ EE w/ 2x512K Cache (Socket AM2)-$99.95

    Asus M2N-E w/ DualDDR2 800, 7.1 Audio, Gigabit Lan, PCI-E x16 Onboard 100/1000 Gigabit Lan
    # Onboard 8-Channel 7.1 Audio-$114.95

    Kingston HyperX 2GB PC2-6400 Low Latency Dual Channel DDR2 Kit (2 x 1GB, NVIDIA SLI-Ready)-$169.95

    Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler for AM2 / 754 / 939 / 940-$64.95

    Total: $938.68

    The main thing I could probably change is the ram. I want 2GB of ram, but my motherboard is Dual Channel, does this mean I HAVE to buy dual channel ram? I could cut approx. $65 off the final price if not.

    Are all the above things compatible? I did my best to try and build myself a *decent* gaming machine (Something that can handle Warhammer Online when it's released, and WoW in it's current state)

    Thanks again for all your help guys! I'm pretty computer illiterate :(
  8. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    dude, i'll help as much as i can. Of course my opinion may differ to others offering theirs, so go with a majority i guess. You prefer AMD :eek: ? Because its cheaper i assume. No other reason to buy AMD at the moment my friend. C2D rocks the socks off AMD.

    Is the newegg site prices in CND, cos i have no idea about conversion seeing as i'm a brit.

    I'll have a go for you though. I take it you just want the box (not monitor or anything else)?
  9. lgraham9

    lgraham9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks man :) Don't build on newegg since they don't ship to Canada. Build it on this site, it's a little harder to navigate, but I'm sure you'll figure it out, plus it's a shop in my city, so I can just go down there and build it.

    And yea, I prefer AMD just because it's cheaper and I have a relatively small budget right now at $775.

    Key things I would like are Dual Core Socket AM2, at least 2 gigs ram, and a decent 256mb video card (was thinking the one i listed above as a good starter)

    Also, you are correct, just a box is all I'm looking for at the moment, I have a spare keyboard, mouse, and monitor at my house. Thanks bud :) Put together the best thing you can for roughly $775 Canadian. If it goes over, don't worry about it, but try to keep it under $850 if it has to go over.
  10. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    Ok mate,
    i've had a good look through their huuuuge catalogue.
    This is about the best spec i think you could get for your price.
    A few points to bear in mind:

    1. Get the opinions of others before you buy
    2. Check the psu on the sonata II case is 24-pin (or at least 20 + 4 pin). Ask at the shop. Reviews say its an excellent case and the psu is good too.
    3. Couldn't find any compatibility issues between the msi motherboard and the crucial ram, but its worth asking at the shop about it. Some motherboards are fussy about what type of ram they use.
    4. That mobo doesn't have IEEE.1394 (firewire) on it, not sure if its something you'd want or not. But there was nothing i could find that represented the same value.

    See what others think. Good luck. :)
  11. lgraham9

    lgraham9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks man, just looking at that right now :)

    *Edit* What does Fireware do? Also, how does the video card you picked up compare to the eVGA e-GeForce 7600 GT KO 256MB PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out for 159.95?
  12. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    the gfx card is way better than the one you spec'd. The cpu is also better (not hugely so though).
    You don't need a 600w expensive psu, its overkill for the rig you want.
    You also don't need an AMC (after market cooler) either. Stick with the retail HSF (heat sink & fan) that you get with the cpu. Seeing as you won't be overclocking it. need to think about your OS. You'll have to buy one now its a new build. So go for XP Home oem, unless you really want vista.

    The dual channel ram is the way to go mate. It just means that the 2 sticks of ram they sell in the pack are identical, so they will utiluse dual channel without issue. Non-like-for-like ram sticks 'can' cause trouble in dual channel mode.
  13. lgraham9

    lgraham9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I already have a copy of XP Professional on hand. Thanks for your help man, greatly appriciated :) Looking forward to going out on the first and buying this!
  14. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    I'd still ask for the opinions of others. And ask in the shop if they think the spec is ok. Listen to them, but if you smell an 'up-sell' be prepared to walkaway and come back here for some more advice.
  15. lgraham9

    lgraham9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just asked a friend, he said it's pretty good, well worth the money. Hell, I'm running on an AMD 2800+ with 512MB of ram atm haha, anything is better!

    Maybe I missed your answer, but what is Fireware?
  16. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    Firewire (or IEEE1394) is the little dinky interface that you can connect video recorders and digi cameras with. Its got a fast transfer rate primarily for video data. If you didn't know about it, then you aint gonna use it :)
  17. lgraham9

    lgraham9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    haha thanks man :) yea I'll never use that, sorry I didn't reply faster, i fell asleep! It was like 5am haha :)
  18. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    New quote fow $1200-1300 USD

    Here ya go matey.
    See what you make of it. Things to consider (again)

    1. The Antec case is excellent, but the psu sist at the bottom of the case, so check at the store that the modular cables on the corsair psu are long enough to reach all components required.
    2. I've included 2 x optical drives, so that you can do disk to disk copying without imaging to the hdd. T osave money you could knock off the dvd-rom if you like.
    3. The motherboard is a good future-proofing board with ddr3 availabilty.
    4. Intel core2duo cpu, can't beat em!
    5. I still advise asking the opinions of others!
  19. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    frikkin silly forum wouldn't upload the image. Here it is,
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