having new computer built - help

By 6ontherun ยท 13 replies
Nov 2, 2006
  1. I am having a new computer built (after almost 8 years with my hP lemon). There are so many choices, but my technical savvy is limited. You guys seem helpful so I am going to appeal to you for advice.
    Here is what my comp guy proposed:

    Motherboard, Matx 945G DDR2-667/533/400 LGA

    Micro Processor, P D CPU 805 64 bit Dual Core

    x512mb DDR2-533 (PC2 4200)

    120 GB 7200 RPM SATA NCQ

    Windows Media Center

    OK - now, my DH says I cannot go near any serious upgrades for a year or two and I do have a budget to work with, so what I need to know is... will this run Vista Windows Aero? Is that a good processor? Am I missing anything?

    Obviously video is the other thing - my comp guy says the chipset has onboard graphics, but I am reading that's not the best choice. I want to play around with video editing, watch movies and do some gaming (or my kids do) but gamings not my focus.

    Mainly I want solid, dependable, speedy and efficient (but I like the bells and whistles, too). Something that I won't need to put too much more into in the near future.

    Is that enough info? Help...opinions....forgive my ignorance and please speak in small words (LOL).
  2. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    What is your budget?

    For your Ram, you will want at least 1GB. I'm not sure what Vista Aero's req's are, but regular Vista reccomends 2GB.

    HDD is fine (seagate is a good brand)

    Motherboard: not sure about this one. Can't tell with out more info if it can handle a future upgrade to an Intel Conroe processor (currently owns for speed!).

    CPU: The 805 is certainly a nice cpu, and at $100 its fairly cheap. But the new Conroe E6300 is close to twice as fast for $183. Againit comes down to your budget.

    Vid card: Depends on what games you want to play. Currently the radeon 9600 would be "lowest" card you would wnat to use to play todays games at low res. A Nvidia 6600 or above would be better.

    If you want to do a little 'window shopping', check out www.newegg.com for competitive prices.

    Don't skimp on the power supply! You can get a decent one from FPS for around $40 at newegg.
  3. 6ontherun

    6ontherun TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What I have now on the list tops out at aroud $700 with the added 1Gb ram. That's pretty close, maybe $800 total. (I already have the peripherals, monitor etc...)

    What Conroe (Is that Core 2 Duo - or something else) do you rec. w/out going to far on the $$$.

    Gaming - my kids play Star Wars and lots of the strategy games (CIV, Empire Earth, AOE). In the past they have bought games and then got home and they wouldn't play - I just don't want that to keep happening.

    What do you think of the intel G965 w/gmax3000 onboard graphics?
  4. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    I tend to steer clear of onboard graphics, so I don't know to much about them. The 9600 models run about $55 on newegg.

    Yup, the Conroe is he core name for the Core 2 Duo line. The least expansive is the E6300 at around $183.

    Depending on what the comp guy is charging you, you could probably build it yourself for less. It is fairly easy to do and we can certainly offer assistance. Just a thought.
  5. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Not only are integrated graphics slow, but they share(steal) your system memory to use as graphics memory. Typically between 32-224MB of your main memory is taken for this purpose, leaving your system with less memory for everything else. Keep in mind that low end cards supporting "hypermemory" or "turbo-cache" do the same thing, steal system memory.

    I believe you'll need a pci-express video card if you don't use integrated if you're using a pentium d on a normal motherboard.

    A 6600, x1300pro, or 7300gt would all be ok choices.

  6. It'd be nice if we could know your [MAXIMUM] budget. I personally wouldn't spend my money on an old 945 chipset. Nor am I a huge fan of Intel - but they have made some progress lately. If you're going to go with video editing, I definately recommend going with a mid-to-high end graphics unit. Maybe an ATI All in Wonder or the NVIDIA 7600GT/GS. Something simple, yet unique.

    Your motherboard, with the 945 chipset isn't the way I'd recommend. I'd try and get a 1066Mhz FSB w/ DDR2 800 bandwidth. The processor for that might be a little spendy, but it would definately be worth it.

    This is sincerely the base units I'd recommend...
    Mobo: ASUS P5ND2-SLI ATX 800/533Mhz FSB DDR2 800 - $86

    Processor: Intel Pentium D 930 3.0Ghz LGA 775 800FSB - $155

    Memory: [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820144152]Kingston VR 1GB(2x512) PC4200 DDR2 533[/url] - $117

    Video Card: GeForce 7600GS [CHAINTEC] - $113

    Total: $470

    Pretty cheap, in my humble opinion. I know it's an 800/533FSB, but the chipset is newer and so is processor. Good luck, though.
  7. 6ontherun

    6ontherun TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks guys,
    Actually, I wouldn't mind trying it myself, but I'm already into it with my comp guy and he's not charging any labor. (It's more of a trade for work I did for him) But I may hit you guys up for help with upgrades later! This stuff fascinates me, but I really don't know enough.

    I think $800.00 total is my max budget. But that has to include everything but monitor, mouse and keyboard.

    I think I can swing the E6300, and someone suggested I look at the Intel DG965 - any better? I will do some searching for a video card I can afford - PCI Express is the best way to go? That GeForce doesn't look too bad.

    Thanks again everyone, you're opinions are really helpful.
  8. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Yeah, the 965 chipset is much better. Go for the setup that was listed above and just sub in the E6300. Please don't forget a decent power supply!
    Also, you need to budget in for a copy of windows (I think you did that above). You can make a decent system for $800. You can get a DVD burner drive for around $30 - $35 and a floppy for about $7.
  9. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 596

    Get the system in my sig, but cut back on the RAM. And the GPU Power Supply isnt nessecary.
  10. 6ontherun

    6ontherun TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, what's a decent power supply - I can't tell what's included unless it's with the case - ATX Black 350W Solution TAC. Is that it?

    Yeah, I have Windows included already. And a floppy, and a DVD burner, but I'd like a lightscribe.

    So to sum up -
    965 chipset, e6300, GeForce 7600, 1 gb ram, 120 gb hard drive, Windows Media Center, floppy, and dvd combo drive. How's that sound?

    I'm thinking about a tv tuner -is the all in wonder a better bet (I'm looking at PCTC Pro PCI) or does it matter?
  11. Just a suggestion, if you do go with the pentium D 805 (i have that booyah!), i would suggest getting a motherboard that will overclock, and some good RAM. Spend a little more if you have too, but if you ever want to crank up the speed it will be well worth it. Then later you can spend mabe $30, get a new heat sink, and you could easily get your cpu from 2.66 ghz to 3, mabye as high as 3.8 (without water cooling). I don't know if you are big into overclocking, or how much experience you have, but just something to consider.
  12. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

  13. That's a [GREAT] power supply! Nice find...

    As for the O/S - I wouldn't have chosen 'Media Center' but that's my personal opinion. All in all, looks like you'll have a great home-entertainment system for the family.
  14. 6ontherun

    6ontherun TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again everyone!
    It adds up alittle over budget, but I am going to do some online shopping and look for bargains now that I know what I'm looking at. Hopefully I'll get it all done in the next two weeks - I'll let you know how it comes out.
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