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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking to build a computer. I have a 32" LCD HDTV that I'm using currently for my Compaq laptop with an external kb/mouse combo. It has a VGA input, no HDMI.......so I'd be using the regular VGA. I'm also considering getting Vista Professional, but I don't really want to buy it when I already own XP SP2 (and it looks like Vista) :p

So I'm wondering if anyone has MB/CPU/RAM/HD suggestions. I've been out of the desktop scene for a while, so I don't know much anymore, only kinda kept up on laptops.

So, I need suggestions on a barebones system. I NEED to keep the price down :( It doesn't necessarily have to be the lowest, but It's gotta be lower end. I'm selling a 300MHz iBook clamshell (legally blonde) to pay for a good portion of it ;)

US prices are FINE, and maybe even preferred. I can either get this here, or at christmas in Tampa Florida, or at a store in Niagara Falls NY.

So, what I've researched so far as far as what I want:

I LIKE this case:


These kits come with that style of case:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3329926&CatId=1210

Same one with diff config:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3330573&CatId=1210

I think this kit sounds like a GOOD deal:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3478114&Sku=P450-9102 E
LOOK AT THIS VALUE! Our Price: $479.97 - $80 rebate = $399.97
XFX nForce 680i LT SLI Motherboard - Qty: 1 $189.97

Intel PD 925 3.0GHz OEM - Qty: 1 $97.99

Crucial 1024MB PC5400 DDR2 - Qty: 2 $59.94

Maxtor DiamondMax 21 200GB Hard Drive - Qty: 1 $73.99

Ultra Aluminum Full-Tower Case - Qty: 1 $85.99

Ultra 400-Watt XVS PSU - Qty: 1 $73.99

XFX GeForce 7300 GT 512MB PCIe w/DVI/TV-OUT - Qty: 2 $195.98

Important to remember is that those are Canadian prices.........the US equivalent would be 10% higher. So for the $400 system, we pay 14% tax + add in 10% US exchange - US taxes (6%?) = +18%

So if I can get something similar in the USA for about $470 USD.......that'd be approximately the same price comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
What OS you thinking about? Mac I'm assuming?
WTF? Mac? I'm getting RID of my Mac because I dislike it a LOT, I'm not a Mac person. Ummmmm, probably either XP SP2 (since I already own it), but I'd prefer Vista Professional.
 

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Sorry man....just thought that since you had the ibook, and love your touch (that sounds creepy saying it like that) that you were a diehard Apple fan.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Sorry man....just thought that since you had the ibook, and love your touch (that sounds creepy saying it like that) that you were a diehard Apple fan.
No way bud.......I dislike Apple products for the most part, they're overpriced, underfeatured and proprietory. Same reason I won't buy anything Sony anymore, proprietory stuff pisses me off. The only reason I got a Touch is because they have a monopoly on dock connectors for the car. So I was FORCED to get the iPod connection kit for my Intrepid, otherwise I would've just kept using my Creative Zen Vision (which is a better player than an iPod Video IMO since you don't need to convert the videos or use a proprietory file transfer system).

I used my grandpa's new iPod Classic 80GB, and the selection system is so clunky and unintuitive........so happy I got the touch.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop with the Apple fanboy speeches trying to lead me to a Mac. I will NEVER use a Mac program EVER, so why the hell would I spend MORE money for a less powerful system.

How upgradeable is that Macmini anyways? Let's say I want to add a 2nd hard drive, more ram, and maybe change motherboards and CPU's.........can I do it? Yeah, that's what I thought.

I'd rather stick with my current laptop than get a Mac desktop, or are you Fin kidding me??? 64MB of dedicated video memory vs the barebones system I just linked that has 1024MB of dedicated video memory.

My requirements for memory intensive programs right now are AutoCAD 2008, Adobe Photoshop CS3, and Starcraft 2 (when it releases).


I find it absolutely hilarious that a TOOL is gonna buy my 300MHz iBook that's pretty much good for nothing except to say "I own a Mac"........good for them!
 

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I'm not a fan boy, i use a mac at work and have 12 pc's at home and in the office.

I think it's rude of you to take the position that you've taken Rob, it was a suggestion to get the mac mini, the box is about the size of 3 dvd cases stacked on top of each other and is great for having a pc that you can mount to the back of the tv or hide it somewhere so that you cannot even see the machine.

It boils down to what you want to do with the machine, looks like you want to have a solid gaming machine, and of course that means the mac mini is out of the question. If it was just to have a media server that outputs tv shows and movies to the tv, then the mac mini would be plenty fine.

I guess i'll unsubscribe off this thread, you clearly have a negative attitude towards suggestions man.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'm not a fan boy, i use a mac at work and have 12 pc's at home and in the office.

I think it's rude of you to take the position that you've taken Rob, it was a suggestion to get the mac mini, the box is about the size of 3 dvd cases stacked on top of each other and is great for having a pc that you can mount to the back of the tv or hide it somewhere so that you cannot even see the machine.

It boils down to what you want to do with the machine, looks like you want to have a solid gaming machine, and of course that means the mac mini is out of the question. If it was just to have a media server that outputs tv shows and movies to the tv, then the mac mini would be plenty fine.

I guess i'll unsubscribe off this thread, you clearly have a negative attitude towards suggestions man.
Hey, I'm ALL for suggestions, but I REALLY want a PC, not a Mac. The 'Mac' part of the Mac will be 100% useless to me. There are 0 programs that are Mac only that I'm dying to use, and I would like to get something powerful enough to be somewhat futureproof.

My TV is sitting on my desk, and I have an audio cabinet next to my TV. The computer will fit just fine under the desk, or in the audio cabinet.

Are there any coupons for a comparable Dell (I'm thinking low end XPS) that'll put me into the $500 USD pricerange I'm looking at?

Jeff, you MUST have something to say on this subject???

Rob
 

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if you want a good gaming computer, go with alienware. its fast and very good for other apps as well, those are kinda pricey so im not sure you wanna spend that much, but you can get a used one for pretty cheap, and its stil very good

ive always used medion computers and they havent let me down, they come with alot of good features
check out there site http://www.medionusa.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm trying to stay under $500USD for everything except the monitor (don't need a monitor)
 

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Ok...I think it's clear he doesn't want a Macintosh and wants to build a PC.... back to building that PC:

You could shave some cost by using an AMD CPU... the Athlon 64 X2 is still a pretty nice CPU. The X2 4800 is a good CPU for budget rigs.... and it's pretty quick.

If you want Intel, the E4xxx series Core 2 Duos are about the only thing you can use without blowing the budget. The E4xxx doesn't really have much of an advantage over the AMD products unless you plan on upgrading to an E6xxx series CPU later.

Do you need a graphics card? Will you be gaming on this or watching high def stuff? I recommend you at least get a good onboard GPU like an NVIDIA Geforce 7150.

That case looks suspiciously like an Aspire/Apevia product....beware of it's power supply. It cannot put out advertised power and it likes to die after about a year. I swap em out before the cases get sold.... they go in the junk heap.

2GB of RAM is the new standard.... you can get 2GB of DDR2 800 (PC6400) for $80.

Budget Chipsets:
AMD: AMD 670 or nForce 430 (GeForce 6150), the AMD chipset is the preferred one.

Intel: NVIDIA 630i or Intel G3x series, the NVIDIA chipset is the one to get, especially if you are relying on onboard video.

Hard Disk: Beware WD..... they've been having a bout with bad drives lately. Some I've had to send back TWICE. Seagate and Hitachi have been good. The Seagate Barracuda ES is a VERY reliable drive and can be found at reasonable prices. The Hitachi drives are fast as hell.

DVD RW Drive: NEC or LiteOn.... I have had great luck with both and they are cheap.

Get a good motherboard....resist the temptation to cheap out and get an ECS or other POS board. Ditto for the power supply. A GOOD 350-400W supply should be fine for this kind of system.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That Aldi system looks decent.....not sure if it's any better than the one at Tigerdirect for $400CDN........inclusion of 2 512MB graphics cards is pretty incredible IMO.......maybe it's not as big of a deal as I think it is though?

The case I first linked to is an Ultra product with a lifetime warranty on the case and PSU. Actually, they're ALL Ultra cases which have lifetime PSU warrantys.

Did you look at my link to the budget system I was looking at? $400 CDN gets me an Intel Pentium D 3.0 GHz (could easily upgrade it in the future to a Core 2 Duo I suppose) and an SLI setup with 2 x 512MB GeForce video cards and such.....apparently it's a very good case as well.

 

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i think both are pretty good deals, and both are comparable in what they have. i guess its what you really want now
i have had two of the computers made by the same company as the one i linked you too and i have never had any problems with them
 

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No way bud.......I dislike Apple products for the most part, they're overpriced, underfeatured and proprietory.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop with the Apple fanboy speeches trying to lead me to a Mac. I will NEVER use a Mac program EVER, so why the hell would I spend MORE money for a less powerful system.

I'd rather stick with my current laptop than get a Mac desktop, or are you Fin kidding me???

I find it absolutely hilarious that a TOOL is gonna buy my 300MHz iBook that's pretty much good for nothing except to say "I own a Mac"........good for them!
Damn dude, no need to go off on a rant, he was just offering up a suggestion based on what you had already owned. I am a Mac guy, but not the kind you like to call a "fanboy."

However, your talk about the Apple Mac computers is off line in saying they are overpriced and less powerful. If you didn't come off so hard abut it and just said no thanks, that would be another thing.

It's fine that you will NEVER use a Mac, to each his own. Everyone is entitled to what makes them happy, but don't go slamming things you don't agree with or have the knowledge to back up.

I on the other hand despise of Windows and will never switch back from my Macs, but thats my preference. No need to for me to go off ranting about all the issues with Windows PCs.

I would agree with the comments of looking at an Alienware machine or just building your own custom box to get what you need out of your machine. Good luck!
 

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I would definitely recommend avoiding the GeForce 7300. That 512MB is GDDR2, which is not worth it. Get a single 8600GT and it will greatly outperform even a pair of 7300s. SLI is a waste of money.

I think would suit you well:
BareBone = $248.99 CAD
CPU Fan = $24.99 US
Video Card = $94.99 US after mail-in rebate
RAM = $42.99 US after mail-in rebate
Hard Drive = $64.99 US

$478 before tax and shipping.
 

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I would definitely recommend avoiding the GeForce 7300. That 512MB is GDDR2, which is not worth it. Get a single 8600GT and it will greatly outperform even a pair of 7300s. SLI is a waste of money.

I think would suit you well:
BareBone = $248.99 CAD
CPU Fan = $24.99 US
Video Card = $94.99 US after mail-in rebate
RAM = $42.99 US after mail-in rebate
Hard Drive = $64.99 US

$478 before tax and shipping.
Do you know if that processor is any good? I have a P4 3.4GHZ and I have been considering upgrading to a dual core processor but I heard that it won't make much of a difference unless I use programs that utilize the dual core part but the one that comes with the barebone looks like it is a really good deal.
 

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If I were building a computer for myself (which I did this summer), I would definitely put a Core2Duo in it instead of a P4 or PD (dual core 4). A Core2Duo will give you a noticeable increase in power but the effects of a dual core processor are really only noticeable if you are doing a lot of stuff or if the program in question is multi-threaded. The main advantage of a Core2Duo over a P4 or PD is the new architecture. C2Ds run much cooler and more efficiently than P4s, and have a shared cache. I'm sure HardwareGuy could explain this much better than I can.
 
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