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Building PCs

By Raymond Danner ·
In my case, I am basing the system on the AMD Athlon XP2000+ and have a total budget that is very tight ($700 including ALL shipping and handling fees)

System MUST have:
* At least 128Mb DDR SDRAM
* DVD ROM drive
* CD writer
* AGP 2x (or 4x) video, 32-64Mb onboard, major chipset
* Sound card w/high performance at low cost
30-60Gb 7200rpm UDMA/100 or UDMA/133 HDD

And enough cooling to keep everything cool even if room temp gets to 80+?F!

Keyboard and optical wheelmouse would be nice, too.

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Go For it!

by admin In reply to Building PCs

Cool. Sounds good :) You'll enjoy it more building it yourself :>

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Any suggestions on companies?

by Raymond Danner In reply to Go For it!

Any suggestions on companies that sell high quality for low prices? Do recall that my total budget (including shipping, handling and taxes) is $700. While I may have up to $825 available eventually, the $700 is a definite.

Obviously, I have some specific needs; the computer room gets rather warm, as mentioned, so air volume through the case is critical. Properly built, noise shouldn't be a problem.

Quality of parts is crucial as well, although one of the software components I'm buying is going to be Gibson Research's incredible SpinRite 5.x...SpinRite 3.0 saved my butt more than once. I miss having that powerful a program available.

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by mrafrohead In reply to Any suggestions on compan ...

Here's to let you now it's definately possible...

XP 2000+ OEM: 128-
Abit KR7A RAID (two bucks more than no raid): 77-
Cooler Master Processor Fan: 24-
Kingston 256M PC2100 CL2.5: 41-
Maxtor 40G ATA100 7200RPM H 78-
Matsumi Floppy: 9-
Toshiba 16x DVD Internal: 41-
Lite On 40x12x48 CDRW: 64-
Pine Technology GF 4 MX420 Vidcard: 60-
Phillips Edge II 5.1 Dolby Digital: 39-
InWin S500P 300watt case 3x5.25/4x3.5: 49-
Generic Case Fans: 2 @ 4.50 = 9-

Total: $644.00Just to let you know that it is more than possible to build that computer that you're talking about... All you have to do now is get them and put them together.


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Possible yes...

by Raymond Danner In reply to

You've managed to find lower prices on nearly everything than I have so far (maybe it was the places I looked? Directron and TigerDirect!)

See my next message on this topic for the layout of the machine I've tentatively worked up.

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Configuration I'm working with.

by Raymond Danner In reply to

Athlon XP2000+ w/Volcano7 CPU cooler
SOYO KT333 mainboard
256Mb PC1600 DDR RAM (single strip)
SP4004H ATA-100/7200rpm/40Gb HDD
Mitsumi 3.5" floppy
Samsung 12x DVDROM
Sony CRX195E1 CD-R/W
ATI Radeon VE 32Mb DDR AGP video
US Robotics hardware-based v.92 modem
Black mid-tower case w/300w P/S and thermostat fan
WinXP Pro OEM or Lindows OS

Best price found thus far: $851

Now, I'd be the 1st to admit I don't know that much about the lesser-known I tried to stay with names I was familiar with.

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Match the MB and RAM

by TheChas In reply to Configuration I'm working ...

You can save quite a few dollars if you switch from an 333MHz MB to a 266MHz MB.
If you are going with PC2100 RAM anyhow, the 333MHz is a mis-match.

One advantage of the RAID equipped ABIT motherboards is that you get 2 extra IDE channels.
Thatway, your CD-RW drive can be on it's own channel. This greatly reduces the occouance of coasters.

I have seen the ABIT KR7A Raid MB for under $65, shipping included.

Right now, ABIT is my favorite MB mfg. At least for socket A.

4 of my favorite web sources for hardware and prices are: (be sure to check out the refurb section)

You could also shave $50 or so with a win-modem.
Unless you plan to do serious on-line gamming, you should not see any performance difference with the win-modem.


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Well well PC Building on this site..

by TomSal In reply to Match the MB and RAM

Hi. What a nice to surprise to see a healthy discussion on system building HERE. I frequent a PC gaming forum a LOT and there (myself and a few other guys) are constantly helping people build great gaming rigs and squeeze the most bang for the buck - but I was suprised to see a thread like that HERE.

Anyway... $700, that is well doable with your specs. Funny how this thread mentions on-board RAID controllers, we have a little discussion going on about how *NOT* important an on-board RAIDis for a home/gaming system (clue one: the quality of on-board Raids are crap..period).

Its hard to avoid them now, so many mobos include them these days (because suckers buy them..oh sorry I but just because its there doesn't mean you need to use it right.

Asus and MSI make great mobos for AMD solutions. Its no secret that many folks love MSI and Asus boards for their great over-clocking capabilities either.

Stable. Solid. Cheap. Oh and did I mention AMD Recommended?
;> is where I price out most of my parts, is great for getting an idea on costs - but its a pain in the arse sometimes to buy from 10 different vendors to just have the greatest price.

If you care to..check out the hardware forums at Great folks and our information is ESPECIALLY geared for gaming rigs!


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One exception to Useless RAID

by admin In reply to Well well PC Building on ...

Whilst I agree quite fervently generally, an OK onboard RAID (I'm using PROMISE on an ASUS) is really improved performance for my home AV system. In huge files it was quite noticable. I only use it for storage of movies and TV on demand, otherwise Irun everything else off the Normal IDE channels. I used to use SCSI and Barrecudas, but they are in my home server now, IDE has improved so much in transfer speeds :)

Anyway, just one little reason to RAID at home IMO...


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by admin In reply to Configuration I'm working ...

use pricewatch to find the prices :)

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Pricewatch accuracy occasionally iffy.

by Raymond Danner In reply to

IMHO, Pricewatch is interesting to watch, but almost useless in actual usage due to advertised PriceWatch prices not being honored even when I've stressed I was quoting from and SENT them the page in question!

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