Cheapy system build - advice wanted (soon)

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by sfsuphysics, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,684
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    My brother in law needs a new computer, he basically was rocking one of my old rigs, AMD XP2500+ or something equally ancient, with old school DDR333 ram in it etc... anyways he needs a new system, obviously doesn't need to be high end, some ideas that run through my mind right off the bat

    i3-2100 processor (fast enough for what he's going to do) - $100
    mATX mobo (doesn't need expansion, enough to hold 2 sticks of ram and a PCIe video card) - $50
    8GB (2x4gb) ddr3 ram since its dirt cheap - $30 or so (or wait for a MIR deal)
    8800GTS video card (I have one laying around) - FREE
    Power supply maybe 400W range - $30 (?? do I need a mATX specific one?)
    Storage is handled, although I might have to toss in a newer HD.
    Old case should work hopefully

    Let's answer the sticky questions now
    If you're gonna ask us to build/list a PC for you or seek advice about a build, please answer all of the following questions:

    >>>1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
    Web browsing yes, online gaming, gaming (OLD) system. He gave me a copy of Empire: Total War and said "that's what I want it to play" Seriously high end games are not going to be an issue.

    >>>2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
    Like to keep it under $300 if possible ($400 is pushing it), although cheaper is better. The above price has me a bit over $200 for basics (if I toss in a HD then it'll push it in the $300 range)

    >>>3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.
    California, Fry's/Microcenter is in driving distance

    >>>4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
    CPU, mobo, RAM, power supply, possibly HD (I don't know how large it is yet)

    >>>5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
    Reusing case it has enough holes for ventilation. :D
    Reusing a 8800GTS video card, doesn't work on this computer, but its my old one
    Monitor

    >>>6) Will you be overclocking?
    NOPE!!!

    >>>7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
    It an old 19" tube... massive big fucker. Not sure on resolution

    >>>8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
    Ideally this week I'd like to get stuff and build it, as I'm going on vacation right after the new year. (Although in a pinch I could build it right when I get back if I need to wait for mail order)

    >>>9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? etc.
    Don't need anything other than a space for a PCIe video card (that 8800gts is a bit large). Other fancy dodads not necessary. If I get a new HD sata would be nice, if not eIDE legacy necessary. USB 2.0 is more than fine. Negative on the onboard video. On board sound would be wanted.


    >>>10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
    Yup, WinXP 32bit existing, 64bit key I have from MY old rig, which is junk/parts now, so I can put that on a new computer.


    Basically I'm not familiar with microATX boards/specs. I think my CPU choice is fine, any larger CPU (i5) will nearly double the CPU budget.
     
  2. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

    Messages:
    46,062
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    What case are you planning on reusing? Many old cases from what I've seen may not provide enough cooling or space for modern hardware.

    Also, IDE is totally out as a option for Intel mobos. In addition, your planned budget for the mobo isn't realistic considering that A) you live in California and B) a lot of mobos around that price range are of fairly low quality, overpriced, or poorly supported. Another $15 on the mobo will help out immensely.

    Speaking of California, I recommend buying as much of your parts as possible from Amazon.com as they do not charge CA residents tax and it saves you some driving time and gas money.
     
  3. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,684
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Well what are some decent cheap MBs? Don't just say "spend $15 more and you'll be good" (when you also say many are overpriced ;))
    Why is California an issue? Taxes? I don't care about that.

    I'm really a noob when it comes to mATx boards, it seems they are quite a bit cheaper than
     
  4. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

    Messages:
    46,062
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Sorry, I meant to phrase that part as a "are you ok with spending $15 more for the mobo?" question. However I still need to know what case you're using as it's a bit pointless to recommend parts if the case won't provide sufficient cooling for parts.
    Taxes and your low budget makes you living in California an issue. Considering your low budget, every dollar you save means more money for better parts or money saved.
     
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,684
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Gotcha- Yeah I'm ok with spending $15 more for a mobo what I priced out was essentially barebottom lowest. Found the processor I wanted, and just found whatever mobo would work with that. Looking at someplace like newegg I see a dozen or so mATX mobos in the $50 range, then another half dozen creeping up to $65 or so, I see brands like Gigabyte and ASUS so I figure one of them is sufficiently not crappy enough. I really only need something that will fit the CPU and ram, I'm ok with just 2 sticks, assuming of course it doesn't blow up on me :D

    As to the case, not sure what the brand is on that, it was the "generic" ATX case of many years back. I don't think cooling will be an issue, he's been running it without the side panel on for the longest time, and I can always modify it by cutting holes and what not. I chose the i3 processor because I really don't want anything super powerful/energy sucking so as the heat issue hopefully doesn't become a problem in the first place.
     
  6. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

    Messages:
    46,062
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Yeah start modifying the hell out of that case right now then. It's not the i3 I'm worried about: It's the 8800GTS I'm worried about considering that those cards used quite a bit of power and generated quite a bit of heat


    I recommend this setup:
    $113 - Intel Core i3-2100
    $65 - Biostar H61MU3 Intel H61 mATX Motherboard
    $40 - Kingston Hyper KHX1333C9D3B1K2/8G 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
    $85 - Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 SATA 6.0GB/s Hard Drive
    $45 - Corsair 430CX V2 430W PSU
    ---
    Total: $348 shipped
     
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,684
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Thanks for the advice. Things have changed a bit, since he said he wanted an i5 now *grumble* whatever its his money... then my wife volunteers to pay for the price difference as a christmas present! Either way, the sales tax doesn't make it cheaper to go through Amazon, damn Microcenter sucks you in with their cheap CPU deals!!!

    The ram was the same stuff I was looking at, I actually found a $20 MIR on it too (but I need to pay sales tax).

    Mobo I was looking at was in the same price range was the Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2, not sure what's good what's bad, but whatever, I can go Biostar.

    The PSU was a good choice, I was torn between getting the same on I have (a different corsair) and a "cheaper" DiabloTek or something one.

    The HD was the biggest PIMA, it wasn't until now that I actually care about the Thailand floods! Found a 320GB for $45, but I have to drive an hour to get it.. so we'll see how that works out. I was tempted to get a PCI IDE interface and use the old drive, but my wife overruled me.

    Either way, bravo on the recs, I already got my dremel cutting discs out and thinking about where to go from there, I think I need the mATX board though so I can see where everything will lay. Although the 8800GTS while yeah it's hot as hell, does exhaust out the back of the case and not into the case like some other cards.
     
  8. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

    Messages:
    46,062
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Fair enough.
    Main reason why I didn't recommend that Gigabyte was due to its $62 shipped price and relatively poor reviews for it. The Biostar mobo I listed is only $3 more but better reviewed.
    Yesh, Diablotek is a pretty shitty PSU brand.

    A round trip of two hours + gas costs makes getting that 320GB drive not worth it IMO. The extra $40 upfront cost plus no two hours driving and no gas cost for a faster hard drive is worth getting the Seagate IMO.
     
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,684
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Alrighty, thanks for the recommendations.

    Now I need to order them and hope the show up in a week before I leave on my vacation!