New Desktop - $600(ish) budget

Gnu314

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
343
So I've got the itch to build a new machine and I've been lurking for the last few weeks pricing things out. (not that I'm not a regular lurker anyway, just not in this forum.)

Priorities for this build - My work involves nothing more than word, excel, and adobe pro. I game a little bit, WoW mostly, but I also play some HL2. I would like it to run SC2 and Diablo 3 but my interest in gaming has been waining. I'ed love to be able to 2box in wow and this build should handle that easily.

For comparison my current rig is

AMD 3000+
BFG 6800 128
1 gig ram
Asus NF4 mobo (nasty interaction with the 6800, fixable but always a pita)
Hitachi deckstar 120 gb hdd

My main priority is sound level, my current rig is loud and I'ed like this one to be very quiet. Doesn't have to be silent but I don't want to hear it if I'm watching TV on the couch 3-5 feet away. I will NOT be ocing.

I have a Dell 20.1 2005 WFP, so I'm gaming at 1680x1050. I will be getting a 42+ 1080p LCD or plasma TV so 1900x1200 gaming is possible but not likely. If anything I'll use my 360 as a media extender, which means nothing really for the comp.

This is what I've got so far, I need an optical drive (probably the samsung SATA DVD r/w) and a PSU (I really need a suggestion for this, something whisper quiet and not TOOO much overkill for this system, for a while I was thinking about the Corsair 550 but I think I could go with something cheaper with no loss)

Heres my list so far.

Case - Antec 300 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042 - I'm very open to suggestion here, I want something sturdy with room for (some) fans. Simple and black are pluses.

Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128347 - pretty set on this board.


Vid Card - EVGA 9600 GT - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130334 - Price is the motivating factor in this choice, I looked at the 4850s and I'm just not sure the extra money is well placed here for my needs.

Processor - E7200 Wolfdale - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115052 - Seems like the best price/performance choice for me.

Ram - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231148 - seems fine, if the 1000 is worth the extra 20 bucks, I might spring for that.

HDD - Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136098 - Haven't used the one I've got yet, but I'ed like to start ripping dvds to use with the extender.

Ask any questions you've got to tailor this build.
 

dhc014

Gawd
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
582
Case: I don't think that the Antec 300 is a very quite case. You might be better off with an Antec P182 with its stock tri-cool fans replaced by some Yate-Loons. This is more costly though.

Motherboard: OK, that EP43-DS3L should be fine.

Video Card: Currently, this XFX 9600 GT is a better deal at $119.99 with a $20 MIR and Free Shipping. If you want to build a more future-proof system and have better results when running two instances of WoW on the same machine, an HD4850 would be significantly better than a 9600GT for not all that much more money. Watch for promo codes and take advantage of MIRs at newegg to get an HD4850 for much less than its regular $199 price.

Processor: The E7200 is a good value primarily for people who will overclock it. You'd probably be happier with an E8400 or E8500 since the E8500 recently dropped in price a bit. I think there are some price cuts coming on Intel processors soon. If you're going to be running two instances of WoW on this machine at the same time, then you might want to get a quad core processor like the Q6600 or wait for the price cuts to see how much a Q9450 will be.

Ram: That's fine. All you need for an E7200 at stick is DDR2-533. E8X00 series processors only need DDR2-666 speed ram.

HDD: If you already have the 320GB WD, then go ahead and use it. The HDD to buy right now is the 640GB WD.
 

Gnu314

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
343
The P182b is the case I want but its so expensive.

If I could catch it on sale for $80, which I've seen rarely, it would be an easy sell for me.

I'm really skittish about the vid card, I know the 4850 is the right choice but I'ed have to catch a pretty killer sale.

Do you have a link to the WD 640 GB hdd? I'm down with that if the price is right.

As far as processor, the 8400 seems like a big jump in price ($50) for the return.
EDIT: I saw Microcenter has the E8400 for $159, that might be doable.

Those 3 changes add up to about $150 without the HDD, thats a lot for me when the system was already coming in at 575 without a PSU.

It kind of sounds like I need to simply up my budget a bit, which I really didn't want to do. Its not impossible though.
 

dhc014

Gawd
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
582
Oops, I didn't have the $600 budget in mind when I made the suggestions above.

You can get the 640GB WD from Chiefvalue for $86.99 when you apply the coupon code on the page. It's $89.99 at newegg. I've heard that Chiefvalue is owned by newegg, or they're somehow associated.
 

kmS

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
267
I would just stick with the E7200 for now as it should be fine for your needs and you can easily OC in the future if you want or buy a 45nm quad when they come down in price a little bit.
 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
For your above setup, you could purchase the Antec NSK4480, which comes with the Earthwatts 380W power supply. The EA380 would be enough for the 9600GT, but you would want something stronger for the HD4850. If you wanted something that could handle the HD4850, go with the Antec Sonata III, which comes with the Earthwatts 500W PSU, instead. Both cases have some level of sound dampening materials (though neither of them could touch the P182 in regards to sound dampening).

Even if you were going to overclock the E7200, the DDR2 800 kit would be enough to help you obtain a good overclock. However, go with the cheaper CL5 set. Outside of synthetic benchmarks, you'll see no difference in performance between CL4 and CL5 memory.

If you want to game, and you currently have a 20 inch monitor (and you have plans on buying/using a 1080p HDTV), you'll want the HD4850. If you want to save some money immediately, you could go with the Diamond brand. However, VisionTek offers a lifetime warranty on the card and some of the best customer service around. The 9600GT could play some games well at a 1680x1050 resolution, but it will struggle at a 1920x1080 resolution.

Granted, getting the Sonata III and the HD4850 (along with the rest of the items you were considering) would burst your budget considerably, but for the best possible performance, you have to pay to play (to some degree).
 

Toaster Oven

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
342
Antec Solo $80 (5% off coupon at Buy.com)
Corsair VX450 $67 - $15 MIR
Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 $116
GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L $95 + $9 Shipping
PNY 9600GT $99 if you can get your hands on one. Else an HD4850
4GB DDR2 PC2-6400 DUAL CHANNEL KIT/ (2X2GB) / OCZ / VISTA UPGRADE EDITION $78 + $6 Shipping - $30 MIR
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB $87
Samsung SH-S203N $27 + $7 Shipping

Total Shipped: $667
MIR : $45
Final Total: $622


Antec Solo and Corsair VX450 are both extremely quiet units and just about standard equipment over at silentpcreview. See here and here for some reviews and recommendations. The HD and Burner are also very quiet as well. I threw in the best deals I could find for the other components. WOW isn't very graphically demanding so I see no reason to spend more on a 4850 if it's gonna bust your budget. Altogether that would make for a very quiet rig. But for the last word in silence you'd want to put a Scythe Ninja (passive no fan) on the CPU and replace the cooler on the graphics card with an Artic Cooling Accelero. That would make the system pretty much inaudible.
 

Gnu314

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
343
I was able to snag the 9600 GT for $99 at CC, picking it up tomorrow after work.

I think I'll be going with Toaster Oven's shopping list, most of the same parts and great suggestions for parts that differ.

I'm very happy with this build coming in on budget and meeting my requirements.

Hopefully I won't need to mod the fans/change the stock hsf or cooler on the vid card but that'll be for another then when I've saved up a bit again.
 
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