Budget System Suggestions Requested

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View

My 10 year old Asus P55T2P4 just died. The machine served me amazingly
well. Had a K6-3 350 with 384MB running XP at the end.

I've upgraded parts over the years and have a decent enough sized 7200 (I
think) RPM HD, CD-RW, Mouse, Keyboard, Modem (not that I need it), an older
PCI Soundblaster, speakers, NIC and 17" CRT. The HD has a legal copy of XP
home retail/upgrade, so I should be able to move it into the new system and
then do a clean install of XP Home SP2 before booting up the system for the
first time.

I also have a 512MB stick of 333Mhz PC2700 DDR memory that I just got a
good deal on.

The PC will mainly be used for email, educational software and some kids
games (not anything overly demanding).

I could probably just buy a pre-made PC for under $350. Figuring that my
existing parts could be put to use, I could probably take that $350 and get
a better overall system if I were to put my own system together and use my
existing parts.

I guess I need a case, power supply, motherboard, CPU (w/heatsink and fan)
and maybe memory if the stick I have isn't compatible. Video and sound
integrated on the motherboard would be fine, especially if there's a slot
to add an advanced video card later. What I miss?

Is $350 even a reasonable budget for those parts?

I have no real Intel preference, so if I can get a better AMD machine for
the money, I'm all for that.

Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Budget System Suggestions Requested

It's a question about the future, more then it is about the past or

present.  Just because you use it for certain things now, doesn't

mean you won't use if for more strenious activity later.  You're

taking a big step here and you should take the largest one you can.

You won't believe the difference.  Obviously you won't be trading it

in anytime soon, so the extra money is well worth it.

With horsepower to spare, you may find a new use for your system that

you never thought of.  Case in point:  My VCR collection.  I had a

one of a kind video tape break and suddenly realized how old it was.

Then I looked at my entire VCR tape collection and realized how old

they were.  A large portion of them aren't even available on DVD.

I decided to "teach" my computer how to transfer from a VCR to a DVD.

This required upgrading to a DVD DL burner and a video capture card.

Very difficult to do with a store bought computer, if it didn't

already come with it.  Most don't come with dual layer burners.

To achieve this end; now my computer is a TV with it's own remote.

Can be a TIVO if I want it to be, and has a nice DVD burner that has

really helped me out in the real world here.  I have over 300 movies

on VHS.  Not all are going to be transferred, but most of them will


This couldn't have been done with my old machine, and that was only

two years ago!  It would take forever and a day for that machine to

do what is routine with this one.  Hell, this one takes an hour to

hand you your DVD.  See what I mean about horsepower?

Luckily, I'm a gamer and this machine is very fast.  But when I built

her, I wasn't a gamer.  One of the step sons came over with a game

and I watched him play it.  I watched what this machine is capable

of, what new games are capable of and never looked back.  When you

find out the capabilites of these new machines, you wind up using

them.  Don't ever have to say "I should have done this instead."

It's too late then.

I think you're due for a total upgrade and it sound to me like you

very much deserve it.  Good for you for getting such long life out of

your old machine.  It didn't happen by itself.  Don't go bleeding

edge, but a few notches below that is very affordable and very

potent.  I nice machine deserves you as well.

You don't have to have a super fast gamer video card, but I would

recommend the BFG Nivida 6600 GT.  It's an excellent gamer for a very

reasonable price.  You may find you'll splurge for that Call to Duty

game.  Once you do that?  Gamer you will be.  Trust me on that.

Buy or build?  I'm the last one to ask because I would never buy and

OEM computer at all.  I don't find building my own to be cheaper at

all; quite the contrary.  I buy top notch components and these all

have a price that build up quite quickly.  I expect a cheap OEM to be

just that.  Especially when it comes to upgrading when you find a new

horizon to tackle.  Trust me on that one too.

Re: Budget System Suggestions Requested

Well, one thing I didn't mention is that this is a 2nd PC.  I have my own
laptop and my machine will always be the one I'm doing any of the high
power work on.  By the time the kids arse playing "real" games, I'll
probably need an upgrade again anyhow.

I wound up getting a Chaintech MPM800-3, Celeron D 540, Intel stock fan,
Ultra 500W Power Supply, Antec Case, 512MB Kingston memory and a Maxtor
160GB SATA drive for under $200 after rebates.  I already have a CDRW,
mouse, keyboard, speakers and 17" CRT to use.

The motherboard does have an 800Mhz FSB, so I do have a little room to plug
in a faster P4 someday and it does have an AGP slot to upgrade from the
integrated video someday.

For $200, I think I'm getting a pretty nice budget machine :)  Even if it
only hold me over for 3 or 4 years, it's well worth it.


dannysdailys@aol-dot-com.no-spam.invalid (dannysdailys) wrote in

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: Budget System Suggestions Requested

If this is just a kids machine?  Buy a store bought.  Nothing like a

restore disk.  LOL

Site Timeline