I can't believe I'm doing this

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I can't believe I'm doing this

Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:52 pm

OK, as mentioned elsewhere, my wife is starting to bug me about a PC. And she's in her right to do this; she still owns PC software that needs a PC faster than the emulated 300MHz MMX-capable CPU of VirtualPC 7.

So I eat my lunch as I humbly approach y'all with a request for suggestions on a super-budget gamebox.

It's got to do two things:

1.) watch TV
2.) support DX9

Unless someone has a compelling reason not to, I'm going to pick it up. It seems cheaper than the AIW 9600XT yet very capable to do what I want it to.

I have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, hard drive, and XP Pro.

I need the following, and I'd like it to be a.) cheap and b.) capable of running The Sims 2 faster than the 6-10fps slideshow of a 1.25GHz eMac w/ a 32MB Radeon 9200 (for reference, I know a GFFX 5700/Athlon64 2800+ is capable of doing it, but I'd like to avoid that GFFX series and keep it quiet):

CPU/Heatsink
1GB RAM
motherboard (preferably with 10/100 enet and sound onboard...firewire would be nice but not necessary)
DVD-ROM
case/PSU

I won't be buying until I return from Oklahoma in two weeks. I'd like it to be relatively quiet, so I'm considering an S754 3000+ (Winchester? the .09 process one...they should run cooler)

If I have to give a budget, it'd be $400, and like I said, I have a few parts including a 160GB WD 7200/8MB ATA133 drive. I'm not against socket A if it'll do the job and slide in under budget. Or if you're upgrading your system around 8/15/05, drop me a PM...;)
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do.
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:07 pm

Socket A Athlon Setup

Abit nf7-S $82.00
Mobile Xp-m 2500 $85.00
1 gig corsair value $81.99
AIW 9600 $134.00

Total: 382.99

Nothing is written in stone, just a quick glace at the egg. The video card isnt the greatest but its under budget. :wink:

I have this same setup with a 6800gt and there is nothing I can't play. I blieve you sold me your 2500 xp-m irrc. Hehe.

Have yet to do my research on the 754 / 939 front in terms of pricing, but I believe for another 100-200 you can have a much faster system in terms of A 64.
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:27 pm

I got the Biostar iDEQ 210P (it's a socket 754 SFF box, with the direct-to-southbridge GigE goodness of the nForce 3 250Gb) along with a A64 2800+. It's not terribly quiet, but even overclocked to north of 2.3GHz, the fans are at the slowest speed. I have 512MB of RAM, a Seagate Barracuda IV (the quietest according to StorageReview.com) and a Radeon 9600XT to round out the package. If I changed the fans in the box out and put a heatpipe cooler on the Radeon, I'd probably cut the noise down significantly, but I haven't gotten around to it.

Its primary purposes were to a) Play emulated games b) Play games at LAN parties 2-3 times a year and c) Be my HTPC for several years. So far, it's been terrific.

I paid about $250 for the box, it's $239 now (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6856115019), and the CPUs are all over the place. There's a good bit of variety of 754 processors, but I think the 90nm 754s are all Semprons, with no more A64s in sight for it. The 130nm A64s do run fairly cool. You can pick up a CPU between $65 (Semp 2600+) and $115 (A64 2800+) that'll be plenty of power for the tasks you have laid out :)

I see fewer reasons to go with Socket A with hardware costs being so reasonable on the Socket 754 side.
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Budget system

Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:54 pm

I've been seeing a lot of requests for build ideas under $500.

Look into the ATI RS200 Express based motherboards. Integrated X300 video gives you DX9, at a price of about $90. Add a $140 S939 CPU and $80 for come Value Select Ram. Pick up a Zalman 7700AlCu for nice quiet CPU cooling - $40ish. that leaves over $100 for a nice case, and you are still under 500 bucks.

I hate to make case recommendations, as there are too many factors that people want with a case. I will recommend that you look at cases with 120mm fans, as they make less noise, and give off lower frequency sound then 80mm units.

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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:59 pm

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814133143

PNY PCFX5700APB Geforce FX5700 128MB DDR VIVO AGP 4X/8X Video Card - Retail

Comes with a remote.

$69 + $5 shipping.
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:10 pm

AMD Sempron 3000+ S754 = $84

MSI Motherboard = $61 (insert better mobo if you know one)

9600 pro = $77

TV Tuner = $33

1GB Mem = $82

350W case/PS = $50

DVD drive = $22

TOTAL = $409
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:23 pm

Joshvar wrote:I got the Biostar iDEQ 210P (it's a socket 754 SFF box, with the direct-to-southbridge GigE goodness of the nForce 3 250Gb) along with a A64 2800+. It's not terribly quiet, but even overclocked to north of 2.3GHz, the fans are at the slowest speed. I have 512MB of RAM, a Seagate Barracuda IV (the quietest according to StorageReview.com) and a Radeon 9600XT to round out the package. If I changed the fans in the box out and put a heatpipe cooler on the Radeon, I'd probably cut the noise down significantly, but I haven't gotten around to it.

This is a THOROUGHLY interesting idea. Biostar's iDEQs are nice. I had a SocketA one about a year ago and it was pretty nice.
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:32 pm

Heres a 9600 for 38 bucks...or the 9600XT from the egg for 95 shipped :lol:

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?source ... -A03500-00
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:46 pm

Congrats on 'Switching'.

I recommend that you spend some extra money on a videocard. Because you wanted Tv, if you can afford it, you might spend the cash on an X800Xt AIW. You won't regret it.

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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:51 pm

oh, no...no switching here...:lol: Just a PC for the Sims 2, and maybe join the NWN people if that comes to pass.
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:02 pm

LicketySplit wrote:Pffffffft...budget??
In that case...
$ 88 MSI RS480M2-IL Socket-939 micro-ATX motherboard with integrated video & PCI-Express X16 slot
$146 AMD Athlon64 3000+ Venice 1.8GHz, 512KB L2 cache, socket-939 processor w/ retail HSF
$ 86 2x512MB Corsair Value Select PC3200 CAS2.5 DDR400 RAM
$ 42 NEC ND-3540A DVD burner
$ 74 Sapphire Theatrix Theatre 550Pro tuner card
$ 41 Cheap ATX case with power supply
That's 19¼% over your budget. :wink:
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:05 pm

Pffffffft...budget?? He will make it up in the BB..who was the sheep last month :o
Just an old sheepdog waiting for some nasty wolves to show...ive got more than enough teeth left.
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Postposted on Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:25 am

Here's my take, quiet, purty and cheap:

Antec Sonata : 105.00
NF 3 250 mb: 60.00
Corsair vs 512 x 2 : 88.00
LiteOn DVD: 26.00
Asus 6200 (fanless): 70.00
Winfast TV Card: 39.00
Sempron 2600+: 65.00

$453

Could go cheaper with the case, but why bleed/scream at the hamsterwheel ps?
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Postposted on Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:40 pm

JAE, my budget was pulled out of my rear end, so pushing $500 isn't awful, either. And for the power, it's a pretty nice price.

Coran Fixx's is pretty nice given that it's close to budget, too, and with a nice quiet case. :D

On the upside, waiting til mid-August will end up paying off with the announced price cuts...hopefully that'll trickle down to me in the next couple weeks.
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Postposted on Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:38 pm

This cheap case looks like it is better than the one that I linked above:
$ 41 Linkworld 435-10 C2228 mid-tower ATX case with 92mm cooling fan and 430W ATX 12V 2.0 power supply
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Postposted on Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:38 am

**Edited by mod. Ask the question in a different thread, such as the recent XBXO 360 price leak thread.***

-usacomp2k3
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Postposted on Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:45 pm

Sempron 2800+ 64bit enabled for $76, is looking pretty sexy for a budget build.
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Postposted on Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:27 pm

Thanks, everyone, for the input.

However, after researching this over the course of this morning, I elected to look into an SSE3-capable system (which, admittedly, I could do with an Athlon 64, just not for the money I'm spending) with as much in the realm of matching components as possible. I found a decent deal on a Dell Dimension 4700 (which is a little more forward-thinking than I thought I could get for the price, given an open PCI-E 16x slot) and grabbed some extra RAM and I'll end up grabbing probably an X300XT to make it Sims 2 capable, and it'll be plenty for my wife's needs, too.
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Postposted on Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:36 pm

And before ANYONE thinks I'm condoning pirating the developer edition of OSX86, I'm buying this system thinking ahead to when that software becomes available to the general public, thinking it might not be too bad to get OS X running on a regular box.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do.
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Postposted on Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:24 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:I elected to look into an SSE3-capable system (which, admittedly, I could do with an Athlon 64, just not for the money I'm spending) with as much in the realm of matching components as possible. I found a decent deal on a Dell Dimension 4700 (which is a little more forward-thinking than I thought I could get for the price, given an open PCI-E 16x slot) and grabbed some extra RAM and I'll end up grabbing probably an X300XT to make it Sims 2 capable, and it'll be plenty for my wife's needs, too.
Athlon64 Venice core supports SSE3. :)

You'll spend more on what you just described than on the parts that I specified and you'll get worse gaming performance, more heat and more noise, too. :(

Try configuring a system from www.monarchcomputer.com .
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postposted on Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:30 pm

Nice job JAE. That case though :-? That thing is FUGLY!
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Postposted on Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:55 pm

Considering that he's interested in a Dell, I suggested that he order a pre-assembled system, instead. :-?

The Linkworld case is functional, and the power supply appears to be more capable than most PSUs that you get with bargain cases. For $41, delivered, it looks good to me. I am very happy with my Antec P160 and Seasonic S12 power supply, but they cost more than six times what that Linkworld case is going for. On the other hand, a dyed-in-the-wool Mac user would probably be offended by an ugly little case that didn't do anything but work for a cheap price. :wink:
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Postposted on Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:12 pm

Good luck with the Dell. The small business side usually has better promotions on the Dell site but I bet you know that already.

I'm afraid that a legal OS X for the PC is a pipedream in my completely unprofessional opinion.
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Postposted on Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:13 pm

Well, the reason I went with the Dell (and I have already ordered, from the SB side, as Coran Fixx duely noted) over an AMD system has nothing to do with a preference for Intel or anything like that; it's that I'm worried about non-Intel chipset support if I want to have this machine to do more than play games. I don't really own any non-game software on the Windows platform outside of Office 97 and Cakewalk Home Studio besides some hybrid discs (like ScoreWriter 2, for example) so Windows games are the main reason for this thing right now. Basically, for the same money as what JAE suggested (and it's a great system for the cash), I'm giving up some CPU and getting an SATA hard drive (bonus since I already have a drive I was going to use) and a Windows XP Home license that I'd otherwise have to shell out for (though, admittedly, I could use my pre-existing copy of Windows 2000 had the machine not come with XP). There are compelling reasons for both platforms; my decision was based solely on what other use I might get out of a system that closely matches the OS X dev systems...in that way, I'm getting more for my money. Sorta. Maybe. A risk I'm willing to take since The Sims 2 will play adequately on it once I get a PCI-E video card.

(I'm also not kidding myself into thinking that OS X will come out for a PC; I'm hoping that I can buy a copy and find directions to hack it similar to what's already available...dual-booting Windows/OSX would be a great use for this system, so long as I'm sure to have two hard drives)

edit: don't forget that in JAE's system, the video will be a bigger bottleneck than the Prescott will be in the Dell with a real X300. It appears to be shared memory, which doesn't bode well for ANY gaming performance. ;)
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