Hi everyone, I'm putting together a games machine that I would also like to be as cost effective as possible. I also have no idea what processor core is better, Palomino, Thoroughbred A or B.
Take a look, please post notes back to me on things I should add or take away...(keep in mind I'm in Canada and dealing with canadian prices, and I'm too much of a rookie to overclock anything)
300 watt atx case of some sort (is this enough power????)
AMD Athlon XP 1800 with amd approved heat sink
EPoX 8K3A /6 DDR VIA Socket A Motherboard
DDR-RAM PC2700 (333 mhz) 256
Panasonic 24xw/10xrw/40xr IDE CD-ReWriter or some other slow name brand cdrw
Fan of some sort
Microsoft optical Intelli-mouse
Maxtor 7200rpm ATA133 40 gig HD
MSI or ASUS G4ti 4200 128 (I really want one with video-in, but they are expensive)
SBLIVE 5.1 OEM Sound Card (Is this going to give me decent sound? because the audigy cards are 2x as much...)
19" monitor .25 preferably 1600x1280
2 or 4 or 5 point altec or cambridge speaker system
some sort of low end DVD if I afford it....
If i got a card with video in, and I ran cable through a vcr and put the output to the video in on the video card, I could watch tv on my computer right? The vcr would work as the tuner, but would I need Special software???
Keep in mind I don't care about loading time as much as I do in-game performance, and I will upgrade the ram and HD probably a few months down the road....
This system runs anywhere between $1500 and $1800 CDN depending on name brands, I'm trying to get it as cheap as possible without losing much gaming performance. Please respond with parts I should add or take away, and include name brands....I probably will be buying it at the end of september....
HSF - I would recommend the Thermaltake Volcano 7, nice quietish cooler, more than enough for a 1800XP
CDRW - Get a LiteON they are cheaper and still damn good burners. Get a DVD drive from them too, you can probably get both for the price of a Panosonic drive.
SBLive! is an alright card, not as nice as the Audigy but good enouugh if you don't have the cash.
HD - Get a 80gb drive, it won't be that much more and will be much better value in the long run. Barracuda IV drives are still cheap at the moment (as the Barracuda V is imminent).
On the Video note, for the extra you will pay getting a GF4 with Video IN, you could get a decent TV tuner card anyway so i wouldn't bother. The differences between GF4 cards from different manufacturers is not that huge. Try and find one with RAMsinks and a decent fan though, Ti4200s overclock very easily to faster than a Ti4400. (i know you said you didn't want to overclock, but with a case fan and ramsinks this is a no brainer.)
Monitor- Whatever you do don't try and save money on the monitor. It is the component you use the most and the one you will notice most if it is lacking. Monitors last for a long time so pay out now and get a decent one. Saying this, you can find decent monitors for less that you think, just make sure you check the refreshes and find some reviews. I would personally recommend Hansol for low cost high performance monitors (an example being the monitor in my sig, it can do 1600x1200 @ 75hz and was only £180). You want to get a flatscreen and a refresh of at least 75hz in the max resolution you will use.
Speakers - This is definetly a personal choice. If you are just going to be playing games then Creative do some great gaming 5.1 sets. For DVDs and music sound quality is much more important. Whatever you decide make sure you check out a few reviews for it. It is the only way to get an idea of the sound quality unless you have a local store who will let you try before you buy.
AMD Athlon XP 2400+
Thermaltake Volcano 11, 120mm intake + exhaust
1024mb CRUCIAL PC2700 Cas 2.5 DDRAM
Soltek SL-75DRV5 (KT333)
Ati 9800Pro 128mb (stock speeds)
Creative SB Audigy 5.1 Player
Maxtor D740x ATA133 60gb
Seagate Barracuda VI 60gb
WD Caviar SE 8mb 120gb
WD Caviar SE 8mb 250gb
Lite-ON 48r x 40w x 12rw
NEC 3540A DVD+- Writer
LG 1915s 19" LCD monitor (1280x1024)
450W Antec True Blue PSU
Mandriva LE 2005
Yeah that tv card was a good piece of advice, but a good 19" monitor is like 400-500 bucks cdn....that's alot! I think I would probably stay with the 40 gig hd for like 6 months i probably won't fill it before then if I have a burner...I would throw in an extra 512 dim probably a few months down the road as well, I just want a base system that's good for gaming for like 1500 cdn, then 6 months down the road i would throw another $350 in it....
If anyone knows a good computer store online in canada let me know, I haven't found one yet...
Originally posted by Brooster Yeah that tv card was a good piece of advice, but a good 19" monitor is like 400-500 bucks cdn....that's alot!
It would be worth downgrading every other component in your machine to get that high-end monitor. The results of everything your computer does is shown on your monitor. You want a picture that is clear and easy on your eyes. If you dont' want to spend the extra money, I'd seriously suggest getting a smaller (17" perhaps) cheap model and replacing it as soon as you have the extra cash.