Building a new budget PC for a friend. Need suggestions
Well, I usually build mid-ranged PCs for myself, upgrade others. Built high end, but in this case; budget. The decisions are harder than I expected; especially with the recent price drop from AMD, which is now being followed by Intel this Sunday. The price wars are ugly. Anyways.
I was hoping to get suggestions from the AS community here.
The budget: $350 USD
Should I wait on intel's price drop and new processors (looking at the E4400) or should I stick with AMD's budget line (X2 3800 or new BE CPUs)?
If anybody has benchmark predictions for the new processors, please let me know.
And once again; Cheers to the price wars! :heehee:
At that prrce range I don;t think the price drops will make much difference. the big cuts from what I've read are the e6xxxx range.
I'd still go AMD as the x2 will still be cheaper and the mobo will be cheaper.
x2 3600+ (there's only a 5% performance diff between ths and the 3800+)
or for $8 more
Asus M2n mx
Ram 1 gig
All up that's 235, but here's the kicker, IF (big if) he/she does any gaming and already has a dvd burner and HDD you can go one of two ways.
1. Overclock the CPU, buy a better heatsink, buy an additional gig of ram, and a cheaper video card. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130075 I've gotten the X2 3600+ to 2.4 stable,
2. Overclock the cpu, buy a better heatsink, and get the best of this generation of video cards http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130056
Note o/c is optional particularly on the x2 4000
If not gaming or your not comfortable doing it, well don't overclock. If you're just watching movies etc get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130089
and get some quiet fans
Personally I'd go x2 4000+, 2 gig and a 7900gs for gaming. Most games are more dependent on the GPU anyway. Should be doable for $350
but if they need a hdd and a burner, well get the biggest sata hdd you can get and the cheapest burner you can find. Forget gaming. although you could try to use the onboard vid card which is rather meh
You could go the intel route but you'll need to cut more corners
Not to be overly silly but you can also save some money if you do something more unique than a case. A few years ago, I had a PC I assembled on a piece of plywood and hung as wall art.
I'm tempted to do that again since it had a footprint of "zero" :) ... though with a "hotter" unit I'd probably do something underneath hotzones like the cpu itself. Probably just using mobo raisers is enough though.
Just be sure to design it so that all of the cables aren't stressed by gravity. If you do want a box its kind of interesting what will work as well as a case for free..... just google for case mods and get some ideas.
I want to use a spare bass drum next time for a case. though I have to find a way to kill noise as it becomes 1 big echo chamber
You can find some brand name 1 GB sticks for around 40 dollars if you look around.
Also, you can find better PSUs for cheaper at most local retail stores. I believe Fry's often has Antec PSUs on sale for roughly 50 dollars.
It's a shame you missed the eVGA B-stock clearence for the 7800 GTX for only 100 dollars though. That was one hell of a deal.
Newegg tends to run a bit high.... most urban areas usually have a local independent parts supplier that will run cheaper so look around. Tigerdirect.com has some good deals at times but you just have to be wary.
I'd say i'm agree with hobbes_fan recommendation. AMD Athlon 64X2 3600+ is good. ASUS M2N-MX is my current motherboard. I'm using 4200+ on it and run very smoothly...
Other thought : AMD's proc is better than Intel's because AMD has their own memory controller, so, data transfer from processor to RAM go straightly without going to the northbridge first.
Yes, it's $403, but there're some luxury items in there that you could remove or downgrade so you could get it down to your $350. It's not a heavy gaming machine, but it will probably support anything you throw at it with moderate results.
And yes, I tried to build a "very-low budget gaming rig" with this one, so it'll ultimately be up to your friends' needs when it comes to which configuration he wants to go with.
You could always go much lower using parts that are way outdated, but that's really not something I would recommend right now.
yeah sorry, I don't lve in the US and newegg is the only site I know of.
You don't need a massive PSU, Just an efficient one at around 70% efficiency 2x12v rail with around 30A combined, some of the Antec's while cheap has had issues in recent batches, so steer clear , though the neo he and earthwatts are still good.
Trusted Power Supply Makers
Here is a list of user supplied information from the forums.
Along the lines of "trusted" PSU's (considered brand name) are:
* Antec (certain models only - see below)
* Channel Well Technology (OEM for Antec, Foxconn, some Enermax, Xclio, and Thermaltake ToughPower series)
* Enhance (OEM for SilverStone)
* Fortron Source / FSP (OEM for AOpen, PC Power and Cooling, OCZ GameXStream series, Sparkle, Zippy, Zalman)
* PC Power and Cooling
* Shuttle (made by SilenX)
* Seasonic (OEM for Antec Neo HE, Corsair)
* Sparkle Power
* Super Flower / TTGI
* SunBeam Tech (NUUO 550w only)
* Thermaltake (high end ToughPower units only, avoid the bundled case + psu combos including TR2 430w, 400w, 480w Butterfly for anything but old PIII/Athlon XP/light newer systems). See Thermaltake PSUs For more information.
* Topower / E-Power (Also OEM for OCZ Modstream / Powerstream, Tagan, some Enermax, Super Flower)
* Vantec Older ION PSUs only, Vantec don't seem to produce power supplies specifically for newer systems anymore
* Ultra (certain models only - see below)
* XClio (USA mainly)
* Zippy / EMACS
Some Not Recommended Power Supply Makers
Some of these may not seem dodgy and some may be because of numerous "bad" reports, but these power supplies are almost definately of questionable quality or have low specifications (and/or have far inflated wattage ratings / rail current ratings of what the power supply can actually do under normal conditions). Just because you can get away with one of these power supplies does not mean the next guy will, or the guy after that, whatever.
* Auriga - (Subjective, I've personally used over 100 of these without a problem).
* Clipper pro
* Codegen - SUBJECTIVE, I've got one 400W working like 16h/day for 6 years and still running. Plus I've seen about 50 cheapies of this brand gone and hasn't come back for warranty. They're the only brand offering 5 YEARS warranty on them. Main issue is the vast majority of models are all old designs, ok for P3/athlonxp days but poor voltage stability on newer systems, which is unacceptable given ATX v2.0 has been around for years and they still haven't got any 'proper' atx 2.0 psu's with decent 12V specs (only rebaged old designs that are deceptively labelled). example (550w psu, 18A 12V rail)
* Generic (duh)
* Mad Dog
* MGE / XGbox
* Omni - Stay away from their cheap product lines. But their mid-end one is ok though (e.g. 500W silent, 12cm fan, honey comb vent).
* TT (Not to be confused with ThermalTake) - These babies blow capacitors like no other!!
* YoungYear (OEM for MGE / XGbox and Aspire)
Important issues with popular PSU brands
* Antec: The first few revisions (before A3) of the neo HE series had lots of incompatibility issues with various motherboards, Asus in particular. Particularly the 430w model seems to be having issues even in latest revisions, so its probably best to avoid it altogether. Also the smartpower series is having high return/fault rates currently, so is not recommended. Finally both the smartpower and truepower 1.0/2.0 (3.0 is fine) series are all full of Fuhjyyu caps, so longevity is questionable. All other Antec psu's should be fine however.
* Coolermaster: their psu's are sourced of good oem's, but some dubious decisions are made in marketing their psu's. In particular the xtremepower 600w (Johnnyguru review) is based on a 500w Seventeam unit (so therefore can't do the full 600w advertisied). Apparantly Coolermaster marketing said they 'tweaked' the rails to get the extra 100W wattage and extra 6A 12V rating, but from johnyguru's review its obvious that past 500W (what the oem rated it for), the psu unusable. Their 550w 'real power' model is better though, actually does its rated wattage rating and considerably more than the rated total 12V rating Johnnyguru review
* OCZ: Avoid the ocz modstream for anything but light to medium single videocard systems due to huge cross loading requirements for anything past about 15-20A load on 12V rail (psu starts to overvolts the 5V rail and undervolts the 12V rail). All other psu's are fine from OCZ.
* SilenX: Are also Fortron rebrands (some of them any way), but are overpriced for what they are.
* Silverstone: The older revisions 650w ZEUS and ST60F psu puts both pcie power connectors on the same 12V rail (fixed in latest revision), so will have same problems as dual rail psu's with high end SLI (workaround is to use molex-pcie adapter for 2nd videocard, then all goes well). Also the strider series (360w/400w/460w) still don't have any PCIE connectors. Otherwise they are generally high quality psu's.
* Sintek: Their new power supplies are possibly made by youngyear, this is yet to be confirmed.
* Superflower/TTGI: Moved down because of some possible Quality Control Issues in later Power Supplies. This will remain here until the Q.C. Issues are fixed (If they are fixed). Older models shouldn't be greatly affected, if you have a Super-Flower, don't ditch it.
* Thermaltake: Their PSU's are of reasonable to good quality, but their lower end is deceptively labelled (eg xp480 400w model is rated for 250w by the oem), and is based on the obselete atx1.3 standard with a small 12V rail. The rest of the range is a mix, with some being excellent (Toughpower series), others are terrible to good. See Thermaltake_PSUs For more information.
* Ultra: Any ultra X-connect PSU from Xmas 2004 onwards is most likely a piece of crap. Their newer infinity and X2 series are ok for medium sized systems, nothing special (different OEM). The new X-Pro series are excellent.
How They Work - A More Detailed Look
Power supplies have 3 Main rails, the +3.3v, +5v and +12v rails. Each of these rails has an amperage (written in xxA, eg 25A).
amperage * the rail = wattage
So , for example, if the 12v rail has 26 amps, it can produce 312w on that rail alone; the same as the others. There are other rails (eg -12v : used for serial port, +5vsb : used to power motherboard while computer is turned off), but I wont talk about them here.In today’s computers, CPU's and Video Cards draw their power from the 12v rail, so you obviously want a PSU with a higher amperage on the 12v Rail(s). For example XbitLabs measured an x1950xt to draw ~118W off the 12V rail (~95% of total), and ~6.5W off the 3.3V rail . Use the PSU calculator linked above to get a guide on how much 12V amps you need.
Some newer power supplies have 2 or more 12v Rails. This was introduced to comply with EN/UL 60950 safety regulations of no more than 240VA (20A) in any one wire. There was the suggestion to also to give the CPU a completely independent rail for cleaner voltage, however for economic reasons the vast majority of PSU's don't have fully independent (i.e. separately regulated) 12V railsl. New dual transformer psu's such as Enermax Galaxy, Tagan dual engine are an exception having 2 (but no more) independent 12V rails, though some of these join the 12V outputs instead. So far all PSU's that have been examined measure a 'short' between 12V2 and 12V1. In most cases, one rail (12V2) is dedicated entirely to the CPU, and the other rail (12V1) runs all the other components (video card(s), hard drives etc). Increasingly more power supplies (especially EPS) are coming out with 3 or even 4 rails, to handle computers that need more than 20A 12V capacity for components (such as crossfire x1900xt systems), and/or multiple cpu systems. A more detailed discussion of the issue can be found at SilentPCReview.
On this topic, when you see a power supply which has for example 2 12v rails rated at 18A, don't immediately think it has 36A. That's how much each rail can produce individually (in actual case most will do close to 20A on an individual 12V rail, sometimes more), the combined individually amperage is not always this. For example, the Enermax 535W FMA has two 18A 12V rails, but also specifies the combined 12V as 34A. The reason for this is that both 12V rails essentially come from the same source (transformer tap and regulator / filters), but are then split off into two rails, both current limited to 20A. So a less than honest power supply maker could actually say their 500W 'yumcha' has 2 18A 12V rails, yet only can do 22A combined (and does not specify this limitation on the specifications). Furthermore, dual rails are gradually being phased out, as SilentPC Review's excellent guide to dual rails reports, since Intel has removed it as a requirement for PSU's, so Dual 12V rail's may disappear altogether in the future. Furthermore the above link mention that there are many PSU's already for sale that despite being labelled as having dual rails, are only a single 12V rail (with no 20A current limiters). Examples include most Seasonic made PSU's. In particular from Intel's PSU validation results, many of the PSU's that failed the 240VA do not have dual 12V rails at all, perhaps half.
Since the combined 12V rail capacity isn’t always specified, to get an indication of the combined amperage, take the PSU’s wattage (NOT including the -12v/+5vsb/whatever other rails, these usually add up to about 20w), subtract from it the combined max of the 3.3v and 5v rail (this is almost always listed), and divide whats left over by 12.
If that was too complicated, heres an example, lets take the Antec Smartpower 2.0 500.
As you can see, the max for the 3.3 and 5v rails is 180w, the max for the 12v, 5v, and 3.3v rails is 480w. So 480-180=300. You will get AT LEAST 300w from the 12v rails combined, or 25A, note, at least, you will probably get more, depending on how many hard drives/optical drives you have. This will almost always (except for perhaps some deviously labelled generic PSU's) underestimate the available 12V capacity since on any decent PSU, the rail ratings usually add up to far more than the wattage ratings. For example the Antec NEO HE 380w has the following ratings:
12V = 336w, 5V = 60w, 3.3V = 70W, -12V = 7W, 5VSB = 12.5W. But 336+60+70+7+12.5 = 486W!
The reason for is is that a PSU's wattage rating is determined primarily on heat/thermal issues (heat created due to combined losses of all the rails in the psu - remember that no PSU is 100% efficient and will always produce a some amount of heat when providing power to the PC), while individual rail ratings are based on the current capacities for the regulators/components for that rail. In short if the PSU's rails actually do add up to the wattage rating (or in some cases even fall short of), its generally a sign that you can't trust the ratings of that PSU (so avoid it).
On a special note about over clocking with PSU's with multiple 12v rails, (Intel P4s), a heavily overclocked P4 dual core can pull 200w+ peak, which could trip the 18-20A current limiter on 12V2 rail (causing PSU to shut down). An additional problem here is that a few dual rail PSUs also power one of the videocards off 12V2, which works fine for athlon64 (and has benefit of being able to better utilize 12V capacity), however the combination of the overclocked videocard (eg 7800gtx) and the higher consumption of an Intel CPU can quite easily exceed 240W even with moderate overclocking. So if you are over clocking a P4 especially the dual core variants (and I mean REALLY over clocking it), go for a psu which has one giant 12v (eg 33A+) instead of one with two smaller 12v rails (eg 18A+18A), or a quad 12V rail psu with an EPS connector and motherboard with an EPS connector to match(this feeds cpu power off seperate 2 12V rails). Some examples of these kinds of PSU's are the OCZ Powerstream 520w (rebrand of the topower 526p6 and 626p6) and the Antec Truepower 550w EPS (Only the EPS one), Seasonic S12+ / Corsair HX series. Also dual rails can also pose a problem for high end SLI setups. The problem is that with 2 high end graphics cards (up to 10A each) and multiple hard drives, the user can exceed the 18-20A current limiter for 12V1 rail. In such cases a single rail, or triple/quadruple rail is needed. Also for these extreme systems it would be wise to get a psu that has been found to pass low 5V / high 12V load tests (for Johnnyguru, Xbitlabs test this). The reason is that these systems have such high levels of 12V load, but very little 5V/3.3V load, the 12V rail can often sag (Eg Tagan easycon 530w - as JonnyGURU shows. The Xbit Labs PSU Guide has more detail on this.
NOTE: Some Athlon XP's (motherboards without ATX12V/P4 connector), PIII's, and CPUs before that drew their power off the 5v rail, so you'd want about 30A+ on the 5v Rail if running and over clocking an Athlon XP (and possibly more for heavy overclocking and if graphics card loads 5V rail heavily as well).
Further reading can be found here
This portion was written by Shaneel Prasad (EvilGnomes) and added to by other members including SnooP-Wiggles
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for a list of good PSU's see here
Get a cheap FSP PSU like Fortron Blue Storm II 400W, powerfull enough to power an 8800GTS
Note this only applies to really intensive stuff like video encoding, gaming etc etc.
Another cheap alternative for PSU is buying a case with built-in PSU. I don't know is this thing exist in US but i'm using a Powerlogic Utopia 1000MX case with built in 600W PSU at around 75%-80% efficiency...
This maybe a little out of topic but this is related to the site..
Well I'm not really familiar with branded rams and I don't know whats the best of quality so can someone please tell whats the best and affordable and when I say affordable I mean cheap..:) kind of DD4 400 ram? Finding 1gb a stick.
Oh yeah about the site are does new or used?? just asking...
anyways will the DDR400 rams fit in this boards, is it compatible?
Honestly speaking, don't skimp on the PSU. If the PSU blows, it could take your entire computer along for the ride.
Well, if you could give us the part# for that mobo, then I think we could easily figure out what kind of memory it takes... but just looking at the picture, it says "DDR400" in there so...
But also, don't forget that sometimes, older parts are even more expensive than, say, "newer" ones. For example, you could buy a 1gb stick of DDR2677 for around 40 bucks, Corsair even. It's DDR2 and not as outdated as a DDR400.
And one could argue that, yeah you could save on parts like Ram and etc, but then you'll have to buy a motherboard that works with those parts. And yeah, that's true, but it's not really hard to find a Mobo that supports DDR2 677 going for really cheap nowadays. Since they're probably more interested in making room for the new DDR3-compatible systems and all of that, you can probably find good bargains everywhere. It's just a matter of looking for it.
Ermm this ram are the ones with a range of 100-110 dollars..and their 2 x 1gb. sorry guys I have no idea whats the best brand for cheap rams..
1 GB for 100 bucks? Try 2 GB for only 80 bucks.
1GB Corsair DDR2667/PC5300 at only $34.99... and it's corsair...
Sorry guys but I'm just asking whats the best brand of ram(DDR400)...
Edit: no wonder the link is dead..sorry...
So corsair is the best brand of ram?
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