Y’all, I have never owned a new computer before. In fact, this computer I have is my first computer I have to myself. It’s a Pentium II and it’s seen better days. Before that, I used the family computers. Those were old computers my Dad would bring home from his office. I’ve never had a computer that is able to play the new and cool computer games without lagging for years. So my brother is building the computer for me. Needless to say, I’m excited. I’m also getting a new monitor. The one I have now turns itself off and on by itself. 😛 And it’s small, 15 inch. Also, it’s an LCD which I really need, my desk was not made to hold a monitor, and the CRT barely fits.
Here are all the parts:
- Antec Solution SLK1650B Black Steel ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply
- ABIT NF7-M Socket A (Socket 462) NVIDIA nForce2 IGP ATX AMD Motherboard – Retail
- AMD Athlon XP 2800+ Barton 333MHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket A Processor – OEM
- CORSAIR ValueSelect 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) System Memory
- SONY Black 1.44MB 3.5″ Internal Floppy Drive Windows 98SE/ ME/ 2000/ XP – OEM
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST3120022A 120GB 7200 RPM 2MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive – OEM
- Fuji PLUS FP-768 2-Tone 17″ 12ms LCD Monitor Built in Speakers
- NEC Black IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3520A BK – OEM
- Microsoft Windows XP HOME Edition With Service Pack 2 – OEM
Altogether it’s $711.93. I almost have all the money for it. I’m sure you all will lecture me on the stuff now. 😀
General pointers: use aggregate sites like froogle and (my favourite) pricewatch.com.
Case – Fine, Antec is a good name for power supplies. If you want to be really picky get a case minus the power supply and find a quiet power supply.
This is a damned amazing case. Justin (housemate) has it and I can’t even tell it’s on. It’s one of those improvements that you don’t even think about until you have it — then you can’t live without it.
Motherboard – If you want to keep this thing for a while you’re severely limiting yourself by going with Socket A. Going with the socket 754 lets you upgrade to the 64 bit chips if you want. The model also lacks SATA support. Also, if you want to play modern games the onboard graphics chip isn’t going to cut it. Onboard graphics also limit you in your output. It’s useful to hook up the computer to a TV screen for easier viewing or second monitor use — you’re going to have to get an actual graphics card to do that. this is the first one that jumped out at me.
CPU – if you know where to look, you can save a lot of money here. A low-end Athlon 64 is just $15 more than the one you have and will give you better performance in the long run.
Memory – RAM is fine. If you have the cash I recommend going for 1024mb, it’s a noticeable improvement and not too costly. RAM is the easiest way to upgrade a system.
Floppy – how do you make a bad floppy? You’ll find the cheapest ones here.
Harddrive – Keep an eye on Digg and you’ll find yourself a really cheap harddrive. Last week they had a coupon for a $30 200Gb drive. If you’re feeling fiesty and have money to burn, get a SATA drive.
Monitor – Good deal. If I had spare money I’d pick one of those up for myself.
Optical Drive – Check out Pricewatch and you can probably find a model that does dual layer discs at the same price. I got mine for $80 last year and I expect that the prices have dropped significantly (but not on dual layer discs).
OS – I’m not a big XP fan, so my vote goes for buying (or taking) Windows 2000 and upgradting to Longhorn once all of the bugs are worked out. XP home, even with SP 2, isn’t that much better than Windows 2000 for a user who knows what’s what.
Video Card – If you search hard enough, you’ll find a really good deal on a Radeon 9800. It’s a solid card and has really good performance per dollar. You’ll enjoy it a lot more than the onboard video.
In conclusion, the most important thing to do is to ditch the motherboard for something more extensible. Also, think of how long you want to keep this and what will be upgradeable in the future. AMD is phasing out Socket A so you’ll want to stay away from it.
Sounds like a good system. able to be upgraded as time goes. I may suggest if you don’t need a floppy drive don’t bother. most new systems from Dell, HP don’t come with them anymore.
A floppy drive is a good idea. Many programs call for a floppy drive in order to make a boot disc. AVG does it, Ad-Aware does it, Parition Magic does it, etc. I keep a windows boot disc and backups of my registry and password safe on a floppy drive. CD burners definitely aren’t designed for that type of thing and removeable media has it’s drawbacks (e.g. you can’t boot from it in most motherboards).
Definitely worth the $12 it costs for a floppy drive.
er, I just woke up and can’t spell.
Also, the MX 510 is available for $18. I have the 500 and I love the thing. You’d be crazy not to get this. And no one likes a crazy person.