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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    The Perfect PC (help)

    Aright, this should be interesting.

    My goal, to build the "perfect" PC (handmade) for 2500$ (US, after tax). This is a performance PC, not a gaming machine. It is meant to be able to last, be easily upgradeable (I spit on integrated sound), etc.

    Everything from case to motherboard to chipset, etc.

    Aright, let's get some input (links are good for specific product recommendations)! (yes, the system selected by GC will eventually be built).
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    OK - processor first - AMD Athlon would be my recommendation

    Cheap, and outperforms its Pentium equivelents in just about every independant benchmark test I've seen. Don't know what the Athlon XP is like yet though - will have a dig around.
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    SitePoint Guru sowen's Avatar
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    H, only one processor shame on you the man said performance lets get 2 in there! As for memory, as much RAM as you can Muster Mister (start at 1/2 a GIG). For speed and scaleability I would go with SCSI for HD's, CD(R)'s and ZIP's (if required)

    My biggest tip, Spend money on monitors. Work out how much you can afford, then double it! It really does make a diffrence.

    Sound???

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    I DID put a $ limit on this *L*
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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Actually, you shouldn't have a problem running a dual processor system within your budget (you lucky, luck person!), but the full ins and outs are out of my knowledge range. I think the SCSI options will push prices up considerably - how much faster is a SCSI drive than a 7200 rpm EIDE? With the memory, I agree with Sowen - BEGIN at half a gig - I'd actually cram in as much as you can fit. I've seen 512mb sticks for as little as US$ 23.00 recently!! I'm upgrading mine to 1.5gb asap

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  6. #6
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    :drooling at prospect:

    Just quickly though $2500 -- thats about what 1250? That could BUILD a decent system (you wouldn't buy it off the shelf for that though )

    You're gonna have to get some serious HD giggage in there D) probably looking at a RAID system. I wouldn't bother about SCSI -- too expensive for limited gains, I think.

    And you're gonna have to get a mod case. Check out www.theoverclockingstore.com (and there were a couple of threads in GC about mod cases a while back...)

    And I remember reading somewhere around here someone running a system with 3gb RAM. That could be fun to try out!
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Remember this IS a business system, also I will be building it. Anyone have ideas on specifics. Yes, many things would be great, but let's knock this together and get some prices
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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    It's around 1720 (http://www.businesslinknorthants.org...p?id=78&nest=2) - serious system money
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  9. #9
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    Well, get a nice abit motherboard to start with
    About 1G of DDR ram should do nicly.
    Fit your self up with a couple of 60 or 80G harddrives in RAID format (I don't realy know much about RAID myself though )
    You'll be wanting a niiiiiiice moniter, say, sony trintiron 19"?

    Rrrright, DVD, CD-RW, Floppy Drive (big purchase ), keyboard, optical mouse, network card, modem?.

    Hmmm, not sure about the graphics card, do you do *real* graphic work okay, I mean like full movie animation or stuff like that?

    Soundblaster Live, will do good for a sound card.

    get a nice athlon 1800+ CPU, pretty cheap too! should be a nice set up then...

    OMG, you must have tons of money left, even after all that! So how about getting another moniter?, yeah, that would be cool

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Hmm... Dunno where you're getting your prices from?
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
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    So $2500 US dollars = about $5000 australian $'s

    so
    DDR Ram: 256Mb PC2100 $ 99 (x 4) = $400
    Athlon XP 1800+ $ 549
    A7V133C VIA Chipset, ATA100 $ 239
    HQ08 300W ATX Full Tower case $ 195
    Ricoh 40x24x10 CD-RW Kit (Burn Proof Technology) $ 299
    Pioneer 16x Tray $ 139
    1.44 Floppy Disk Drive $ 25
    60Gb 7200RPM $ 329 (x2) = $660
    MS Internet Keyboard PS/2 $ 49
    56K Internal (Hardware) $ 49
    MS IntelliEye Mouse Optical $ 65
    Asus V7100 Geforce2 64Mb Pro with TV Out $ 239
    10/100Base XT RJ45 PCI $ 35
    Sony Trinitron moniter $

    Total(in AUS$'s): $3058
    hehe, you can get a pretty damm good moniter for $1,000 US Dollars

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Where can I spec out prices online in US or CDN dollars?
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
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  13. #13
    Former Staff Member silver trophy Adam P.'s Avatar
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    I saw this person's set-up once that had two integrated screens. In other words, they sat next to each other, but acted as one. It was so cool. It's like having a panoramic screen.
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  14. #14
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    Originally posted by swimm5001
    I saw this person's set-up once that had two integrated screens. In other words, they sat next to each other, but acted as one. It was so cool. It's like having a panoramic screen.
    At the radio station I DJ at we have a wicked computer system which has three monitors. It is very cool. All you need is 2 (or 3) graphics cards (they don't even have to be any good) -- Windows does it all for you.

    And it actually works quite well!
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Yeah, a couple of the guys here opted for dual monitors in their setups. Personally I don't like it... Dunno, maybe I'll grow to like it though.
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  16. #16
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jeremy W.
    Yeah, a couple of the guys here opted for dual monitors in their setups. Personally I don't like it... Dunno, maybe I'll grow to like it though.
    It is only worth doing if you actually need more than one monitor. For example at the radio station we have one monitor for Wavecart (the prog that plays all the music) one for the email/internet access and another for a co-host to look at.

    I wondered about getting a second monitor because I had a TV card installed which meant I could watch TV and play with Word (or whatever) at the same time. In the end I bought a 28" pure flat widescreen TV!

    I would much rather spend the cash and get one of the very sexy new Samsung monitors (like they have in the EasyJet chain internet cafe's in Barcelona).
    I swear to drunk I'm not God.
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  17. #17
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    Check out pricewatch.com and newegg.com for computer parts. Its not as expensive as you might think. You would prolly be able to get a kick *** machine that wont need upgrading for a few years for $1500. I dont know specificly what you should get, but look for..

    Athlon XP 1800+, a motherboard that supports RAID and ddr ram, 1gb ddr ram*, 2x 80/100gb ibm scsi harddrive, a aluminum (more cooling) full tower case, and so on. Sicne this wont be a gaming machine, you could take off $400 for a gainward geforce3, and get geforce2 ultra.

    *= Depenging on what OS your gonna load on that come, you should get more/less. Win95/98/ME you should get 512 ddr ram, since those OS wont be able to take advantage of anything more than 512 (and can someitmes actually slow the system down). For Win2k/NT and Linux, get at least 1 gb at first, then once your doen buying everything else.. get more ram. Not sure about XP.
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  18. #18
    + platinum's Avatar
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    2 Australian dollars is about 1 american dollar wicked economy...

    anyway, I'm getting ready to buy all of my parts at the moment too, should be a similar setup to what i suggested before.

    I would love to have a few moniters! I did work experience at web design place, I got to play on a machine that had 3 21" moniters... sweet....

    I might buy another moniter if I have any money left after buying the rest of it.... this diamond view 17" one i've got at the moment os awsome I could go for a 15" one as well, but I think i'd have trouble finding a place to put it!... anyway i'll keep dreaming, you get back to the problem

  19. #19
    SitePoint Guru sowen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jeremy W.
    Yeah, a couple of the guys here opted for dual monitors in their setups. Personally I don't like it... Dunno, maybe I'll grow to like it though.
    Onece you get used to it life is a lot less cluttered. I tend to get the most benifit when using Photoshop or CorelDraw. One screen can have all the tool boxes and pallets leaving a wonderfully uncluttered page to design on.

  20. #20
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    Two monitors is a serious productivity boost IMHO. I "accidentally" got mine b/c the store only had Matrox dualhead (that's twin output) cards left - and I wanted one with only one output. Got it home, plugged in a spare monitor just for fun and haven't looked back

    If you're after a business/design machine, you can't go past Matrox cards. And if you want two monitors they're the only card worth considering (my Dell @ work has 2x S3's in it, and my Matrox G400 runs rings around them).

    I also have a Promise IDE RAID controller in my PC, with two drives set up as a mirrored array (which number RAID is that? I forget). I'm paranoid about data safety after having two HDDs cook on me - these ones haven't but if they do it's nice to know I'm protected Highly recommended for peace of mind. You can also set them up to increase disk I/O (striping). And if you have four (!!) HDDs you can stripe them and mirror them for the ultimate in high powered redundant disk

    Business - what else... Get a nice keyboard and mouse! That's so often overlooked - and if it's a working PC you'll be on it half the day.

    And a good monitor goes without saying. It'll probably last you through two or three PCs - so get a good one.

    Sound card - bah. Get a cheap SB Live or something even cheaper.
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  21. #21
    differently saned russbellon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by platinum
    So $2500 US dollars = about $5000 australian $'s

    so
    DDR Ram: 256Mb PC2100 $ 99 (x 4) = $400
    Athlon XP 1800+ $ 549
    A7V133C VIA Chipset, ATA100 $ 239
    HQ08 300W ATX Full Tower case $ 195
    Ricoh 40x24x10 CD-RW Kit (Burn Proof Technology) $ 299
    Pioneer 16x Tray $ 139
    1.44 Floppy Disk Drive $ 25
    60Gb 7200RPM $ 329 (x2) = $660
    MS Internet Keyboard PS/2 $ 49
    56K Internal (Hardware) $ 49
    MS IntelliEye Mouse Optical $ 65
    Asus V7100 Geforce2 64Mb Pro with TV Out $ 239
    10/100Base XT RJ45 PCI $ 35
    Sony Trinitron moniter $
    i dont think the a7v133 supports ddr ram
    maybe you meant the a7v266-e ? (which looks like a sweet board)
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    -= Dual Athlon 1.2's or 1.5's
    -= proper mobo for above combo
    -= 1 gig 266mhz RAM (or however much you can cram in there)
    -= 80 gig hard drive (IBM Deskstar or Western Digital Caviar)
    -= CD rom
    -= Floppy
    -= Internal Zip drive
    -= 2 19" KDS monitors
    -= 2 32 meg GF2 video cards, one AGP, one PCI (they're cheap now, around $100 I think).
    Case with at least a 400 watt power supply.

    You could scrimp on a few other things like the ethernet card (you can buy them for $20) and the sound card. Note that I'm not saying to buy this system, but this would give you a good basis for comparison.
    Last edited by creole; Nov 13, 2001 at 11:53.
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  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    http://www.pricewatch.com will have everything you need for building a new computer as well as the lowest prices around.
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Hmmmm - question for all you pricewatch fans.....

    Some time last week I was looking at memory and there where pages of PC133 521mb sticks for $23. Phenomenal I thought, time to go christmas shopping . Went there today and could find nothing under $40. Still not bad, but do they always change the prices that quickly?
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  25. #25
    SitePoint Enthusiast jeremyk's Avatar
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    If you're putting this together yourself, I strongly suggest a Lian-Li Pc-60 case. Around $230 CDN ($150 US?), it's well worth it. I built my latest in one, and let me tell you, thumb screws make all the difference. The inside corners are all rounded and have plastic guards, making it impossible to cut yourself, card installation is a snap, side and front panels remove in a matter of seconds, and it looks stylish to boot.
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