advice on system please


D

D Thomas

Hi All,

I need to build a system almost from scratch. I have an ATX mid-tower case
with a 500 watt power supply and a new one terabyte WD sata drive.

Money is tight but I don't want to waste money by buying a poor performer.
I'll be dual booting XP/Ubuntu Linux and I need to find the best value:

1) wireless keyboard
2) wireless mouse
3) motherboard - at least dual core - prefer Asus if possible
4) cpu - at least 2.8 ghz, I like the 3.2 ghz AMD
5) video card - prefer Nvidia with 256 mbyte or 512
6) what are the best brands of memory today?

I sure would appreciate any advice....

Judy



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P

Paul

D said:
Hi All,

I need to build a system almost from scratch. I have an ATX mid-tower case
with a 500 watt power supply and a new one terabyte WD sata drive.

Money is tight but I don't want to waste money by buying a poor performer.
I'll be dual booting XP/Ubuntu Linux and I need to find the best value:

1) wireless keyboard
2) wireless mouse
3) motherboard - at least dual core - prefer Asus if possible
4) cpu - at least 2.8 ghz, I like the 3.2 ghz AMD
5) video card - prefer Nvidia with 256 mbyte or 512
6) what are the best brands of memory today?

I sure would appreciate any advice....

Judy

Use the product reviews provided by customers on the Newegg.com site.
You can pick a motherboard out there, and detect the ones that
have quality problems. Some of the failed boards, will be
"self-inflicted wounds", so some filtering of what you read is
required. But if there is a persistent issue (some boards have
a lot of Ethernet chip failures for example), you can detect
it by reading the reviews.

I do the same thing for RAM - no matter what reputation some
RAM manufacturer may have, they can always make some bad products.
By reading those reviews, I ended up buying a brand I never
intended to buy, all because of warnings about some of the
others.

You don't have to buy from Newegg. I buy from a supplier in
Canada, to avoid "border gouging". Canadian web sites, just
don't have reviews like that, which I can use.

If you're tight for cash, you don't need a video card. You need
a video card if you're a gamer. Or if you buy a weak processor
and expect to view HD movies at 1920x1090 or the like. But if
your video needs are modest, an AMD motherboard with
integrated graphics is good enough. Using the video card
slot, you can always upgrade it later, as funds allow. Some
motherboards will have both a VGA and a DVI connector on the
back, so you can easily connect to a monitor. Boards with
only VGA on the back, aren't the best now, because a lot
of cheap LCD monitors only have DVI on them.

If I was shopping for an AMD board, I'd get one rated for
"140W processors". The purpose of that rating, is so you
end up with a motherboard that can accept processor upgrades
later. Some of the cheapest motherboards, only support 95W
processors, so the high end stuff can't be used. You can also
detect this "weak Vcore" problem, by going to the motherboard
manufacturer web site, and examining the "CPUSupport" chart
for your motherboard.

Once you've narrowed your choices, you can post links to
the parts you want to buy, and get comments about potential
issues with it. If we shop for you, we're not likely to
do a very good job. (I have a natural tendency to stay
away from the cheapest motherboards - I hate recommending
products that are going to cause someone grief. Budget or
no budget, if you have to pay to return stuff, the bills
add up.)

Paul
 
P

Paul

Fishface said:
How about this one, or do they ship from the US?
http://www.newegg.ca/

I can't buy from them, until they indicate whether their
warehouse is physically located in Canada or not. In
years past, I'd get hit with a "surprise" brokerage fee,
which had to be paid before the courier would release
the item. One way to get around it, was to find a courier
who didn't charge, but now I think they all do. Or rather,
all the ones that count do.

If a company has a warehouse on my side of the border, then
I can buy in comfort, and avoid the "border gouge".

I can remember a time, when I could ship stuff by
parcel post, and I would personally go down to Customs
and Excise, to pay any necessary fees. I visited there
enough, as a kid, that the staff got to know me, and
they'd help me pick a classification for the things
I was importing (no, they never cut me enough slack, to
get the fee down to zero, but they did help me). But
you can't do that any more, because nobody will ship
using USPS or Canada Post. As a young electronics hobbyist,
I used to buy a lot of small lots of electronics components
from the States. Your dollar went a lot further, when
no couriers were involved. Sure, it took a long time for
the parcel to get here, but I wasn't in that much of a
rush.

If I'm placing a big enough order, the brokerage is
annoying, but not much of an issue. If I need a $2
item, it sucks big time. So small orders are out of the
question. They're not cost competitive, once brokerage
and shipping is taken into account.

Paul
 
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L

larry moe 'n curly

D said:
I need to build a system almost from scratch. I have an ATX mid-tower case
with a 500 watt power supply and a new one terabyte WD sata drive.

Money is tight but I don't want to waste money by buying a poor performer.
I'll be dual booting XP/Ubuntu Linux and I need to find the best value:
3) motherboard - at least dual core - prefer Asus if possible
4) cpu - at least 2.8 ghz, I like the 3.2 ghz AMD

One of the Fry's CPU/mobo combos of the week? The last bargain was
their $29 (after rebate) Intel E3300 with MSI G31TM-P21.
5) video card - prefer Nvidia with 256 mbyte or 512

Even lots of budget graphics cards have 512MB now, including the
Nvidia 7200 that's currently free after rebate at Fry's. It's
probably more important to get something compatible with DirectX ver.
10 or ver. 10.1, which may become a requirement in 1-2 years.
6) what are the best brands of memory today?

Something with chips marked with the part numbers or logos of actual
chip makers, like Micron, Nynix, Nanya, or Samsung (but not Kingston,
Corsair, Patriot, G.Skil, etc., which are not chip makers). If you
can't read those markings on the chips you should avoid the memory
modules. Memory from Crucial that is NOT their Ballistix
"performance" memory is good. BTW always check the memory voltage
because you don't want anything with a voltage rating higher than what
the actual chip manufacturer recommends, that is, 1.80V for DDR2 or
1.50V for DDR3 (unless the DDR3 is the low voltage type, in which case
you want 1.35V), as that indicates the chips failed testing at
standard voltage (raising the voltage is a good way to cover up
marginal defects). Test for a couple of days with both MemTest86 (not
just MemTest+) and Gold Memory, at standard voltage and timings. Even
one error is too many.
 

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