New Budget Computer Build, need advice/opinions

Ok, so I’m planning on buying a new computer soon. I have been holding out for a few days, as I have a coupon code that I found online that is supposed to give free shipping from newegg starting tomorrow. Anyhow, I am trying to keep the build budgeted. I would post this on a dedicated tech forum, but I really can’t stand people arguing AMD vs Intel like it’s Nazi’s vs Jews in every thread. Plus, they always want to suggest parts $100-$200 more than you are planning on getting…

So yeah, I’ve been out of the recent PC market for sometime, but this is what I’m planning on getting.

Processor: Pentium D 805 (Link:

This isn’t the hypest processor on the market, but it’s the new low end budget chip. It only has a 533 FSB, instead of the 800 that other pentium D’s have, but that also allows for some overclocking. It runs at 2.66 ghz, but supposedly it can overclock to ~3.0 ghz out of the box. Plus, it’s extremely cheap at around ~130ish. I’ve seen good praise as this being a budget dual core alternative.

Motherboard: ECS P4M800PRO-M(Link:
This motherboard supports both DDR and DDR2 ram, and I think I am gonna go with DDR2. It is AGP, but that’s not bad for a budget computer I don’t think. Simply a budget MoBo with decent options built into it.

Ram: Patriot 1GB(2x512) DDR2 ram (link: or 1GB individual stick (link:
I believe 2 sticks will help it run faster, but 1 stick allows for later upgrades. Is this correct? It’s pretty much the same price either way.

Video Card: ASUS GEForce 6600 256mb (link:
Not high end, just mid range, decent reviews on it. Decent vid cards cost way too much, but this seems the best for this price range. Would definitely take suggestions in this area.

Cheap Ass Case:

I am re-using a CD-RW and a DVD drive from another computer, plus a HDD. I was considering picking up a DVD-R drive for <$40, but that’s not really necessary at this point.

All in all, with tax, case and (hopefully) free shipping, it should come to around $400 or so. More like $450 because being in CA, they charge you tax : (

If anybody has any suggestions/ideas, I’d love to hear them.

invest in a better power supply. this is often the most overlooked (and important) component. an off brand 350 watt power supply is NOT going to cut it for that setup (brand new chip, current generation video card, 2 optical drives, harddrive, etc). the case you get doesnt really matter, just look for one where the power supply doesn’t overlap the motherboard, because those usually give you massive heat problems. also, get one that comes with fans on both sides, so your airflow is good enough.

I’d recommend this one, possibly go for the 550W model if you plan on overclocking it more.

i’d go with the 2 sticks of 512 so you can use dual channel (2 or 4 memory modules at once). 1gb should be above average and plenty for the next 2 years or so at the minimum. upgrading later to 2gb will be easy and that should suit you forever. Windows XP has trouble dealing with more than 3gb of memory anyway, so it’s kind of limited to what you can upgrade to.

i dunno about the ram or video card (i’m not really up to date on that stuff), but it looks fine by me.

yeah ragna has got a good point there… all the new higher end video cards need like 400 watts minimum to run well with all that stuff… but the only problem i can forsee is the video card… its an AGP slot one…

see right now we are in the middle of a technology change… especially with vista comming out i work at a computer store microcenter and i get the lowdown on almost everything…

if your gonna want to upgrade your machine later i would say a PCI-E video card would be better… overall they cost less and the newer cards they are making are faster… AGP has its limits… at 8X speeds versus 16x PCI-E

now dont misunderstand this… a 6600GT AGP is exactly just as fast as a 6600GT PCI-E… you wont get a speed difference unless brands like EVGA or BFG are in the mix… but forget about those for now… but it makes it convenient when you want to upgrade later to more ram and like a 7800 or something… also intel processors are not all 64 bit but they definetly are fast… in this case that is a very cheap intel processor… great price… but if you want to build a SUPER budget system i would have to say go AMD… working at a computer store i learn alot… and it is a proven fact that AMD will play games so much faster and they render much faster… but intels a better for just media in general… it can rip a music cd a tad bit faster.

AMD 64 should be fine because they are fast and great… the AMD dual core is better but right now its not worth that kinda cash… so i will have to say just AMD 64 slot 939 for upgradeablility… plus if you ever get a better processor like dual core amd it they all use 939… this may be alittle more but for a litlle more newer technology its worth it… it will save you an ass load of cash later on…

heres a list of some processors…

if you can afford it go with this one… its just a little more but its worth the cost…
AMD 3700+

the AMD 3500 is a waste of time cuz for 10 dollars more this is so much better… so i say the 3200 but almost forsure the 3700 for a little more its a whole better processor… that 3200 already beats that intel processor for games. mainly cuz they have a 2000mhz FSB… thats so much better than more l2 cache
heres a quick comparison on the best hardware site out there…

they havnt tested a intel d 805 so i used a faster one for comparison… and the 3200 beat it in doom 3… but like divx encoding intel is faster. also the 3700+ sandiego is way up there and its not even dual core… and its only 212… something to thing about there…

yeah run through or really just this section i use the most for the processor comparisons…
select a few important categories for your self and see what you think.

heres a good inexepensive mobo

heres a little better one for a good price

and here is the best one for a GREAT price… this one has nforce 4 chipset on it… really good

but the middle range one i showed is good… and all of these support 4gb of ram max…

dual channel doest matter with AMD … so i say got with a SOLID 1gb stick for upgrading later on… thats what i did… im getting a second gig soon…

theres all the 1gb sticks of memory newegg has… for those mobos… but man these prices are crazy… corsair is my number one choice,… but seeing its normally expensive i go with patriot… but here corsair is the winner…
go with this one

and last comes a good videocard… PCI-E ofcourse…
pricewatch always seems to find better deals for video…

go there and look for videocards and search for 120 bucks… ther is a PCI-E asus 6600GT on there for like 119.99 and free shipping… same card you were looking for but in a newer form factor… but just check out there site… its good

but yeah i hope this has been helpfull… i love computers and building them… but this at the moment is one of the best solutions… AMD or INTEL its all about price and performance… these are my favorite sites for anything…

just info on performance

the usual place to buy everything except vidcards…

great place for deal hunting… and videocard prices!!

let me know he you want some more help or something man and dont forget about the powersupply… heres the one i seriously just bought at microcenter where i work… its like 60 bucks but it has a rebate and those disconeccting cables… so its like 10 bucks after rebate man!!!

check it out…

Only thing I would state in this is with A2/M2 around the corner with DDR 800 and 1000 support, I would not say that 939 is upgradable as AMD has stated they are dropping the 939 socket. But I agree, as I run AMD athlon 64’s for every pc and server I own and build. Though Tomshardware is alittle biased, I’d recommend;

AMD Sempron 64 2800+ Palermo WITH 256KB L2 CACHE (IMPORTANT) - $74

DFI nF4X Infinity - nForce4-4X - $71

G.SKILL Value 1GB 184-Pin DDR400 F1-3200PHU1-1GBNT - $65

MSI NX6600GT-TD128E Geforce 6600GT 128MB - $118, has a $20 M-I rebate

Antec SLK3000B w/o PSU - $49

Fortron AX450-PN - $51

After the rebate, it comes out to $408 before tax and shipping. Overclock the Sempron as much as you can (some people can get the 2800+ to over 2.4GHz) and this is undoubtedly one of the best systems for ~$400.

true but for the cost the 939 is the best way for him to go right now… and with PCI-E thats all he will really need and up to 4gb of memory he would be well set off for like atleast 3 years…

my current setup is a 3700+ 754… mainly cuz its better for overclocking than a 939 not that i need to clock it at the moment… but i also use ddr400 and i have 1 gb right now… but i can upgrade up to 4gbs later on… plus i have an AGP slot right now… because i have a 6800 Ultra in my system… but i have a PCI-E slot as well on my mobo so i can upgrade… not everyone needs a X2 processor for games… thats mainly for the guy who needs to spend 4000 on a video editing machine… and with the A2/M2 around the corner yeah that would be a great option but thats going to be like 500 just for the processor…

Agreed. I also run a 754 3700 overclocked to 2.6 on air currently. I also use ddr400 kingston hyper x DDR memory sticks. I got the DFI Infinity board so can use PCI-E on my 754 setup and am running a 7800GTX, with a 7900GTX in the planning. A2/MS is going to be like 800-900 per processor. Thought the X2 was bad??? This is gonna be worse thanks to DDR2 support.

I would not get that sempron. The 3100 sempron is a better deal, and overclocks so much higher. I have a 3100 sempron as my wife’s pc and it keeps pace with my 3700 except for when that cache is need (256k vs 1mb L2 is a lost battle.).

Did you not read this part?

Anyway, it’s like the difference between an A64 3000+ and a 3200+. The 3000+ runs at 1.8GHz with a 9x multi while the 3200+ runs at 2.0Ghz with a 10x multi… Excepting the fact that for any given max memory speed, the divider is higher for the 3000+, how can you say that any random 3000+ won’t hit the same speed as any random 3200+? Do you have definitive proof that the cores in the 3000+ processors wouldn’t cut it for 3200+ duty?

plainly put… sempron is better than a celeron… but a p4 will rape a sempron as will almost any amd 64 bit processor… sempron is not the way to go at all… i would take that pentium D that pimpwilly chose over that sempron… thats just weak sauce man…

that video card is a good price with a rebate… but MSI makes good mobos but iono about video cards… havnt heard much about them…

Thanks for all the tips/replies everyone.

In all honesty, I don’t want to go with a socket 939 chip. That techonology is at the end of its road. True, you might get a better bang for your buck in terms of performance/OCing, and I know everyone loves to pimp out their AMD chips, but I just see too much potential in the Pentium D series to skip over it. Sure the sempron is much cheaper, but the Pentium D just seems to blow it out of the water on paper. Pentium D 805 (being the weakest of the Pentium D chips) is 2.6 ghz out of the box (easily OCable to low 3 ghz), Has a dual core with 2x1MB cache, has 64 bit support, and it is sitting on a socket design that has potential in the future.

Part of the reason I finally decided to build a new computer was the drop in dual core prices, at least for this chip. While I will be doing gaming, I don’t plan on doing any super hardcore gaming on the PC. Maybe Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, which is one of the reasons I wanted to build this in the first place. But I really just wanted to have a lower end machine using next age technology (i.e. dual core).

These options really do give me something to think about. But I have to ask, why would you tout an AMD socket 939 config like the one given against the Pentium D setup I was originally going for? What makes the sempron setup better in your opinion?

I could pretty much as easily get a PCI-Express motherboard with DDR2 ram support for the socket 775 and use those video cards you suggested, which really does seem like the better option than AGP. There’s just so many more better options to NOT upgrade to PCI-Express these days.

DDR2 makes no performance difference over ddr1 that matters in most configurations under 1200 bucks or so.

Sempron > P4D in games overclocked.

P4D is only going to beat the sempron on multitasking benches.


Moddable to x800XT levels with a simple bios update and some tweaking (there is risk involved – some cards the mod wont unlock the pipes but this seems rare.)

Will beat the shit out of a 6600GT modded and give a $300 card a run for its money.

If you plan to get a new motherboard, why not go for the CPU that gives you the most bang-for-the-buck now?

According to this article, Semprons running at the same frequency as A64s are only 5-10% slower at most. So if you can overclock the Sempron to 2.2GHz (very likely) or 2.4GHz (possible), then it’s almost like having an A64 3500+ or an A64 3800+ for much less, and those are faster than the Pentium D 805 (going off the top of my head here).

Oh, and I wouldn’t try to run a modern system on a bundled generic 350W PSU. Too much risk of instability, or at worst, a completely useless (read: broken) PC. Along the same lines, I wouldn’t buy an ECS motherboard. They’re kind of hit-or-miss, from what I’ve read. My last ECS motherboard wouldn’t boot up properly all the time.

You are clearly ignorant on this subject.
Inform yourself.

No need for such an abrupt tone. :slight_smile:

My bad, it just frustrates me when I see tons of people going for Intel when they really aren’t a player in the cpu arena as of now, an exception being their upcoming 65nm processors.

If you truly believe that its better to staty agp, then you might as well be throwing you money down the drain. Agp is dead, dead dead dead. Sure Nvidia is producing the 7800GS but you have to look how long the 7800 was out and do you think they will keep doing this? This video card gen is truly the last of the agp video card. Mark my words.

As far as the processor goes, the Pentium vs the Sempron is clearly in the Sempron favor (and I don’t mean socket a sempron). Nothing Intel has to date is better than their AMD counterparts in either performance or bang for the buck.

I wouldn’t call either 754 or 939 the best as they are both dead. AMD released their last 939 processor with the AMD Athlon 64 FX-60. All 2nd quarter processors will be AM2 processors.

I’ve been in the IT game since I was 12, currently working at an Internet hosting company after several government IT gigs and 2 jobs as a tier 3 technical support with a Comptia A+ / Network+ / Server + and hopefully my cisco cert after this year. I am not trying to bullshit you, just telling you how it is. And no disrepect to Intel as I used to be pro intel, they simply don’t have it anymore to be the trendsetter, at least not at the moment.

Questions, comments, concerns… I’m all ears!

A-MEN brother!!! yeah you seriously dont want to go with AGP… doode its dead and it still cost more than PCI-E… plus PCI-E is the new wave of technology…
and GREEN… overclocking semprons is not the same as overclocking 64s… they have more cache out of the box… and the FSB isnt as fast… i been building machines and i work at a computer store… in this case he shouldnt go with a sempron… its like a celeron and its not as fast as that intel D 805 chip… semprons are cheap processors for cheap computers… but they are a world better than a celeron… fuck those processors…

You must be kidding me. “The FSB isn’t as fast”. Bullshit. 200MHz x 4 for S754 Semprons and S939 A64s.

See, building machines and working at a computer store don’t mean that you know what you’re talking about. You could be… but you just proved that you didn’t. Do you work at Best Buy?

Oh, take a look at this:

The performance of the CPUs in question is highlighted in red. The list doesn’t have the Pentium D 805… So I picked the Pentium D 820. Guess what? The Sempron 2800+ beats the Pentium D 820. What now?

In this benchmark, the 820 beats the 2800+, but remember, this is the 820, not the 805. With the 820 you get an extra 200MHz CPU clock and an FSB speed increase of 267MHz.

2800+ beats the 820 again…

To be fair, there are some benchmarks where the 820 performs better than the 2800+, but once you get the 2800+ to 2.4GHz or higher, the Pentium D 805 that he was originally intending to buy will be completely WASTED by the Sempron.

EDIT: Some hard numbers - a 2800+ running at 2.4GHz will have a 50% performance increase. e.g. in a game where the stock CPU does 100fps (CPU-limited), it’ll do 150fps at 2.4GHz.

The socket 939 argument is the most retarded one ever. Are you guys that dense? Just get a socket 939 board that also supports socket 940 AND YOURE COVERED.