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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 06-15-2004, 09:32 PM   #1
Fear58
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First time building PC, need hardware help/suggestions for a budget poweruser/gamer


I found an awsome looking case on Ebay for about $50 that i am really interested in, and something caught my eye. I'm really new to buying hardware, so I need some help. The case starts with "ATX" but some Maxtor and western digital drives start with ATA, will these not be compatible in this ATX case?
Also, I want to get the most bang for my buck, because I recently got quite a bit of grad money, and making more while working with my father. Right now I have $400 to spend on this system. Can anyone recommend Video cards, sound card, hard drives, motherboard and processor, RAM, and in general everything in the guys of a PC? Anyone know some pretty reliable sties that offer low priced hardware?

Wasn't sure if this belonged in the Hardware forum or General, because it is not Linux specified, so sorry if it's in the wrong forum. And thanks for any help anyone can give me.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 10:11 PM   #2
wslyhbb
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ATX and ATA have nothing to do with each other. ATX is a form factor, as in what size motherboard will fit in the case. A good brand of motherboard is Asus, as for processor, I am an AMD fan and would suggest either an Athlon XP. Besides, Athlon XP processors are cheaper than Pentium 4s and are a better bang for your dollar. I would suggest either 256MB or preferrably 512MB of DDR RAM, and I would suggest Crucial. Western Digital hard drives are the best. A great site for cheap prices on hardware is Newegg.com.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 12:12 AM   #3
dalek
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Here is some links for you to look at.

Motherboard $66.00

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...127-144&depa=0

CPU $75.00

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...103-378&depa=0

CPU heatsink $26.00

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...106-031&depa=0

Case $22.00 Not to happy with it but it's cheap and it's a start.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...153-014&depa=0

CD or Combo drive, your choice on what you want. $27.00 or $70.00

http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...151-031&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...106-924&depa=0

Video card $56.00

http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...145-067&depa=0

That is about $300.00. You can get a better case, a better video card if you want to spend the cash. If you have a local computer shop, buy a used monitor if you can. The shipping on those puppies is expensive because of the weight. You can also look around in here:

http://froogle.google.com/froogle?as...led=0&safe=off

There are tons of deals out there. Just make sure you are dealing with a reputable company that stands behind what they sell. I picked newegg because that is where I bought most all of mine, see sig below. Some of it may look familar.

I assumed you had a keyboard and other basic stuff to start off with.

Post back what you get. I hope this helps. I'm on dial-up and it took quite a while to research. I did the work, you spend the money.

Later

 
Old 06-16-2004, 12:20 AM   #4
dalek
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Oh crap. I forgot the memory. Got to have some of that. No worky without it.

Memory, 256M or 512M. Your choice but 512 is better. $45.00 or $84.00

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...146-214&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...146-217&depa=0

Hard drive too: 40 GB $52.00

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...146-217&depa=0

That should do for a start. You may not need some if this if you have a old system you are upgrading.

That all this time.

Later

 
Old 06-16-2004, 05:56 AM   #5
physician97
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Dalek has given you a good rig to check out. I built my son a computer (with the same chip that Dalek used) for college. I went with the Shuttle MN31N mobo. It has dual monitor capability, on board dolby digital 5.1 sound and the nvidia geforce 2 chipset (so no sound card or vid card needed). He is a gamer and so has been very happy with this configuration. We went with the 80 gig Western Dig Caviar hard drive and 512 megs of 333mhz DDR memory (two 256 sticks as this mobo is dual channel). Of course he had the CD burner and a DVD player. The OS's are Windows 2000 pro and Suse linux 8.2 in a dual boot. This is a great box for gaming per what he tells me and he also burns CD's, uses it for school , etc. You might go to a SAMS Club if there is one near you for the monitor. We found a 17" NEC monitor there for $130 range. A good case, with plenty of fans and a good power supply is imperative if you are a gamer...


My rig is an old Abit KG7 with an AXP2000. I have 1 gig of RAM, two 20 gig Western Digital hard drives in RAID 0 with win 2 k pro, 1 80 gig Western Digital hard drive with Suse linux 8.2, an older ASUS pro vid card, cheap PCI 16 SB card, CD burner, DVD and my system runs great too. This is dual boot system also. I have an inexpensive 19" monitor and a case with front and rear fans, 450 watt power supply and i have about 6 fans total (two on mobo, ps fan, two case fans, vid card fan so the good power supply is important) and i have been known to overclock occasionally to mess around...
 
Old 06-16-2004, 06:04 AM   #6
physician97
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If there is a Frys electronics near you, we bought his optical mouse and microsoft keyboard for around $44.00. I got his canon scanner and epson printer for around $160.00 and tax. Frys is a great place to search for mobos/cpu combos too. I was recently there and they had a mobo/cpu combo with the 2800 barton cpu and an ASUS mobo for $130 range and it was really nice ( had the dual channel RAM option). Be careful at Frys cuz some of the guys there are really good and some of them are not...
 
Old 06-16-2004, 08:33 AM   #7
kscott121
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building a system

I got a nice barebones kit at Tigerdirect.com for a good price. They have several (all capabilities) and the building of the system was quite easy. They come with no Operating system (unless you want to add on Windoze.
Good luck.
KS
 
Old 06-16-2004, 09:27 AM   #8
Fear58
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Thanks Dalek and others!

To Dalek:
Wow, thanks man. that is pretty much what I was looking for, except i am going to get an 80GB HD and maybe a lil better video card, maybe not. But just wow. I already bought the case today from ebay..
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1

Back of it:
http://www.apactonline.com/Controls/...IN_BACK_50.jpg

Does the slots in the back look like it will support the Motherboard you recommended Dalek, I think I would like to get that board and processor. Also, how fast could the processor go (in GHZ) if overclocked a bit?

Thanks again.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 09:39 AM   #9
ssimontis
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I was in this situation about 8 months ago and this is what I got:
AMD Athlon XP 2000+ CPU, retail
A really nice mobo, don't remember it off the top of my head
512MB of PC-2700 RAM, later got 512MB more
40GB Maxtor 7200 RPM IDE HD
2 CD drives I harvested from older computers
Harvested Floppy drive
ATI Radeon 9200 64MB AGP8x vid card
Creative Labs Audigy Live! Sound Card

It will have Linux too, as soon as I get a new wireless card! Probably some kind of wireless ethernet bridge.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 10:50 AM   #10
marktin
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I built my first computer about a year ago, with no previous experience. I used a book called "PC Hardware in a Nutshell" as a guide, and found it to be very good. The authors also have a Web site for PC builders that you might find useful: www.hardwareguys.com . On their site, they recommend components for a building a budget system, a mainstream system, and a high-end system. Although I did my own research, I ended up selecting components that were almost exactly what they recommended. For each component, their site provides a link to pricegrabber.com to get current prices. I found their Web site to be extremely useful. Good luck!
 
Old 06-16-2004, 11:32 AM   #11
philosphrstone
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Just a footnote, If you want a decent unbiased look at hardware of all types, check out tomshardware.com for good readable hardware analysis and benchmarks.

The Pentium 4 out performs the AthlonXP in terms of getting things done fast. But, in terms of bang for the buck, the AthlonXP still holds a wide lead, especially if you consider that motherboards that support the P4 are generally more costly than mobos that support the AthlonXP.

One other recommendation, buy quality RAM, ie Corsair, or OCZ, or another reputable memory manufacturer. It will cost you a little more cash, but your overall performance and system stability will be well worth it in the long run...

I started my Nforce2 machine on two sticks of generic CAS3 DDR, and then switched to Corsair's TwinX CAS2 Low Latency, and just changing the RAM gave me a performance increase of almost 10% across the board on all the common benchmarks.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 11:33 AM   #12
ssimontis
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I used pricewatch.com to find all my parts, except for a few deals I hunted down at local stores. I should note that I had no previous experience before building mine, and that I used PC Gamer's guide. A big word of advice: Don't use no-name brand vendors or hardware. I learned the hard way.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 12:11 PM   #13
rcrules
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Fear58,
Any case that says that it's ATX (which means pretty much anything except for those little bitty cases that HP and Compaq sell nowadays with wierd form factors) will fit any ATX mobo, which would include that ASUS mobo that dalek pointed out. However, judging by the pics on newegg's site, it looks like that mobo has a slightly different form factor on the back. It'll sit in the case just fine, since they should be compatable, but you'll probably have to swap that plate that has spots for the usb ports, parallel, serial, etc, etc. It looks like ASUS throws in the new plate thingy that fits the mobo in the box, so you don't have to worry about that. The only thing that might be of concern is actually removing the standard one that comes already on the case, since that's always different from case to case, and some cases are a lot harder than others. For instance, I've seen cases where you just unscrew one screw to pop it off, but others, like the case I have for my leadtek NF2 mobo (which also has an unusual form factor), you have to actually *pry* off the old plate to put the new one in. Takes a bit longer and is a bit harder, but still doable. Once you get that off, you just stick the new one in (the one that came in the mobo box), and it'll either latch in place or the new mobo will actually hold it there by bieng screwed down into the case.

Oh yeah, I figure that you might already know this, but when installing the CPU cooler on an AMD Athlon XP, be VERY careful. I've heard horror stories about going too fast or putting the cooler on backwards and crushing the chip. The right way to do it is to make sure the little notch on the cooler is facing the same direction as the word "Socket 4**" on the actual socket. If you really want to be extra-careful, buy a shim for your CPU (you can find 'em on pricewatch, newegg, etc.) Just wanted to mention that because a crushed/fried CPU is no fun!

Last edited by rcrules; 06-16-2004 at 12:28 PM.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 12:36 PM   #14
ssimontis
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Yup. Be careful with the CPU. I fried a CPU that way. AMD CPU's can head up real fast too.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 12:36 PM   #15
dalek
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I was lucky and got one, CPU, that is not locked. The current ones ARE locked. I am currently running at the same speed as a AMD3200. Pretty swift. If you plan to overclock, cooling will be very important. This is the case I have:

http://www.openlinx.com/english/prod...roduct_id=1503

That thing cools. Highest temp so far is about 40C under full load.

If you plan to overclock, you may want to get a mobile chip instead. You can usually mod the chip to unlock it but I have read that the mobile chips can't be locked for use in laptops. Consumes to much juice. Runs down the battery.

That memory is Mushkin. It is one of the brands that overclockers use. I didn't get the cheapest thing on that or the CPU. You can't skimp on some things. That mobo is a overclockers dream. It is one of two top overclocking boards. I can't recall what the other is.

If you plan to overclock, you may want to visit here.

www.ocforums.com

I'm dalek2.0 there. Somebody all ready had dalek.

Get good fans, I use Thermaltake smart fans and I am very happy. When idle, they are quiet and when compiling Gentoo or something they crank up to ever how fast they need to go to keep it cool.

Hope that helps. Everybody has their pick but those are mine.

Later

 
  


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