can i build a good computer for less than $700?

  • panzhuli
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Post 3+ Months Ago

my computer is old and slow. it is choking on Adobe CS3 applications, so I want to upgrade. I am assuming new mobo, processor. I assume I can keep my case (?) and dvd drives, etc. What else can I salvage? what is the best cheap-ish processor/mobo combo for me?

here's what I have:
Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive (vs upgrading to SATA)
Kingston ValueRAM 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 333 (PC 2700)
AMD Sempron 2400+ Thoroughbred 1.667GHz Socket A Single-Core Processor
COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power RS-430-PMSR/P ATX12V Max: 400W (Continuous), Peak: 430W Power Supply - (is this enough power to keep)
Foxconn 748K7AA A (462) SiS 748 ATX AMD Motherboard

I don't do much gaming at all - however, I often have pshop, flash 3, dreamweaver, itunes and adobe acrobat open at the same time. all hogs. I may be able to sell this machine and take out the dvd drives and so forth, but I'm not sure if there is enough to salvage. I already have XP and all other software, so that is not a consideration... thanks!
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • panzhuli
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I forgot to mention that I don't know much about 64 bit versus 32 bit and the new dual core processors. i'm not much of a techie, so i'm a bit confused about the choices available to me. do i need vista to take advantage of 64 bit? or is it the applications that can take advantage?
  • jflynn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here's what I would concentrate on, in this order.

Motherboard
CPU
RAM
Video Card
Power Supply

I buy tons of stuff from http://www.tigerdirect.com Take a look there.
I don't see why you couldn't upgrade for $700 or less.
  • panzhuli
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Post 3+ Months Ago

can you recommend a mobo/cpu combo so i know a good place to start? like i said, i'm not sure what i need in terms of dual core/64 bit or if those are even compatible. if you recommend a general, i can do the hunting - thanks!
  • jflynn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't know off the top of my head but one of the things I like about tigerdirect is reading the reviews about an item from the buyers. If you select a combo item that doesn't have any reviews, select each individuale item in the combo and see if it has a seperate review. good luck.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You can get an idea of what's available without alot of distraction at Pricewatch.com. That site's kinda like a Google for hardware sales.

It looks like you could get a decent MB/CPU combo in the neighborhood of $200. I figure about 2GB of RAM would be enough for what you're doing & it looks like that much RAM runs about $150 for 1066MhZ DDR2.
I saw a 4GB kit in the neighborhood of $250.

I'm thinking around $350-$400 on the MB/CPU/RAM.
So I'd say you could put a system together for less than $700.
  • SpooF
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Post 3+ Months Ago

For under 700? Easy!

Im going to through this in here, althought building your own is alot of fun, the systems offered here are quite nice and match closely to what it could cost you to build your own system, either way its a good way to check the prices and see whats avaliable.

http://www.ibuypower.com/ibp/store/conf ... px?mid=182

I just built a machine for $390 (Exluding shipping) or there abouts, everything but a monitor/keyboard/mouse.

If your looking at doing any gaming then you would need a video card, something I didnt buy.

This is the break up I would suggest.

CPU ~ $150 - AMD; this could get you a really nice proccessor. Intel; average.
MB ~ $120 - This will get you a nice mobo to run everything, I usaly spend more on a mobo because its the base of your system.
RAM ~ $80 - Easy to 2gigs if you wanted and not the crap stuff.
PSU ~ $60 - Just read the reviews, easy 400-600 WATTS, which is almost overkill, I would go with the lower watts for the higher price, aka better quality.
HDD ~ $100 - This is about a 320GB HDD
GPU ~ $150 - Get you either a High end DX9 card or a mid way DX10
CASE ~ $50 - This can very greatly, but I find cases in this price range are solidly built
CD DRIVE ~ $30 - DVD/CD Bunner

If your looking for a budget machine and dont really care about being in the main stream you can easly get a very nice CPU for under $100. The only reason I put it at $150 is in case you go toward Intel Core2Duo. Those are going to run you more toward $200.

Now if you really want to amazine someone get the new E8400 (3.0 GHz 6MB Cache, 45nm Tech) Its only $220 or so and is simply AMAZING. It would probably be the last CPU you ever buy, however to run that you would need to spend more money all around so It might not be the best idea.

AMD is currently dropping in price like crazy because they have nothing to really compeat agenst Intel.

Althought for another $300 or so (totaling around $1000) You could build a very nice machine. I would suggest look around find what you need and dont try to over buy. There is no reason to get a machine you will never use.

All in all, you can easly build a nice computer for under $700.

This is what I got in the machine I built for $390 (Exluding shipping).

CPU ~ $66 - AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core (OEM) - ARCTIC COOLING ALPINE64 92mm CPU Cooler
MB ~ $87 - ABIT AN-M2 nView AM2 NVIDIA Geforce 7025/NF630a Micro ATX AMD
RAM ~ $44 - 2xWINTEC AMPX 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
PSU ~ $45 - SILVERSTONE ST400 ATX 12V 2.2 400W
HDD ~ $110 - SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
GPU - (Integrated)
CASE ~ $20 - Rosewill RZS01 BLK Black SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower
CD DRIVE ~ $17 - LITE-ON Black IDE DVD-ROM

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