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minster
14-03-2009, 11:40 PM
Hi,
My partner has decided that before I build a new pc for myself, I should practise by building a new one for her:)
ATM she is using an old Acer P4 3.0 Ghz and it's slowly dying.
She does a lot of surfing as well as creating graphics with Photo Impact X3which is very resource hungry so will need 2/3 GB ram and a dedicated graphics card.
I am thinking AMD but want to stay with 32 Bit .. not inadvertably buy 64 bit hardware that may have issues
She will be using XP Home or Media centre.

Can anyone suggest any Mobo, CPU, Ram and Graphics card combinations please?
As cheap as possible but still a better set up than the P4 and of course new and reliable.
I've searched PriceSpy but find it too confusing without the proper knowledge.
I know we could buy a new system but I am looking forward to the experience of building it myself and would appreciate your help.
Thanks Guys:)

Speedy Gonzales
14-03-2009, 11:46 PM
Intel would probably be dearer than AMD

How cheap is cheap?

The latest AMD's and Intel's support 32 and 64 bit. If the OS is 32 bit, it will still work with 32 bit software.

But if you use 64 bit software (operating system), the hardware / and drivers may or may not work / be compatible with it.

Software should work tho

minster
15-03-2009, 12:04 AM
How cheap is cheap?

The latest AMD's and Intel's are 64 bit. If the OS is 32 bit, it will still work with 32 bit software.

But if you use 64 bit software (operating system), the hardware, and software may or may not work / be compatible with it

Thats why I'm asking for advice here.
Software she is using now has to work on new pc. (That's my orders:)
She only needs something better than what she is using now. (Acer SA80 P4 3.0 ghz, 1gb ram which is getting old.
I have seen a lot of AMD systems on Trademe that would do the job okay and they are in the 550/650 dollar bracket for full desktop.

Can I guess that cheap for mobo,cpu,ram + graphics would be 350/400 dollars?
I already have a WD 500GB sata2 HDD but need to buy everything else.

WarNox
15-03-2009, 12:13 AM
A 3.0mhz PC shouldn't be that slow!? Depending on your motherboard but I'd suggest just getting more ram (as 1gb really isn't much these days) and upgrading the graphic card.

500/600 bucks for a whole new system isn't much, given that a decent graphic card will be 200/300 on its own.

So I recommend you get yourself a decent graphic card, put in 2GB more ram, maybe re-install windows and it'll be as good as new with half the cost :) ... and effort heh



Gregor

Speedy Gonzales
15-03-2009, 12:15 AM
Software should work fine, if the OS software she installs on the new system is 32 bit. It'll be more compatible.

However, if the version of XP she's using now, (or whatever the version is), came with the Acer (or on a restore CD), she'll have to buy another version of Windows

You could buy an AMD for $400-$500, (maybe a bit more), if you dont want to use onboard video.

Heres a few AMD's (http://www.xpcomputers.co.nz/pinpai.asp?pinpai=106)

If you youre going to build an AMD system

You maybe able to use the PSU you have now (if its got the right plugs on it)

BUT, you'll probably have to change the ram (and buy a videocard as above), if you dont want to use onboard video. And a CPU.

WarNox
15-03-2009, 12:24 AM
And just to point you in the right direction with the graphic card. As they said in the PC world last month a graphic card like the Gigabyte 4650 (for about $150) will most likely do everything that she needs without breaking the bank, given that your motherboard has a PCI-e slot :)

minster
15-03-2009, 12:29 AM
No. I want to build a completely new system, not update hers.
I already have xp home and media centre original discs with valid (unused)serials.

I just thought there may be options to save a few dollars in building myself?
Thanks for the links Speedy:)

Speedy Gonzales
15-03-2009, 12:35 AM
Well, if she's / you're not going to use the P4 later, would you sell the CPU??

If you are, I'll buy it or whatever. Since, the other PC here is a P4 (running @ 2.4). Updating the CPU shouldnt hurt it

Just remember to copy whatever docs off hers first (to something), before you format it (If youre using the hdd on that)

Or slave it (once you buy the new system / parts), if its IDE

minster
15-03-2009, 12:41 AM
Will let you know if we decide to scrap it Speedy. May be a while though.

minster
15-03-2009, 12:48 AM
And just to point you in the right direction with the graphic card. As they said in the PC world last month a graphic card like the Gigabyte 4650 (for about $150) will most likely do everything that she needs without breaking the bank, given that your motherboard has a PCI-e slot :)

Gregor,
Her pc at the moment has got a 9250 128 mb AGP graphics card (off memory)
Not PCI-e
Motherboard is 8S661FXMP-RZ
SiS 661FX chipset

Speedy Gonzales
15-03-2009, 12:55 AM
Thats probably WHY its slow, that chipset

I had a sis-based P4 mobo. It lagged big time. With everything. Just opening programs, it took 10-15 secs to do anything.

In the end, I biffed it, and replaced it with an Intel mobo. It made a BIG difference

minster
15-03-2009, 01:21 AM
PC isnt that slow.
It just gets shadows/blurs in the graphics once in a while.
Tried cleaning all the plugs etc, checking refresh rates but no change.
Also tried different monitor.
Partner is in the habit of having multiple windows open at same time (Graphics) and the program will crash when saving causing her to lose hours of work.
I'm hoping that more power will help.
I also have the same motherboard and my pc is very fast for a P4 but I have 2 gb ram and a geforce 7600gs card.
Also keep my pc clean with regular maintenance:)

Speedy Gonzales
15-03-2009, 01:32 AM
Has it been defragged??

Try Glary Utils (http://www.glaryutilities.com/gu.html?tag=download) the free version. Run it, do a scan, remove whatever. It'll remove invalid entries etc from the registry

And get rid of temp files etc with ccleaner (http://www.ccleaner.com)

It could be whats in startup. Post a hijackthis log. We'll see what we can remove from startup

minster
15-03-2009, 01:42 AM
PC is clean. I do regular cleanups using all the tools mentioned here on Pressf1.
Will have another go at it when the boss allows:)
Thanks

Blam
15-03-2009, 11:13 AM
How about:

AMD Athlon Dual Core 4600 + Geforce 9500GT + Adata/Transcend 2GB RAM + 160GB Seagate HDD

Shouldn't be more than 550 and is more than enough for her needs

Blam

Speedy Gonzales
15-03-2009, 11:17 AM
They've got a spare hdd

Blam
15-03-2009, 11:30 AM
Good, should be even cheaper then:

http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail&id=5668
+
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=7204
+
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=7230
+
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=3391

Around 450.

stormdragon
15-03-2009, 11:31 AM
Probably want to get a new PSU at the same time.

minster
15-03-2009, 12:27 PM
Looking good Thanks
What motherboard would you suggest for this?

Blam
15-03-2009, 12:52 PM
Asus M3N78

Around 150

minster
15-03-2009, 02:25 PM
Thanks very much:)

Speedy Gonzales
15-03-2009, 02:30 PM
If you get the Asus M3N78

You wont need a separate videocard. Since it looks like its got VGA, DVI and HDMI onboard

Blam
15-03-2009, 03:00 PM
In the original post he/she said that her friend would be running many graphics intensive apps.

So a discrete GFX card such as the 9500GT or 9600GSO would be good

stormdragon
15-03-2009, 03:07 PM
If you go with the Asus M3N78 you will need a new case also. IIRC the Acer SA80 is uses a Micro ATX case and the M3N78 is ATX

Blam
15-03-2009, 03:16 PM
If you go with the Asus M3N78 you will need a new case also. IIRC the Acer SA80 is uses a Micro ATX case and the M3N78 is ATX

How do you know the original case does not support ATX also?

since uATX is backward compatible with ATX anyways

stormdragon
15-03-2009, 03:26 PM
How do you know the original case does not support ATX also?

I had an Acer Aspire SA80 sitting round here not that long ago for repairs and as I remember it has a Micro ATX case, which would not support a larger ATX form factor board.




since uATX is backward compatible with ATX anyways

A Micro ATX board will fit in an ATX case.
An ATX board will not fit in a Micro ATX case.

Blam
15-03-2009, 03:28 PM
I had an Acer Aspire SA80 sitting round here not that long ago for repairs and as I remember it has a Micro ATX case, which would not support a larger ATX form factor board.



A Micro ATX board will fit in an ATX case.
An ATX board will not fit in a Micro ATX case.

Ah ok, thats why. I didn't see the model no. she had posted:p

I know an ATX board will not fit in a uATX case. its common sense lol.

Unless the case originally supported ATX of course

Speedy Gonzales
15-03-2009, 03:40 PM
Well no point getting that mobo then, if youre going to use a separate card

More ram would probably be better then, not a separate videocard

Since it doesnt really matter what card you get, since all connect to a monitor, and obviously you need something to see anything on the screen

minster
17-03-2009, 09:55 AM
Okay,
After reading all your suggestions, we have decided to get the following and build a new pc...

ASUS M3N78 (Express Gate) Geforce 8200 D,
CPU AMD Athlon64 X2 Dual Core 5000+ CPU
Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4 2 x 1GB DDR2-8

I have already ordered a new case and 420Watt PSU.
CoolerMaster Elite 333.

I have a question regarding the above MOBO?
Downloaded the user manual for it last night and can't really understand for sure that this MOBO supports "Sata Hard Drives"
Probably a dumb question but I would like your confirmation before ordering the motherboard combo please?
You are appreciated ... Thank you:)

Speedy Gonzales
17-03-2009, 10:14 AM
According to this (http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=WhuOCj0ipNR0NRXD)

Its got 5 SATA ports

minster
17-03-2009, 10:18 AM
Ooops!
I looked but didn't see lol
Thanks Speedy:)

utopian201
17-03-2009, 01:05 PM
I'm surprised at how many people suggested getting a dedicated graphics card when the requirement did not feature games or HD movie playback.

A dedicated graphics card will NOT make your graphics programs run faster. Only the latest versions of photoshop are now starting to support hardware acceleration, but it is in its infancy.